Japan - 2023

UR faculty forge connections in Hokkaido, Tokyo and Kyoto

Following a three-year delay due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, UR’s Faculty International Seminar was able to resume in May 2023 with travel to the cities of Sapporo, Tokyo and Kyoto. Since 1989, and since 2017 with the addition of a colleague from Virginia Commonwealth University, the seminar groups have traveled abroad to strengthen ties with international partners, to forge relationships with faculty colleagues abroad, and to share new perspectives for faculty teaching and research, often in collaboration with other seminar participants.

Past seminar trips to South Africa and Cuba have led to competitive grant awards for faculty participants, return trips for collaborative work and deeper ties that benefit UR students and our campus community. This year’s group was co-led by Dr. Jory Brinkerhoff (Biology) and Dean of International Education Martha Merritt. Reciprocal visits to Richmond are in the works from both Waseda University and Hokkaido Health Sciences University. Highlights of this year’s travel included robust engagement with UR’s partner Waseda University, a dinner with UR alumni and friends in Tokyo, and new connections in Hokkaido.

Seminar Participants


Seminar Itinerary

Day 1: Wednesday, May 10
- Depart Richmond

Day 2: Thursday, May 11
- Arrive in Hokkaido, Japan

Day 3: Friday, May 12
- Meetings at Health Sciences Univ. of Hokkaido, jazz club w/ faculty

Day 4: Saturday, May 13
- Fly to Tokyo, explore the city

Day 5: Sunday, May 14
- Studio Ghibli Museum, TeamLab, evening show at Shinjuku Pit Inn jazz club

Day 6: Monday, May 15
- Day visit to Waseda Univ., faculty meet w/ colleagues, International Education presents faculty donation to support sustainability research at Waseda
- Dinner w/ UR alumni & friends

Day 7: Tuesday, May 16
- Meeting w/ director & staff at Japan’s Fulbright office
-Visit to Kamakura, Japan’s ancient capital

Day 8: Wednesday, May 17
- Bullet train to Kyoto, attend talk & dinner with Dr. Tokunaga “Toku” Yu, former Fulbright scholar, at Kyoto Univ.

Day 9: Thursday, May 18
- Explore Kyoto

Day 10: Friday, May 19
- Return to Richmond