Japan · Life in Japan

January Update: Back to School and Snow!

Happy Belated New Year and 久しぶり (hisashiburi) ~ long time no see!

It’s been a month since I last posted. Not intentional, mind you, it’s just that things got a bit busy – what with going home for Christmas, coming back to Japan and straight into lessons, and most recently attending a 3-day Skills Development Conference (SDC) in Hiroshima City with the rest of the ALTs in the prefecture.

Going into the third term

January is the start of the third – and final – term at school. Not much time is left before high school students start writing their finals. I think the matrics (third years) start writing as early as February. Looking at my teaching schedule, I only have about a month’s worth of lessons left before exams start and that will quickly be followed by spring break – which I will most likely be spending desk-warming at school as I have used up pretty much all of my nenkyu (days off)…

However, there is Golden Week in May, so here’s hoping I can find somewhere interesting to visit during that mini-holiday time. 🙂


The snow finally landed in Hiroshima, and in quite a spectacular fashion. This year I experienced more than what I thought possible for my little town, having thoroughly enjoyed last week’s mini-blizzard in the big city and today’s fall in Onomichi.

This was in Hiroshima City last week
And this was looking outside my bedroom window this morning.
I decided to walk to school today because the buses were extremely late and there were no taxis around… nice and refreshing, though I almost slipped 4 times!
At the entrance to my school. At lunchtime the boys were throwing snowballs at each other from the walkways between buildings.

Of course, with the snow – which was at about 3-4cm deep (which to me, as a South African, is a lot) – the traffic just comes to a halt. The kei cars (K-cars, AKA tipping-cars) had absolutely no grip on the surfaces this morning. While waiting for the bus (which was about 40 minutes late) I was kept amused by these cars that would crawl by on the road, tyres slipping on the snow/ice and basically struggling to maintain any power on the slippery surface. It seemed the only cars winning on the roads this morning were the ones with chains attached to their wheels.

So at least this week started off to a good start (snow!), though I wouldn’t mind just staying in my warm bed for the rest of it… It does get pretty cold here and without proper insulation my apartment becomes freezing, especially at night. This morning, at 6am, it was -5 degrees and there was a layer of ice on the inside of my bedroom window…

I placed my hand on my window and it left this behind – it looks like something out of a horror film!


Official Onomichi Cat Count: 90! 😀



4 thoughts on “January Update: Back to School and Snow!

  1. My son is leaving South Africa next week to teach in Osaka province for a year. I am so going to make him read your blog. It is entertaining as well as practical.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds incredibly exciting for your son! I personally love Osaka, such a great area to visit (and it has Universal Studios!). I wish him the best of luck for his time here – I am sure he’ll thoroughly enjoy the experience. 🙂


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