This weekend, the weather in Fukuoka warmed up considerably, and Taku and I took the opportunity to visit Dazaifu Tenmangu, a famous Shinto shrine in Dazaifu City. The shrine is dedicated to a deified scholar who is venerated as the God of learning. There are many Tenmangu shrines across Japan, but Dazaifu Tenmangu serves as the main one.

There are around six-thousand flowering plum trees (梅, ume) planted on the shrine grounds, and they bloom from February through April. Even though it’s almost cherry blossom season, there were many plum trees in full bloom, and the views were serene and refreshing.

This week, I have some big news! I have decided to go back to school to study Japanese full time starting from this Fall. Though I’ve made substantial progress with Japanese since coming to Japan, there’s only so much I can study in my free time, so I’ve decided that I should master it as soon as possible in order to polish my professional skills for the future. Of course, I will also be able to communicate with Taku even better than now!

The best part about this set up is that I plan on moving to Taku’s neighborhood. So instead of a seventy-minute train commute, he’ll only be a few blocks away! As one can imagine, I’m beyond myself with excitement! I still have four months left at my current job though, so I have to stay focused somehow. Though my move can’t come fast enough, I still want to continue to do a good job at work and enjoy my time with my friends in my current city.

The countdown begins!

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