Monday, April 30, 2012

The end of the semester comes soon!

The Spring semester is almost over.  It seems that just about 10 to a dozen students can survive in 1101 and 1102 classes.  They shrank quite a bit.  Spring semester is always difficult because we have a spring break in between.  We will offer 1101 during the summer semester so that we hopefully have enough students for 1102 in fall!!

The study abroad group this year is fairly larger so it should be fun.  I have just attended the Board Meeting of American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ). There is an exciting news!  AATJ established the Japanese National Honor Society for Community College Chapter!!

Hope many COD students can join next year!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2 weeks passed and Kyoto in 2 months again!

GTS was in Washungton DC last week to attend the National Japan Bowl, which is the quiz competition for high schoolers. The competition was held along with Sakura Festival in which GTS met Mr. Fujisaki, Japanese Ambassador to the US. Next weekend, 4/27-28, GTS will attend the Board meeting of American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) held at the Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison. In 2 months, Summer Study abroad group will get to Kyoto, Japan. About 15 students will enjoy Japanese life for about 5 weeks. The end of the Spring semester is nearing and I began wondering about how many actually survive?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Heading back to Chicago!

Today is Sunday here and we are heading back to Chicago in sunny cherry blossoms weather. We experienced a variety of weather during this trip and had rather colder days yet will be greeted by full bloom farewell.

Now we are ready to have a time travel. Leaving Tokyo at around 7pm and reach Chicago at 4pm (will take minus 3 hours).

Hopefully the next Spring trip in 2013 can be realized as well!

Sakura in Full Bloom in Osaka Castle!

Full bloomed Cherry blossoms in Osaka Castle Park welcomed us finally right before leaving Japan for Chicago tomorrow! Walking through flowers and took train back to Kyoto.

On the way back to the city, we stopped at Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine to walk under 1000 Torii-gate to feel sacred atmosphere.

Everyone got used to the system in Kyoto, but now we have to go back to the States. Some say they will come back to Japan near future!

We will be heading back to the States, tomorrow!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Chilly Nara Day!

We have visited Nara by Kintetsu line to see my/our DEER and Giant Buddha in Todai-ji Temple. Some cherry was in full bloom yet some chilly rain gave us headache. From Giant Buddha, we proceeded to Todaiji February Hall, March Hall, and April Hall from which the entire Nara city was visible.

Walking through Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine and Mt. Wakakusa, we got to Kasuga Grand Shrine to meet several Miko (Female Shinto Assistant). From there about a mile of walk took us back to the shopping street and the Train Station from which we went back to Kyoto.

It was a bit chilly and rainy day but we made it well!

One more full day and we will be on our way back to Chicago!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

GTS mom showed up!

We have been suffering from funny weather. Sunny, rainy, cloudy, sunny...... We took a city bus to Nanzenji-temple where 700 years anniversary Buddhist ceremony for the second head monk! We were lucky to see it. Students learned how Kyoto got water from the Lake Biwa in the Lake Biwa Canal Museum (video in English!)

Upon leaving the museum students had a chance to meet GTS' mom and got some souvenirs from her. Then went to Heian jingu shrine. Many want to have a free exploring time so we dismissed in front of the Art Museum of Kyoto to which some visited in.

Tomorrow will be the Nara trip but the weather is unpredictable!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A bit chilly but sunny day returned!

On the contrary to the yesterday's horrible storm, it was fairly calm without raining today. We first got to Daikakuji Temple where everyone has an experience of Buddhist Calligraphy Drawing (写経).

Upon leaving Daikakuji, we went thorough alleies and path to get to Nison-in (二尊院)as well as Nonomiya Shrine (野々宮神社).

After lunch around the Randen Arashiyama Station, we went into Tenryuji (天龍寺). After crossing Togetsukyo Bridge (渡月橋), we headed to Hankyu station to go back to the hotel.

Weather was nice though a bit cold yet manageable.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Heavy Rain Storm mildly attacked us!

It seems that today is the first and last day of raining heavily. Yet we visited Nijo Castle to try walking on the squeeking floor and gardens. After taking a rest for a while in the castle, the city bus took us to the Silver Pavilion near which GTS was born a few decades ago.

Raining prevent us from walking along the philosopher's trail we went to Kyoto Handicraft Center for shopping as we can avoid heavy rain.

At night, we went to the Traditional Performance Show!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Golden Pavilion in Sunny Kyoto!

Really sunny day finally came and Cherry Blossoms are really thinking to bloom now. We began the day 2 with the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji temple) and the Rock Garden (Ryoan-ji temple) before having the lunch at the cafeteria of Ritsumeikan University which GTS was graduated from years ago.

Because it was the first day of the university, almost all the incoming freshmen there and it was a truly lively campus. After lunch we went to the Hirano Shrine which has just begun flower viewing event though the Sakura was not ready yet.

GTS greeted teachers at Kyoto International Academy (KIA) which is located between Hirano Shrine and Kitano Tenmangu Shrine where some plum flowers were still very attractive. KIA will take care of students in our summer study abroad trip in June-July.

On the way back to the Hotel, we stopped at Nishijin Textile Center where students enjoyed its Kimono Show as well as some souvenir shopping.

It was a very productive day!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Safe in Kyoto, Japan! First day (SUN)

2012 Spring COD field trip to Kyoto Japan arrived in Kyoto safely though we had some delay due to the harsh weather.

First day began with getting some cash at Citibank before heading to Yasaka Shrine! There was an actual Shinto Wedding ceremony.

Maruyama Park Cherry hasn't bloomed yet but at least we felt some energy when seeing people trying save some spots for the night party.

Through sannenzaka and ninenzaka we got to Kiyomizu temple then going down the bowl slope )chawan-zaka) to catch the bus to go to Sanjusangendo where 1001 kannon statutes welcomed us.

In the afternoon we took keihan train to get to Uji area to visit the Phoenix Pavilion before heading back to the central area of Kyoto!

It was a great day.