Takashima Island

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In Gamagori there is an island, just off shore, housing a collection of old Shinto Shrines. It’s a small island, not even a mile across.

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Besides the shrines, there are beaches around the outer edge of the island which are known for their shellfish.

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After paying respects at the various shrines, it’s a quick walk back from the exit, though not necessarily and easy one.

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There is an uneven path set between the hill the shrines are perched upon and the surrounding beaches. Some places are quite steep, especially for those wearing inappropriate shoes. The walk is only about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how many pictures you stop to take or shells you decided to collect.

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My friends and I took about 40 minutes for obvious reasons.

Rolling Hills

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It’s hard to believe that Golden Week is over. It went by too fast. My next vacation isn’t until August. I also can’t believe that it’s something I can find complaint about.

Back in the US, I never really had any holidays. If I was lucky, I might have Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Easter off. Since coming to Japan, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to not only have two days off a week, but to also have paid vacations.

When I speak to people from outside the US, they can’t believe that vacations aren’t the norm for us, especially if we don’t come from a white collar – middle class family. I’ve lived here for just under a year and I already find myself wondering if I could ever go back to living as I did back home. Something tells me I wouldn’t. it’s startling, but I wonder if I’ve left my home country for good.

Plum Blossoms

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The plum blossoms are starting to bloom. People are starting to get excited for the upcoming flower viewing season. This year has been especially mild (or so I am told), so the season should be here soon. I have already been invited to two viewing parties, one with the Education Department (my office), and one with a school I have yet to teach at but have a friend at. My friend from Anjo and I are also trying to get something set up with that school and a few of our students.