Friday, 21 December 2018

Luna's super Marios meet Super Santa!

As Christmas sneaks up on us, in tow comes our annual Christmas party!
A huge thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us and a special shout out to Yukari for the incredible organisation of food, venue and fun, Cedric, Matt and Naomi for helping to keep the whole thing afloat, Jim for being the backbone of the entire celebration, and Santa himself for taking time out of his busy schedule to help us spread Christmas cheer!

Complete with games, smiles and presents galore, it was a brilliant way to end 2018.
We look forward to seeing you back at Luna from the 7th of January.

Take a peek at the festivities with the link below:

Merry Christmas everybody!

The Unseen Danger

Image result for grace millane
 There has always been a stigma around solo female travellers. As one myself, the questions “you’re travelling by yourself?” and “aren’t you scared something will happen?” have hung around like a bad smell ever since I left home. I’d always had the idea in my head that I would be fine; I’m smart about how I travel, I contact my family every chance I get and I trust my gut. I’ve always been a very trusting person, believing the best in people until proven otherwise. That is, until now.

On the 1st of December 2018, a young woman went missing. She went by the name of Grace Millane and she was six weeks in on a year-long trip around the world. Having spent most of that time in South America, she headed to New Zealand and explored the Far North before checking into a backpackers in Auckland. Here she stayed for less than a week before supposedly going on a date, and this was the last time known that she was seen alive.

New Zealand is globally recognised as one of the safest countries in the world. I should know, I grew up there. What some people fail to recognise is that this could happen anywhere, any time, to anyone, regardless of the situation. I’ve always walked around and believed that as long as I stick to what I know and don’t put myself into bad situations that everything would work out okay. I travelled and lived in South America for seven months believing this, just as Grace had done. But the thing is, she never did anything wrong. She went about things in the right way, but it could happen anywhere.

The fact that some people pinned the blame on her, saying that she had ‘asked for it’ after speculation arose that she had met her date on Tinder is absolutely ridiculous. People should be free to go on dates with whomever they want, without being worried that their date will harm them. People should be able to walk down a street without being worried that the person walking behind them will harm them. The world is developing at an incredibly rapid pace, but no one is going to truly benefit from any of it until the people living in it do as well.

Monday, 17 December 2018

After reading - SHERLOCK THE SIGN OF THREE - How main characters have changed one year later

John and Mary have a girl and spend happy life.  John is busy for work and is out of house frequently.  Mary is also busy for taking care of the girl, but she understands John’s job and their relationship remains good.

Janie has not gotten married yet.  She has met many men, but has not been interested in them.  She sometimes meets Sherlock and enjoyed talking with him at John’s house.  She has been waiting for his offer of date.

Jonathan Small has been in prison and sometimes writes letters to Bainbridge and Sholto to make apologies to them.  Sholto received the letters from Small, but he has never replied to Small.  In the meantime, he looked back at the fight in Afghanistan and recalled Small’s brother.  He decided to visit the grave soon.

Sherlock has been busy to solve many crimes.  He sometimes works with John and sometimes works alone.  When he visits John’s house, he looks forward to talking with Janine.  When she is not available, he looks very disappointed.  John and Mary believe he begins to love her, but Sherlock does not realize it at all.

The letter from five children to the Psammead

Dear Psammead,
It has been a long time, Psammead. How have you been doing? We are all doing fine.
We thought we could learn a lot of things from meeting you when we were children.
We are writing this letter to tell thanks for that.
In those days, we asked for a lot of wishes to you. The wishes were to be beautiful, have the wings, and be rich, etc.
You could fulfill any wishes we asked for. But any wishes had never given us the happy end.
We had been in trouble every time you fulfilled our wishes.
We could know the important thing in our life from your giving us wishes. That is ‘easy come, easy go’. We learnt we cannot get anything easily.
We could have ever grown up from this. We could get our wishes in each way now.
We really appreciate you.
We look forward to seeing you again someday.

Best regards,
Five children

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Who is your favourite Smurf?

Yuu's favourite Smurf
I like Papa Smurf because he is the leader.

He is very old.

He can make magic

Yuu K

Yuu's favourite Smurf
 I like Poet Smurf because he is Smurfette's
good friend.

He writes poems for her.

Yuu H
Moeka's favourite Smurf

I like Papa Smurf because he is the leader.

He is very old.

He can make magic.


Kei's favourite Smurf
I Like Poet Smurf because he is Smurfette's good friend.

He writes poems for her.


Thursday, 13 December 2018

Yokohama - city profile for visitors


Yokohama city is full of interesting places to visit. Minato-mirai town is a beautiful area. It has very beautiful views at night. If you want to see modern Yokohama city, then go to Sakuragi town. There are lots of new offices, shops, restaurants.


Yokohama Market is a busy area with lots of shopping malls. Yokohama station & Sakuragi station are fashionable shopping areas with designer stores like Bulgari and Gucci.


Famous food in Yokohama are Shumai sweets. There are many shops in Yokohama & various things can be eaten eg a shop called "Kyoken". This area is famous for its pancakes.

Getting around

Transport in Yokohama is great but expensive. Taxis are always busy so you need to spend a lot more than in Matsumoto.

Posted for Yusuke

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

It's a boy!

Congratulations Ayano & family!

As you will have noticed, Ayano eventually needed to leave Luna as she was expecting her first child... delighted to be able to share that she had a baby boy on Dec 11th & mum and son are super healthy, if a bit tired!

We are very happy for Ayano, and at the same time would like to thank her for her hard work in the short time she was with us as assistant manager this year. We are all looking forward to a peek at the young man son :)

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Living with Ataxia - a must read

Dear readers,

I invite you to read another blog's posting today, written by the daughter of two of my closest friends living in Dorset - they used to live & teach right here in Nagano prefecture as well as in Kofu.

Please take time to reflect on her story, and share a comment to her directly on the Ataxia blog

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Postcard from Lincoln, England

Hello everyone at Luna!

Hope you have been looking after Damian and Laura?
I have had a very busy ie too short a week in UK.
I really wanted to show my nephew the Magna Carta in Lincoln Castle, but we had to settle for battlefield news from 1217!
This cathedral is stunning, built in 1185 no less! Reunited old school friends & my home city Sheffield and the Peak District.
Had an enormous fish and chips plus a couple of cheeky pints. Surprised?!


Monday, 19 November 2018

Postcard from Wollongong, Australia

Hello all!

How are you?
I enjoy going to school near beach.
I made Australian friends!

See you next year :)


Saturday, 17 November 2018

See you later, take care, goodbye!

Luna's family in 2018

So the day finally arrived when we toasted Damian for being the star of the show at Luna for last 3+ years, and into the bargain welcomed Laura back to our car park BBQ (she joined us last year with her parents, remember?!).

For a while there, sad & lonely Jim was on his own there snuggling his beer & reflecting on how lucky we (Luna) have been with his endless enthusiasm for the "job" here - which is as much as a teacher can make of it...and he has made it a very big job with countless attributes & thorough preparation.

Therefore, no surprise when a whole host of students and rugby types rocked up & shared fabulous munchies, smothered the lad with hugs and sayonara messages.

He's not gone yet though - covering Jim's classes for a final hurrah and to help super cheerful Laura find everything!

Find the rest of the photos here and also on our FB page

Monday, 12 November 2018

Alien Alert in Seattle - Reiko's hobbies

My hobby is painting, pottery, watching movies, going on a trip, and so on. I love drawing since I was a kid, and my grades of art were also good.

Since I became an adult, my job was to draw a picture. So, after I quit my job I draw a picture as a hobby. I also like to make things. So I am making pottery. I like traveling so I can have a different experience from the usual. I am excited. Before the exhibition, I am drawing a picture. And I go to the pottery class twice a month. I always go to the movies twice a month.

Unfortunately, I do not like moving my body very much. I do not play sports now. However, when I was in my 20s, I loved skiing and went to the ski area weekly. Some friends have the same hobbies as me, but they are not the same hobbies.

Posted for Reiko.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Miami Police File: the O'Nell Case - The Utsukushigahara Open-air Museum

The museum stands on the top of the mountain, the Utsukushigahara. It located at the center of Nagano prefecture. It is about 2000 meters high and the top is flat and very wide. At the corner of it there are a lot of big outdoor sculptures of modern art. We can see all directions view, sometimes Mt.Fuji in a fine day.  And we can see a various beautiful alpine flowers in every season.

There are restaurant, gallery, indoor museum, a huge sculpture for kids playing in it and so on. The admission fee is 1000 yen for adult. It opens from April to November every day. 

It takes about 60minutes from the centre of Matsumoto city by car. And we can go down from the top to Suwa city or Ueda city if we like to.

Posted for Misako

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

A postcard from Taiwain

Dear Damian, Yukari, Hirokatsu

I am in Taiwan now. It's late summer holiday. I went to Jiufen. Do you know Jiufen? This place is said to have become a model of Japanese movie 'Spirited Away'. I am enjoying everyday.

See you next week.

From Chikako

Monday, 29 October 2018

A postcard from Southern Italy

Dear Jim, Damian, Haruka

How's doing?
It has been four weeks since I came here in Salerno, South Italy.

Today I finished the school. I had really precious time. I have met many nice and lovely poeple and enjoyed a lot. I can't tell you all! I'm going to travel around from tomorrow...

Amalfi > Milan > Geneva > Côte d'Azur


Saturday, 20 October 2018

Postcard from Jaipur, India

Hello, I'm in India. Today, I've been sightseeing in Jaipur. The picture of the postcard: Jantar Mantar is a big ancient astronomical observatory.

India is hot, curry is hot too.


Thursday, 11 October 2018

A Digital Postcard from Salerno, Italy

Hi everybody!

It’s been 2 weeks and 4 days since I came here in Salerno, Italy! However I feel that more than 1 month I am living here. I am enjoying the school life and short trips every day, even though I don’t understand well what people say in Italian and can’t speak Italian almost nothing!! 

It is still very warm here in southern Italy. People still enjoy swimming in the Amalfi coast.
I will attach the photos, the view of the Salerno and the school and me and so on.


Saturday, 29 September 2018

Black Beard - After Reading Treasure Map

Look at Kaito's treasure and follow his instructions to find the treasure. Will you be a great pirate and find the treasure chest?

Friday, 28 September 2018

Black Beard - After Reading Treasure Map

Look at Daiya's map and follow his instructions to find the treasure. Will you be a great pirate and find the treasure chest?

Friday, 21 September 2018

Reading Potato Pals - inspired by Patrick Jackson

Jim was asked to 'read a book' to his son's class last term, and only just got out of bed in time to do it.

Just joking! The Potato Pals reader was about daily routines, starting with 'Wake Up!', and he needed deep pockets for his banana (breakfast), toothbrush and "hagi power" hairbrush etc.

Hilarious fun as all the children joined in very enthusiastically - I suspect not the kind of 'listen with mother" reading experience they are used too :)

Plenty more fun like this at Luna, by the way!

Friday, 14 September 2018

Postcard from....Harrod’s, London

Dear Jim Sensei,

I grabbed the opportunity to come to London. It passed about 20 years since I visited London last time...good weather, fine foods and beer! I want to come back to London soon!


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

My favorite character and animal - After reading of The Jungle Book

My favorite characters in the story “The Jungle Book” are a bear named Baloo and a panther named Bagheera. They are one of the strongest animals in Jungle, but they are very kind and have a strong sense of justice.
A point I laughed was that Baloo’s very soft slap on the Mowgli’s cheek was quite hard for the human child.
My favorite animal in real life is dog. I had ever had 2 dogs for pet. The days with them were always happy for me and I sometimes got fed up of taking them walk. During I lived with them for a long time, I could know a little how they were feeling and what they wanted us to do.
But, after they died, I saw a movie “10 promises to My dog” and found a lot of points which I should had done for their happy life. If there is a change for having a dog for pet again, I will exercise/communicate a lot with him/her and will think more what makes him/her happy.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Postcard from...Earth Celebration Festival, Sado Island, Niigata

Hi there everyone at Luna!

We scampered away for the weekend to Sado Island. We have been playing on the beach, in a pool, and in a jacuzzi. We found bugs, frogs, and Rasmus (the nice Danish guy who danced Bon Bon with us).

Rumi-chan (it’s a secret) cooked great food, and daddy made strange cocktails with cucumber. Eugh!

We went to a drumming concert. It was more than amazing. We love Sado, and Kodo :)

Eleanor & Ceilidh

Monday, 3 September 2018

Superstructures of Japan

Check out Ayumi’s super poster, featuring big buildings & structures around Japan, as a follow up to our graded reader. 

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Postcard from...Hong Kong

I am coming to Hong Kong on a business trip now!

Hong Kong is hotter than Japan.
The typhoon 19 and 20 caused the airplane to shake.
It was like a roller coaster.

I am looking forward to seeing you next week.


Saturday, 1 September 2018

Postcard from...Gibraltar, UK


Jim, Yukari-san, Naomi, Runa...

I'm studying and have a medical practice in a hospital here in Spain!!

Now I'm coming to Gibraltar, England!! ;)

Then I'll go to Cordoba, Granada in the area of Andalucia!!

I want to talk a lot about my travelling.

Chao - Chihiro

Friday, 31 August 2018

Postcard from...Niigata, Japan

I went to the sea of Niigata with my mother, my sisters and family in summer vacation.

Very good weather and beer was very delicious. 
Fishing and swimming in the sea.

My son seemed very happy to make a castle of sand and pick up the shells, and he got sunburned.
The sea is the best - I love the sea!!

Posted for Kanako

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Kaoru's hometown - Matsumoto City

Matsumoto Castle's annual taiko festival
I live in Matsumoto, which is in the centre of Japan. It has a population of about 200,000 people. It is about 2 hours 30 minutes to Tokyo by train.

In Matagricultureiculture is famous industry. Apples, watermelons, grapes and a lot of fruits and vegetables are made by farmers. There is a small airport in the west of the city, so there are some factories near the airport.

The weather in Matsumoto is typical of the inland. There are many sunny days, so winters are very cold. But there are not a lot of snow. In summer, it is not so how because Matsumoto is about 600m high from the sea.

Matsumoto is famous for Matsumoto castle. It is a national treasure, it was built in Edo period. In summer, a big classical music event, Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival is held in the city. A parade of brass bands of students marches as the opening of the festival. The goal of the parade is Matsumoto castle. Then the thousands of students play music in the garden of the castle.

What I like best about Matsumoto is that the city is not too urban, and not too rural. In Matsumoto, there are some shops and restaurants, and several big hospitals. But if you want to contact with nature, you can go to highlands, mountains and rivers quickly.

Posted for Kaoru

Training to become a Cambridge Speaking Examiner

For the last 7 years, I've been preparing students for the Cambridge exams. A few months ago, I decided that it was time to take things to the next level. I realised that becoming a Cambridge Speaking Examiner would help me improve my teaching skills and assess my students' levels more accurately.

As I am an online English teacher, I currently live in Asia and teach students from all around the world via Skype. This meant that I couldn't train to become an examiner back home in England. The closest centre to me was Luna in Japan, so I decided that instead of waiting for the next opportunity, I would just take a 7 hour flight to Tokyo.

Even though it was a long and uncomfortable flight, I was really excited to start the training. It took place over two weekends at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. We practised how to conduct a full test multiple times and also did a mock test with real students. We also examined the marking criteria in detail and watched several videos to practise assessing real students. The training was challenging and rewarding and when it finished I felt even more confident as a teacher.

I would like to thank Jim for giving me this fantastic opportunity and for training me to become a Cambridge Speaking Examiner. All of his advice was practical and useful and it was clear that it came from many years of experience.

If you're a teacher, especially an exam English teacher, I think training to become an examiner is certainly worth it and I cannot recommend it enough.

Anu Warrier
Super Easy FCE

Picture Credits: @CambridgeEngJP004 on Twitter

Postcard from...Aomori, Japan

I'm watching a Tachineputa festival in Goshogawara city in Aomori prefecture. The Tachineputa is very big. It's 23 meters high and its weight is 19 tons. About 70 people parade through the central city pull a Tachineputa with musical accompaniment.


Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Keiko's hometown - Town of Villaba Tagbubunga

Tagbubunga Villaba in the province of Leyte Eastern Visayas in the Republic of the Philippines.

Officially the Municipality of Villaba. Is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Leyte. It has a population of 41,891 people. Tagbubunga is the one of the small town.

Near of the sea and surrounding of mountains. The town is quiet and peaceful. The have church and many small stores.

The weather is always summer 26°C-35°C. Most popular during the dry season between November and April. It's the best to travel during the cooler month of December to February. Temperatures are high during March and April.

Landmarks are usually photographed a lot by visitors. Lots of beached. Fiesta and traditions of Tagbubunga every year on May. Every community have sports, for example basketball, boxing and etc. It is famous of singing and dancing.

It is are so close to nature. They are go to the beaches. The have rivers and tributaries.

Posted for Keiko

Monday, 27 August 2018

The day I met Kofi Annan in New York

The sad news reminds me of the unforgettable moment

Kofi Atta Annan who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, the recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, passed away on 18th Aug. To hear the sad news, I just remembered that the amazing experience which I was able to see him at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in December 2006.

I went there for the opening of the United Nations exhibition “SPIRIT OF THE EAST” with my husband Takeshi. It was composed by the works of Kaii Higashiyama, who is one of Japanese representative painter, and Chinese photograph artist Wang Wusheng. 

 The beginning of the opening ceremony, Mr. Annan and his beautiful wife appeared. I had been admiring him since 2003, when the  Iraq war 
happened, so I was so excited. He looked gentle and intelligent. His wife was really elegant, like an actress.

My husband had a precious experience. He guided the exhibition and explained to Mr. Annan about the works of Higashiyama, because my husband was the director of the Art Museum of Kaii Higashiyama at the moment. 

Mr.Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, was a great person. I was really sorry about losing such an awesome man.


Saturday, 25 August 2018

Modern art artists made a difference in my life

Author: Rosemary Border
It's not only one person, but there are some people, who are modern art artists, made a difference in my life. Although my major was art, I am ashamed to say that I didn't know about the modern arts well when I entered the university. At that time, I was not well to think about something flexibility.

One day, I said to my teacher that things are unchangeable. He said that it might be difficult to make artist works for you if you have such thinking. I was shocked. However, I realized what he means later and it was so hard to make artist works from nothing.

I went to the art museums and galleries every weeks and I was exposed the new ideas, thinkings and concepts there. They exactly changed my thought and made my life spirits wealth.
These days, I feel that I am getting back to like before university.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

The Wright brothers ~ those who made our dreams fly ~

Orville and Wilbur were born in America in the 1870s. They were two of seven children born to Milton Wright, their mother. Their father was a bishop and one day he brought home a toy helicopter for his sons to play with. They loved the toy and they played with it until it broke. So they built a new one. From this moment, they started to become interested in flying.

After graduating from high school without diplomas, they started thinking about creating something so that they could fly through the sky. The Wrights began building gliders based on their kites. They tested at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Unfortunately they failed several times, and Wilbur got injured during the tests, but he managed to recover.

In 1903, they built the powered Wright Flyer, using lightweight wood, and a stronger engine. After many efforts, they were able to fly 175 to 200 feet above the ground. It was the first powered flight in the world! Finally their dream, and also mankind’s dreams, had come true.

To fly was the biggest dream for humans since the first human looked at the sky. We can go abroad because of the Wright brothers’ invention. I think we should know about them and be grateful for their gift. They are two of the greatest inventors ever.

Posted for Tomoro (after reading about Steve Jobs, Scholastic graded reader)