Every semester, as part of our Cultural Enrichment Activities, we organize at least 1 overnight trip concentrated on a UNESCO World Heritage Site to highlight the symbol of Japanese culture and its significance.
At the beginning of this summer, 47 exchange students (from both undergraduate and graduate level) participated in this weekend trip to the Gifu prefecture.
The first day was a trip to Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in mountainous region which was cut off from the rest of the country for a long time. As a traditional human settlement that is perfectly adapted to its environment, social and economic, it has preserved its social structure along with its spiritual and material aspects throughout the centuries. The Gassho-style houses are a kind of its own in Japan and reflect the area’s authenticity.
After spending the night in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) where everyone wore yukatas and enjoyed washoku (traditional Japanese food), the second day was spent in Takayama, known as “Little Kyoto”. The small city is a well-preserved antiquity with wooden buildings and temples dating back as far as the Edo period. A great number of established merchants have been in operation for centuries now, preserving and offering traditional items, food and sake.
2 activities were organized for the students:
・making their own chopsticks and its pouch
・making sarubobo doll (which originated from Takayama)
They also had free time to enjoy strolling through the city on their own.