A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to enjoy my first Samui Beya Matsuri, Yakumo’s winter festival. It was a wonderful experience! On Saturday evening, I played violin with a couple of excellent musicians, and later watched some traditional Japanese music. That night, we went down the famous ice slide that outdoes all other ice slides in Hokkaido for length, after which we watched some fireworks and lit some sparklers. It was great!
The next day, I watched the brass band from Yakumo Junior High School perform. They were outstanding, as usual, and it was rewarding to watch them play. The rest of my relaxing afternoon included eating delicious local fare, watching the costumed relay races which I didn’t fully understand, and the usual necessary stop at the ice cream shop for some of my favourite dessert. As there was a little more daylight on Sunday, I took the opportunity to pick out my favourite snow sculpture, the upside-down snowman. The experience was all in all a success, and I enjoyed every minute.
Hello! This is Alma. I’m excited to join you as the new Junior High Assistant Language Teacher for Yakumo! In the short time that I have been here, I have grown to cherish this town for all the wonderful things it has to offer. The beauty of the surrounding mountains and seas are only overshadowed by the welcoming kindness expressed by the residents of this town. I look forward to spending the next year, or more of my life in Yakumo.
I come from the vast country of Canada, affectionately known as “The Great White North”, in reference to its size, at approximately 26 times the size of Japan, and glacial climate. My hometown of Winnipeg is a prairie city famous for giving its name to the famous fictional bear, Winnie-the-Pooh, and its long, frigid winters, often dipping below -40°C due to the wind chill. I have taken to warming up the winter months with snowshoeing, skiing, tobogganing, and other winter activities of the like. In short, I’m a seasoned veteran at relishing the cold months and look forward to the famous Hokkaido winter!
One of my most significant interests in Japan lies in the arts. I’ve been playing violin since the tender age of two, and it will always be one of the biggest parts of my identity. Whilst in Japan, I hope to be able to discover and explore the musical community, bringing some cultural learning with me back to Canada.
My time in Yakumo town has just begun, and already it seems that I have a wonderful year in store for me. I look forward to getting to know the community of people that really make Yakumo town a beautiful and charming place. I speak very little Japanese, but I’ve been doing my best to study hard and would love to practice, so don’t hesitate to come and say hello!