Study Abroad

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Travel Seminars with Faculty

Japan's Ancient Capitals: Nara, Kyoto & Edo (Tokyo)

  • May 15 - May 30, 2017
  • History 485
  • Dr. David Nelson
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This course covers the history of Japan’s ancient imperial capitals, Nara and Kyoto, the successive centers of Japan’s politics and culture from 500-1600, as well as the Tokugawa Shogunate’s capital of Edo (now called Tokyo), from 1600-1868. Course topics will emphasize the adoption of Chinese civilization and its adaptation to indigenous culture by considering imperial institutions, Shinto and Buddhism, the role of the capital as the center of civilization and culture, as well as the wane of imperial authority with the rise of samurai power that culminated in the shift of Japan’s political and cultural center from Kyoto to Edo. Students will also participate in a 2-week instructor-led travel study of Japan’s capitals, thereby enabling students to incorporate observations and experiences in Japan with the subject matter acquired from lectures, readings, and student research.

Course objectives will be accomplished through a combination of lectures, texts, guest speakers and films.  In May, students will travel to Japan for approximately two weeks.  While in Japan, students will visit significant historical and cultural sites.

Please note students must enroll in HIST 485 (3+1 units) offered in Spring 2017. Note that HIST 485 can count as Global Perspectives or History Core. It may also count as upper division history major or minor or Asisan studies minor credit.

The application for the Japan Travel Seminar is available in the Study Abroad Center. Applications are due by Tuesday, November 1. 

Cost is aproximatley $3,600 for two weeks, including flight. Students can apply for a Travel Seminar scholarship through the CLU Study Abroad Center here.  Scholarship applications are also due by Tuesday, November 1.



Tentative Japan Itinerary (Note: All elements subject to change)

Day 1
Depart LAX

Day 2: Tokyo             
Arrive @ Narita Airport

Day 3: Ise            
Visit Ise Grand Shrine
Voluntary hotel onsen (hot spring) experience                                   

Day 4: Kyoto           
Walk to Futami Shrine                             
Travel to Kyoto by local express, bullet train
Walkabout: Teramachi shopping area
Evening stroll through Pontoch� (old downtown night scene)

Day 5: Nara
Tomb Mound of Emperor Kaika (8th legendary emperor) 
Kofukuji Temple (est. 710) tour of temple museum & historical artifacts
Pet the Nara deer at Nara Park (Imperial Palace ruins) 
Todaiji (largest Buddha statue in Japan, largest wooden structure in world)
Kasuga Shrine

Day 6: Nara
Local train to HÅ�ryÅ«ji Temple (oldest wooden structure in world) 
Local train to ByÅ�dÅ�in Temple (on ¥10 coin, ¥10,000 bill) 
Walk to Uji Bridge (famous site in The Tale of Genji
Kyoto Tower at night

Day 7: Kyoto            
Kyoto Walkabout: Imperial Palace environs 
Nijo Castle (Tokugawa residence in Kyoto) 
Heian JingÅ« (19th century scale replica of imperial palace complex) 
Museum of Kyoto

Day 8: Kyoto             
Kyoto Walkabout: Mt. Hiei
Enryakuji Temple complex hike                          

Day 9: Kyoto          
Kyoto Walkabout: Northwest Side
Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) 
RyÅ�anji (famous Zen rock garden) 
Daitokuji (Zen complex patronized by Teamaster Sen no RikyÅ«) 
Kitano Tenmangu (built to honor spirit of Sugawara no Michizane) 

Day 10: Kyoto          
Kyoto Walkabout: East Side
Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion)
Yoshimitsu & the refinement of Japanese aesthetics
Kiyomizudera (famous tourist destination of Edo Period) 
Sanjusangendo (over 1,000 Buddha statues under one roof)

Day 11: Kyoto           
Meet local university students
Visit machiya (trad. Kyoto home converted into classrooms)
Visit Eigamura (Film studio with replica Edo period village set) 

Day 12: Kyoto          
Bullet train to Himeji Castle 
Bullet train to Osaka Castle 
Return train to Kyoto

Day 13: Tokyo           
Bullet train to Tokyo
Tokyo Walkabout                  
Ueno Park      

Day 14: Tokyo         
Tokyo Walkabout
Imperial Palace
Marunouchi Building (SCAP Occupation HQ)
Yasukuni Shrine (Shrine for Japan’s war dead) & shrine museum
Edo-Tokyo Metropolitan Museum

Day 15: Tokyo           
Tokyo Walkabout: Asakusa
Sensoji Temple & Asakusa Shrine 
Edo Shitamachi Traditional Museum
Tokyo Tower at night                         

Day 16: Tokyo          
Depart Narita
Arrive LAX

Info Sessions

Info Sessions

To learn more about the Japan Travel Seminar, please attend an information session and hear about the course from the faculty leader.  We will be discussing the course in more detail, in-country itinerary, as well as approximate cost.  

This fall info sessions will be held:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Swenson 102

Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Humanities 113

You may also attend a study abroad intereset meeting at 2:30pm on Wednesday or Thursday in the CLU Study Abroad Center.