My big plan for today was to return to a place that was really special to me from my last visit, Mt. Kurama. I happened to meet up with Kat and the last two students who just arrived yesterday, Calvin and Zack and they decided to come along too.
It’s such an incredible place. There are tons of steps and a long way to walk to get over the mountain, but it’s such a great chance to meditate, have some exercise and get out into nature. Everything was just as beautiful and felt just as spiritual as before and I think it’s a great place to unwind and mentally step back into Japan.
We walked all the way over the mountain to Kibune again where we thought about sitting at one of the atmospheric restaurants built right on the little river where it’s nice and cool—until we saw the prices. Then it was back down the mountain again…
Of course, it’s the rainy season and it rained on us all day—not hard enough for you to want to bother getting your umbrella out, but hard enough to get you soaking wet. It also meant lots of mud, and I had to go back to the dorm to change clothes. Calvin, Zack and I then went on a very abbreviated walking tour to the Gion (with me playing guide since they both missed yesterday’s walking tour). I even managed to take them to the Kaiten-sushi conveyor belt sushi restaurant so they could pig out (and they did too—12 and 13 plates each for them to my paltry 7).
On the way back home walking down Shijo, we ran into another student, Theo, who accompanied us back to Kitaoji where we made a quick shopping trip through Vivre for essentials. Back on the Number 3 bus and then I turned in for the night. School starts tomorrow, so these pleasant days of adventure are over, at least until the weekends.
It was kind of weird—it all seemed so normal, like something I do every day. I’m glad I haven’t lost the familiarity with the place from two years ago.