Overview: October (Tsu Matsuri)

So, it’s been a while and I have yet to catch up on 2015 ahhhh! Quick overview of October!

The first few days of October were my school’s culture festival, Mt. Gozaisho again, and Souhei Matsuri, which I talked about in my Kimonos, (more) Mountains, and Fire Festivals post.

On Saturday the 10th, we went down to Tsu for a festival and dinner, which some veteran English teachers were nice enough to organize.  It was a festival full of floats/carts and dancing, and although the weather was a bit overcast, it never rained! We first walked around the booth and performance stage area, and then we wandered over to the streets where they had a continuous stream of dance troupes and music. It was beautiful!

The big blue flag in the middle is being held by one man! Later in the performance, he would hold up a second flag, as large as the one in this picture, at the same time!

The floats were really beautifully decorated! I liked this one a lot!

After each float (which usually had music blasting), there was a dance troupe. Each troupe had beautiful costumes and some great dancing.

Look at this tiny flag bearer. :’)

This dance troupe had two costumes! They took off their colorful tops and folded them down into the costumes below!

Action shot!

After the dance troupes, we decided to walk over to the food section, and got some delicious gyros!!

Sooooo good! :)

This street was full of food stalls and other kinds of fun things to buy!

And we ended up in a little international section, with foods from different countries, listening to this band play. :) They were very cute and kept asking our group where we were from! We were a pretty big group of foreigners, which was a little intense, but they handled us very well!

On Monday the 12th, I went to Nagoya with Justin and Khiana to check out the Studio Ghibli exhibit! It was a lot of fun to see. There were two exhibits, one which focused on the production of the movie “When Marnie Was There,” and another that was just general Ghibli stuff. They were beautiful to see, and even though I haven’t seen the Marnie movie, the exhibit was absolutely beautiful and made me want to see the movie! Then, the following week my school had midterms so Justin and I went to Kyoto!!! You can read more about that in my Kyoto posts. :)

That weekend we came back and Justin’s friend Rebecca visited, so we went to some onsen together and helped at out our town’s marathon. Rebecca painted faces while Cara, Justin, Ashley, Khiana, and me put temporary tattoos onto people’s faces and arms. It’s always awkward gently patting somebody’s cheek with a wet napkin but it was still a lot of fun. I took lots of pictures with very happy strangers! Rebecca and I even got to take a picture with my town’s mascot!

The next week was pretty chill. A pair of cyclists who were travelling from northern Japan to the south stayed over in my apartment for a night on the 21st, and we swapped some fun stories.  Then on the 23rd, I went to an izakaya with my coworkers from my visiting school! An izakaya is a traditional Japanese establishment for drinking parties. They have an all you can drink menu, and then come out with a set meal or are also all you can eat. It was so much fun hanging out with my coworkers, and the next few days, they brought little things for me like a bread that they had mentioned that night something. :’) It made me feel very special!

The rest of October passed pretty calmly. On Halloween, my school had an open house so I got to teach some junior high school students a Halloween lesson in English! I got to decorate the classroom, doodle on the blackboard, and give them candy, which was a lot of fun! I think they left happy because my principal told me something about students smiling after my class!!! :DDD

For Halloween itself, we were going to go to Osaka, but we had a Taiko performance the next day on November 1st and didn’t want to get too crazy. So we went to our local mall-type-area and took purikura, after which we had Indian food, which was nice because it was with friends… but next year, OSAKA!?

Anyway, that’s pretty much it for October! Now for some random photos from the month!

Hanging out with friends! :))))))

I went to Moss Burger with a friend for the first time, which is a Japanese chain of burgers. It wasn’t bad, but there is something about burgers that just… is very different here haha! They are Japanese style burgers though, so to be fair, I don’t think they are trying to be like a Big Mac or anything.

Went to a udon curry place with Justin, which may be my new favorite food in Japan. :’) One of my coworkers at my visiting school recommended it to me! The two little tomatoes on the left were gifts from the grounds-lady that day! It was so sweet of her! I love tomatoes from the garden too!!

One day during the week I came back to my desk and one of the teachers had brought me the food that the students cooked during home economics that day.  The spinach was really good!!

Playing food pictionary with students, and… this was what happened for “chicken.” They drew a rooster, and the spiky egg was the sun rising… Not sure what the bush-like thing on the side was!

One of my coworkers gave me mikans (tangerines) from her family garden, and my other coworker gave me persimmons that her family grew as well! I don’t know if I am crazy about the taste of persimmons, but I could eat mikans forever!!

A really beautiful day on my way home from school!

After shopping one day we went to this place called something “Donkey” and they had this really interesting Western theme… and really good steak!

So that was my October! It was very nice! One more thing about Japan that I am loving is that fall doesn’t just blip by and turn into winter as fast as it does back in Jersey.  Here, there is an actual, gradual change. The temperatures very slowly drop, and we get to enjoy a long time of fall! It’s a little confusing not having to change into winter clothing so quickly, and I keep under or overdressing at work because I’m not used to enjoying fall weather for so long!

Anyway, next up will be November – I’m getting there!!! :))))



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