1. SCHOOLS OUT!
On July 20th we had our school closing ceremony and things officially ended for the summer. Summer break is quite different in Japan, because students have a break for a little over a month, and when they return they go back into the same grade and same class. Unlike the states, where we have a summer break and return to school in the next grade! Also, since I work at a public school, I technically have to go into school every day still. We're given some vacation days, but not enough to cover the whole break. So on the days I do have to go in, I can get there around 9am and leave anytime after lunch. So it's not too bad! Meanwhile, all club activities resume as usual and the school is always full with summer activity
You know it's summer when baseball is in full swing. Currently it is KOSHIEN season, aka the Little League world series in Japan and a huge event each year. One team is chosen from every prefecture and our school just made it to the Chiba Elite Eight TODAY! I went to their first game last week and watched their game today on TV from the school office. It is so much fun cheering them on and seeing familiar faces of students I have in English class.
3. BEER GARDENS
Japanese people love beer, especially in summer. And what they realllly love are beer gardens! On top of the main mall in town they open up a beer garden each summer and this year my Saturday class invited me to join them for a 2hour all you can drink sunset evening. Quite the experience I tell ya! Me, not being a huge beer drinker, opted for the ramune! I had a great time chatting with my "students" who are all so lively, kind, and extra-friendly with some liquid courage!
4. STARBUCKS GOIN' CRAZY
Starbucks in Japan is a BEAST. And by beast I mean it dominates. There are Starbucks everywherrreeeee and they are always jam packed. They keep everyone's attention by coming out with new drinks every month and I can't keep up with them! Two recent ones I tried were the Chocolate Cake with a Macha Shot which was REALLY bomb...and also the Yogurt Lime Pie Frapp which wasn't as sweet as I imagined and quite refreshing. Take my money Starbs...take it all.
5. LATE SUMMER NIGHTS
Living near a city like Tokyo is a crazy thing, because there is ALWAYS something to do. Every weekend in summer is full of events, shows, exhibits, etc and thankfully my good friend Nathalie and her fam are always down for a good time. This past weekend we went to Odaiba to check out the lantern festival *which we soon learned were not the flying kind lol* and we soaked up the amazing warm summer night air! We took a bazillion pics, listened to live music, danced around with the kids, and topped off the night with some icecream and shopping. ahhh...SUMMER!!
I am so thankful for all that's ahead this summer! It's already off to a great start :)