Uda City, Nara

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Though every day is a precious, September 4th became an especially memorable one for the Class of 2007.

It started with the visit of Muro-ji temple, a national treasure of Japan, where the chief priest of the Buddhist temple offered us a guided tour. We were also given rare permission to enter the “Hondo” (main temple) to admire the magnificent Buddha statues which date back to the 7th century.

After having a lecture from the chief priest, participants had the chance to explore the extensive temple ground. Many of us climbed some 400 steps to pay a visit to the “Oku no in” (the innermost sanctum) on the top of the ancient cedar-covered hill.

Delicious vegetable curry was cooked for us by the citizens of Taguchi district in “Muro Genki Mura” as well. The recently opened art village is hosted in a former elementary school which closed down 6 years ago, where various activities are designed by local initiatives to invigorate the neighborhood. It was there that experienced craftsmen and artists taught us how to make handcrafts. With their help, we enjoyed creating tie-dye scarves, bamboo accessories, origami motives and painting pottery.

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