Today was quite a day. Not all of my days here at Kamesei Ryokan are this busy, but on the other hand, it wasn't all that unusual either.
The day started at 5am, with taking Pauline and her classmate from Keio U. to zazen meditation. Then we came back to the inn, and I cooked pancakes for the kids' breakfast. After that I flipped futons and sent off our guests from the previous night, including a family from Singapore. We stopped at a cherry orchard on the way to the station -- more on that in a later post. Then the director of the city's Economic Development office came to discuss the English walking map / restaurant guide I am making. Next I drove up to Obasute Station, parked the K-Truck and hopped on a train to Matsumoto. There I gave a talk to the Prefectural Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting. (That was a bit daunting to be lecturing to the lectors...) I had a bit of time to kill before the next train back, so I hooked up with my buddy Tom working at a think-tank in 'Moto for a late lunch bowl of ramen. Then it was back to Obasute Station and to Kamesei, where one of our new regular guests was waiting. Itogawa-sensei had been intrigued by one of the statues on display in our inn, and had researched all about it for me. After flipping futons for tonight's guests, it was off to Okagura practice at the town's main park. Somewhere in there was a phone call from NHK, the national broadcaster requesting to do feature TV show on Kamesei.
5am zazen, okagura practice, speeches ... nothing new. But all in one day -- that was a first. Also, at the zazen room, the monk was away so I had to lead the meditation. That was also a first. And at the okagura practice, I put my flute down for one dance and tried my hand at being the rear person in the lion -- another new experience.
All in all, a very full day!