Extracurricular Activities

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Immersion in a work environment in a different culture equips students with skills that go beyond the specific internship experience, and makes the program more rewarding and fruitful for the students. We designed the program to be an opportunity to explore not only academic interests, but also cultural views. Based on such a policy, we included extracurricular activities such as a one-day excursion and Japanese culture experiences.

Field Trip to Nikko

Nikko Botanical Garden

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The Botanical Garden at Nikko was established in 1902 as an educational and research branch of the main Botanical Gardens of the Faculty of Science, the University of Tokyo ("Koishikawa Botanical Garden," at Tokyo), for the study of alpine plants. The institute features a good collection of temperate and alpine plants of Japan. The garden contains about 2,200 species (130 species of pteridophytes, 70 species of gymnosperms, and 2,000 species of angiosperms). The garden occupies an area of 104,490M2 including part of a garden of the summer house of Japan's royal family, the Tamozawa Goyotei.

On the trip, Associate Professor Tateno gave the students a brief explanation of the institute a tour through the botanical garden rich with information and historical anecdotes.

Nikko Toshogu Shrine

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The World Heritages consists of 2 shrines and 1 temple: the Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Nikkosan Rinno-Ji Temple and Nikko Futarasan-jinja Shrine. The Nikko Toshogu Shrine, the most famous World Heritage in Nikko, enshrines Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo bakufu (shogunate). The shrine encompasses a variety of architectures and sculptures registered as the national treasures or important cultural properties, allowing visitors to appreciate great-flamboyant architectural beauties. The students visited Yomeimon, the newly repaired and brightly colored main gate, Honden, and their sculptures which have just been unveiled after the 4-year-long "Heisei Renovations". They marveled at the masterpiece of sculptures, such as the Three Wise Monkeys and the Sleeping Cat.

Nikko Yuba Factory

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Yuba is made from the film that forms at the surface of heated soymilk during a process similar to that of making tofu. It has been a traditional dish for more than a thousand years in Japan, especially in zen temples as a part of their vegetarian menu. Nikko, along with Kyoto, is famous for its production of yuba.

Students visited the Nikko Yuba Factory and tried making yuba from hot soymilk and taste their own self-made yuba.

Japanese cultural workshops

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Students participated in Japanese cultural workshops: ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement), origami (the art of folding paper), kimono wearing, shodo (Japanese calligraphy), and mini ochaji (Japanese tea ceremony) at Shunkaen Bonsai museum.

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Japanese Language Course

Japanese language courses were provided in cooperation with the Center for the Japanese Language Education at the headquarters of UTokyo. The course was specially arranged as an intensive survival course for UTRIP students. They mainly practiced conventional dialogues for situations in daily life.

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