The day started off with our host families dropping us off at Kinrin Center. We were visited by Mr. Junichiro Hoshino, the mayor of Abiko City! We were taught about Abiko city’s culture and history, like its famous bird museum, literary masters, Tone River, and its annual fireworks festival! We were even visited by the town’s mascot: Unakichi-San. Much of the history of Abiko City is actually represented in Unakichi-San! He is an old gentleman, referring to the old literary masters in Abiko, and an eel, an allusion to how eel caught in Tone River was considered to be the best, fetching the most handsome price.
Later on, we were able to experience traditional Japanese street performances firsthand, everything including the refined and elegant “kappore” (かっぽれ), to the mesmerizing and grand “Nankin Tamasudare” (南京玉すだれ), an art that is said to have been developed during the Edo Period (1603-1867), rooted in Buddhist tradition. “Nankin Tamasudare” uses loosely woven bamboo sticks to create extraordinary shapes by twisting, folding and extending the sticks to create interesting shapes! After the performance, we were even taught how to use the sticks, finishing with us trying to do the performance too.
Lastly, we learned how to create Mickey Mouse through Balloon Art! I personally struggled with the balloons, as they kept popping haphazardly, scaring me half to death, however, everyone eventually managed to successfully build it, resulting in a satisfying conclusion.
It’s definitely an experience that I, along with the host families and WCI, will remember!
Today might be one of the most exciting and tiring days so far in session 2. It started off with us visiting the most known part of Isehara, Mt. Oyama. I decided to make the smart choice and take the cable car to the shrine we were visiting, Oyama Afuri, rather than taking the 45-minute hike up the mountain in the 30+ degree weather (While we were waiting for the ones who chose to hike, we got ice cream, but we were told to keep that a secret to prevent them from getting jealous, so shhh). At the shrine, we got to experience a Shinto ceremony, and we learnt a lot about Shintoism and the history of the shrines on Mt. Oyama. For lunch we stopped at a ryokan not too far from the Oyama cable car, where we got served tofu prepared in a vast variety of ways. I’m not usually a massive fan of tofu, but the expertise and variety made the dish an experience, and a delicious one at that.
After our excursion to Oyama, we went to city hall, where we met with city officials. Together we watched two of our counsellors give presentations on the livability of cities in the Netherlands and Joensuu, a city in Finland. The most interesting part of the visit however, was after the presentations, when we got split into groups and got to properly introduce ourselves to some of the city officials. We were all a bit shy at first, but quickly opened up to each other, before we all shared what our favorite aspect of our own cities were. We participants got to learn about Isehara, and the city officials got ideas on how to improve the livability of a city from all around the world.
At the end of the day, we got to try out replicas of samurai armor. This was the highlight of the day in my opinion. With a katana being part of the outfit, we got some absolutely amazing photos, and some great laughs with friends as we did cool and silly poses. It was a chill and fun way to cap off a great first activity day in a new city.
World Campus International’s Japan Program offers young adults the chance to view Japan’s culture, people, and language from within!
World Campus International, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides a unique access to Japan.
As a participant of the of the World Campus – Japan (WCJ) Program you will be part of an international group that travels around Japan.
During the day there are various activities in which you interact with the local community and learn about Japan and the world.
In the evening and at night you will be with your host-family. This way you get the chance to experience Japan from an inside perspective.
This year there will be three sessions. The duration of one session is three weeks. During that time we visit three or four cities. You can choose in which session you would like to participate or if you want to join one, two or all of the sessions.
Become a global citizen in Japan!
Interested? Join us now by visiting our site: www.worldcampus.org
We are World Campus – Tama, the community partner of World Campus International. We have been hosting the group of people from World Campus International since 2007, and some of you will be visiting Tama city as the final stop of the upcoming World Campus – Japan program.
Now we’re planning some exciting activities for you! First of all, you’ll be visiting the national diet building of Japan on your way to Tama city. Last summer, we visited there as one of the activities for the first time and it was an amazing experience for all of us!
During your stay in Tama, you’ll have a great opportunity to interact with some local people such as the middle age citizens from Tokyo, students from Tama University, and students from Keisen Jogakuin University! Some of the students will be taking you to downtown Tokyo on your personal day!
And it’s going to be the 4th time to hold the event, called “Sekai no hiroba”. We’ll be welcoming the local people of Tama city and sharing our cultures each other, and also having an “Arigato event” as a part of that big event.
We’re having fun preparing for the summer! It’s going to be short one week, but we’re so excited to have all of you here in Tama!
Abiko city has rich nature and is located in such a convenient area that takes to 40 minutes both to the center of Tokyo and to Narita airport by train. The population is about 140,000 and Abiko is very popular as a bed-town of Tokyo. People are extremely kind and a bit shy. You can enjoy traditional performing art, Kagura, which have been handed down since Edo period. We are looking forward to having you here in country town with full of human warmth, Abiko!
Unique Access to Japan!
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