On day two of our stay in Tsugaru, Japan we gathered at the Fureai Kaikan Community Center in Shariki village to catch the bus at 9am. Our first stop was at the Yoshinji Buddhist Temple, where we participated in Zazen Buddhist Meditation with a monk. We spent the morning there, learning about the religion, and followed the monk in prayer for the lives lost years ago in the wreck of the Bath ship, the “Cheseborough”. When the morning ended, we went to a local market known as “Flat”. There, we tried soba noodles, and added a raw quail egg.
After lunch, we visited the Shariki Community Centerto practice the ancient tradition of ‘tea ceremony.’ We learned the proper way to drink tea, walk with tea, eat sweets and admire the tea cup. After a few cups of green tea and some picture taking, we proceeded to the Cheseborough Memorial, where each member of the exchange program left a rose as a gesture of respect and remembrance. Next to the memorial was our final stop, the Takayama Inari Shrine. A Shinto priest guided our tour through the beautiful shrine and garden. He educated us on the Shinto religion and the history of Japan. After exploring the elegant garden, we returned to our bus and spent the evening with our wonderful host families.
– Haley Todd, 17, Woolwich