I have been a busy bee the past week and a half. Finally I have some time to relax a little bit.
Spring has finally come and with it some wonderfully gorgeous weather. The Japanese love spring since that's the time one can see the cherry blossoms. They have what are called "hanami". That's actually the title of this post. Separately, the two kanji mean flower (hana) and look/view/see (mi); translated, hanami is usually called a blossom viewing party. People flock outside to picnic under the cherry blossoms. I myself did this several times with my host family.This photo is from my first hanami. Mami, Su-chan, my host dad (I still feel weird calling him Yosuke...) went to an area near Yasukuni shrine which is famous for its blossoms on a Friday evening. This meant there were a bunch of people there picnicing and wandering around. Because of that, my host dad eventually took Su-chan home so that Mami and I could walk around unencumbered by a two-year-old. Taking pictures was hard since it was night, but I got a few good ones like the one above.
The next morning was more blossom viewing. This time we all went to a park in Shinjuku which was more open so that Su-chan could run around. Now you can see some blossoms in daylight!
And here we have Su-chan in a tree. See? This park was great for him. Lots of opportunities for him to do silly things. I was impressed that he actually looked at me when I took this picture. Usually he does something weird when you try to get a photo of him so that most of the time you get a blur...
...Or a photo like this. This was taken that night at Mami's parents house. We stayed that night in order to help welcome Jeremy, Mami's parents' new host student. We I told Su-chan I was taking a picture, he started running at me like the crazy child he is so this is the result.
This photo is of me at a park near where Mami's parents live. I went there with Mami's dad and Jeremy. We had been intending to go to another Hanami that a friend of Mami's was hosting, but Su-chan was not his usually genki self (genki being a Japanese word that means healthy and energetic) so we didn't go. The park was really pretty though and you can see a whole regiment of turtles on that thing in the water behind me.
After that weekend, I had to start classes which was not really any fun. No one wants to go from two months of break to three hours of Japanese in the morning. Luckily, however, my classes this semester seem like a lot of fun. Besides Japanese, I'm taking sociolinguistics, Ainu in a typological perspective, and media studies (this is maybe my favorite but that might just be because the professor is a Doctor Who fan).
Last week was also exciting because I got a visit from KENDRA! Her Semester at Sea ship came to Japan so I got to hang with her for a few days (when I wasn't in class anyway...I'm a good girl!) which was super awesome! Though a bit sad since that's the last visit from anyone back in the States that I'm getting while I'm here.
That pretty much brings us up to date. By the way, as a bit of trivia, today is my seven month anniversary here in Japan.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!