Day of activity: August 5th 2014
Today we had lots of farewells and meetings.
In the morning, we said good-bye to our host families in Abiko, and it was really hard to part from them. We learned about Abiko city and had lots of awesome time with local people. Although I am Japanese, I was also able to learn about Japanese culture that I had never experienced, such as “Shakyo (copying of sutras)”, Kaiawase (a Heian period game which involved pairing the two parts of clamshells)” and so on. The nine days we spent with our host family have become an unforgettable memory of our lives.
After saying good-bye to our host families, we moved to the last city of session four, Tama. On the way to Tama, we went to the national diet building. I often see the exterior of the building and its inside on TV, but it’s the first time for me to see it with my own eyes. I was surprised and the magnificence of the sight took my breath away. The area of the site is 103,001 square meters, so it is such an imposing building!
We entered the building and we looked down into the central hall. The central entrance usually remains closed, but beyond the central entrance lies the central hall, which is located directly under the central tower. The hall has a floor area of about 267 square meters, and the cathedral-like ceiling rises four stories high, admitting daylight from above, making the hall about 32 meters high. The windows and ceiling are decorated with beautiful stained glass, and the hall contains bronze statues of Hirobumi Ito (the first prime minister). Then we saw the emperor’s room which was used by his majesty the emperor when he visited the Diet. The room is made entirely of Japanese cypress finished with fine lacquer and is said to be the quintessence of the architecture and craftsmanship of that era. I was surprised at the red carpet, which has a total length of about 4 kilometers. After that, we entered the chamber of the House of Representatives. In this chamber, the house of representatives holds its plenary sittings. We sat down and got an explanation about the chamber. It was a good opportunity to learn about the Japanese politics system.
We left there and then went on our way to Tama city! Here we met with the final host families!