Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring is in the Air

Well it seems that spring might finally be here, even though we're going to skip into rainy season and summer sooner than it took for spring to finally get here. It's been a bit chilly here recently and raining incessantly, which makes it seems like we did skip spring! But every once in while we'll have a pleasant spring day and I've tried to take advantage of them when they present themselves. Tulips are opening everywhere - we have a bunch in front of our school that I enjoy on my way in and out of school each day. I took a picture of these tulips in someone's garden on a walk the other day.

Sunday was one of the days that I decided I needed to take advantage of the weather. As my car had been smashed in the day before, I decided to walk to Sengan Shrine to enjoy the last of the cherry blossoms. Dawna reminded me to take advantage of the important things -- that I won't have any more "last chances" to see the cherry blossoms while living in Japan. I'm glad I took her advice and got out, even it it is a quite a walk there and back!

There aren't a whole lot of places around Fujinomiya where you can do cherry blossom viewing, so the few places are usually full of people. I just went by myself for some chill time, time to forget about my car and just relax. I sat under a big tree full of blossoms and read on my Kindle. Gosh I love my Kindle. I'm reading another James Patterson - I don't seem to read much else these days. I probably should be reading some stuff with a bit more literary value, but I enjoy James Patterson as I do TV shows like CSI and Law and Order SVU. Kinda the same sort of entertainment :)

I asked some students if they got to go out and do some cherry blossom viewing over spring break, but it seems that they were too busy studying, or maybe they just don't care either. But the pic below is some proof that they probably did spend a lot of time studying. That's a stack of Spring Break English homework -- each kid had to finish that book over break...I'm assuming they had one for each subject. I'd also like to remind you that in Japan, Spring Break is the break between school years, so these kids had finished up their school year and were moving on to the next grade only to be hazed with stacks and stacks of homework. I can only imagine if American teachers tried to give their students work to do in the summer!!

These carp streamers have started appearing as well to celebrate Children's Day in Japan. Though it's call children's day, it's mostly celebrates boys. People hang carp streamers outside their homes -- each one represents a boy in the house, the bigger ones for the oldest and on down in size. It's not until May 5, but some streamers are out already. This one was taken at a house near where I live in Fujinomiya.

I hope that we have some more nice and sunny days before rainy season and summer roll around. I have to cherish my last days with a view of Mt. Fuji, as it's usually too cloudy in summer and obviously in rainy season to see the mountain. I'm sure gonna miss it!


Sherry said...

Hi Ashley. You are probably wondering who is this person. I'm Kory's mom. I just wanted to tell you I've enjoyed reading your blog, especially re the Oxfam trial walks. Hope you and the rest of the Fuji Crew have a great experience.
I'm also a reader of James Patterson - just finished 3 of his.
Enjoy the rest of your time in Japan!

ash said...

I'm glad you enjoy it! I sometimes wonder if my faithful blogging efforts are worth it, so it's always nice to know I have another reader :) Thanks for your support in Trailwalker - it's going to be tough but it's encouraging to know we have so many people behind us!

I've read all the Women's Murder Club series (all the ones that are out so far anyway) and am working my way through the Alex Cross series. They are addicting and a nice light read!

Smiles said...

Regarding the summer homework -- I always had summer reading for my English classes in high school, & sometimes had packets of work to do, too. When I got back to school in the fall I'd have to write essays about the books that were assigned over the summer.

I really want a Kindle... but I also really love the feel of paper books. I don't seem to have time to read anymore these days anyway; I spend all my time studying Japanese. Still, maybe I'll invest in one sometime...