Saturday was a highlight of the tour to date. The group met at a big performance space in Katsuyama-cho along with several other choirs and performers. Today’s event was organised by Mioko Yamasaki – a wonderful musician and musical director whose enthusiasm for music is contagious. It was a lovely experience that encapsulated everything that is special about the Isabella a cappella Japan tours. We had the opportunity to perform in front of an interested and musical audience. We also got the chance to listen to some very fine performances, including several choirs and a couple of very impressive solo performances from a talented young cellist and a solo pianist. There was also a big serving of Japanese eccentricity (from a vistors perspective) including a championship game of “scissor, paper, rock”, a “banana auction” and a game where the room divided into groups by their birth months and then a victorious group was tied together with rope (why I’m not sure)
Following the performance we travelled to Yukuhashi. We were then taken by bus into the nearby mountains where we had a big dinner and party at a traditional Japanese inn. Our accomodation was organised by the mayor of Katsuyama-cho who also joined us for the celebrations. The group was pretty excited as the inn was above the snowline and there was plenty of fresh snow all around. A few people had never seen snow before, so once suitably warmed by beer & sake headed outside to throw snowballs at one another.