Junior High School and High School can be stressful for most students here. Entrance into High School and University are based on Exam scores. Getting into the right school at this young age can determine whether the student gets into the right University which could then have an impact on their success in their chosen career. That's alot to think about for a 14 year old. Junior high school is 3 years (12-15 years old). And High School is 3 years (15 to 18). Preparation for the High School entrance exam begins no later than the second year of junior high school.
Most students attend a Juku (cram school) after their regular school classes. Juku's help the student who is falling behind to catch up. On the flip side, students who aren't behind in school can go further in their learning at juku. In addition to cram school, their time may be divided between school extra-curricular activities, music lessons and English lessons, and homework from the juku and school.
Performance in school is so important, that if the Working Parent (usually the Father) is transferred to another city or overseas, most Mothers and children hesitate to relocate. Mothers and children may also avoid going on the family vacation during the entrance exam preparation period.
Maybe these Japanese students are heading to Starbucks to refuel?
My husband and I were on the 5th floor sitting in a restaurant and waiting for our lunch. Our table was near the window, and we were people watching. I had my camera in hand and caught this shadow shot. The zig zag white line is the reflection from the building's windows. I am guessing that these boys are probably about 14 or 15 years old.
Visit Hey Harriet's blog for more interesting photos and shadows.