Slice of Life: How I Spent Golden Week

The outgoing teachers left on Saturday afternoon, so that day was spent changing out the snow tires on our Pajero Mini (think mini Rav 4…) since it’s finally hit the warmer weather, and cleaning. We didn’t do all that much cleaning, but we did vacuum a bit and move some things upstairs to our new bedroom & living room.

On Sunday we did more cleaning & putting clothes away & doing laundry, etc. We took a drive to explore the historic downtown of Takayama, & bought few ‘home items’, such as a new frying pan that things don’t get stuck to as soon as they hit the pan, and a couple of new pillow cases. We were at home putting things away when we heard a ‘hellllooooo’ and a knock on the kitchen window – some of the ‘local (within 2 hours)’ teachers had stopped by to see if we wanted to go out with them for some karaoke! We were up to do something besides cleaning all night long, so we ended up going out with about 11 people in total and playing some games, walking to a few people’s apartments in the area and then ending the night at one of the local karaoke spots (yes, there are more than 1 in this small town!).

Monday we just bummed around, cleaned some more, and Joe & I took a bike ride around our neighborhood on our ‘new’ bikes.
On Tuesday was another day of cleaning & we took another ride around exploring the town & learning our way around more. It was pretty rainy so we just put away more things and cleaned out the apartment some more.

Wednesday was a different day. We had a late breakfast before heading to our school to meet our secretary there. We then followed her to her town of Hida, which is (or was?) often known as Little Kyoto because of the historic architecture used in many buildings there. Kyoto was previously the capital of Japan and it has some famous buildings still there, and many of the construction workers in Hida were sent to learn the trade in Kyoto. She took us to her friend’s restaurant for some coffee & tea and then to the town museum, which is very nice and has big ponds of Koi fish (huge Koi fish!) all around it. We then walked around the tiny historic streets there before heading back to Takayama. It was a nice different way to spend one of our holiday afternoons.

Today is Thursday and I am deep cleaning the kitchen & guest room because tomorrow we will have guests joining us – Nicole & Will, the teachers from Let’s in Mizuho that we stayed with for a night last week. Today it is not very rainy, so this afternoon may result in a run and/or a bike ride around town before dinner. I have just found that we have a Takoyaki maker at home (the dough balls with hunks of octopus inside!) so maybe we will learn to make our own dough for them (or learn to make other things on it!). We will keep you updated on our progress! 🙂

By the way, this week is Golden Week in Japan, which is a week combining 4 national holidays, so we will be starting to officially teach classes on Monday!