A one-day excursion to Hyogo Prefecture for international students was held on Sunday, May 12, 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 37 students first visited the Eitaku-ji in Sanda and tried Soba making. Eitaku-ji is famous for soba (buckwheat) noodles, called "Eitaku-ji Soba." Students experienced soba-making at Eitaku-ji where they listened to the instructor's directions and worked hard to make their own hand-made soba.
After eating their soba, the students visited "Hana-shobu Garden / Botan Garden". Eitaku-ji is located at a height of 560 meters, and the cold nights and warm days make the flowers more colorful. They enjoyed the botan (peony) flowers, the king of flowers at the Garden.
Then group visited Tamba-Sasayama. Tamba-Sasayama is a beautiful castle town with rich natural landscapes and old city charm. The students walked around the castle town in early-summer fine weather and visited the "O-shoin of Sasayama Castle" and "Samurai Residences and Aoyama Historical Village". The students actively listened to the explanations from volunteer guides, and were able to see and feel how samurai warriors lived in those days.
The students had a lot of fun on the trip. They commented, "We've learned much about Japanese history and culture". "Japanese countryside scenery was really beautiful", "I was able to meet students from different labs and divisions". The excursion ended successfully as students were able to expand their knowledge of Japanese history and culture through hands-on experiences together.