Among the throngs of Kiwis visiting Japan for this year's Rugby World Cup, Cashmere High School's under-16 side are on a special journey of their own.
The group of 20 Christchurch students got a taste of Japan in Tokyo, before heading to Iwate Prefecture on the northeast coast.
The region was one of the worst affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, striking less than a month after the deadly February 2011 quake.
"To hear what they had to deal with, how they've recovered is going to be amazing to listen and understand and learn from what they had to go from themselves," student Tamati Cunninham told 1 NEWS.
"To learn from different cultures, not only Japanese, but also with the World Cup, there's so many races and cultures and religions that've come through they get to experience it," coach Aaron Kemp says.
The Christchurch side will play rugby and hold training sessions with some of the local schools, as well as visit Kamaishi City - which has recovered from 2011 to host two World Cup matches.