"KAKEHASHI Project" Invitation: City University of New York (New York)

Invitation in May 2013

Short-term stay in Japan: Group 3 (University Students)
City University of New York, New York

Period:May 20 - 30, 2013
Local Visit Destination:Kyoto Prefecture
Number of Participants:50

Tour Photo Album

Photo of Orientation
(The Japan Foundation)

Photo taken at Tokyo National Museum
Studying Japanese history and culture
(Tokyo National Museum)

Photo taken at Senso-ji Temple
Visit to Senso-ji in Asakusa
(Omikuji experience)

Photo taken at Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts
Visit to Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts
(Lecture on the local culture)

Photo taken at Heian Jingu Shrine
Visit to Heian Jingu Shrine
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo taken on Teramachi Street in Kyoto
Visit to Teramachi Street in Kyoto
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo taken with Rakugo Master, Kaishi Katsura
With Master Kaishi Katsura, a Rakugo presenter
(The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai)

Photo taken at Doshisha University 1
School exchange
(Doshisha University)

Photo taken at Doshisha University 2
School exchange
(Doshisha University)

Photo taken at Shimazu Foundation Memorial Hall
Visit to Shimazu Foundation Memorial Hall
(Learning about Japanese companies)

Photo taken at Kyoto International Manga Museum
Visit to Kyoto International Manga Museum
(Learning about Japanese manga culture)

Photo taken at Kinkaku-ji Temple
Visit to Kinkaku-ji, Temple of the Golden Pavilion
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo taken at  Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Visit to Kiyomizu-dera
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo taken at Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
Visit to Fushimi Inari-taisha
(Learning about Japanese traditional culture)

Photo taken at Tea Industry Research Division of Kyoto Prefectural Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Technology Center
Visit to Tea Industry Research Division of Kyoto Prefectural Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Technology Center in Uji
(Learning about Japanese local industries)

Photo taken near Uji River
Visit to Uji River
(Learning about the nature in a Japanese local area )

Photo taken at Tsukiji fish market
Visit to Tsukiji fish market
(Learning about Japanese food culture)

Photo taken in Harajuku 1
Visit to Harajuku
(Learning about ‘Cool Japan’)

Photo taken in Harajuku 2
Visit to Harajuku
(Learning about ‘Cool Japan’)

Photo of Okonomiyaki experience
Okonomiyaki experience

Photo of Nihon Buyo experience
Nihon Buyo experience instructed by Master Minosuke Nishikawa
(The Japan Foundation)

Photo taken at Chuo University 1
School exchange
(Chuo University)

Photo taken at Chuo University 2
School exchange/Discussion
(Chuo University)

Photo taken at Chuo University 3
School exchange
(Chuo University)

Photo of Debriefing Session
Debriefing Session

Voices from Participants

1.Having participated in the KAKEHASHI Project, what do you think are Japan’s strengths and attractiveness?

  • Japan’s strengths and attractiveness lies in its order and innovation. I think Japan is a very orderly and well civilized country that has a safe atmosphere. I feel safe walking the streets even though it was an unfamiliar area. Innovation is also very important. I like how Japan’s infrastructure is so advanced. It feels like the “future city” with new technology and products, compared to the United States. I also think Japan has many friendly, responsible people. I was able to ask for directions and talk to local people because they were patient and willing to help us.
  • The people. There is a strength of character here that doesn’t exist in other countries. It is my belief that by interactions between students, Japan can seem far more attractive to the Western World.

2.How do you change your perspective of Japan through the project?

  • I came to Japan thinking of Japan as “traditional” Japan. However, it was amazing to see how modern and innovative Japan is, especially in Tokyo. I felt as if I were in New York City where everything is fast paced and always moving. I learned things about the past, present, and future of Japan that I never knew and that I hope to incorporate into my own life.
  • Although I had an idea of Japan would be like, there were many things that both shocked and surprised me. I didn’t realize how focused and devoted the local people were in just trying to make life better and comfortable. I learned that it was much more to Japan than just manga and anime.

3.After returning to the U.S., what aspect(s) of Japan do you want to learn more?

  • I want to learn more about the different prefectures. I usually talked about Tokyo, Osaka, and Hokkaido. But being here, I see how little I know about other places especially Kyoto. I am really interested in knowing more about the History because being able to visit Oda Nobunaga’s grave was such an amazing experience for me. Lastly, I want to improve my language skills to be able to interact more freely with the locals because I loved using what knowledge I already had.
  • After returning to the U.S. I hope to learn more about its history and the significance of each location that we’ve visited. I also hope to learn more about the differences in our culture (etiquette, education, etc) because I feel it will be helpful towards my study in marketing in a global aspect.

4.It is hoped that you will promote further mutual understanding between our two countries, serving as bridges in the Japan-U.S. relationship. What will you do to deepen understanding of Japan’s strengths and attractiveness?

  • -Keep in contact with the students I met at Doshisha University and Chuo University over email and Facebook.
    -Look into more scholarship and study abroad programs to visit here again to meet new people and study the language more intensively; without the language barrier I will be able to understand the people and culture better.
    -Tell my friends and family about Japan and my experience.
  • I have made many new friends through our university visits and will do all I can to maintain those friendships. I will hope to have the help of these new friends to further my understanding of the culture and help me learn the language better.

5.Please freely describe your experience in the KAKEHASHI Project.

  • Although the experience itself was very enriching and enjoyable, I wish there was more student interaction. While I had a great time leaning the history of Japan from the tour guides, I felt much more comfortable interacting with the students at the universities I visited. I enjoyed that part the most as student ambassador. As someone introduced to a whole new culture, I enjoyed the sights and popular shopping districts because I felt I was exposed to both its history and pop/contemporary culture. This experience helped strengthen my bond between me and Japan. I hope it does the same for Japan and America.
  • I enjoyed it and am very appreciative of this opportunity. I feel improved as a human being and have a better understanding of the world. Meeting new people changes the way you see things, Sometimes I was culture shocked but usually ended up pleasantly surprised. There is only one thing I wish for that is to have stayed in this beautiful country longer and to one day return.

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