Swiss Universities‘ Alumni and Freinds Meet in Kyoto
The 3rd Swiss Universities’ Alumni and Friends Japan event in the Kansai region took place on December 1 in Kyoto. 12 participants showed up to admire the famous Kōyō (紅葉), the changing in color of the leaves in autumn and to spend a refreshing time together in an Isakaya (居酒屋), a traditional Japanese style restaurant.
First, Nanzen Temple (南禅寺, Nanzenji) in the east of Kyoto was visited. Nanzenji Temple is located at the base of Kyoto’s forested Higashiyama mountains and it is one of the most important Zen temples in all of Japan. There is also a large brick aqueduct that passes through the temple grounds that had been built during the Meiji Period (1868-1912). The aqueduct is part of a canal system that was constructed to carry water and goods between Kyoto and Lake Biwa in neighbouring Shiga Prefecture.
Next, Heian Shrine (平安神宮, Heian Jingū) about twenty minutes by foot from the Nanzenji was targeted. Compared to Nanzenji which dates back to the mid 13th century, Heian Jingū has a relatively short history just over a hundred years starting in 1895. The shrine was built on the occasion of the 1100th anniversary of the capital’s foundation in Kyoto and is dedicated to the spirits of the first and last emperors who reigned from the city, Emperor Kammu (737-806) and Emperor Komei (1831-1867). Heian is the former name of Kyoto.
The event was a great success, tightening the bonds between the people with connections and experiences in both the Japanese and the Swiss Universities. For those who joined for the first time it was a wonderful opportunity to meet and exchange with people from all kinds of backgrounds: students, researchers, company employees. The event was organized by Mr. Yuta Daigi, PhD student at Kyoto University and former University of Zurich exchange student, as well as by Mr. Aurelio Cortese, PhD student at Nara Institute of Science and Technology who graduated from EPF Lausanne.