Wyatt Exploration Program - Japan: Tradition and Change
Japan, May 8 - May 26, 2012
Japan is a country where the tradition is strong, but yet a place of constant change. This tour will explore the traditional aspects of Japan by providing the opportunity for History students to visit historical sites in the ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto, as well as the Buddhist complete of Mt. Koya. A step away from these ancient sites, students will board the Shinkansen (bullet train) and travel to Fukuoka, a city with a population of 2.5 million and an entirely modern infrastructure. A visit to Nagasaki will reveal the process of change that Japan went through during the mid-19th century when the western nations arrived at Japan’s shores. In addition to visiting historical sites, this tour will include people-to-people activities, as UM-Flint students will interact with students at Kitakyushu University and Kagoshima University.
Whatever image you have of Japan, it's probably accurate, because it's all there. But you may also have some misconceptions about Japan. For example, many people believe that Japan is one of the world's most expensive countries. In fact, it's cheaper to travel in Japan than in much of North America, Western Europe and parts of Oceania. Others think that Japan is impenetrable or even downright difficult. The fact is, Japan is one of the easiest countries in which to travel. It is, simply put, a place that will remind you why you started travelling in the first place. If traditional culture is your thing, you can spend weeks in cities such as Kyoto and Nara, gorging yourself on temples, shrines, kabuki, ō (stylised dance-drama), tea ceremonies and museums packed with treasures from Japan's rich artistic heritage. If modern culture and technology is your thing, Japan's cities are an absolute wonderland - an easy peek into the future of the human race, complete with trend-setting cafés and fabulous restaurants. Outside the cities, you'll find natural wonders the length and breadth of the archipelago. From the coral reefs of Okinawa to the ski-resort of Niseko, Japan has more than enough natural wonders to compete with its cultural treasures. Then there's the food: whether it's impossibly fresh sushi in Tokyo, perfectly battered tempura in Kyoto, or a hearty bowl of rāmen in Osaka, if you like eating you're going to love Japan.
But for many visitors, the real highlight of their visit to Japan is the gracious hospitality of the Japanese themselves. Whatever your image of Japan, it no doubt exists somewhere on the archipelago - and it's just waiting for you to discover it!
Exerts about Japan from Lonely Planet.
This trip is led by Dr. Roy Hanashiro, professor from the History department.
Eligibility & Prerequisites
- Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors are eligible to apply
- History Majors are eligible to apply.