My First Semester of Flower Arranging (Spring-Summer 2016)

Back in April, which is the start of the school year in Japan, I decided that I wanted to join my high school’s flower arrangement club. I figured, I wanted to somehow get a little more involved with my school while also discovering a new interest- I can honestly say that joining the flower arrangement club has been one of the best things I have done yet during my time here in Japan. I didn’t think I would have so much fun manipulating a plant’s shape and making something that was aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It’s something that I look forward to every Friday afternoon, and is the perfect way to start off my weekends.

Since it was my first time ever doing flower arrangement, most of the time I had no idea what I was doing. Luckily, my flower arrangement teacher would always swoop in and add some final touches to make the piece look complete.

So here are some of the pieces that I worked on last semester. We started off with a spring theme and worked our way towards summer-like plants. Continue reading

Totsukawa Summer Festival: Furusato Monogatari (A Hometown Tale)

On the last day of Obon week, a very special event was held at Hotel Subaru, a 10 minute drive away from our apartment. If you remember my post from last year, Trevor and I had to walk to Hotel Subaru to attend our very first summer festival. This year however, was a little different. Now that I have a car (and am finally licensed!), we were able to drive 10 minutes as opposed to the hour and a half walk. What was perhaps the most exciting thing for me was that I got to wear a yukata for the first time! Continue reading

Celebrating Bridges: Tanize Bridge Festival!

Summer in Japan is brutal. It’s always hotter than it needs to be, the humidity makes me feel like I’ve just left a sauna, and when it’s not making me produce endless beads of sweat, it’s raining. Hard. However, not all is horrible in 90 plus degree Fahrenheit weather. Summer in Japan just doesn’t mean “hot”- it also means… FESTIVALS!

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Trevor and I attended our first summer festival last year, a couple weeks after he arrived to Totsukawa. This year, we were able to attend the Bridge Festival, hosted up in the northern part of the village in Uenoji, home of one of the largest suspension bridges in Japan: Tanize. Continue reading