Slice of Life #1

I took part in a 3-day English Camp from March 25th to 27th. It was held in a mountain village in Tottori Prefecture. We stayed in a hotel that had been converted from an old elementary school.

I love this time of year. The sakura are blossoming and the days are getting warmer. I’ve lived in Japan since 2003 and I still really look forward to the cherry blossom season. It’s a truly beautiful time of the year. People enjoy hanami parties in the local parks, sitting under the cherry trees having drinks or eating obento. Did you know that the sakura “front” gets reported on the daily news as it makes its way across the country?

Breakfast at the hotel was a traditional Japanese one, with grilled fish, rice, egg, soup, and a selection of vegetables including daikon, spinach, broccoli, carrot, and pickles. Eating the fish with chopsticks (hashi) has taken years of practice, especially when the fish’s skin is firm. You have to use the hashi to carefully split the skin and remove the fish from the bones. When I compared my efforts to the Japanese students’, I felt a bit embarrassed. πŸ˜…

It was an intense three days at the English Camp. After completing a series of language activities, the students made a power point presentation in English focusing on their individual highlights. I was blown away, yet again, by their creativity and ability. It’s always invigorating to be inspired by your students, particularly those which you meet for such a short period of time.

Thanks for reading! Normal service will be resumed in the next post.


20 thoughts on “Slice of Life #1

  1. Oh, I absolutely love the season of cherry blossoming! In Auckland, it comes around September, and many Asian families enjoy picnics under the trees πŸ™‚ They are ethereal and their beauty is highlighted even further by the fact that the blossoming season is so short.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, the famous areas get really crowded here. But I don’t know how it will be this year… Kyoto is especially beautiful. I wish I could go there. Hopefully next year. πŸ€”


  2. I was tempted to make a joke by congratulating you to learn English again 🀣
    The Japanese sakura season makes its way into our news as well. Short and beautiful!
    That breakfast though… it looks delicious for a dinner, but in the morning? What do you do with that raw egg? If I ever visit Japan, Iβ€˜ll trie that, but until then I’ll happily stay with my bread and coffee (which Iβ€˜m drinking right now).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha ha! I usually eat bread and coffee at home. That breakfast is traditional “washoku”, Japanese style breakfast. You mix some soy sauce with the raw egg and pour it over your rice. It’s really good! You can ask for cooked egg, by the way. πŸ˜‰

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  3. Was it a camp on learning English or being English? Or maybe learn to be English? Because either way, It’s good that you’ve gone and had a touch up. Once you start confusing branston pickle with vegemite, it’s all downhill. Remember: admitting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery.

    (Apologies πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I couldn’t help it, especially after Andreas decided to let you off easy)

    On a side note, I do miss the fish and burdock for breakfast. It’s so hard to find that here…

    Liked by 1 person

    • πŸ˜‚ It was a camp for English teachers who have forgotten their English, or was it for those who have forgotten they are English? It could’ve been on how to be camp in English, too!? Whatever it was, it was so intense that I’ve forgotten everything that took place there. What are we talking about again? πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Digressions like this one from your “usual programming” are always welcome, Wakizashi! What a nice opportunity to see that beautiful country through your eyes, and to get a glimpse into your experience. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Sounds fantastic, I loved reading this. It’s about the right time for cherry blossoms here, as well. I won’t be heading up to DC to see them but I have enjoyed that many years, despite always being crowded. But I love the idea of following the front of blossoming trees across the country. Never thought of that, though I had heard how they bloom in some areas much sooner than in others. I’ve been watching videos from some youtubers living in Japan showing off the sakura and talking of how far less crowded it is without all the tourists, which can be both good and bad depending on perspective. That breakfast looks great. Was the egg meant to be eaten raw or mixed with something? Thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Todd. I’d be curious to see the cherry blossoms from your area. I love this time of year. And yes, it is a lot quieter everywhere. Especially in the bigger cities.

      You mix the raw egg with the rice, add some soy sauce and enjoy. Most of the students asked for a cooked egg though. πŸ€“

      Liked by 1 person

      • Now that you mention it I remember seeing videos watching folks mix raw egg into their rice. And I’m not surprised students from outside the country might opt for cooked eggs, might take time for most to get used to the idea of eating raw egg. πŸ™‚

        Here’s a link to some photos of the cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin in Washington DC in 2019, mostly showing the crowds which were big but not too heavy. At the bottom of the post are links to other pages with cherry blossom photos. They are impressive to see in person, with so many monuments surrounded by blossoms. Just as I’m sure I’d be blown away seeing them in Japan with all the beautiful streets, canals and creeks, shrines and temples.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Wow, I am a bit more surprised they were Japanese students. But I suppose that’s no different from kids from other countries not liking certain vegetables or other food when younger, only gaining an appreciation with age. I love these little insights into Japanese culture.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Sakura Peak, Slice of Life #2 | Wakizashi's Teahouse

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