The day began with–surprise!–a bus ride extended by a chaperone who forgot his coat and a subsequent impressive backward drive down a winding hill by our new impressive bus driver, Suzuki-San. The first leg of our journey toward Tokyo took us to Odawara Castle, where students paid a nominal sum to practice with ninja throwing stars. Chaperones looked at one another, shrugged, and said, “What could go wrong?”
The familiar Winterim refrain–“another cathedral/temple/shrine/statue of Buddha?”–reared its ugly head today, but the complaint soon gave way to a renewed interest, because here was a statue of the Buddha a) who is renowned for his pulchritude and b) into whom you can climb: the Great Buddha, a.k.a. Daibutsu.
Students found that maybe all of the shrines are not exactly alike–like gift shops, the details vary, even if the outlines are the same.
Our lunch stop was also in Kamakura. Students explored KFC and McDonald’s….
Then it was back on the bus bound for Tokyo. Along the way, Naomi-San led us in a Japanese language singalong. When we arrived in Tokyo, we ran into an old friend.