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Japan Spring 06

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Information about Japan Spring 06
Travel-Nature

Published on March 30, 2008

Author: Elena

Source: authorstream.com

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UW-Whitewater Study Tour to Kansai Region of Japan:  UW-Whitewater Study Tour to Kansai Region of Japan Spring Break 2006 Basics:  Basics Tour leaders Larry Neuman Kasumi Kato 8 days long. Fly into Osaka tour Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara. We will stay in tourist-class hotels most of the time, with 2-3 students per room. Weather:  Weather The weather should be very pleasant. If we are lucky, we may catch part of the cherry blossom season. Expect it to be a little warmer than Wisconsin, but you will need sweater or a light jacket. Last year, the temperature ranged from 60F degrees during the day to 40F degrees at night. We will probably have at least one day with rain. Travel:  Travel Friday March 24 Depart for Japan (about noon), arrive late afternoon Saturday March 25 at the Kansai International Airport (KIX). We will stay Sat, Sun, Mon & Tue night in Osaka, then go to Kyoto and stay there Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat night. Sunday, April 2 We depart early in the morning for USA, arrive mid-day the same day. We will leave from the Madison, Milwaukee or Chicago O’Hara airport (to be determined). It takes about 13 hours flying time between the midwest USA and Japan. Note: Expect to be at the airport 2-3 hours prior to departure. Kansai Region:  Kansai Region Because this is a short trip, with will focus on a central area in Japan with several major cities and key historical sites all without about one-hour train ride. The Kansai (Japanese: 関西) region of Japan, also known as the Kinki region, is in the middle of Japan's main island, Honshu. The Kansai Region Kansai:  Kansai . The term Kansai refers to an area centering roughly on the cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. Kansai is used in a cultural and historic context, and in contradistinction to Kanto (area around Tokyo). Japanese language (Nihongo)日本語 :  Japanese language (Nihongo)日本語 Speaking or reading Japanese is not a requirement for this study tour. However, you will find being able to speak some Japanese is a great advantage. Knowing how to say even a few Japanese phrases or being able to read some characters or Japanese script will help you get a lot more out of the trip. While many Japanese people speak some English, many do not and even if they do it may be with Japanese pronunciationm that may confuse you. Likewise, many signs are in English, but you can easily find yourself in an areas with all signs are in Japanese. Public Transportation:  Public Transportation We will travel using regular Japanese public transportation, not a special tour bus. It will be a cultural learning experience. Walking:  Walking There will be a great deal of walking on this trip. This is very common in Japan. Be prepared to walk one or two miles a day each day. Japan has many steep hills and lots of stairs. Osaka 大阪 We begin in Japan’s 2nd largest city, Osaka. It is a modern city with 8.8 million people, 7% of Japan’s population.:  Osaka 大阪 We begin in Japan’s 2nd largest city, Osaka. It is a modern city with 8.8 million people, 7% of Japan’s population. Osaka Castle:  Osaka Castle While in Osaka we will visit the world famous Osaka castle In addition to Osaka castle, we will visit a park of old Japanese farm houses in Osaka:  In addition to Osaka castle, we will visit a park of old Japanese farm houses in Osaka We will visit Japan’s leading Human Rights Museum in Osaka:  We will visit Japan’s leading Human Rights Museum in Osaka The museum presents a variety of collections and exhibitions on the cultural resources and human rights history of the buraku, women, ethnic problem, etc. The videotapes and film programs about war and environmental disruption are screened by the multi-vision screen. Kobe:  Kobe We will visit the city of Kobe and there tour the old European district (kintano), a sake’ brewing museum, and a mountain “rope line” to get a scenic view of the harbor area. If it can be arranged, we will also take in a Japanese baseball game that features the Hanshin Tigers of the Kobe-Osaka area. Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum :  Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum Rice wine or sake is a major part of Japan’s historic culture. This sake museum is in Kobe's compact brewery district. There are life-size mannequins throughout the big two-story structure, caught in the act of inspecting the mash or stirring the yeast or performing any of the other many sake-making steps that are explained in great detail. Kitano:  Kitano Kitano-cho is a district at the foot of Mt. Rokko where many Western business people settled in the second half of the 19th century, after the Port of Kobe was opened to foreign trade. Former mansions of Western residents remain in the area and are open to the public 奈良 Nara:  We’ll take a day trip to Nara is one of Japan’s most historically important cities. It was Japan’s capital, 710-784 CE and holds many important designated National Treasures, temples, shrines, statues, carvings and paintings. In Nara Park, nature and history are beautifully preserved. Nara park is also famous for its hundreds of tame deer that roam freely. 奈良 Nara We will briefly stop at a UW-W exchange university in Japan, Kansai Gaidai. It is between Osaka, Nara and Kyoto.:  We will briefly stop at a UW-W exchange university in Japan, Kansai Gaidai. It is between Osaka, Nara and Kyoto. Kyoto 京都 :  We will spend four days in the cultural center of Japan and another ancient capital city (794 to 1868) Kyoto. Kyoto 京都 Kyoto, is famous for its temples, shrines, and other historic sites, and is a virtual storehouse of officially designated National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties. Kyoto:  Kyoto In Kyoto we will visit major cultural and historical sites, temples and parks. Many of the sites are not just the most famous in Japan, but are designed World Heritage sites. We will also participate in a Japanese tea ceremony. Ryokan 旅館 :  Ryokan 旅館 We will to stay one or nights in a traditional Japanese inn, sleeping on the floor on tatami 畳 mats in futon 蒲団. For this we may have 4-5 people in one room, with a shared toilet and traditional Japanese bath. Onsen 温泉 :  Onsen 温泉 We plan to visit an Onsen (natural hot spring spa) in the mountains outside of Kyoto. Onsen are extremely popular among the Japanese. We will review bath procedures and etiquette. Bathing is without clothing, there are separate baths for males and females. Kurama Village and Spa :  Kurama Village and Spa As most travelers to Japan quickly learn, onsen (hot springs) are one of the country's great pleasures. Tucked away among the cedar forests of Kyoto's northern hills lies the tiny village of Kurama. Famed for centuries for its Buddhist temple and legendary Tengu goblin, it has also become known for its mineral springs and traditional Japanese inn. A small mountain train takes 30 minutes to wind up through the forested hills to village of Kurama. The houses are all in the traditional style - low wooden structures with wide eaves, lanterns and bamboo-slatted windows. Ease yourself gently into the hot water and linger as long as you like. Not only is a visit to an onsen a marvelously relaxing experience, it is also good for you as the water contains certain revitalizing and health-giving minerals. Food (tabemono) 食べ物 :  Food (tabemono) 食べ物 Food and eating is central to any culture. Japanese food is very different from what most Americans typically eat. It is important to be very flexible and willing to experiment with new food. Eating real Japanese food will be important to get the most out of the trip. NOTE: The drinking age in Japan is 20 and alcohol is common with the evening meal. Chopsticks (hashi) 箸 :  Chopsticks (hashi) 箸 Expect to eat with “chopsticks” because most Japanese meals will have them available and it is a part of experiencing the culture. FOOD:  FOOD Much of Japanese diet is fish-based. New and Old:  New and Old The goal is for you to experience various aspects of today’s Japan with its mix of traditional and modern. We will try to take advantage of on-going events that take place regularly in Japan and have some fun. :  We will try to take advantage of on-going events that take place regularly in Japan and have some fun. We cannot always Tell in advance. Course Details:  Course Details This is a combination of academic coursework about Japan that will prepare you for the trip, as well as the trip itself. Full participation is both parts is mandatory. While in Japan, students are expected to participate in all activities. This includes attending all site visits and showing respect for the cultural and religious practices of the Japanese people. Students who do not believe they can participate fully in all aspects of the course and the trip should not enroll in this travel study course. Course Matters, Grades, etc.:  Course Matters, Grades, etc. Class Points Pre-Departure Attendance 30 Pre-Departure 3 Quizzes (25 points each) 75 Pre-Departure class presentations 20 8-10 page Post-Return Written Portfolio 75 Personal daily trip journal 30 10 min Post-return Class Presentation 20 Total 250 points Grading: 90.0%+ of points = A, 80.0-89.9% points = B, 70.0-79.9% points = C, 60.0-69.9% =D Course Matters, Grades, etc.:  Course Matters, Grades, etc. The class will meet once a week for 75 minutes from January 17 to March 21 (10 meetings). Main Texts (we will read about ½ of both) Karan, Pradyumna. (2005) Japan in the 21st Century. University of Kentucky Press. Sugimoto, Yoshio (2003) An Introduction to Japanese Society 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press. Course Objectives:  Course Objectives The objective of this travel study course is to inform students about contemporary Japanese society by concentrating a major geographic region that is relatively compact. A major objective is to teach students about Japan as a specific society that differs from the U.S. but also show that Japan is a complex society that has diversity and inequalities. Students will learn themes that have emerged from a sizeable literature on the “Myth of Japanese Homogeneity” or “Multicultural Japan” that adds nuance to many stereotypes about Japanese society and culture. Three themes will be emphasized in the course: (1) Regional Variations within Japanese society (2) Mixing of Traditional and Contemporary Beliefs/Lifestyles (3) Forms of Social Diversity in Japan today Course Assignments:  Course Assignments 1. Personal Journal – Each student going to Japan is required to keep a diary/personal journal to record their reactions/reflections on their experiences. Each journal entry should be 1-3 pages in length, neatly written, with the date and time indicated. Begin entries 2 days before departure and make an entry at least once a day for each trip day. The last entry should be reflections on returning to the States and recorded the day after arrival. 2. Portfolio on an aspect of Japanese society - Each student going to Japan is to keep and create a portfolio on an aspect of Japan that you will investigate while there. Begin to build portfolio before departure. Supplement the Whitewater, pre-departure information with photos, artifacts, and excerpts from your personal journal. After return, you may wish to reorganize or add to the portfolio. 3. Class presentation of your portfolio one week after returning. Requirements to enroll:  Requirements to enroll Minimum overall GPA 2.50 Minimum overall credits prior to departure 30 total credits completed prior to departure (sophomore standing). Clean UW-W disciplinary record. Recommended:  Recommended Japanese language classes Class work on History of Japan Class work on East Asian Religions Visit to the Japanese garden in Rockford IL or the Japanese garden of Chicago Botanical Gardens. Costs:  Costs INCLUDED: Lodging (shared double or triple, except in Ryokan, then 4-5 per room) Transportation (RT airfare and public transportation inside Japan) All breakfasts & dinners, but no beverages at meals although tea and tap water is often provided free. Admissions to museums, temples, baseball game, etc. Includes mandatory trip health insurance fee Estimated total $2,300 (depends on airfare changes, number of participants and exchange rate changes) Note that food, lodging & transportation in Japan typically run 20% higher than the US. Costs:  Costs NOT INCLUDED: Shipping luggage between hotels in Japan ($30-35 total) THIS IS A NECESSITY Lunches (estimate is about $8-10 per day to be safe), Beverages at meals and between-meal snacks (cost varies), Example, expect to pay $1.20 for a small can of coke from a vending machine in Japan and $3 for a soft drink at a restaurant. Any passport fees if you do not have a passport. Storage lockers ($3 per usage, you’ll want to use them). Getting to/from airport in US, personal items, and souvenirs. Costs differ in Japan. Personal items and souvenirs. Warnings:  Warnings Health conditions are generally equal or better than in the U.S. You should still check with your doctor and bring medications. Get into shape. There will be a great deal of walking. Few Japanese train stations or public places have elevators, expect to go long distances and up many stairs. Be prepared to use Asian style toilets, Western style will not always be available. Some adjustment may be required. As with all UWW trips, misbehavior during the trip will not be tolerated. It may result in the offending student being sent back to the USA immediately, at his/her own expense. In addition, the student will receive a grade of F in the course and have note placed in her or her permanent UWW record. Warnings:  Warnings Packing extremely light is very important, you will be carrying it long distances!! As most of urban Japan, many places we will go will be extremely crowded and congested. It is important to be swift and alert to avoid getting lost or left behind. What Next?:  What Next? Get a passport if you do not have one. IMMEDIATELY! It can take months for it to be processed and you cannot leave the US for Japan without one. Apply for financial aid & scholarships. Made non-refundable deposit of $300 by no later than Dec. 1. See International Education Office to register for LSINDP or SOCIOLGY 491 in Spring semester (it meets 3:45-5:00 pm on Thursdays). NOTE:There is a upper limit of 22 students. Practice eating with chop sticks, most Japanese restaurants we will go to do not provide forks and the only way to eat is with chopsticks. Financial Aid and Scholarships:  Financial Aid and Scholarships The cost of a study tour counts as part of your financial aid package (Grants & Loans). There are also scholarships available. Students should contact the International Education and Programs Office or the Financial Aid Office for scholarship and grant applications As Soon As Possible. Absolute last date is November 15. Course Goals:  Course Goals Learn a lot about Japanese society, customs and people, both past and present. Get to directly experience many aspects of real Japanese society as it operates today. Have some fun on Spring Break The May 2005 UWW Students that that went to Japan :  The May 2005 UWW Students that that went to Japan

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