Tag Archives: Cultural Event


On January 16th, NAIST hosted its second annual talent exhibition, a captivating showcase of diverse talents from students. The event hosted at the Millennium Hall, started at 16:30 with a warm welcome from CISS Chief Robert King, who doubled as the event’s host. Moreover, the event was not confined to the physical venue, as it was simultaneously broadcast via conference call for a wider audience.

The stage featured an array of talents, ranging from the conventional to the extraordinary, all presented by the university’s own students—both international and local. Performances spanned a spectrum of entertainment fields, including singing, dancing, drumming, martial arts, and even unique talents such as cooking and short film production. The performances were not only open to students but also their children. The diversity of showcased talents made NAIST Stage a distinctive and memorable event.

Stage fright—a common concern for performers—was addressed with thoughtful consideration. To accommodate those more comfortable in familiar settings, NAIST Stage allowed for pre-recorded video submissions in addition to live performances. The AV team, responsible for managing the event’s technical aspects, smoothly incorporated these pre-recorded videos into the live show, controlling lighting and spotlight effects with precision.

The performances weren’t merely displays of skill; they sought to encapsulate the essence of participants’ home countries, presenting their cultures in captivating ways. Audiences witnessed the successful realization of these efforts, as performers achieved their goals with pride and enthusiasm. Beyond cultural representation, some performances aimed at uplifting spirits by sharing the performers’ passions.

Before concluding the event, Mr. King invited two students to the stage for a surprise dedicated to Ms. Fujii Saori, a cherished member of the International Student Affairs Section who was about to go on a temporary transfer to another division. Days prior, Mr. Matsuzaki Takahiro, the event’s chairman, had invited students to pen heartfelt messages for Ms. Fujii. After moving speeches from the students, Mr. Matsuzaki and Mr. King presented Ms. Fujii with scrolls containing the collective sentiments of everyone she had assisted throughout the years. The heartfelt gesture brought Ms. Fujii to tears, expressing the depth of the impact she had made.

Concluding with Ms. Fujii’s response, the event officially ended. The enjoyment and satisfaction shown among participants—both performers and audiences alike—made it clear that NAIST Stage was a resounding success. Certainly,  everyone is eagerly looking forward to next year’s NAIST Stage.

Nagashi Somen Festival Delights NAIST Community with Summer Splash

July 13, 2023 – Nara, Japan

In a fusion of tradition and innovation, the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) hosted a captivating Nagashi Somen festival on July 13, 2023. Organized by the NAIST Center for International Students and Scholars (CISS), this unique event brought together the NAIST community for a day of joyful indulgence and cultural celebration.

Nagashi Somen, a traditional Japanese summer activity, took center stage as participants engaged in the art of catching flowing somen noodles along a bamboo pipe. Against the backdrop of NAIST’s lush campus, a long bamboo flume was set up, resembling a whimsical waterslide. The bamboo was cut from one of the NAIST staff’s garden, Mr. Robert King, and students helped assemble the bamboo slide.

The heart of the festival lay in the flowing water, which serenaded the bamboo flume, mimicking a stream. Those thin, delightful strands of somen noodles danced along this waterway, creating an edible adventure. Laughter and cheers filled the air as attendees harnessed their chopstick skills to capture the swift-flowing noodles.

Fresh tomatoes and sweet jelly were also run through the stream alongside the noodles. Participants held bowls of delectable dipping sauce to add an extra depth of flavor to their captured noodle treasures. A symphony of food, music, and flavors wove together to create an unforgettable experience on campus.

Organizers noted that the event was not only about savoring noodles but also about fostering a sense of camaraderie and a friendly campus environment. Participants, which included students, staff, and faculty members, vied to catch the most somen noodles, adding an element of lighthearted rivalry.

The Nagashi Somen festival provided more than just a culinary experience. It showcased the power of community, tradition, and cross-cultural connections. As attendees celebrated this age-old tradition, they forged new bonds and shared smiles, regardless of their cultural backgrounds.

“While Nagashi Somen is a traditional Japanese event, even Japanese aren’t accustomed to cutting and splitting bamboo to make the flume, so both Japanese and international students were able to have a unique experience as they worked together,” remarked Mr. King. “Students were able to meet new people and developed ties as they discussed how to proceed, assigned tasks, and interacted to fine-tune their set-up, similar to a hands-on project-based learning class. We hope to see even more students next year!”

As the sun dipped below the horizon, the Nagashi Somen festival at NAIST concluded with hearts full of delight and stomachs full of noodles. With chopsticks in hand and laughter in the air, the NAIST community showed once again that innovation and tradition can beautifully intertwine, creating moments of bliss.

About NAIST:

The Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) is renowned for its cutting-edge research and innovation in the field of science and technology. Situated in the historic city of Nara, NAIST offers a unique blend of academic excellence and a vibrant cultural environment. The Nagashi Somen festival was a testament to NAIST’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive community.


NAIST Center for International Students and Scholars

Email: ciss@ad.naist.jp

Phone: +81-743-72-6240


Visit NAIST’s official website for more information on upcoming events and activities: https://www.naist.jp/en/