The International Conference on Japan & Japan Studies (IICJ)
International Japan Studies Conference in Kobe, Japan
Conference Package F contains the following:
Attend both the ACAS, ACCS and IICJ conferences.
Set in the rolling hills and verdant ancient forest of Nara Prefecture in south-central Honshu, Nara was Japan’s first capital city and is a key part of the country's cultural legacy. Join IAFOR on a tour of the city, which is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a wealth of temples and artwork dating back as far as the eighth century. Highlights include becoming acquainted with the friendly local deer, visiting the temple of Todaiji, which houses an impressive 15-metre bronze Buddha, the largest seated bronze Buddha statue in Japan, and stopping off at the Kasuga Grand Shrine with its hundreds of beautiful bronze lanterns. The tour is led by an experienced guide and includes a buffet lunch, as well as the 90-minute bus ride from Kobe. Guests must be aged 14 or over.
Kasuga Grand Shrine (Kasuga Taisha) is famous for its lanterns, which have been donated by worshipers. Hundreds of bronze lanterns can be found hanging from the buildings, while as many stone lanterns line its approaches.
Todaiji Temple is home to one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha (Daibutsu). The 15 meter-tall, seated Buddha represents Vairocana and is an impressive site to see. Prior to reaching the Buddha statue, delegates will pass through the Nandai-mon Gate, which is being guarded by two large representations of the Nio Guardian Kings. The nearby Nara Park is filled with adorable and friendly deer. Tour guests will have the chance to feed them “deer senbei”, which is a specially made cracker for deers.
Kofukuji Temple is a Buddhist temple that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples. Originally established in year 669, the temple was not only an important center for the Buddhist religion, but also retained influence over the imperial government.
The following information is intended as a guide only. Exact tour details will be provided closer to the conference date. Times are approximate and weather conditions may affect the outdoor elements of the tour.
07:45 – Tour check-in at ANA Crowne Plaza Kobe 4F Lobby
08:00 – Bus Departs for Nara
09:45 – Arrive in Nara
10:15 – Kasuga Temple
11:40 – Bus Departs for Lunch
12:00 – Lunch
13:00 – Bus Departs for Todaiji Temple
13:15 – Todaiji Temple & Nara Park
14:45 – Bus Departs for Kofukuji
15:00 – Kofukuji Temple & Old Nara Town
16:00 – Bus Departs for Kobe
18:00 – Arrive in Kobe
Kyoto, former imperial capital of Japan, is the country’s cultural and historical centre. Located in the Kansai region, Kyoto is a fascinating mix of nature, traditional buildings and modern-day city life, home to hundreds of temples and 17 world heritage sites. Join us as we spend the day touring Kyoto, learning more about this area’s vast history and deep cultural heritage. Guests must be aged 14 or over.
Kiyomizu-dera is one of the most celebrated temples of Japan. It was founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall in the wooded hills east of Kyoto, and derives its name from the fall’s pure waters. The temple was originally associated with the Hosso sect, one of the oldest schools within Japanese Buddhism, but formed its own Kita Hosso sect in 1965. In 1994, the temple was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites. Kiyomizu-dera is best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. The stage affords visitors a nice view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as of the city of Kyoto in the distance. The main hall, which together with the stage was built without the use of nails, houses the temple’s primary object of worship, a small statue of the eleven faced, thousand armed Kannon.
Ryoanji is the site of Japan’s most famous rock garden, which attracts hundreds of visitors every day. Originally an aristocrat’s villa during the Heian Period, the site was converted into a Zen temple in 1450 and belongs to the Myoshinji school of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism, whose head temple stands just a kilometer to the south. The garden consists of a rectangular plot of pebbles surrounded by low earthen walls, with 15 rocks laid out in small groups on patches of moss. An interesting feature of the garden’s design is that from any vantage point at least one of the rocks is always hidden from the viewer.
Kinkakuji is a Zen temple in northern Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Formally known as Rokuonji, the temple was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and according to his will it became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect after his death in 1408. Kinkakuji was the inspiration for the similarly named Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion), built by Yoshimitsu’s grandson, Ashikaga Yoshimasa, on the other side of the city a few decades later.
07:45 – Meet in the lobby of the ANA Crowne Plaza Kobe
08:00 – Bus Departs for Kyoto
09:45 – Arrive at Kiyomizu-dera
10:00 – Walk to Kiyomizu-dera Deva Gate (Main Gate)
10:15 – Kiyomizu-dera
10:45 – Shopping at Matsubara-dori
12:00 – Bus Departs for Lunch
12:30 – Lunch
13:30 – Bus Departs for Ryoanji (Zen Garden)
14:00 – Ryoanji (Zen Garden)
15:00 – Bus Departs for Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion)
15:15 – Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion)
16:15 – Bus Departs for Kobe
17:30 – Arrive in Kobe