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Japan Travel Course

TRVL 300
Spring 2016
Dr. Kailai Huang

Course Description:
This high-impact travel course combines classroom learning with a 12-day trip to MountainJapan from March 10-21, 2016 during the spring break. The travel component of the course will take students to the main island of Honshu, where the ancient capital Kyoto and the world’s largest metropolis Tokyo are located, and to the adjacent island of Kyushu to visit the harbor city of Nagasaki and the castle town of Kumamoto. Through selected readings on Japanese history, religion, and art, and a visit to the country, students will have an intimate experience with Japanese culture and society. Upon completing the course, students are expected to gain a deeper understanding of Japan’s intricate blend of ancient traditions and cutting-edge modernity, appreciate the aesthetics of Japanese art, and develop a new perspective on cultural diversity and globalization.

Click here to read reflections from past participants

Travel Highlights:

Kyoto temple·Visiting palaces, temples, shrines, gardens, and museums to be immersed in Japanese history, religion, and art. Many of these sites are on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.

·Riding the thrilling high-speed Shinkansen “bullet” train to traverse the diverse landscape.

·Visiting the Manga Museum in Kyoto to have a close encounter with cosplay.

·Staying in a traditional Japanese Ryokan inn to enjoy a full-fledged Japanese-style banquet.

·Soaking in the Japanese onsen hot-spring to get familiar with traditional customs and etiquette.

·Strolling through Kyoto’s narrow alleys during the annual Hagashiyama Lantern Festivel to experience the exquisite traditional culture and customs.

·Having an essential experience in Nagasaki’s thought-provoking Peace Memorial Park to reflect on atomic devastation and world peace.

·Visiting the reclaimed land Otaiba in Tokyo to learn about Japan’s achievements in modern architecture and technology.

·(Window) shopping in Tokyo’s enormous and glittering department stores to experience their unsurpassable courteous service.

Fuji tv building·Walking around in the mind-boggling Akihabara Electric Town in Tokyo to find all kinds of electronic devices and gadgets.

·Dining on Japanese food to take in its variety and visual and culinary finesse.

Course Evaluation:

All students are required to establish a course e-portfolio and keep a journal during the trip. Students will be evaluated by their attendance to the weekly meetings prior to the trip, their behavior on the trip and the quality of their reflective final project based on their Japan experience.

Course Cost: the estimated cost per person is $2,970 US dollars (subject to change).
This cost includes:

* round trip international airfares to Japan and airport transportation.

* a Japan Rail Pass that will cover all train travels.

* ground transportation (bus, subway, and train) on the days with scheduled activities.

* 10 overnight stays, mainly in western-style budget hotels or traditional Japanese inns (ryokan, sleeping on floor futon). Depending on lodging facilities, it can be two, three, or four people a room.

* breakfast on some days and a full-fledged Japanese-style dinner banquet

* all admissions based on our itinerary.

* three credits for enrolled MCLA students.

Not included: lunches and dinners (except where noted).

Contact:
Dr. Kailai Huang
Phone: 413-662-5426
Email: kailai.huang@mcla.edu