I’m heading out relatively soon to (FINALLY) head to Hashikura, the non-pilgrimage temple in Ikeda (in a Google search I couldn’t really find info, but I did come across Lindsay’s photo gallery, which I’ll link to). I’ve been feeling on-and-off ill all week (I had to skip a concert yesterday of a group of touring Vietnamese musicians that actually came to Ikeda–I’m really disappointed that I had to miss it, but I just didn’t feel well, though after a long nap and something to eat, I felt a lot better), but I want to try to hike it…and if I can’t, I’ll come back down and drive it or catch the ropeway car instead. It’s nice to have options.

(I have to spend a nice chunk of time this weekend planning a Diwali/Deepavali class. It’s October 21 this year, so this week is the best time to do it, since I have all 6 of my elementary school classes this week. I was only able to do it at my Double-Length Class of DOOM last year, and it was just some hasty storytelling and having them try to draw rangoli/kolam, which is tough for little kids, so I have to come up with something more fun and interactive this year. It also gives me an excuse to wear the kurti I bought in India! After this, I have to get started on my Halloween lesson/party plans. I think my kids will definitely appreciate the change from the phonics worksheets we’ve done since the start of the term–while I’ve made those as fun as I can, this is where the kokusai kouryou comes into play as well, and sometimes that can be the most fun thing.)

Next week, I can’t do much sightseeing–we have the first portion of our midyear conference (it was an optional English camp in years past at a high school that was a SELHI until this year, but now it’s become a mandatory event for all ALTs) on Saturday, and the first meeting for the 2007 musical on Sunday.

The week after, though, I’m hoping to head to Osaka to take the GRE (now that my Amazon order, with my GRE Verbal prep book, has finally shipped!). I probably won’t make a full weekend out of it; I’ll just catch the first bus early Saturday morning and the last bus home on Saturday night. But at the same time, maybe I’ll hang around through Sunday afternoon…we’ll see, though.

The reason I’m thinking I won’t stay for more than a day is that the following weekend is a 3-day one. If I can combine that with the day of daikyuu I get for the English camp, I can make a 4-day trip, hopefully to Hiroshima and Miyajima, and/or maybe Nagasaki. It’s going to be a very last-minute trip, since it’s only 3 weeks off, so I have to start planning it really soon.

But for now, I’m finally going to check out Hashikura! Knowing my luck, though, it’ll probably be closed just to spite me, since something’s come up every other time I’ve tried to make it out there so far. I’m really looking forward to checking this out.

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