Right off the bat, I will start by saying this post has no clear goal.  I certainly am not planning it out before I write it,sorry.  What can I say? It is hot.  When the temperature goes above 25 degrees, my brain goes on summer holiday.

So, life in Toyama right now is moving along.  I have been in Japan for almost a year now.  Soon there will be a new crop of people arriving in Toyama and I will be one of the experienced folks, who supposedly know the ropes. Ha!

But anyhow, I have been planning a trip to climb Mount Fuji. The planning has hit a few hurdles, but we seem to be progressing well now. However, when I was talking to a Japanese friend about this trip she looked at me with concern and told me that “Mount Fuji is not safe right now.”  (I am not abusing the quotation marks; those were her exact words.) She proceeded to explain that last year’s earthquake left a large crack in Mount Fuji.  This concerned me.  After all, large cracks in volcanoes are not to be treated lightly.

So I went home and got my Google on and found out that the crack is really no big deal. It is not related to volcanic activity and is really nothing to be stressed about.  (Read the article here if you don’t believe me.)

However, in my research, I also found this article, about the installation of new toilets at the 5th Station on Mount Fuji.  This is great news, as I hear the bathrooms at the 5th station were in serious need of upgrading. However, let’s pay special attention to this part:

The facility, built at the fifth station of the Fuji-Yoshida mountaineering route on the Yamanashi Prefecture side of the mountain, reopened to the public Friday following a ceremony to mark the completion of the work, a Yamanashi prefectural government official said.

Remember how I wrote about the opening ceremony in Japan?  I bet you didn’t believe me when I said that they happen all the time, did you? Well, officials held an opening ceremony for NEW TOILETS.  I do not want to undermine the importance of sanitation, but REALLY?

Anyhow, my school held closing ceremonies for the spring term on Friday.  That means it is summer vacation now. Although, it must be said that it is summer vacation in name only.  My first and second year students will still be at school most days for club activities and my third years will be here studying all summer. That, of course, means that teachers in Japan work all summer as well.  I cannot complain though, I am saving my vacation days for a fantastic adventure in December.  (Spoiler: it involves finding out whether or not Santa can find me in Thailand. I have faith in him.)

Oh, and I wrote a short write-up on my visit to the Space Science Museum in Hakui, Japan.  You can read about the museum at the TRAM, Toyama AJET’s magazine.

Hopefully I will write more often this summer. I will try anyhow.  No promises though.  After all, it is hot and my brain does not know the difference between “summer vacation” in Canada and “summer vacation” in Japan.


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