Well I’ve finished the first week out of five of my classes. 25 hours of classes in five days, hours speaking in Japanese to my host family each day – it’s been pretty intense, but good. I have three different types of classes a day (one private) and different teachers are assigned to teach each class on different days. There doesn’t seem to be a problem for the teacher of each class to take up from where the last one left off, so I think that it’s a good way to help us maintain concentration during all of the classes.

On Tuesday night one of my host sisters and a friend of hers took me to the big fireworks festival ({hanabi taikai{) in Fukuoka. The festival is held every year on the 1st of August. I haven’t seen such fireworks before in my life (although in Melbourne’s defence I did miss the fireworks during the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony this year). They were massive! There were complicated shapes and designs, including smiley faces. The display lasted 90 minutes and I heard that there was 6000 blasts or whatever you call them. I also heard that about 340,000 people turned up at the park where it was held to watch.