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?

Friday, 15 February 2019

Notes in Nagoya

One way to get an abundance of English teachers in the same place? Put on an Expo. On Sunday I went to one of the many that are on throughout Japan; armed with a pen and notepad I made my way down to Nagoya, ready to learn about different techniques and tools that I could use in class and how they would benefit the students. My personal favourite was from David Paul and hearing about his seven-step sequence to teaching phonics. As this is a very new topic for me, I found hearing about these techniques from someone who spent so long developing them here in Japan to be incredibly valuable; thank you David! After meeting many other teachers, hearing about how their teaching journeys and going to a handful of lectures, I can honestly say that this is one field that will never stop evolving. The number of resources we constantly have at our fingertips is astounding and I can’t wait to slowly make my way through them.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Sculptures around the Castle


When Jim mentioned the Ice Sculpture festival around Matsumoto Castle I was very eager to go, until he mentioned that the best time to go was at night, when no one else was around. Whenever I’m asked about what Matsumoto is like in the winter there’s always one very clear thing that comes to mind: it’s exceptionally cold. Coming from somewhere that you’d be pushed to find a day with a temperature below 10 degrees, I don’t think this is something I’ll ever get used to. I headed out at about 9PM, equipped with enough layers to make me look like a marshmallow, camera in one hand and a hot chocolate in the other. But boy was it worth it, as the crowds started to slim out (and the temperature started to drop), we got to see the full process that went into the incredibly intricate sculptures. Despite having to take several breaks in the nearest FamilyMart, we made it until 3AM before the cold (and tiredness) got the better of us and we found our way home. If you’re willing to brave the cold, or are just better at handling it than I am, this is definitely the place to be!

Tristan's last letter


Dear Rual,

How are you’ve been? Are you all well? I’m sorry I haven’t written so often. Sometimes I miss you and everything in Lyonesse.

I serve to King Mark as a good knight. I was welcomed by King Mark’s court, and he loved me like his son. He teaches me many things and I always think that I want to be helpful for him. I already fought many battles and I won. A few days before a big man from Ireland came to the castle and he required an unpleasant demand. I fought him. He was very strong but finally I won. I got hurt my leg. It was small wound but unfortunately there was poison on his sword. I’m ill. Doctors in Cornwall can’t cure me. Only The Queen of Ireland can cure it. So I have to go to Ireland. Don’t worry I’ll go there as a minstrel.

In Lyonesse I learnt to play the harp, that helps me. I’ll recover and be back. I promise.


Tristan

Posted for Misako

Postcard from...Kamakura, Japan

Dear Jim,

Hope this finds you well…I’m on holiday in Kamakura this weekend. I went to the Silk skin care products’ laboratory with my friends who joined from Tokyo yesterday. This lab was one of my friend recommended to visit and it’s worth to be there.

I stayed at Japanese styled hotel with hot spring near Kamakura and today I tried SUP (Stand-up paddle surfing) in the sea. This is the first experience to do SUP in my life! Other friend who lives in Kamakura helped me to try. It was really difficult to stand up on the surf board at the first time, but finally I could make it! I’m going to stay one more night and I will go to temple called ‘Hokoku-ji’ before on the way back home.

At this temple I can enjoy the traditional Japanese tea ceremony with fancy sweet while I enjoy to see the bamboo garden. I would be great rest day after hard working on the sea!
Look forward to seeing you in Matsumoto!

Lots of love,
xxx
Naomi

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Postcard from...Connecticut & Massachusetts, USA

I went to Mark Twain House & Museum with some students.
The house is located in Hartford, Connecticut. It was built in 1874, though, the house has a lot of facilities such as nursery rooms, school rooms for the children, guest rooms, a study with billiards table, and so forth. We walked around the house and enjoyed the architecture of the house. After the visit to the house, we did the shopping in the souvenir shop and I bought a post card of a cat. I really liked it at once because the cat stared at me saying “let me come with you.” We left the Mark Twain House & Museum and headed for the next destination, Boston

Now, I am in Boston! It is one of the academic cities in the US. I am visiting Prudential Center, which is a very famous building in Boston. From the observatory of the building, I can see a lot of red brick buildings, which, by the way, remind me of the atmosphere of London. I like Boston because there are a lot of famous universities such as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, and Tufts University. I visit some of the universities and listen to the talks by the students in the universities. I also watch a match of Boston Celtics in TD Garden. The “Celtics” is named after “Celtic.” This is because Boston has a lot of emigrants from Ireland.

Posted for Takafumi

Knocked off the Bucketlist



A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to find my way to the Sapporo Snow Festival. Being on my bucket list for an exceptionally long amount of time, I was definitely overly excited that I got the opportunity to visit. Three days of sculptures, snow and a very large amount of seafood and I've got to say this festival deserves all of the hype it receives and more. It was even worth bracing myself for the sub-zero temperatures (and in my world, that’s definitely saying something). I was chased by human-sized bears, found my way into the media section of the festival and slipped over more times than I could keep track of; definitely an experience of a lifetime.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Memory with my first pet


My first pet was a dog.  He was Shetland sheepdog which had beautiful brown and white hair.  His name was Mark.  He was given by my father’s friend and he had been in my house before I was born.  He was much bigger than me, but his character was very gentle and friendly.  I did not have any brothers or sisters, so he was like my brother and friend.  Even if it was cold or snowed, I enjoyed taking him for a walk.
He got sick and died quietly when he was eight years old.  It was my first experience to face death.  I was very shocked and could not believe the world without him, but he taught me life is finite.  After his death, I believe he watches my growth from sky and I looked back at the days with him whenever I see beautiful sky.



Did you know? Manufacture of medical mannequins in Nagano


When you dig up a history of your hometown, you can find someone who had an extraordinary achievement. Back in 1822, a man named “Fumimoto Kobayashi” created a medical mannequin in Saku city. His mannequin was designed densely based on a famously known medical text, Kaitai Shinsho translated by Genpaku Sugita in 1774. It is 55 cm tall, and made of paper, wood, and copper wire. What is so surprising is that its gender is switchable from an original female body to a male body. As far as I searched on a web, medical mannequins from Edo period are extremely rare. It is remarkable that there was a man who learned human anatomy and made one of the most valuable masterpiece of medical mannequin, so far away from Tokyo and Kyoto. 

I have no idea why the locals like me have never heard of him. 
You must have someone like him in your area. He/she will definitely stimulate your intellectual curiosity.

M.Toyama

Reference:
The Hachijuni Culture Foundation
https://www.82bunka.or.jp/bunkazai/detail.php?no=1302&seq=0

(Topic: Write a magazine article about your home town in 1822)

New Year holidays -After reading


Dear all.
I write about my family during New Year holidays.
I always go back to my hometown, Komagane city, to spend New Year holidays with my family.
Do you know Komagane city? Komagane city is in the southern part of Nagano.
It’s a city surrounded by mountains such as Mt. Komagatake.

 I clean my parent’s house when I go back because my family is working on New Year’s Eve.
Many Japanese clean houses on New Year’s Eve like me. It’s called ‘’Oosouzi’’ in japan.
When my mother and sister return to home, we cook Soba together, and we watch New Year’s Eve TV program while drinking alcohol.
I slept through this New Year’s Eve because I was tired from driving and cleaning.

We see the sunrise and we made a wish for this year in the morning of New Year’s day.
The Rising Sun from Komagatake is so beautiful.
We don’t visit a shrine every year because every temple and shrine is crowded.
We intend to relax at my home after seeing the sunrise.


Thank you for your reading.

Momoko

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Postcards from Scotland - After reading


Postcard 1

Hi, I am in Edinburgh of Scotland. I am visiting here to see “The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo” event near the castle of Edinburgh. Have you ever seen in TV etc that the people who put traditional kilt and play music instrument near the Edinburgh castle? I am exiting that I can see it soon!! I learned this time that the first performance conducted by the solders of Scotland and England to bring citizens back into good spirits after World War Two.

I am going to explore this city tomorrow. Let’s see together a lot of pictures taken in Edinburgh when I am back to Japan.

Postcard 2

Hi, I am walking to see Old and New Towns of Edinburgh. This area is very beautiful and I could see a lot of impressive architectures that blends the character of Old Town and New Town. There are many tourists because here was world heritage-listed area by UNESCO and I will see many tourists in fudge shop because fudge is famous as souvenir of Scotland. I will take some fudge to enjoy them with you with a cup of English tea.

I am going to visit the Isle of Skye tomorrow.

Postcard 3

Hi, I am in the Isle of Skye and this island was referred to “Skuy” (Isle of could/ misty isle). This isle is the northernmost of the major islands in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland and you can enjoy a lot of nature activities by walking, boat etc.

I am visiting Fairy Pools, and there are crystal clear blue pools. I have never seen such a clear pools and recommend you to visit here someday. You can see the beautiful pools like photo of this postcard actually. I think it is worth to travel long distance to see beautiful or impressive natures in the Isle of Skye.

I will be back to Japan and look forward to talking you about this journey with a lot of pictures.