We woke up at 4:30 again! This morning though, there was a service at the temple so after the prayers, we spent an hour listening to a sermon. We were all still a bit sleepy and we couldn’t understand a word the monk was saying so I admit it was a little hard staying awake, but afterwards Akemi-sensei told us that he was talking about peace and how we should all be kind towards one another. After that, we ate breakfast with the people who attended the sermon in a big room. When all was finished, we packed our bags in our rooms and went to tou (tou period) shou (invite) tei ji temple. The temple was meant to accommodate the famous Chinese Buddhist monk Ganjin invited by the Japanese government in the 7th century to introduce Buddhism to the Japanese people. It was really impressive! We went back to our rooms to clean up and were invited to do some calligraphy. That was a great experience! I have never tried calligraphy and this was the real deal! Before entering the room, we are all given a clove to place in our mouths during 10 minutes to purify the inside of our bodies and were asked to step over incense to purify the exterior of our bodies. Then we sat down at our table and were given a text to copy and some tracing paper, as well as a calligraphy brush, a block of ink, a vial of water and a paper weight.
We went back to our rooms to get our bags and went to the train station. We said goodbye to Sumika who stayed a bit longer at the temple. Then we said goodbye to Ryouta and his family at Kyoto station. We arrived at Kurashiki, our next stop and checked in at toyoko-inn, left our bags and washed to meet Kitano-san a jujitsu sensei. As we talked, he taught us a couple simple yet really effective tricks for self defence… We walked around the famous streets in Kurashiki known as samurai town or bikan area and found some really pretty areas!
Kitano-san offered to pay for the meal…that was really generous of him and I am really grateful for his gesture. We went back to the hotel with a full stomach and went to bed. I must say, the rooms are really cute! The bathroom feels like they tried to fit as much of the essentials a bathroom needs in the minimum amount of space, and it works really well! \(^-^)/