Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fall Registration continues! Spread the words!!

As the Fall semester approaches students registering in Japanese is gradually increasing!
1101 classes currently have 34 students (max. 96), 1102 and 2201 have more available seats so far.
Unfortunately our global classroom learning community class Japanese 1100 has been cancelled due to the low enrollment:(

Already some have been asking about Japan trip in 2013 which is the 15th year anniversary event!  Our regular monthly dinner outing will resume in the first Friday of September (9/7)!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

2012 Summer Study Abroad successfully completed!

2012 Summer study abroad in Kyoto, Japan has now successfully completed and certainly I began planning on the next year's program as time flies.

The dates will be 6/19/2013-7/26/2013 during which Kyoto Gion Festival and Osaka Tenjin Festival be held!

As I always try changing something in program so that some repeaters could consider going back to Japan again, you and your friends may go with GTS.

Application will be ready at the beginning of the Fall Semester and the cost will be $4,444 (including airfare, group activities, etc) plus 7-credit hours tuition (about $950, tuition is always in-district one regardless of where you live).  You can survive well with extra pocket money ($500-1000 including your lunch money $5-10 a day)

So $6,000-6,500 will change your perspective and literally life. Believe GTS!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Commencement and the Party went well!

The Commencement and the Farewell party went well.  At the party, every student gave a speech as well as thank you letter reading to each host family who also attended the party.

Some students and host family got burst into tears for various complicated feelings.  The final project of each group was superb!  Good team work and good friendship worked well as a group.

After enjoying the final afternoon in Kyoto, everyone is heading back to the USA tomorrow!

Another good summer program has almost finished!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fireworks at Osaka Tenjin Festival greeted us for farewell!

2012 COD Summer Study Abroad will end with the commencement and the farewell party tomorrow. 
25th of the month is one of the most important festival for Tenmangu Shrines all over Japan. 

Kitano Tenmangu in front of Kyoto International Academy held its flea market every 25th of the month and we were lucky to have two 25th day in June and July. 

July 25th is the most important for all as Osaka Tenjin Festival gets tens of thousands of people from all over Japan.

Great Osaka Tenjin Festival Fireworks overwhelmed us with so many stall selling food and drinks to say welcome and good-bye at the same time for our trip this year!

One more important day is left!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dolphine Show under heavy shower!

Kyoto Aquarium opened this Spring for the first time and certainly we took advantage of visiting there anyways.

As soon as we got there it began raining.   We were fairly lucky to be inside during the heavy shower.

Dolphin show was held while raining quite heavily yet some audience enjoyed water spills by the dolphin fin.

Though we stayed rather short time of the period, hope everyone got some coolness!

Our final excursion will be the OSAKA Tenjin Festival tomorrow with night fireworks!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Kamigamo Shrine, Midorogaike, and GTS elementary school!

Under hot and humid weather, we went to KamigamoShrine which is famous for its Traditional Horse Race and Aoi Festival of May.  Everyone had a chance to walk into Myojin-River with bare foot, which gace some refreshing coolness!  We walk along the Myojin River to Sacred Kusunoki Tree which GTS saw everyday during his elementary school days.

Going through alleys we got to some public parks where GTS played a lot some 40 years ago.  Several GTS friends houses were still there and gave nostrgic sense to GTS.

It is very significant to almost finish with where GTS came from!

A few more days to go!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Making Own Cup Noodle in Osaka!!

We went to the Nisshin Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka where everyone can design own cup noodle as a souvenir!  Everyone had fun with making it and learning the history of the instant noodle which was invented here in Japan by Ando Momofuku.

Some may bring their own cup noodle back to the States, some may eat tonight, some may give as a gift!

We had a rain but not too bad as we were in the station or in the train or in the Museum.

Another great day.  This weekend is the final weekend for us this year!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Scripture Caligraphy at Daikakuji Temple!

Upper level class holding 4 students had a special presentation class this morning and GTS observed their progress as well as many other students native to KIA.

After having lunch, we went to Daikakuji temple by bus to participate real practice of scripture calligraphy of Han'nya Shingyo.  I hope their calligraphy session at school assited a bit for this activity!

After visiting the Daikakuji we did so called SAGANO STROLLING (さがのめぐり) to walk without much purpose or emptying our mind!

Some have lost in the middle but eventually we met up at the train station!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kurama Temple to Kifune Shrine!

100 degree hot summer began and only 8 students came with GTS to get to Mt. Kurama from which we could go over the mountain to Kifune Shrine.

Minamoto Yoshitsune in 13th century took the same route to flee from Kyoto.  It was breezy and cool in the mountain and hope 8 students felt good about concurring this Kurama temple-Yuki Shrine - Kifune Shrine route.

Mt. Kurama is famous for its Kurama Tengu Orga and Kifune Shrine holds the deity of water and loved couples!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gion Festival after the long weekend!

Gion Festival Float Marching (山鉾巡行) was carried out under the very hot and humid weather after 3-day weekend during which every student enjoyed him or herself individually. 

Last three nights beginning last Friday were Gion Festival Eve/Eve-eve/Eve-eve-eve nights on which major Kyoto central avenues and streets became so-called pedestrian heaven without auto-trafic and many street venders opened.

Those huge floats build without nail but only wood and rope turn 90 degrees each intersection with bamboo and water but without any steering wheel!

Kyoto summer peak has passed and Osaka will get its peak mid-next week with Osaka Tenjin Festival!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Phoenix Pavilion engulfed us!

Gion Festival weekend is approaching and before all floats of the festival attracted us, we visited the Phoenix Pavilion in Uji-city.  Everyone took 10 yen coin to make sure the Pavilion looked like the one on the coin!

In the Museum in the temple, they showed the graphic recovery of the original colorful pavilion on the short DVD.

On the way back to the station, we walk along the Uji river whose stream was very quick in this rainy season!

Three day weekend holidays hopefully entertained everyone!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Eikando Maze-like building and GTS mom!

Though raining quite heavily in the morning, by the time we began excursion, it was ceased and became rather breezy nice afternoon.

We got to Eikando-Zenrinji Temple where nice garden and maze-like main hall entertained us.  From the top of the Pagoda, you can see the entire Kyoto city wonderfully.

We visited Nanzen-ji temple after leaving Eikando to see the old water canal garden (Nanzen-in) from which we were able to pass in front of GTS condo via International Community House.  In front of the Condo, everyone had a chance to greet GTS mom!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lots of Racoon Dog Statues welcomed us!

Though the rain forecast was 80%, the weather cooperated with us by just giving us some shade without rain drops.

Perfect weather for climbing up the Tabukudani-yama, the 9th mountain out of 36 Kyoto eastern mountains.

The head monk who is my senior led all of us into the main hall (special treatment!!) and explained some significance about the temple.

Father of GTS sleeps in his earn placed in the Yasuragi-do in this temple complex.  Students suffered from long steep upward slop with 250 stair steps to get to the chilled towel on top!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another hot day in Heian Jingu Shrine!

Upon finishing lunch time, we were headed to Heian Jingu Shrine, yet we had to get off the bus due to the mechanical problem (better then Airplane mechanical problem) so we decided to walk a bit longer to get to Heian Jingu Shrine, which was established in late 1800s as a 1100 year anniversary for capital city of Japan!

We did have a light rain yet managed to get to Kyoto Handicraft Center for some quality shopping!  We will climb up eastern mountain tomorrow with slight rain!

Not as hot and humid as it should be, so we should be happy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monkeys enjoyed Human being us!

The weather was perfect today to climb up the Mt.Iwata where the monkey park was located.  Not really climbing but just a hard slope walking!  On top the mountain has a little barn from which we can feed monkeys outside the window!

Some monkeys were jumped into water to swim and others are holding a month-old baby monkey.  We were comforted by them and could forget all the stress we have been getting if any.

Hopefully GTS will come back with another group next year and see how they would grow up!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Osaka Castle in the rain!

It was actually the rainy day affecting us a bit more serious but we got to the Osaka Castle while stopping raining.
During the observation inside the castle main tower, the rain got heavier and heavier.

Somehow managed to and from the train station and the excursion was successfully ended.

Some got wet but seems not to bad!  Another rainy day tomorrow on Saturday but by the time
we climb up the monkey mountain on Monday, it should be clear!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Kimono Beauty Attracted us!

Though it was not raining too heavily, slight rain prevented us from walking up and down the mountain.  So our destination was Nishijin Textile Center where Kimono Beauty attracted our students.  Some shopped souvenirs before heading to Nijo Castle.

On our way to Nijo Castle was the Seimei Shrine from which Japanese official exorcism began in 11th century!

KIA Student ID and the special visitor's pass let everyone enter the Castle where squeaking floor entertained us!

Light rain is actually better for hot and humid Kyoto!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tenryu-ji Temple and Bamboo trail in July 4th!

The weather today was barely holding for us so it was actually good to do some hike!  After lunch in Kitano Hakubaicho Randen Train station area, the train took us to the Arashiyama Area.

We have been in the eastern part for a while and today was the first day to the western side of Kyoto city!

We walked in the main hall of the Tenryu-ji and its hilly garden, did a little hike through bamboo trail to the top of mountain from which we could view the nice Hozu river and Valley!

We walked down to another side of the mountain along the Oi River and went across the Togetsu (Crossing the moon) Bridge to get to the Arashiyama Park which is famous for its cherry blossoms in Spring!

Hankyu train brought us back to the central city area and it began raining a bit!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

1001 Mercy Buddha welcomed us in rain!

It was raining from the morning today.  We planned accordingly so that we don't have to walk in the rain too much.

After lunch in the school area, everyone took the bus to get to Hyakumanben (Kyoto University area) first where we transfer to another bus taking directly to Sanjusangendo Temple.

There is a new path in the temple to walk around the main hall building.  The rain stopped while visiting there so it was rather easy to get back home afterwards.

Hopefully the weather gets a bit better tomorrow!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Thousands of Torii Gates challenged us!

As rainy days seem to wait for us next few days, we decided to get to Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine from which we climb up a part of Higashiyama Mountain area to have a nice view of the city from the southeast.

After lunch in DemachiYanagi Station area, Keihan train took us to the Fushimi Inari Station!

Everyone successfully climb up the Inariyama Mountain through thousands of Torii gates.

We go across the mountain and went down to another side of the mountain where Tofukuji Temple is located.

It was a good hike under the sun!  Yes, hot and humid now in the upper 80s.