Cultural day, March 27th, 3月27日禅寺とラーメン

(by Sakane Natsumi)
Today was the last day in Niigata.
Last night Yapese kids and young staff members had a great meeting until late at night.
However, especially group C members (we divided into three groups and made dishes or washed the dishes in turn) got up early and started to make breakfast.
After the breakfast, we cleaned all the rooms, toilets and corridors.
During the cleaning, some host families came to say good-by to their “kids”.
1130327龍澤寺でJun 130327松井食堂ラーメン
We left the accommodation at 9:30 and went to the Ryutaku temple.
The monk taught us three important things: maintaining the fine posture, catching your breath, living in peace and harmony. Then we had an experience of ” Zazen”, it is a kind of meditation. What we had to do was simple but it was difficult. To make good posture, concentrate on breathing and count the number.
For lunch, we ate chinese noodles which are called “Ramen “, then took a little walk and went to Takano-san’s parents’ home. They welcomed us kindly and served us extremely good water and snacks.
At 2:30, got into the bus and left Niigata. It took 3 and a half hours to get to Tokyo.
For dinner, we separeted into three groups, which I mentioned above, and went to restaurants (two groups went to Japanese-style food restaurants and the other went to Gyudon-shop which serves beef on rice)
Humm…..what I want to say the most is I am really tired but had a great time in Niigata!
Kids’ faces are now totally different from what those were before we went to Niigata, they looks more cheerful, relaxed, satisfied. I hope they learned something from visit in Niigata and will apply the learning to their own lives when they go back to Yap.
 まずはじめに 和尚さんから3つの大切なことを教わります。姿勢を整えること、呼吸を整えること、そして心を整えること。その後、お経があった後、いよいよ座禅に入ります。
130327龍澤寺でみんなで2 牧之通り散策
 その後少し散歩がてら牧之通りを歩き、高田屋さんで古い建造物や品物を見せてもらい、最後になんと高野さんのご実家にお邪魔させていただきました短い時間でしたが、ご両親は大変あたたかく向かい入れてくださって、非常においしい井戸水やお菓子を くださいました。
 ふぅ、、、とにかく新潟への旅はかなり疲れて、いまいち頭も働いていませんが、新潟の皆さんには本当によくしていただいて、非常に充実した4日間でした。子供たちが少しでも多くのことを今回の新潟への旅で学んでいることを望んでいます。ではでは、これでようやく私も寝れます。おやすみなさい。    坂根菜摘