Today was the hardest day I've had in Japan so far, but it was also one of my favorites. We visited Oyama afuri jinja shrine on Mt. Oyama with some first graders from Jishukan. As soon as we left the school and started walking to the train station where we would begin our journey, we were all exhausted from the heat. The sun was shining so strongly, and we had no cover at all. We weren't even allowed to drink while we walked, so we were all basically dying and we had only just begun the day.
After the train and bus ride to get to Mt Oyama, things only got harder. If I had to choose one thing about Japan that I don't enjoy, it would be the amount of stairs there are. Even in Jishukan, we need to climb 5 flights of stairs everyday just to reach our classrooms. The stairs at Mt Oyama were killer, and it seemed like there was no end to them. I think most of us New Zealand exchange students were struggling badly. But when I looked at the people around me, they were all old men and women, wearing layers of clothes, tackling the stairs without even breaking a sweat. I thought to myself "if they can do it, so can we". And we did
We reached the top of the stairs and got into a cable car.The further up the mountain we got, the more spectacular the view became. It made walking up the stairs so worth it. We admired the view for awhile before we went to see the shrine. The shrine was very traditional and beautiful, just like the one we visited in Kamakura. After seeing the shrine we went to a place where a man spoke to the first graders and gave them some information about the area. He spoke for a looong time,only in Japanese so we couldn't understand much. It was at this point that all of us New Zealanders were just dead. Everyone was struggling to keep their eyes open, but we didn't want to be rude. I suddenly felt as if I hadn't slept for a week and would pass out at any moment. It was a whole new feeling of exhaustion that I was experiencing. But after he was finished, we were able to see some traditional Japanese artifacts before making our way back to school.
This was the most tired and dead I've ever felt, but the beauty of the place made everything worth it, and if given the option, I would definitely do it all over again.