Saturday afternoon marked six months in Japan for me. And I was celebrating in the best of ways: getting lost with friends trying to find a statue of Buddha. Heh.
We did find the Buddha (well, Jizo, technically) eventually, but not until we’d entertained a number of small children clearly not used to seeing foreigners wander around their neighborhood. Note to anyone planning a trip to Dazaifu, this map is not to scale!
To back up slightly, I had wanted to visit Dazaifu, former governmental center of Kyushu, since I moved here, but I was either too busy, or it was too hot. But with the cooling weather, I decided it was time to pay a visit. So I organized a girls’ day out with three coworkers from my building, and my friend Diana. Typhoon 19 was looming, but Saturday promised to have good weather, and indeed it did. We headed out in the morning, and spent most of the day wandering around, including the aforementioned getting lost and wandering the neighborhoods of Dazaifu. The shrine itself (Tenmangu Shrine) was packed, due to a health walk and some child-related ceremony. There were a number of young girls in adorable outfits being shepherded about by family.
Enjoyed the day immensely. Good, easy-going company, pumpkin pie, an awesome series of ikebana art installations, a honey store (I have blueberry honey!), and my first chance to see rice paddies (thoroughly dried out) up close. Plus I got to try persimmons for the first time. Very tasty!
I was glad for the company — I’ve made some interesting, entertaining friends since moving here, for which I’m grateful. And some of us met up again on Sunday, along with a coworker and her fiance and some folks from out of town, this time for day 2 of the Asia Pacific festival. Thanks to incoming rain, I didn’t stick around too long. But I did have some Vietnamese meat rolls, Sri Lankan padala and sweet & sour sausage and cassis oolong tea. Watched a bit of Vietnamese dancing and then fled inside for shopping.
I worked today, even though it was a national holiday, so I could take a day off next week. We were all chased home by the typhoon mid-afternoon, so I finished up working from home. Rain is all gone now, but it’s very windy out there. Hopefully it’s died down by tomorrow. And hopefully that was the last typhoon of the season.
Four more days, and then it’s movie night, manicures, Oktoberfest and getting my hair done again. And then the following weekend, Shizuoka-bound! Then Hallowe’en, and planning for an American-style Thanksgiving.
I know things won’t always be this hectic or exciting, but as far as new starts go, this has been marvelous. Here’s to the next six months!
Full set of pics can be found here.