…of seasons, that is. Spring is here! Or nearly here, as it’s still quite cold in Kagami. Last night the temperature outside reached a blistering 1 degree Celsius (33.8 F for those of you tuning in from the US). As a Southern California native I’ve always taken spring for granted because, well, in Southern Cali the weather is almost always great, regardless of the season, save for a few mettlesome weeks of rain here and there. In Japan, however, things are a bit different weather-wise. And by a “bit” I mean A LOT. Winters here are cold—really cold! In Southern California you can wear shorts and a hooded sweater, and have no difficulty making it through the winter; in Japan, however, such foolish behavior would guarantee a quick, painful death. Suicide, some might call it.

Which is why for the past four months I’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of spring. You see, spring marks the inevitable triumph of light over darkness. I suppose our nature-loving president, “Mr.” Bush, currently being roasted in Latin America, viewed the invasion of Iraq in a similar fashion, where we, the Americans, were a fresh breeze of spring blowing into Baghdad on a current of “shock and awe,”to wipe away the stolid, wintry regime of Saddam Hussein. Instead of spring flowers, democracy would bloom in our wake. Just goes to show you can never to trust a nature-lover. But I digress…back to spring!

img_2267edit.jpgSpringtime in Kagami is much like spring in other parts of the world; flowers bask in the sunlight, birds belt out song after song of cheery merriment, and bees commence their yearly hunts…for human victims! Magical stuff, this nature. As for ALTs, we also undergo an awakening of sorts. Up and away into the moldiest corners of the closet go the heavy coats, scarves, and gloves; out come the shorts, sandals, and suntan lotion. Friends re-discover one another, having been locked away in their smelly, wine-stained tatami hovels, devoid of communication with the outside world. Okay, perhaps that last bit is somewhat of an exaggeration…


After reviewing the past couple posts, I realized that maybe—just maybe— I’m painting an overly negative picture of Kagami by throwing into the spotlight it’s rather rusty appearance. For the sake of balance, I thought I should share with you some of it’s less turd-colored charms. Happy Spring!img_0319edit.jpg