Two Things I Enjoyed, Living in Japan

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I lived in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan for eleven months as part of a college-level student exchange program. There were very few English-speakers there and few of those were native English-speakers. I had a variety of adventures (and misadventures), both solo and with friends. The following are two of my favorite things from my stay in Japan.

The Kusuri Bridge (くすりばし)

Kusuri bridge art
The end sculpture art on the bridge has its name written in hiragana. If there are kanji for the name, I never saw them. 薬橋, perhaps?

My apartment building was in a predominently residential area near the Kushiro River (on both sides of which the city is built; it runs from the Kushiro Marsh to the sea). The river was between myself and the main train station, with its obligatory surrounding shopping district. I often had reason to cross the Kushiro River, and the bridge I usually crossed was the Kusuri Bridge.