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Tweet of the Week #140: Deprived Students Explore Virtual Japan

Students in Japan can't travel this year, so this is the best their schools can do.

By 2 min read

Amidst the pandemic, many Japanese schools had no choice but to cancel their yearly anticipated trips to Kyoto, Nikko and other historical sites.

In May and June 2021, more than 3,500 junior high schools canceled summer trips as an impending fourth state of emergency was looming. Earlier this month, the Japan Association of Travel Agents held a press conference asking the government to compensate for the financial loss caused by the cascade cancellations.

For students, the blow is hard. Traditionally, their 修学旅行しゅうがくりょこう (school trip) is the highlight of the year. It’s a rite of passage for graduating classes in junior high and high schools. Thus, some schools came up with an online alternative. Alas, PowerPoint presentations and live broadcasts by tour guides can’t compare to going on a trip with your friends and a change of scenery.

It’s just not the same

オンライン修学旅行画像がぞう本当ほんとう生徒せいとたちがつらそう なぜカバンをたせるのか…

“The students look like they’re having a hard time in this online school trip picture. Why make them carry bags?

School trip hell

オンライン修学旅行地獄じごく) マジでこのご時世じせい若者わかものかわいそうすぎてかなしみだろ。


“Online School Trip (Hell). Seriously, I feel sorry for young people today. It’s so sad. The precious time for being a teenager is over in an instant.”

How to express ‘it looks like’

Nemu-sodesu ne. Saikin chanto nemashita ka?

Coupled with an adjective or a verb, the suffix そう translates to “it looks like” or “it seems like.”

Here are some examples:

  • そらくらくなってたね!あめ降りおりそうだね: “The sky turned dark! It looks like it’s about to rain.”
  • コンサートはそろそろ始まはじまりそう: “It seems like the concert will start soon. Let’s get inside.”
  • ねむそうですね。最近さいきんちゃんとましたか: “You seem tired. Have you slept enough recently?”

The suffix そう has two exceptions with the adjective い (good) and the negative suffix ない (lacking), as can be seen below:

  • 週末しゅうまつはお天気てんき良さそうよさそうですね: “Looks like it’s going to be a nice weekend!”
  • わるくなさそうですね: “It doesn’t seem all that bad.”


Japanese Romaji English
修学旅行しゅうがくりょこう shyuugakuryokou School trip, school excursion
画像がぞう gazou Picture
生徒せいとたち seitotachi Students
つらそう tsurasou Looks painful, hard
地獄じごく jigoku Hell
時世じせい若者わかもの gojisei no wakamono Youth of today
かなしみ kanashimi Sadness
貴重きちょう時間じかん kichouna jikan Precious time
一瞬いっしゅん isshun For a brief moment, in the blink of an eye


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