It’s been a hectic week! The new school year started last Monday and I’ve been to two of my “new” schools, 3sho and 5sho. (I say “new” – I taught at 3sho two years ago and 5sho three years ago, but the teachers have changed a bit and there are many new faces!) Completely changing schools has meant a lot of moving supplies, learning (and forgetting) names, simultaneously gaining and losing confidence in my Japanese ability, and a lot of stress.
This week has been a reminder of what it’s truly like being a foreign, non-Japanese-speaker in Japan. Headaches, awkward and broken conversations, miscommunications (or rather, I figure out what was said ten minutes after the conversation and by luck had given the right answer)… The most appalling thing has been the sheer number of conversations with super friendly people who seem to know me – but I can’t for the life of me figure out where we’ve met before! (This happens all the time, but this week these people were particularly numerous.)
On the other hand, spring has finally arrived! In America, my favourite season was autumn – as a child, I loved the excitement of the start of the new school year, the break from the summer heat, and, of course, Halloween! Spring was never at the top of the list for me. After living in Japan, though, I have to say, spring is amazing, and it’s probably my favourite now!
Tatebayashi’s cherry blossom trees are especially spectacular. When my parents visited in spring 2015, they went first down to Kyoto to see the blossoms and then came up to stay with us. They thought that Tatebayashi’s cherry blossoms were the most beautiful!
The past week’s stress has been offset by the beautiful trees in Tatebayashi’s Tsutsujigaoka Park. Everyone in town came out to enjoy the beautiful weather and cherry blossoms:
I’ll be writing a post soon about Hanami, or flower-watching, possibly the most awesome Japanese thing ever. Public drinking is legal in Japan, and there’s nothing better than laying out a blanket and cracking open a few beers with some friends beneath the cherry trees!
In addition to Tsutsujigaoka Park, my friend Katie and I visited the Tobu Treasure Garden, which will also have to be its own post later this week because there were so many beautiful things and I took so many pictures.
It’s unreal how beautiful Japan is in the spring. I’d say the perfect time to come visit is the first week of April!
I also had the pleasure of taking engagement photos for Charlie and Alyssa, fellow ALTs in Gunma. The chance to take the pictures with the cherry blossoms and the carp flags was too good to pass up!
I’ve been having a lot of fun working on these photos – it’s been ages since I’ve had a chance to do a shoot like this; thanks guys! ^-^
That’s all for now! This week I have my first classes, so fingers crossed I just fall back into the regular rhythm of the school year soon.
Until next time, またね！