I don't know what it was lit up for exactly--some kind of matsuri, announced on red banners all up and down the canal, but of course, I can't read Japanese.
So far, I'd say that teaching conversational English is about as interesting as you want to make it. I've had some great students and some weird students and some students who were only there because their parents make them go, and I've gotten some really great questions. I'm getting better at defining or exemplifying succinctly words like just, even, and still; and nuances like "on top of" as opposed to "on." (I had to think about that one--it seems like we usually say "on" when referring to something that usually has stuff on it, and "on top of" when referring to something that doesn't, as in, "I put it on the table" versus "I put it on top of the refrigerator.") Looking at my notes from today, I explained "modest," "archaeologist," "glacier," and "monsoon." Of course, it gets a little repetitive, but I think that's true of teaching in general. So far, so good.