Sunday, December 25, 2011


Christmas tree in Odaiba, Tokyo


I'm still in Tokyo enjoying myself greatly! The Japanese sure don't mess around with Christmas lighting. Tokyo is seriously blinding, but all of these lights will be packed up and stored the day after Christmas... talk about not wasting time. 

This will be my last entry until I'm back in Japan. I fly off to Amsterdam tomorrow and I can't wait to wonder through the city streets. So, see you all soon!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

christmas party for the kiddies

Last Saturday, a neighboring town had its annual Christmas party at the town's International Center. The party is mainly held for the town's elementary school students in grades three to six. Only a selected amount of students can attend, so we had a total of forty students in attendance.  These forty kids are divided into four teams; each group having its own foreign leader. We actually had four foreigners from four different countries: the U.S. (moi), Canada, the U.K. and Australia. 

The kids had fun doing a lot of fun activities such as: making reeves, making ginger bread houses (or at least attempt to anyway), making somores  (so, so, yummy and fun!), singing Christmas songs and a few other festive activities. They also received a bunch of gifts from our Canadian Santa Claus. (The kids were like, "Why is Santa tanned??" hahaha) But the kiddies really did enjoy themselves and we adults did too. My favorite activity was definitely making somores! We had an actual fire going on outside; it was awesome!! It was madness trying to tell the kids that they can only make two somores. 

Enjoy the pictures!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

let the packing process begin

There are five days left until I head to Tokyo and a little more than a week before I'm off to Amsterdam! I only just started packing yesterday, which pretty much consisted of me throwing clothes on the floor. The plan is to travel as light as possible! I'll be away for about two weeks, so I'm really trying to pack clothes that can be re-worn in various styles. Since Amsterdam is a pretty chilly place this time of year (not as cold as the northeast coast of the states, but cold nonetheless),  my savior will be wearing layers; and a lot of it. The items in the pictures below are the clothes that I plan to take along.  




  • five long sleeved-shirts of various lengths
  • one dress
  • one sweater
  • one long cardigan 
  • two skirts
  • two boots (... may end up taking black flats instead of the black boots.)
  • one scarf
  • four tights of various colors, thickness and textures
  • two pairs of socks
  • undergarments
  • netbook
  • chargers (netbook, phone and camera)
  • socket convertor (which I still need to buy)
  • Amsterdam travel guide book
  • random reading materials
  • toiletries
  • three belts
  • accessories

I'm limiting myself to only using  a small-sized wheeled luggage and a medium-size tote (for carry-on souvenirs like Belgian chocolate, yum~) So, all this stuff better fit!! (Hope it does... we'll see.)
 Mmm... I don't think I'm packing too much for two weeks. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

17 hours

The "Hakata" highway bus that will take me from Fukuoka to Tokyo.

In about a little more than a week, I will be setting off to Tokyo (yay!!!!)  for a few days. The travel won't be done by plane, but by bus. I'm not at all excited about this, but traveling in Japan by plane during this time of year is deadly expensive! Flying from Miyazaki to Tokyo would have cost me about $600 roundtrip! (There's no way to book national flights after Dec. 23rd weeks or months ahead without giving up a lot of dough). Heck no, I'm not spending that kind of money. So, I decided that it would be best, for my bank account's health, to go by bus, which saved me more than $300 roundtrip. I'm going to be on two buses for a total of 17 hours, most of the time being overnight from Fukuoka to Tokyo. I've never been on a bus for that long! 

Miyazaki to Tokyo
857 miles/1379km, 17 hours and 38 minutes
by BUS

google maps

Hopefully, it won't be that bad.

Friday, December 9, 2011

oden party

 Last Saturday, five former students of mine invited me and their current English teacher, a fellow American, to a little party at one of the student's home.

Our dinner that the mother, whom I work with, prepared with her daughter. It was so yummy~

Sunday, December 4, 2011

my first b'z concert!!!!!!!!!!

CREDIT: http://bz-vermillion.com/
(from left to right: vocalist Koshi Inaba and guitarist Tak Matsumoto)
B'z is a two man group, but they have two support members, a bassist and a drummer, who happen to be Americans!

Thanks to the wonders of schedule posting,  I will be in Fukuoka attending a concert by one of my utmost favorite Japanese rock bands, B'z, as you read this entry. This is my first time seeing this band live after listening to their music for almost a year!  B'z is Japan's no. 1 selling artist with over 80 million singles/albums sold domestically and for good reason--they make absolutely fantastic music!!

I'll be seeing them again at their final concert on their tour on Christmas Day at the largest concert hall in Japan: Tokyo Dome!!!

And with that, I leave you with the music video to their latest single C'mon. Love it!

Ok, I seriously have a thing for Koshi Inaba. The man is gorgeous! He's 48 years old too; most Japanese men age like fine wine. Yum.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

winter holiday planning

Yuppers! I plan on spending a cold winter in Amsterdam (as well as Brussels and Ghent in Belgium). I really am looking forward to this trip since it will be my first "real" time in Europe. I set off for Europe the day after Christmas and I'll be back in Japan in early January. Can't wait to experience how awesome New Year's Eve will be in Amsterdam!

I'm in the middle of planning out an itinerary and I've already booked my b&b/hostel stays back in late September. I should probably purchase tickets to various museums, etc that I plan to visit; gotta love online reservations. I'm still trying to decide if I'll use my ATM there or just bring money with me to exchange. I've read that using an ATM has a better exchange rate compared to exchanging at the airport/bank/etc. The dollar is pretty lousy to the euro, but the yen is about equal...

So in a little more than a month, I will be in Amsterdam! I swear, I'm going to end up spending huge amounts of time in the various cafes there. ♥ 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

new camera

Since July of this year,  I have been without a camera; I've been relying on my iPhone 4 for my picture taking and to be honest, the phone takes pretty good pictures. I still wanted to get my hands on an actual camera though and I've spent quite a bit of time on my decision.  The last two cameras that I owed were both Canon, so I'm pretty loyal to the brand. After using point & shoots for five years, I finally wanted to dive into the world of DSLRs.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Loving this LBD ♥


I am so~ in love with this LBD! It shows just the right amount of skin without feeling too bare. Add high heel shoes and sheer black tights and I would be so set! TOPSHOP seriously needs a store in Japan!

Friday, October 14, 2011

「ダイアナ先生だ!!/」 "It's Ms. Diana!!"

I've lived in the same small-sized city (about 43,000 people) in Japan for the past two years now. Since I teach at four junior high schools and seven elementary schools, many, and I mean many, students know who I am. As of now, most students currently in their first or second year in high school, know of me because I taught them.

You know what this means, right? I can't go anywhere in this town without a student seeing me and sometimes with a very surprised look on their face saying out loud, "Oh! It's Ms. Diana!!" in Japanese. That's from the more outgoing kids. The quieter ones would just nod their head (nodding one's head is a simple sign of saying "hello" in Japan.)

I'm used to seeing my kids from JHS and ES and I can usually tell that they are my student because of their school uniform. However, with my former students that are in various high schools (with different uniforms mind you), it's difficult to tell if I was the one that taught them as a JHS student. So, it really makes me happy when former students say hello to me. There are quite a bunch of whom I miss a lot.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

台風が来た!/ A typhoon came!

After living in Japan for two years, I'm used to typhoon season come and go, but damn, what the heck happened yesterday!!! I've never seen sooooo much rain fall in my life. I came to work nearly drenched; it was awful. I felt so sorry for the kids though. Many of them walked to school! Honestly, school should have been closed. Today is a lot better... except for the wind.

This is what the school ground at the JHS I worked at today looked like.
It seriously looks like a pond.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

First entry!

Hello, folks! So, I finally decided to start up a blog of my life in Japan. I've been living here since August 2009 and work as an English Teacher. It's been a wonderful experience. I have met fantastic people, travelled immensely in this country and neighboring ones and eaten such amazingly good food!!

Until my next entry, I'll leave you with pictures from one of my junior high school's sports festival that occurred a week ago. Sport festivals (or Undoukai in Japanese) is an annual event that takes place at all elementary, junior and high schools. The entire school body (including the teachers) is divided into two teams: red team and white team (aka dan and shiro dan). They compete against each other in various sports events (like relays). I had so much fun with the students and they also enjoyed my company. :D

The 1st year girls on the red team.