Sports Day at Omuta Kita

Last weekend we had sports day at my school and it was so much fun!

Here is a video of the blue team’s girls dancing to Avril Lavigne.

Excuse the part at the end where I start singing….

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Japan’s Weird Food: Wagashi

Wagashi are traditional Japanese sweets. Traditional as in ancient and also extremely common. They are commonly made out of red bean paste, a taste I never thought I would get used to, let alone like, but that goes to show you, you never know what’s going to happen.

They are usually served with macha tea at tea ceremony, and should be eaten before you drink the tea, in order to cut the bitterness. In tea ceremony, they are always served on a piece of paper with a little wooden stick to eat them with. My favourite part about Wagashi are their amazing forms. Shaped like baby birds, leaves, blossoms and fruit, among other things, they truly are an edible work of art.

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Sleeping in an internet cafe

Many Japanese people rely on public transportation, but also work/party very late and often miss the last train. Luckily there are a lot of options for people who can’t make it home. Capsule hotels are popular and cheap, but usually for men only. Another option is the Internet Cafe. Popular with the young, the cheap, and the drunk, internet cafes advertise their rates by hour and by night.

On our trip to Kokura, we had no place to stay, so we hit up an internet cafe. For about $15 we each got a small room to ourselves for 9 hours.

The room had a chair, a computer and a foot stool. WE also got access to blankets, pillows and a lot of Manga.

There was an unlimited supply of vending machine coffee and coke, and a sweet massage chair.

It wasn’t comfortable, but it was interesting.


*sorry for the bad pictures, they’re from my phone.

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Sports day

Sports day is an annual event at Japanese schools, and students are split into teams and compete against each other in a variety of events.

Today is the first practice I have witnessed, and it consisted of dancing, marching, panel working, singing and formation walking. What a day!


Here is a short video of the entrance ceremony which gives you a view of the courtyard and some marching. Sorry for the shakiness and the part at the end where I cut off after a bug falls on me.

Japanese children practice this kind of marching every year for sports days and other ceremonies, and apparently the Japanese Olympic team has received criticism for their ‘military’ style marching in the opening ceremonies. So much so that the team is apparently reminded every year to walk ‘more casually’.

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Ms. Genki

I feel like this a lot. I assume it’s because of the caffeine I consume, so I’m not sure about her. (The ad is for caffeine free tea)


I wish people would join in on my random street dancing and singing….


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Cherry Blossoms and my Schools

Cherry blossom trees surround many schools in Japan, and both my schools have an abundance. Opening ceremonies for the new school year are in early April, and coincide with the blooming of the trees.

This is Omuta Kita (North Omuta) High School, where I spend Monday, Tuesday and Friday.


Yamato (which literally translates as mountain gates) high school, where I teach on Wednesday and Thursday.

We have really been enjoying the cherry blossom season, and I will be sad to see it end!

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