After my fall semester in Nagoya ended, I returned to California to spend the holidays with my friends and family. At first, I really did not want to come back to the USA. Instead, I wanted to spend the holidays in Japan and experience them from a different point of view. But after two short weeks spent at home, I’m glad I did go home. My parents picked me up from the airport and it didn’t feel like I hadn’t seen them for the past four months. As I saw more and more of my family, I came to realize how much I did miss them while I was abroad.
Together, we did the usual; went shopping, cooked holiday meals, opened presents, and went to pre and post-Christmas basketball games. It was very normal and refreshing, but kind of strange to come back to a country where I didn’t have to order my coffee in Japanese. What surprised me the most was how many friends I got to see during my two week return. I saw friends from my university and even friends from high school that I had not seen in at least a year. It was a month full of birthdays and celebration and I am really glad that I got to spend it at home with my family and friends.
I spent New Years flying back to Japan. The first of January was short because the time difference meant it became the 2nd by the time I landed. When I arrived my host family picked me up and we spent the day at their family homes eating おせち料理 to celebrate the new year. My host family also took me on our first couple of shrine visits after the new year, where I got my fortune (おみくじ) and my host mom bought me a good luck charm (お守り) for school. Although it’s already the 3rd, it seems that we still have a lot more celebrating to go!
Happy New Years! あけましておめでとうございます！
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<p>Hi, my name is Ashley Bell and I am a Junior Political Science major at Santa Clara University. I'll be spending my spring semester in Nagoya, Japan and am very excited to share my experiences with you. I hope you enjoy seeing Japan through my eyes!</p>