School trip day 2: Kyoto

6 november
2012

Today I woke up at 5 am because someone had ‘a good idea’ to set the alarm one and a half hour early and repeating it every 3 minutes. That person was the last one that came out of bed. I am not a morning person and I did not found it cool. At 6:30 we were also woken by the speakers of the ryokan. It lasted 4 minutes and it was loud and we were really like, seriously??? But it was funny.

Rapidly changing cloth and having breakfast, again in our own rooms. It was a Japanese breakfast of rice, miso soup and fish and salad. Since I’m in my new family I eat bread every morning and I had to get used to such a heavy breakfast.

Today we went with the bus again where we had a different Guido-san (travel guide) who was telling us about Kyoto.
First we went to Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion Temple). The temple was built in 1470 and the intention was to covere it with silver but by the Onin oorlog the construction stopped and never resumed. The (zen) gardens however seem just like silver. It was very nice but we had to move soon to the next place! This is the Japanese way of visiting places. Bus, quick look, souvenir and Hoppa in the bus again.

The next stop was Nijo Castle. I was there before during my journey in 2010. Again we took a class photo and had an explanation of Guido-san. It is a very traditional building with beautiful golden interior walls and famous (Japanese) paintings. We were not allowed to make pictures inside so can not show it. The floors are very special indeed. The so called nightingale floors are named that way because when you walk it seems like you hear a bird chirping. This was to quickly identify intruders. Even if a cat walks on it, you can hear it!
The gardens, which I had seen before were still very beautiful!

In a hotel in Kyoto, together in a conference hall we had an Obentou. This is a Japanese lunch box with rice, fish, meat, vegetables etc. The food itself is okay, but I’m not fond of it because things are not very fresh anymore.

The next stop was Ryouan-ji (Temple of the Peaceful Dragon), a Zen temple. I visited already before in 2010. It is very .. peaceful and beautiful. There is also a rock garden with a beautiful view of a lake with lots of lilies.
After lunch we went to Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion Temple) which is one of the most famous temples of Japan. The entire temple is covered with gold leaf which makes it totally shine in the sun, which we luckily had enough! When I was here back in 2010 but we had rain. So I able to make a lot of beautiful pictures!

I had lost my group and went further with other girls when suddenly someone asked if they could make a picture, me together with a friend! I think these people were from Singapore or somewere close. They found it great to have a picture with high school girls in uniform. Again I bought omiyage and we went back to the bus back to the ryokan.

When I got off the bus I saw a maiko-san (Geisha but different) walking by with her (boyfriend, husband) and I was so excited that I asked if I could take a picture with them, luckily they would! After taking the photo the woman of the ryokan said they were not real, but I had something like, WHO CARES! I TOOK A PHOTO WITH A LOOK A LIKE MAIKO-SAN!

We had plenty of time for ourselves and since we behaved well (apparently) we were granted to leave the ryokan to go to supermarket or anywhere else. I agreed to go out with some class mates but apparently you had to go with your own group, and everyone wanted to leave fast but you had to register your name somewere and all difficult stuff and nobody wanted help me and I could not go along. Then fifteen minutes later the girls from class A were gone already and the girls from class F were not willing to explain to me how to register so I ended up alone in the room waited until everyone returned. I also asked teacher but he said I had to go with my own group but everyone was gone. At that moment I felt lonely and cried because I really felt left out of the group.

Since then I’m not much in the classroom with my own class mates anymore. I go along well with the boys, but the girls see me as a real threat, and some girls are so social awkward that you cannot talk with them. I dont know if it’s because I was with Rachael in beginning , or that they are always like that, but I was really pissed. I can go along very well with the girls from other classes and I have lunch there more often than my own classroom because I just do not feel welcome. When everyone was back, I have not said a word and then some girls suddenly started asking if something was wrong with me. I explained that just sit in a room alone waiting is not really cozy.

For dinner we had rice, soup, tempura! And meat, it was not very special but nice. Next we all went showering and sleeping. This time everyone was exhausted, gosh … everyone slept early. I also asked that girl to switch her alarm off or else .. Before we went sleeping I’ve played UNO with everyone what it was nice and I think everyone understood that they had kept me outside. Then I go to sleep early.

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