This past Saturday was my first day in the classroom and it went pretty well. The Japanese school year starts on April 1st, so for the next few weeks all of the new teachers are basically subbing classes here and there and helping out around the different schools in the Kansai area. On my first day, I taught two kids classes and two adult classes. It was such a great experience to finally take what I learned in training and apply it to the classroom. The first kids class that I taught consisted of five 6-7 year old girls. They were extremely sweet and one of them even gave me candy after!
To celebrate surviving our first day as real teachers, we all went out for drinks in Osaka. We also had to get some ramen to cure our hangover. This one restaurant (Ichiran Ramen) in particular has the best ramen I’ve ever had in my life. It is also unlike any restaurant I’ve ever been to before. Instead of ordering from a waiter, you order from a vending machine and get these tickets for what you want. Then you sit down in a booth that has dividers between each seat so that each person has privacy. Someone opens a little window in front of you and you hand them your food ticket. A few minutes later, they pop back in with your food! It’s very individualized and it’s also totally okay and even encouraged to slurp your noodles here. To the Japanese, it means that you’re really enjoying your meal!
Today we actually had the day off for the first day of spring, so I decided to explore Kobe some more. Two of my friends from Osaka came so I was happy to show them around the areas that I somewhat knew of already. We went to the local shrine where they were doing some type of performance that involved big dragon costumes, ate dumplings, checked out Kobe’s Chinatown (The largest one in all of Japan) and hung out in the port and Harborland area.
The peach bun was actually filled with a red bean paste that’s kind of sweet. Usually there is pork or some type of meat in these buns, so the red bean was an interesting surprise. Overall, I am finally feeling like I’m getting more and more acclimated to life here. I still have a lot to learn but this is a good start!