Even though it was a busy day with little sleep, today was very special and memorable for me. Looking back at the photos, I’m amazed at how much we accomplished today. One of the most memorable parts of the day was going to Daitoku-ji and getting the tour of Eitoku’s works entirely in Japanese. It was surprisingly not hard for me to understand the general points of what the tour guide was saying, and being able to understand made it very enjoyable. The longer we stared at each room, the more details began to appear on the walls. I also really enjoyed when the tour guide explained each of the kanji in the artwork titles. I felt like this experience particularly felt rewarding due to the improvements in my Japanese since coming to Williams. I know I would’ve experienced Daitoku-ji a lot differently without the language ability, so I felt very lucky to have that experience.
There were a lot of new experiences today, especially visiting Izusen and eating so many different vegetarian dishes. Not only was it a first time eating different dishes, but a lot of the ingredients used in them were vegetables I’d never heard of before. My favorite part of the lunch was getting to drink the forthy matcha mentioned during the tea ceremony presentation. It was really an amazing feeling to go from hearing about the tea to drinking it in Japan within a few days. With so much accomplished in just one day, I can’t imagine how the rest of the trip will go!