The 30 girls from Shinagawa Junior Girls High were delighted with the welcome - and responded with an impressive medley of songs including a traditional Japanese tune, the New Zealand anthem in teo reo and English, and the theme from the movie Moana.
They'll spend two weeks at Northcote College, learning English and taking part in regular classes with a 'buddy'.
The girls will have a great chance to experience Kiwi culture through life with their host families and on a range of trips around Auckland.
They've already been up the Sky Tower and visited our beaches (though they didn't swim ; - "too cold!). Several of the girls I spoke to were amazed at the difference between Auckland and their high-rise Tokyo home.
The trip is a treasured annual tradition that began many years ago. Shinagawa chose New Zealand - a place where is it not unusual for a woman to be Prime Minister - as a wonderful place to inspire their students to be leaders. It is always a pleasure to host them.