Field Trip in Nantan フィールドトリップin南丹

Alice from Kyoto Prefectural International Center here! I would like to speak about 2 events in which I participated in October. First is the Field Trip in Nantan.


Field Trip to Nantan - フィールドトリップin南丹

On the morning of October 20th, together with 33 international students, we arrived in Hiyoshi no Mori, a cultural facility located north of Kyoto, in Nantan city.

Tea ceremony by high school students 高校生による茶道

Tea ceremony by high school students

The program was very intense and the day was loaded with fun in spite of the rain! We started by experiencing Japanese culture in groups. In old thatched houses known as “kayabuki”, we had tea ceremony prepared by local high school students, all clad in beautiful kimonos for the occasion. The tea they prepared was delicious and the setting was very Japanese, with a red umbrella and carpet to recreate the atmosphere of a tea pavilion.

It was then time to reflect on ourselves, so we went on and tried Zen meditation. In another thatched house, monks from a nearby temple had brought everything you need to let go of everyday mundane thoughts and embark on a spiritual journey: cushions for meditation, scrolls and all the tools used in Zen meditation (bell, stick etc). The monks taught us how to bow, sit and breathe properly before engaging in the real meditation: freeing your mind of abstract thoughts, concentrating on your inner self and appeasing your mind. The atmosphere itself was perfect; you could hear the raindrops falling gently from the straw roof as well as the voice of autumn crickets and birds outside.

Zen Meditation 座禅

Zen Meditation

Zen Meditation 座禅

Zen Meditation









Chopstick-making マイ箸作り


It was hard to go back to the real world, but it was worth it – next was a chopstick-making workshop! Local university students taught us how to sharpen the wood to give the right shape and polish it in order to get smooth and very personal chopsticks. It was hard but everybody gave its best and we managed to get very good looking chopsticks!

After that, it was time for lunch and to try “Ayu”, a small but expensive fish, before enjoying a Japanese taiko drum performance! The drum team was very energetic and showed us a powerful performance. They used many types of drums so every song was different. After that, it was time to try hitting the drum in rhythm. Many participants sounded like already-seasoned taiko drummers! Everybody had a lot of fun.

Taiko drum performance 太鼓の演奏

Taiko drum performance

Sweet potato picking いも掘り

Sweet potato picking

It was then time to say goodbye to the wonderful people of Nantan and head towards a nearby field to pick up sweet potatoes for dinner. Local farmers were more than happy to show everybody how to dig properly and fetch the best sweet potatoes. Participants got really enthusiastic about it and many people took so many potatoes with them they could probably cook for their whole dormitory (actually some indented to do a potato party at night).

We had to leave Nantan for Kyoto after that, but we will be back again for more fun memories!

Tea ceremony by high school students 高校生による茶道

Tea ceremony by high school students



The sitting position is not that easy! 座禅の座り方はそんなに簡単ではありません!

The sitting position is not that easy!



Making chopsticks マイ箸作り

Making chopsticks

Taiko drum experience 太鼓の体験

Taiko drum experience




Group picture! 集合写真!

Group picture!


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