Recently, I went to Taiwan for a 3-day performance tour. It was a cultural exchange program between Taiwan and Japan. The organizer, Koenji-ren-kyoukai, selected 160 dancers and band members. I was lucky enough to be chosen. We were divided into 2 groups and I became a part of “Team B” which traveled from the southern part to the northern part of Taiwan. Our team had 6 flute players—3 of which I’ve already performed with before. I was so happy to get a chance to play with them again!

Coming from Narita Airport in Japan, we arrived at Kaoshun Airport in Taiwan, afternoon of April 26. As soon as we got there, we transferred to a bus and drove to a temple called Ryusei-gu. When we arrived there, a big audience welcomed us. It surprised me a lot.

We held our first performance at Kaoshun. The performance commenced in front of the temple and then from there, we marched on the street as we played our musical instruments. So many Taiwanese locals came to see us and they were all so excited! Honestly, I was feeling nervous at first but gradually, I just felt at ease seeing how ecstatic the people were while they watched us performed. It felt so rewarding. I remember seeing some people taking videos of us using their smartphone. I guess, this way, I could see our performance on Youtube. That would great!

When we back to the temple, we changed our costumes. Afterwards, we got a chance to witness a nice display of fireworks. As a way to welcome us, the Taiwanese organizers set a magnificent fireworks show. It was so close that I felt I could touch them! It was such a wonderful experience for me.

We were invited to a fantastic dinner courtesy of Ryusei-gu Temple officials. They served special Chinese food for us. The dinner was set in a lovely tent outdoors. I could not recognize some of the fish on the plate. Nonetheless, it tasted surprisingly good. It was a great evening and certainly an excellent way to kick off the tour.