Letter from the Editor
Spring has always been my least favourite season, mainly because Canadian spring weather is dreary and rainy, and the ground turns to muddy-snowy slush, and the flowers don’t bloom until June. But in Japan, it seems to be an entirely different event. The air is crisp and clean, the birds are singing, there’s a nice warm breeze and sun in the sky. In the words of Drake & Future, oh what a time to be alive.
This is my first hanami season in Japan, but, from us newbies to the seasoned vets, no one is immune from the cherry blossom fever sweeping the nation. Many of us are already in the midst of planning and preparing our picnics and parties. But as much as we should all enjoy the official events and outings, it’s just as good to look around and take in your current surroundings every now and then. You might not have Hirosaki park in your backyard (or maybe you do), but I believe there’s something to be admired in every place and every landscape of this prefecture, and not only the spring flowers. Look for the beauty in simplicity, the extraordinary in the ordinary. Each town has a lot to offer. I’m sure if you pause and look at your surroundings for a minute, no matter where you are, you’ll find something new and interesting to get excited about.
That being said, you should most definitely make time to participate in the hanami events coming up this month and the next. This is a good time for connecting and reconnecting with other people in the prefecture, both foreign and local. I suggest making plans to visit multiple hanami spots across the prefecture, or across the country, if you have the time and the means, before it’s gone.
Keeping that in mind, don’t miss out on this year’s AJET Hanami @ Hirosaki Park on April 29th! All your favourite ALTs and flower petals will be there. This is Aomori AJET’s first big event of the year, so let’s make it great!
Finally, we’ve got quite a few special goodies for you in this spring/blossom-themed edition of GMA. Hope you enjoy!
Japantics – Natalie takes over Japantics this month, starting us off with a lesson in proper hanami observance. Hanami 101 will possibly probably maybe teach you something about how to have fun. Because that how it works, right?
Hot Springs Eternal – David invites us to explore the small town of Biei, Hokkaido and all the sights that it has to offer–which include much more than just the onsen!
English is Weird – Lauren starts us off on a new column all about strange English grammar that you didn’t know you wanted the answers to. We begin our journey with the age old spelling rule, “I Before E.”
Aomori Spotlight – Harrison takes over Aomori Spotlight, and his first interviewee is none other than yours truly!! Oh, what an honour. I made it, mom! Check it out and maybe you will be convinced that BJJ is for you.
BALLS – Victor tackles immigration in a globalized world and what we can do to ease the pressure against international mobility.
Mediabug Music – Michael introduces WEDNESDAY CAMPANELLA, an electro-pop band with a distinct lyrical and visual style.
Shufu Tips – The first installment in a column dedicated to all things shufu – househusband or housewife (no kanji specification needed) – but for young adults. Hopefully you can find a few key tips to help you become the perfect housekeeper as you navigate life in the inaka.
Forward All Inquiries – Jackson offers some sound advice for those of us who may be on the fence about travelling alone. Make sure you don’t miss these useful and timely tips just before golden week madness!
Thanks for your continued patronage! Enjoy the endless floral selfies this season.