First Lady Michelle Obama Enjoys Spring in KyotoVisits Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Other Locations20 March 2015 - Temples/Shrines
Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States who was on a visit to Japan, visited Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Higashiyama Ward and Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Fushimi Ward, both in Kyoto City, and experienced traditional Japanese performing arts on March 20, the last day of her visit.
She was welcomed by Seihan Mori, chief priest of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and Kyoto Governor Keiji Yamada at the temple. After Ms. Obama observed the shrine precincts, she moved to the temple stage at the main hall to appreciate the Noh play "Hagoromo." Mariko Ban, a junior at Kyoto City University of Arts who showed the dance performance, said delightedly, "I was honored when she told me that she had enjoyed having a wonderful time with me."
At Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, 30 students of Akutagawa Senior High School in Takatsuki City, Osaka Prefecture, who were the winners of the Japanese drum section of the 2014 All Japan Senior High School Cultural Festival, played the Japanese drums in welcome for her visit. Tapping in rhythm to the tones, the First Lady beat the drums with them heightening the exchanges and expressed her gratitude, saying "Thank you for great performance." After that, she enjoyed the "Senbon-torii," or long line of red shrine gates within the shrine precincts.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)