It seems fitting that, during a study tour themed after infrastructure, its participants experience many different modes of travel. After flying and driving by bus to Busan, the journey to our next destination, Osaka, holds two new modes of transport for the participants. From port city Busan, we will board a ferry to Fukuoka, Japan. This is no ordinary ferry though. Rather, they're Boeing 929 jetfoils. These are jet turbine-powered hydrofoil boats, similar in hull shape to an aircraft, which basically float above the water and cruise at roughly 80km/h. After this high-speed boat rides, the participants will get on the world's most famous train service; the Shinkansen. These high-speed bullet trains, that have been discussed in-depth in another blog, cruise up to 320km/h and will bring our travel party into Osaka in no time.
In Osaka, multiple company visits will take place. The one we'll highlight today is our visit to the Dutch Consulate-general. Being one of the first activities we undertake when we reach Japan, the visit to the Dutch Consulate-general will serve as a kick-off meeting in Japan. We'll be taught about Japanese culture and how this impacts business in and with Japan, as well as our international relations with the country.
Besides company visits, there is also plenty of room for culture in Osaka. Perhaps one of the most unique cultural activities we'll experience during the study tour takes place just south of Osaka. Forgoing a traditional overnight stay in a hotel or hostel, the study tour will spend an evening, night and a morning in a Buddhist temple. It will offer us the opportunity to experience the simple, austere lifestyle of Buddhist monks, while staying in a beautiful, historic temple. This lifestyle experience includes participation in traditional rituals, meditation and the meals consumed together with the Buddhist monks.
Osaka will prove to be a very interesting destination for the study tour, as it is the participants' first confrontation with the Japanese culture - and we will throw them into the deep immediately.