Saturday, March 30, 2013

Heading back to CHICAGO!

2013 COD Spring Field Trip to Kyoto, Japan is about to finish!  It was one of the luckiest spring trip with Cherry Blossoms in full bloom, no troublesome rain and coldness and no serious sickness or injury!!

The student group this year is rather small but very active and digest daily program vigorously with so much energy maybe because everyone is a lot younger than GTS!

We will have a train and a monorail ride to Osaka Itami Airport so that we can catch the plane to Narita International airport from which we will get to Chicago directly!

The JCC/GTS dinner will be on Friday 4/5/2013!

Osaka Castle with Cherry Blossoms in Full bloom!

Final excursion was to Osaka Castle in the perfect day! 

Cherry Blossoms on the way to the castle, around the castle on the way back from the castle were all in full bloom and superb way for giving us the farewell greeting!

We will be heading back to Chicago tomorrow and get ready in the classroom on Monday.

This Spring trip is one of the best trip in terms of weather, cherry blossoms, temperature, places we visited!

GTS will be back here again with some dozen students in June!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Giant Buddha smiled at us in NARA!

Everyone had a little chance to sleep in this morning, so we left the hotel at 10am heading to the Kyoto Station from which we began the trip to NARA.

While being surrounded by many deer we had a chance to greet to the Giant Buddha in full bloomed cherry blossoms.  Then we move forward to Todaiji the February Hall from which the entire Nara city view was gorgeous.

Through Wakakusayama Park we got to the Kasuga Grand Shrine, and Meoto Daikokusha. After enjoying many turtles and snappers in Sarusawa Pond , we headed back to the Nara Station through Higashimuki Shopping Arcade.

It was a great weather and now everyone began preparing for returning to Chicago.

Tomorrow?  Yes, Osaka Castle is supposed to wait for our visit!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

First rainy day but not too bad!

It was raining a little bit in the mornig while riding the city bus to Daikakuji-temple where everyone had a chance to do caligraphy writing of buddhist scripture. 

During the activity, it stopped raining and we continued to walk in SAGANO area and dropped by at NONOMIYA SHRINE which is famous for love in the Tale of Genji.

In the afternoon, the Tenryuji temple garden gave us some spring feeling with bloomed cherry blossoms and let us be heading though the Bamboo Trail to the top of Arashiyama.

Togetsukyo bridge brough us to the Arashiyama Park where 90% bloomed cherry blossoms smiled us!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Silver Pavilon through Eikando temple via Philosopher's Trail!

Silver Pavilion near which GTS was born, welcomed our group though not quite full bloomed Cherry was ready.  Some were bloomed along the Philosopher's Trail and the trail took us to Nyakuoji Shrine and Eikando temple.

Beautiful garden and pagoda impressed us before heading to the Handicraft Center.  For the first time in the COD trip, we went to one of the largest shopping mall in Kyoto Station area while avoiding raining.

We are ready to go to the Western city area tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Full Activities continued!

Last night at the performance two students from COD volunteered to become a tea ceremony guest among over 100 audience!!  Great job done!

Our long walk began this morning to the Nijo Castle through Shinsen'en.  After enjoying the Castle, Kyoto City Subway took us to Daigo-ji temple.  This visit was the first time for COD trip and we experienced full bloomed Cherry and some shopping mall visit!

In the afternoon, same subway took us back to the NANZENJI temple area which is famous for water canal bringing water from Lake Biwa to Kyoto city. 

On the way to Heian Jingu Shrine (the largest Kyoto garden), everyone has a chance to meet GTS' mom!

Another great day ended with very tired legs!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Little Chilly but great Monday in Kyoto!

Compared to yesterday, it got a bit colder today yet had a great day without rain.  We began visiting the Golden Pavilion and Ryoanji temple rock garden in the morning.  Lunch time?  Yes, we ate at Ritsumeikan University which GTS was graduated from about 25 years ago. 

The cafeteria food has been healthy unlike some univeristies in the US and the price was very reasonable or even cheap!

After lunch, 60% bloomed Cherry Blossoms welcomed us at Hirano Shrine.  Then we joined the famous monthly flea market at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (God of Scholarship) which is located just south of Kyoto International Academy where COD summer study abroad program is held!

After enjoying some festivity feeling at the shrine we stopped by Nishijin Textile Center where students enjoyed Kimono Fashion show and traditional souvenir shopping.

Before heading back to the hotel, we dropped in SEIMEI SHRINE which is famous for exorcism in medieval Japan.

At night we will have fun at the Gion Corner about many kinds of traditional performing arts!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

We walked and walked and walked!

First full day of the field trip began with a short subway ride but we walked good 10 miles day. 
From Minami-za (Kabuki theater), Yasaka Shrine, Maruyama Park, Kodai-ji temple, Ryozan Kannon, Kiyomizu temple, Myohoin temple, Chishakuin temple, Sanjusangen-do, and Phoenix Pavilion in Uji Park area.

As if our class is PE class, we walked and got healthy day!!

Weather?  Perfect!    Cherry Brossoms?   Almost perfect!

We will be ready for Golden Pavilion and Rock Garden, and Flee Market at Kitano Tenmangu tomorrow!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

GTS and 5 students got to KYOTO in full bloom of SAKURA

5 students and GTS got to Kyoto via Tokyo Narita and Osaka safely on-time.

All seem to be exhausted but so excited to actively enjoying full bloom of Cherry Blossoms!

This is really the first time for the group to hit the middle of full bloom and here they are 5 lucky students.

We will begin walking and walking tomorrow!

Phoenix Pavilion, 2002 Kannon (Buddha for Mercifulness) statues and more are waiting for us with Sakura tomorrow!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Leaving for Japan!

Spring Break Cherry Blossom Flower viewing trip begins tomorrow with 5 students.  3 students are former and current students in GTS Japanese language classes.

According to news reliable news source, Cherry Blossom or SAKURA blooms a little earlier this year and we will be right on time to see its full bloom!

Weather seems to be very nice or at least better or warmer than that of Chicago! 

We will be tasting Japanese Spring and breeze of flowers during the trip!  Summer study abroad is still accepting participants and it seems to be a good group of a Dozen enthusiastic students!

Stay tuned for the daily news from Kyoto!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Flying into Japan in three weeks!

Spring Break Flower Viewing trip to Kyoto is coming up in three weeks.  There are only 5 students yet 3 of them have/had been in GTS Japanese language class which hopefully assist them during the trip!

It is almost the middle of the semester and so first year Japanese language class began farther shrinking.  Hope everyone could hang on!!

March GTS/JCC dinner will be coming up on Friday (3/8/2013) There will be Japanese Language Speech Contest held in the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago on Saturday, 3/16/2013 and GTS will be one the judge while the speech performance!

GTS 50th birthday was great but at the same high blood pressure treatment medication began kicks in.   Uhhhhh.

Must see a Cardiologist, too.