A Shikoku Karst tour and exchange event with Yusuhara High School students held on June 18, 2017


 A Shikoku Karst tour & exchange event with students of Yusuhara High School was provided on Sunday, June 18, mainly to students of the Japanese language class on Asakura Campus, as part of the development of “Local Culture Understanding,” an experience-oriented course. This program, aimed at allowing international students to learn about, and experience, local culture, history, etc. and develop deeper understanding of the region, in addition to giving them the opportunity to exchange with local high school students and encouraging friendship and communication between them, was participated in by 26 international students, three Japanese students and four faculty members.

 First on the itinerary was a visit to the Karst Learning Center, where the participants listened to the director of the center as he explained the history of the karst landscape formation, the characteristics of the Shikoku Karst, etc., and then they looked at the exhibits in the center, followed by lunch at Tenguso Lodge, where they all enjoyed local specialty dishes featuring locally produced ingredients.

 After this, the party moved to an observation deck in Tengu Highlands, where they were amazed by the magnificent landscape viewed from the deck, speckled with white limestone rocks, and took lots of pictures of the huge wind turbine blades and pastured cattle. All the participants were mesmerized by the scenic beauty of the Shikoku Karst, making comments such as “I was surprised to learn that Japan has a place like the Alps in Europe,” “Seeing Shikoku Karst made me feel refreshed for the first time in a long time,” and “Standing in the grass, seeing lines of windmills soaring above the clouds, made me feel like I was floating in the sky.”

 After leaving the beautiful Shikoku Karst landscape, they went to Yusuhara High School in Yusuhara Town. When they arrived at the school, they were led to the gymnasium where high school students gave a presentation to introduce the international students to Yusuhara Town. Then, they were divided into groups, in which members introduced themselves to each other and the high school students interviewed the international students based on an “exchange worksheet.” After this, high school students hosted a gesture game, which really added to the excitement and atmosphere of the event. Last on the itinerary was a one-hour tour of Yusuhara Town guided by the high school students, in which the international students were guided around Mishima Shrine, Town Hall, Yusuhara-za Hall, Marche Yusuhara, and other places. Afterward, they gathered in front of the Ishin-no-Mon Gate, and enjoyed further exchanges while having drinks and snacks served by the high school students. Although the international students and high school students only had a total of about two hours to talk, they were reluctant to leave each other and expressed a desire to meet again.

 This was the first exchange event ever planned with local high school students, but it proved to be a worthwhile event as suggested by international students’ comments such as “I really had a great time on the tour with high school students,” “I was able to learn a lot by talking with the students about many different things. The high school students and the town of Yusuhara have left a memorable impression on me,” and “I wish we had been given more time (for exchanges with the high school students).”

 The implementation of this program was supported with subsidies for university function enhancement for FY2017.




Lecture by the director of the Karst Learning Center


Group photo at Shikoku Karst


Exchanges with Yusuhara High School students


Photographed with high school students