Team Tokyo with Ancient Yasuka Nagase ’96 in Arashiyama. The Togetsukyo (“Moon Crossing”) Bridge is in the background.
After and exhilarating visit to Kobe and Kyoto, Team Tokyo spent the morning in Arashiyama, an historic and scenic delight nestled into the surrounding mountains and accessible by the famous Togetsukyo Bridge, built in the Heian Period (794 – 1185), the height of Japan’s many spiritual traditions. Students enjoyed free time in Arashiyama to wander the beautiful Bamboo Grove, relax at the Owl and Cat Cafe, (real owls, real cats), shop, and eat more of the cuisine we can’t get enough of. Additionally, Arashiyama is host to several UNESCO World Heritage sites, so perhaps it was the wishes made as we crossed the bridge this morning, or maybe it was the coin we tossed at the gates of the Tenryuji Temple: one thing we’ve realized is that this trip is magical, or mystical, or simply wonderful. One week ago we began our InterMission journey; it will continue to be the journey of a lifetime.
Early this evening we arrived back at Tokyo via the Shinkansen and returned to Kichijo where our host sisters were waiting to greet us. Tomorrow students are with their host families, and Monday we’re back-to-school.
At the end of this notable excursion, here is a parting note from Basho, “famed 17th century haiku master”; a reflection on our day:
hearing the cuckoo,
I long for Kyoto.
More to come. I promise it’s as good as it sounds.