Annoying zoo

A few days ago I visited a zoo with my family. It was a zoo in Toyohashi city in Aichi prefecture.

And something annoyed me. It was not concerning the animals, it was the visitors. Although my Japanese isn’t so good, it was good enough for me to understand many of the comments made by visitors.

For example some visitors commented on the ‘poor animals’, others commented on the ‘small, dirty cages’, and others on the rough condition of some of the animals. There were so many negative comments.

If you don’t like zoos, don’t go!

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Spring, part 2

As well as being a name for a season, spring can also mean the flow of water from the earth, usually into a small pond or stream. It is like the birth of a river. It is a magical place.

But how many times have you seen a spring? How many times have you seen water coming from the earth? How many times have you seen the start of a stream?

I saw my first spring today. It is in the Main Sengen Shrine in Fujinomiya City, and here there are many springs which flow into a small pond called Wakuike, and then into a fast stream, and become a river. Here is a picture of the spring.

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Spring water is very pure and is often sold as mineral water. In some places spring water is hot and, of course, hot springs are very popular.

Spring

Tomorrow is a national holiday to celebrate the vernal equinox. Vernal is another word for spring, and equinox means that the length of the daytime and nighttime are equal.

In many Western countries the vernal equinox is considered to be the first day of spring. However in the southern hemisphere (for example New Zealand, Chile and South Africa) it is exactly the opposite season and it is the first day of autumn.

Spring gets its name as this is the time for new life to spring into the world. Plants begin to grow again, and new animals are born. It is a time of refreshment, renewal and change, after the difficult months of winter.

In Japan it seems that spring and cherry-blossom are very much connected. I thought the cherry-blossom would be very early this year, but I haven’t seen any yet.

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Spurs in the last eight

My favourite football team, Tottenham (nickname Spurs) won the second match against Braga, of Portugal, 3-2. They also won the first match 3-2, so they win 6-4 over the two games.

Last night Berbatov (Bulgaria) scored two goals and Malbranque (France) scored one, in an excellent victory. Spurs now enter the last eight of the UEFA Cup.

The next opponents are Sevilla (Spain), who are leading the Spanish League (ahead of Barcelona and Real Madrid), and who won the UEFA Cup last season, it’s the toughest match.

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Berbatov scores.

Tottenham’s next game

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My favourite football team, Tottenham Hotspur (nickname Spurs) will play their next game in the UEFA Cup this Thursday against Braga (Portugal). The first match will be away in Braga and the second match will be at home in North London.

The winners will enter the last eight. It’s Spurs most important game for about 20 years. Please support them with me!

March

March is thought of as the first month of spring. In the ancient Roman calendar it was the first month of the year until the year 450BC when January became the first month, February the second, and March the third.

But where did March get its name? From the Roman name for this month, Martius, which was named after the Roman god of war, Mars.

Mars was one of the strongest and most important of the Roman gods. He was the father of the twins Romulus and Remus who founded Rome, and he was also a protector of farms and cattle.

Spring was a good time for the Romans to go to war. Their enemies had only a little food left after the winter and were busy farming, so the strong Romans took this chance to win many victories and gain more land. But the Romans also needed to work on their own farms to feed themselves, so it’s easy to see why Mars was such an important god at this time of year.

One piece of trivia is that March and November always begin on the same day of the week (this year it’s Thursday), so every day of March and November is the same, except that March has 31 days and November 30.

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