This morning the students (and staff!) were able to sleep in a little bit after the long day yesterday. Today we explored the area to the north-east and visited Kiyomizu Dera (a world heritage listed site); this is a beautiful temple complex built into a hillside, construction started in 778. The main structure is built without nails using a very old Japanese style of building. The students posed for me on the BUTAI the wooden dance platform built out over the cliff…it required me to do a dash to the other side of the valley to take it!
The students after walking through the many areas within the complex following the path down to the valley floor then try their hand at catching the fresh spring water at Otowa-no-taki (Sound of Feathers Waterfall) with long wooden poles to fill cups with the “Clear Water – Kiyo Mizu” from the falls. It was busy but all the students had a go, it was fun and the water was very refreshing. Ashleigh had a few admirers as she thirstily drank cold water!
On the way back to central Kyoto we allowed the students to walk down the old shopping district that spreads out down the hill to the city edge, lots of very old family owned shops, tea houses and master craftsman workshops are here. Some of the students got found handmade treasures and I often suggested to them what mum might like! Some beautiful fans and crafts were brought.
A highlight for many of our students was conversing with the Japanese students who wait with their Japanese English teachers at famous sight seeing locations; with prepared conversation questions. Mary, Azure, Ashleigh, Jasmine, Tish and Dylan to name afew…got very involved helping the Japanese students practice their English.
And to the delight of the Japanese people standing around in the main temple area, our students broke out in song, singing the “Totoro” theme song, when a shy primary school boy asked then if they knew and liked Japanese Anime!
Back home to get on the internet or phone to contact you all before we leave for the country side of Minokamo. They also were given instructions to start packing their bags! This was easier for some, Leon and Kurt won the Best Room Award! ( see the photo of their tidy and organized room!)
We had dinner at Aeon Mall, a huge and fairly new complex. Tonight’s dinner was a treat to say “thank you” to all the students for their effort and good behaviour during the first part of the trip. A buffet restaurant with lots of unusual things and a few favourites, both Western and Japanese, but the chocolate fountain was a hit; wait for it, Green Tea flavoured White Chocolate! Well it is Japan!
The team also caught up with a past Genesis teacher, Annie Ventura and her family who are also traveling around Japan. Our students were very welcoming to her daughters with Azure kindly taking Kristen along for some shopping. It was a nice treat to chat with some other Aussies from home!
Everyone got their rooms in order and their luggage ready for the move tomorrow out to the country side of Gifu and into the dormitory at our sister school.
Their staff contacted me and stated that everyone is very excited about meeting us tomorrow.
For photos of day 5 check out the gallery.