I just got home from work and have started my Golden Week vacation! Golden Week doesn't officially start until next Wednesday, but since I have Sunday and Monday off, I thought it was kind of silly for me to go to work for one day on Tuesday - so, I asked for it off a few months ago. So, now...I have a super-extended vacation! I'll go back to work on May 6 and between now and then, I am planning on doing some traveling to Tokyo, Hiroshima and Miyajima, and maybe some more places, depending on money. And of course, there will be a ton of photos posted right here for your enjoyment. Same Bri time, same Bri channel.
Fujieda's city flower is wisteria (the Japanese word for it is "fuji" which is where Fujieda gets it's name from, I'm assuming). Now that it's spring, wisteria is in full bloom all over the city; in front of houses, at the station, and at my favorite park, Rengeji (where I went to ohanami). I went to Rengeji on Monday to check out the wisteria - and I was not disappointed at all. The park is so green with new leaves on the trees (not much of Japan is green...mostly gray and brown) and the purple wisteria really popped against it. And it smells so good, too!
Student A (in Japanese): "How old are you?" Me: "In English, please." Students A and B: "Eto..." (Japanese equivalent of "uh...") Me (whisper): "How old are you?" Students A and B: "How old are you?" Me: "I'm twenty-three." Student B (in Japanese): "Twenty three?! Grandma!!"
I started Easter the usual way with a church service at the church I've been going to that's about a 20 minute bike ride from my apartment. I really enjoy my church here and it was especially great celebrating Easter with people from different cultures. The kids did an Easter skit that was ah-dorable and we had a potluck, too. After church I headed to Rengeji Park where some friends were doing the hanami thing. The park was full of people enjoying the cherry blossoms and wisteria (Fujieda's town flower is wisteria and some beautiful wisteria plants had been put in the park) and it was a beautiful day for it. We ate a lot of food and just enjoyed hanging out. After hanami-ing it up, we went to karaoke - an Easter first for me! We went to a pretty shady karaoke place with a ginormous maneki neko beckoning us to come in, sing, and of course, give them our money. But even though it wasn't the nicest karaoke place I've been, it was dang cheap, which means it is now my new favorite karaoke location. We had a blast singing along to The Killers, Linkin Park, The Rolling Stones, and some various other Japanese songs that I struggled my way through (quietly, to myself, while someone else sang it). It was definitely not a traditional Easter, but it was probably one of the best I've had in a while. And here are about 50 kajillion photos to illustrate it (I couldn't resist shooting the heck out of the cherry blossoms):
Hiromi made an avacado, mayo, pesto, and chicken salad, but since I don't like mayo, she brought the ingredients without so I could made my own little sandwich. Thanks, Hiromi - it was delish!