Ross School

Saturday, March 5, 2011

March 5th

Early this morning, (the 5th) about half of our group woke up at the crack of dawn to spend time at a local bathhouse. Yesterday, a few students ventured to a larger one, in the free time we were given. Upon their return they were so thrilled with the experience, they insisted everyone try it at some point on the trip. This morning was our first opportunity. The walk from the hotel only took about 15 minutes; the air was brisk (or brick as Floriaan now says 50 times a day) and very refreshing within it-self.

Once there, Mami directed us to the correct place, and explained all of the signs on the doors to be sure that we understood. The bathhouse itself was gorgeous, beautiful tile and wood everywhere you turn. There were four baths on each floor, ranging from bone chilling cold to searing hot, as well as a mist room (It was as amazing as it sounds), and two saunas. Overall, the experience was well worth it and I can assure you everyone had fun.

After everyone got back and we ate breakfast, we all went back to our rooms to pack because we had to be checked out of the hostel and on our way to catch the bullet train at 10:00am. So after everyone arrived in the lobby and we checked out we walked to the subway and took it to Tokyo. Then at the Tokyo train station we all were told to get something for lunch there, and most of us got lunch boxes, which were cold but good and where not like a normal lunch box, but like the picture you see below. After we got our lunches we made our way to the bullet train and left. As we where on the bullet train we passed Mount Fuji, which was so beautiful and a lot of us took pictures off it. There was also a lot of beautiful land that we passed, which I watched until I feel asleep and from me falling asleep and waking up and being 5 minutes away I understood why they called it a bullet train. It took 2 hours and 20 minutes, for us to get there and it is said to go about 150 miles per hour so it was very understandable why when I woke up we were almost there. It was a great experience and cannot wait to go back on it again when we go back to Tokyo, but for right now we will enjoy our stay in Kyoto! : )

After a long ride on the bullet train we finally got to the Utano Youth hostel. As we waited for our rooms to be ready we explored the hostel. We immediately saw the beautifully colored lanterns, the large cafeteria, vending machines and of course the Wi- Fi access. After we settled in and learned how to make up a futon we had a couple of hours of free time. A small group went on a local bike ride and others helped to decorate a lantern. When free time was over we learned how to do Yuzen Zome (a traditional Japanese fabric dye). To finish up a long day we enjoyed a special Japanese meal.

-Abby Cook, Kayla Jerido, Lyndsey Fridie

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