The school year starts in April, when the cherry blossoms bloom… well, for some prefectures anyway. Ours hits the sakura pretty perfectly.

Wednesday the 7th of April was the official first day of the school year. We started out with just the ninensei and sannensei’s ceremony, to introduce the new school teachers, and so they could find out their homeroom teacher.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
The new teachers, kids watching, and our new principal Katayama-sensei, whose house I’ve always gone to for the matsuri in November!

This video makes me laugh… the sannensei homeroom teachers are being announced. The kids reply with surprise, laughs, and envy when the announcements are made!

Next the new students come in, while the older students have their first homeroom. Parents and kids are all over the place, looking for their new classrooms, slightly awkward in their brand new school uniforms!

Photobucket Photobucket
Cherry trees and an empty classroom

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
Parents and kids, and the welcoming red-and-white flowers that are everywhere in celebration. The weather wasn’t great… cold and super windy!

Photobucket Photobucket
Waiting for the new students, and as they file in. The second ceremony of the day is more formal than the first.

When it ends, the teachers address the parents while the new ichinensei have their first homeroom, and the older kids prepare for the new school year. After that, they leave, and the rest of the day is spent by the teachers preparing.

This last Friday the 16th was the first enkai of the new year. It is a chance to say goodbye to the old teachers, and get to know the new ones. Of course, most of the middle schools and some elementaries had theirs on the same day, so a lot of the new teachers had to go to their old school’s enkai instead. I really enjoyed this one!

Time to chat!

We prepare to leave the second party (nijikai), which Kenji had also come to (since he knows most of the teachers), and this… stuff was falling from the sky. This… white stuff.

Yes, it was SNOWING IN APRIL. This year has been really really weird. Snow here is rare enough, but the teachers all agreed they had never seen snow in April before. So yeah. It was shocking.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
The infamous snow

And a video.

Anyway, this year has been great so far! I really like all the teachers, the new ninensei are much easier to handle since they have smaller class sizes, and the new ichinensei are super cute!