Unlike many countries which begin their school year in the autumn, Japan begins the school year in April. Spring is the time for new beginnings after all! For students it is not just new books and getting used to, for first graders who may not have experienced “kyushoku” (school lunch) before, today is a momentous day - their first official day experiencing school lunch in school.
For many kids, this might be a shocking or unnerving experience - especially if they are used to eating bento from home. New and unusual food might be scary at first, so it is important to make a good impression on your first day. In Hirakata City, the menu was bread, hamburg beef patties, simmered soup, milk and a fruit cocktail. Other schools also choose kid-friendly favorites such as Japanese-style curry. Below, you see a picture of bread, gratin, vegetable soup, apple jello and milk.
In addition to experiencing their first school lunch, students begin their first day of school learning about other important facets to their new life - including how to properly wash their hands, basic preparation for lunchtime meal service, how to arrange their desks and table tops, how to tidy up and how to brush teeth after meals. All these lessons and learning how to do them properly take time to master, but the kids have their entire elementary school career to do so - so there’s no rush!