A one-day excursion to Kyoto for international students was held on Sunday, October 29, to offer an opportunity for students to deepen their knowledge of Japanese history and culture and to develop their relationships with each other.
The group of 42 students first visited World Heritage Ryoanji Temple. This temple is best known for its rock garden called "karesansui", there are 15 different sized stones on a bed of white gravel. The students sat down on the porch overlooking the garden and counted the stones in the solemn temple.
Then they went to Arashiyama. They walked on a path through the bamboo grove. After that, they enjoyed seeing the Arashiyama scenery and shopping at souvenir shops in their free time.
The last activity was making traditional art, "Makie", which has been popular since the middle of the Heian Period and is the technique of drawing a pattern with gold powder on lacquerware. All the students listened to the instructor's directions with eagerness and worked hard on making it.
Although it was raining that day, this excursion was popular with the students. They said "We could learn much about Japanese history and culture". "We could make new friends". Especially, Makie was well received because it was a Japanese culture experience and they could make a memory which they can take with them.
Additionally, the students were able to make ties among each other.
Looking back at the excursion, we feel that it offered much more for the international students than we had planned.