9月 21, 2018 Live from the road


Reported by Harashita Sunaoshi, Stacey Marsh 14.0 km

The Kyoto Peace Run started the International Day of Peace at the Jingo-ji Temple, a fitting setting for this day.


Jingo-ji holds a number of National Treasures of Japan, as well as Important Cultural Property of Japan. Tucked in the lush mountain Takao, it emanates deep calmness and mystical beauty.


Abbot Taniuchi met us and took the Peace Torch, blessing the Peace Torch and gave a soul-touching chant.


The Abbot then lit the torch to start our day.


The team was met by the 6th grade students of Takao Elementary School to be a part of the blessing ceremony at the temple.


Then sending the Peace Run team and 6th graders on our way.

Arriving to meet all the 1st to 6th graders of Takao Elementary . About half the students then performed a routine for us, which gave us all so much joy and it showed the work they put into it.


Akanda from Mongolia, Homagni from Portugal, and Pushpendra from India do two funny skits to show peace and not peace.

Kanyaka from Bali has been a big fan of Japan and is very happy to finally come and visit!


Abhejali from Czech Republic gave our Certificate of Appreciation to Principal Tsubouchi of Takao Elementary.


All the students and the team after ceremony.

After lunch students from Takao Junior High came.


They first performed the Peace Run song for us with what looked like metal rods that produced the sweetest song and captured our hearts immediately.


Shortly after that the drums started and the power of them blew through us that we could not do anything else but sit transfixed on the drummers.


Their third and final piece was a piece to farewell us, rising we took our leave, lit the torch and continued on our way down the mountain.


Omuro Elementary School was the third school the Peace Run team visited today. We made our way into their large gym.




Children showing us the different countries we represent.


The teachers were invited up to run one lap of the school hall with the torch while all the students cheered them on! The Principal loved it so much that he did a second lap with all the teachers following behind with great enthusiasm.


Salil trying to learn how to say 1 to 10 in the Japanese language from these students.

As the team departed the students lined up grasping hands that we ran through on our way out of the hall.


Giving us all much joy.

As the team departed, younger children of the school had just finished for the day and the team got to meet some of them before they went home.

Teachers at the gate to farewell the team.


With not much time to spare the team ran off again making our way to meet students from two Track and Field Clubs.


These athlete-students from Katsura-gawa Junior High and Katsura-Higashi Elementary ran us the final distance to the final school for the day Katsura-gawa Junior High School.


Here we meet with students from Katsura Higashi, Kawaoka and Kawaoka Higashi Elementary Schools and Katsura-gawa Junior High School.


These students, along with being fantastic track and field competitors in the shorter distance, also compete in Ekiden, which is a distance road relay. Their teams and members often make it to national-level competitions.


Students trying to guess which country, they got it first time!


Representative from each school receiving a certificate of appreciation


To finish our activities of the day the students gave us a demonstration – on a somewhat smaller scale. 6 students would run together with the Peace Run torch and their tasuki – a sach they wear and have to pass to team members during Ekiden, instead of a baton. Tasuki is a sign of friendship.


They invited the Peace Runners to join the teams – and had even been practicing for a few hours to run slower for us!


To finish, their two top runners came up to thank us for coming. Both have Kyoto records in their respective distance. The girl in the 3km, in a time of 9:46 and the boy in the 800m in a time of 2:00. Once we heard their times we understood even more why they had to practice to run so slow!


What's surprising about these schools is that they are all public schools, and not special schools made for elite runners. So all the children are from the local area. The teachers told us that the biggest challenge is often to compete in the regional preliminaries, as this is where some of the strongest schools are concentrated. In fact, At Katsura-Higashi Elementary, the main organizer of today's event, their Track & Field Club has 80 members, from national level athletes to complete beginners, showing oneness among students of all levels.


The students all then lined up to send us off.


Much gratitude to all the wonderful Monks, teachers, students and all the people we met on the Peace Run today.


Torch carried by
Abhejali Bernardová (Czech Republic), Akanda Norov (Mongolia), Harashita Sunaoshi (Japan), Homagni Baptista (Australia), Jyotirmala Morohoshi (Japan), Kanyaka Arini (Indonesia), Otis Davis (United States), Pushpendra Uppal (Australia), Salil Wilson (Australia), Stacey Marsh (New Zealand), Urdhacheta Yap (Singapore).  
Urdhacheta Yap
The torch has travelled 14.0 km in Kyoto.

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