April 23, 2006

Another School Year

School starts in April here in Japan. There is about a two week vacation between the old school year and the new one. Cherry blossoms bloom during that time.

Children walk to school. They have a lot of things to carry the first week of the new school year. Each has its own bag. There is usually a schedule that tells students what to take each day.

One thing they have to have the first day is their indoor shoes. When they get to school, they take off their street shoes and put them on a shelf at the entrance. They then put on shoes that they only wear indoors at school. They are usually slip-ons made of canvas and rubber. They are kept at school on the student's shelf at the entrance. They are brought home on Fridays to be washed and dried. They are carried in bags like the ones in the picture. The one on the left is an old style. The new styles like the one on the right are cooler, huh?

Parents take house slippers to school for PTA meetings, class observations or open houses. They take off their street shoes and carry them in a plastic bag. I am sure that most people have a pair of slippers especially used for school visits. I have a pair that folds up and easily fits into my purse.

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