CIEE students arrived one week prior to the start of Sophia University’s Summer Session in Asian Studies, and attended CIEE’s comprehensive orientation program. Orientation sessions included information on academics, survival Japanese, program policies, safety, and cultural adjustment.
As part of orientation, CIEE arranged for an overnight excursion to Hakone and Kamakura, historic cities southwest of Tokyo. In Hakone, students explored a volcanic valley, visited the Open-Air Museum and cruised across Lake Ashi. The following day they made a visit to Kenchoji, a Zen temple in North Kamakura, before venturing to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine and the famous Kamakura Daibutsu (Japan’s largest outdoor Buddha).
Summer program participants enjoyed soaking their tired feet in the ashiyu hot springs at the Hakone Open Air Museum.
Students took the Hakone Ropeway to Owakudani, where they explored the active volcanic zone.
At Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in Kamakura, students learned the Japanese purification ritual of rinsing one's hands before entering a Shinto Shrine.