Goodbye Old Teaching Job!

I’m not out of the teaching business completely, but I was so glad to finally be able to say good riddance to my old company and crazy boss at the end of March!

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

In Japan it’s customary to give departing teachers flowers or another small gift.  Although I was aware of this custom, the sheer amount of gifts I received was surprising and somehow much more than what the past departing teachers had received!    It was bittersweet to say goodbye to all of my kiddos, but I felt loved reading their letters and how many of them said they enjoyed having class together over the past five years.  I ran out of things to use as vases halfway through the week, and this was only a third of it all!

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Graduation Ceremonies

Graduation season is here!  If you’re new to the way Japan works, the school and fiscal year begins in April and ends in March, so most graduation ceremonies occur on a Saturday at the beginning of/mid-March.

If you ever become an ALT, or are dispatched to teach at any kind of public or private education institution, chances are you’ll be invited to at least one graduation ceremony.  For the most part, they’re your average affair, but Japan does a put a few of its own twists on the occasion.

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The Most Magical Place on Earth, Tokyo Disneyland

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Even if you’ve never been to a Disney theme park before, I recommend going to Tokyo Disneyland at least once.  One thing is for certain, if you’ve ever visited Japan for any significant amount of time, you know that Japanese people love them some Disney.  As proof of this, Tokyo Disneyland is visited by more people annually than both original parks in the U.S. and any other franchise park in the world.  Why is Disney so popular here?  Sadly I’ve yet to unlock that mystery, because neither Mr. J nor I are big Disney fans.  Still, when Mr. J got us a free pair of Disneyland tickets for renewing his life insurance plan we decided not to waste the opportunity for a nice date, and so at the end of May we found ourselves on a bus bound for Tokyo Disneyland.

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