You are here

Dog Mountain? A small yet beautiful Japanese city

November 12, 2017

The IES Abroad Nagoya program at Nanzan University had its kick-off with a three-day orientation. We stayed at a traditional Japanese inn, called a ryokan, in Inuyama -- a small city north of Nagoya. Inuyama translates to “Dog Mountain.” This orientation exceeded my expectations in several ways. Firstly, I didn’t think I would make such incredible friends so quickly. Within the first day of orientation, I already felt at home though I was in an unfamiliar land. Secondly, we got three-hour Japanese classes each day to review key parts of the language as well as prepare us for the Japanese lifestyle. Having rusty Japanese, those 9 total hours were much needed. Additionally, the activities that IES Abroad had planned for us were rich with history and traditional Japanese culture.

 

dsc_0015.jpg

First, we walked around the lush green garden. It was peaceful.

dsc_0026.jpg

Next, we visited the tea house called JO-AN.

dsc_0044.jpg

A volunteer tour guide explains how to hold and turn the tea bowl when drinking traditional matcha green tea.

dsc_0052.jpg

IES Abroad Nagoya students enjoying matcha at the Joan tea house in Inuyama.

                                                    -------------------

Then, we entered a museum of Japanese wooden puppets called Karakuri ningyo.

dsc_0088-convertimage.jpg

Karakuri puppets are mechanized wooden puppets that date back to the 17th century. It takes multiple people to control the movements of the puppet.

dsc_0097.jpg

IES Abroad Nagoya students get a chance to try controlling the puppet. It’s a lot harder than it looks -- good communication with fellow puppeteers is necessary to coordinate the movements.

dsc_0121.jpg

An IES Abroad student attempts a traditional Japanese flute.

dsc_0158-convertimage.jpg

A trip to Inuyama Castle calls for silly poses!

dsc_0188.jpg

An IES Abroad student peering over the top veranda of Inuyama Castle. It was quite a view.

dsc_0226.jpg

At many Japanese shrines and temples, a fountain is available for purifying oneself by pouring water over the hands and mouth with wooden ladles.

dsc_0264.jpg

A wall of wishes at the entrance of the Sankou Inari Shrine. A popular Instagram spot among young Japanese women.

**************************************************************************************

There was so much more I wanted to explore in Inuyama, but we had to go to Nanzan University to start the academic semester. If only I could just continue traveling instead of studying! 

From Our Blogs

Jul 17 3:24pm

20 Ways to Develop Language Skills Outside of the Classroom

by IES Abroad

We get it. You might not always have the time to take classes for formal language instruction. Here are 20 ways to keep up your foreign language skills (or establish some basics) before you study abroad.

Learn more
Jul 17 5:05am

A Constant State of Surprise

by Maya

Going abroad is shocking in many ways. Naturally, we will feel surprised, and at times, even overwhelmed by the differences between us and the culture of our host country.

Learn more
Jul 17 2:11am

Dealing With Leaving

by Kiara

With my second (and last) final exam today, there is less than one week left before the program ends and I return home. With that comes the inevitable question, from people here and those at home: how are you feeling? Will you miss Berlin?

Learn more
Jul 16 10:51pm

Coming (Back) to America

by Danielle

Hey guys! I have to say adaptation to America is definitely something that I'm going to go through. Reverse culture shock is real! In Japan, convenience is king. From convenience stores to convenient ATMs, it was easy to be a traveler because help was never too far away.

Learn more
Jul 16 10:48pm

Travelling Through Japan PT. 2: Being Black Internationally

by Danielle

Hey guys! I just wanted to do a rundown of how I felt it was like to be a black study abroad student in Japan. Some of these I expected, while others were throughly surprising. I'll start with what surprised me the most, which was:

Learn more
Jul 16 10:47pm

Travelling Through Japan PT. 1: Tricks and Trips

by Danielle

Hey guys! I thought it would be great to share with you through photos some tips and tricks you can use to make your study abroad experience even better. I wish I had someone to tell me these things before I went :p

Learn more