Life in Daisen

I've lived in Japan for almost three years now, and I'm still finding new and exciting things to do. My favourite thing about Daisen is the abundant nature and beautiful scenery. Each season brings a distinct feeling and change with it.

I live out near the mountains, surrounded by rice fields. I love walking around them and photographing the gorgeous landscape. My favourite time of the year is when the fields are flooded but the rice hasn't been planted yet. When the sunset reflects on the water, it's really special.

Spring is really amazing here. My favourite colour is pink, so when the cherry blossoms (sakura) bloom I take my camera and try to capture the brief riot of colour, before all the blossoms give way to fresh green leaves. Hotta no Saku and Sainai Kasen Park are two of my favourite places to see sakura in Daisen.

Daisen also has a load of really great festivals; some of the other ALTs have already written about them here, but I'll give a quick overview of my favourites.

The Ota Fire Festival is a small but spectacular winter festival in a town on the edge of Daisen. It has kamifusen (large paper balloons), fireworks, festival food and traditional rice planting demonstrations.

Of course I also have to talk about Omagari Hanabi! The spectacular competition lights up the night sky each year with dazzling displays. I've never seen such an amazing fireworks show and I doubt anything I ever see in the future will even measure up. A definite must-see.

I'm also a bit of a coffee addict, and luckily for me we have CAFE Lopo. It's my favourite place to hang out and relax. The coffee is amazing and the general vibe feels like home to me. It's also the only place outside of the UK to get a decent bacon and egg roll. As much as I love Japanese food (katsudon!!), it's really nice to have something familiar once in a while. The cafe is really cool and should definitely be on the visit list of anyone in the area.

It's hard to summarise everything I love about Daisen into one blog post, but in short, the people here are really kind, the pace of life is slow but never boring, and I couldn't have wished for a better place to live and work.

 Tara Scott