Sakura and back to uni!

The past few weeks have been very busy! I’ve been getting back into the swing of university life after the wonderful, fantastically sprawling Spring break. Admiring the incredible cherry blossom has been delightful and joining new classes has been fascinating. Life in Kyoto is good.

First glimpses of cherry blossom at Chion-in temple.

First glimpses of cherry blossom at Chion-in temple.

When choosing my destination for my year abroad (what a long time ago that was now!) the natural beauty and fascinating history of Kyoto is what most attracted me to the city. Seeing photographs of the fiery momiji (autumn leaves) and delicate sakura (cherry blossom) present at the secluded temples and shrines dotted around the city told me that this was the place for me. It turns out that I made the right decision!

Blossom along Tetsugaku no michi.

Blossom along Tetsugaku no michi.

The momiji was incredible. Check out my previous blog post for a refresher  [https://jolifguest.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/momiji-no-tempura-and-lots-and-lots-of-leaves/]. The sakura is equally fantastic. It really is as wonderful as the hype around it suggests. From strolling along the Tetsugaku no michi (Philosophers’ Path) to visiting Kiyomizudera temple illuminated at night, appreciating the sakura is a wonderful experience.

Illumination at Kiyomizudera.

Illumination at Kiyomizudera.

Another fantastic way of enjoying the cherry blossom is to have a hanami viewing party. What better way to spend an evening than drinking and eating under the pink haze of cherry blossom? Last week I met up with my friends from Southampton who have returned to Kyoto having spent a year on exchange there. It was great to catch up with them and to enjoy the sakura together!

Catching up with friends I met in Southampton!

Catching up with friends I met in Southampton!

Along with the excitement of the cherry blossom, I’ve also got a lot of new classes to settle in to.

From a class about Anthropology (fascinating stuff and definitely something I want to learn more about) to a class about Celtic languages (including Welsh, which both and I and the lecturer speak, hooray!) and their relationship to Lord of the Rings, I’m thrilled with the classes of the new semester.

As the academic year has just started, the campus is packed with students trying to recruit new members for their societies and sports teams. The other day a friend and I joined the mountain climbing society. They do hikes every weekend, and even overnight stays. We’ll be joining one of their hikes next weekend, so I’m really looking forward to that. The hike even includes a trip to an onsen (hot spring baths) so I’m very keen! Tonight I’m joining a dance circle with some friends. I’m not sure how it will go, but they practice by the Kamogawa, so even if my dancing skills are poor, at least I can admire the fantastic view of the mountains!

The Kamogawa.

The Kamogawa.

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