Our day began with a ceremony with the 1st graders from Koka Elementary in the gym.
The students discovered where we were from and located those places on our map.
They then performed a totally fun synchronized dance for us.
Which culminated in the presentation of gifts for children in Palau where we are heading to next.
Homagni and Pushpendra ham it up for the children to demonstrate was it harmony and what is not.
The crossed hand indicate "not harmony".
A moment of silence.
Vice Principal, happily holding the Peace Torch.
Holding the fans we are entrusted to bring to Palau.
Our next stop was To-ji Temple, one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kyoto. General Manager Ogaki of the adjacent accommodation Rakunan-kaikan kindly received us and showed us around in the premise. We paid prayerful visits to their main buildings Mie-do, Kon-do, Kou-do, and their famous five-story pagoda.
A couple of photos of the beautiful garden of Kyoto Imperial Palace.
Otis from the United States stands in front of the famous 5-story pagoda of To-ji Temple.
Our final ceremony took place at Koka Elementary in the afternoon. It began with a soulful Buddhist prayer then each of us had the opportunity to approach the shrine and offer gratitude and aspiration.
For lunch, the local organisers thought of taking the team to an Italian restaurant for a change, but were met with their strong protest, so instead we enjoyed the Shinshu-style soba. Delicious!
The talented students of Koka Elementary performed a number of musical presentations.
Harashita led a moment of silence.
Mr. Kazuyasu Honda, Deputy Director of HQ Regional Revitalization Office, Agency of Cultural Affairs-Japan, offered his gratitude to the Peace Run coming and very poetically likened the Peace Run to a thread that grows and weaves a blanket of peace and harmony.
Our guest of honor was the Mayor of Kyoto, Mr. Daisaku Kadokawa. A true ambassador of kindness and generosity of spirit, the Mayor drew on the similarities between the city of Kyoto and the Peace Run - each having a rich history but also striving to move forward in a spirit of progress and transcendence.
Many of the team members also made Peace Plates on the first day. Since these plates will be left with children of Koka Elementary for their fond memories of this project, the school very kindly took photos of all the plates, framed them, and gave them to the members. We are so grateful for this loving gesture by the school.
Our final event was with members from the K+ Running Club (Kyoto Koka Running Club). They have running lessons of different age groups, and we met with adult members and their coach, who meet every Tuesday at 7:30pm for their training.