It seems like it has been a while since my last trip so this weekend, I went to the beautiful city of Kobe with my favourites, Vivian and Yumi.
Kobe's reputation as a 'suburb city' of Osaka is, I think, a little undeserved.Kobe has a character all of its own - it's extremely chic with lots of elegant little boutiques,Scandinavian inspired homeware shops and as Japan's biggest confectionary producer, is one of the few places in Japan where real and wholesome cake can be found....
After cake time, Vivian and I found a cute little bar called the Whirlybird and had a lovely night chatting away, marvelling at Kobe grown 'new type zucchini' (multicoloured and spherical courgettes grown by the barman's brother) and after arriving back at the hotel, spent an embarrassingly long time trying to put up a sofa bed...it was such a fun night.
Fun, Kobe karaoke bar. Myself, and I'm sure Vivian, had an 'I'm in Japan' moment upon seeing this.
The sofa bed antics + a blisteringly hot hotel room + The Whirlybird bar (despite its whimsical and twee name) = one very nauseous Vivian shaped girl and another very nauseous Isabel shaped girl. We only had two drinks :-/
On Sunday, we did very little other than visit the Muji cafe, which was amazing. Lunch is my favourite meal of the day, but light lunches have been difficult to find in Japan, unless you opt to make your own. Lunch at the Muji cafe was just what I had been looking for and appealed to my grazing habits. I had a helping of curried pumpkin salad, broccoli salad and a very nice Okinawan tofu thing.
I slept all the way home on the bus back to Marugame feeling very content with my weekend :-)
Today was my final day as a teacher in Japan - quite momentous eh! I have been saying my goodbyes for weeks so did not anticipate today being too special, but it turned out to be a really lovely day. My students and colleagues put so much thought into my last day and made it very memorable for me.
In the morning, I said my goodbyes to Josei and was given beautiful flowers and a book full of messages from my students. In the afternoon, I headed over to Maruko to attend another farewell ceremony. I felt very content with my decision; I leave with a tinge of regret, as I know that I was just beginning to become a confident teacher. Yet, I am also leaving with a feeling of contentment too. (Happiness also - goodbye Japanese conservative dress standards;I will never have to wear that grey skirt which makes me feel and look like a forty year woman, ever again!)
My favourite students at Maruko threw a farewell picnic for me after school...
...complete with cookies and yoghurt cheesecake baked by cutie Yuki;
It's little moments like this that I will remember :-)
It has been a lovely couple of days and I am looking forward to my Marugametastic week ahead with my best friend.