Rotary International District 5580 - to - Rotary International District 2760


Share our Excitement & Join our Journey

Welcome to the travel blog of Rotary District 5580's Group Study Exchange (GSE) Team which will embark on an exciting five week goodwill / vocational exchange to Nagoya, Japan in November, 2009.

Here, our hybrid American-Canadian team of enthusiastic and adventurous young professionals, along with our lovely, talented and fearless team leader, will share cultural experiences and engage in unique vocational learning opportunities.

If you have come to this site, you are likely: a Rotarian, family member, friend or colleague of one of the team members, or... are just plain blog-curious. Either way, we encourage you to check our site often to learn about us, follow our progress as a team and of course, keep in touch as we explore Japan.

We thank Rotary in advance for the adventure of a life time and to all readers, we invite you to share our excitement and join our journey.


GSE Team Japan 2009








GSEチーム ジャパン 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cultural Day in Japan

Tuesday was a Cultural Day in Japan. Businesses were closed so we spent the day sight-seeing and eating! We ate a great breakfast at the hotel, took a little trip with a few Rotarians and Charlie to his French restaurant, Le Paumier, for lunch. We had an amazing 5 course meal… fried rice ball (Cha-han), seafood salad, fresh bread, noodles and chicken and then an amazing dessert. It was wonderful and we were all “stuffed”. They are definitely making sure we don’t go hungry while in Japan. After the wonderful meal, we took off to the Toyota Museum. We learned a lot about eco-friendly/hybrid cars.

We took off to Kogetsu In in the Le Paumier bus and headed towards the “hills”. These hills are gorgeous with Bamboo growing on the sides of them. To much to our surprise, Kogetsu In is an ancient temple. After washing our hands in the sacred water, we first visited the Shinto Shrine. We were wished for our safety and health during our trip to Japan. Then we went back to a Tyabudai (low) table and drank sacred water (not the water we washed our hands in) out of tiny bowls.
Just when we thought we were done, we got back in the bus and they took us higher into the hills to the actual ancient Buddist temple. Temples were built to be hidden, so there are really no good pictures of the outside. Inside we sat in a half Lotis postition and meditated for 3 minutes. Typically they meditate for 40, but frankly we just didn’t have the time nor would our legs/hips hold out for that long. After meditating we toured the temple. It was a very interesting and culturally entertaining visit.
The stories of our lives so far has been rush, rush, rush. We arrived at our next destination with not one minute to spare. The program and meal were amazing. Not one of us was hungry, but another 5 course meal was on our horizon. It included a nice salad with potatoes, fruit, salmon, fish, “meatloaf”, rice, and dessert.


  1. Takanori Iwase (Japan GSE Member Tacky)November 4, 2009 at 8:16 AM

    Oh, you(all of members) are enjoying japanese traditional culture. I'm happy because you are enjoy japan trip.
    Maybe almost japanese doesnt know Japanese traditon. To tell the truth, I was very surprised because Japan has a lot of tradition.
    Maybe I have to study Japan histry.
    I hope many japanese coment this blog. ^^