International Students Explore History and Culture of Yokohama

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Date & Time: Sunday, September 10, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Spots: Yokohama Port Museum, The Tower Yokohama Kitanaka observation floor(46F), and Sankeien Garden in Yokohama
Participants: 35 people affiliated with Yokohama National University (NYU) (19 international students from India, 11 Japanese students, and five faculty members)
Attendants: nine KSGG members
Language: English
Report by Masaki

The tour started at the Yokohama Port Museum, that focuses on the theme “Port of Yokohama in history and life”. The students viewed an aerial photo of the Yokohama Port to understand its geographic layout and learned about the history of the port that included pre-opening era, its construction phase, the aftermaths of the Great Kanto Earthquake and the World War II, the transformative high-growth period, and the advent of container carriers and large cruise ships.

At the “Minato Capsule”, a VR theater, the participants watched a brand-new program called “Yokohama Chronicle” (Yokohama Port, bustling through the ages). The program showcased the transformation of Yokohama Port through powerful imagery.

Fortunately, it was the very day when Nippon Maru, a sail training ship, hosted a full-sail exhibit, which occurs almost once a month. After taking group photos in front of the beautiful sailing ship, the participants spent some time taking photos at their own pace.”

The students had lunch at Port Terrace Café of the Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA), where Halal cuisine was also available. After lunch, they visited the Tower Yokohama Kitanaka building and enjoyed the breathtaking view of Yokohama Port from the 46th observation floor.

The final destination was Sankeien Garden, an expansive Japanese garden, featuring a skillful arrangement of historical buildings collected from places like Kyoto and Kamakura within a nature-rich environment. The garden is also well known for its beautiful flowers, including plums, cherry blossoms, azaleas, and autumn leaves. Sankeien is one of Yokohama’s most popular tourist attractions, and visitors from overseas have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Japanese culture while exploring the garden.

At Sankeien, everyone took commemorative photos of the beautiful Rinshunkaku, a former residence of the feudal lord in the Edo Period, which had been recently renovated.

Then the students ascended to Shofukaku, an observation deck in the garden. Once there was a vacation home named Shofukaku there, but now only ruins remain. Tagore, an Indian poet and thinker, had stayed there for a while during his stay in Japan. He is the first Asian laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature. The participants, especially Indian students, listened attentively to the story of the poet.

Finally, the extensive and diverse tour concluded with group photos taken in front of the large pond in the garden.