Study Tour in Okinawa 2018

The MGT study tour in Okinawa (21-26 May 2018) was fruitfully implemented. Among the 47 Prefectures of Japan, Okinawa is unique, characterized partially by its advanced technologies, e.g., the salt production system, and its exclusive history and culture. Through the study tour, the students benefited from knowing the Japanese (especially Okinawan) social culture and observing the Japanese-style operations management, as well as interacting with the tourism management students from the University of the Ryukyus and acquiring the experiences through the homestay in the Japanese families.

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The study tour departed from Hong Kong and arrived in Okinawa

Firm Visits

In this study tour, the students visited two manufactories in Okinawa, namely the Orion Beer Factory and the Nuchimasu Salt Factory. In the Orion Beer Factory, the students had an opportunity to know more about the Japanese-style operations management through the observation on the production processes in the brewery, including malting, milling, mashing, lautering, boiling, fermenting, conditioning, filtering, bottling, and packaging, etc.

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The students visited the brewery and tasted free draft beer

In the Nuchimasu Salt Factory, the students realized how the factory adopts the unique machine system (i.e., Okinawa “snowscape”; note: Okinawa Prefecture is the only region in Japan that does not snow) to produce salt by mist dry method that has received many awards from the Japanese Government. In the Japanese culture, salt is perceived very differently from the rest of the world, which is considered sacred and is an integral part of everyday life. 

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The students tried to understand the salt production processes

Cultural and Ecological Tours

Okinawa is full of cultural and ecological elements and is highly reputable for its beautiful and clean natural environment. To better understand its cultural customs and ecological industries, the students participated in different types of activities, including the visits to the Shuri Castle and a sea grapes farm, etc.

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The students experienced different types of activities that reflect Okinawa’s unique historical, ecological, and environmental aspects

Exchange Activities

In this study tour, our students had a chance to interact with the students from the Faculty of Tourism Sciences and Industrial Management at the University of the Ryukyus (UR). As tourism is considered a leading industry in Okinawa, the faculty aims at nurturing students to be the leaders in the industry. According to the Times Higher Education Japan University Rankings 2018, the UR ranked 99 among the 258 universities in Japan.

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A scene of the campus in the University of the Ryukyus and the location of the Faculty of Tourism Sciences and Industrial Management

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The students from UR and HSMC learned from each other. After then, UR students introduced themselves in Cantonese and HSMC students introduced themselves in Japanese

 

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The UR students led a campus tour. In the meanwhile, improvisational performances were given by the students from both UR (a street dance) and HSMC (a pop song in Japanese)

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Ms Jody Wong, the teacher in charge of this study tour, was presenting a souvenir to Prof So Hatano of the UR. Group photos were taken at the end of the exchange activities

Homestay Experiences

Homestay is a relatively recent custom in Japan, and there have been only a limited number of families available. In this study tour, the students got a chance to live in Okinawan families to learn more about indigenous cultures, customs, and lifestyles.

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The students were divided into four groups and lived with four Okinawan families

Some students learned to play the Sanshin, a traditional Okinawan music instrument, during their homestay

In the closing ceremony of homestay, the students were trying Kachāshī (カチャーシー). It is an Okinawan folk dance, accompanied by the sanshin and finger whistling. The dance is executed with the hands in the air, palm flat for women and clenching fists for men

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