This day World Campus – Japan travel to Muro-ji temple in Uda, Nara and got a tour of the temple. After this we got to the ninja experience at the akame waterfalls, were we got to do assorted ninja related stuff. Kim talks about his experience with this day.
Today we had a great deal. First we helped with the beautification of the area near the Akame waterfalls by shovelling out the drain on the side of the road. Everyone did their best and because we were with more than 20 people, we were done in no time. The workers, who could be count on one hand, were extremely thankful for the help that would have costed them allot of time by themselves.
Now it was time for some fun! We walked down along the road, and not that much further we stopped at a small shop. This shop, however, didn´t sell your usual souvenirs. No, they sold a “ninja experience”! This was the community’s thank you gift to World Campus – Japan.
Soon, we were all dressed up in colourful ninja suits and ready to go. Our “sensei” ninja guided us towards the forest where our first challenge awaited us. Three high wooden walls rose up in front of us as we arrived to an open spot in the forest. Agile like a cat, the guide jumped over them and gestured us to try the same. The first two walls being the lowest, almost everyone managed to jump over it. The last one, however, only half of us managed, including me! Yay.
Then, it was time for some shuriken throwing! Again the guide showed us how to do it as we lined up to throw the ninja stars into targets made of wood. This was so much harder than it looks like in the movies!
Last but definitely not least; to complete our ninja training we had to cross a river. From hopping stone to stone to walking on thin planks, we all managed to get across. But we were not done yet! We arrived at a place with a rope spun across the river, and a little floating rubber with a board on top of it. This was our final challenge: we had to stand on top of the float and use the rope to drag ourselves to the other side of the river. However the float was extremely unstable, and the guide told us that usually only half of the people make it to the other side. One by one we tried, and one by one we all fell in the water, except for one participant, Vladimir!
After all, we were kind of glad we were such bad ninja’s, because the water was cool and refreshing. In the end, we all still got our ninja-training certificate!
This time the World Campus – Japan participants get a lecture on Nara and how it was once the capital of Japan. We also learn about learning about Zen meditation and get to try in a budist temple under the instructions of a monk. Sara talks about her experience with these topics.
We went to the shopping street in Suita, where we were each assigned to a specific shop. A group of five World Campus – Japan participants (including myself) were supposed to be teaching English, but ended up getting a private karate class from our student instead! At the end of the class, we decided to thank our student/sensei by performing some Rakugo for her, which we learned about for the very first time yesterday. I did not want to perform then, because I’m not good at improvising, but today I felt confident enough to try. And I actually sorta liked it, too!
Later in the day, we went to Kansai University to interact with the students. First, we got to play with the juggling club’s materials. My favorite was the diabolo: spinning it was easy and fun. I also tried really hard to catch it after throwing it up in the air, but I just couldn’t do it! Later, we talked about the differences between our countries, for example, what type of food we eat or how we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Our group’s question was: “what do you study at your university?” It turned out we all did something with languages, either English, Japanese, Korean or computer programming (we think it counts).
When the day’s program was over, we made plans with some Japanese students to hang out at the arcade the day after. We might also see them again at the Arigato Event. Somehow, World Campus makes it easy to make foreign friends, even when we have little time together!