So I'm gonna give an update on all the touristy stuff we've been doing. On the 30th, Mr. Arihara took us to the park in Ueno and the temple in Asakusa. We had the workshop the next day. We stayed in the house of Mutsuko's friend Mrs. Asako that night. The house was an interesting blend of modern and traditional. We left for Kyoto the next morning. That day we went to Kodai-ji temple and Kyomizu temple. We stayed in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and slept on tatami mats (not the most comfortable). The food there is really good though. The next day we went to Koke-dera (the moss temple), which was really pretty, Arashiyama, where the bamboo forest is, and Ryoan-ji, where there is a famous rock garden. At many of the temples we go to we participate in Buddhist rituals and buy charms. Today, Pauline and I went to San juu san gendo (a really cool temple with tons of statues), the silver pavilion and gold pavilions. I liked both pavilions immensely. Then we did our Kyoto workshop. It was a lot of fun and we met a lot of interesting people. Tomorrow we go to Hiroshima.
I haven't seen a geisha, so I'm a little disappointed. Fortunately I did see two maiko (apprentice geisha) do a dance performance for 15 minutes at a Japanese craft museum the first day. I'm coming to accept the fact that seeing a geisha is rare, even in Kyoto, but still....