My Spring Vacation

Spring vacation has unfortunately ended and it’s time to head back to work. This year’s holiday thankfully didn’t involve the stress of moving apartments or changing schools like last year’s. Instead it took the form of general laziness and “relaxation”, which ended far too quickly.

I headed up to Miyoshi on two separate occasions. Both to visit some of my good friends who had taught me at a “Japanese Evening Class” when I was living there. We’d arranged to go to the Wakunaga Garden in Akitakata on it’s opening day with the hopes of seeing the spring flora. Instead we got a couple of centimetres of snow and freezing temperatures. Typical luck for someone from England. We instead indulged in a Sunday Roast dinner at Cafe Mike and Shirley. The fragrances of lamb cooked with rosemary and pork with sage were glorious. So too were the Yorkshire Puddings and gravy. The lovely owners were celebrating their third year of business, so we got a free slice of cake.  I just wish that their cafe was closer to home, instead of the two hour train ride.

Meanwhile the annual “Cherry Blossom Festivals” across the prefecture were right at the start of April. But with the prolonged winter weather, the blossoms had failed to truly reach their peak. My Instagram feed was awash with pictures of locals sat under sparse branches, a rather depressing sight. And with a three-day spell of rain forecasted for this weekend, it could prove to be a rather disappointing viewing experience this year.

There was plenty of sitting in front of a screen though. I managed to played through the entirety of Horizon: Zero Dawn, a stellar action-adventure/ RPG with an interesting approach to the post-apocalypse genre. And I continued to gain useless experience from shooting WWI-era soldiers in Battlefield 1. Exciting stuff.  I also attempted to binge-watch Netflix’s Iron Fist, but its lack of genuinely interesting characters or really anything of particular note saw me throw in the towel after five episodes. And with Ghost in the Shell’s release here in Japan, I had a look at the two anime series that followed the original 1995 cult classic. Both were entertaining, but lacked the charm and atmosphere that made the original such a classic.

Finally, the last few days were devoted to spring cleaning. There’s always a sense of accomplishment when you sell or throw away a crapload of stuff that you never knew you had. Last year I was astonished at the amount of clutter I had collected over the course of two years. All in all, it was a pretty good spring.