Belmont is once again conducting a travel-study program in Japan, with students being led this year by faculty members Dr. Cynthia Bisson (History) and Dr. Marieta Velikova (Business) during their May 8-29 visit. Last week the group had the pleasure of visiting with Japanese students at Ryukoku University in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. The Belmont group was hosted by Tomomi Ohba, professor of English international education in the Department of Social Welfare at Ryukoku University.
The Belmont and Ryukoku students practiced English and Japanese language skills, shared lunch and a few laughs, and visited the local Miidera temple festival. With its roots dating from 1639, Ryukoku University is one of the oldest universities in Japan. It was founded on the principles of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. The University today has a student population of approximately 20,000 spread over three campuses in the ancient capital of Kyoto and neighboring Shiga.
The travel-study in Japan is exploring a traditional and modern nation in transition. In addition to classroom lectures and reading, they are visiting the great cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. In Tokyo, they visited famous sites such as the Meiji Shrine and Sensoji in Asakusa during the day, and they experienced the vibrant urban crossroads of Shinjuku in the evening. In Kyoto, they participated in an authentic Japanese tea ceremony, watched a geisha musical-dance performance, and experienced a moment of Zen by engaging in meditation with the monks of a well known temple. The Belmont travel-study group is also visiting places of great natural beauty such as Hakone and Mount Fuji, witnessing the gorgeous mountains and rural villages as well as the large cities of Japan.