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.