it's a kamakura!
an inside look...surprise! you have to take off your shoes.
a small shrine kamakura
we finally made it inside one! amelie, jon, owen, cathy and edel
I was very disappointed when I discovered this snow sculpture was not a rabbit, as I had hoped from afar, but pikachu
edel took amelie for a sleigh ride through the wonderland of snow
Aomori, the province north of akita, is said to have the best apples in japan. I think these are some of theirs, with kanji carved in for fun.
My favorite picture from the festival! A random baby positioned into a mickey sculpture for photo opps! genius.
(thanks edel for the pics!)
Also, this weekend, at my school enkai, I was invited to participate in the Shinto prayer ceremony prior to the party which included drinking the "sake of god" presented by a shinto priest. I'm not such a sake fan, but it was quite delicious! At the party I talked to several teachers about the 3rd year students and the process of getting into high schools. I cannot believe the stress the kids, parents, and teachers go through. A while back all the kids took interview tests as part of the entrance exams for the more academic high schools, but only a handful are admitted based on those scores alone; most everyone has to take the comprehensive written test as well, which is coming up. And I am sure this test would put my little old Our Lady of Lourdes "impossible to fail" entrance test to shame. Graduation is in a couple weeks and I've realized I'm going to miss the sannenseis, they were definitely the students I got to know best as individuals, and I'll be sad to see them leave. Of course, I have my incoming first years, half of which will be the naughty 6th graders from my elementary school, to look forward to!