One-Day Study Trip

Second Semester 2023 (February 20th, 2024)

On February 20th, 20 international students/researchers, and IES staff members visited Kokawa-dera Temple and Kannonyama Fruit Garden in Kinokawa City, Wakayama Prefecture. We were worried about the weather as it was raining when we left Kyoto in the morning, but when we arrived in Wakayama, it cleared up and it turned out to be a very warm day.  In the morning, we visited Kokawa-dera Temple which has a long history, having been founded in 770, and we got to see a very unique karesansui (dry landscape) garden created during the Momoyama period (1573-1603), using mainly rocks. The participants enjoyed strolling around the temple, buying omamori (lucky charm), viewing an early-blooming Kawazu cherry blossom tree, and looking at a huge camphor tree that is believed to have already existed when the temple was founded in 770.

Kokawadera Outer Main Gate
Buying lucky charms
In front of the karesansui garden

 In the afternoon, we visited Kannonyama Fruit Garden which was established in 1911. The CEO, Mr. Kodama, guided us through their orchard that produces varieties of citrus fruits. The participants were shown the actual fruits and tasted them, and were impressed by the varieties of citrus fruits they had never seen before. After the orchard tour, we observed a fruit processing factory, and Mr. Kodama gave us a presentation about the company’s history and vision. Some of the participants also enjoyed a fruit parfait with plenty of Wakayama fruits, served at the Fruit Parlor attached to the orchard, and the tour turned out to be very satisfying for the participants.

Tour in the citrus orchard
With the CEO
Fruit parfait

First Semester 2023 (June 1st, 2023)

On Just 1st, 19 international students/researchers and IES staff members visited Shotoku Shuzo and the Kyoto South Clean Center (Sustaina Kyoto) in Fushimi Ward.
Shotoku Shuzo is a Japanese sake brewery founded in 1645. Mr. Kimura, the current CEO of the company, graduated from Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Agriculture, and gave us a factory tour. He taught us in details about the sake production process, and the participants asked him questions about koji (malt) and the fermentation process. After the tour, we had a sake tasting where we got to try Shotoku Shuzo’s signature sake and another sake made from Mozambique rice as part of support for Mozambique. We also got to drink the well water used to sake production.

Factory tour
Sake tasting
With Mr. Kimura

In the afternoon, we visited Kyoto South Clean Center (Sustaina Kyoto) where we learned about the current situation of waste treatment in Kyoto City and the effort being made to reduce the amount of waste. We got to see many different facilities and machines such as a huge waste pit in operation and the biogasification facility. The participants seemed intrigued to learn that treating waste produces other waste and that the landfill to dispose of combustion ash (Otowa no mori) is lasting longer than expected as a result of efforts to reduce the amount of waste.

Display at the entrance
Methane fermentation tank
Group photo

Second Semester 2022 (November 1st, 2022)

On November 1st, 24 international students/researchers and IES staff members visited the Keihoku area.
Keihoku is about one-hour north west of our campus by car, and is an area with rich natural environment with 93% of the land occupied by forests. It was raining unfortunately, but once we stepped off the bus, we were welcomed by the beautiful foggy mountains whose leaves were starting to turn color.
In the morning, we were greeted by Mr. Kawarabayashi-san who is a construction joiner by profession and also runs a guest house, and visited his house. His house was a very impressice thatched house, and he shows us the fireplace inside as well. After the house tour, Kawarabayashi-san taught us how to make “chinowa” (thatch ring) which is believed to be a good-luck charm for good health. We made our own chinowa by weaving a bunch of silver grass.

Chinowa making
Chinowa and a thatched shed
With Kawarabayashi-san

In the afternoon, we visited a place called “Kyoto Satoyama SDGs lab KOTOS“. KOTOS is a multipurpose facility which used to be an elementary school building, and the staff showed us a room where they separate industrial waste and a facility which can turn food waste into fertilizer. After the tour, Ms. Konomi-san taught us how to make dried persimmons. She also told us that, since Keihoku suffers from animal damage such as monkeys coming down to the area to take persimmons from abandoned houses, she organizes persimmon picking events and donates the harvested persimmons to feed the animals at the Kyoto City Zoo.

KOTOS tour
Dried persimmon making
With Konomi-san

It would have been even nicer if the weather was better, but we enjoyed the trip nonetheless and got to experience a different part of Kyoto. 

First Semester 2022 (June 2nd, 2022)

  On June 2nd, 27 international students/researchers and IES staff members visited Harie Shozu No Sato in Takashima City, Shiga Prefecture. 
  Harie Shozu No Sato is a district where the local people use a unique system called “Kabata” to utilize springwater for daily life. Kabata can be seeen both inside and outside of the house, and the local people use the water via Kabata to wash and refrigerate vegetables, do the dishes, etc. 
  In the “Kabata and the Village” course in the morning, the participants broke up into groups and toured the area with local guides to learn about the structure of Kabata and the actions taken by the local people to keep the village water clean. The participants were impressed by seeing the lovely town of Harie and finding out that the local people pay special attention not to get the water dirty so that others can also use clean water.

   In the “Lake Biwa” course in the afternoon, we learned about the projects being conducted in the local paddy fields to protect the environment and the ecosystem. After that, we visited Harie Beach where the local guides told us about the activities to preserve the water of Lake Biwa. We learned that, by trying to make the water flowing out to Lake Biwa as clean as possible, the number of small animals that had not been seen in the area before has been growing, and there are more egg-laying spots for fish in the lake.

This trip gave us a good opportunity to learn about the unique Kabata culture and the environmental preservation activities, as well as a chance to see the beautiful water and plants and refresh a little bit.

Second Semester 2022 (November 16th, 2021)

On November 16th, 15 international students/researchers and IES staff members visited a local farm called Ishiwari Farm and Southern Kyoto Clean Center, both located in Kyoto City.
We first visited Ishiwari Farm which dates back over 300 years and is know for its Kyoyasai (heirloom vegetables originating in Kyoto Prefecture) production. We were met with a warm reception at Ishiwari-san’s home where he told us that he has been distributing vegetables to restaurants all over Japan and that he has started farms in other countries. Ishiwari-san took us to his farm and even let us try some of his vegetables.
In the afternoon, we visited the Southern Kyoto Clean Center. We learned about how garbage has been handled in Kyoto City over the years and what kind of efforts are being made in recent years in order to reduce the amount of garbage. We got to see the giant garbage pit, the cars bringing in garbage, the facility to ferment raw waste, etc., and the participants asked many questions every time we stop to receive an explanation by the staff.
The IES staff were glad to see active discussions between the participants and the hosts. Thank you all for joining us!

First Semester 2021 (July 15th, 2021)

 On July 15th, 15 international students and IES staff members visited Kyoto University’s Experimental Farm in Kizugawa City and a farmer’s market named “Minami Yamashiro-mura”. The trip was carefully planned in accordance with the Covid-related rules and regulations. The group first visited the Experimental Farm where the staff gave a presentation about the farm and a tour to see farm facilities and crops that are being grown. In the afternoon, the group stopped by the farmer’s market “Minami Yamashiro-mura” to hear a talk by the CEO of the market about their activities and efforts for community revitalization.
 International students have not been able to fully enjoy their lives in Japan because of the pandemic, but they seemed to be enjoying themselves during the trip. Thank you all for joining us!

Second Semester 2020(November 30th)

On November 30th, 19 international students and IES staff members visited Houryuji-emple and Mt. Shigi in Nara prefecture for One-Day study trip. It was implemented by taking all possible measures to prevent spreading corona virus infection. The weather was very nice and the participants were able to enjoy the architecture and scenery outdoors in a relaxed atmosphere. In addition, it was a good chance to study Japanese history by having the detailed explanation in English or Chinese language by the locale volunteer guides.

Second Semester 2018 (October 30th)

On October 30th, 20 international students along with IES staff members visited JA (Japan Agricultural Cooperatives) Kitakawachi Rice Center for One-Day Study Trip. The participants got to see some of the cutting-edge optical sorters and learn about raising seedling of rice. The students were very eager to learn about rice in general, and the optical sorters which can instantly sort out edible rice and other objects (small pebbles, glass, colored rice, etc) grain by grain were especially intriguing.
After the tour at JA, the participants also visited Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine and Nagare-Bashi Bridge which is the longest wooden bridge in Japan and also famous for filming location.
The participants all enjoyed the trip in the very nice autumn weather.
Thank you everyone for joining us!

First Semester 2018 (May 31)

On May 31, 27 students and staff visited the Institute for Integrated Radiation and Nuclear Science, Kyoto University in Kumatori-cho, Osaka Prefecture.
The participants were accompanied by Prof. Sentaro Takahashi and Associate Prof. Tomoyuki Takahashi on a tour in the institute and visited the research reactor which is usually not open to the public. The students were very interested and asked many questions even though it was not in their fields of study.
Thank you Prof. Takahashi, Associate Prof. Takahashi, and everyone for joining us!

Second Semester 2017 (November 21)

On November 21, 26 international students and staff visited Kwasan Astronomical Observatory of the Graduate School of Science and Shogunzuka Mound for our second One-Day Study Trip in 2017.
At Kwasan Observatory, we learned the observatory’s history and its recent research activities by sitting in a lecture by Prof. Shibata and watching clips of the sun’s activities observed there. The topic was not in the major field of study for most of the students, but they were very intrigued by the talks given by the staff of the observatory.
After the observatory, we visited Shogunduka where we enjoyed looking at the beautiful scenery of Kyoto City and the beautiful Japanese garden.
Thank you everyone for joining us!

First Semester 2017 (May 25)

On May 25, 23 international students and staff visited the Experimental Farm of the Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University and Fukujuen CHA Yu-gaku Park in Kizugawa City.
In the morning, we took a lecture about the farm given by Associate Prof. Nakazaki, and went on a tour accompanied by teaching staff at the farm. The students seemed very intrigued by the state-of-art facilities of the farm and were eager to ask questions. After lunch, we moved to Fukujuen CHA Yu-gaku Park which is also a research facility owned by the Fukujuen tea company. After the museum tour to learn about the history of Japanese tea and different kinds of tea in the world, we learned how to grind tea leaves using a stone mill and make matcha powder. We enjoyed the rich flavor of matcha along with some sweets.
Thank you everyone for joining!

Second Semester 2016 (October 25)

On October 25, 26 international students and staff visited Kameoka City for One-Day Study Trip. First, we went to see Kameoka Festival in the city center where we got to see some floats in the parade. After the festival, we went to a restaurant called Hekitei, which is also a 300-year-old samurai residence, to try making Temari Sushi (ball-shaped sushi). In the afternoon, we visited Kyoto Gakuen University for a lecture on Kyo-yasai (Kyoto-bred vegetables) by Prof. Fujii. We also went on a tour to an Ebi-imo (a type of yam) farm and an adzuki (red beans) farm. Thank you everyone for joining!

First Semester 2016 (May 26)

On May 26, 29 international students and 8 staff members visited Harie, Sho-zu No Sato in Takashima City, Shiga Prefecture for One-Day Study Trip. We were worried about the weather but luckily we didn’t get caught in the rain.
In the morning, we took a tour named “Kabata and the Village” accompanied by local guides, where we learned about their unique water system. After lunch, we visited Lake Biwa on “Satoyama and Lakeside” tour and learned about how the locals have been trying to preserve the environment and the ecosystem around Lake Biwa. Everyone was very impressed to see the crystal-clear groundwater they get in Harie and the efforts that have been made to protect the environment. Thank you everyone for joining us!

Second Semester 2015 (October 20)

On October 20, 20 international students and 20 staff members visited Katsura Campus and Rakusai Bamboo Park for a One-Day Study Trip titled “Let’s Get to Know Bamboo” in a sunny autumn weather.
At Katsura Campus, we sat for an interesting lecture about bamboo by Prof. Shozo Shibata from Division of Forest and Biomaterials Science. After that, we went into a bamboo grove where we cut some bamboo branches to make dishes and cups for eating curry lunch. We then visited Rakusai Bamboo Park to walk around the museum and the beautiful garden. We also made bamboo-copter by hand which we played with in the garden after.
The students all looked very intrigued by bamboo, for some of them are from countries where they don’t have a lot of bamboo, and the staff members were very happy to see the students have fun. Thank you all for participating!

First Semester 2015 (May 21)

On May 21, 55 participants (international students, staff members, and tutors) went on a One-Day Study Trip to Hyogo.
First, in Tatsuno City, we visited Higashimaru Shoyu Company. We joined a factory tour to learn how soy sauce is made. It was a great opportunity for international students to learn so much about Japan’s most popular seasoning.
In Himeji City, under the great weather, we visited the World Heritage Himeji Castle which had just reopened after over 5 years of restoration work in late March. Everyone enjoyed a tour around the Castle given by volunteer tour guides. Thank you everyone for joining us!

Second semester, one day study trip, Nov 11, 2014

The 33 participants visited Horyuji and Asuka Village in Nara Prefecture, as planned, on November 11, 2014. Volunteer guides showed us many precious buildings, Buddhist statues, ancient tombs, and mural paintings in the area, providing detailed, humorous explanations and stories both in English and in Chinese. We also enjoyed walking through the natural, bucolic scene in beautiful autumn weather. All the participants seemed to be having a wonderful time. Even though one day was not nearly enough to see all the sites there, the depth of history, the welcoming kindness of the local people, and the simple natural scenery of Nara will remain in our memories for a long time.

First semester, one day study trip, May 29, 2014

Our one-day study trip was held on May 29 as scheduled. The weather was very nice and 35 participants enjoyed the view and seeing eddy tieds in Naruto. After lunch we went to Otsuka Food and Otsuka Pharmaceutical in Tokushima. We visited Human Resource Deveopment, Institute and Oronamn and Pocari Sweat Production Factory. After seeing the automate factory, we tasted some popular driks in Otsuka group.People were relaxed and enjoyed it a lot.

Second semester, one day study trip, Oct 8, 2013

Our one-day study trip was held on Oct 8 as scheduled. We were worried about the weather because the typhoon was approaching, but there was not much rain on that day. After reaching Ashiu Forest Research Station, the twenty participants were given a short lecture by Professor Sakanoue on current situation and future projects of the Station. After lunch we went for a walk in the forest from Choji Valley to Utsuro Valley, guided by Professor Sakanoue and the Station staff. During the walk, we were able to observe the forest as we listened to explanation in detail on the ecosystem and damage by deer in that area. Then we visited Miyama Kayabuki-no-Sato, where we gained a glimpse of Japanese farm village life in the mountains. The rare opportunity to learn amid the beautiful natural scenery of made it a truly meaningful day for the group. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the generosity of Professor Sakanoue and the entire staff of Ashiu Forest Research Station.

First semester, one day study trip, June 6, 2013

Our one-day study trip was held on June 6 as scheduled. In the morning, the twenty-nine participants visited the factory and traditional shop of Shoyeido, one of the most respected old sellers of Japanese incense, then had lunch in the Imperial Palace. In the afternoon, we visited the Suntory Kyoto Brewery in Nagaokakyo City. At both companies we learned a lot, not only from informative lectures on their history, manufacturing process, and ingredients, but also by witnessing the processes with our own eyes. We also enjoyed the final products by smelling the fragrances of the incense and tasting fresh beer. We are all extremely grateful to the people who made this valuable experience possible.

Second semester, one day study trip to Nada, Nov 20, 2012

One-day Study Trip was held on Tuesday, Nov 20. In the morning, the thirty-seven participants visited Kobe Municipal Arboretum via Mount Rokkou Drive Way, enjoying views of Kobe City and the colored autumn foliage. Then we went to Chinatown for lunch. In the afternoon came the main event of the day, a visit to the Kiku-Masamune Shuzo Kinenkan to learn about Japanese sake. In the Kinenkan, we saw a video showing the traditional process of making Sake and explaining its ingredients. Then we viewed the actual facilities and traditional tools and learned more about the process of sake fermentation. Many people enjoyed tasting different kinds of sake and experiencing the special aroma and taste of each. Our thanks to the people who took time from their busy schedule to showed us around Kiku-Masamune.

First semester, one day study trip to Inuyama, May 10, 2012

Our one-day Study trip to Inuyama (Aichi Prefecture) was held as scheduled, favored by lovely weather, on May 10. Fifty-two participants visited Inuyama Castle in the morning and Primate Research Institute Kyoto University in the afternoon. After a lecture at the Institute, we left the building to see chimpanzees, Japanese monkeys, and other kinds of primates in the breeding research system. The chimpanzees were especially popular; their expressive gestures and facial expressions captured our attention. There were many questions, showing curiosity about an unfamiliar field and scientific interest in primate research.We greatly appreciate the generosity of head of the lab Dr. Hirai and other professors who took time out of their busy schedule to gave us the lecture and show us around. Despite the long time spent on the bus, the trip was relaxing and worthwhile.

Second semester, one day study trip to Uji Cumpas, Nov 15, 2011

One-day Study trip was held on Nov, 15. We had a lecture on earthquakes and observation of the telemeter system at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute of Kyoto University, Uji Campus. We had lunch at Kihada restaurant at Obaku plaza. After then, we visited Manpukuji-temple. We also visited Ujigawa Open Laboratory and experienced the downpour in the mountainous region, staircase usage during underground inundations and hydrostatic pressure on a door using the experimental facilities. It was a very useful and informative trip which helps the students to prevent the effects of natural disasters even after going back their home countries. We greatly appreciate Prof. Xu, Kano, Nakagawa and Kawachi who gave us the lectures and explanation.

First semester, one day study trip to Uji, May 19, 2011

Our May 19 one day study trip to Uji was held as schedued, favored by lovely weather. We learned a lot from seeing cultivation method and production process of Japanese tea. We had tea experience at the end of trip. The strong taste of Gyokuro, which is the highest quality of Uji tea, might have been a cultural shock for some students as they experienced making and drinking Japanese Tea. We are truly grateful to the people at Kyoto Research Institute for Tea Industries for showing us their facilities. Thank you very much! All the participants seemed to enjoyed the study trip.

Second semester, Study Tour to Arida, December 10, 2010

Our Study Tour to Arida in Wakayama Prefecture took place as planned on Friday, December 10, in lovely weather. The international students visited the Arida-Orange orchards, had lunch, and listened to a lecture on the fruit-sorting facility at the Fruit Tree Experiment Station, Wakayama Research Center of Agriculture. Afterwards they observed the JA Arida AQ fruit-sorting facility. The question-and-answer session following the lecture was so lively and productive that we wished we had more time.  Participants were impressed by the light sensor system that was able to sort a large quantity of mandarin oranges at such high speed. The oranges we eat without much thought are sorted into categories by such cutting edge technology, not only according to shape and color, but, by means of infrared light that calculates the balance of sweetness and acid, even by taste. Seeing and learning about this process was extremely instructive. We are truly grateful to the people at Fruit Tree Experiment Station, Wakayama Research Center of Agriculture for showing us their facilities and to Prof. Kondo for his useful commentary on the facilities. Thank you very much.

First semester, Study Tour to Shiga, June 3, 2010

Our one day bus trip took place successfully on June 3 (Thurs). From the trip of the Yasugawa water supply facilities, we learned a lot about how water for agriculture is supplied. Thank you for your participation. We must also express our appreciation to the people from Shiga Prefecture and the Division of Environmental Science and Technology faculty who guided us through the water supply facilities. Thank you very much.

Spring Bus Trip 2009

Autumn Bus Trip 2009