Wednesday, November 23, 2005

National Holidays... aaaaahhhhh

So here I am, basking in the sunchine pouring in from my patio doors, nice and comfy. The difference between today and yesterday is that today, I must leave this comfy place and work for my pay... ah the sad tale of a salaryman's life... lol

Yesterday was great, it was such a relaxing day... rolled out of bed around noon, headed out for a quick little lunch, stopped in at a French bakery to pick up some fresh bread, sat at Starbucks having a coffee for a while, checked out a book store, headed home to find some inspiration on what to make for dinner, settled on a spanish style cous cous, went to Nagasakiya to pick up a few things, made dinner and watched Moulin Rouge... pretty mellow day.

On Monday, Scott and I took our usual walk around town, first stopping in at one of Utsunomiya's oldest surviving wooden buildings. This is a view of Enmei'in temple, located on a small hill overlooking Izumi cho (a red light district) near my apartment.

This building was originally built within the walls of Utsunomiya Castle, at some (unknown to me) point in the past, and was moved to its current position in 1620 when the castle was expanded and re-organized. The castle was of course destroyed some time later, so this building was quite lucky to have been moved. It then survived the great fire of 1773, the Boshia war, as well as Allied bombings of Utsunomiya during the Second World War. And there it still stands, overlooking the hostess clubs and office buildings of Utsunomiya.

A couple more shots I took on the Temple grounds, this is the incense burner in front of Enmei'in.

I usually make a point of avoiding pictures of graveyards, but the contrast here between the old graves and the city in the back was quite remarkable. The cell tower you see there is on top of the building across the street from AEON.

Berries with temple in the background.

We then made our way to Yamaya to stock up on provisions. On the way there, I snapped this Fall scene of Kencho near the prefecture office.

And then I was quite disapointed to see that these lovely trees were about to be transformed into these bald nubs of wood...

The work crews are hacking away busily at all the trees in town... wouldn't want to have to do something as difficult as raking leaves and such... so they trim the trees right down to the stump every year, which I guess is why there are barely any sizeable trees (or shade) around here... quite sad for a people who professes to have such a love of nature to feel like they must control every last aspect of it.

So anywho, better get going.... I have a meeting today at 2PM about my contract renewal. I think I am only ready at this time to renew for three months... and the situation will be reviewed further in February. Life here is good, but Canada is calling for sure, we shall see what develops in the next little while. Today's workload is doable but my Friday\Saturday combo has now become quite the challenge. On Friday, I teach for two hours, have a meeting for an hour, have one hour for lunch and then teach for four hours straight. I consider it to be my busiest day now since I have only the one break. On Saturday I teach 3-2-2 with 2 breaks in between... so the Friday 3-4 with one break is certainly a lot to handle.

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Anonymous Japanada said...

While I am sure you are aware of the JET program just in case you are not I thought I would draw your attention to it. The JET program is run by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Sports, Science, and Technology. It mainly places University graduates from English speaking countries into Japanese schools to help teach English and culture.

Anyway, it is one of the best ways to work in Japan. The work load is usually waaaayyyyyy less than the eikaiwa private schools, there is much more vacation time and the pay is better.

If you are thinking about staying in Japan longer or experiencing another part of Japan I would recommend applying for JET.

Good luck.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous riezo said...

Hi, Michel. How are you doing?
you are a good photographer! I like taking photos but lately I can't take nice stuff.I'll try this weekend !
It's getting cold so please take care and talk to you soon.

10:08 AM  

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