Marlborough has once again welcomed Japanese pupils from Tokai Junior School and Nagoya High School. Seventeen pupils were accompanied by their school teachers and organisers, Learning Journeys.

Besides day trips to Salisbury, Stonehenge, London and Bristol, the boys focused their attention on Marlborough and the community. From climbing St Peter’s Tower and The Merchant House to The Polly Tea Rooms and a performance of Punch and Judy, the pupils immersed in local history and culture.

They had the honour of meeting Mayor Mervyn Hall and Town Crier Mike Tupman. The excitement was contagious as Mr Tupman cried out the boys’ arrival from the Town Hall steps, stopping passers-by. Mr Hall and Mr Tupman joined in with Japan Corner, an event that showed off Japanese culture and now you can see their names written in Japanese in the Town Hall office.

The Duchess of Somerset Hospital welcomed the boys with open arms. Japan Corner was re-created, and everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch. For the first time in history, the Japanese national anthem was sung in the Duchess of Somerset Hospital chapel.

The boys also volunteered for Action for the River Kennet and planted more crowfoot adding to the excellent work already done by the Tokai visitors last year.

A highlight of the week was a morning where the boys chatted and had a sing-song with some local teenagers.

Trip organiser Claudia Mattehws said: "With all these activities and more, a bridge has been built between the youth of Marlborough and the youth of Nagoya, opening doors to future travel, exchanges and friendships for the young members of the community.

"The boys stayed in local homes. They were delighted with the boys’ level of English and polite manners! Learning Journeys are always looking for homestay families who would like to get involved. If this is an opportunity that interests you, please contact for more information. We look forward to welcoming more boys next year."