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Japan - Fukuoka

Day 1: 11 June 2017

Fukuoka City
Clio Court Hakata
Hakata Machiya Folk Museum
Hakata Traditional Craft Centre
Kushida Shrine
Shofukuji Temple

Once we arrived at Fukuoka, we dropped off our baggage at the hotel lobby and made our way to the first attraction by train to Hakata Machiya Folk Museum. We observed a professional weaver and saw traditional Japanese architecture that captivated us. Then, we made our way to Hakata traditional Craft Centre where we were shown handcrafted traditional Hakata ceramic dolls.

After that, we made our way to Tochi-ji where we encountered a gigantic buddha statue carved from wood. In Shofukuji, we spotted a beautiful looking bridge that some if us decided to sketch. To get a taste of the Japanese food and culture here, we had our first Japanese dinner in a small ramen stall at AMU in Hakata Station to conclude the day. 
- Nitya

Day 2: 12 June 2017

Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (FAAM)
Kami-kawabata shopping street
Canal City Hakata

Earlier part of the day was well spent at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum where we were engaged in a workshop, followed by walking along streets Kami-kawabata and Canal City Hakata. Upon arrival at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, we were warmly welcomed by Yaloo Ji Yeon Lim, a contemporary media artist. She introduced and enlightened us on augmented reality and stop motion as art medium. We were invited to create our own stop motion movies and experience augmented reality on our mobile phones through applications like Layar and Stop Motion. After the workshop at FAAM, we headed to the streets of Kami-kawabata to create drawings along the canal under the cooling weather. We ended the day at Hakata Canal City, a shopping mall with a mesmerising hourly water fountain display. We were enthralled by Ichiran Ramen, a renowned food chain native to Japan. The style of the restaurant and cuisine was authentically traditional and true to the Japanese culture, truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Day 3: 13 June 2017

Fukuoka Asian Art Museum
Ohori Park
Fukuoka Castle Ruins

In the morning, we had the last session of our workshop at Fukuoka Asian art museum. During the workshop, we worked individually on our stopmotion projects. It was truly a new experience for us as we got to work with digital media for art. We presented our projects to our class as well as visitors of the museum. We felt that it was enriching to be able to present our works in front of people from a foreign country and we would definitely do it again if given an opportunity. After that, we visited Ohori Park where we got a chance to see traditional Japanese architectures. Similarly at the ruins of the Fukuoka Castle, we enjoyed a breathtaking view of the city. The scenery was one that we could never experience in Singapore. 

Day 4: 14 June 2017

Fukuoka Futaba High School

Today, we attended the Twinning Programme with Fukuoka Futaba High School. We begun with an introduction to the staff of the school. We then headed to the calligraphy room to participate in a class with the students. It was an enlightening experience for us as a new art medium, especially because we could interlink our actions with our knowledge of ink artists in our SoVA syllabus. We then proceeded to a traditional Japanese art form - silver sulfur art. We could create our own patterns on a silver card with sulfur solution. Despite the stench, it was truly an eye-opener for us to be able to intertwine art and chemistry. We also had the opportunity of interacting with both the 8th and 11th graders of Futaba High School. Overall, it was an amazingly unforgettable endeavour into Japanese culture. 

Day 5: 15 June 2017

In the morning we took the Shinkansen to Hiroshima city where we took the street car to the Atomic bomb dome. We learnt about the effects of Atomic bomb and its impact on Japan. We were heartbroken by the stories of victims and the sufferings that they had to endure. We then took a ferry to Miyajima where we get to come close to the Itsukushima Shrine in the open sea. We were fascinated by the sheer vibrance of the shrine and mesmerized by the Japanese traditional structures near the shrine. In addition we saw free roaming deers that were tame and we were able to pet them. It was an interesting experience for all of us since in Singapore we barely see free roaming wild animals.

Day 6: 16 June 2017

This morning, we took a bus to Dazaifu. We visited the Kyushu National Museum, showcasing national treasures from Fukuoka dating back to the 6th century. We then toured the Dazaifu Shrine which featured flora and fauna and traditional architecture, a visual feast! There were rows of bakeries selling traditional pastries which some of us had the opportunity to enjoy. We immersed ourselves in Japanese culture, both past and present, at Daziafu - a rare blessing indeed.