SCHEDULE

PRELIMINARY

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8th-12th of July SEOUL

13th-14th of July SOKCHO

Sokcho is known for its beautiful nature, culture and its local cuisine. A nice park to visit is the Seoraksan National Park, which is accessible from Sokcho by bus. The lake lying nearby called the Yeongrangho lake is famous for its beauty as well.

 

Next to all the inland sights, Sokcho also has some hot springs and a very nice beach for a bit of relaxing time. The beach is open all year long, but is especially popular in the summer months. The city only belongs to South-Korea since the alteration of the dividing line at the end of the Korean War. As a result of this a big part of the current tourism stream is also due to the DMZ, the Korean Demilitarized Zone, which can be visited from here.

 

Last but not least there are a lot of eateries, such as the countless restaurants in Foodtown or Deapo harbor, where you can find traditional Korean made pork, chicken and fish made in almost every way you can think of. The weather in July is a little bit milder than in Seoul with the daily mean temperature being only 22.8 degrees Celsius and approximately 300 mm of precipitation in the whole month.

15th-17th of July

DAEGU

Daegu literally translates to ‘large hill’, the city’s name was formerly spelled Taegu and it is officially known as Daegu Metropolitan City. It is the fourth largest city in South Korea. The city lies in the Daegu basin, it’s the central plain of the Yeongnam region. During the period of 1960 – 1980 Daegu was an economic motor of Korea.

 

Daegu is a more traditional and conservative Korean city. The population mostly exists of Koreans and the restaurants mainly serve traditional Korean dishes. It is a real industrial city especially in the field of metals, machinery but most importantly: textiles! To promote the “textile city”, Daegu organizes multiple fashion fairs which are fun to visit.

 

However companies like Samsung originate from this city as well, giving their name to the high-ranking baseball team: the Samsung Lions. The average temperature rises a bit to 24.3 degrees Celsius but the average precipitation lowers to about 244.3 mm per month.

18th-21th of July

BUSAN

Busan, in the past called Pusan, is a somewhat more hipster-like city located between the Japanese sea and a couple of mountains. It is the second largest city of South-Korea and has a huge port ranking fifth busiest seaport in the whole world. It is also here where the Nakdong River ends.

 

Besides all this, there are a lot of educational facilities with among them over ten universities including the renowned PNU, Pusan National University. In the neighborhood of this university are a lot of bars, cafés, theaters and other open cultural performances, making it a very popular spot for students and youth.

 

More to the west of Busan, there is the Geumjeongsan mountain which is a very popular weekend hiking spot for the inhabitants of Busan. Its highest peak raises the hiker about 800 meters, although you can come a long way with the cable car. Besides the Geumjeongsan mountain there is a lot more nature to observe around Busan, such as Taejongdae, a natural park with cliffs going directly into the sea, a lot of temples and religious and historical sites.

 

Sports in general are frequently visited in Busan and practiced by the inhabitants a lot with the Lotte Giants baseball team standing at the top of the ranking in South-Korea. The average temperature (24.1°C) is about the same as in Daegu and Andong, but the average precipitation is a little bit more: 316.9 mm in the month of July.

22th-24th of July FUKUOKA

Konnichiwa! The tour in Japan will start in Fukuoka, which will be reached from Busan either by plane or by boat. At this point the Study Tour is only 1100 km away from its final destination: Tokyo. It is the most populated city on the island of Kyushu.

 

The city as of now, originates from a merging of two cities, Hakata and Fukuoka. Originally Hakata was used as name for the new city. When the name was to be decided in a special meeting, Samurai crashed this meeting and enforced that the name Fukuoka would be used. Hakata is still used, but only to refer to a particular area of the city and to Fukuoka’s train station.

 

Unfortunately we will be just too late to witness one of the city’s annual festivals, namely the Yamakasa. This festival is held in the first two weeks July and is about men running through the city streets while carrying a very heavy float on their shoulders.. It is a little bit warmer and drier than in South-Korea with the daily mean temperature being about 27.2 degrees Celsius and the average precipitation around the 280 mm in the month of July.

25th-26th of July HIROSHIMA

After staying in Fukoaka for a while the tour continues to Hiroshima. Here one of the most gruesome bombing ever took place seizing hundreds of thousands of people. Today the city is completely rebuilt and has returned to its initial population size. There are two World Heritage sites which are the A-Bomb Dome and the Itsukushima Shrine. The former is one of the sole buildings “surviving” the bombing and the latter is very well known for its beautiful architecture and color contrast with the background.

 

Furthermore, Hiroshima is also known for its cuisine, especially the Okonomiyaki, which are best described as small savory pancakes with infinite combinations of ingredients. But when you are in Hiroshima you also have to try the local sake, with over 50 brewers in the area. A lot of these brewers reside in Higashihiroshima, where almost all of the university campuses of Hiroshima are. This includes the Hiroshima University, which was originally established to help restructure the educational system after the bombing. The city has a daily mean temperature of around the 27°C but Hiroshima’s climate is a bit drier than Fukuoka’s, around 260mm precipitation in the month of July.

27th-29th of July KYOTO

Kyoto, known as the 1000-year old capital, has a lot of the best preserved culture sites in Japan. The entire city of Kyoto is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are around 17 locations in Kyoto or Kyoto area that have been registered as World Heritage. However a lot of temples, shrines and other religious or historical attractions are not on this list, even though they are definitely worth visiting!

 

Furthermore, Kyoto also has a lot of museums and festivals. One of the festivals, called the Gion Matsuri, will be held during our time in Kyoto. The festival includes parades and nighttime stalls where you can buy all kinds of local food. But besides the important cultural part of the city, Kyoto contains a couple of very high-ranking universities as well.

 

It is still reasonably hot in the summer with the daily mean temperature being 26.8° Celsius and the average high temperature over 31 degrees Celsius. It keeps getting drier along our trip with the average precipitation being 220 mm in the month of July.

30th-31th of July NAGOYA

Nagoya used to be a castle-city with the Nagoya Castle, also called Meijo, being built around 1600. Unfortunately, part of the castle and other cultural and historical sites in the city have been destroyed during WWII bombings, but are mostly reconstructed. Nowadays the city is more vibrant than ever.

 

Since hosting the World Design Expo in 1989 Nagoya strives to keep the aesthetic appearance of the city high and the infrastructure safe and convenient. This is well noticeable in the building of Oasis 21, a large oval glass structure that is built 14 meters above the ground. Under this glass oval facilities like several stores and a bus terminal are located. The glass oval itself is filled with water giving a really cool visual effect but also helps cooling down the facilities underneath it. To cool yourself down in the hot summer, many beer gardens are opened where you can enjoy local food like fish or BBQ as well.

 

Nagoya has a couple of renowned universities, including the Nagoya University. At this university Bert Meijer will be rewarded with the Nagoya Gold Medal which is Japan’s most prestigious prize in the area of organic chemistry. Furthermore, this university already produced six Nobel Prize laureates in science. The daily mean temperature is 26.4 °C and the average precipitation is around 200 mm in the month of July.

 

1st-4th of Aug

TOKYO

From Nagoya, the Study Tour continues to Tokyo along Mount Fuji. This mountain actually is an active volcano, which last erupted in 1707/1708. The summit lies at 3776.24 meter and is also on the World Heritage list. Many people climb the volcano in the summer months, approximately 300.000 annually. There are a couple of hiking tracks which lead to the summit. Most of them do not require any technical climbing skills, but are very long with over four hours ascending and over three hours descending. In the peak of the climbing season sometimes there even are queues for certain narrow passages. At the summit it is only 5 or 6 °C in July/August.

 

After this the Study Tour arrives at its final destination, the capital of Japan, Tokyo. Well over 13 million residents live in this metropole and a total of 40 million residents in the entire Tokyo Area! Tokyo, meaning literally “east-capital”, has been Japan’s official capital since Emperor Meiji changed it from the original capital city Kyoto in 1868. Tokyo is not only a political and economic center of Japan but you may soundly say of the entire world. From the Fortune Global 500 there are 51 corporations located in Tokyo. The second highest building in the whole world is situated here, namely the Tokyo Skytree, on which you can admire the skyline of Tokyo.

 

It is however a very expensive city, especially for tourists. If you want to study here at one of the highest-ranking universities in the world, you could easily end up paying over 10.000 euro per year of tuition fee only. There are a lot of cultural sights to visit in Tokyo, mainly in the form of museums, but there are, for example, fireworks festivals in the beginning of August as well. Furthermore the Tokyo cuisine is rated amongst the best of the world; Michelin even gave the most stars (by far!) to Tokyo of the whole world. Besides the regular baseball and soccer teams Japan offers, the Japan Sumo Association resides here as well and Tokyo will be hosting its second Olympic Games in 2020. The temperature on an average basis is around the 26 °C and by far the driest city we will visit: 150 mm average precipitation per month August. Sayonara!

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Study Tour 2018 - South Korea and Japan

 

A Discovery in Oriental Chemistry

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