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Nara Summit Guide uploaded!


The “Nara Summit Guide” for the American participants is completed. Please click the cover page. You can see the general itinerary, climate in Nara, Japanese customs, homestay tips, etc.

Registration closed!

Registration to participate in the Nara Grassroots Summit was closed on 5/5. Thank you for your interest.

Local Session choices not guaranteed

Please note that your 3 preferred Local Session choices are not guaranteed.

Students from Georgia participate in the Nara Summit supported by TOMODACHI Initiative


Fifteen high school students and three chaperones from Macon-Bibb County, Georgia, will participate in this year’s Grassroots Summit in Nara with the grant from TOMODACHI Initiative.
They will be hosted by Unebi High School in Nara during the Summit, and then join the sister city program with Kurobe City in Toyama after the Summit.

“Deer gathering” of 6/29 replaced by “Watching Baby Deer”

The morning plan of “deer gathering” of 6/29 will be replaced by “watching baby deer” at Roku-en (Deer Park).
June is a great time of the year to see fawns (baby deer).
※In the event of rain, this will be cancelled.

No more slots in the “Asuka Village” and “Ikaruga Town” Local Sessions

There are no more slots left in the “7. Asuka village” and “10. Ikaruga Town” Local Sessions.
Please select other sessions.

No more slots in the “Kanazawa, Noto, and Tokyo” Post-Summit Program (OP2)

There are no more slots left in the “Kanazawa, Noto, and Tokyo” Post-Summit Program (OP2).
Please select other program, or consult with the travel agent to make your own itinerary after the Summit.


The 27th Japan America Grassroots Summit 2017 in Nara

See the historical sights and then experience Japanese culture through visiting communities, schools, and homes in Nara as a guest. Many people, including seasoned travelers and school club members, regardless of their age and occupation, participate in this cultural exchange program every year. Homestay is its key element.

In 710, the capital of Japan, Heijyo-kyo, was located in Nara. Temples and shrines were built there under the direction of the imperial family and aristocrats and temple towns developed throughout the area. Today, local communities maintain Nara’s history while pursuing an exciting future. One widely known landmark is the Todai-ji Temple that venerates the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue, known as Daibutsu. The Daibutsu is enshrined in the world’s largest wooden structure, Daibutsu-den (Great Buddha Hall).

Summit participants will visit the historical sights and then visit local communities and spend time with host families. This is unique element of the program. Welcoming the participants to their homes as a friendship, these local hosts take you on excursions around their areas and show you the local daily lives behind the pictures. An opening ceremony held at Kinsho Hall in the Todaiji Temple will celebrate Nara and the friendship between Japan and America. Then, participants will meet their host family and stay at their homes in the local areas. The week will end with a Closing Ceremony at the Noh Theatre of Nara: Kasugano International Forum. At this ceremony, the host families and the participants are joined together with many other Nara locals, including artists, diplomats, civic and business leaders, to reflect on the week and to bid farewell to new friends.

春日大社

奈良リーフレット

Message

北河原長老

As President of Japan America Society of Nara, which promotes social and cultural exchange between the United States and Japan, and also as Abbot Emeritus of Todai-ji Temple, one of the temples which epitomize Nara, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all those who will attend the 27th Japan America Grassroots, which will be held in Nara.

Nara was established as the capital of Japan in the 8th Century. Along with its relationships to other countries, it was the site where the foundations of Japanese society and culture were laid. Its many historical and cultural legacies, including the historic buildings registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites, give us a picture of how things were in those ancient times. I consider it of great significance that mutual understanding and friendship between our countries will be enhanced here, in Nara, the very place in Japan which first opened up to the outside world.

The Opening Ceremony of the Grassroots Summit will be held in the “Kinsho Hall”, at our Todai-ji Temple. I look forward, with great anticipation, to seeing you there.

奈良県知事

As the Governor of Nara Prefecture, I am deeply honored that the 27th Japan-America Grassroots Summit will take place in Nara, and would like to extend a warm welcome to all the participants.

Nara is the birthplace of Japan as a nation, and a vibrant international culture has flourished here, enjoying a rich influence from cultures all along the Silk Road and across East Asia. Over Nara’s 1,300 year history, it has become home to many priceless historic and cultural assets, which continue to be cherished to this day.

In addition to these cultural assets, Nara is also blessed with the beauty of nature, drawing many people—both Japanese and foreign—to visit here.

I believe this Summit will be a wonderful opportunity for each of you to come to Nara, stay with local families and make many unforgettable memories

I look forward to welcoming you to Nara soon.

What is the Japan/America Grassroots Summit?

The Japan-America Grassroots Summit is an annual large-scale meeting of Japanese and American citizens, held alternately in Japan and America. It celebrates the historic friendship between Nakahama Manjiro and Captain William Whitfield.

Whitfield rescued the marooned Manjiro in 1841 and shared his own home with him. Later, Manjiro’s rare command of English and salutary experience in America became pivotal to the Japan/US relationship after Perry’s arrival in 1853.

Each year, Japanese prefectures and American states alternate as hosts for about a week, sharing their homes and the unique features of their communities. More than 100 people usually participate as guests, enjoying sight-seeing, cultural activities, welcome and closing ceremonies, and staying with a host family. The guests and hosts make meaningful memories together in the spirit of Omotenashi - uninhibited hospitality and friendship.

4 Unique Points of Grassroots Summit

1 Homestay. Homestay. Homestay. Homestay (that doesn’t count as four yet). There is no better way to enjoy the full scope of life in a foreign country.

2 A Japanese prefecture or US state organizes the hosting side and involves hundreds of volunteers to make the experience special for their guests.

3 Hosts prepare for guests to have zero command of the native language. Everyone enjoys hand-signs and making it work.

4 Guests of all ages and backgrounds participate each year, from first-timers to seasoned travelers, ages 3 to 93 (really!)

The Grassroots Summit Consists of Three Exchange Events

Opening Ceremony and Welcome Reception

Welcome speeches, local entertainment, and local cuisine are offered at the Opening Ceremony and Welcome Reception. This convivial party is the first opportunity for participants to meet the people of their host region, including volunteers, artists, and dignitaries. During the day of the Ceremony, local sight-seeing tours are available.

Local Sessions (Homestay Program)

Participants leave in the morning for their homestay town and stay with their host family for four days and three nights. Guests pre-select a “local session” of interest to them based on previews they receive in a brochure. During the homestay days, the local town leaders and host families work together to share the best that their community has to offer. This person-to-person exchange and shared enthusiasm for local and cultural experiences is the essence of the Japan/America Grassroots Summit.

Closing Ceremony and Farewell Program

After the Local Sessions, everyone gathers together for a Closing Ceremony and Farewell Program to reflect on and celebrate their experiences. These are attended not only by the participants but also by host families, volunteers and others who have connected during the Summit. This three-part exchange program consistently gives hundreds of Japanese and American citizens a chance to enjoy all that is best from their homes in a way that they say they never forget.

Past Summit Videos

2015 The 25th Summit in Oita (7/7~7/13, 2015)

2013 The 23rd Summit in Shimane (7/1~7/8, 2013)

2011 The 21st Summit in Kochi (6/27~7/4, 2011)

2009 The 19th Summit in Miyagi (7/27~8/3, 2009)

Schedule

June 26(Mon.) Depart America
June 27(Tue.) Arrive at Narita or Haneda airport
Fly to Itami airport from Narita or Haneda
Move to Nara Royal Hotel by bus
[ Stay at Nara Royal Hotel ]
June 28(Wed.) Optional Local Tour (4 selections)
Opening Ceremony at Todai-ji Temple
Opening Reception at Nara Royal Hotel
[ Stay at Nara Royal Hotel ]
June 29(Thu.) Watch“Deer Gathering”at Nara Park
→ “Watching Baby Deer” at Deer Park
Move to Local Session area
[ Home-stay ]
June 30(Fri.) Local Session
[ Home-stay ]
July 1(Sat.) Local Session or spend whole day with host family
[ Home-stay ]
July 2(Sun.) Depart local area for Nara City
Closing Ceremony at Noh Theatre of “I・RA・KA”
Farewell Reception at Japanese Garden of “I・RA・KA”
[ Stay at Hotel Nikko Nara ]
July 3(Mon.) Leave Nara for Itami airport by bus
Fly to Narita or Haneda airport
Fly back to America from Narita or Haneda
OR
Extend stay in Japan, joining one of the Post Summit Optional Programs or on your own plan

* There may be changes in the schedule and program due to unforeseen circumstances.

Opening

Opening Ceremony & Welcome Reception – June 28 (Wednesday)

We start the week in the halls of history! The Opening Ceremony will be held in “Kinsho Hall” of the Todai-ji temple, which was founded in 728. Todai-ji is a National Treasure of Japan and is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara. Before the ceremony, see the world’s largest wooden Buddha, called Daibutsu, at this temple. After the ceremony, the Welcome Reception will be held in the Ballroom of the Nara Royal Hotel, with Nara dignitaries and descendants of John Manjiro, Captain Whitfield, Commodore Perry.

Daibutsu (Great Buddha)

Kinsho Hall

Closing

Closing Ceremony & Farewell Reception – July 2 (Sunday)

After the local session, a Closing Ceremony and Farewell Reception will be held to give everybody the opportunity to say goodbye to those with whom they have made so many memories. It will be held in the “Noh Theatre” of Nara Kasugano International Forum, called “I-Ra-Ka”, which is surrounded by Nara Park, Todai-ji, and Kasugataisha shrine. It also has a well-known and beautiful Japanese garden where the last event, the Farewell Reception, is planned. As you enjoy the delicious meal, you can chat with host families, volunteers and other participants, about the week you have had, and the future you share.

Noh Theatre

Reception in Japanese Garden

Hotel Information

Nara Royal Hotel
Stay on June 27 & 28

Nara Royal Hotel has 3 restaurants and one tea lounge. Its banquet rooms are perfect facility for the Opening Reception in the evening of 6/28. It also has hot spring which can heal the travelers’ fatigue.

Address: 254-1 Hokkeji-cho,Nara 630-8001
Tel: +81-742-34-1131 Fax: +81-742-34-3231

URL: http://www.nara-royal.co.jp/english/

Hotel Nikko Nara
Stay on July 2

Hotel Nikko Nara, a chain hotel of Nikko Hotels International, is a world network hotel. This luxury hotel offers great deals on comfortable accommodations for leisure and business travelers, and is directly connected to JR Nara Station.

Address: 8-1 Sanjo-hommachi Nara-shi Nara 630-8122 Japan
Tel: +81-742-35-8831 Fax: +81-742-35-6868

E-mail: info@nikkonara.jp

URL: https://www.okura-nikko.com/japan/nara/hotel-nikko-nara/