Neighborhood matsuri

Got home yesterday just in time for a neighborhood matsuri to pass under my balcony. People take the local shrine for an outing, carrying it while they dance and sing and chant. I enjoyed it. Standing on the balcony with a hot drink in my hand watching the parade. Best seat in the house.

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Captain Cook in Hiroo

https://flic.kr/p/QLW1Bh There's a cute, "British style" cafe in Hiroo called Captain Cook. Jamie and I went there today for a late lunch, where we enjoyed their signature dish, "Shakespeare's Globe." A poached egg encased in avocado, bacon, feta, and tomato. It was a nice way to catch up since we've both been busy over the holidays. …

Bento Cooking

Back in March, I joined a class that taught how to make "traditional" bentos (Japanese style lunches). We learned how to make staples that are particularly popular in kids' bentos: rolled omelet, potato salad, seaweed salad, karage (fried chicken), and octopus weenies. I went with some friends and it turned out to be a fun afternoon. …

Only with your best face!

The 2nd year students finished a "mini presentation" assignment where they had to use only words and gestures to describe how to make a very easy food item (most of them Japanese). Examples are rice balls, rolled egg, ham sandwich, potato salad... Anyway, they had to script what they'd say first, with pictures showing the …

Eat Club, why is that not a thing?

I'm currently grading the first year students' introduction assignments. They have some basic questions -- what's your favorite book, TV show, food, singer, etc. -- as well as a few asking about their high school life like which club they joined. Out of all the answers, I think this one is my favorite: //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js Eat …

The Fox Village

So, this little excursion of mine wouldn't have been possible without Kestrel, who found the video of the Fox Village on YouTube and informed me about this place...because I had no idea. Fox sanctuary in Japan? A place where you can walk with the foxes, feed the foxes, and pet a fox? Yeah, I was …

Opinion Writing in a Different Country

I find cultural differences fascinating. Our personality and knowledge and habits, when we think of it, are made up of some many influencing factors. Environment, economical, gender, parental, societal, cultural...And nowhere is that more clear than when you're teaching adolescents in another country. I'm grading opinion paragraphs, very simple ones where the students say what …

The last class with the 3rd Years

This term was the last one in which I had classes with the third year students. They were the grade level I mostly taught this first year in Japan. I don't know if I'd count them fully "my" students -- I came in the middle of the term in August -- but we had some …

Atami’s MOA

Last weekend, I went to Atami's Museum of Art with a friend, Sol. She had gotten free tickets as a birthday gift and invited me. Luckily, I love museums -- art or otherwise -- so I was pretty jazzed to go. And, I like Atami. It's a beach city right on the coastline, particularly popular …