Back to Nature

2024 July Back to Nature: Hiking Day Report with FedEx Express

Date: July 7, 2024
Place: Mitake, Tokyo
Participants: 24 campers, 8 big campers, 5 LITs, 9 Mirai no Mori staff, 17 sponsors
Sponsor: FedEx Express

On July 7th, we took on the heat and hit the trails at Mitake for an exhilarating hiking adventure, all fueled by the amazing energy of our sponsor, FedEx. Campers, LITs and care workers from a variety of care homes joined Mirai no Mori and FedEx volunteers for some outdoor excitement! 


We started our day with a quick orientation and split into teams for our first activity: a quiz about hiking gear and Japan’s mountains to get everyone into the hiking spirit. Everyone was surprised to learn that Mount Fuji, despite being the tallest in Japan, ranks only 108th in the world!

Once we had our hiking essentials ready—bear bells, comfy shoes, bento boxes, and, most importantly, lots of water—we were all set to go! The hike was a mix of breathtaking views and challenging terrain. Some campers found walking sticks, others went on insect hunts, and everyone enjoyed the forest’s fresh scent, the cool breeze in shady spots, and the soothing sounds of the river as we neared our destination. Though some campers were nervous about the heights and tricky downhill sections, everyone pushed through. Cheers erupted when we finally reached our goal, and we all hydrated like pros. 

Lunchtime was unusually quiet as everyone was busy recharging for the afternoon. We dug into delicious onigiri bentos and treated ourselves to some Haribo candies for dessert.

After lunch, we beat the sizzling summer heat with a refreshing dip in the Tama River. Some campers jumped in headfirst, while others started with just their hands and feet. Before long, everyone, including our awesome volunteers, was splashing around and laughing in the water. The river was alive with smiles and joy! 

After drying off, we gathered for a reflection session. This program, in particular, left a lasting impression. After speaking within their teams, many campers showed courage and shared their thoughts and experiences with everyone. They especially appreciated the FedEx volunteers, who not only made great hiking buddies but also joined in on the river fun. A massive thank you to FedEx for sponsoring this unforgettable day. Here’s to more adventures, laughter, and incredible experiences with Mirai no Mori! 

“In everyday life, we tend to give a lot of warnings to children, but at Mirai no Mori, there are many opportunities to praise them. Once again I realized that this is a very good environment for children to develop self-esteem. I would like to try using the 5 value keywords of Mirai no Mori in daily life.” by big camper

“The hike was very hard! My legs hurt and I didn’t think I could do it, but everyone was able to make it to the end and that left a big impact on me! I learned that it is important to have courage and not give up. I also learned new English words.” by camper

“It was my first time playing in the river at a Back to Nature program. It was spontaneous and I had so much fun with the sponsors!” by LIT

“I am always going to remember playing with everyone in the river, including the FedEx volunteers” by camper

“During the hike, I slipped on a downhill. I feel better but next time I want to be more careful and not fall” by camper

“This was my first time at Mirai no Mori and my favorite part was jumping in the river many times from different places.” by camper

“Today was a very hot day and this morning I came thinking that I wanted to jump in the river, and we actually did!” by sponsor

“Last year I came to the same hiking program and I didn’t come prepared to jump in the river. This year I was ready and had so much fun in the water with the campers!” by sponsor