Half-day tour for international students - candy craft workshop and walking around the Ueno area

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In the afternoon of a boiling hot day of July, 15 international students participated in a half-day tour to attend a candy craft workshop and visit a shrine and park in Ueno, a traditional area in the east side of Tokyo. This was the third of the day-trip series organized by the International Centre to give international students an opportunity to experience firsthand Japanese culture and natural beauty.

<Candy craft workshop>

At the workshop, the participating students first listened to a craftsperson explaining how to make candies in various shapes of animals and plants, called "Amezaiku." Then, they tried to make rabbit-shaped Amezaiku. Were they able to make candies as instructed?

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In order to make Amezaiku, a dollop of hot, soft candy is pulled from the pot with a stick, and before it cools and hardens, skilled hands and scissors quickly nip and shape the sweet stuff into various shapes. It is very delicate work.

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They all looked very concentrated and serious.

Finally, they finished creating their own Amezaiku!




<Walking around the Ueno area>

After the workshop, the group walked around Ueno and its vicinity. First, they visited a historical house that used to be a liquor shop. This quaint building has features unique to commercial buildings in the middle Edo and Meiji periods.

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Then, the participants went to Ueno Toshogu, a shrine built and dedicated in 1627 to the memory of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542 - 1616), the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Despite major earthquakes and wars, the shrine structure has remained intact, and has been designated as an important cultural property of Japan due to its representative nature of the early Edo period.

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Finally, the group went to see the statue of Saigo Takamori, one of the most influential samurai who led the Meiji Restoration.