Earlier this month, CIEE students had the opportunity to join a walking tour of central Tokyo. Led by local Japanese guides, groups of four to five students walked from the Sophia University campus to the Imperial Palace, stopping by sights such as the Diet Building, Parliamentary Museum and Garden, and the government office area before passing through Sakuradamon to reach Nijubashi (double bridge) at the Imperial Palace.
Students enjoyed hearing about the history of the campus neighborhood from local residents, and were surprised to learn that Sophia University’s athletic fields occupy the former outer moat of the Imperial Palace.
This semester, tours were offered for three different levels of Japanese language skills. Students with advanced Japanese signed up for a tour that was conducted 80% in Japanese, while students with intermediate and beginning Japanese signed up for tours conducted in 50% and 20% Japanese, respectively. This chance for additional Japanese language practice was very well received by the participants.