Flowers and manhole covers

I adore Japanese manhole covers. They are just so beautiful! Here's the one for Toyota City: It features the symbol of Aichi prefecture in the middle, surrounded by sun flowers. Toyota City has adopted the sunflower as its symbol flower. Likewise, the manhole cover for Takayama features rhododendron flowers, which are symbolic for the city... Continue Reading →

A day in paradise

Around the middle of April it was cherry blossom time in Japan. Needless to say I had been looking forward to this for a while. When foreigners think of Japan and typical Japanese things, the beauty of the cherry blossoms is one of the first things that comes to mind. My anticipation was only increased... Continue Reading →

Bunny on a leash

Apparently rabbits are the latest it-animal when it comes to pets. I can easily believe that because yesterday - yet again - I came upon a rabbit on a leash. It was being walked in the park underneath the cherry trees as if it were a dog. Whereas most rabbits appear either completely blank and... Continue Reading →

Spring is in the air

Ever since a week or two, we have had the first hints of spring in the air. The weather is definitely changing, with alternating days of rain and sun; as opposed to winter where almost every day is sunny. The temperature has been notably higher too, although this week there has been a plunge in... Continue Reading →

The sunny side of Japan

Yesterday it snowed in Toyota City. That's a big deal because in this area of Japan it rarely snows. In addition to that, the amount of snow we had yesterday (about 15 cm) occurs only once every twenty years, according to my Japanese teacher. I was surprised to see that everyone in Japan uses an... Continue Reading →

Winter flowers

When returning to Japan after our two-week holiday in Belgium, we got our first taste of winter in Japan. It has gotten cold (maximum 5° C at midday) and it even snows occasionally. But I was very surprised to see flowers blooming even in this weather. While I normally associate autumn and winter with barren... Continue Reading →

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