Friday, 17 May 2019

Letter for Mr. and Mrs. Walsh

Matty Doolin
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Walsh,

It has been 6 months since our son, Matty started working on your farm. Hope he works hard and to be a good farmer.

When we allow him to go camping with his friends, it’s because we felt sorry for him due to death of his dearest dog. We thought we could forget his painful memory after spending holiday for camping in the field and he would work in the town like his father.
When you called us that Matty was rescued on the mountain while storming and raining heavily, we rushed to go to your house. On the way to your house, we decided one thing, that we would allow him everything he want to do if he was fine.

Now we think it was the goods decision for him to work on the farm. We much appreciate for both of your love for our sun from the bottom of our heart.

Sincerely yours,

Frank and Jenny Doolin

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

C. W. Nicol - After reading of England

A famous English person is living in Nagano. He is Clive William Nicol and is called as “C.W.Nicol” in Japan. In the nineteen-eighties, he loved beautiful woodland of Japan, but was despaired the cutting of old growth forests in Japan to make golf courses and ski slopes etc.
With a shocked eye at Afan Argoed Forest Park in Glamorganshire, South Wales, he started his activity to come back the woodland to life with healthy diversity. Light reaches the ground, trees are good bearer, flowers blooms, insects come, bird species increase, 29 endangered species are kept in his owned “Afan forest”. He doesn’t do this activity to earn money, and he is showing natural life forms and eco-tourism which is income-producing sightseeing without destroying any woodland. By repeating this successful activity, we can keep woodland in the future.
From now, I will tell you what he saw at Afan Argoed Forest Park. In 1985, he got a notice from a scientist of employ of the Welsh country and he asked what species of Japanese trees would flourish in the ground and climate of South Wales to make a Japanese woodland park inside his employed park. Nicol surprised that request because he knew in his early experience that that area was covered with slag and the river was black with coal dust and pollutants. When he returned to Wales, he was very shocked that the valley was green with trees and the river flowed clear water by big efforts of the local people and some organizations.
By this good shock, he decided to come back the woodland in Japan to life with healthy diversity. He loves the beautiful woodland in Wales and United Kingdom and Afan Argoed Forest Park in Wales and Afan Forest in Nagano are sharing their experiences and challenges each other to keep forest.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

My best friend!


My best friend’s name is Hana.
She is 1m 29cm tall. 
She has short dark straight hair and brown eyes.
She likes tennis and chasing boys.

Posted for Nanaha (9)

Monday, 22 April 2019

Postcard from...Mr. & Mrs. Miyazaki

There's nowhere else I want to be...

Dear Luna family,

I hope that you are all keeping well, and looking forward to the weather warming up.

It has been a few weeks since I started my new teaching role in Akasaka, Tokyo. It is an exciting new chapter for myself, and my family. Thank you for all the kindness you showed me before my departure. I will forever cherish the memories I shared with each & every one of you. Which leads me on to some very special news that we would like to share with you all. Rumi, who has been my loving partner for the last 2.5 years, and I got married on March 7th. We are now Mr. & Mrs. Miyazaki. We also have another little bundle of joy to share. Rumi & I are expecting an addition to our family on July 31st. We are not sure whether the baby is a boy or a girl yet, but in the meantime we've given the nickname "Kimi-chan" until we decide on a final name. Any suggestions are welcome of course!

With lots of love, Damian, Rumi & Kimi-chan

Friday, 12 April 2019

My Dream Holiday

I would like to go to Australia. I can go with plane. I want to go to Wollongong in Australia. I can see my cousins. My cousins names are Joe, Louie, Fred and Charlie. I can play football with my best friends.

I want to make snacks with my aunt. Australia is very fun place. Do you want to go to Australia?

Posted for Eleanor.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Where would you like to go with friends?

You must go to Iowa City in America. You can go to America by aeroplane, and you can see American football. You can get to a stadium by car. In Iowa it has a big park!! You can play with friends ♡
In Iowa it has a shopping mall. You can skate and ride on a merry go round, and you can go to library. It has lots of books. It had Japanese books too.

When you come to America you must bring a water or juice. Have fun :-)

Posted for Nanako.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Going to work abroad: an exciting opportunity or a scary one?

I think recently young Japanese people who want to go abroad are decrease from before. They are afraid of something different from their ordinary life and getting in something dangerous. Most of them didn't want to have any big risks or make challenges.

Going abroad and living there has a lot of advantages. The main advantage is that you can see and experience different cultures and some new opinions. For example, they have a different habit to eat food, drink, recipes. Maybe there are many strange or surprising experiences. But, that's the reason why you should have go abroad.

Of course, there are some disadvantages. If you're in a foreign country, it will be hard to get some help from your family or your friends. And hard to give some help for them, of course.

It takes time to understand everything about another countries, but it makes you growing up.

Posted for Naoko.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Being a celebrity: a dream or a nightmare?

A dream of children is to be a celebrity in the future. For example, boys want to be a baseball player or a soccer player, and girls want to be an actress or a pianist. They want to succeed and be celebrities.

The advantages of being a celebrity are they can be self-confident and satisfied. In addition, they can have more possibility to have good friends, a nice house and a good life.

Although there are some disadvantages as well. It would be difficult to have privacy. Because of SNS, it is more difficult than before. They have to think everybody is a spy. In addition, people want to ask them many things. For example, donations, rent money or to introduce friends. Sometimes they are in trouble. However, it is still a dream to be a celebrity. The life is only once. It is a pity to regret not doing the work for a dream, and it is worth it to make an effort to be a celebrity.

To sum up, working hard for the dream is making the life fruitful.

Posted for Yasumi.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

I write about my five-days trip to Scotland.

Days 1, I visited the Stirling Castle. It is a castle stands on beautiful highlands and it is surrounded by eruptive rocks. Therefore, This was built to escape from enemies. It’s a famous historic building. I like historical structures.

Days 2, I visited Loch Ness. The largest freshwater lake in England. A monster that is said to live in Loch Ness is called Nessie. I hope I could see it. But I couldn't on that day.

Days 3 and 5, I stayed on Isle of Skye. An island of northwestern Scotland. It is called “sgiath” in gaelic. This means wing of island.
Isle of Skye has Dunvegan castle and Eilean Donan castle, and even the fairy pool as if it is illustrated in a fairy tale.

I usually drink Suntory whiskey but I enjoyed Scottish whiskey in Talisker distillery on the last day. But I got drunk easily, so I could drink a little bit of that.

Thank you for reading.

Postcard from...Phuket, Thailand

Hello Jim-sensei!

I'm in Phuket in Thailand with my family.

The weather is very nice everyday, so we can enjoy the pool, sea, and beer!

I do not want to be back to Japan!

Best regards,


Saturday, 30 March 2019

Japanese mums work too much - After reading of JAPAN

Japanese working mum is very busy every day, especially mum with kindergarten or elementary school age children is. Japanese women desire to share of child rearing and housework with their husband. But, their husbands do not go back home early and Japanese women need to all tasks by herself.
Japanese men are not fully aware that they should do all the child rearing and housework.
I personally think that it was caused that old Japanese family divided wife/husband or mother/father’s responsibility. Thus, a lot of older people and their son may become dependent on young mums. And young mums may think that mums should do everything right/perfectly as her mother did though young mums work.
Now Japan government proceeds with the Realization of Work Style Reform. I already realized my work style reform and changed my mind to taking care of my nephew and usually leave at the fixing time after finish my tasks. I strongly suggest all workers to prioritize and control the tasks efficiently before ever with aim of leaving at the fixed time and to take paid holiday more. The people can enjoy hobby and relax, and can do the child rearing and housework after the hours and during paid holiday. Please give Japanese mums rest more.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

The place where I can most concentrate

When I was a child, I used to study in living room while my family was watching TV or talking. After growing up, when I was university student, I used to go to casual restaurant like a Gusto, Denny’s and do homework and study assignments with my friend or alone. Now I am an officer but still go to casual restaurant and do homework when I have it. My favorite place is Komeda coffee. I can concentrate to study while listening people talking or BGM of the restaurant. And it is also necessary to have some drinks when I concentrate doing something. If I have to think about something difficult or complicated, I always prepare a cup of coffee and start thinking. Sometimes I have some sweets if I felt tired. The best time of working is after 5pm when most people went home because anyone don’t ask or talk to me.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Postcard from Fukuoka

Dear Laura, Yukari and Hirokatsu

I'm on my holiday in Fukuoka and Nagasaki Prefecture, it's fine weather.

Today, I went to "Gunkanjima" in Nagasaki Prefecture. Known as Gunkanjima, Hashima is an island that once flourished in the coal industry. It was registered as a World Heritage site in 2015. It's a shame that what used to prosper is going away.

I can't say in a word, I felt I can't say anything. It's a place I want you to go to everyone. I'm enjoying everyday.

See you next week,


Sunday, 24 March 2019

My important days

The important three days for me are March 26th, September 20th and November 28th.

March 26th is my birthday.  It is coming soon!  Recently, my daughter is good at singing “Happy Birthday”, so I am looking forward to hearing her song.  In the meantime, I present my mother with a bouquet to give thanks to her on the date every year.  I am going to do that this year.

September 20th is my daughter’s birthday.  The due date was October 8th, but she was born 18 days earlier than the due date.  She was smaller than other babies, but she is now bigger (heavier, not taller) than other kids!

November 28th is my wedding anniversary.  My husband and I got married 3 years ago, but we have not done the special thing on the date.  We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon, so our dream is go to Hawaii again when our daughter became 20 years old.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

My longest trip

I went to Switzerland about ten days in winter with my family when I was a junior high school. Although I think that the most of sight sinners go to Switzerland in the warm part of the year, we went there to go skiing.

I had a terrible jet lag that I was dizzy and could not eat anything and stand up at the first day.
At the second day, I saw a very beautiful view that there was Matterhorn in front of my eyes when I opened the door of the hotel. I was very impressed and my condition was much better.

Ski area was huge and couldn't be compared to Japan. There is a net in Japan as a sign that we can't go out from ski slope. However, there was no net clearly in Switzerland and it was easy to got lost.
I was interested in abroad by this travel. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Good evening to Jim sensei from Bangkok.
I wore a  coat yesterday and I am now wearing short sleeve shirt.
People serve me hot tea with lots of sugar, and feed me extraordinary spicy food!
My stomach burns and feel so hot outside, that’s for sure.
But weirdly I stop sweating while and little after having a hot cup of tea!!

Anyways, I arrived Bangkok at 5:30 and I am still working.
Nice cute reserved seat for people in need relaxes me. Hot but warm country.

Will send you another from Manila next week.


Friday, 15 March 2019

The Shinano River

Japanese Crested Ibis
The River Shinano is in Japan.

It's the longest river in Japan. It's about 367 kilometers long. It has more than 1,100 species of plant and fifty-five fish. Ducks, Cranes and Ibis live on the River Shinano.

People need the river because it produces 2,618 megawatts of hydroelectric power.

By Ayumi

Postcard from Hong Kong

Dear Laura, Yukari, Chikako,

I'm coming to Hong Kong now. It's a bit cold in the rain today. I will go to Shenzhen in China now!

I am looking forward to see you next week.

PS. I did my homework!! :)


Thursday, 14 March 2019

Postcard from...Chicago, Illinois, USA

Sweet Home Chicago, using Touchnote
Hi Jim sensei,

I have been in Chicago for a week for business meetings. It is windy and extremely cold. -10 degrees C was the highest temperature today. However, Unique heat-tech T-shirts kept me warm in the cold air. To enjoy this city, I recommend visiting during the summer.

Best regards,


Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Days at Daiichi

When I found out I was going to be teaching a class of teenagers I was terrified. My own memories of high school started flashing before my eyes. A class of girls, talking over the teacher and using our phones to text, shop, and do anything but schoolwork, but as soon as I set foot in the school I realised that my high school experience was very different to that of the students in the class that I was teaching.

Although the separation of girls and boys was still very clear, here it was by choice rather than the fact that the boys went to a different school across the road. Instead of groups of desks around the room, they were in uniform single file lines. Rather than chatting happily to each other and yelling out answers, you could barely drag an answer out of them without picking on them one by one, and the biggest difference; everyone has to hand in their phones to their homeroom teacher at the start of the day - a rule that couldn’t even be broken for educational use on the final day of school.

I walked into the class for the first time in November absolutely terrified but soon realised that my preconceived idea of what was to come couldn’t be further from reality. School in Japan is incredibly different to what it was back home, but the class welcomed me with open arms, just as they would’ve at home; and for that, I am so grateful. Thank you and good luck with your final year of school everybody!

Monday, 11 March 2019

Spring's coming!

Despite the gloomy days that Matsumoto has been having recently, we still believe that Spring is on its way. To celebrate, we have spent the last week pulling, planting, and watering this year's new plants! Thank you to all of our little helpers who have helped us start to plant the seeds to make what will be some very colourful seasons.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Ghost in the Garden

Yuki is twelve years old girl. Recently she moved to her grandfather’s house. It’s a big house. And there is a bigger house in the neighbourhood. It has a large garden and there were a lot of trees and plants.

One night she was looked around the garden out of her room’s window. It was dark but the crescent moon emitted dim light. She saw a white shape under a big tree. It was moving slowly. Yuki was very surprised and frightened. “What’s that?” white silhouette moved. Is that happen to be a ghost?

Next night Yuki looked around the garden, she didn’t see it. “Was the silhouette an illusion?”. A week later Yuki saw it again. It was moving. She went downstairs and told to her grandmother that she saw a ghost. Her grandma laughed. “OK, you didn’t know. I have to tell about it. It is a girl. She is fourteen. She has a problem. She can’t move under the sun ray. She only move at night.” Yuki felt relieved, and thought I could be her friend someday.

Posted for Misako.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Travel to the Stars

I am Kogi Hirabayashi. I’m Japanese. I’m high school student, 17 years old. I live in Nagano prefecture, the place is countryside. I love space and watch the stars. I can see beautiful stars sometimes. It is special time for me.
Our country is no building and no bright lights. Only mountains. So the stars are especially beautiful. I have one younger sister, Miho. When I watched the stars, Miko certainly beside me. I want to become an astronaut. A trip on a spaceship is excited for me. I like to study galaxy and astronomy. Moho likes UFO stories. She wants to read some UFO books. The day was especially bright at night. The stars were all over the sky. I hope to watch a meteor stream and Miho hopes to appear UFO. We are both dreamer. What happen tonight?

Posted for Yoko.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

The Monster Party

150 years ago, Mr Frankenstein lived in the small house in Switzerland. But he was very boring in this town. He couldn’t go outside in daytime. He could only walk at night time. One night he saw a strange black coat man. He was Mr Dracura. He was tired of Switzerland too!
So they decided to move another country. They went to Holland.
Ride a ship, they thought it will go to England. But they go to East Island Japan. They didn’t know that, they got off the ship midnight, and went to the mountain. They saw some red monsters. They were very surprised and went down the mountain, hiding in the forest daytime. The red monster called Oni were surprised too. They talked about last night monsters with Hitotsumekazo and drunk sake. They fell asleep.

Midnight, Mr Stein and Mr Dracura went to mountain again. They saw many sleeping monsters. They had many bottles with their hands. Mr Frankenstein and Mr Dracura were scared but a nice smell came from the bottles. They couldn’t stand, they drunk sake. That’s wonderful, excellent! Suddenly Oni and Hitotsumekozou got up. Both monsters surprised each other, but Mr Dracura and Mr Frankenstein gave them their beer an wine. Both could not understand their language, but they didn’t need worlds they love alcohol! Alcohol make friends all over the monsters that night, people heard strange voices from the mountains.

Posted for Misuzu.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Museums in Matsumoto

Image result for miami police file black cat cidebThere is a Matsumoto City Museum in Matsumoto city. There is a big green statue in front of it, you can find it easy. It was made by Yayoi Kusama. She was famous modern artist.

There are many her`s artifacts, statue, objects,and pictuers. She likes pumpkin motive and dots. Many years ago, I went to the museum, and watched them. I felt her arts were very strange. It was not so beautiful. But many people like her art. About 8 years ago, our family went to Paris, and we looked her art at Louis Vuitton`s window. It collaborated with her. It wasn`t beautiful, but very modern. Her exhbition is very popular all over the world. There are red dots bus in Matsumoto city, it was her idea.

Posted for Misuzu.

Postcard from Silk Road - After reading

Postcard I
Hi, I passed Pamirs which are located on high mountains 2 days before and am taking a day-off of long journey in a village at the foot of the mountain. The Journey in high mountains area were difficult for us to walk and to cook things because it is in thin air.
But, we saw unusual sheep there with very long, round horns. I have never seen that. I am not good at drawing, but please see my drawing of the unusual sheep.
On March 02, we start our journey to China again. I will send another postcard later.
I’m sad that I cannot be with you, but I am look forward to talking you about this journey when I am back to Venice. Of course, I promise you to bring a lot of souvenirs!
Postcard II
Hi, I am staying in Kinsai. I often remember Venice when I visit Kinsai because it is a large city on the water like Venice. The people in Kinsai is clever and kind and they are working for silk cloth, other made things of silver or gold. There are 12,000 bridges and some very high bridges which big ships can easily go under the high bridges.
What I interested in here is bath houses. There are the hundreds of bath houses in Kinsai and people here usually take three times a month.  They are always giving visitors like us best service in bath house and always prepared us warm water.
I want to bring you here to know Kinsai and people in Kinsai someday. I will stay here for trading for a while and will send another postcard later.
Postcard III
Hi, I am in Cipangu. Cipangu is a group of islands and is located in the east of the Khan’s empire. I heard before from Khan that these islands were rich in gold and had a large palace with floors and windows of gold.
When a warm and a sunny season is closing, I saw trees with beautiful flowers called Sakura in Cipangu. Some trees have white flowers and others have pink flowers. We could enjoy Sakura trees for long period because these are fully in bloom for 1-2 weeks.
Our trading in Cipangu is going well and will be finished within a few months. Once our trading is completed, I will be back to Venice. I am very happy to see you again and look forward to talking you about this journey.

Postcard from....Bangkok, Thailand

Hello, Jim

I'm in Bangkok, Thailand.

I'm doing very well!

I enjoyed shopping at one of the biggest malls in Bangkok. Again, I've found that Thai is a country of "smile".

From Taka

Monday, 4 March 2019

Tennis Talents

Image result for alien alert in seattle black cat cidebI`m Yoko. I`m 63 years old. Now my hobby is playing tennis. When I was forties I was buzy to child care and working office everyday. So I have no hobby. A friend invited me "Let`s go to tennis school together. It is city-run. It is cheap!" That was starting to my pleasure.

I could make new friends for tennis. Because playing tennis could not only one. It was necessary to belong a group. Now I`m playing tennis twice a week indoors. Sweat is good for my physical condition. But I had some practical problems. Playing skill could not advanced! I gave up! and I changed my mind. It`s better to enjoy. So we are able to do for all ages. I`m enjoying to play a game of tennis now.

Posted for Yoko.

No snow in Nozawa

Dear Jim,

How are you? I enjoyed the Christmas holiday.

It was a fantastic time, although the weather wasn't so good. I went to Nozawa Onsen for skiing and hot spring with my family. It was raining and sometimes snowing. There wasn't enough snow for skiing, so we didn't buy a one day ticket, got some single tickets because some lifts didn't work. Anyway, we didn't really enjoy skiing. However, we enjoyed hot spring.

Did you know Nozawa Onsen is free? There are several free places, although the spaces are small. That spring is famous for making the skin beautiful.

By the way, did you enjoy the Christmas & New Year's holiday? Write soon, and tell me about it!

from Kazumi

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Typical New Year celebrations in Japan

Children goes back to hometown and spend New Year with family. Japanese cleans their house not to carry dirt over next year.
Some families watch the TV waiting for New Year and some families wear kimono and go to shrine/temple to pray.

I eat traditional New Year’s foods that have good keeping quality, not to cook and take a rest. There are good/lucky meanings for each foods such as health, long life and luck. For example, shrimp curls up when boiled and it looks like elderly people with a bent back. It is something like wish for long life. I have liked datemaki and kurikinton since I was child because it is very sweat. They are in the picture above.

I put New Year’s ornaments to an entrance of my house and round rice cake with my wishes. Finally, adult gives their relative’s children money.

Cambridge English Qualification: Explaining results

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Selfies & personal intros - digital/analog blending

Our digital natives could compose their selfies, add filters, bling themselves up and save their work in next to no time (teaching each other quick tips & offering fashion advice!) using the iOS app "Snow".
The actual writing task took longer, thinking about personal info that we can express as we start our new text book (OUP's Everybody Up 3).

Love this class - motoring along in the fast lane with the roof down. Super cool, obviously cute, and inspiring the teacher to try even better ways to prove they Can Do!

Friday, 1 March 2019

Ayumi's favourite flying animal

It's a bird. It flies. It is about forty-five centimetres tall. It has feathers. It's feathers are soft. It can fly quietly. It has big eyes. It can hunt mice at night. I like this owl because it is beautiful and cool. I saw an owl at school in Matsumoto.


A stitch in time - a New Year's letter

Dear Jim,

How are you? You must have had a nice holiday in Australia!

I have a nice new year's holiday at home as well. My daughter and my brother came back from Tokyo with their family. My granddaughter is four and my grandson is two. They are very cute. However, they are very noisy. We have a lively table every night, although I'm very tired. Anyway, they go back to Tokyo soon.

By the way, I have to sew my restaurant's tablecloths during the holiday. I like sewing, although I feel a little bit blue thinking about so many things to do. Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures you take in Australia. Have a fantastic holiday!!

All the best!


Wednesday, 27 February 2019

A letter from Disneyland

Dear Jim,

How are you? I'm fine. How was your New Year's holiday?

I went to Disney Resort with my family. Before going, I thought it might be crowded. However, it was not so much than I expected!

My son wasn't tall enough to ride some thrilling attractions, although he really enjoyed to ride some for small kids.

By the way, have you had a thrilling experience on an airplane? After Disney, we went to my hometown by the airplane. The weather was bad and it snowed around my hometown, so it shaked so much and so often. It was more thrilled than any attractions of Disney. Anyway, I barely arrived at my parents' house.

Love from Ai

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

My Emergency Pack

When I think about disaster, the earthquake is coming up. Nagano prefecture is the one of most famous area which earthquake happened in Japan. People who live in Nagano used to experience the earthquake. In case I would experience the big earthquake and need to survive independently, I would need the following items:  Water bag or water  Food  Rope  Scissors  Blanket - as much as thin  Sanitary goods  Underwear  Towel  Battery charger  Mobile battery  Mobile phone Maybe some foods/water and blankets would be provided from local governments. Therefore, it is most important things are mobile phone and batteries. If I have mobile phone, I can use it as a flashlight. Sanitary goods is also important for women because the local governments would not provide or found easily due to lower priority than food or water.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Marrying for love is a good thing, and it is nobody else's business?

I agree that marring for love is a good thing. Long time ago, parents made decision whom their son/daughter marring with. Sometimes, it was difficult to accept as a partner for him/her. However, if he/she decides a partner himself/herself, they will have responsibility and it will not happen that they don't accept/love each other.
I addition, if you love another person when your parents decide your partner, can you love your partner really? If I was, I can forget him/her and suffer from.
I hope that marring is very happy thing for everyone.

However, if it is royal family, I think that they should be celebrated from citizen because they are not commoner.

Although you may have had feeling with envy to be loyal family, which is good for you?