The End of the School Year

Today was the last day of class and tomorrow is the closing ceremony. The next two weeks are Spring Break and then the new school year begins.

Speaking of which, I finally received my new assignment. For the entirety of the new school year, I’ll be working at Hibarigaoka Junior High, which is five train stops west of downtown and a fifteen-minute bus ride up into the mountains. My predecessor describes the school as”hell,” with students walking in and out of class, windows getting broken all the time, one of the English teachers apologizing to judo club members when they tell her off, and so on. However, as an upside to Kobe’s policy of transferring teachers fairly frequently, that particular teacher (plus yet another English teacher) are being moved, and the replacements will be probably be chosen from tougher characters. And my current school also has a reputation for wild, impossible-to-teach students (albeit not too violent), and I’ve loved it there. We have a lot of enforcer-type teachers though, so the state of my next school might depend on the quality of the transfers. But before I have to deal with that, I’m going on a vacation.

Last weekend I went on a trip with the second grade teachers. Originally, we were going to Fukuoka, a major city in Kyūshū, the southernmost of Japan’s four major islands. Unfortunately, one teacher had to attend a funeral and another’s wife has been battling cancer, so instead of going anywhere far, the venue changed to the town of Maiko, which is technically part of Kobe. We stayed in a resort-ish hotel near the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge. The bridge was pretty, but the trip was a bit lame. I enjoyed spending time with the teachers, though.

So. Last week I realized that the school year is almost over and I hadn’t made any plans for Spring Break. I want to visit China, but it was already too late, since you need to arrange a visa in advance. So I thought, why not make that trip to Fukuoka? And to get to the point, while researching Fukuoka, I discovered that there are ferries to Korea. So after making plans and then reserving tickets and hotels through a travel agent, my vacation looks like this:

On Tuesday, I’ll take the bullet train to Fukuoka and then catch a hydrofoil ferry to Busan, South Korea. I’ll spend a day in Gyeongju, three days in Seoul, and two days back in Busan, returning to Japan on Monday, the 2nd. Then I’ll stay in Fukuoka until I head home on Wednesday evening.

Ack. I was going to write more, but I need to get to bed.



3 Responses to “The End of the School Year”

  1. Nicole Says:

    so by up the mountains, I’m assuming you mean different ones then the mountains between your apartment and Kobe? So, kids are kids the world over, eh?! You will for sure have to keep us posted on these hellions!!! (enjoy enjoy your trip!)

  2. Nicole Says:

    I hadn’t looked at the bridge link in my first read. That is some bridge – but how ironic that it is so little used! Maybe if they charged less they would actually get more because of more traffic…….

  3. The Drunken Vandal Says:

    Good luck with the new kids. I’m sure you will do fine. Just raise your voice a little or throw something…that’ll teach ’em. :)

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