きれいな嵐山に行ってきた! Day-trip in beautiful Arashiyama!

Hey everyone, Mark from Kyoto here. On Sunday 21st July, the International Affairs Division organised a field trip to Arashiyama for 30 exchange students from California, USA. With only a week left of their month-long exchange trip to Japan, they were all very excited to see another part of Kyoto. This was the largest group I have been asked to help out with, and with fellow coworkers and other associates, as well as some Japanese buddy students from Ryukoku University, we spent the day around the Arashiyama area!

皆さん、こにちわ~、マークです~。7月21日(日)、京都府国際課が企画したフィールドトリップに参加しました!カリフォルニア州の留学生の海外研修がまもなく終わる予定で、学生たちは京都府の別の場所を見に行くことを楽しみしているようでした。今回のグループは、留学生30人と龍谷大学の日本人学生バディーと国際課職員で、今まで通訳支援をしたなかで一番人数が多かったです。皆で嵐山を楽しんできました!

It was already a hot day when everyone arrived around 08:45 at the Prefectural Office, so we made the process as quick as possible and jumped into the cooled coach that would take us to Arashiyama. Our first stop was Tenryu-ji, the Zen Buddhist temple with its World Cultural Heritage site garden. Here we were very lucky to have a short tour of the grounds and an explanation of the daily lives of priests and monks at the temple, from an American man who trained to become a monk. He very kindly guided us through the process for meditation, and after a short 20 minute session, we all came back to reality feeling very refreshed, I think.

朝8:45頃に府庁に集合した時にはもう、とても暑かったので、準備などをできるだけ早く済ませてから、涼しいバスに乗って、嵐山に向かいました。最初の行き先は世界遺産の庭園がある天竜寺でした。アメリカ人の僧侶が、僧の日常生活などを説明してくださって、とても貴重な機会でした。座禅の説明を聞いてから、実際に体験して、とても面白かったです!

Zazen meditation practice! 座禅体験!

Zazen meditation practice!
座禅体験!

After a stroll through the temple gardens, we headed back towards Saga-Arashiyama station via the Take-no-michi, or the Bamboo Road. This famous path gave a cool and shady break from the midday sun.

庭園を散歩した後、竹の道を経由して嵯峨嵐山駅の方に移動しました。竹の道は涼しくて、昼間の太陽から少しだけ逃れることができました。

Once we had taken time to get ourselves fed and watered, we gathered at the Torokko Saga Train station, where we boarded the classically designed, semi-open-air train to take in the view over the Hozu River. This 20 minute journey goes up to Kameoka, and allows spectacular views of the gorge, unavailable on the usual JR ride.

昼ご飯を食べて水分補給をしてから、トロッコ嵯峨駅に集合して、観光列車に乗りました。保津川や保津峡の素晴らしい豊かな自然が眺められて、本当によかったです!20分かかりますが、JRより景色がきれいなので、亀岡の方に行くなら、おすすめです!

Taking in the scenery on the way to Kameoka. 亀岡方面の景色を眺め中

Taking in the scenery on the way to Kameoka.
亀岡方面の景色を眺め中

The journey up to Kameoka, however, was really in order to take the beautiful journey back. Thankfully, the weather was scorching hot and sunny all day, so a perfect day to take the river raft boats down the Hozu River from Kameoka to Arashiyama. With little rain in the past week, the water level was low, and the running a little slower than normal, but the breeze on the river made the whole experience very pleasant, as we waved to other rafters going down the river. The men steering the boat had a great time talking with the exchange students, and shared many of their amusing anecdotes with us all, making the 2 hours or so pass very nicely.

亀岡に行った本当の理由は、嵐山まで舟で戻ってくることでした。暑かったですが、きれいに晴れていたので、保津川下りにはちょうどよかったです。最近雨があまり降っていなかったので、水深が浅く、舟は普段よりちょっとのんびり進んでいましたが、涼しい風が気持ちよかったです。他の舟の人々に手を振ったり、船頭さんと喋ったりしながら、2時間をとても楽しく過ごせました。

Hozu-river ride 保津川下り

Hozu-river ride
保津川下り

Once back in Arashiyama, a quick stop for ice-cream and souvenirs, and we went back to the Prefectural Office where we said our goodbyes. There are already some potential JET applicants in the group so after I had passed on my advice and details for further questions we all went our separate ways.
I had a lot of fun on one of my favourite day trips here in Kyoto, and especially taking care of some very enthusiastic and open-minded students. Who knows, perhaps we might see them again on the JET Programme in the future? The day finished without incident, and I hope the students enjoy their last week in Japan!

嵐山に着いて、アイスやお土産を買ってから、バスで府庁まで戻って解散しました。JETを希望している学生もいて、色々アドバイスしました。
日帰り旅行先として大好きな嵐山で、僕自身もとても楽しめました。皆は熱心に参加してくれて、楽しく過ごせたようでした!それに、今回出会った学生たちと将来JETプログラムでまた会うかもしれないので、楽しみにしています。全てが無事に終わってよかったです。皆が日本での最後1週間を楽しめますように!

The group at Tenryu-ji 天竜寺前グループ写真

The group at Tenryu-ji
天竜寺前グループ写真

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This entry was posted in International Students 留学生, Kyoto Prefectural Office - 京都府国際課 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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