On May 10 we depart for Tokyo, where we’ll stay ten full days in the friendly traditional neighborhood of Asakusa, our home base for day trips to temples, museums, and shopping districts throughout the metropolis. Then we’ll take the fast train to the beautiful ancient capital of Kyoto. Side trips will include the Great Buddha of Kamakura, the Enoshima Island Shrine and nearby beach, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and the floating shrine of Itsukushima on Miyajima. During five days in Hong Kong we’ll explore Chinese connections to Japan in visits to famous gardens and temples, and also learn about the colonial and modern history of the Island and its territories. We’ll arrive home in South Bend in the early evening of Saturday, June 2.Students will spend 17 days in Japan and 5 days in Hong Kong visiting vibrant modern cities and ancient temples. Experience the Sanja Festival in Tokyo, tour UNESCO sites, and dine and shop in two of the most amazing cities in the world.
This overseas program begins with a ten-day cultural journey within Japan, with stays in Tokyo and Kyoto, as well as a visit to Osaka. We then fly to Hong Kong, a former British colony and a gateway to China. From Hong Kong, we’ll make a brief visit to the former Portuguese colony of Macau, with special attention to its UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Throughout the trip, we’ll focus on culture and history through visits to museums, temples, and famous historic sites. There will also be time for you to explore experiences and aspects of the culture that are of particular interest to you, whether that would involve interactions with the people, pursuit of a hobby or other longstanding personal interest, or an exploration of food culture.
We will observe and reflect on East-West connections, as well as ways in which the present interacts with the past in these countries. The East Asian content of the program will provide a good general background for understanding the places we will visit.
For the writing component of the program, students will focus on one theme, issue, idea, or practice that can be observed or experienced throughout the trip. Before departing for Tokyo, students will do initial research on their chosen topic; then, during the travel portion, willl take down written observations, photograph details, and collect materials.
After our return to the United States, students will meet in classroom workshops to write and revise their personal travel narratives. In the end, students will produce a small illustrated book in which they thoughtfully share their memories regarding that one selected aspect of their travel experience.