Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thank You, Golden Week and Into May

Thank you so much for all your kind words about my wedding! Every comment means so much to me, and it was heartwarming to read those words. I feel like most of you have taken this journey with me, in some strange way. So, thank you for reading and your wonderful thoughts. I'm so, so happy I could share, and your enthusiasm made it feel so special.

So, Golden Week rolled around again, which is the busiest holiday in Japan. Except for my very first GW five years ago when I lived in Shikoku and finally got out to travel all the way to Tokyo and Osaka, none of them have been as exciting. I particularly remember that one I spent when I lived in Osaka, freshly post-3.11 which was the loneliest time of my life. I was reading back this old post, and now I'm wondering why I was walking around some dark, unknown Osaka streets in the middle of the night by myself. It's something I would never do nowadays because I know better, but I was pretty fearless back then and didn't always think things through. Osaka was such a tough phase overall, but when I look back it was also wonderful- I had so much time to think (about my career, staying or leaving, life) and that's when I really made things happen. That's when I quit teaching, packed my bags and moved to Tokyo to give writing a try.

Now this Golden Week is just going to be a regular work week, the news don't stop for holidays, but I really enjoy it so I'm happy to be there. Did I mention I'm also working in my mother tongue? It's been amazing to immerse myself into the beautiful French language, even though I have lots of literary catching up to do. I also caught a cold earlier this week, one of the worst I've ever had, complete with high fever, sore throat and congested sinuses. I ate okayu (rice porridge) for three days straight, and I actually really liked it. I particularly like umeboshi (pickled plum), so flavourful.

In other news the weather is getting increasingly warmer, and we're planning another Canada visit for late summer or possibly autumn, a shorter one this time but I need some home time and a glimpse of Canadian summer.

Loving my Issey Miyake bag!

Spring ballerinas

Sunday breakfast

Okayu



Monday, April 27, 2015

My Japanese Wedding

Recently, the most wonderful thing happened: I got married.

I waited a bit to share so I could savour this moment and everything surrounding it. It's been one of the happiest moments in my life, and all the changes that came along. I'm still trying to wrap my head around everything that took place over the past few years, since I started this adventure. Since I moved to Japan, or even, since I moved to Korea. It's been a handful of years filled with lots of changes and a roller coaster-like journey, and this past bit has been the most exciting of it all.

We had a very intimate and traditional wedding at our favourite shrine in Kyoto, which is tucked in the mountains. I wore the white wedding kimono shiromuku and the white hood wataboshi during the ceremony, then changed to a celebratory red kimono for the reception. The white kimono was very heavy, and I had to wear the traditional wig underneath the hood, even though the hood covered most of it. I was dressed at the shrine very early in the morning, as it took several hours to put on all the layers. It was so tight and heavy, but I started to relax once I saw the final result.

It was such a magical experience to wear the kimono, and to walk over to the shrine under the red umbrella with our families. I was a bit nervous to trip, but I somehow gracefully managed to walk up and down the stairs. The ceremony was shinto, and it included a dance performance and lots of sake drinking. It was quite cold that day, especially in the mountains, but that warmed me up. We also had to read a declaration, which is similar to vows, and our families also got involved in the ceremony despite all the language barriers (from my side!).

We had a traditional meal at one of Kyoto's best restaurants, along with cake and lots of photos. I changed to the red kimono there, and took off the wig and just wore my natural hair with some fresh flowers in it, which I had picked. I had two assistants dressing me and helping me out with everything, I felt like a princess. There was even a bridal taxi complete with a red carpet for when I step out. I wish this could have lasted forever!

I always knew I wanted to get married someday, but I never really knew what kind of wedding I wanted. Somehow it all happened naturally and this was perfection, I couldn't dream of anything better.  The best part was having my family there, and introducing our families for the first time.

Now I have a family in Japan, and that's the most amazing feeling.