Sunday, 27 January 2019

Postcard from...Cairns, Australia

G’day! Australia

   My family went to Cairns, Queensland, Australia from 30th Dec. 2018 to 6th Jan. 2019. I had been to Australia 3 times, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Albany. I researched about Australian education when I was a graduate student so it has been familiar with me.

   At first, we stayed at a hotel in Palm Cove, one of the beach resorts near Cairns, for 2days. It took about 40 minutes by taxi from the Cairns International Airport. Unfortunately, the sea was rough because of a hurricane so we couldn’t swim in the sea. Instead of that, we could enjoy swimming in the beautiful pool of the hotel. Especially for Sou, it seemed to be better because he was still afraid of the waves of the sea at that time.

   At the night of New Year’s Eve, we could see many fireworks with the countdown by the local people and tourists at the beach. It was really different from Japanese one.

   Next 2 days we moved to the Green Island which is located in the Great Barrier Reef. It took only about 50 minutes by ferry from Cairns. There is only one hotel in the island so we stayed at there. Sou was scared of swimming in the sea in the beginning and he just played in the sand, but, as he could saw many fish in the sea he gradually began to swim and seemed to have fun a lot. My husband, my elder son and I enjoyed snorkeling. We could see coral reefs, many kinds of tropical fishes, green sea turtles, manta rays and even small sharks! Sharks were frightening but they didn’t try to attack humans.

   Besides that, we rode a glass bottom boat, went night hiking around the island and I was amazed by the starry sky. In a morning, my husband and I went to the sea and swam. There was no one except for us. I felt dignity and somewhat holy there.

   The following 2 days we went back to Cairns and walked around the city. There is a big complemental outdoor swimming pool and free barbeque sites. Many people had a good time there. We also went to Kuranda, a village surrounded by tropical rain forests. We rode a gondola, called Skyrail on the way and took a railway, which has a history from 1900s on the way back. It was my first time to see the trees and plants of the rain forest. We went shopping and a zoo. My elder son could cuddle a koala and my younger one petted the back. We took some picture with it. The Koala seemed to be angry because he/she woke up even he wanted to keep sleeping. I felt sorry about that but it was a definitely wonderful experience for my kids.   

   I’m really glad we could have a special time and go through the days without any problems in Australia.

A Year End Party

 The day before the New Year’s Eve 30 December, my husband and I had a year end party with our friends at home. I arranged some flowers and my husband set fire to the fireplace. We prepared roasted porks with salads with celery, potatoes, turnips, romanesco, mushrooms, paprikas, and smoked salmons with marinade onions for the table. I also cooked “paella” the typical Spanish seafood fried rice, for the main dish.
 We enjoyed dinner and recalled the year which we shared lots of wonderful things together. The outside of the house was freezing but we had a really good warm time.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Post card from Hotaka Shrine

Dear Jim-sensei,

Today is New Year's day. I'm at Hotaka Shrine with my friend who used to live near my house.
We are praying for health and good luck, then we bought New Year's fortune.

I spent New Year's Eve with my family and watched TV, drank wine and ate sushi.
After eating Soba, we went to the shrine near my house, and prayed for our health and good luck in 2019.

This year, I plan to go to Paris. I will go to The Louvre and see some of my favorite paintings.
If possible, I will also go to Italy to eat Pasta and Pizza.

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Singapore shines!!

Hi all,

I am in Singapore for a business trip.It is excessively cold inside the office of my client, but nice weather welcomes me outside.

I would like to share the moment that I always wanted to see. 

This is "Infinity Pool" at Marina Bay Sans!! I wish I could climb up there yet I am here to make a deal. Singapore should be on my trip wish list.

Yesterday, I discussed about business with clients and received the order, happy happy.
People took me to one of the most famous seafood restaurant last night.
Although I saw turtles and frogs in a kitchen, I confirmed that none of them were on my dishes and enjoyed nice crabs and lobsters!! South east Asian spicy foods are so addictive!

For tomorrow, clients will take me to factories and working sites where my products are used. One of the most essential moments in business...that is, I am going to have many reports to write to my bosses on my way back to Japan. 

Goodbye, the latest movies on my way back.
Thank you Jurassic Park, Kingsman, and Venom on my way to Singapore.

Best wishes,

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Post card from Gofukuji Shrine

Dear Jim,
I’m at Gofukuji Shrine with my husband and daughter.  It is crowed so we parked far from the shrine and had to walk a long way.  I’m tired, but I prayed for a happy life in 2019.
It’s the first time for my daughter to pick a New Year’s fortune.  She put money in a machine and the fortune came out automatically.  It said “Kichi” which means ordinary, and my husband also picked “Kichi”, but I picked “Daikichi” which is the best.

I was nervous because I would have to talk about my New Year’s resolution in front of company’s people after the holiday.
For my resolution, I will get up 30 minutes earlier than last year to have enough time for taking care of my daughter and will read 3 books or magazines in a month.

I wish you have a good year.

After reading: The piano

Yesterday was Sir Anthony Evans’ eightieth birthday concert.

He played music for the piano by Liszt, and hundreds of people  came to listen to this very famous pianist. Before the concert, I went to see him and his wife, Lady Linda Evans, in the theater dressing-room, and Sir Anthony told me his story.
He came first in a music competition when he was fifteen, but the story really began before that. One day  in an old building a boy called Tony found a old piano. He was fourteen at the time. He didn’t come  from a musical family  and he didn’t know a lot about music, and when his fingers touched the keys of the piano, half-forgotten music danced through his mind.
After the win of the music competition, he has given thousands of concert as we know.
He told me to tell our readers that he was very lucky man.

Postcard from Obasute service area

I am going back to my home town to stay with my family for New year holidays.
I am stopping at Obasute highway service area on the way.
The weather is not very good, but the night view from the service area is very beautiful.

Yesterday, I went to cell phone shop.
I bought a new cell phone there.
The feature of the phone said we could take a beautiful photo even in the night.

Tomorrow is New year's Eve.
I will stay with my parents at home.
I will have delicious dinner and drink alcohol watching that TV program which is broadcasted in New year's Eve every year.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Freezing Chicago

Hi All.  I was in the States for a week and spent the last weekend in Chicago.

First of all, it was colder than Matsumoto and had snow on Saturday.

Luckily, I could have a fun this time.  I went to the United Center to watch the ice hockey game, Chicago Blackhawks vs Vegas Golden Knights.  It was my first time to watch the ice hockey game.  The players moved around on the ice so quickly and the speed of shooting was so fast.  It was the exciting game until the last minutes, but Blackhawks couldn't beat VGK.

If I could have another chance to watch the ice hockey game, I want to learn about rules, teams and players so that I can enjoy game more.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

It's like riding a bike

Before coming to Japan I hadn’t rode a bike in a long time. After a classic ‘no hands’ incident I swore off the concept indefinitely.

When I returned home to New Zealand from my stint in South America, I became worried for what was to come. Much like the fear of getting back on my bike, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to pull through with what I thought was expected. Although I had left home once before, heading into something where I knew exactly what was going to happen seemed a lot more difficult than heading into the unknown. But luckily for me, as I arrived in Japan, I was gifted a new pair of training wheels in the form of Jim, Yukari, and everyone who surrounds and forms Luna’s family.

It always starts off tough and there are always setbacks and learning curves, but it’s just like riding a bike. The expectations you place on yourself and those that you believe others have set for you are what inevitably limit you from your best ability, but if you keep riding, it’ll be like you never stopped.

P.S. Two months in and I haven't yet fallen off my bike. Progress?

post card from Komagane city

Hello, all
I go back to one’s home town Komagane city. I watch the program which I recorded in parents' house. And I eat my mother’s home cooking.
I cleaned my apartment in Matsumoto city yesterday. I cleaned the fan and filter for air conditioning equipment. Because I don’t clean there usually.
I’m going to get up on 6:00 am tomorrow. Because I’m going to watch first sunrise of new year and pray for happiness new year. And I’m going to eat sushi and rice cake with my  family. Thank you for your reading.
Momoko Kurata

Post card from Disney Land

Hi, I am in Tokyo Disney Land with my sister's family. We are enjoying parades and shows of Disney Halloween. This is the first visit for the mother-in-law of my sister and my nephew. They are happy to see Mickey Mouse and his friends actually.
We left Matsumoto at A.M.3:00 to arrive here before opening and because it had an annoucement to restrict entry to this park. We didn't sleep much last night, but we will stay here until seeing night parade.
Tomorrow, we are going to go Ueno zoo. I hope to have a chance to see a Giant Panda named Shanshan.
Let's see photos at Disney Land next weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing you next weekend !
Ritsuko Takeuchi

Monday, 14 January 2019

Postcard from ... hospital

Hello, all.
I am in a hospital now and waiting for having operation. It is the first time to be admitted to the hospital and I will stay here about one week.
I have not eaten anything from yesterday night... I'm hungry!

It will take one month to heal completely and there are some rules until then, such as no alcohol, no spicy food and no hard exercise.
I wanna go back to life as per usual early!

Postcard from...Bulli Beach, Australia

Dear everybody in the freezing cold in  Matsumoto!

Unfortunately I'm leaving the sunny hot beach at Bulli today.

Pool, ocean, wildlife, sport, food, wine, Santa and my family. Extremely relaxing and loads of fun. Perfect end to a very busy year.

Best to you all for 2019.


(posted Dec 29th with Touchnote)

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Postcard from...New South Wales, Australia

G'day everybody!

Today is my last day in Australia. I just had a big bbq lunch cooked by uncle Mike. I was hungry - this morning I was jumping through the surf and swimming in the pool. It is 32 degrees!

I have had an amazing time here, and can't fit it all on a postcard!

Qantas will take me home to freeing Matsumoto tonight - no more football or cricket or sliding in the garden :(

Goodbye summer - hello winter!

Ceilidh (posted on Dec 29th using Touchnote)

Friday, 11 January 2019

Postcard from...the Lego Shop

I'm in the Lego Shop in Karuizawa now. I can see Toy Story's caracter Lego block. The weather is cloud. I'm with my wife and son. I'm taking my son's pictures and watch playing my son's lego block. I'm staying an hour in Lego shop.

I was in my house yesterday. I made a big sock from newspaper with my son, for Santa's presents.

I am getting a rare Pokemon tomorrow.

I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday.


Thursday, 10 January 2019

Postcard from...year end party

I'm enjoying dinner with my team members. We're having a delicious french dinner.

I went to Sakudaira on business yesterday. I had a meeting with my customer. It was my last job in 2018.

I am going to Tokyo Haneda tomorrow. I'm going to fly to Fukuoka the day after tomorrow to enjoy a
rock concert.

I look forward to seeing you next week.


Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Postcard from...Tokyo, Japan

Dear Jim,

I'm at Ariake in Tokyo. I can see some cars. The weather is fine. I am with my friend, watching tennis game in the Japan Open. It's a day trip - I'll catch the train home tonight.

I was at Hiroo in Tokyo yesterday, to see my friends at a wedding party. I ate delicious beef and drank a little champagne and some tea. I got there by train, and stayed two days.

I am planning to go to my parents house tomorrow, by highway bus.

I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday.


Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Postcard from...Chino, Japan

We're in Chino at a piano competition. I can see my children playing piano. I am with my husband. It's sunny but cold outside. My daughter won! She will go to Tokyo next month.

I was in Matsumoto yesterday. I took my children to swimming class, and did housework. We had dinner at home.

We are going to buy souvenirs for my parents tomorrow. I will drive my car to the shops in Minami Matsumoto.

My children start school again this week.

I look forward to seeing
you on Tuesday.


Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years!!

Hello, My Name is Cedric. I am new to the Luna Family. I work at Matsumoto Tandai Kindergarten for Luna and I have also taught a few lessons at Luna too.

Starting in April of 2018, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. However, from the get go I was immediately impressed by Jim's teaching philosophy and his vision for the students in Luna.

From then on, it has been an amazing experience working with Jim and the Luna crew. What makes Luna unique is its family friendly environment. Luna actually CARES for their students! Which is lacking in other English teaching schools I have come across.

The students have been great! Their infectious enthusiasm makes teaching enjoyable and it constantly encourages me to always go the extra mile for them!

I am looking forward to create memorable memories with everyone in Luna for years to come.

Let's start the year of with a bang!