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Incidentally, Reika graduates from primary school soon, so let’s have one chapter every 15 minutes until she does.
Few things to note first.
- Primary schoolers in Japan apparently go to Kyoto and Nara for their class trips. Generally.
- A ryokan (旅館) is a type of traditional Japanese inn that originated in the Edo period (1603–1868), when such inns served travelers along Japan’s highways. They typically feature tatami-matted rooms, communal baths, and other public areas where visitors may wear yukata and talk with the owner.
- Kaiseki (懐石) or kaiseki-ryouri (懐石料理) is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. Served on these things:
- During a proper meal with these things, you are NOT supposed to leave your seat.
- Kyouyasai, or Kyouto(Kyoto) Vegetables, is the term for a number of heirloom vegetables originating in the Kyoto Prefecture of Japan. The characteristics of these heirloom vegetables are odd shapes and the rich nutrient profiles, thus they take a lot of time to grow because they aren’t easy to cultivate. Because of this, Kyo-yasai are very costly and much more expensive than ordinary vegetables. Thus, they are often eaten in the home, or in upscale restaurants.
June came, and so did the class trip, or ‘learning excursion’.
Suiran is a primary school filled with rich kids, so I thought for sure that we’d be going overseas for our trip, but to think that it was Kyoto and Nara.
Well, the level of the hotels and food that we’re getting is a totally different level from normal primary schoolers though.
We ate lots of Kyoto cuisine filled with Kyoto vegetables, as well as boiled tofu kaiseki meals, and relaxed in the place we were staying; a high-class and very old Japanese-style ryokan inn.
It’s all too refined and austere for a primary schooler.
But man, if we let loose and had a pillow fight in a high-class ryokan like this, it’d be terrible if we missed and tore a hole through the paper of the shoji sliding doors.
I’d better keep a good eye on everyone.
To think that of all possible years I could become vice rep, it would be one with our class trip.
I have to go look for students late to meeting points, and warn students talking during a tour guide’s explanation, and just lots of other annoying stuff.
But my class is still on the better side of things. We don’t have Kaburagi, Enjou or anybody else disruptive like that, so my class is actually pretty tame.
The girls have been cooperating with me from the beginning and doing things like supporting me with the roll-call, or making sure we get lights out on time, and thanks to them I’m having a way easier time than all the other reps.
Class Rep is also doing his best to manage the boys after all. Occasionally when there are some guys who are too excited for him to stop, “Kisshouin Reika and her friends” surround them and silence them with smiles.
So my class is on the peaceful side of things.
I’m sure the teacher gave me this role because they suspected this would happen. I mean, even though there are girls more serious and diligent than I am, with experience as class reps too, I was the one who got nominated.
Well, if my presence helps this trip to go smoothly, then I guess it’s fine being used like this.
All the reps from the other classes seem to be having a dreadful time of it, after all.
Apparently the reps can’t stop the girls from noisily following Kaburagi and Enjou about.
Enjou at least tells the girls himself to calm down, but Kaburagi has no reaction so it’s a lawless zone.
During our meals the girls all left their seats as they please, and you seriously want to ask them “Are you girls actually young ladies from good families?”.
The class reps couldn’t stop them, so they only reluctantly returned to their seats after a warning from their homeroom teachers.
The atmosphere feels pretty strained, huh~
When they made this fuss when they were small, it was still just little girls being cute, but the older they get, the more annoying girls appear, and you need quite a bit of effort to deal with them.
There are even girls who seem like they’ll become the flashy nouveau riche-type ojousamas in the future, and there’s a bit of a hard-to-describe enmity between our groups.
Aahh, I’m glad they’re all in a different class~ Or so I was thinking, like somebody uninvolved, when the class rep of Kaburagi’s class suddenly screamed ‘Please help me!’ with his eyes.
I pretended like I didn’t notice.
Nah, I mean, it’s not my place as an outsider to say anything, and if I did say something, normally you’d react like “God, just how controlling is this chick?” right?
I’ve got my hands filled with my own clas-
“Kisshouin-san. Umm, it looks like the class rep of Class 3 is sending an SOS signal, but…”
Don’t report things that nobody wanted to know, Class Rep.
“Is it not simply your imagination?”
“No, well~ His eyes are completely serious, so. And even though it’s almost lights out time, the girls are making a fuss and showing no signs of heading back, so.”
“But it is the problem of another class.”
“Well yeah, but, it’ll trouble the people of the inn.”
Well, I do feel sorry about that.
To begin with, these primary schoolers are a bunch of kids who wouldn’t understand mature aesthetics if it hit them in the face, so it’s weird that you’d pick such an elegant and traditional ryokan to bring them to.
“Then perhaps you should go, Class Rep.”
“…You’re saying that even though you know it’s impossible for me, right?”
Girls are scary in groups, aren’t they. But I’m scared too.
Hm? Hey, it looks like girls from another class are swarming Kaburagi too. Their class rep couldn’t stop them either?
It must be scary, huh~ But you knowww, as a fellow rep, I understand your toils.
Can’t be helped.
Kikuno-chan is relatively moderate even within the boisterous girls of Kaburagi’s class, so I headed over to her first.
“Quite noisy over here, is it not? Even though it is almost time for lights out…”
“That’s true. Those girls don’t think about how they’re bothering Kaburagi-sama…”
Kikuno-chan replied with a sour look.
“Quite true. This inn is a favourite of his Okaasama, and each time she visits Kyoto she stays here. And yet, if she knew that there were girls bothering the people here with their noise, I wonder just what she would think of it.”
“Eh-, the regular inn of Kaburagi-sama’s Okaasama!?”
Girls who heard our conversation glanced our way.
“You have your act together, so it does not matter for you, Kikuno-san, but perhaps it would be better if your class took care not to trouble her favourite inn, lest you earn her ire. I heard that she is a strict woman when it comes to discipline.”
The girls who were eavesdropping on my conversation with Kikuno-chan all started to fall quiet.
“Ahh, it appears that it is time for lights out now. Good night, everybody.”
“Good night, Reika-sama.”
“Good night, Reika-sama.”
Things seem okay for now.
There would be too much conflict had I warned them directly. I don’t want more enemies.
If I overdo things, people will hate me for being a goody-two-shoes.
Or rather, Kaburagi, warn them yourself! It’s an inn that your own mum likes, you know?
Well, even if it wasn’t, being too noisy isn’t a good thing.
And although he was gazing into the distance unconcernedly, I’ll bet his head was just filled with thoughts of what souvenirs to buy Yurie-sama anyway. There’s no mistaking it.
I suppose there’s no choice but to inform Yurie-sama through Aira-sama, and get her to give him a scolding, huh.
During the day, we went visiting shrines and temples, and souvenir shopping.
The matchmaker shrine was the most popular spot for the girls. After all, their romantic interest was close by, which just made their prayers all the more earnest.
Apparently Kikuno-chan who was in Kaburagi’s class even made sure to introduce him to god with, “The one standing beneath the willow tree is Kaburagi Masaya! I leave things in your capable hands!”.
They also had to buy love fortunes and amulets for romance, so everyone was really rushing in the short time frame we were given.
I had thought that it would only be girls who would enjoy the matchmaker shrine, but quite a few boys were earnest in pulling fortune slips for romance too, so I was a little surprised.
Class Rep was one of them. I wonder who the girl is.
I went with all the girls and got one as well.
I’m not sure how to feel about this…
If you want more pictures of high-class ryokan inns to help you imagine the scene, click here.
Also, for the fortunes,
(大吉, dai-kichi): great blessing
(中吉, chuu-kichi): middle blessing
(小吉, shou-kichi): small blessing
(吉, kichi) blessing
(半吉, han-kichi): half-blessing
(末吉, sue-kichi): future blessing
(末小吉, sue-shou-kichi): future small blessing
(凶, kyou): curse
(小凶, shou-kyou): small curse
(半凶, han-kyou): half-curse
(末凶, sue-kyou): future curse
(大凶, dai-kyou): great curse