Yamagata Trip Day Five
9:00 am: Zazen meditation at Chorei-ji temple
At the Buddhist temple we were instructed on the meditation process. A few could assume the lotus sitting position, but most sat with crossed legs as we began our meditation period.
10:00 am: Yamanotera foot path and tea ceremony
For the next three hours we toured three different temples and visited the burial grounds on the Buddhist grounds. At the end of the tour, we participated in a Tea Ceremony. At the ceremony there was a scroll on the wall - typical of all Tea Ceremonies. However, this scroll was written with the word "safety" specifically for the ceremony. The reason for safety being written on the scroll was to wish us safe travel as we travel around the country and back to the United States.
12:50 pm: Wakura Onsen Sightseeing Hall
We returned to the same sightseeing hall that hosted the opening ceremony. It was there that we would begin our first of five shows to be presented within three hours. We dressed at the hall while other Japanese performers performed their own traditional dance on the stage of Wakura Onsen. The performers then took their place in the parade. On the stage of Wakura Onsen the Koshares performed the Eagle and Hoop dance to much delight of the spectators.
2:50 pm: Lunch
After performing one show at Wakura Onsen and two shows in the parade the Koshares went to a restaurant while still dressed in their outfits. There were still two shows to go, but just enough time to eat lunch. After lunch on the traditional Japanese tables, the Koshares once again performed for two wonderful crowds at a local hotel. After the five shows, the Koshares were treated to a bath in the hot springs. This was a most relaxing time for those who danced their hardest.
8:50 pm: Return with host families
With a long day of dancing and sightseeing, the Koshares were very thrilled to see their host families pick them up for the night. Although most Koshares did not get to sleep right away, it was the relaxing time with the families we looked forward to the most.