Nara Tour - Cradle of Japanese Culture
The Giant Buddha
We meet near Kyoto Station. The tour ends in Nara. You can return to Kyoto after the tour (the guide usually returns after the tour) or stay and get lunch and explore Nara on your own.
Karin has an M.A. from San Diego State University in Japanese Art History and is a Ph.D candidate at the University of Kansas, focusing on Edo-period paintings and prints, woodblock printed books, and 17th-century painting. She has lived in Kyoto since 1993 and has held lectureships at a number of universities, including the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies, where she worked with Columbia University’s program. She is a member of Kyoto Asian Studies Group as well as a Kyoto Townhouse Association, which promotes this classic but unfortunately rapidly disappearing form of Kyoto architecture. When not lecturing, Karin enjoys attending art exhibitions and auctions as well as both rural and urban hiking.
Alejandro is an architect specialized in architectural history and heritage conservation, with work experience in Japan, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Since he started living in Japan in 2010, he has been researching the Japanese philosophy for the conservation of wooden monuments. He completed his PhD at the University of Tokyo in 2017. His main interests are traditional Japanese architecture and design, Japanese history, and urban history. Many little known treasures lay hidden in the centuries old city of Kyoto. He enjoys helping others discover them during their visit to the ancient capital.
Marcin is a scholar and a part-time lecturer at Kyoto University. He specializes in Japanese folklore, History of Kyoto, History of Japanese culture and Japanese religions. The big theme of his research is "How did Japan create the traditional image it is know for?". Marcin is currently in the middle of a very slow and painful process of writing his Ph.D. thesis at Kyoto University, where he also got his Master's degree. His future Ph.D. is focusing on the traditional depictions of Japanese otherworld and usage of these traditional motifs in present-day Japanese culture and Kyoto tourism. Marcin also has a Master's degree in Japanese studies from Warsaw University, Poland. In Poland he published a book "Kaidan - Strange Tales of Edo period" (2011) in which he introduces Japanese ghosts, demons and goblins in 17th- &18th-century Japan. He also co-wrote "The Culture of Heian Imperial Court" (2008) about Japanese culture in the 9th and 10th Centuries. Marcin has a wide knowledge of Japan, starting from its history, folklore and religion, through its politics and post-war society, but also has an interest in its more recent pop culture and media. In his spare time, he enjoys walking through Kyoto’s streets, rediscovering its secrets and searching for delicious local treats. He also enjoys riding his Kawasaki motorcycle, seeking more remote and hidden places. Marcin has lived in Kyoto for 14 years and is working for Context since 2016.
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