After the first rehearsals of the tour, the orchestra headed out to explore Seoul. One group went to Jogyesa Temple, the largest active Buddhist temple in central Seoul. Three large golden Buddha figures sit under a ceiling hung with yellow and green. A temple guide welcomed some students and showed them around the temple. Some students sat on cushions amongst the people reading, meditating, and praying.
After absorbing the quiet of the temple, the group ventured toward Insadong, a nearby artsy area of Seoul. Galleries, craftspeople, tiny stores, and coffee shops line the narrow stone streets. Inside a second-floor café, people took refuge from the heat with iced drinks and air conditioning.
That evening, in the lobby of the hotel, students met up to discuss where to have dinner and what parts of Seoul to find. They set out in groups, eager to extend their day with their own explorations.