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The seasons they are a-changing. Gone are the days of summer, where we used to glare at the thermometer on the staffroom wall in silent fury. Now we get to enjoy the wonderful Autumn season, with its chilly winds, changing leaves, and charming events. But beware! Winter lurks just around the corner… Then we’ll be back to staring at the thermometer with silent fury. Here are some tips, announcements, and resources to help new and old JETs prepare for and enjoy this time of year.
Winterize to Stay Alive.
If you haven’t started already, now’s a good time to begin winterizing your home, car, and workplace. In order to enjoy a great winter in Ishikawa, it’s important to prepare your everyday spaces.
Autumn Foliage Viewing.
It’s a great time grab a cup of hot cocoa, a blanket, and a train ticket and head into the mountains for some awesome fall colors.
-Last year I visited the Kurobe Gorge by train and it was gorge-ous (ba ha ha). Kyoto also has spectacular views, but be prepared for crowds.
-A bit closer to home, Natadera Temple has some renown Fall foliage views.
Now is a magical time in Japan. Here are a few activities you can enjoy this time of year only:
-Illuminations. Like Christmas lights, but way more intense and they last all winter long. There are many, many locations. Nabana no Sato in Mie Prefecture is especially beautiful. Illuminations generally begin in November and go until February or March.
-Kenrokuen Light-Up. Hey, look at that! Right in our own front yard, we’ve got a delightful fall-time activity. Kenrokuen Garden will be having its Autumn Light-Up event for two weekends this month, on November 16/17th and 23/24th! The fun starts at 5:30 and ends at 9. For more info, go here (Danger: Japanese ahead!) If you miss it, there’s a winter Light-Up as well on January 31st and February 9th.
-Winter festivals. Did you think festivals in Japan only took place in the sweltering heat of summer? Think again! There are a few winter festivals locally (more on these in a later post), but The Sapporo Snow Festival tops the bill. It isn’t until February, but if you want to go, book your flights and hotels in advance, as it’s quite popular! Usually there’s even a troupe of JETs who go together, but I haven’t heard anything yet. I will update the blog if/when I catch wind of such a thing.
-Fruit picking. November is the perfect time to pluck some ripe apples and pears from the orchards of Ishikawa. Down south, Kaga Fruit Land offers all-you-can-eat picking sessions for apples this month.
Grab your pen (or, more likely, your keyboard) and write away the cold days ahead.
-As discussed recently on the Ishikawa JETs Facebook page, a writer’s group has sprung into existence here in Kanazawa, in honor of National (or International, as it were) Write a Novel Month. The group is going to meet every Sunday in November to encourage one another to write those novels, and then twice a month after that. Here’s their Facebook page.
-While we’re on the topic of writing, the Ishikawa JET Blog is looking for writers! If you’ve got something you want to share, please click on the “Write a Guest Post” above.
Take care, and have a great Autumn!