We finally had our presentation! The day started later than usual for me, and Leah and I finished up some last minute prep for our presentation. We walked around looking for food, ended up at the basement of a department store (which I learned can often be a great place to find a wide variety of food, or good bento boxes at the very least) but then ended up just grabbing some Onigiri at a Conbini upon not finding anything that was vegetarian. We were able to walk around the Terminal Kyoto area, found a nice park, and ate our lunch before heading to our presentations.
We all ran through our presentations with Mitsue-san, our wonderful translator. We had sent her drafts of our presentation the night before, but it was great seeing how everything felt with her translating live. Everything seemed good, we had a break, and then all presented on our topics for all our guests!
I know we had worked hard and were only talking about our own experiences, but it was still easy to feel nervous. We all did fantastic and then had dinner with our guests. I met a few cool people—a Masters exchange student from Venice, Italy who was studying Noh theatre, and a man who was working with the Kyoto Journal. We had a nice conversation about Calligraphy and the process of that craft is something I want to learn more about.
The group went out for karaoke afterwards, which was a ton of fun. I hadn’t expected how serious karaoke was here in Japan, but it was nice to get a disco-lit room for a couple of hours where we were all able to sing and have fun. We returned late and quickly went to bed, ready for the following day’s koan answering.