Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year

Christmas 2019 Party
All the fun from our Christmas Party now available on Flickr

All the children (and our staff!) were delighted to welcome Father Christmas (aka Santa Claus) to our end-of-year Christmas party on December 22nd, after a variety of games, activities and even a quiz! Excellent mime skills (Konoha), flag recognition (Ceilidh) & animal name spelling (Godzilla, naturally) and all-in participation (Seita, Airi, Kanna, Haruki, Yoshi...) check out all the photos on Flickr where you can also download your favourites.

Thank you Eri, Emi, Yuka, Yukari, Natsuho, Rico, Sam & Cedric for making the day a roaring success.

We are now closed for the New Year - we will be open from Jan 6th, with a new full-time English teacher joining us, and Sara returning from Egypt early in the New Year as well. Sad news is that we will be having to say goodbye to Natsuho...yes, with Matsumoto Yamaga's relegation from J-League, our lovely manager has been transferred. Boo!

Thank you all for a great year in 2019; we are very excited for the year/decade ahead, and are looking forward to mission #1, which is the papier mache mouse (and England winning the next two Rugby World Cups of course!). Let's chase our dreams :)


Wednesday, 18 December 2019

My hopes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

The 2020 Olympic Games are coming to Tokyo next July, and I have two hopes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The first is to encourage people around the world to be more interested in Japan, as a lot of people don’t know much about our country. Some people may believe that ninja and/or samurai still live in Japan. Most of the countries can watch the events on TV. I hope that the Tokyo Olympic Games will be a chance for a lot of people to learn more about, and become interested in, Japan.

The second is to hold the Tokyo Olympic Games without terror attacks or acts of destruction. Unfortunately, I believe that the Olympic Games are very tempting target for the terrorists. In the Atlanta Olympic Games of 1996, a bomb was left in a park, with very big crowds, by an American man. The bomb was found by Richard Jewell, and a lot of people could escape, but the incident still the loss of two lives.

Most Japanese do not have enough crisis awareness with regard to terrorist etc., and still think the police can protect us. I’m not sure about this assumption. However, we should enjoy the Olympic Games with our eyes open to finish the Tokyo Olympic Games safely and to enjoy a wonderful Tokyo Olympic Games.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

My favorite SF movie

Image result for stephen hawking oxford bookMy favorite SF movie is Star Wars. It was the first time for me to watch it at movie theater when I was 11. I didn’t understand the story at that time as I watched it with Japanese caption and was boring.

When I grew up, I watched it again and other old series as well. Although recent Star Wars series are used CG, the old series have no CG and I love those old series as they do not make me board even if I watch them repeatedly.

The old movie was made when there was no skill of CG and they impress me as I can’t imagine how they were made. I think that the effort to make realistic sensation, pursuit of reality without CG and passion by the staff of the movie made a such A-one movie.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

My visit to Venice

I went on a graduation trip to Italy and France with my friends when I was fourth-year student.  Venice is one of the most impressive locations that I visited.

     Venice consists of small islands in the Adriatic Sea.  Gondola had been main methods of transport in Venice over many years.  There are still a few hundreds of gondolas and the most of them are used for sightseeing.  I also took a gondola ride and enjoyed beautiful scenery of the town.

     I went to Venice in February and it is time that the carnival is held every year.  It is one of the three major carnivals in the world and it is said that it started in 11th century.  People get dressed up and put on a face mask during the carnival.  I did neither get dressed up nor put on a face mask, but wore face painting and enjoyed the carnival.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

If you had as much money as Toad, how would you spend it?

If I had as much money as Toad, I would do three things. At first, I would buy some real estate assets and land for investment. If I keep going to spend money, it would be used up in the end. Thus, I would buy apartments or lands for lent or sale as one of method of keep my assets. Secondly, I would travel all over the world. Then, I would travel to Europe, south America and Australia firstly because I’ve never been there. I would like to visit France to drink good wine and eat delicious food. Thirdly, I would like to purchase anything I want. As I love shoes and bags, I want to visit where is the famous of animal skin and try to purchase bespoke products. I think I may get a little bored with buying things in the end, but on the other hands, I am curious about my feeling after buying all things I want.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Injustice - after reading of Rabbit-Proof Fence

Write about a case you know of, where a young person/group of people have struggled to overcome 'wrong' 
When I was a junior high school student, my school had the old-fashioned rule. I don’t remember the exact sentence, but girls couldn’t have long hair.  The hair on forehead must have been short, above eyebrows.  The hair on backside must not have touched on shoulder.  We were interested in hair style as all teenagers do.  However, we couldn’t express ourselves as we like due to the unreasonable rule.

We thought the school rule could not be changed by any reason, so we have been complaining about the unreasonable rule.  But we started our discussion how we could change the rule when we became the ninth grade.  My teacher gave us an advice to discuss at student council.  Then, we investigated what process we should follow to change the rule at student council.
When we had the first meeting of the year, we proposed a motion so that we could enjoy any length of hairs.  All the other students were surprised because this was the first time to take such action at the meeting.  It was approved as an additional agenda and finally agreed to change the rule as a result of vote at the meeting.
It was a small struggle at school, but it was a big change for us that we could change the rule by ourselves.


Monday, 7 October 2019

Sports and Sasabe

After spending some of last month at Sasabe kindergarten, I have realised just how different of an experience these kids get compared to home. Things that would get a child into huge amounts of trouble back home, don’t even get a second glance over here, yet others that in my eyes are completely fine, are definitely a problem. But that’s just the start. I’ve recently been able to witness the preparation that goes into one of the most interesting things I've seen at a school here… sports day.

I know what you’re thinking, surely there’s stranger than a sports day, but after watching the last few weeks of in-line dancing, human formations, running races and circuits, all with anime-like background music that really does set in stone where you are, I can really say I’ve never seen anything quite like this, or kindergarteners that are quite so well behaved.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Sport is a greatest way for better relationships - After reading

In 2019 Rugby World Cup, Team Japan called “BRAVE BLOSSOMS” defeated team Ireland ranked No. 1 now. When they defeated South Africa 4 years ago in last Word Cup in Brighton, it was said that team Japan could defeated with luck, but this time they could defeat team Ireland with their hard training and strong brave.

Confident Ireland fan - before!
The rugby was not popular well in Japan like Judo, Football, Volleyball etc and had limited chance to see Rugby games in TV. However, the 2019 Rugby World Cup made a lot of fans or supporters of rugby in Japan and became an opportunity to know opponents. When we can know opponents’ history and relationship with home country, we can play game with them with respect and can give praise opponents’ good play/behavior.

My favorite football team often lose game, but I could switch positively when we could win at next game and remove the mortification because I understood opponents very well and saw that opponent made their best as well as my favorite team.

I think that Sport may not make us hold a grudge for a long time even if we lose the game. The positive cycle is able to establish better relationships between countries.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Postcard from...an old student, Austria

Hi Jim,

I’m in Austria on business and this the 2nd time since last year.

Thanks to you, I have been involved in overseas business.

I’m looking forward to meeting you at the Tokyo stadium next week.

Warm regards,

Friday, 27 September 2019

They stand on the right!

Host City: Kobe

Where is the mythical line in Japan where people stop standing on the left on escalators? Kobe is very much right hand territory! Quite off-putting when you are used to a certain way of doing things…
The Kobe Crew

Main event today was sending Damian back to the hotel, as the tickets for England vs USA would be quite helpful getting onto the stadium! After that, we caught up with tractor fans from Suffolk in the Harbour Tavern & suddenly flipped back into Rugby World Cup mood. Loud boos from most of the customers when “Born in the USA” was played; raucous rendition of “Wonderwall” restored order! Eventually chatted with a really interesting ex-Royal Engineer & Falklands vet propping up the bar. A fair number of Wales & Scotland shirts in evidence.
Meeting Argentina

Stunning display of ineptitude by the local boys in blue, citing “danger” but causing chaos & confusion by blocking taxis from unloading at the ground. Truly dumb. Equally stupid is the lack of big screens anywhere, and the queues for the toilets and beer which would have you miss half the game. 

Spidey - a secret England fan!

We enjoyed a powerful running game from England, in the overheated stadium which was awfully humid, “Sweet Chariots” boomed around the place whenever the opposition perked up with their only song!

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Are we having fun yet?

I’d have to say “No, not today!” And thank you Typhoon Tapah. An entire day hanging around at Chitose airport waiting for my flight back to Matsumoto to open for check-in, and then very predictably being cancelled. Long weekend Monday. During the World Cup. Any guesses how long the queue was at JAL?

Only person moaning though was one trumped-up rude git trying to swing his dick in front of his punch-permed boss. He was still at the airport when I finally swerved the weather for Haneda. Katso!

Minor bonus was seeing all of Tonga (the team). Hope they & England had better luck getting to venue #2 

So if I’m looking a tad crumpled tomorrow, please give me a break - expecting to get back about 2am :(

Thank you Ms. Yamamoto at the FDA desk for being really patient! Tough day at the office.

(Plane delayed, missed the train, missed the bus...still travelling 24 hours later!)

Monday, 23 September 2019

Time to Tonga!

Oktoberfest in Sapporo
Thoroughly enjoyable day “getting in the mood” for England’s first game of this World Cup with Damian, after an expensive & too-noisy start to proceedings at Sapporo’s “Oktoberfest”. Nestled under the Tower, fleeced for a couple of snags and a beer. Exeunt as soon as the band relented (I don’t jive to YMCA nor German drinking games!)

Chatted again throughout the day to interesting visitors, their impressions of Japan & travel plans (some heading to Matsumoto in between games - like me?!) & bought a Tonga shirt for a mate in Brian Brew...Sapporo’s rugby shrine with all fans not supporting Italy!
The 'hard' flag!

Then the mass migration to Sapporo Dome and the disappointment of all fans that were no big screens with the Ireland v Scotland game. Big #fail So instead, several hundred fans adopted Lawson’s as a watering hole & admired each other’s fancy dress!

Where's the yellow one?!
The game itself? Not the best, but a winning start with some impressive individual moments. My record here two for two in World Cups! Great atmosphere & very hoarse, which the oysters helped! Heading home from Hokkaido tomorrow. Maybe.

Bulah Vinaka

Host City: Sapporo
A super Saturday of sport in Sapporo!

Wandered around on a beautiful morning before meeting Damian & catching the first game of the day on a big screen with a crowd delighted to see Fiji give the Wallabies a few early frights!

Met loads of cool people during the day & into the evening; only police I saw were inside the Fanzone, presumably helping prevent anyone from having a good time! 
Bula Vinaka Fiji!

Fiji fans full of enthusiasm (unlike the dreary pair of Northampton Saints ‘fans’). We enjoyed another game in Odorinishi Park, and topped off a great day in an Izakaya, chatting with some English travelers/fans.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Deja vu

Welcome to Sapporo
Truly bizarre feeling this afternoon, walking south out of Sapporo station towards Susukino & Odori Park in the mood for a World Cup. This time, unlike 2002, I was not followed by paranoid cops...which is a shame, as I haven’t been pictured in Time magazine for 17 years! To really square the circle, I would have loved for England to be playing Argentina in the Dome :)

Initial reaction #RWC2019 is that most fans are about my age, not Japanese, and thirsty. And there is almost NO mingling of international fans with locals. Pity about that.

And check out the buzz kill rules for the “Fan Zone”!
Crap Fanzone

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Different kinds of work

From the creative mind of one of our students, who also tackled her YLE Movers Test last weekend. Had to share her skills!

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Postcard from...Newcastle, Australia

G'day Mate!

I am now staying in Newcastle, Australia.

I really enjoy the culture and nature of this country! I haven't tried Vegemite yet, so I'll try it later.

It must be hot in Japan now. So please take care of yourself.

See you soon!


How an electric shaver is born

Introducing the product journey of a Maxell Izumi shaver.

When a shaver is being developed, the design characteristics of size, weight, color are decided. The new product is designed to match our users' demands. Most shavers are hand-sized, and weigh about 200g. Most shavers are made of plastic, stainless steel, nickel, and other materials.

Components are produced by various suppliers, and cutter parts are transported, from Japan to China, for assembly. Blade performance and durability is tested, as is the packaging. The shave quality is the most important function.

The packaging is designed to protect the contents during transportation. After the shavers have been assembled and packed, they are transported, by sea or air, to warehouses around the world.

The shavers are sold in retail outlets worldwide, where customer services including repairs, refunds, and replacements are provided.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Eating out in Azumino

Traditional food
Regional specialities-There are some restaurants where you can try regional food such as soba, mountain vegetables etc... Soba is plain buckwheat noodles, served hot or cold, with soy sauce and fresh wasabi(Japanese horse-radish). In spring, you can also enjoy variors kinds of wild mountain vegetables, especially tempura is popular. There are lot of soba restaurants in Azumino, so it is interesting to try soba at a choice of different restaurants.
Fast food-Traditional
Azumino fast food is Oyaki,which is a vegetable filled dumpling, usually steamed but sometimes baked.

In Azumino, there are plenty of unique, individual cafes. Most of them are hidden away in the woods and constructed with local materials. You can relax with lovely birds songs, and take in the relaxing atmosphere and views. Bakeries are particular about natural ingredients, baking homemade cakes   and bread which are really popular and unique to each bakery.

Special nights
There are some good restaurants which you can go for a special night out such as someone’s birthday or anniversary. You can choose French, Italian or Japanese fare. They offer fine full course meals, most chef are well trained and have plenty of experience. Get dressed up and go eat out in style!

In the town-the majority of restaurants in the town are casual, such as chain family restaurants. They are cheap and convenient.
Country side-these tend to be unique, interesting family-owned restaurants and cafes. In general these restaurants are tucked away, rustic unique and interesting interior, countryside decor and tend to be reasonably priced.


Jacqueline Kennedy who was the first lady for president of United States, John F Kennedy

She was born in Southampton of state of NY in 1929. After university, she entered to Washington Times-Herald and worked as editor.
One day, she went to the party of Charles L. Bartlett who was friend of Kennedy. It was the first time for Jacqueline and Kennedy to meet. Kennedy’s father liked her at one view at the party.

After they got married, she had experience of misbirth and dead birth and suffered from in a relationship of Kennedy’s female.
However, she joined and cooperated with election campaign of Kennedy.

When Kennedy became a president of USA, she renovated interior decorating of the White House like symbolize American culture and also became fashion icon of era, wearing pink women’s suits and pillbox hat.

After Kennedy and her second husband died, she became editor again in NY.

Her life looks like too far from happiness after she became the first lady. However, we can see she was beautiful and intelligent woman. We are greatly attracted to her personality and good sense of interior or fashion.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

What I want to be - Nanaha

I want to be a designer. I like drawing some clothes. I’m good at art. I want to work in Japan because I like Japan. I want to work with my friends🗾

Nanaha (9)

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Studies at Sasabe

First day working at a kindergarten and to be honest I really had no idea what to expect.

We kicked off the first day outside the gates, welcoming the students to their first day back from the summer holidays with a smile and a wave, then after giving me the grand tour of the grounds, Jim left me to fend for myself (aka wait for 10 minutes in the hall as they sung songs until assembly started). I was brought up to the front of 180 kids and was asked to introduce, then handed over to the yellow class to fulfil my duties of the day (of which there weren’t many). Little did I know I was walking into what was potentially one of the easiest work days that I will ever experience in my life, despite one prominent question on my mind - how do you get children to stop doing something when they have absolutely no idea what you’re saying to them? I tried multiple techniques throughout the day with no luck, but I’ll be sure to share when I do find something!

I walked out of the same gates at the end of the school day, full to the brim with a delicious lunch that had been cooked there, a scary realisation of how early ‘sei… no’ comes into play and several new best friends... As well as a huge excitement for the next time I get to visit.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Nuts for Nikko

Despite the main season for visitors being Autumn, I knew that my best chance to explore the area was last week over Obon break. As a typhoon was approaching and was supposed to hit over the week of holiday, my cancelled plans for a hike up Mt. Fuji left my itinerary with a gaping hole. Luckily, just as it is a couple of hours south of Tokyo to visit Fuji, it was also a few hours to make my way up to Nikko - a place that had come highly recommended ever since I arrived in Japan.

A wonder of gold, nature, and sweaty tourists, Nikko is the perfect (relatively) undiscovered spot to beat out anything that is already in Japan’s usual tourism circuit. With shrines dating back to the year 767 and the mausoleum of the first Shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate: Tokugawa Ieyasu, Nikko is dotted with 103 temples and shrines and a history that will leave you speechless. Alongside the abundance of cultural features, Nikko is amassed with nature. Between the waterfalls and mountains, rivers and lakes, it really is a place that has it all - a fact that is continuously vouched for by a long list of names - of which I have now added my name to the bottom of.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

A child at heart

What should I do with a class that doesn’t seem to want to do anything? This was a question that I had to ask myself after my very first class at Luna. Fresh off a CELTA, the only experience I'd had with children in a classroom environment had been over a few months earlier that year, but I never had to teach any classes solo - let alone plan them.

I remember thinking ‘it’s just the first class, it’ll get better’, but after a few weeks to no avail, I did what I thought was the only option and asked Jim for help. After being told ‘at their age, you don’t really teach, you just play’, I found myself thinking ‘why the heck are they coming then?!’. I couldn’t seem to fathom that people were coming to lessons that weren’t necessarily lessons in the ‘traditional’ sense. That’s when I thought back to kindergarten, and the kind of thing that we did there. We didn’t have actual ‘lessons’, but we were still learning constantly because of the environment that we were surrounded by.

Flash forward 9 months, and here I am. Still here, still struggling at times, still not 100% sure what I’m doing, jumping around on foam number squares to ‘5 Little Monkeys’ as part of a ‘musical chairs’ type activity. Since being at Luna, I have learnt a lot about catering to the student and finding out what will enable them to have the best learning experience possible - a skill that I will hold onto further than teaching, I’m sure.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Postcard from...Chicago, USA

Hi Jim sensei,
Tomoko's personal postcard - use Touchnote!
I spent a week in the States and now am off to Japan.
It was really comfortable summer weather here. I enjoyed 
Mexican food this time.

Have a nice holiday and see you soon.


Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Jim's reaction to Tim Fontes' obituary

Tim with Jim & Shimei, Luna BBQ  April 2018
I did not have to deal with the direct realities of my good friend's death recently, but all of Marc Davies' points about my own personal provisions ring true. At Tim's funeral last month - which was a beautiful collection of Tim's friends from all strands of his life in Japan - I was glad that I could sit for a few minutes with his parents, and see that everyone else involved in the life & times of Tim in Japan similarly did so. I could hold his mum's hand and make sure she knew that her son was not an Invisible Man; I could look his dad in the eye and tell him that this fine man, his son, made a lasting impact in the country Tim choose to make his home.

Tim will continue to dance with Luna International when we join Bon Bon in Matsumoto annually - we'll chuck a shrimp on the barbie for him at our Ohanami BBQ. He travelled from Tokyo to talk to my friends, our students, his friends.

Without Tim Fontes, Cambridge Assessment English in Japan would have expired 10 years ago. My Centre, JP004, relied on Tim regularly - because he was reliable, professional, diligent and proper. The recognition of Cambridge's exams in Japan from 2020 by MEXT would not have occurred without Tim. I know Tim was regarded as highly by IELTS as well.

Personally, I will miss my friend most because whenever I needed an independent and balanced opinion, insight, or just diversion into topics English - being bullied at school, hating rugby practice, disgust with the current political situation in the UK (not England), a Baldrick quote or a moan about the trolley service on our train...Tim was my man. An Everyman. And, as I realised at his wake &funeral, an awful lot of people's man.

Rest in Peace, young man.

Tim's obituary appeared in The Japan Times, Monday 19th August. Read it in full here

Monday, 5 August 2019

Three important dates

When I consider three important days, it comes up birthday of three people. The first one is May 14, this is my father’s birthday. Second one is Oct 29, this is my mother’s birthday. Finally, it’s Oct 24, my birthday. If my parents weren’t born in this world, I wasn’t born, neither. In addition, May and October are special month. Because my sister’s birthday is also in May, which is same as my father. And October is the month of the birth for the both of my mother and I although my brother’s birthday is in the middle, which is the end of July. As it is easy to remember of the months of birth for my family, when May or Oct comes, I always think about cakes or presents to my family.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Sports person. What should that person do to change/improve their status?

I am going to write about Mitakeumi of sumo wrestlerI don‘t think that he is poor role model for young people. He has trained a lot strictly since he is a child. Therefore, he couldbecome a champion in 2018.

There is an official ranking list of sumo and it is grouped as ten levels. He is in a third group from the top level now and had a chance to move up the level before when he was a best condition. However, he lost the chance due to some physical damage and I feel that he is becoming weaker now.

His motivation appears on his face when he plays and it is different depends on opponent. He tries to play with 100% motivation when an opponent is stronger than him.
He underestimates or is out of motivation when an opponent is weaker than him. When he underestimates, he loses the game easily for opponent.

On the other hand, it is the fact that many young people interested in sumo by his great performance.
I hope him to have a strong motivation what he would like to win at every play without regard to who is his opponent.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

A short biographical profile of Isaac Newton - After reading

Isaac Newton was born at Woolsthorpe in Lincolnshire, England in 1643. He was raised by his grandmother because his father died before he was born and in 1645 his mother married a clergyman. His mother returned to him when her second husband died. Newton’s relatives found his ability and between he was 12-14 years old, Isaac Newton went to Grantham Grammar School and became interested in pharmaceuticals. However, his mother dropped him from the school to be a farmer.

Newton disliked farming, so his mother gave up making him a farmer and he went back to the grammar school again, and then he went to Trinity College of Cambridge.

In 1667 Isaac Newton was elected a fellow of Trinity College and a member of the Royal Society. He was Lucasian professor of mathematics from 1969 to 1702, which Stephen Hawking would be in the distant future. When he was at Cambridge, he got acquainted with professor Isaac Barrow who was a great admirer of Isaac Newton’s ability. Newton set out his theories of gravity, binomial theorem, derivation etc.

Regarding the gravity, it came into his mind when he relaxed with meditation and saw the fall of an apple. He thought why apples always fall to the ground straight, do not go sideways or upwards. He also discovered many things about light and designed a reflecting telescope. His paper about light and colors is very famous even now. He was died at the age of 84 in 1727, but his many ideas are important for all physicists today.

Monday, 8 July 2019

My best place and time for homework

I can concentrate on homework in my living room.  In daytime, it is noisy and disorganized because my daughter plays there.  However, the room becomes the best place for homework in the morning before she gets up around 6:30 and in the night after she goes to bed around 21:00 as it is very silent.  Coffee comforts me in the morning and hot milk make me relaxed in the night.  I cannot make a big noise not to wake my daughter up, so I have to be careful.

Sometimes, I fall asleep while putting her to sleep without taking bath.  In this case, I have to take bath in the morning and cannot secure sufficient time for myself.  Even if I do not fall asleep, I sometimes spend time to check online news.  I hope my daughter can go to bed by herself soon and I try to minimize the screen time to spend my time effectively.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Escape to Kenroku-en

Japanese gardens are one of the most beautiful and perfect things you will ever see. Bold opening statement, but if you’ve ever been to one, you’ll understand exactly where I’m coming from. I’ve been obsessed with these gardens for years. Which is why when I visited the Kenroku-en Gardens in Kanazawa, I was blown away by how they’d managed to take Japanese gardens to a whole new level.

Known as one of Japan’s most famous gardens, it was developed over generations to be absolutely perfect. And there is no stretch of the imagination that it could be painted as anything other. Everything you could possibly want from a garden is there; trickling waterfalls, calming ponds, all-around beautiful scenery, and every shade of green imaginable, the only complaint I have about the place is that I didn’t get to be there for longer.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Exploring Kamikochi

As I arrived in November, my dreams of going to see the absolute dreamland which is Kamikochi were shattered for anywhere in the near future. But this meant that when I got an invitation to go and see the place, I couldn’t be more excited.

Fresh air, running rivers, snow capped mountains and even a few wild monkeys scampering around; Kamikochi was everything I wanted it to be and more. Luckily we had managed to visit on one of the days that there were very few visitors compared to what we’d expected, so we were able to enjoy everything to its’ fullest potential. Unfortunately we only managed a few hours there, but it doesn’t matter too much.. it definitely won’t be the only visit.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Postcard from Waikiki


I arrived in Hawaii today. Refreshing wind and blue sea.

I feel Hawaii!! I enjoy going home.


Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Kenza's experience

I woke from a nap to find out that Luna had two classes that Friday without a teacher. I realised that they were desperate, and were struggling to find anyone who could help, so I talked to Jim and Laura and volunteered to stand in as I realised this could be an interesting experience.

The only previous teaching experience I had was about 2 hours of teaching a few teenage boys how to cook cauliflower soup a year ago. However, Jim had planned both lessons out and had everything prepared beforehand so I felt confident to go ahead with this unique opportunity. Meeting the half dozen or so students that Friday evening was really lovely and I could tell they were a special bunch of kids. It was challenging at times as I learnt everyone’s English comprehension levels, and also learnt how well I could communicate in English. In the end, I was glad that I had the experience.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Email to my home stay family

Dear Host Family,

Hello, I'm going to Ireland to study English and stay at your home from next month. I'm so excited now.

My school is Ireland English school which is in downtown of Dublin and I checked on the internet how to get there. Although it seems that there are two ways, bus and train, I could not collect sufficient information. It would be appreciated if you could advise me which is more convenience way.

I searched about traditional and typical food of Ireland and everything looks so delicious, especially Irish stew which is made with lamb. Please advise me later the best restaurant where I can eat Irish traditional food near your town.

Please let me share with you the important thing. I don't think that I have allergy to food, but I have had like allergic reaction when I ate a mango. I also don't like a cilantro leaf. Sorry for your inconvenience.

I'm looking forward to seeing you next month.


Thursday, 27 June 2019

Postcard from...Bangkok, Thailand

Floating Market at Damnernsaduak, Rajburi
Sa wat dii ka                                                  Hello!

How are you, everyone?

I'm now in Bangkok, Thailand. I have a training in Ramathibod Hospital - Mahidol University for one month. I've already finished the training in P.I.C.U. (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and I'm going to Infectious Pediatrics Ward for 2 weeks. I'll be careful not to get Malaria, Zika fever or Dengue fever!! Ha ha

See you in 2 - 3 weeks

Chihiro :)

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Democrat Party nomination in the 2020 US election - After reading

I want to introduce a candidate “Bernie Sanders” for the Democrat Party nomination in the 2020 US election. You may know him because he was in a close race with Hillary Clinton for the previous Democrat Part nomination in the 2016. He was born in NY and was Polish-Israeli. His parents faced some difficulties until his mother was died aged 46 years-old and his father was died aged 57 years-old. Thus, he learned from a young age that the government was seriously important because 50 million people including 6 million of Jewish people were killed in World War II by the government by Adolf Hitler. In the period of Chicago university, he jointed an activity against segregated system, non-violent action in struggle for racial equality.
Now, for the Democrat Party nomination in the 2020, he aims to make proper U.S. government economically, socially, racially and environmentally and is not thinking in priority to finish the government by Donald Trump. Most of candidates for the Democrat Party nomination insist similar policy to rectify imbalances in the U.S. economy etc. He has a lot of policies, and I am writing his biography because I want him to change the U.S. policy for environmental problem including global heating, clean, and renewable energy as the forty-six presidents. Most of countries are taking actions agreed by Kyoto Protocol, but the U.S. that is worst carbon-dioxide emissions country withdrew from it to put domestic economic growth in the near term in priority than earth in the next decade or century.
The environmental problem should be taken measurements quickly at the risk of low economy. His policies in environment are as follows.  One of his policies in enviroment is to transition the U.S. to 100% clean and renewable energy within the next decade.  Another is to stop destroying our planet for profit.
I also feel the same way about education.  His policies in education are as follows.  One of his policies in education is to educate at public university without any tuition for undergraduate student and another is to support clothing, food and housing. It is well known that a lot of workers are suffering to pay students loans back and it causes low performance in work and low consumption and is not good in the U.S. economy.
And students who receive enough support from government may be able to change the U.S.A. better and education is very important.
I hope that American people choose appropriate person as the forty-six presidents carefully.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Postcard from...Winchester Castle,England

The Great Hall of Winchester Castle -
King Arthur's Round Table

Dear Jim, Yukari-san and all at Luna,

How are you? My daughter and I are having a wonderful time here. Winchester was what I expected, I saw the Round Table from the 13th Century and learned a lot of history. I also saw Jane Austen's grave at the Cathedral. 

We are going to do some sightseeing in Bath today. 
Tomorrow we'll be in Cotswolds, then to Ireland, Galway

This is my fourth visit to England. Every time I come back, I feel nostalgic. This year the weather is very bad, even in June. Raining all the time.

All the best


Thursday, 20 June 2019

Speaking Examiner training for Japan

下記の日程にて、ケンブリッジ英語検定のA2 Key/A2 Key for Schools (KET)B1 Preliminary/B1 Preliminary for Schools (PET) のSpeaking Examiner(スピーキングの試験官)トレーニングが実施されます。


In 2019:

June 29: Key (KET A2) + Preliminary (PET B1) in Sendai
July 20: Key (KET A2) + Preliminary (PET B1) in Tokyo
Aug 17: Key (KET A2) + Preliminary (PET B1) in Kagoshima

Aug 24: Young Learners (YLE Starters, Movers & Flyers preA1 – A2) in Tokyo

Sept 29: Preliminary (PET B1) + First (FCE B2) in Tokyo
Nov 2: Key (KET A2) + Preliminary (PET B1) in Tokyo
Nov 9: Key (KET A2) + Preliminary (PET B1) in Nagoya
Nov 30:Key (KET A2) + Preliminary (PET B1) in Tokyo

In 2020:

Jan 18: Key (KET A2) + Preliminary (PET B1) in Nagoya
Jan 25: Key (KET A2) + Preliminary (PET B1) in Tokyo
Mar 21: Key (KET A2) + Preliminary (PET B1) in Tokyo
Mar 28: Key (KET A2) + Preliminary (PET B1) in Nagoya



Speaking Examiner Team Leader
Jim George

Monday, 10 June 2019

Emergency pack

Honestly, I do not have any emergency packs now although I prepared the pack for a while after my child was born.  When some foods were expired and I moved home a few years ago, I got rid of them.  This writing work reminds me the importance of emergency pack, so I should prepare the pack again.

The most important item will be foods for my child.  She must feel afraid of emergency situation.  If she can eat her favorite foods like jelly and snacks, she can feel relieved.

I am most concerned about earthquake because it occurs somewhere in Japan periodically.  It depends on the size of an earthquake and where I am when an earthquake comes, but I need to survive for 3 days at least.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Write about your favourite five year old!

Five-year-old is the important year for my life.  I met my closest friend at pre-school when I was five years old.  We went to the same pre-school, elementary school, junior high school and high school, so we spent twelve years together.

Most of children started pre-school when they become three-year-old.  However, she and I started one year later, when we became four-year-old.  We were in the same class and played together every day.

I remember well about her drawing.  She drew picture well and I liked to see her drawing picture.  She always drew flower vase on the top of refrigerator, then drew flowers.  I think this is my oldest memory with her.  I feel happy every time when I think about this memory.