Well, that was it; the Golden Week holiday is but a memory, and I’m fully back in the swing of teaching at my English school, Smith’s School of English, Kawanishi. But the memories are great, having spent several days with my wife, Megumi’s family in Matsue, Shimane Ken. As always, we were treated with great warmth and hospitality, and that is why I always look forward to my visits there.
But I also love visiting that part of Japan because it has a much more traditionally “Japanese” atmosphere, and has changed much less than our more industrialized part of the country, where large swathes of our towns and cities have been “modernized”, and, to me, have lost much of their traditional feel. I also enjoy the quiet of the countryside dotted with farms.
The food there is also different from what we find in Kansai. There is much less meat (and I am one of the few in Japan who don’t eat meat) and more seafood and soba (well, Matsue is close to Izumo).
The one thing that I did find in common with our home territory (Kansai) was the friendliness and kindness of the people. This is something that I always enjoy on my travels in Japan.
Of course, I have my photos to bring back the memories, and also to share with my students as we talk about our Golden Week experiences in class.
And of course, my wonderful iPhone 4 not only took all of my photos on my trip, but the Mapfan car navigation application that I have installed on it directed us from door to door and back home in perfectly spoken Japanese (helped my Japanese studies at the same time).
Smith’s School of English, Kawanishi