Students take matters into their own hands by designing an unparalleled haunted house replacement.

On October 31, the sixth graders at Gifu City Nagaranishi Elementary School in Gifu Prefecture were supposed to leave on their overnight school trip to Tokyo. School trips to a different part of the country are important milestones in Japanese schoolchildren’s lives, and many adults look back fondly on those times as a highlight of their youth. Therefore, the disappointment had been palpable when these particular students learned that they would never get to make memories as their parents and peers had before them since the risk of travel in the midst of the coronavirus was too great.

However, instead of resigning themselves to the trials of 2020, the class representatives approached the school’s principal with their own proposal for a substitute plan–that the entire grade would camp out in one giant slumber party on the school grounds. If they all used single tents then the risk of transmitting germs would be minimal.

▼ At least not going to any hot springs would make it harder for any students to spy on each other

Needless to say, the principal and staff were impressed by the students’ carefully thought-out idea and soon began preparations to make the vision a reality. Moreover, since the day they were originally supposed to leave was Halloween, the school came up with the creative idea of turning the nighttime interior of the school into a kimodameshi, or “test of courage.” Such feats are often featured on Japanese TV programs and are usually similar to a haunted house-type of experience. To complete the challenge, students broke into groups and wandered around a spooky course constructed within the school. The route featured scary images, sounds, and the occasional monster jumping out at them. They must have all been respectful apparitions, however, since they all maintained proper social distancing protocols! 

Check out this news clip of the school event featuring scenes from the test of courage beginning at 1:00:

It certainly sounds like these sixth graders in Gifu were able to turn lemons into lemonade and create lasting memories of their last year in elementary school. For more stories about the ways that Japanese schoolchildren have adapted to canceled schools trips in recent months, check out these stories about one school that crafted a virtual trip in Minecraft or another one that rented out an entire theme park for its students.

Source: News24 via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
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