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Journals from Rikkyo University, Japan

2010-05-24 And now...I'm on a bus!

This past Sunday, I was incredibly fortunate to be picked to participate in the Rikkyo University Lions Clubs annual Bus Hike. It was definitely one of the best things that I have gotten to do while in Japan, and I will certainly remember it for a very long time. On Sunday, we all met up in front of Rikkyo at 7:30am (a little too early, but luckily since it was a Sunday the trains were not packed), and then around 8am we left on the bus to go to our first stop: Nihonji. On the bus, we ate breakfast and did self-introductions, and some people started drinking beer. I was incredibly surprised that people wanted to drink beer at 8:30 in the morning, but I was even more surprised that they kept offering beer to everyone all throughout the trip. It was like they had a never-ending supply of beer in the bus! But I digress. Around 10am, we arrived at Nihonji, where we saw a really big Buddha (Daibutsu) and then climbed the mountain for about an hour. It was raining all day, so it was sort of hard to climb as well as really dangerous, but it was still a lot of fun to climb with my friends. After that, we got back on the bus (where they offered more beer) and then headed to the Kamogawa Grand Hotel for lunch. This hotel is well known for serving the royal families of Japan including the Emperors and Empresses, and the Princes and Princesses. It was a really nice hotel, which also had an onsen (hot spring) within it, so after lunch many people went to the onsen. But to backtrack a little bit, everyone that knows me knows that I love food. The food that we had at the hotel was SO GOOD. Not only was there a lot, but it was also really nice food, like lobster, as well as other traditional Japanese food. After people had eaten, some people (including myself) sang karaoke in front of everyone. Lina and I sang Bad Romance by Lady Gaga, which was a lot of fun. After we left the hotel, we went to Kamogawa Seaworld, which was what I had been looking forward to all day long. We got to see the orca, seal, and beluga whale performances which were a lot of fun. My favorite was the orca performance, but the seal performance was also a lot of fun to watch. All of the animals were so cute! I wish that we could have spent more time there. After Seaworld, we made our way back home on the bus. While eating our bento dinner, some people also did karaoke on the bus ride back home. I could not believe that they had a karaoke system on the bus! I think that I forgot to mention that this entire trip was free. Transportation, food, tickets, everything, was free. The only thing that I paid for were souvenirs for my friends, which did not cost a lot. As far as trips go, you cannot put a price tag on these kinds of trips (in this case literally as well). I think that the best part of this trip (besides Seaworld) was that I got to make a lot of new friends. I did not realize how many international students study at Rikkyo, so it was really nice to meet them and hang out with them throughout the day. I hope that we get to have another group get-together soon, because the people that came were also a big part of the experience. Tiffany Ross

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