The Slightly Longer Way Series - Table of Contents
|Day 0 – Friday, May 05 2023 to Sunday, May 07 2023||Flight from Edmonton to Tokyo||-|
|Day 1 – Monday, May 08 2023||Train from Tokyo to Kyoto||-|
|Day 2 – Tuesday, May 09 2023||RSJP Orientation Day||W1D1|
|Day 3 – Wednesday, May 10 2023||Placement test, Kinkakuji/Golden Pavilion||W1D2|
|Day 4 – Thursday, May 11 2023||Kyo-Yuzen Dyeing Workshop||W1D3|
|Day 5 – Friday, May 12 2023||Mori Touki-ken Pottery Workshop||W1D4|
|Day 6 – Saturday, May 13 2023||Ichihime Shrine, Nishiki Market||-|
|Day 7 – Sunday, May 14 2023||Nara, Todaiji Temple||-|
|Day 8 – Monday, May 15 2023||Urasenke||W2D1|
|Day 9 – Tuesday, May 16 2023||Nijojo Castle||W2D2|
|Day 10 – Wednesday, May 17 2023||Tojiin Temple||W2D3|
|Day 11 – Thursday, May 18 2023||Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto Sanjo Shopping Street, Tsubomi||W2D4|
|Day 12 – Friday, May 19 2023||Kyoto Station||W2D5|
|Day 13 – Saturday, May 20 2023||Kamogawa River, Shimogoryo Shrine Kankosai||-|
|Day 14 – Sunday, May 21 2023||Shimogoryo Shrine Kankosai||-|
|Day 15 – Monday, May 22 2023||Kimono-Pro||W3D1|
|Day 16 – Tuesday, May 23 2023||Ritsumeikan Library, Hama Sushi||W3D2|
|Day 17 – Wednesday, May 24 2023||Domoto Insho House, Kamogawa, Ichijoji||W3D3|
|Day 18 – Thursday, May 25 2023||Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Hama Sushi (with Kel)||W3D4|
|Day 19 – Friday, May 26 2023||Super Karaoke||W3D5|
|Day 20 – Saturday, May 27 2023||Nothing special||-|
|Day 21 – Sunday, May 28 2023||Demachi Masugata Shopping Street, a long walk home||-|
|Day 22 – Monday, May 29 2023||Nothing special||W4D1|
|Day 23 – Tuesday, May 30 2023||Kyoto International Manga Museum||W4D2|
|Day 24 – Wednesday, May 31 2023||Ritsumeikan Library||W4D3|
|Day 25 – Thursday, Jun 01 2023||Maiko/Geiko demonstration||W4D4|
|Day 26 – Friday, Jun 02 2023||Final Presentation, Taiko Lab||W4D5|
|Day 27 – Saturday, Jun 03 2023||Kusatsu-Juku Honjin, Lake Biwa Museum, Omi Hachiman (with Zian)||-|
|Day 28 – Sunday, Jun 04 2023||Omi Hachiman City Museum, Omi Jingu (with Zian)||-|
|Day 29 – Monday, Jun 05 2023||Arashiyama||W5D1|
|Day 30 – Tuesday, Jun 06 2023||Nothing special||W5D2|
|Day 31 – Wednesday, Jun 07 2023||Final exam, Osaka, Manga Cafe (with Zian)||W5D3|
|Day 32 – Thursday, Jun 08 2023||Osaka, Namba (with Zian)||W5D4|
|Day 33 – Friday, Jun 09 2023||RSJP Graduation Day||W5D5|
|Day 34 – Saturday, Jun 10 2023||Leaving Zian, Train from Kyoto to Tokyo, Ikebukuro||-|
|Day 35 – Sunday, Jun 11 2023||Shibuya, duo MUSIC EXCHANGE||-|
|Day 36 – Monday, Jun 12 2023||Shinjuku, Sakura House, Sophia University||-|
|Day 37 – Tuesday, Jun 13 2023||Akihabara||-|
|Day 38 – Wednesday, Jun 14 2023||Flight from Tokyo to Edmonton||-|
Thursday, Jun 01 2023 (Day 25)
I had sent this picture to Seren and Satinel yesterday in our Discord group chat, since Seren loves Uma Musume and we’ve all watched (and quite liked) both aired seasons of the show.
I didn’t include it in yesterday’s post, but it is here today because both of them had asked if I had rescued any of it and what was inside the packets (particularly the thicker packet) if so. I didn’t buy any yesterday, but took that excuse to do so today. This is what is inside each packet:
Also, here’s day 4 of the house deconstruction near me:
It’s mostly cleared of debris now. I look forward to seeing this progress every day,
This was breakfast today. Two new side dishes that I had not eaten up till now, I think — gyoza and potato salad. Both were amazing! Maybe I did the gyoza once, for lunch or something, I’m not sure. Either way, good stuff.
Lunch was largely a singular bowl this time that by itself cost nearly 500 yen, but had lots of rice and meat and stuff built in to it anyway.
A couple buddies came by but I mostly talked to two girls — Wada Miyu, who had accompanied us our the long walk home after the Manga Museum trip two days ago, and Arai Mahiro over lunch. We also met Jerome Li, or Jeli, a guy from James Madison University who I think was here with his own cohort, but I’ve never actually seen said cohort, just him a couple times. Finally figured out his name today.
Something weird then happened — the room emptied out, and when Zian and I returned to the classroom from returning our trays to the cafeteria, like we have after every single event day so far — no one was there. We were supposed to have a Maiko/Geiko presentation in a conference room in another building after lunch, but neither Mr Tanaka nor Ms Nishioka had come by like they usually do to write down on the blackboard which cohorts were headed to what place after lunch, but not even the other RSJP students were there.
We figured that they were probably at the conference room already, and this was confirmed from a group chat from Aubrey at 1:00 pm saying that we (a general we, not us two in particular) were supposed to be at the conference room. We found out later that what happened was that the digital version of the schedule, sent out just before we arrived at the program, listed the “correct” meeting location of the conference room for this day, while both the original AND the “fixed” booklet that we received on Day 2 and Day 4 respectively, well after we received the digital version, both listed the wrong room, the lunch room, as our meeting spot for today. It was by sheer dumb luck that the other four that attended went as a group and their leader had used the digital version as their guide, so they ended up in the right place, I believe.
Also, the 7th and 8th members of our cohort had skipped it and gone back to the hotel early anyway — and I don’t blame them as there’s a presentation with tons to memorize and slides to make tomorrow, due to poor timing on the part of the RSJP — they keep holding afternoon events on the afternoon before heavy school days. Second or third time now.
We wandered in late after Mr Tanaka‘s pre-event presentation had already started, since he usually does an introduction thing before the actual event, and I was furious and seething in the back. Several of the Buddies — Satomi, Asumi, and Nanami — came to engage us during a brief downtime and made sure we were included in their group though, and I appreciated that and wanted to give the three girls a shout out. Their names were Nakamura Satomi, Fujiwara Asumi, and Yoshioka Nanami, but I’ve definitely seen all three of them around before, and the latter two at least attended one of our earlier Buddy Talk class sessions.
Anyway, the session started, and this honestly turned out to be quite fun. Two girls were introduced, one geiko (aka geisha) and one maiko (apprentice geiko). The geiko was named something like Tamae, and the maiko was named Ichikoto — she even has a YouTube video here. They performed a song and dance, with Tamae on the shamisen and Ichikoto dancing in her pretty kimono.
They then introduced themselves, showed off their costumes, and answered several questions from the audience.
They then demonstrated/played a couple of geiko games with the audience — Konpira Fune-Fune, and Tora Tora, the first one a rhythm game and the second one a rock paper scissors like game with a dance. Both were amazing to watch and clap along to.
We then had the chance to take group photos with the geiko and maiko, so of course Tigey wanted to be part of the shot:
In the second picture above, the three girls at the back are Asumi, Nanami, and.. I don’t actually recognize the third girl, but I think it’s a Buddy that Zian knows. In the first picture, Zian is behind me and Vivian, who is one of the five people from Case Western Reserve University. Speaking of which, tomorrow is the last day for the Case Western folks! So fast.
We were taking pictures in various group configurations, and there was a slight blemish in this part of the event where I think the other four people went up for a “Hey, we should take a UAlberta group photo” but never invited me for it, and before I knew it the picture was already taken and done with. Ultimately I prefer taking pictures then being in them anyway though, but still very rude. Not that it would have been a complete picture even if I was there since the 6th member had gone back to the hotel.
Anyway, the event wrapped up soon after that and we started to head home. It was scheduled to rain this evening so we wanted to get home before that happened. We met Ms Nishioka on the way home and we showed her the picture that I had taken of Ms Onitsuka and some of the Case Western group (and her) yesterday, and she laughed at that. She also told us that RSJP2, scheduled for June 27 to July 28, already had about 50 (fifty!!) students signed up for it! Compared to our paltry 8!
Say what I might about our teachers in various posts, they’re still good teachers, and even the teachers that I like the least, I still like. I’ve mostly (with a few strongly worded exceptions) had fun in the classes, and a good part of that has been because we’ve gotten plenty of attention in them, rotating through just four of us to answer questions, give worksheet answers, and so on. I don’t know how the logistics would work with 50 students. Chartered tour bus to afternoon events instead of taking the public bus? Classes split over 5 or 6 groups/levels instead of 2? What would accommodations even look like? What about the presentation/skit? Geez.
Upon heading home, I planned to settle down and concentrate on memorizing my script for the presentation tomorrow. I had already finished my Powerpoint slides the day before, and had my script vetted a couple times too, so all that remained was to commit what I could to memory and use a notebook for the rest. But then, just as I was about to write my blog (instead of concentrating on memorizing my script), we received this email!
【IMPORTANT】 June 2 RSJP class operation
Dear RSJP1 participants,
Hello. This is Ritsumeikan Study Abroad Desk.
The forecast says heavy rain is scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, June 2.
The school will be closed in the event of transportation disruptions and
a storm warning or a special warning will be issued.
Please look over the attached document and
check the Ritsumeikan University website as of 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.
Ritsumeikan University website：
If you have any questions about a school closure for tomorrow, please feel free to ask us anytime.
We will reply you at 6:00 am tomorrow morning.
For scholarly purposes, the attached document is this one, and it has both an English and Japanese page. The specific details are kind of confusing (if this, then this, except if this, then this, etc), but the gist of it is that there’s a decent chance that school tomorrow will be cancelled if the heavy rain from Typhoon Mawar, currently drifting around south of Japan, triggers enough weather alerts.
Anyway, just in case, I went out to get a few “groceries” for emergency snacks from a nearby convenience store, and then hung around to chat a bit, stare at weather maps a bit, and write my blog instead of going off to try to memorize the script.
It’s 8:30 pm now and the rain hasn’t quite started yet, but I have my room’s balcony door open hoping to catch some of the coolness of the rain and/or some of the potential “damaging wind”, as one of the weather sites put it. But even if school is cancelled tomorrow, which I hope it is because that would be a new experience (an integral part of experiencing Japanese culture!), I am guessing that they will just bump the presentation to next week and cull something else, like the skit, instead. So, off I go to memorize my.. oh right, dinner time!
PS. Tomorrow is the completion ceremony day for the Case Western Reserve University folks. I wonder what will happen if that gets cancelled. Since part of our ceremony, and so maybe theirs too, is receiving a bunch of things that we made from events over the course of the program (the bowl from the Pottery Workshop on Day 5, pictures from Kimono-Pro on Day 15…)