I feel like this first month has flown by extremely quickly. I arrived on Saturday the 18th and started school on the Tuesday, which, although extremely scary as I hadn’t really settled in at all yet, was good as I made friends in my class and now had a set routine. I feel really lucky as my host family are really kind people. I have two younger host sisters that I get along with really well. We occasionally play cards or Japanese boardgames that really confuse since the rules aren’t exactly in English. I have an older host brother who is really helpful when it comes to speaking or writing speeches in Japanese. He is going to America on exchange later in the year so I can also help hime with the pronunciation of some strange English words. My host mum is an amazing cook and always makes creative dishes for every meal. Both my host parents have also given me as many opportunities to experience Japanese culture.
The day after I arrived my host family and I went to Kenrokuen and Ninja Dera. Kenrokuen is a beautiful garden that is near Kanazawa castle. I tried these strange round squishy balls that were on a skewer like a kebab. I have absolutely no clue what they were but they tasted great. Ninja Dera is not actually a building for Ninja’s sadly, but is is still an amazing place to visit. It initially looks like an average old Japanese style building, but throughout the tour you learn about the hidden rooms, traps, tunnels and doorways throughout the building. All of the secrets of the building is what earned it the name Ninja Dera.
My host family was kind enough to take me to a sushi making class and a calligraphy class. I am incompetent when it comes to anything to do with food, except eating it. My pieces of sushi were not the most artistic pieces you would ever see but they tasted really good! We also made a desert called taiyaki. Taiyaki is small and fish shaped. It is made out something like pancake batter (again, I have no clue what I am talking about when it comes to cooking) and on the inside is has a red bean or sweet potato paste. I did a little bit better at the calligraphy class. I must admit I had to do a lot of tracing because my handwriting is a little bit special but the end result turned out pretty well.
One of the most exciting things about Kanazawa for me is the fact that it snows! It didn’t snow for the first two weeks that I arrived and multiple people told me that they didn’t think it would snow this year. It has gotten a lot hotter in Kanazawa during winter then in previous years and it is sad to see how global warming is effecting everywhere 🙁 . Luckily, is did end up snowing and although this resulted in me falling over a fare few times on the way to school, I must say I am extremely happy about it. I have never really been to the snow before so it was quite exciting to see how it changed the landscape.
Skiing was so much harder but yet ten times easier than I expected. I was surprised when I didn’t die getting off the ski lift. I almost crashed into a few people and a fence when I got off the ski lift, but I didn’t, so I would count that as a success. I found it really fun going down the hill after I learnt how to swerve and break. I wasn’t to bad at the actual skiing part so I rarely fell over. This issue was I am incapable of standing up while wearing ski’s. I think I was probably sliding around on the ground for about 5 minutes before I finally managed to get back up on my feet and that was with the assistance of my host dad. I really enjoyed the entire experience even if it was kinda cold 🙂