4 July 2011

Small Town Japan

With all the weekend trips and vacations I’ve managed to squeeze into this year I feel like it might be easy for readers to get a warped sense of my life here. Small town Japan plays a major role in my Monday to Friday life. So in hopes of not overlooking the everyday, I have a few pictures to show you of some buildings I pass on a nearby island that I work at once a week. It’s known as Setoda or Ikuchijima, and is just a 30 minute ferry ride from Mihara port. How many people can say they catch a ferry to work?! A pretty kitsch one at that!

Everything about Setoda is charming in a “holding on for dear life” sort of way. From the bus stop furniture to the buildings I pass en route to work, to the very school I work in each week. It’s a school building that could easily fit 600 students, yet only 60 students actually attend. Smaller towns in Japan have started to suffer as families decide to relocate or school their kids in bigger cities. Many small town schools actually end up closing down because of it. On the other hand, many of the students that go to this school don’t even live on the island. Parents send them from neighbouring cities possibly for quality education and the more “small town innocence” that is often (but not always) missing in city schools. I love being welcomed by a classroom full of waving hands as I walk from the bus stop towards the school building!! Unfortunately, a day at work often leaves me craving food, a bath and my bed, so further exploration of the island is embarrassingly nonexistent on my part. But watch this space yo!

PS. I see a few new faces poking around here, so a big thanks to Kristine (my new blogger friend in Japan) for featuring me and my little blog on hers: “Kristine or Polly.” You can check out the guest post I did for her here and have a mosey around at her outfit posts and cute anecdotes about life in Japan xoxo

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