2016 Schedule

It’s the 2nd year which a group of excellent students from the Department of Asian Studies The Hebrew University of Jerusalem,  are elected to a special academic seminar in Japan. Under the instruction of Dr. Nissim Otmazgin and Dr. Rhee Joo Yeon this Year we focus on Korea – Japan relations.

The seminar purpose is to provide those students with deep knowledge about both countries’ history and culture, while visiting in important historical and cultural sites, meeting with students from different universities, and locals. Graduate students who study in Korea and Japan are coordinating the academic tour while sharing their experiences.

Day 1 4/9 Sun. Seoul: Metropolitan at night

Our seminar will start in the Myeongdong and Jong-Ro areas of Seoul, Korea’s bustling capital. We will explore the night scenes of Seoul first modernized neighbourhood. Taking in the sights of Seungraemun, the southern gate of old Seoul, the serene atmosphere of the Cheongyechon stream and the nightlife hustle of Cheolmeunui-Gil in the central Jong-ro district.

Day 2 5/9 Mon. Seoul  : Old and New Palaces
Yonsei University, Hongdae Area,Kyeongbok Palace, Meeting Students

Our second day begins at Yonsei University, one of Korea’s oldest and most prestigious universities. We will explore the recently renovated main campus and encounter the humble origins of this monument to Korea’s passion for education. We will head to the hip Hongdae Area were the artists of Hongik university, famous for its arts programs have contributed to the mushrooming of trendy shops, cafes, and the epitome of youthful Korean culture. For a change of pace, we will continue to the heart of Choson Korea-  Kyeongbok Palace, were the kings of Choson established their seat of power. Our day will come to a close with a beloved Korean tradition, an evening gathering of students (our counterparts from Yonsei University) for dinner- because in Korea nobody eats alone, and conversation.

Day 3 6/9 Tue. Seoul: Dark Past and Modern Views
Seodaemun Prison,The Northeast Asia History Foundation,Namsan tower

Our day begins in uncovering the dark past of Korea’s colonial period at Seodaemun Prison where we will learn of the hardships many Koreans had to endure under Japan’s colonial rule. Not dismayed by that dark chapter of international relations, we will enjoy a much more amicable lunch with a representative of a foreign power in Seoul- the Israeli embassador. Turning back to the past, a visit to The Northeast Asia History Foundation will contribute to our understanding of Korean history, from a Korean perspective through a lecture and exhibition. Our day will come to a close at the top of South Mountain- Namsan tower, where the view of modern Seoul will demonstrate its rise from it provincial past to a modern metropolis.

Day 4 7/9 Wed. Kyeongju to Pohang: Hello, Brothers to the North
DMZ, Imjingak, Jeonmangdae,Peace park

Heading towards South Korea’s northern border, we will visit the DMZ, Imjingak, Jeonmangdae, and Peace park in order to learn about the ongoing conflict with North Korea. Officially a border between two countries in a state of war, this eerie location will raise many questions on nationhood, brotherhood and human suffering, as well as hope.

Day 5 8/9 Thu. Ulleungdo: Serene Beauty- Sparkling Korea
Day tour in Ulleungdo

The natural beauty of Ulleung island will greet us on our 5th day as we explore this gem in the eastern sea. A volcanic island, its natural beauty and eco-system has made it a favorite locations for Koreans.

Day 6 9/9 Fri. Kyeongju: Whose Island is it anyway?
Day tour in Dokodo/ Takeshima

In our day tour of Dokdo/ Takeshima we will delve into the complexity of East Asian international relations and attempt to understand why have these small rocks in the sea have become such a contested issues between Japan and Korea. Returning to the mainland, we will encounter the industrial city of Pohang, home to one of Korea’s best engineering schools and a monument to Korea’s government investment in the South-Eastern Gyongnsan province.    

Day 7 10/9 Sat. Gyeongju: The Golden City and Korea’s Port
Gyeongju, Pusan

Our journey takes us to Gyeongju, or the golden city of Geumseong- the ancient capital of Korea’s first unified kingdom- the Silla dynasty. We will take in the majesty of the ancient tombs of the kings as well as the beauty of the architectonic marvels these ancient Koreans left behind. Heading towards our final destination on the Korean peninsula, we will arrive in the port city of Busan. The second largest metropolitan in Korea, its pace and accent is different than that of Seoul and the local people are proud of this. We will enjoy a view of the beach and the unique bustle of this hot tempered and friendly southern city before saying farewell to Korea.

Day 8 11/9 Sun.

Busan to Tsushima: Window to Japan

kunimoto shrine, Amateru Shrine, Ten thousand Seki Bridge, Inasayama observation point

We will board an early ferry from Busan port to north Tsushima Hitakatsu port.  Tsushima is the window to Japan, and many focal points in the Japanese history was related to this island. We will start our tour in Japan with a visit to the ancient Shinto shrines Kunimoto shrine and   Amateru Shrine. We will explore the focal points in Japan international relations such as Ten thousand Seki Bridge, the turning point in Russo-Japan war. From Tsushima we will departure to  Nagasaki straight to Inasayama observation point, an overlook over Nagasaki.

Day 9 12/9 Mon.

Nagasaki: Industry and International trade

Gunkanjima, Deshima, Chinatown

Our first day in Nagasaki will start with a visit in Gunkanjima, the battleship Island, an old industrial island, which was the most populated island in the world. We will continue to Deshima, the island of direct trade and exchange between Japan and the outside world from the 15th century. After coming back to Nagasaki city, we will explore the Chinatown area, which is one of the three largest Chinatown in Japan and used to be a trade market with china during the Edo period.  

Day 10 13/9 Tue. Nagasaki: War and Peace
Atomic bomb museum, Peace Park

Nagasaki was devastated by the second atomic bomb to be dropped on Japan, three days after the first bomb attack on Hiroshima. We will learn about war and peace through the memorial sites such as Atomic bomb museum and Peace Park . Afternoon we will travel from west to south to Kagoshima.

Day 11 14/9 Wed.

Kagoshima: The rural life of the Han

Reimeikan Museum, Senganen Garden, Shiroyama Observation point

We will start our day at the Reimeikan Museum, which stand on the former Kagoshima castle. While learning about the history of Kagoshima we will walk around Senganen Garden, exploring the rural area of the Satsuma clan. Finally we will observe the city from the Shiroyama.

Day 12 15/9 Thu.

Kagoshima: The anatomy of the Han

Satsuma, Chiran Tokko Museum, Chiran Samurai District, Satsuma Denshokan Museum

Today we will explore the southwest side of Kagushima – Satauma. We will arrive to the island by ferry and visit the Chiran Tokko Museum, learning about the Japanese suicide attacks during WW2. We will get a glimpse of the Samurai duties while walking around the  Chiran Samurai District. Before jumping into special health bath, we will deepen our knowledge about the Satsuma clan while visiting the  Satsuma Denshokan Museum.

The same evening we will leave to Fukuoka.

Day 13 16/9 Fri. Fukuoka: The students and the big city
Canal city, Kushida Shrine (Gion), Tochou Temple, Shifuku-Ji, Machiya, Fukuoka nightlife

We will open our academic tour in Fukuoka, walking around the canals, we will visit the Kushida Shrine, the Gion district of the area. We will continue to the main Buddhist temples and first Zen temples, Tochou Temple and Shifuku-Ji. While walking around the Machiya we will experience the life of the geisha, and the traditional entertainment district of Fukuoka. We will finish our visit in Fukuoka while enjoying the modern nightlife.

Day 14 17/9 Sat. Shimonoseki: The gateway to Japan
Akama Shrine, Kozanji, Chofu Mori residence, Togyoan

Early in the morning we will leave Kyushu towards Honshu, going through the gateway to Japan, we will visit the south tip of Honshu – Shimonoseki. We will explore the international trade relations of Japan while visiting in the Chofu Mori residence from the Meiji era, the Akama Shrine and  Kozanji the Oldest zen temple in Japan with strong Chinese influences. From Shimonoseki we will arrive to Hagi, the origins of modern Japan.   

Day 15 18/9 Sun. Hagi: The origins of modern Japan

Hagi Museum, Houses of Ito Hirobumi and Katsura, Strolling the old Samurai quarter, Ruins of Hagi Castle, Graveyards of the Mori Family

We will start the day with a short seminar at the Hagi Municipal Museum. Mayor Nomura san will tell us about Hagi – Then and Today and Nissim sensei will explain about the Chōshu HanWe will stroll around the old city to the houses of Ito Hirobumi and Katsura, the Yoshida Shōin Temple, the Graveyards of the Mori Family, and the Tokoji TempleEvening time, we will gather with Hagi’s locals for an Israeli dinner at a Sake brewery.


Day 16 19/9 Mon. Osaka: From Memory to realism
Shoin Temple, Tokoji Temple, Holocaust museum, South Osaka City

We will start the day with more sightseeing with Kurokawa-san, a local guide. We will explore the historical heritage of the iron revolution visiting the Shoin Temple and Tokoji Temple. We will have a closing ceremony, and leave Hagi to Fukuyama.

At Fukuyama we will visit the Holocaust Education Center and convene to a special meeting with members of the Mizra Foundation.

Afternoon we will arrive to Osaka, our final destination. We will summarize our seminar at on of the Korean-Japanese neighborhoods in south Osaka city.