YFU Switzerland

My golden week

Naomi is currently spending her exchange year in Japan. She experienced the “golden week” for the first time and had a very exciting week. This is what she had so say:

Golden Week is a Japanese holiday made up of consecutive public holidays such as the Emperor’s birthday, Greenery day and Kodomo no hi which is Children’s day! Most Japanese families profit from this holiday to do family activities such as travelling abroad or just visiting family!

I’ve been staying with a family, host parents and a host brother who is 8, in Toyota for just over a month now and my host father, who lives in Osaka for his work, came over for Golden Week. On Tuesday I had a sports festival and then school on Wednesday so holidays officially started on Thursday even if I had Monday off school.

In my case, I went to Nagoya to the morning market (Fresh fish, seaweed, flowers and such…) with my family and then we went to the JUMP shop, the Pokémon centre and the Ghibli shop! It was very busy because it was the holidays and there was also an event featuring Pokémon games and a show! We also went to a store called Book Off which sells second hand books, DVD’s and CD’s! I ended up buying Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Japanese for only 45 yen because we had a 60 yen off coupon and it was only 105 yen in the first place! 45 yen is approximately 50 cents!

On Friday (Greenery Day) my host mother and I made charaben (bento/ picnic with a character!) We had to start making them at 4 in the morning and finished at 7. We then drove to the sea and met the host father’s colleague and we went digging for clams! It seems like it’s a popular activity at this time of the year because there were many people in line to get to the sea! We had a picnic at the park and then for dinner had clam soup at the grandparents’ house!

Saturday was Children’s day so many people put up koinobori which are carp shaped flags. The black one represents the father, the red carp is the mother and the last carp is the son (Children’s day is also known as Boy’s day). I visited the paternal grandparents this time!

On Sunday I went to hanami (with a Chinese exchange student who is also in my school) which means viewing flowers and is usually used when talking about the sakura viewing time in April!

That’s the summary of my Golden Week!