We started our first full day in Japan with a day trip to Osaka. Our volunteer guide, Mr. Akihiro NOMURA (aka “Aki”) helped plan a packed itinerary to keep people moving through a day of jetlag.
In rain that turned to a downpour, the students gamely visited the Osaka International Peace Center (known as Peace Osaka), Osaka castle, and the shopping arcades Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi, before making our way to a train back to Kyoto. On our way back, we stopped at one of the most powerful and beloved Shinto shrines in the area, Fushimi Inari Taisha, and wandered through its many torii (Shinto gates). We parted ways with Aki in the historical Gion area of Kyoto, ate a light dinner, and the students had time to explore the area.