Please review the information within during our flight to get a sense of what we are doing on what day. Note that there are only three required events. The rest are optional – they are things that Dr. Duffy and Dr. Marmorstein will be doing, and you are welcome to join us, but you are welcome to go on your own and explore Japan. The only additional “required event” is the Shinkansen from Kyoto to Tokyo unless you have made other arrangements and discussed them first with Dr. Duffy or Dr. Marmorstein so that we know (approximately) where you might be at all times.
Some notes and reminders for the following pages: We will be walking A LOT. Wear comfortable shoes everyday. Wear comfortable clothes in layers, as Japan weather can change suddenly.
Always carry your passport AND JR pass. DO NOT LOSE EITHER. GUARD THESE WITH YOUR LIFE. Keep a photocopy of your passport in your room in the off-chance you lose it and will have to travel to the consulate in Osaka to be able to leave the country. We REALLY don’t want you to have to do that, though. It is VERY complicated. We can’t stress this enough. You are going to be in a VERY foreign country that is extremely complicated to navigate and we do not need to complexicate this trip with emergency trips to other cities. Always carry the same bag with you through the whole trip and always put the JR pass and passport in the same part of the bag every time you use it. And constantly ask yourself, “Where is my bag?”
When we travel using the Shinkansen (like, going to Hiroshima) BRING YOUR RESERVED TICKET WITH YOU OR RISK HAVING TO SURVIVE IN THE UNRESERVED SMOKING CAR. Always carry toilet paper or tissues. When offered on the street, accept!
Pay attention to directions. You don’t want to find yourself lost somewhere only knowing how to say sumimasen. It won’t get you very far.
Keep an eye out for each other. If traveling in a group, don’t stray far as you are liable to get lost. If you do get lost and can’t find the group, there isn’t much you can do but to enjoy Japan alone, find the appropriate train stations, and get back to the hotel. If you do get lost, don’t panic. Japan is not a dangerous country, and the Japanese are typically more than willing to help you out.
Trains and busses generally stop running around 12:00. If you are out later than that, you’ll have to take an expensive cab or wait until 5:00 AM for the morning trains to begin running. Neither are attractive options (unless you plan to stay out that late, but stay safe, peeps).
We discourage you from drinking alcohol on this trip, we have little control over what you do when we have no plans at night. Remember that you will enjoy this experience a lot less with a hangover. Also realize that alcohol impairs judgment, and in a country in which you A. don’t know the language, B. can’t read the language C. don’t know the layout, and D. don’t know anyone, you need all your cognitive resources available to negotiate the challenges of finding your way around.
You are representatives of America and of Rutgers University. Do nothing to offend anyone on this trip that would reflect poorly on us as ambassadors of our country or our university. You are a guest in their country. Treat the entire country as you would the house of a respected friend, and not a frathouse friend, a respectable house friend.
There will be many points during this trip in which you will be frustrated by something – you can’t figure out how to use the subway, you don’t know where to find a temple, etc. That’s the nature of travel. Enjoy it! It is supposed to be frustrating! Look at these points of frustrations as opportunities to ask a Japanese person for help. You will find that most Japanese will go out of their way to aid and assist you, and always remember those key words that have gotten me out of many a frustrating situation:
Sumimasen! Gomen Nasai! Wakaremasen! Watashi wa baka gaijin-desu!
(Pardon me! Sorry! I don’t understand! I’m just a dumb foreigner!) Usually, whoever you are talking to will laugh, deny the truth of this statement (“iie, iee chigaimasu!”), and help you step by step.
Please, please don’t lose your passport or JR pass.
This trip can be a life-changing experience that you will remember fondly for the rest of your lives. Let’s do everything in our power to accomplish this goal!!!
DAY 1 & 2 – FRIDAY MARCH 13 & SATURDAY MARCH 14
Arrive at Airport by 7:15 AM. 13MAR (FRI). NW1765. Philadelphia (9:15am)/Detroit (11:05am)
13MAR (FRI). NW25. Detroit (2:15pm)/Narita, Tokyo (4:40pm on 14MAR)
Do not stray far from International Terminal where ourflight to Japan will depart! Follow closely Drs. Duffy and Marmorstein during the layovers – you don’t want to be left behind, as a night in Detroit’s airport is less than fun!
14MAR (SAT). NW84. Narita, Tokyo (6:30pm)/Kansai, Osaka (8:20pm)
Validate JR pass in Osaka, take train to Kyoto…
===9:16 (if we’re lucky) 10:16 (if we’re not)
This is the location of our Kyoto hotel:
Its Japanese name is read like this:
You will know where it is in reference to Kyoto Tower. It is right next to it, right in front of the Kyoto Station Bus Stop.
DAY 3 - MAR. 15 (SUN).
KYOTO A Walk through Eastern Kyoto
~6:30 AM: Breakfast at local Combini or local restaurant on your own
Realize with Jet Lag you will be getting up ridiculously early – probably around 3 AM. When you do wake up, try to stay in bed as long as possible, as hard as that sounds given you will be so excited to get up and explore. Very little is going on that you should be doing at 3:00 AM on a Sunday night in Kyoto.
7:30 meet in hotel lobby*, go to Kyoto station bus stop take
PURCHASE 500 YEN DAY BUS PASS FROM BUS STATION.
Bus 100 or 206 to Kiyomizu-michi or Gojo-zaki
~8:00: Kiyomizudera (Y300)
DO WALK FROM LONELY PLANET GUIDE
~ 11:00 Yasaka-jinja / Gion
~ 12:00 Shijo-dori arcades – Lunch
2:45 Meet at Higashiyama-Sanjo bus stop
3:00 Take bus 100 North from Shijo-Kawaramatchi to Ginkakuji-michi
3:30: Ginkakuji – the famous Silver Temple, origin of tea ceremony (Y500)
4:30-6:30: Hike up Daimonji or walk along Path of Philosophy
7:00 Dinner at KURESHIMA about 2500 YEN****REQUIRED EVENT!
Return to hotel via 206 SOUTH bus at HYAKUMAN BEN (Intersection of Higashioji Dori and Imadegawa dori)
*Whenever it says “Meet in Lobby” we mean a specific location that we will point out when we check in.
Kureshima looks like this: Look for the neon. Note: it is not the Kureshima west of Hyakuman ben. If you are lost, ask for “Nogakubu Kureshima” It is spelled くれしま.
Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺). This temple complex, with a spectacular location overlooking the city, is a deservedly popular attraction, approached by either of two tourist-filled souvenir-shop-lined streets, Kiyomizu-zaka or Chawan-zaka. Admission ¥300. Open daily, 6am-6pm. Nearest bus stop: Kiyomizu-michi or Gojo-zaka. Highlights of the temple complex include;
The main hall's wooden veranda, supported by hundreds of pillars and offering incredible views over the city, Jishu-jinja, the love-themed shrine selling countless charms to help you snag the one you love, and featuring two "love stones" positioned around 18m apart which the lovelorn must walk between with eyes closed to confirm their loved one's affection, and Otowa-no-taki the temple's waterfall, which gives it its name (Kiyomizu literally means 'pure water'). Visitors stand beneath the waterfall, and collect water to drink by holding out little tin cups.
Gion district (祇園). The flagstone-paved streets and traditional buildings of the Gion district, located to the north-west of Kiyomizu, are where you're most likely to see geisha in Kyoto, scurrying between buildings or slipping into a taxi. The area just to the north of Shijo-dori, to the west of Yasaka Shrine, is particularly photogenic - particularly around Shinbashi-dori and Hanami-koji. Sannen-zaka ("three-year-slope") and Ninen-zaka ("two-year-slope"), two stepped streets leading off from Kiyomizu-zaka, are also very picturesque - but watch your step, slipping over on these streets brings three or two years' bad luck respectively. At the northern end of Ninen-zaka is Ryozen Kannon, a memorial to the unknown Japanese soldiers who died in World War II, with a 24-meter-tall statue of Kannon. Admission is ¥200, including a lit incense stick to place in front of the shrine.
Ginkakuji (銀閣寺, the Silver Pavilion) is at the northern end of the Philosopher's Walk. Much like its golden counterpart at Kinkakuji, the Silver Pavilion is often choked with tourists, shuffling past a scrupulously-maintained dry landscape Zen garden and the surrounding moss garden, before posing for pictures in front of the Pavilion across a pond. Do note, however, that major restoration works are being done on the pavilion, which is now surrounded by metal scaffolding. This is not expected to be completed until after 2010. Unlike its counterpart, however, the Silver Pavilion was never actually covered in silver; only the name had been applied before the plans fell apart. Be sure not to miss the display of Very Important Mosses! Admission ¥500. Nearest bus stop: Ginkakuji-michi.
DAY 4 - MAR. 16 (MON).
KYOTOHIROSHIMA MIYAJIMA KYOTO
The atomic bomb & an iconic Tori gate.
7:00 Breakfast: Combini
7:45 Meet in hotel lobby to walk together to Shinkansen
8:22 Leave on Shinkansen to HIROSHIMA
====Hikari 495 (8:22) KYOTO to HIROSHIMA (arrive 10:25)
10:30 Arrive at Hiroshima, take trams 2 or 6 to Peace Park (Genbaku Domu) ~Y300
11- 1: Spend 2 hrs at Peace Park, go to Memorial Museum (50 yen)
====1:00 Take tram 2 to MIYAJIMAGUCHI, then take Ferry to Miyajima
Explore Miyajima (Drs. M & D will tell you when we need to meet and get back)
Take Ferry Back, then JR train to Hiroshima station
Maybe grab dinner in Hiroshima, which is known for its okonomiyake!
Return to Kyoto via Shinkansen
====Hiraki 490 (7:51) HIROSHIMA to KYOTO (arrive 9:48)
Note: Please do not miss this Shinkansen. If you miss it there is no Shinkansen that will bring you back to Kyoto. There may be a shinkansen that will taken you to Shin-Osaka, and from there, you can take a train to Kyoto, but I am not positive and either way it’s a big pain. Just try not to miss this one. Also, DON’T fall asleep on the train and miss your Kyoto stop. You’ll find yourself in Tokyo!
Here is a map of what we will see in Hiroshima:
Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Better known as the A-Bomb Dome (原爆ドーム Genbaku Dōmu) is Hiroshima's best-known symbol. Formerly the Prefectural Industrial Promotional Hall, it was designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel and completed in 1915. The fanciful green dome in particular made the building a much-loved symbol in Hiroshima before the war. When the atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945, the explosion is thought to have taken place almost directly above the building. Its skeletal remains were among the few buildings left standing in the entire city. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996 amid some controversy - the United States and China both voted against the nomination for reasons related to the war. It has become a symbol of the city once again, though, and the benches around the building are as likely to be occupied by Hiroshima natives reading, eating lunch or simply relaxing as they are by tourists. Next to it is the T-shaped Aioi Bridge which was used to target the bomb.
Kannon statue draped with origami cranes, Peace Memorial Park
Peace Memorial Museum (平和記念資料館 Heiwa Kinen Shiryōkan) (March - Nov. 8:30am to 6pm, Dec. - Feb. to 5pm, Aug. to 7pm. Closed 12/29 - 1/1) . This heart-wrenching museum documents the bomb and its aftermath, complete with scale models of "before" and "after", melted children's tricycles and a harrowing recreation of a post-blast Hiroshima street. The first floor describes the events leading up to the bomb and attempts to give a sense of what Hiroshima was like before the war. The second floor contains a number of displays and artifacts related to the day of the bombing. Some of these are extremely graphic, evocative and, consequently, disturbing. The rest of the museum describes the post-war struggles of the hibakusha (bomb survivors) and the state of nuclear weapons in the world today. The museum largely refrains from presenting any particuar political point of view, except to appeal for world peace and for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Entry costs a token ¥50, and audio guides are available for an additional donation. Be warned: a visit here, while by all means worthwhile, will ruin your day. Allow plenty of time afterward to decompress. Shukkeien (below) is a good destination for that purpose.
The Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims is a saddle-shaped concrete memorial containing the names of persons who died from the bombing regardless of nationality. Under the arch is a flame which, it is said, will not be extinguished until the last nuclear weapons are gone from the earth. The inscription in Japanese reads, "Rest in peace, for the error shall not be repeated". Beyond the cenotaph is a pond leading toward the A-Bomb Dome.
Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims (March - July, Sep. - Nov. 8:30am - 6pm, Aug. to 7pm, Dec. - Feb. to 5pm. Closed 12/29 - 1/1. Admission free) . Next to the Cenotaph, this museum is dedicated collecting names and photographs of people who died in the blast. The entrance of the museum leads downward to a quiet hall for contemplation, and then back up again, to a set of kiosks with compelling stories and recollections from survivors (in English and Japanese).
Statue of the A-Bomb Children. Perennially draped in thousands and thousands of origami paper cranes, folded by schoolchildren across Japan in memory of bomb victim Sadako Sasaki. Dying of leukemia in 1954, she was told an old folk tale according to which anybody who folds over 1000 cranes will have her wish come true. Although was said in many stories told later that she managed 642 before her death in 1955 at the age of twelve, in fact, she folded more than 1000 cranes before she died.
The Bell of Peace is near the northern end of the park. Engraved on its surface is a world map drawn without borders to symbolise world unity. The public are free to ring it.
Miyajima (宮島) is a small island near Hiroshima, Japan. Famed for Itsukushima Shrine and its floating torii, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and officially one of Japan's Top 3 Views, Miyajima is a very popular destination for Japanese and foreign tourists alike.
Miyajima has been considered a holy place for most of Japanese history. In 806 AD, the monk Kobo Daishi ascended Mt. Misen and opened the mountain as an ascetic site for the Shingon sect of Buddhism. In the years since then, Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines have maintained a close relationship on the island. In the past, women were not allowed on the island and old people were shipped elsewhere to die, so that the ritual purity of the site would not be spoiled; in fact, the island's real name is Itsukushima (厳島), and Miyajima is just a popular nickname meaning "Shrine Island"
These days, strict measures are taken to ensure that the modern town retains a classically Japanese Edo-era look, very much a rarity in Japan and a large reason for the town's attractiveness. There are still a few bits of concrete warren that snuck in, but the seafront promenade is particularly attractive, especially later in the day when the rampaging tour groups head home and the stone lanterns are turned on. Deer wander freely in the streets and parks. While somewhat more restrained than their counterparts in Nara, they're still eager for a hand-out.
Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社), Miyajima's main sight, the shrine is a large, red-lacquered complex of halls and pathways on stilts, originally so built that commoners could visit without defiling the island with their footprints. Pricing is complex, but ¥300 will get you into the temple itself, or pay ¥500 for entry plus a glimpse at the shrine's treasures. Weddings are occasionally held there, but that doesn't bar visitors, and the priest's ceremonial dance is a memorable sight. The shrine was badly damaged by a typhoon in 2004, but repairs are largely complete and it is open again.
The floating torii (or gate) of the shrine, standing in the bay in front of the shrine, is Miyajima's best known symbol. Note that whether the torii is "floating" or merely mired in mud depends on the tide. If you are coming from Hiroshima the Hiroshima tourist information office will be able to tell you the time of the high tide, which is the best time to view the torii.
Senjokaku (千畳閣). The name means "1000 Mat Pavilion", a fairly apt description of this gigantic wooden hall which doesn't actually contain much other than empty space. It was originally built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1587. There's also a picturesque 5-story pagoda (五重塔 Gojuto) next door, and plenty of cherry trees if you are visiting in sakura season.
Daisho-in (大聖院) A major Buddhist temple a short distance above Itsukushima Shrine. Because it's nestled into the hills, it's easily missed by tourists, but it features a number of interesting sights and a respite from the crowds. Look for the Dai-hannyakyo Sutra (大般若経), the golden prayer wheels that are said to bring enormous fortune to anyone who touches them, and the Henjokutsu Cave (遍照窟), a fascinating and eerie collection of Buddhist icons related to the famed pilgrimage route in Shikoku. The temple hosted the Dalai Lama in 2005. Admission is free, and there is more informative English outreach than at Itsukushima.
DAY 5 - MAR. 17 (TUE).
KYOTO Western Kyoto: Temples, Monkeys, and Terry
7:00 Meet in Lobby
PURCHASE 500 YEN DAY BUS PASS FROM BUS STATION.
Bus 205 to Kinkakuji-Michi (buy day bus pass – 500 yen)
Kinkakuji – (400 Yen)
Ryoranji – (400 Yen)
11:00 Trip to Arashiyama & Monkey Park!!!
Take light rail from Ryonjimichi to Arashiyama, or bus 59 to Yamagoe Nakacho, then transfer to bus 11 to Arashiyama.
Hike up mountain to monkey park.
2:00 – Bus 93 East to Kumano Jinjamae
4:00: Talk with Shoji (“Terry”) Itakura ***** REQUIRED EVENT *****
Graduate School of Letters
Evening free to go exploring / dinner
Take 206 Bus to GION, walk west to KAWARAMACHI DORI for night life / restaurants, walk around gion to spot the Geisha, enjoy Kyoto. This might be a good day to go see the touristy examples of Japanese music, dance, and tea ceremony at the
Gion Theater (~3000 yen…check out your tour book, it has to be in there).
206 bus at Hyakuman ben going south will eventually bring you to Kyoto station.
Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺). The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, formally known as Rokuonji (鹿苑寺), is the most popular tourist attraction in Kyoto. The pavilion was originally built as a retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in the late 14th century, and converted into a temple by his son. However, the pavilion was burnt down in 1950, by a young monk who had become obsessed with it. (The story became the basis for Yukio Mishima's novel The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.) The pavilion was rebuilt to look even more garish than before - extending the gold leaf covering it to the lower floor. The beautiful landscaping and the reflection of the temple on the face of the water make for a striking sight, but keeping the mobs of visitors out of your photos will be a stern test for your framing abilities (and a dilemma for your photographic honesty). Get there early if you can to beat the school groups. Visitors follow a path through the moss garden surrounding the pavilion, before emerging into a square crowded with gift shops. It's only a short walk from Ryōan-ji (below), making for an easy pairing (and study in contrasts). Open daily 9am-5pm, admission ¥400. Nearest bus stop: Kinkakuji-michi or Kinkakuji-mae.
Ryōan-ji (龍安寺). Famous for its Zen garden, which is considered to be one of the most notable examples of the "dry-landscape" style. Surrounded by low walls, an austere arrangement of fifteen rocks sits on a bed of white gravel. That's it: no trees, no hills, no ponds, and no trickling water. Behind the simple temple that overlooks the rock garden is a stone washbasin called Tsukubai said to have been contributed by Tokugawa Mitsukuni in the 17th century. It bears a simple but profound four-character inscription: "I learn only to be contented". There is a fantastic boiled tofu (湯豆腐 yudōfu) restaurant on the grounds, which you should be able to find by following the route away from the rock garden and towards the exit. It is slightly expensive, but serves delicious, traditional tofu dishes. The rest of the grounds are worth a look too - particularly the large pond. Open daily 8am-5pm (Mar-Nov), 8.30am-4.30pm (Dec-Feb). Admission ¥500. Nearest bus stop: Ryōanji-mae.
The Arashiyama (嵐山) area to the west of the city is dismissed in most Western guidebooks in a brief paragraph suggesting "other attractions". However, the area is rightfully very popular with Japanese tourists, and is well worth a visit. To get here, take the JR Sagano line from Kyoto station to Saga Arashiyama, or take the Hankyu Line from the city center to Katsura, and change to the Hankyu Arashiyama Line.
Feeding the macaque monkeys atop the mountain in Iwatayama Monkey Park, to the south of the river, is worth the entrance fee (and the demanding climb!). Don't bring food up with you, though - peanuts are on sale inside the shack on top of the mountains, and the monkeys are well aware of it. There's a pond next to the shack, and the monkeys seem particularly fond of the keeper's motorcycle, which is usually parked there. There's ¥550 admission fee to enter the park; peanuts cost extra, but you know the monkeys appreciate it. Monkey see, monkey do, don’t get in trouble in Japan or Dr. Duffy will haunt you.
DAY 6 - MAR. 18 (WED).
KYOTOHIMEJI NARA FUSHIMI KYOTO
The white egret castle, the largest wooden structure in the world, spooky foxes and Tori gates
7:00 Breakfast: Combini
7:45 Meet in hotel lobby to walk together to Shinkansen
8:22 Leave on Shinkansen to HIMEJI
====Hikari 495 (8:22) KYOTO to HIMEJI (arrive 9:19)
Arrive at Himeji go to castle (can see castle from train) ~500 yen
Spend ~2 hours at Himeji, get bento lunch to eat on train, return to Shinkansen,
11:59 Return to Himeji train station, buy bento box to eat on train
Leave Himeji for SHIN-OSAKA arrive 12:38.
====take subway to TENNOJI (cost: Y230 or so), then
====JR train to NARA (leaves every half hour or so)
In Nara, visit the Deer and Todaiji Temple (entrance, ~ 400 yen).
Deer cookies cost about 100 yen.
Return to Kyoto in late afternoon (will let you know specific train schedule that day when to meet in Nara station).
====JR Yamatoji train to FUSHIMI
~6:00 FUSHIMI INARI (good evening plan, as it is spooky there at night!)
====JR train to Kyoto (only 1 or 2 stops)
8:30 Return to Kyoto, have dinner, go out on own.
I suggest that people do the “Night Walk through the Floating World” walking tour which you can find appended at the end of this document.
Location of train station, Deer and Five Story Pagoda (oval) and Todai-ji Temple.
* (exact time to be determined once we are there and I check the train schedule, please find Dr. Duffy on Tuesday to find out exactly when we will meet because we want to take the express)
Himeji Castle (姫路城 ,Himeji-jō?) is a flatland-mountain Japanese castle complex located in Himeji in Hyōgo Prefecture and comprising 83 wooden buildings. It is occasionally known as Hakurojō or Shirasagijō ("White Heron Castle") because of its brilliant white exterior.
It was registered as the first Japanese National Cultural Treasure by UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Japanese National Cultural Treasure in December, 1993. Along with Matsumoto Castle and Kumamoto Castle, it is one of Japan's "Three Famous Castles", and is the most visited castle in Japan.
Himeji serves as an excellent example of the prototypical Japanese castle, containing many of the defensive and architectural features most associated with Japanese castles. The tall stone foundations, whitewash walls, and organization of the buildings within the complex are standard elements of any Japanese castle, and the site also features many other examples of typical castle design, including gun emplacements and stone-dropping holes.
One of Himeji's most important defensive elements, and perhaps its most famous, is the confusing maze of paths leading to the main keep. The gates, baileys, and outer walls of the complex are organized so as to cause an approaching force to travel in a spiral pattern around the castle on their way into the keep, facing many dead ends. This allowed the intruders to be watched and fired upon from the keep during their entire approach. However, Himeji was never attacked in this manner, and so the system remains untested.
In 1331, Akamatsu Sadanori planned a castle at the base of Mount Himeji, where Akamatsu Norimura had constructed the temple of Shomyoji. After Akamatsu fell during the Kakitsu War, Yamana clan briefly took over planning of the castle; the Akamatsu family took over again following the Ōnin War.
In 1580, Toyotomi Hideyoshi took control of the badly damaged castle, and Kuroda Yoshitaka built a three-story tower. Following the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Tokugawa Ieyasu granted Himeji Castle to Ikeda Terumasa who embarked on a nine-year expansion project that brought the castle roughly to its current form. "Only the east gate of one section of the second bailey" survive from the earlier period. The current keep dates from 1601, and the last major addition, the Western Circle, was completed in 1618.
Himeji was one of the last holdouts of the tozama daimyō at the end of the Edo period. It was held by the descendants of Sakai Tadasumi until the Meiji Restoration. In 1868, the new Japanese government sent the Okayama army, under the command of a descendant of Ikeda Terumasa, to shell the castle with blank cartridges and drive its occupiers out.
When the han system was abolished in 1871, Himeji Castle was sold at auction. Its final price was 23 yen (in those days) and in public funds. Himeji was bombed twice in 1945, at the end of World War II. Although most of the surrounding area was burned to the ground, the castle survived almost entirely unscathed. Castle restoration efforts began in 1956.
Nara (奈良市 ,Nara-shi?) is the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture. Eight temples, shrines and ruins in Nara, specifically Tōdai-ji, Saidai-ji, Kōfuku-ji, Kasuga Shrine, Gangō-ji, Yakushi-ji, Tōshōdai-ji and Heijō Palace Remains, together with Kasugayama Primeval Forest, collectively form "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara", a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nara was the capital of Japan from 710 to 784, lending its name to the Nara period. The original city, Heijō-kyō, was modelled after the capital of Tang Dynasty China, Chang'an (present-day Xi'an). According to the ancient Japanese book Nihon Shoki, the name "Nara" derived from the Japanese word narashita meaning "made flat". The temples of Nara remained powerful even beyond the move of the political capital to Heian-kyō in 794, thus giving Nara a synonym of Nanto (lit. meaning "South Capital") as opposed to Heian-kyō, situated in the North.
In the modern age, as the seat of the prefectural government, Nara has developed into a local center of commerce and government. The city was officially incorporated on February 1, 1898.
Tōdai-ji (東大寺 ,Tōdai-ji?, Eastern Great Temple), is a Buddhist temple complex located in the city of Nara, Japan. Its Great Buddha Hall (大仏殿 Daibutsuden), the largest wooden building in the world, houses the world's largest statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese simply as Daibutsu (大仏). The temple also serves as the Japanese headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism. The temple is a listed UNESCO World Heritage site as "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara," together with seven other sites including temples, shrines and places in the city of Nara. Sika deer, regarded as messengers of the gods in the Shinto religion, roam the grounds freely.
The beginning of building a temple where the huge Tōdai-ji complex sits today can be dated to 743, when Emperor Shōmu established Kinshōsen-ji (金鐘山寺) as an appeasement for Prince Motoi, his first son with his Fujiwara clan consort Kōmyōshi. Prince Motoi died a year after his birth.
During the Tempyō era, Japan suffered from a series of disasters and epidemics. It was after experiencing these problems that Emperor Shōmu issued an edict in 741 to promote the construction of Provincial temples throughout the nation. Tōdai-ji (still Kinshōsen-ji at the time) was appointed as the Provincial temple of Yamato Province and the head of all the Provincial temples. With the alleged coup d'état by Nagaya in 729, an outbreak of smallpox around 735 - 737, worsened by consecutive years of poor crops, then followed by a rebellion led by Fujiwara no Hirotsugu in 740, the country was in a chaotic position. Emperor Shōmu had been forced to move the capital four times, indicating the level of instability during this period.
Under the Ritsuryō system of government in the Nara Period, Buddhism was heavily regulated by the state through the Sōgō (僧綱 ?, Office of Priestly Affairs). During this time, Tōdai-ji served as the central administrative temple for the provincial temples for the six Buddhist schools in Japan at the time: the Hossō, Kegon, Jōjitsu, Sanron, Ritsu and Kusha. Letters dating from this time also show that all six Buddhist schools had offices at Tōdai-ji, complete with administrators, shrines and their own library.
Japanese Buddhism during this time still maintained the lineage of the Vinaya and all officially licensed monks had to take their ordination under the Vinaya at Tōdai-ji. In 754, ordination was given by Ganjin, who arrived in Japan after overcoming hardships over 12 years and six attempts of crossing the sea from China, to Empress Kōken, former Emperor Shōmu and others. Later Buddhist monks, including Kūkai and Saichō took their ordination here as well. During Kūkai's administration of the Sōgō, additional ordination ceremonies were added to Tōdai-ji, including ordination of the Bodhisattva Precepts from the Brahma Net Sutra and the esoteric Precepts, or Samaya, from Kukai's own newly established Shingon school of Buddhism. Additionally, Kūkai added an Abhiseka Hall for the use of initiating monks of the six Nara schools into the esoteric teachings. by 829.
During its height of power, Tōdai-ji's famous Shuni-e ceremony was established by the monk Jitchū, and continues to this day.
As the center of power in Japanese Buddhism shifted away from Nara to Mount Hiei and the Tendai sect, and later when the capital of Japan moved to Kamakura, Tōdai-ji's role in maintaining authority declined as well. In later generations, the Vinaya lineage also died out, despite repeated attempts to revive it, thus no more ordination ceremonies take place at Tōdai-ji.
Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社 ?) is the head shrine of Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan. The shrine sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines.
Merchants and manufacturers worship Inari for wealth. Donated torii lining footpaths are part of the scenic view. Foxes (kitsune), regarded as the messengers, are often found in Inari shrines. One attribute is a key (for the rice granary) in their mouths. Unlike most Shinto shrines, Fushimi Inari Taisha, in keeping with typical Inari shrines, has an open view of the main idol object (a mirror).
A drawing in Kiyoshi Nozaki's Kitsune: Japan's Fox of Mystery, Romance and Humor in 1786 depicting the shrine says that its two-story entry gate was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The shrine draws several million worshipers over the Japanese New Year, 2.69 million for 3 days in 2006 reported by the police, the most in western Japan.
DAY 7 - MAR. 19 (THU).
8:00 Breakfast (combini, most likely)
8:15 meet in the lobby. Send baggage to Tokyo Hotel using baggage service.
Go to Kyoto Station
===Hikari 510 (9:29) KYOTO to SHINAGAWA (around 12:03)
Keep eyes open for Mt. Fuji!!!!!!!!!!!
Eat lunch, get accustomed to hotel. Here is the hotel’s name written in Japanese:
2:00 – Meet in lobby to take train to Temple University’s Japan campus.
====Yamanote to Tamatchi
3:00 – Talk by Professor Kyle Cleveland “This Way Out > Subculture Identity and Soft Power Politics in Japanese Youth Culture” *****REQUIRED EVENT******
5:30 – Go to train, end up in Shibuya. Visit Hachinko statue. Have dinner. When finished, take the YAMANOTE line train to Shinagawa to get to hotel. Note that the Yamanote line is a circle, so you can’t go the wrong direction, only the LONG direction. By now, your baggage MAY have arrived at the hotel, which you may pick up at the front desk. Be sure in your smaller bag you bring all the toiletries and essential items, such as a change of clothes, in the event of your baggage being delayed.
Note: Shibuya is a notorious place to get lost. One million Japanese travel through the station every day. If you are in a group, make sure not to get distracted because you will find yourself lost literally in a sea of Japanese.
Thursday night possibility…..
For students interested in Tokyo Tower: http://www.tokyotower.co.jp/english/
On Thursday nights they have live Japanese music and a really cool light effect show, highly recommend: http://www.tokyotower.co.jp/english/04_club333/index.html Hotel Information – remember, Shinagawa station! This map looks weird because I am only providing you with half of the map…you don’t need the other half.
Shinagawa (品川区, Shinagawa-ku?) is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. In English, it calls itself Shinagawa City. The ward is home to nine embassies.
Temple University’s Japan Campus…
Following the opening of the Yamanote Line in 1885, Shibuya began to emerge as a railway terminal for southwestern Tokyo and eventually as a major commercial and entertainment center. It was incorporated as a village in 1889, as a town in 1909, as a ward of Tokyo City in 1932, and as a ward of Tokyo Metropolis in 1943. The present-day special ward was established on March 15, 1947.
One of the most well-known stories concerning Shibuya is the story of Hachikō, a dog who waited on his late master at Shibuya Station every day from 1923 to 1935, eventually becoming a national celebrity for his loyalty. A statue of Hachikō was built adjacent to the station, and the surrounding Hachikō Square is now the most popular meeting point in the area.
Yoyogi Park in Shibuya was one of the main venues for the 1964 Summer Olympics.
Shibuya has achieved great popularity among young people in the last 30 years. There are several famous fashion department stores in Shibuya. Shibuya 109 is a major shopping center near Shibuya Station, particularly famous as the origin of the kogal subculture. Called "Ichi-Maru-kyū," which translates as 1–0–9 in Japanese, the name is actually a pun on that of the corporation that owns it — Tokyu (which sounds like 10–9 in Japanese). The contemporary fashion scene in Shibuya extends northward from Shibuya Station to Harajuku, where youth culture reigns; Omotesandō, the zelkova tree- and fashion brand-lined street; and Sendagaya, Tokyo's apparel design district.
During the late 1990s, Shibuya also became known as the center of the IT industry in Japan. It was often called "Bit Valley" in English, a pun on "Bitter Valley," the literal translation of "Shibuya."