This past weekend was all about “mono no aware.” This idea is a very important part of Japanese culture, and the aspect that I respect the most. It literally translates to “a pathos of things.” Basically, appreciate the things in life that are fleeting or impermanent. The best example I can give is cherry blossoms. They bloom once a year and only last about a week. That is why hanami (cherry blossom viewing) is so popular here. The Japanese have a festival for nearly everything that is notoriously short-lived.They have plum festivals, peach festival, cherry blossom festivals, and even snow festivals. It’s always about taking the time to enjoy life, because it is truly, very brief. So, I invite you to try “mono no aware.” This weekend, gather a group of friends an family, take out a picnic blanket, and go celebrate the most beautiful, yet brief, part of spring in your town. This idea stretches beyond physical things, but you get the jest of it. Continue reading
My first weekend was quite a success. On Friday I hopped on an evening train into Yokohama. It takes about 1 hour, 45 minutes straight from here. It’s pretty epic that there is a line that goes directly there from Koga. Once in Yokohama, I spent the night with my long lost, good friend, Mari Kishi. We only get the opportunity to see each other once a year (if that) but it’s always the same. She is very strange, and so am I. It’s perfect.
The last few days have been spent doing one very important thing: getting lost. Often. While I’m lost, I’m usually quite worried, however, I have to admit that getting lost has taught me more than maps have. This week and next, I am under strict instruction to hang around town and wait to hear about the day that I am summoned upon by my company. This translates to: explore Koga with your phone handy. I think I can handle that.
Last night, a fellow ALT, Carolyn, and I grabbed dinner at a conveyer belt sushi restaurant (かっぱ寿司). This was actually my first experience at one of those! It was pretty cool, and quite reasonable. Some of the sushi was a little radical (hamburger nigiri) but I liked most of it. Desserts were on the belt, too. So dangerous for a girl like me!