Social Activities

Invitation to Gagaku Exhibition

Date and Time: 17:30-18:00, June 5 (Tue)
Venue: Noh Theatre (in the conference hall)

Gagaku is the music of high culture with an elegant sound so refined that you may feel transported back to the ancient imperial court. There are three forms in which gagaku is performed, which are Kangen (instrumental), Bugaku (dances and music), and Kayo (songs and chanted poetry).








Shikayose

Date and Time: 8:00-8:20 (20 minutes), June 6 (Thu)
Venue: Tobihino field in Nara park
Take a bus from JR or Kintetsu Nara Station and get off at the Kasugataisha-omotesando bus stop.

Many deer gather when they hear the sound of the horn.





Excursion Plan

Date and Time: 12:30-18:00, June 6 (Wed)

We planned one special course, a half-day excursion trip to visit Hase-dera Temple, Muro-ji Temple, magnificent temples located in the Nara-Yamato province with so long history over 1,200 years. The area called the "Center of the Nation," a little bit far from the conference venue, is the hidden tourist attraction and the real birthplace of imperial rule and is rich in historical sites. On the way to the temples, we will stop by Japanese Sake brewery to learn the history and production process of rice-based liquors and to enjoy Sake tasting, since Nara area is also known as the birthplace of Sake. We are sure that the course is the golden opportunity never achieved by usual foreigners, so don't miss it.


1. Hase-dera Temple (The Buddha of Compassion)

Hase is the head temple of a large branch of the Shingon sect and has 3,000 branch temples throughout Japan. The area "Hase" has been a sacred place since ancient times and was described in Japanese classical literatures such as the "Tale of Genji" and the "Myriad Leaves Collection".

Hase Temple is called the "Sacred Temple of flowers" and is also known as the 8th temple of the Kannon Pilgrimage to 33 Sites in Saigoku (Western Japan, Kansai). Pilgrims can enjoy seasonal flowers: cherry blossoms and peonies in spring, Japanese hydrangeas in summer, maples in autumn and winter peonies in winter.

Jüichimen Kanzeon Bosatsu, or the Buddha of Compassion

This gold Eleven-Faced Kannon Bosatsu has a compassionate face and ten faces on top of the head. It is the largest wooden Kannon statue in Japan. People have believed in the Buddha of Compassion who helps those in distress and brings tangible rewards in this life. On this special opening event held only twice a year, you can go inside and gather close to the Buddha. People have prayed for hundreds of years touching the sacred feet.


Hon-do, or Main Hall (National Treasure)

The Main Hall housing the Buddha of Compassion was reconstructed by the 3rd shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu. This magnificent building was designated as a National Treasure in 2004 and has a platform projecting out from the cliff and provides spectacular views.



2. Murou-ji Temple (The Buddha of Enlightenment)

Murō temple started accepting female worshippers a long time ago when most temples prohibited women to enter those precincts. Mt. Kōya was famous for applying the "No Women Allowed" policy before the 20th century while Murō was affectionately called the "Women's Kōya". A number of believers sought the salvation in this temple.

The Murō area is located in thick forests with a beautiful river it is said that sacred dragons dwell in the forests. The main Buddha of worship is the Shaka Nyorai, or the Buddha of Enlightenment who was a founder of Buddhism and attained enlightenment. The Shaka Nyorai has attracted devotion by those praying for supplication.

Kon-do Hall (National Treasure)

The Kon-do Hall houses the Shaka Nyorai, Twelve Heavenly Generals and other statues. The Kon-do hall, built in the middle of the 9th century, is one of the oldest buildings in this temple.


Five-storied Pagoda (National Treasure)

The five-storied pagoda is popular for its elegant appearance. The 16-meter-high pagoda, surrounded by beautiful plants, is the smallest of its kind in Japan.



3. Japanese Sake Brewery

Nara area is also known as the birthplace of Sake. We will visit one of the oldest brewery with a long history of 150 years. You can learn the history and brewing process of rice-based liquors, try tasting several brands of Sake with different taste as well. Please enjoy local culture and dream about the life of the ancient Japanese peoples.






Banquet

Date and Time: 18:30-20:30, June 7 (Thu)
Venue:"Hiten", 3rd floor, Banquet Area, Hotel Nikko Nara
Price: JPY 5,000/one person (Advanced reservations required)
Dress: Smart casual
Dinner: Sitting style

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