Reporting back on KIEA’s ‘Journey of Discovery in Ireland’

From Friday May 22nd 2015 until Saturday May 30th, we organised a ‘Journey of Discovery in Ireland’. This project saw the Kanoya City Coordinator for International Relations David Jones bring a group of 14 KIEA members on an eight-night, nine-day long tour of his country of origin, Ireland. During the project they visited David’s hometown the capital city of Dublin, Counties Kerry and Clare, and Killarney town, Ireland’s top tourist destination in 2014-15 (http://www.irishmirror.ie/lifestyle/travel/tripadvisor-top-10-irish-destinations-5393135).

The group members could experience many things that they would never experience on a regular package tour: courtesy calls to the Mayor of Killarney and the Lord Mayor of Dublin, a party with some locals in David’s parents' house, and the whole gamut of Ireland’s public transportation, busses trains trams and taxis. Asides from this we also visited many tourists attractions.

During the trip the participants could experience Ireland’s charms firsthand, and have fun meeting a variety of Irish people. The participants could also act as representatives of Kanoya, and tell Irish people a little about the charms of Kanoya and Kagoshima. It was truly a fun time for all, and below we have uploaded some photos of the tour.

So far, all Kanoya City Coordinators for International Relations (CIR) have organised a trip to their home country like this. From the end of July 2015 we will have a new CIR, so please look forward to the day when you can visit their hometown!
 

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Group photo before departure from Kagoshima Airport
*Photo not taken by David Jones but by a passer-by
We flew with Lufthansa from Tokyo's Haneda Airport, changing planes at Germany's Frankfurt Airport to get to our final destination of Dublin Airport.
   
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Our accommodation in Dublin, the Bewleys Hotel Ballsbridge. Built in a former school building from the 19th Century. The main entrance to our Dublin accommodation, the Bewleys Hotel
   
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The room interiors at the Bewleys Hotel, all twin rooms The view from one of the bedroom windows, showing a part of the neighbouring RDS' show jumping facilities
   
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The buffet breakfast at the Bewleys Hotel David’s family joining us for breakfast at Bewleys Hotel
   
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Our participants enjoying breakfast Bewleys Hotel breakfast
   
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Bewleys Hotel breakfast Waiting at Sandymount train station for the DART
 (Dublin Area Rapid Transit)
   
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Our DART arrives. Saturday May 23rd, we get off at Tara Street Station and head to the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship and Famine Museum.
   
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'The Linesman', a bronze sculpture commemorating the docking industry in the area, which has since moved downstream closer to the sea The Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship and Famine Museum, a replica of the original 1847 tall ship that transported impoverished Irish people to Canada and the USA
   
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Between 1845 and the beginning of the 1850s, there was a potato blight in Ireland, and so left with virtually nothing to eat, many Irish people either died or emigrated. In order to emigrate, many impoverished Irish paid for passage on ships like the Jeanie Johnston. At the time, hygeine conditions on these emigration ships were so awful that sometimes they lost up to 30% of their passengers to disease during the journey. This led to them being dubbed 'coffin ships'. Only the Jeanie Johnston, which had an enlightened Captain and Ship Doctor, never lost a single passenger to disease during its 16 return journeys.
   
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The area around the Jeanie Johnston  
   
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Our guide on the Jeanie Johnston Inside the Jeanie Johnston
   
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Records from the Jeanie Johnston's voyages have been well preserved, and so all the mannequins inside the ship are based on real people. Our guide introduced us to some of their stories.

   
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  Monument to the 1845〜1850 Great Famine in Ireland, which killed or scattered most of the island's population
*Photo not taken by David Jones but by a group member
   
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Lunch at the Powerscourt Townhouse shopping centre in Dublin. The luxurious townhouse was originally built as a town residence for the Viscount Powerscort in the late 18th Century, but was renovated into a shopping centre in the 1960s. The original architecture has been preserved.

 
   
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Walking around the city centre in the afternoon. Shown is Clerys Department Store, the most historic department store in Dublin, which sadly just closed down suddenly on June 12th 2015. Approaching the former Irish Houses of Parliament building. The Irish Parliament that occupied the building was abolished in 1801, so the building is currently occupied by a branch of the 'Bank of Ireland' commercial bank.
   
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The former Irish Houses of Parliament building (left) The front entrance of Trinity College Dublin
 (the University of Dublin)
   
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The Front Square of Trinity College Dublin. The University was founded in 1592, and the buildings in the photo were mostly built in the late 18th Century. Group photo in Trinity College Front Square with David and his brother and sister
*Photo not taken by David Jones but by a tour participant.
   
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Saturday's dinner, eaten while enjoying traditional Irish music and dance  
   
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  Dinner on Saturday, Irish stew
   
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Performance of traditional Irish music  
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Traditional Irish dancing  
   
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Returning to the hotel on the DART  

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