Today we return from Tokyo back to our home base in Kameoka for a party at E-chan’s house later that evening. During the train I finally got around to sending out the postcards that I had picked up so long ago. I know these will be sent out very late but I have cool cards and stamps that I wanted to get to people. The rest of the 3 hour trip was taken up with journal writing and napping.

When we returned to the Kyoto station, we split up to find some gifts for Dr. Stapp and E-chan. Shannon and I headed out the Kyoto Budo Center for Dr. Stapp’s present, a suburito, a wooden practice sword. The trip would also take us to the Kyoto Handicraft Center where I’d hoped to pick up a few gifts that I had eyeballed when I was there before.

Unfortunately, we got lost when we got off the bus. We took a wrong turn and had to take a taxi for a 3 block, ¥640 cab ride. I think that a taxi from the Kyoto station is the best way to get here both in time and money since it was easy to get lost with the maps we had.

In addition to the suburito, I also picked up a nice iaido hakama at the martial arts stores near the Budo Center but I forgot to get knee pads for iaido. I guess I’ll have to order some over the Internet.

Next I joined Shannon over at the Kyoto Handicraft Center where she was looking for a lacquer painting of Fuji in vain. I got several good gifts for friends and family at reasonable prices. I still couldn’t find a few gifts so that means I’ll have to scramble tomorrow.

We returned to Kameoka to meet up with everyone to put the finishing touches on the presents we wanted to present tonight. One group got Ei-chan a very nice watch. We all signed Dr. Stapp’s suburito in English on one side and Japanese on the other.

E-Chan’s house is about 10 minutes away from the train station so it was a nice little walk to make us a little hungrier for dinner. E-chan’s daughter and son-in-law were there and visited with them for a while until dinner was ready. Dinner was, as you would expect, delicious. There was sushi along with yakitori and great bakery goods. We of course overate.

Afterwards, we made a JSAP name plaque for the 2004 class. Since no one was good a drawing we had to decide on something simple. We finally ended up with a design of a couple of hands reaching out to each other. The hands were created by using one finger from everyone in the group. Since we only had a few colored pen and pencils we needed something to make the Japanese rising sun in the middle. The secret ingredient, lip stick.

Tomorrow, our last full day in Japan.