Today we took a day trip to Nara. It actually wasn’t on the itinerary for this year (it was marked “optional”), but since everyone wanted to go after all Paul-san pulled it all together.
It’s such a fascinating city. As Japan’s first capital and stronghold of the Fujiwara family, it’s filled with temples, shrines, history, and of course the great buddha. Unfortunately, the weather was kind of lousy and it rained most of the day. We once again ate a wonderful meal at the same restaurant as two years ago, though we didn’t get to eat upstairs in the tatami room.
After lunch was when we visited most of the big sites, but it seems like the size of our group and who knows what else conspired to make the going really, r-e-a-l-l-y S–L–O–W, which was a bit exasperating. After seeing only a fraction of what I remembered from before, the bulk of the group decided to head back to Kyoto, with only a few of us hearty souls hanging on to visit Kasuga Taisha shrine (a thing I particularly wanted to do). It ended up dwindling down to Kishi-sensei, Ikushima-sensei, Theo and I for the trip back. The sensei invited us to go out for Okonomiyaki with them, and they ended up paying (which was way above the call of duty). It was, of course, delicious—so delicious, in fact, that I didn’t take enough photos of the event!
After a quick side trip to a department store to look at Yukata for Theo’s mother, the sensei went on their way and Theo and I made our way back to the dorms via the hobby shop.