This day was a relatively easy, travel day. Takuma left for school with his day pack as he was going to the zoo with his class. About 10 minutes after he left, Michiko discovered that he had forgotten his water bottle.
His school is right by their condo building. I was the only one dressed, so I said that I would run and try to catch him to give him his bottle. Michiko told me that Takuma’s room was 123 and that he was in first grade.
I thought that I would be able to catch him before he reached the school. That wasn’t the case. So, I got to the school….almost forgot to remove my shoes!! I entered the school and started looking for someone to help me. The janitor saw me and asked he could help. I told him that I was looking for Takuma Kaneko in room 123. He understood the name, but not the 123 part! I didn’t know how to explain room 123 to him. So, I just kept saying Takuma Kaneko.
By this time, we had a group of little Japanese munchkins around us. All very interested in the conversation. Finally, I feel this tap on my arm and look down to see an extended hand. It was Takuma. His school friends understood the name and went to get him. I was relieved! He appeared to be quite embarrassed by the whole situation.
I thanked the janitor…in Japanese…one of the 4 words I learned while over there…and left. Michiko was amazed that I ran to the school and delivered the water bottle. She just thought it was so “brave” and awesome. I didn’t see it that way, but oh well.
So, later, we asked if Takuma was embarrassed by the whole event. They claim he wasn’t, that actually he was quite proud to have his “American friend” come to his school! I don’t know about that, but will have to accept it.
Before leaving for Kyoto, there was a slight earthquake tremor. It wasn’t anything major, but the ceiling lamps did a little swaying. The tremors are very common there.
We took the shinkansen or bullet train to Kyoto. It was about a 3 hour ride. The train was very comfortable and went very fast, about 185 mph.
Once in Kyoto, we found a Japanese bed & breakfast or ryokan, Kankoryokan Nishikirou, not far from the train station. It was a lovely spot in a busy city. As you enter the building, there was a Japanese garden, complete with a pond and large Koi fish swimming.
The room was a traditional Japanese style. I loved it! It had straw mats on the floor. When there are the mats on the floor, you are supposed to remove your slipper and walk on them in stocking feet. True confessions – once in awhile, we forgot!! The futons were our beds. There was also a low table and pillows to sit on and the tokonoma area, which had flowers, a hanging scroll on the wall and a small Buddha statue.
By the time we got settled in our room, it was dinner time. We walked back to the train station. There was a large underground mall, Ponche, that had several restaurants. We chose a noodle one, that had an English menu! It was very good.
The Kyoto train station was quite a complex. It was several stories. There was the underground mall. In another part of the station, there was a large department store, hotel and upscale restaurant area. I was amazed at the size of the place.