Japan is rich in traditions. Discovering them sometimes requires to take your time and immerse yourself into them. It is with this mindset that the CIA organized a field trip to Shirakawago and Takayama. 32 students from the undergraduate and the graduate schools had the chance to discover these two places and to take part in activities typical of Gifu prefecture.
The field trip took place during the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of June. The trip started in Shirawakawago, a village whose traditional architecture "Gassho" is world-renowned (it is registered as a World Cultural Heritage site). The students had a free time to discover the village by themselves, enjoy the beautiful thatched-roofed houses and the luxuriant Japanese nature. They were also able to taste the local food whose soba, milk, and wagyu beef are reputed.
In the evening the entire group was warmly welcomed at Ryokufuen Kiyoharu Ryokan. The students went to the onsen and later gathered, in yukata, to enjoy a gastronomic "Kaiseki" dinner based on local products and recipes.
On Sunday morning, the group left the ryokan after a traditional Japanese breakfast. The next stop of the trip was the Hida no Sato (Craft Experience Center) of Takayama. There, the students started by taking part in a traditional craft activity. Divided in two groups, they made their own chopsticks or sarubobo (protection charms typical of the Gifu prefecture). The students were then free to enjoy the rest of the Center which presents the historical way of life of the region.
Finally, the group went to the city center of Takayama known, among other things, for its traditional shopping streets, historical buildings, and nice restaurants. Each student was free to visit according to their own interests.
This field trip was an excellent moment that allowed students to discover a more traditional and rural Japan than the one they usually encounter in Nagoya.