“It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for!” said the first line of the email. I quickly opened the email, I scanned the intro, scrolled down to the body. In big, bold letters, I read:
Your Placement:箕面市 Minoh-shi,大阪府 Osaka-fu
I couldn’t believe how lucky I was – Osaka prefecture was my first choice! The minute I saw Osaka, I immediately contacted my host sister Chika, whose family I lived with when I first went to Japan for about a week in 2012. A few years ago, Chika told me that they had moved from Hanno to Osaka. So I originally chose Osaka because I wanted to be able to visit my host family again. When I talked to Chika again though, I learned that they had moved back to their old home in Hanno just last year. Sadly, Hanno is near Tokyo – about 8 hours away from Minoh by train.
Of course, I am disappointed that I won’t be able to visit my first host family as often as I would’ve liked, but I’m still very happy with where I’ve been placed and I can’t wait to make Minoh my new home!
Though my opinion of the city is only based off of pictures on Google and a few Japan-Guide articles so far, I have a really good feeling about Minoh already. Not only does it sound like a really pleasant and peaceful place to live, it’s also one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. (See below.)
So, I’ve been planning on creating this blog since I got accepted as a JET participant, but I put off coming up with a name because I wanted to incorporate my placement into the url. Since this blog is basically about my experiences living in Minoh, it deserves an honorary tribute. It took me a while to figure out how to make the name short, personal, and easy to remember, and to also weave Minoh into it somehow though. So I did little bit more research on the city.
Minoh is best known for its waterfall park, Minoh Falls. In autumn, the park is apparently one of the best places to see the autumn leaves change color.
I ended up learning that there’s actually a Japanese word to describe leaves that have changed color to red. It’s 紅葉, or momiji. I thought the word momiji fit the blog perfectly, because while I’m living in Minoh, I’ll get to see the seasons change – for a year I’ll get to watch the leaves change color from green to red to yellow to brown, and to red again. Also, Minoh’s signature dish, deep-fried maple leaves, is called momiji no tempura (もみじの天ぷら）in Japanese.
So in short, my blog is called momijigirl because I’m going to live in Minoh and Minoh has a lot of maple leaves. (And the girl part is self-explanatory.)
Here’s Minoh’s location on Google Maps if you’re interested in seeing it relative to other areas of Japan. (It’s close to Kyoto, Kobe, and Nara.)
And here are pictures of the city, in case you don’t feel like making the Google search:
Oh, and here’s a picture of the deep fried maple leaves!