International Student Trip to Hakone & Izu-Nagaoka 2017
From July 6 to 7, 2017, a group of 6 staff members and 28 international students from 11 countries went on an excursion to Hakone and Izu-Nagaoka, to experience Japanese culture.
The group first went to Suzuhiro Kamaboko no Sato (a fish-paste factory) in Odawara, Kanagawa, and had experience of making kamaboko and chikuwa. Following a demonstration by a professional, the students tried to mold ground fish meat by using a special knife, a stick and a wood board. Their handmade Chikuwa were grilled in front of them so that they could enjoy their original pieces fresh and hot.
Next the group visited the Hakone Open-Air Museum where 120 works of modern and contemporary sculptures are displayed in an extensive site of 70,000 square meters surrounded by the beautiful skies and mountains of Hakone. Students spent time in their own ways, harmonizing with the artistic atmosphere.
The group enjoyed natural hot springs and big Washoku (Japanese cuisine) dinner at Izu-Nagaoka Izumi Inn, the accommodation for the night. After dinner, students had good fellowship together, sharing their favorite Japanese food items and places and performing songs from their home countries.
In the morning of the second day, the group had an opportunity to visit Hakone Shrine and then Narukawa Art Museum. The scenery of Ashinoko Lake with rich nature in early summer was breathtaking and many students were aiming their cameras to capture the beauty.
In the afternoon, the group walked through a cedars avenue, which is part of the historic site, Moto-Hakone Kyu-kaido (old highway), designated by the Japanese government, and after the lunch was the last destination, Hakone Sekisho (a checkpoint; barrier station). Students curiously observed Japanese traditional architectural techniques.
Although it was only a short, two-day trip, the excursion seemed to have served as an opportunity for the students of different specialties, campuses and origins to get familiarized with each other, which would hopefully lead to a continuing friendship.
We are deeply grateful to those who offered great support and cooperation for this excursion.