A five-night, six-day trip through three of the Kansai prefectures (Wakayama, Kyoto, and Osaka) to learn about nature, culture, and history.
|Locations Visited||Wakayama - Kyoto - Osaka 5-nights trip|
|Learning Themes||Traditional culture Natural environment Japanese food Social systems and infrastructure|
Wakayama Prefecture is located in southern Honshu, and is a place of outstanding natural beauty with vast mountainous areas and a long coastline that faces the Pacific Ocean.
Wakayama Castle flourished during the Edo period, and parts of the original structure, including the gate and the walls, remain to this day. The castle tower and turrets have also been reconstructed, making this huge castle well worth seeing.
Nearby are Japanese gardens, museums, and galleries, so you can also learn about Japanese history and tradition.
This castle thrived as the base of the Tokugawa family, who ruled Japan in the Edo period, and has been designated by the Japanese government as an important cultural asset.
Wakayama Marina City contains restaurants where groups can enjoy seafood barbecues and Japanese cuisine, and also features the Kuroshio Ichiba fish market, where a whole tuna filleting show is held each day.
Travel from Wakayama City to Tanabe City (approx. one hour by car or one hour and a half by train).
Tanabe City is located in central Wakayama Prefecture, and is known as the entrance to the Kumano Kodo.
The area is dotted with farming guesthouses, so you can stay with a local farming family to familiarize yourself with agriculture and the lifestyles of farmers.
Tangerines are the most famous produce, and not only can you pick them from autumn through winter, but you can practice making desserts and juice from them all year round.
You can learn about nature and food culture through agriculture, fishing, and forestry.
Programs vary depending on the time of year, but you can experience agriculture by planting or harvesting rice, take a Kuroshio cruise, or practice making high-grade charcoal from ubame oak.
The Kumano Kodo is the collective name for ancient pilgrimage routes to the Three Grand Kumano Shrines.
They have been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in recognition of their value as cultural scenery.
You can hike the Kumano Kodo with a local guide who will explain the history of the routes and the cultural assets you will see along the way.
There are short hikes lasting around 30 minutes as well as longer ones that take up to three hours, so you can pick a route that suits the time you have available and the stamina of your students.
Collective name for the ancient pilgrimage routes that run through Mie, Nara, Wakayama, and Osaka prefectures to the Three Grand Kumano Shrines. In 2004 they were registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Refer to the three shrines of Kumano Hongu Grand Shrine, Kumano Hayatama Grand Shrine, and Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine. They have also been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site along with the Kumano Kodo.
Engage in exchange activities at a school in Kyoto.
The Kansai area also contains a large number of schools, so it's easy to find a school to interact with that meets your exchange preferences and requirements.
In the past, for more than 1,000 years, Kyoto flourished as the center of Japanese government and culture, and it features a historic townscape and numerous cultural assets.
Besides being a famous tourist destination visited by large numbers of visitors from overseas, it is also frequently targeted for school excursions in Japan, and the city is comparatively well set up to receive foreign visitors and groups of students.
Kyoto City features numerous tourist spots in a relatively small area, and the public transportation such as trains and buses is also convenient, so it's ideal for allowing students to move around on their own.
You can visit the shrines and temples scattered throughout Kyoto City, such as Yasaka Shrine, To-ji Temple, and Ryoan-ji Temple. You can also enjoy the beautiful valley scenery along the Hozu River from the Sagano Romantic Train.
In addition, you can participate in various hands-on programs that allow you to experience Japanese culture.
For example, you can take part in a tea ceremony, try on traditional Japanese garments, and make Japanese confectionery.
Please check the site below for details of the hands-on programs: https://kyoto.travel/en/thingstodo/entertainment
A shrine in Kyoto City's Higashiyama Ward. In July each year it's the venue for the Gion Festival, one of the Three Great Kyoto Festivals.
A temple located in Kyoto City's Minami Ward. It's registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is especially famous for it's five-storied pagoda.
A temple situated in Kyoto City's Ukyo Ward. It's registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is particularly well known for its traditional dry-landscape rock garden.
Universal Studios Japan is one of Japan's most famous theme parks.
In addition to movie-related attractions, there are also collaborations with world-famous anime works and video games.
Seasonal events such as for Halloween are held, and it's a place where your students can have fun for an entire day.
Yamato Transport is Japan's largest express parcel delivery company, and the Kansai Gateway is its main logistics terminal for the Kansai area.
You can receive a guided tour of the inside of the terminal, during which you'll observe actual logistics lines while learning about everything from the role that logistics plays in society to the latest logistics systems. (There are also audio guides available in English and Chinese.)