Golden Week in Japan is always a special time of year. People often travel to visit with family and friends or to simply go on a trip.
The week is special because there are a number of holidays that fall into place one right after another. April 29th Showa day (昭和の日, Shōwa no Hi?), May 3rd Constitution Memorial Day, (憲法記念日, Kenpō Kinenbi?), May 4th Greenery Day (みどりの日, Midori no Hi?), and May 5th Children’s Day (こどもの日, Kodomo no Hi?).
This year the May portion of the holidays happened to land on a Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; making it a fantastically long weekend. With a nice long weekend of freedom, except for the unlucky ones who had to work, most traveled overseas to fully embrace the break.
I was one of the lucky ones. My job as an ALT in Yamaguchi is considered a government position because I was hired by Yamaguchi Kencho (Yamaguchi’s government office). Thus I always have major holidays off.
Off to Tokyo I went.
Getting to the airport is always the hard part, difficulty with buses you see. I totally failed at getting on the airport shuttle bus; instead I took a local bus headed for the hospital. A simple mistake…
But after I checked in at the airport, only making a few minor mistakes with my speaking, I purchased some bread to eat and waited for my flight to start boarding.
From there it was smooth sailing.
Though as I got onto the plane and sat down in my designated spot, I put on my headphones and waited for takeoff. That was until I noticed a few seats ahead of me was a group of young familiar looking faces.
It was my students from Yanai Shoko, just a few members of the schools badminton team. They had not known I was flying with them, but I ended up chatting with them as we slowly marched our way the plane, onto the airport bus, and as we picked up our luggage. Most ALTs would have hated running into students but I look forward to the odd encounters.
Why? I love my job. Okay, and it is fun to feel so popular.
To start my adventure for the week I was picked up from the airport by the boy. He was kind enough to wait for me to arrive after he finished his shift at work. Even thought it was late the two of us went out to eat that night at T.G.I.F.
That was just Tuesday, my vacation had hardly started.
The next day I would enjoy a wonderful day of strawberries and gossip with the lovely China-chan.
We ate a tone of farm fresh strawberries that we got to pick ourselves. The place was called Dragon Farm, located in Chiba prefecture. The farm gives you 30 minutes to pick and eat your fill of strawberries. There is limits on the number of people that can enter at a time, so the earlier you go and resister the soon the picking time can be. We had to wait two hours for our group, but the wait was worth it.
China-chan and I spent the morning there chatting in the sun while we waited our turn to enter the green house. But after we spent a lovely day catching up and chatting as girls do. It was so wonderful to see her!
The rest of the week was filled with laugher, sun, and love. I have made some of the most wonderful memories every time I have visited Tokyo. I always look forward to my next trip because the city of Tokyo has become something very near and dear to my heart.
This coming from the girl who said “I don’t need to go to Tokyo, the three days during orientation had been enough.” Yeah, right.