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.