Day 7 – Trip to Nara and Uda City

We started the day with a welcome of Masaji Ono, Assistant Section Manager of Uda City, and Sei Ando, Cooperation Staff of Uda City. After they took us to the city hall all the employees gave us a warm welcome. They showed us their excitment of our visit by standing at the entrance and waving with Swiss flags.

Following by that the mayor of Uda City, Mikio Takeuchi, introduced us to the staff and to the invited presenters. Mainly the presentation was held by Isao Miyagawa, Director and General Manager of Dai-Ichi Seiko Co. Ltd. He talked about the Japanese business life and the business condition in the past 60 years. He came to the conclusion that both countries, Switzerland and Japan, have to look out for “lucky spaces”, like in football.

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We were invited to have lunch also with students from Nara University. The students Yuko Fujii, Eri Shintani, Yuri Takentaka and Kurumi Murata gave us some information about Nara and its sightseeing places at the end of lunchtime.

After lunch, they accompanied us when we went to Mr. Kajiya, one of a few katana sword crafter. He gave us some insights about the production and the use of these swords. Impressive was the fact that the completion of a Katana sword can take up to a whole year.

The final stop was at the Todai-Ji Temple where we can see the great Buddha. This temple also served as the Japanese headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism and it is listed in UNESCO as a historic monument of ancient Nara.

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On the whole it was very interesting to experience the differences between the crowded, noisy Tokyo and Kyoto and the countryside of Nara. This day was a compensation to the other busy days we had before and it was a pleasure to meet the polite and open-hearted people in Nara.

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