The most wonderful thing about being a year long student studying abroad is that I have had the opportunity to really experience all of the seasons within Japan. Now that spring has arrived, the flowers are blooming and it’s becoming warm enough to spend days outside having 花見 (hanami) with friends and family.
The first one I went on was to see the 梅 (plum blossoms) with my host family. We went to the Nagoya City Agricultural Center, where there was a really nice area with many plum blossom trees blooming. We set up a picnic on a hill and got to spend a nice portion of the afternoon enjoying the good weather. Afterwards, we walked around, ate some honey-cheese pizza and dango from the nearby food stands and said hello to the many of the farm animals they had on site. It was a very nice experience and it was very similar to that of attending a 祭 (festival).
When the 桜 (cherry blossoms) started to bloom, a friend and I decided to host a huge 花見 and invite all of the other CJS students. It was a huge success. We planned it for a Tuesday evening at 山崎川 (Yamazaki River), where they have the trees illuminated after dark. There were not many grassy areas to set up tarps, but we were lucky enough to find a perfect spot under a cherry blossom tree. We set up and lounged until it was dark enough to see the illuminated cherry blossoms. It was such a beautiful illumination, but my pictures do not give it any justice. Cherry blossoms typically only last for a week or two, so it was really quick, but I am happy that I got to spend it with such wonderful friends.
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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>