Last week, I started to go to some of the club activities offered at Kansai Gaidai. The university gave us a list of clubs that were related to Japanese culture and the available dates in which we can go. On Monday, my friends and I attended Aikido, which is a Japanese martial art that focuses on defense as its offense. The club members showed us a few basic techniques and how to fall and get back up.
The next club activity that I tried was Sado. We got to participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and later tried making tea like the members did. It was really neat how they whisked the tea but didn’t spill any liquid.
On Wednesday, we were taken to tour the Kokuyo Showroom. Kokuyo is a Japanese company that manufactures office furniture, office products and stationary. We walked around their office where our guide explained how the various features of the office increased productivity, concentration and communication. Then we visited the showroom that featured various kinds of desks and chairs which serve as samples for their customers.
The third club activity I participated in was Kado, which is also known as Ikebana or Japanese flower arrangement. Arranging flowers is more difficult than it sounds as they are particular about how to place the flowers.
On Saturday, we went on a trip to Kyoto and visited Sanjusangendo, Yasaka Shrine, and Kiyomizu Temple. Sanjusangendo is a Buddhist temple and it features a large statue of the Thousand Armed Kannon, the main deity of the temple, and a thousand life sized statues of the Thousand Armed Kannon. There were also 28 guardian deities standing in front of the thousand statues. The overall effect was awe inspiring.
The Kiyomizu Temple was really nice. It had a large balcony in which you can see the city and the large cemetery as well as the forest. A few of us stayed longer to see what Kyoto looks like at night. We went to Kyoto Station and hung out there. On Sunday, we celebrated Kyle’s (one of the summer program participants) birthday and had a lot of fun.
Until next time,