Mountainside Japan: Another IES Abroad Sponsored Trip?!

Deanna Stout
November 13, 2017

IES Abroad has been spoiling us with incredible weekend trips every month. For the month of October, IES Abroad Nagoya visited the Gassho Cultural Center in Shirakawa-go, which is a World Heritage Site.


View from inside a window of the Old Matsui house in the Gassho Cultural Center  at Shirakawa-go.


Tools used for farm work in the Showa period.


A family of scarecrows.


A mountainous view of the village huts at the Gassho Cultural Center.


We got to experience Japan’s superb mountain landscape up-close by staying in a the Toyota Ecological Institute, which provided us with several instructional lessons on mountainside Japan. We were guided through a short hike. Our guide, pictured with the hat, showed us some edible seeds from one of the plants along the hike. They were similar to sunflower seeds.


Peeling open the nut-like seeds.


For a hands-on experience with the nature surrounding us in Shirakawa-go, the IES Abroad Nagoya group worked together to make a base for a wooden bridge. Our guide explained to us how to pound branches of a specific type of tree to make it a flexible “rope” to tie together logs with.


Pounding away at the branch. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what the tree species was called…


The branch tied in a knot to hold the logs together. The complete structure is shaped like a pyramid.


How many people can stand on the base structure?


An IES Abroad student looking through the informative brochure of the Takayama Jinya before entering.


A couple taking a rickshaw through the streets of Takayama.


Even in just a short weekend trip, IES Abroad has guaranteed us a wonderful time... We're all impatient for more trips!

Deanna Stout

<p>Kamishibai is a Japanese style of storytelling that was popular in the first half of the 20th century. These narrators were street performers of a sort -- they read a variety of stories from a series of illustrated paper boards, entertaining the commonfolk before the emergence of television. I will blog about my experiences in Japan through a modernized version of kamishibai, telling my stories through a series of photographs and their corresponding narrations that will be similar to a novel.</p>

2017 Fall
Home University:
Knox College
Saint Louis
International Studies
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