We did a study tour to Atami on the 25th and 26th of December. On the 25th day, we started from
Ookayama campus around 11.30. We were able to see mount Fuji for a long time, while riding the bus.
First of all, we visited the CREARE workshop. CREARE is a company that produces public art.
CREARE has made a lot of donations to the public benefit. For example, the Hachikô wall at the
Shibuya train station has been donated by this company.
The Hachikô wall was produced in this factory.
We had the oprtunity to contribute in the creation of the newest piece of public art too at the factory too,
by gouging some clay from the insides of the clay bricks. It was a bit of a chilly place to work in,
since the doors and windows were kept open at large. But the artists at the workshop seemed happy.
The public art was created by adding smaller clay bricks such as these together. The bricks are hollowed out.
After the visit, we rode the bus to the ハートピア熱海, a traditional japanese hotel (ryokan).
The accomodation at the ryokan was pleasant. About five men or so share a room;
at the evening futons were prepared to us. I had trouble falling asleep -
I had slept in a futon once earlier, so it was quite a nice feeling.
Some of my friends did have problems falling asleep because of other people snoring or some anxiety.
The traditional japanese room we slept in.
After arriving, we had the opportunity to visit an onsen at the ryokan. This was the thing I
looked forward the most on this trip. The onsen was really great! There was a pool with 40°C and 50°C water, as well a pool outside,
where the temperature of the water was around 50°C. The feeling in the outside pool was just the
same good feeling I had experienced in a nordic hot tub (badtunna). The warm water mixed with
the chilly wind outside made a nice touch to the experience. Being able to watch the beautiful
landscape while bathing was really relaxing.
The view from our room.
After bathing, we enjoyed a decent japanese evening banquet. After this, graduates from Tokyo Tech
discussed what they did after graduation and gave valuable advice on how to look at the studies at
Tokyo Tech. Hearing these presentations, we discussed the benefits and disbenefits of working in Japan
in groups of about 6 international students. Around 22 to 23 o'clock, there was another chance to visit the onsen.
At around 7 o'clock, a morning buffet was prepared for the residents at the ryokan. There were a lot
of western foods, as well as traditional japanese foods. You could visit the onsen again at this time.
The next thing on our schedule was a lecture by the currect mayor of Atami, a graduate from Tokyo Tech.
Atami was presented as a city facing many challenges. The population of Atami is in a rapid decline.
Many elderly people move to Atami in their twilight, while many young people are moving out of the city.
This will cause a large demand for services of elder care in the future. Additionally, the amount of trips
to Atami have been in a monotonic decline since the peak period in the 60's. This decrease has been accredited
to the success of Atami's rival - Hakone. The amount of travels to Hakone are increasing.
After the lecture, we were give a tour around the city. Amongst the places we visited was an old shrine,
with a tree one thousand yeas old. It is said that if you take a walk around the tree, you will gain one
year to your life. After the tour, we visited the Asahi brewery and returned to Ookayama.
Our group in front of the millennial tree.
In the near future, a bullet train track will be available for quick access to Atami. Atami is the city of
hot springs, but there is enough program to in the city to spend a nice afternoon walking about in the city.
A warm recommendation to travellers!