Friday, April 30, 2010
Well, a lot of things have been happening lately (Sakura, sightseeing, joining a club, and a whole bunch of little adventures)
But to start, now that the Sakura (cherry blossoms) have come, it's undoubtedly spring time here in Niigata. Its no longer freezing, people are working in their gardens, and the rice fields are beginning to fill up with water.
Luckily, while the Sakura was blooming, I was able to go with both my friends and family to see the Sakura (The Japanese word for this is Hanami, or basically, flower veiwing).
Just a warning, Sakura is so incredibly beautiful, that no picture could do justice :) There are so many Sakura trees, that in just a few days, Japan has turned pink. And everyone goes to see the Sakura, (which is great for the vendors).
Although incredibly amazing, I felt sad looking at the Sakura. The whole time, I couldn't help thinking "What if this was the last time I would see it?"
Following the cherry blossom, is golden week. What is golden week? Well, it's a whole bunch of holidays put into one week (such as the emperor's birthday and children's day). This also means a week of no school :p
Yesterday, my family and I went to visit Tsurugajo Castle (that's it in the first picture with Sakura surrounding it, the castle is located in the Fukushima Prefecture).
People are able to go into the castle, which has been turned into a museum. Unfortunately, Cameras weren't allowed. But the museum had a collection of swords, saddles, Samurai clothing, and a whole bunch of other treasures. (Unfortunately, only a few of the displays had descriptions that were in English, and of those few that did, a lot had spelling errors.)
We also visited an old marketplace where you can buy mountain stream cold soda for a 100 yen!
The bridge leads to a shrine where once again, no cameras were allowed. And on the bridge, Otoosan had this bright idea of jumping on it so that it swayed; freaked. me. out.
At the top of the castle. Kirei? I think so :)
The drive back home was a few hours. On the way back from visiting the shiro (castle), while I was sleeping comfortably, a window shattered.
Fortunately, no one was sitting next to the window, but let me tell you, that is not something you want to wake up to everyday. But, after taping cardboard to the space where the glass use to be, everything returned to normal and today the car was fixed.
Speaking of today, it was my second day of track and field. Since a lot of people on the team haven't talked to me yet, I was once again surrounded and they started to touch my hair. And today, I taught them "Rock, Paper, Scissors" Not many of them knew what they were saying, but one of my friends speaks a little English and I had trouble trying to explain what "shoot" was.
(Just a quick note, there is a Japanese version of rock, paper, scissors, but it's called Janken Pon and it's slightly different.)
I want to thank everyone for being so encouraging! I'll try to update more often! Arigato gozaimasu!