Tuesday 31 January – Wednesday 01 February
My time with the Kuya family had come to an end, after saying our goodbyes we all left by bus to Hikimi. The ride there was fun, with the usual banter. Once there, we visited a Japanese elementary school where we met young kids, played games and ate together. In the classroom I played board games with Kodai and Yuki followed by a quite yummy lunch with the kids. What really interested me was the independence and freedom the children were given in class, they were a lot of fun. Before we left we played more games with the entire group, I had a ball battling out to full bodied Jyan Ken Pon 「じゃん拳ぽん」 with the kids. Next we visited the local middle school where the students there had prepared a show for us.
First up was the Koto 「琴」 a traditional Japanese stringed instrument, the girls played two wonderful pieces for us. I really enjoyed watching the harmony between the melodies being played, the girls showed great skill. The next show was Wadaiko 「和太鼓」 an ensemble of drums. This drum show was amazing, I really enjoyed watching the rhythm and synchronization between all the drumers. The final show was Kagura 「神楽」 a traditional Japanese dance. This show blew me away, the costumes and coordination of everyone on stage was incredible. The amount of practice that went into preparing this event was evident, those kids were extremely talented and I felt blessed that they did all that for us. After the show we were allowed to try on the costumes and have a shot at the drum and koto. I picked up the Koto easily due to my guitar experience however I am definitely not a drummer. Before we left we had a closing ceremony and were presented a medallion from each student that had a Japanese kanji painted on.
My received miyabi 「雅」from Saki Yamamoto「山本咲」 meaning elegance, after a group photo we left for our onsen hotel the Hikimi-kyo Onsen Yasuragi no yu 「匹見峡温泉やすらぎの湯」 .
The place was really nice, we had chills outside the room around the table before a lovely dinner.
After dinner we decided on bathing in the onsen before more chills around the table. Tomorrow would be a brief visit to Hiroshima before finally making it to Tokyo.