I hope youâ€™ve all had some nice R&R during your winter holidays, and for those of you who have gone abroadã€€- welcome back to the land of the rising sun! Iâ€™ll be the first to say that winter is my least favourite season [â€œYou call yourself a Canadian, Paige?â€ There, I said what you were all thinking!], but Iâ€™m really looking forward to all the winter activities and Japanese seasonal foods (read: nabe parties) this year.
As we settle in for the winter chills, snuggled under the ç‚¬ç‡µ (kotatsu; a table exuding the warmth of a hundred snuggling puppies), let me remind you of some of the exciting events happening in Hyogo. Hyogo AJET will be organizing an excursion to taste what is reputed to be the best sake in all of Japan! Luckily itâ€™s found in our very own prefecture, in the Nada area stretching from Kobe to Nishinomiya. Save the date of January 26th, more details to come on the FB page.
I should also mention that Hyogo is home to some amazing skiing and boarding resorts. Winterâ€™s a time to embrace your inner snow demon and shred those hills. Check out the resorts here, or just read this issue for more information! Whilst all the athletes tear up the fresh snow, we of more relaxing pursuits can sit back and soak in éœ²å¤©é¢¨å‘‚ (rotenburo; outdoor hot spring baths). What can be better than watching the snow fall while bathing in a pool of mineral rich, naturally heated water? My new yearâ€™s resolution #1: make more time for rotenburo.
The winter can be a harsh season (especially compared to the weather that those south of the Equator are experiencing) but donâ€™t let it dampen your spirits. Please be wary of stage two of culture shock after a visit to your homeland, and donâ€™t be shy to use the JET Line: 03-5213-1729 (or the AJET Peer Support Group 050-5534-5566 after regular hours). The lines are manned by people who have been, or currently are, in the same situation as you.
The best way to combat the winter blues is to gather with your fellow Hyogoites and party! Weâ€™re all on JET for only a limited time, so letâ€™s do our best to enjoy the rest of our time in Japan.