Saturday was a big day wth lots of train travel and two concerts: Atsuko Arai’s children’s chorus in Nara followed by an impromptu performance at the feet of the famous “big Buddha” at the Tōdai-ji temple.
On Saturday we caught the train from Takarazuka to Sai-daiji station. A wonderful man volunteered to go back to help find our lost choir member who had no way of finding us. They arrived only minutes after we did… you wouldn’t believe it! The Station workers also went well beyond their duty by reuniting our lost lamb. A timely reminder and lesson in survival train travel in a foreign country!
Sai-daiji temple performance in the morning with Atsuko Arai was a highlight. Everyone enjoyed meeting Atsuko san’s wonderful students, who, despite being mainly under 12 years old are a far more disciplined choir than we are! Atsuko is a fantastic performer who knows how to put on a great show. Isabella has performed with Atsuko’s group in all 8 of their Japan tours and this show was particularly special as Fr Paul Glynn (Lismore local and architect of the Lismore-Yamato Takada sister city relationship) was able to attend.
This next stop was the impressive gardens surrouding Tōdai-ji Temple, the home of the Big Buddah. We were extremely privileged to be taken to stand directly under the massive, 1200+ year old metal Buddah and sing Japenese songs to the passing crowd in the temple while the sun set through the magnificent wooden gates.
Afterwards, we were all invited to dinner at Atsuko Arai’s house in Nara where we watched the movie about the life of Father Tony Glynn, the “Railroad of Love” together with our friend Monk from Tokyo, our wonderful driver/host Mr Satoo Nishimura and Fr Paul Glynn.