Nestled in the Japanese Alps, Nagano is best known for its Buddhist Zenkoji Temple and, most recently, as the site of the Olympic Winter Games. This Thursday, March 19, the University Travel Club will present a narrated film about other little known cities and towns in Japan. The screening, which will begin at 7:30 p.m., will be in Kingsbury Hall on the lower University of Utah campus.
Filmmaker Dwayne E. Merry will take armchair travelers to Tokyo and from there to other charming but unsung cities.The country is buddhas and shrines, Mount Fuji and geishas, stone and pond gardens. The country is steeped in history but is as modern as it gets. Witness Tokyo's high technology and industrialization. The film will take you to Kamakura, where the Great Buddha resides, and along Tokaido Road, famous for its stone buddhas, and to the Ginza district of Tokyo.
In Tokyo, you'll see a Sumo wrestling training camp and join a tournament in progress.
Then you'll board a boat to Hokkaido to see the Ainu wood carvers, traditional dancers and performing bears and the Noboribetsu volcanic area. In Shikoku you'll watch the rice-planting ceremony and school children making origami cranes.
In Nara, you'll see the oldest and largest wooden shrine and in Kyoto you'll join the Gion Festival for floats and a parade. You'll also see the Black Castle in Ujo and the gardens of Kanazawa and Izumo Taisha, where eight million gods reside during the month of October.
You'll visit the main shrine and learn how to make a paper prayer. In Isle you will watch pearl divers on Mikimoto Island and go fishing with Cormorant birds in Gifu.
Merry was born in North Dakota and grew up in Wyoming. He traveled to the Far East with the U.S. Navy and currently lives in Florida.
UTC presentations are open to the public. Purchase tickets by mail or phone. The new and improved Kingsbury Hall is wheelchair accessible and has expanded restrooms and a patron elevator.
Park two blocks south of the hall in Rice Stadium parking lot and take the free shuttle to Kingsbury Hall. For information call 581-7100.