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||-|
Friday, Jun 02 2023 (Day 26)
After the interesting ending to the last day and the potential for some Fun today, it instead ended rather uneventfully — there was lots of rain and a heavy rain warning and even some landslide and inundation warnings or something like that, but nothing got cancelled and we all went to school as usual. It didn’t reach emergency levels. It did rain all day though, occasionally in a very Singapore like torrential downpour sort of way, though, and that was kind of nice. I brought two umbrellas for fun just because I could (there are about 20 in the main lobby of this place I’m staying in).
It was interesting from a chronicler standpoint to see something that Zian pointed out — our usual bus stop and bus ride from Nichioji Shijo were devoid of the male students wearing brown shirts that usually take the bus with us every morning — they’re from Rakusei Junior/Senior High School — usually they take the bus with us from Nishioji Shijo to Tojiin Higashimachi, the last stop before Ritsumeikan, and there are so many of them that they take up a good half of the bus, but today there were none at all. We speculated that their school was cancelled because of the rain or something, but it’s hard to tell. It actually looks like they had midterms (local) around today so maybe their day started later or something.
Instead, today we had a ton of girls from Yamashiro High School, which I just learnt today -isn’t- an all-girls school. I’ve only ever seen girls from the school on the bus (in their cute vests — I love vest-style uniforms on top of a regular shirt), but never seen or at least never noticed a guy student from it. Anyway usually there are only a couple of girls from the school on the bus we take, while today there were easily 20. Very strange. Maybe the way the boys tend to throng at the bus stop and push their way onto the bus in the mornings from Nishioji Shijo dissuades the girls from getting on. Either way, they usually get off at Furitsu Taiikukan mae bus stop, three stops before Ritsumeikan.
Once we arrived at Ritsumeikan, Zian and I agreed that since we both had a light breakfast before we came, we didn’t want to tangle with the cafeteria in the morning rain. In addition, we both wanted to spend even more time concentrating on memorizing our scripts, so we skipped breakfast and went right to class.
Everyone else was late — they took a bus that was delayed and arrived 15 minutes or so after classes started. I took that time to rehearse my presentation in front of the class and Ms Hara herself, since I was the only one there in mine and Zian was the only one there in hers next door. Ms Hara gave me some valuable feedback for my actual presentation later on. That was very cool.
The actual presentation itself was done in front of five Buddies, Ms Hara, and the other three students in class. As I understood it, there apparently were supposed to be more Buddies, but only five turned up or something, so maybe the rain caused that.
Mine went fine, I remembered part of it and glanced back and forth at my book for the other half. I think I remembered a little bit more of my script than the others, but it was close either way — no one had their script fully memorized, there was just no way, and I’m glad we were all that way together.
We also came up with a topic and rough outline for our end-of-program skit, which the teachers call the dashimono, but I don’t actually think it’s a very good/funny idea yet, which misses the point of the skit. Not that I’m particularly invested in the skit. We’ll see if we can mash it into something workable and funny over the next week I guess, around final exams.
Lunch was some tomato chicken thing:
The rain was pouring and so Zian and I, along with a Buddy named Kawanabe Sora, the guy in glasses three pictures up from this paragraph, had lunch in the cafeteria instead of the usual room. We still went there after we finished, since this time it was our meeting room for the afternoon event. I was hoping to see the Case Western students there as well, as this was their last day here, but I didn’t get to see them. I wonder if they had to spend their last day/s in Kyoto memorizing and putting on a dumb skit too?
Sora confirmed what we had learnt from Ms Nishioka the day before — there were tons of students coming for RSJP2 next month! He showed us an email from the coordinators — there were 19 students coming from Florida International University from 6/19 to 7/14, 49 students coming for RSJP2 from 6/27 to 7/28, and then another 30 on top of that coming for RSJP Express, a week-and-a-half program from 7/4 to 7/14 this year. Wow. Mr Tanaka also confirmed later on that afternoon when we asked, that yes, they will be taking public buses to events and things, and not chartering buses or anything like that. I cannot imagine. I just cannot. How???
Neither Mr Tanaka nor Ms Nishioka came on this afternoon’s event, which was also our last scheduled cultural event. They sent two other coordinators instead, both of which I’ve seen but neither of which I actually know the name of. Checking our booklet, one is Ms Toyosaki (Mai?), and the other is not listed, but on the card that I made everyone sign, her name is in the top right, in hiragana. That I can’t quite parse into a name. Akimure Kikuko? Is the fourth character a re (れ), a ne (ね), or a yu (ゆ)? Anything but a ra (ら) doesn’t parse into a common Japanese surname, though. I’ll have to ask her for her name if I see her again!
Two Buddies who were not scheduled to follow us also sacrificed whatever they were planning to do that afternoon and came along with us on the trip, because the two Buddies that were supposed to come apparently didn’t turn up. One was Kawanabe Sora again from above, and the other was Ooba Saki, who I was also passingly familiar with from previous interactions and events. I definitely wanted to give those two a big shout out from today.
Getting to the Wadaiko experience workshop in the rain was a pain, mostly due to cramped buses and bus stops and wet umbrellas, but we all made it in various levels of sogginess.
The event itself was extremely fun though — the two instructors, especially the lead teacher, who knew just enough broken English to guide people along, were very good and very energetic and just very friendly in general, and Zian said afterwards that this was her favourite cultural event out of all the ones that we had gone to. I concur — this was the perfect level of learning something new and fun without also at the same time having to sit through a long lecture or feeling like we were being handheld by professionals. It was a ton of fun and everyone was laughing as we went.
The instructors also gave us a performance, basically a long and complicated coordinated drumming song, at the very end, and it was quite awesome:
I was sweating buckets after the event, so I’m glad we were forewarned to bring along a full bottle of water. Since it was raining outside I could just pretend I was drenched in rain instead of sweat anyway.
We were fairly close to our apartment, as this workshop location, Taiko Lab, was located just south of Omiya Station, which itself was the station one stop east of Zian‘s and my Saiin Station (at Nishioji Shijo) and one or two stops west of Karasuma/Kawaramachi Stations, where the other 6 were staying. So returning home afterwards was very easy. I picked up some convenience store dinner along the way, because I had no wish to go out in the rain later that evening — even though I like rain, I did want to get ready for my trip to Shiga with Zian tomorrow. Hey, she’ll be watching me blog at night in our house!
We’re supposed to have a 45-minute period next Friday to fill in an RSJP end-of-session survey, however they seem to have sent a link to the survey already as I was writing this blog, so I’m going to start filling it in tonight as well.