Field Trip to Kameoka - Vikingess Voyages

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Field Trip to Kameoka

Hi everyone! Here in Kyoto life at Ritsumeikan is going on as usual. I must admit that I did intend to write about my class-trip to Kameoka earlier, but these days I'm just too busy to write anything unrelated to school-work.. Unfortunately.. Anyhow, better late then never, right?..

My Regional Sustainable Development class
I guess I'll start off with a little bit of background information. One of the classes I take this semester is about Regional Sustainable Development. Quite luckily our teacher decided to take us on a class trip to Kameoka in the end of October. Here he wanted to let us take a look at how they try to develop the community in order for them to be able to withstand a depopulation of the area through various measures. As you might already know, Japan is facing a problem when it comes to the aging society combined with a declining birthrate, which makes it even more important for small towns and cities to keep the area attractive if they want to make sure that it will remain sustainable also in the future.

At a local farmers market our teacher told us about strategies for growing better crops in Kameoka
And, as you might have guessed, Kameoka (亀岡市) is also such a city. It is situated just outside Kyoto City, and it has a population at around 93,000 people. The area has actually been used for farming for centuries, and is known for good quality. However, even though Kameoka seems to have a good reputation when it comes to their agricultural products there are still reasons to worry about the sustainability of the city in the future.
Our sensei has been cooperating with the local farmers on different project in this area for more than 20 years, and is really engaged in the project of developing different ways to keep the city alive.
In the future they are planning to develop the area even more, and with the combination of eco-friendly activities they are going to make it into a tourist attraction. 

In Kameoka they do not want to rely on chemicals to make their vegetables grow
This has resulted in their so-called COOL vegetables-project, where they aim at growing vegetables in an environmental friendly way- 
As we got to see, the projects here focuses a lot on the concept of eco-friendlyness, and this is combined with original ideas to make the project economically sustainable as well. For instance I can mention their use of Bio Char, which both is easy and cheap, and at the same time can be used to facilitate a reduction of green house gases.

Our teacher in front of a poster with information about one of their projects
A windmill and a small shrine
The timing of our field trip couldn’t have been better, because on the 23-25th of October they were having a local festival here as well. Lanterns nicely decorated the streets, and there were also a lot of stands where they sold food like takoyaki and other typical festival food. Not to mention the huge mikoshi (portable shrines)!
A lantern in Kameoka City
The street was so cozy!

There were also some samurai armors for display in some of the small houses
Samurai armor closeup!
One of the huge Mikoshi
The front of the mikoshi
The main street of the festival, where they were selling many types of typical Japanese food.
After a trip through the festival area all of the class ended up in a nice Japanese restaurant where our teacher had done a reservation for us. We had a great dinner (or perhaps we could call it a nabe (鍋) / hot-pot party) before heading back to Ritsumeikan University in the evening.

We ended the day with a great dinner!
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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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  1. Kjenner jeg savner Japan når jeg ser bildene Anette. Håper alt er bra der! Hils alle kjente. Hilsen Alex (^.^)y

  2. Du er savnet her i Japan også, Alex;)! Hilser tilbake fra Hiroki, Yuji, Asami++. Har vært en del som har spurt etter deg, så jeg har sagt at du er å finne på google+! x)


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A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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