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Recap of Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan in Summer 2010

Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan in Summer, 2010 was a great success! We stayed all three weeks in Kyoto and took day trips to Tokyo, Nara, Osaka, and Hiroshima. This trip there were three teenagers, all girls, ages sixteen to eighteen in the group.

We went to beautiful temples, interesting artistic shops, lots of great restaurants, a couple summer festivals with fireworks, and some powerful historical museums and memorials.

I’ll let the photos below (and their descriptions) mostly speak for themselves. But there were some great museums we went to that didn’t make it into the photos: the International Manga Museum in Kyoto, the Edo Tokyo Museum, Kyoto Museum for World Peace, Liberty Osaka, and the Studio Ghibli Museum in Tokyo devoted to the beloved anime movies of Hayou Miyazaki’s and the other Studio Ghibli filmmakers.

One place that did make it into the photos but I wanted to make a special note of was our attending Hiroshima Peace Memorial Day on the 65th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb on August 6th, 1945. There were people singing, offering incense, and sending paper peace lanterns off onto the river directly over which the atomic bomb was dropped.

All of this was for remembrance of those who suffered and as a prayer for peace, especially international nuclear disarmament. It was a terrible thing to remember but beautiful to see what people can do with tragedy.

We had some powerful experiences, learned a lot, and had a lot of fun! I hope these photos offer a good glimpse into it all:

Golden Pavilion Temple Kyoto Japan

At the start of the trip: all of us in front of Kinkakuji, the Golden Temple or Golden Pavilion, one of the most famous temples in Kyoto and all of Japan.

Isuien Garden in Nara, Japan

View from the Isuien Garden with the gate to the Todaiji Temple in the background in Nara, Japan.

The Daibutsuden, "Great Buddha" housed in the Todaiji Temple in Nara, Japan. One of the largest statues of the Buddha in the world, inside what may be the largest wooden structure in the world.

The Daibutsuden, "Great Buddha" housed in the Todaiji Temple in Nara, Japan. One of the largest statues of the Buddha in the world, inside what may be the largest wooden structure in the world.

Nadia offering incense in front of the Great Buddha statue, the "Daibutsuden", in the Todaiji Temple in Nara, Japan. This is a common practice at Buddhist temples in Japan.

Nadia offering incense in front of the Great Buddha statue, the "Daibutsuden", in the Todaiji Temple in Nara, Japan. This is a common practice at Buddhist temples in Japan.

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto, Japan

Lauren underneath one of the many gates or "torii" at the Fushimi Inari Taishi Shinto shrine in Kyoto, Japan. This is the main shrine to the "inari" god or "kami": a fox god devoted to rice, business, and wealth. Each gate is donated by a different business or group of businesses.

Standing in front of the famous huge Shinto torii gate of the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island in Hiroshima Bay, Japan. It's one of the most famous views in Japan.

Standing in front of the famous huge Shinto torii gate of the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island in Hiroshima Bay, Japan. It's one of the most famous views in Japan.

The group in front of a Jizo statue (protector of children and travelers in Japanese Buddhism) with Hattori-san, a Buddhist monk, at his temple, Jikei-ji, in Mikuni, Osaka, where I used to live.

The group in front of a Jizo statue (protector of children and travelers in Japanese Buddhism) with Hattori-san, a Buddhist monk, at his temple, Jikeiji (www.jikeiji.com), in Mikuni, Osaka, where I used to live.

Tenjin Matsuri summer festival float, Osaka 2010

Men carrying a float during the Tenjin Matsuri summer festival in Osaka, Japan on July 24th, 2010.

Women dancing during the Tenjin Matsuri summer festival in Osaka, Japan, July 24th, 2010.

Women dancing with fans during the Tenjin Matsuri summer festival in Osaka, Japan, July 24th, 2010.

Yodogawa Fireworks summer festival over the Yodogawa River in Osaka, Japan on August 7, 2010.

Yodogawa Fireworks summer festival over the Yodogawa River in Osaka, Japan on August 7, 2010.

Hiroshima Memorial of floating lanterns to remember the dropping of the first atomic bomb on human beings and to pray for nuclear disarmament and peace around the world. The A-Bomb Dome, one of the few buildings still standing after the bomb was dropped, is seen on the right in the background. Taken August 6th, 2010 on the 65th Anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial of floating lanterns in remembrance and prayer for peace. The A-Bomb Dome, one of the few buildings still standing after the bomb was dropped, is seen on the right in the background. Taken August 6th, 2010 on the 65th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb.

The girls posing for the photo in various Japanese ways in front of Takeshita Dori (street), in Harajuku, Tokyo, one of the fashion capitals of the world.

Posing in various Japanese ways in front of Takeshita Dori Street, in Harajuku, Tokyo, one of the fashion capitals of the world.

Mary posing with a Harajuku girl in Harajuku, Tokyo. Later on when Mary added some bows and other accessories she was the one people were asking to pose with!

Mary posing with a Harajuku girl in on Takeshita Dori in Harajuku, Tokyo. Later on when Mary added some bows and other accessories she was the one people were asking to pose with!

Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan.

Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan.

Nadia (above) and Mary (below) show off the nails they got down in downtown Kawaramachi, Kyoto.

Nadia (above) and Mary (below) show off the nails they got done in downtown Kawaramachi, Kyoto.

Various bags and purses made from beautiful fabric from a shop in Kyoto called the Chiri-Men Craft Museum.

Various bags and purses made from typical beautiful fabric of Kyoto from a shop called the Chiri-Men Craft Museum.

An excellent example of Japanese English, aka "Engrish" or "Japanenglish" found on a bag sold at a convenience store in Osaka, Japan: The day when I was troubled all day: My pretty puppy, the place is not your rooms. Please, please come out! Are you no use with the soft cushion of this place?"

An excellent example of Japanese English, aka "Engrish" or "Japanenglish" found on a bag sold at a convenience store in Osaka, Japan: "The day when I was troubled all day: My pretty puppy, the place is not your rooms. Please, please come out! Are you no use with the soft cushion of this place?"

Nadia feeding cabbage to a deer in Nara, Japan. The tame deer roam freely and are considered sacred by the Japanese people.

Nadia feeding cabbage to a deer in Nara, Japan. The tame deer roam freely and are considered sacred by the Japanese people.

Mary petting a tame deer on Miyajima Island in Hiroshima Bay.

Mary petting a tame deer on Miyajima Island in Hiroshima Bay.

Lauren feeds a monkey on a mountain in Arashiyama, in the northwest of Kyoto, Japan. And don't feel bad: the monkeys were free; it was us humans who had to get into a cage to feed them!

Lauren feeds a monkey on a mountain in Arashiyama, in the northwest of Kyoto, Japan. And don't feel bad: the monkeys were free. It was us humans who had to get into a large cage to feed them!

The Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan in Summer 2010 group at Akihabara, "Electric Town" in Tokyo, Japan.

The Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan in Summer 2010 group at Akihabara, "Electric Town" in Tokyo, Japan.

Setting sun on one of our last evenings in Japan on a train from Osaka to Kyoto.

Setting sun on one of our last evenings in Japan on a train from Osaka to Kyoto.

3 Responses to “Recap of Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan in Summer 2010”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Den RSS, Eli Gerzon. Eli Gerzon said: Check-out my blog post about this summer's Worldschool Travel Tour to Japan! http://fb.me/GuSn0JEZ […]

  2. Chris says:

    I really like your photos from Japan, as it’s a country that I’ve always wanted to visit.

  3. Mary Barbuto says:

    Love seeing these photos on the blog, Eli! this trip literally changed Mary’s goals, as she now wants to attend an American University in Japan! You give such a unique and varied perspective on your trips. It was a great experience not only for my daughter, who attended the tour, but for me to see it and live it vicariously through her! She misses Japan every day! Good luck with your next big tour 🙂

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