March 2014


March is a funny time in the JET schedule. We’ve said teary goodbyes to those graduating, but have yet to welcome a new batch of [hopefully] eager learners. Many of us may have a lot of extra time on our hands which can result in hours of Kanji study, applying for jobs back in the real world, or simply watching cute cat videos on Youtube. Winter is making a slow retreat north and one of the most celebrated seasons is on the horizon. I do, of course, mean sakura season and the resulting hanami festivities. Until the happy day when the blossoms come out pass the last few weeks of term away with a good book, a new project (notice my greeting? My NY resolution to study German WILL begin anew once I finish my marking…maybe) or get travel planning. If you haven’t already, book something exciting in for Spring Vacation, Golden Week, or even summer! The yen is weak so why not spend it?!*

In the meantime, have a browse of this month’s Hyogo Times for inspiration and information. In view of the sumo tour arriving in Osaka in March, Claire is bringing us up to speed on the basics – essential to pass muster with the sumo aficionado you will sit next to (offering them a drink or snack will get you a free lesson on the day though). Paige is sharing her experience of, and weeks of planning for, travelling in Vietnam. This month’s Miso Green is the first part of an inspiring man’s story of how he came to live an eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle.  We also have our regulars in Current Affairs, the Kannon Pilgrimage, Where Are They Now? and much more.

So sit back, embrace the calm of March before April’s new school year rush, and enjoy.

Tschüss until next month [two words – look at me go!]


*I am completely unqualified to give financial advice as I avoid looking at exchange rates at all costs [forgive the pun]. This is however an excellent excuse/justification to give to concerned parents or colleagues when they gasp, “you’re going on holiday AGAIN?” Apparently expanding cultural horizons doesn’t cut it anymore.

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