Julia Selch: Doshisha Hiking Circle

For my Community Involvement Project (CIP) this semester, I continued to participate in Doshisha’s Hiking Club. Because Japanese students were on spring break for a few weeks of the semester, we were not able to meet as often as we did in the fall. Nevertheless, on the weeks that everyone was able to assemble in our club room for our Saturday afternoon meetings, we would usually head for the trails of the mountains surrounding Kyoto or go on training runs in Gosho, the imperial palace that sits right by Doshisha’s campus, or by the river near campus.

More than just working out and going on hikes together because we had to, it felt like we all were interested in staying active because we all really wanted to. I noticed this in particular this semester, because many of the club members showed up for our meetings despite being on vacation. Even though many of them had other obligations during their spring break, they still made the effort to come out every Saturday. If I could place why this was so, it’s because they all valued the community we’ve built and all wanted to see as much of Kyoto as possible by foot.

I’ve spent practically every Saturday this year with the hiking club. I have really enjoyed these meetings, because it’s felt like I’ve been part of a team, despite not being Japanese, and despite not speaking perfect Japanese all of the time either.

So, if you’re looking to stay active and to be a part of a great community, check out this club!

3 thoughts on “Julia Selch: Doshisha Hiking Circle

  1. I’m glad you had a good time! I know you did a lot of stairs running/jogs along with the actual hikes. Do you think you became a more skilled climber of the course of the year? Any plans to keep hiking back in the US?

  2. I’m impressed by the dedication of both you and your fellow club members. I bet you’ve gotten a very different view of Kyoto than most who visit. I hope you can keep up this spirit back in the US, even if there aren’t many mountains near Chicago.

  3. Sounds like you had a lot of fun over the past year with the hiking club! Do you feel like your experience in the hiking club was vital to your experience in your Japan?