Well, Halloween has come and gone, one of the major celebrations of the semester. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera that day, so I couldn’t get pictures of the amazing costumes they had. My teacher, Dr. Reynolds, took a picture of our class:

All credit for the picture goes to him. His posterous site can be found here.

The snuggies in the center that my classmates were wearing were very popular – there were overall lots of cute costumes. (Many were from anime/manga, so I didn’t understand them…) I didn’t dress up, but the atmosphere was very nice. The trees out in front of the office building have been lit up in orange for a while now – I managed to get a picture today. It’s in the above album.

I also managed to get a picture of fully ripe persimmons growing on a corner of campus. I got some at a store once, thinking they were oranges, but didn’t have the guts to try one. (They looked too much like tomatoes for my comfort. I gave them away.) The Japanese persimmon is called kaki. There are lots of fruit trees in the gardens in Hirakata City, which is interesting. I think I even saw a pomegranate tree.

Also included in the above album are a couple shots of the hidden tea garden in a corner of the campus. Everyone is forbidden to go in, but I would love to, someday. The Japanese maples on the right haven’t fully turned red, so I’ll try and get a picture of them when they do change.

One of my favorite times at Kansai Gaidai is the sunset while I’m walking home, and the bats are out doing their acrobatics. That’s right – bats. At first I thought they were birds, but their method of flight and motions were inconsistent with those of a bird, and I came to realize that they were indeed bats. But they’re very nice, catching bugs. Kansai Gaidai’s student bands practice outside, so their music accompanies me home.

My seminar house sits right next to a Japanese graveyard. This doesn’t really bother me all that much. Japanese graveyards are very different from American ones (from what I understand, most Japanese are cremated), and it helps me to reflect as I get near home. Sometimes, when the wind is blowing right, you can get a whiff of incense.

 

Up Next: You know Christmas is coming because….Cake catalogs are out!

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