Monday, May 18th
Although we didn’t get to sleep very long, the temperature was much more comfortable for sleeping. The temperature is very much like Michigan which was nice compared with the heat of Taiwan. Our first official day in Japan included attending the JCMU 20th Anniversary welcome ceremony (along with other JCMU anniversary guests), a JCMU tour, a Japanese language overview, downtown Hikone tour and lunch, and finally a piano and trumpet concert and welcome reception. Our trip to Japan was planned during the JCMU 20th Anniversary celebration so we are able to participate in many of the different activities. I especially enjoyed the language overview although I wasn’t able to fully participate with Annabelle running about. It was a lesson in listening and observing as everything was done in Japanese. It took a while before everyone understood what was going on but a lot of fun. The concert and reception were very nice but we left a little early to put Annabelle to bed. That was enough excitement for a day. She really enjoyed the environment at JCMU as she has tons of space to run around and explore. Prior to the trip, I had never heard of JCMU but I’ve been very impressed with the partnership developed between Michigan and our sister Sate of Shiga Prefecture in Japan.