The team had an awesome time today visiting the famous sites of Nara, the ancient capital city of Japan! Approximately one hour’s drive from our home-base in Kyoto, Nara is full of landmarks of historical significance. It is also full of wild deer! Students communed with (and fed) the local wildlife as they walked through the large park grounds towards Todaiji, the ‘Great Eastern Temple’ first constructed in 752 and reconstructed in 1692. Ponchos and umbrellas were out in force as a light rain fell and only a few ponchos came out of the day intact, as the local deer proved to be quite skilled at shredding them while attempting to get the students’ attention! The team walked a looping trail through the large park to visit another important site, Kasuga Grand Shrine. A delicious lunch was enjoyed before returning to Kyoto for an afternoon of exploration in Kinkakuji (‘The Golden Pavillion’) and Nijo Castle.
The day came to a close with a cultural show at the famous Gion Corner, where students were treated to a showcase of traditional Japanese arts – chado (tea ceremony), koto (Japanese harp), kado (flower arranging), gagaku (court music), kyogen (an ancient comic play), kyomai (Kyoto style dance) and bunraku (puppet play).
The JOE Scavenger Hunt also started today, with students excitedly gathering clues at various sightseeing destinations. The students comported themselves with great enthusiasm and perseverance today, despite the light rain and they can be very proud of themselves! We are very proud of them too.
We look forward to tomorrow!