Okay, it’s definitely been a while since my last post. Tons have happened since then though! This is just an update on what I’ve been up to.
- Christmas with Yukari at her church. Met some JETs from Shiojiri and American missionaries.
- Skiing at Gala Yuzawa with Isaac and friends. Most convenient ski resort I’d ever been to followed by first Onsen experience. Very relaxing.
- New Years in Tokyo with Megumi and Yuuka. Went to a Shinto shrine for wishes and fortunes. New years shopping in Shibuya and Harajuku (Crazy Madness!). Of course no trip with them is complete without at least one night on the town in Roppongi.
- Tokyo Disney Land and Disney Sea with Aoyagi-san and her family. Made me feel like a kid again. It was so much fun! I LOVE Disney!
- Skiing around Nagano-ken with Aoyagi-san and her family. Watching kids ski is the cutest thing ever!
- Skiing in Niseko, Hokkaido and a bit of the Snow festival. Back country and tree skiing in the best powder ever. Skiing followed by outdoor Onsen is blissful.
- Skiing in Hakuba. More relaxing, more nice weather.
- Sake Festival in Niigata. Drank so much sake and met english teachers from Niigata. Partied with them until around 2 in the morning, then woke up and drank more sake the next day. I bought a grape flavoured sake and Amazake infused with Sakura. They are both delicious.
- More trips to Tokyo, this time with new English teaching friends, Andy and Rachel. Stayed at a strange friend’s place. Went to cool art show where I met a Torontonian who used to draw for Marvel (secretly admired him) and another Torontonian who used to dance on Electric Circus (Who remembers that?). Saw a closed Tsukiji Market (Boo).
Work is chugging along. Only 2 months left and it feels like there’s still so much to do. Not just finishing up things here and taking care of logistic things, but also so many festivals and things to do! My weekends are booked for April and probably May.
- April 2-3: Onbashira bringing down of the log (Yamadashi). This is where crazy Japanese people ride logs down a mountain. There are reports of people dying and many people getting injured in the past. This festival only happens once every 6 years. So I’m so excited!
- April 10-17: Osaka, Himeji, and Hiroshima with Jen. It’s going to be fun times and lots of eating.
- April 24-25: Clam picking in Nagoya with Aoyagi-san, her family, and her family friends. That’s going to be interesting.
As of yet, I have no plans for Golden Week. Not many vacation days, so probably can’t go too far. Maybe Tokyo, or Nagoya. This is also the time for the second part of Onbashira, Satobiki, which is the raising of the pillars at the shrines. Definitely must see the Cherry Blossoms in the Kiso Valley. It’s supposed to be famous. I’m going to try and see if I can arrange to go to Shiga-ken to see Akina (my Japanese exchange partner from high school).
I hope I can survive the rest of the craziness here in Japan. It’s going to be a busy couple of months.