Kyoto - I left my heart in Kyoto!
As I was voluntold (by Jake - San) with the honor of offering a blog entry about the Kyoto adventure I find it very difficult, without instead offering some other thoughts on the complete Lean Japan Tour.
I will offer the entry without an arranged order.
The Kyoto day trip was the icing on the cake or the dessert of the week. While the plant visits offered incredible insight, the Kyoto "walk about" (about 9 miles) allowed us to step into the true nature and culture of Japan. I need to state right now, for any that will take this tour in the future, you must take it as gospel, that when David says to wear comfortable shoes and to make sure you do not get separated from the group, he means it. Those I traveled with know I speak as one that twice did get separated from the group. Once to find my own way back to the arranged hotel and once by luck I re found the group. Without a small working ability to communicate in Japanese, I'd still be lost in Shinjuku.
In Kyoto our guide Miyuki - San offered a great deal of historical information. The city is an incredible blend of old, semi old, and new. New high rises abound, while in between you will view small many century old buildings with classical Japanese architecture. Yet the two worlds do not collide. They blend together and offer the visitor a unique insight into the Japan of the now and that of the very distant past.
The capping of for the day was a simply amazing traditional Japanese meal in a restaurant that offered the most memorable sunset I have ever been blessed to see. Yes Japan is called the land of the rising sun, but the sunsets are breathtaking. For the romantics I cannot state strongly enough how mesmerizing it was to behold.
The assembled group of participants come from many industries, yet there was an immediate common bond. Not only to help each other, but beyond that. Friendships were made. Business relationships generated. Now that I have had an opportunity to view the Lean Reflections site I see that other participants have offered detailed information on the other vista we under took. I cannot state strongly enough that if you ever get the chance to join on one of the Lean Tours grab the opportunity, hang on tight, get ready to learn and enjoy a life altering experience.
Michael J. Glukler