After three days of orientation in Tokyo, it seemed like the program was truly about to begin as we traveled to Sapporo for language classes. Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido, which is the large, mountainous northern island of Japan. Once we stepped out of the airport, we were embraced by a cool breeze that seemed almost non-existent in Tokyo. With all the walking we end up doing sometimes, the cooler weather was collectively appreciated. Since classes didn’t start until a day after our travel day, we got a chance to learn the way to Kaderu 2.7 (our school) from where we were staying, which doubled as a mini-tour of Sapporo thanks to our in-country coordinator, Aya. While on our way to Sapporo TV Tower–think a smaller Eiffel Tower–our group was stopped in Odori Park by something mesmerizing. CUTE. LIL. BIRDS. There was a trio of parakeets perched atop one of the many beautiful floral arrangements in the park. The best part was that the Japanese owner of the birds saw us and proceed to place the birds on some members of our group. Basically, that day was an adorable start to the language-intensive portion of the program!