Saturday, 22 August 2009



August is the month of Goodbyes as the American teachers contracts are finished and if they choose to only stay one year it is time for them to leave Japan. This month I had to say goodbye to two wonderful girls Sianna and Jane. I only knew them for a year but I will miss them and am looking forward to seeing them again in the future!

Jane at her goodbye dinner

Sianna and I

Sunday, 16 August 2009


15th August

It was Emily and Kimi's birthday so we had a party for them at our apartment building but it was a toga party - the first time I have ever been to one! It was a great night and after we changed out of our togas we went to Tropicana for some dancing!

The cakes - Kimi loves Sex and the City and Emily loves The Little Mermaid!

Kyosuke and I

Kimi and Emily

The girls - Rachel, Emily and I

Nipple boys - Pat and Kyosuke

Emily, Rachel, Sianna and I


Saturday, 15 August 2009

Summer Sonic!!

7th August

It was a hot summer's day when we headed to Osaka with plenty of suncream, water and tickets to Summer Sonic! Summer Sonic is a huge 3 day music festival similar to the Big Day Out with a huge range of performers. I only bought a ticket for the Friday because Beyonce and Ne-Yo were playing! It was a great day and Beyonce is possibly the best performer I have ever seen!

Solange - Beyonce's sister

Rachel and I with our tornado potatoes!

Beyonce water :-)

The shade area

Jane, Rachel, Me and Emily enjoying the festival

Lady Gaga

Ne-Yo was amazing!

Beyonce was amazing!

Beyonce in the audience!

A day trip to Kyoto!

3rd August

Today I headed to Kyoto for a day trip by myself to see some new sights! It was a really hot day but I went to the Heian shrine which I have been to before but I visited the garden which was new for me. It was a hot summers day but the garden was cool and shady and at times it felt like I was the only one there. I then went to Yasaka shrine and wandered the backstreets behind it before doing some shopping. I love days like this in Japan where you can hop on a train for an hour and a half and see new things in a whole different city!

The huge torii leading to the Heian shrine

Heian shrine

The garden

Beautiful lotus flowers

Me in the garden

View across the pond

Yasaka shrine

Monday, 10 August 2009

Summer Festival in Himeji!

2nd August

Every summer there is a 3 day festival in Himeji for the castle. There is a parade, many dances and lanterns. This year I saw parts of the festival but there was also a dance music festival on at the castle at the same time which is where I spent most of my time. It is a really nice time of year - the days are hot but it is nice to go into the city at night and it is just bustling and so much is going on. And of course there is festival food - yum!

The parade - shakuhachi players

A shrine in the parade

This is the festival mascot - it is the castle - so cute!

Me, Rachel and Emily at the music festival enjoying shaved ice!

This guy was doing all sorts of cool moves with the wooden instrument and then he took his shirt off . . . Rachel commented that she liked his tattoos and he then proceeded to show us that they also went down his thigh - yes he was a yakuza (Japanese mafia!)!!

Lanterns lining the main street

The castle and the DJ tent at the music festival - there were even laser beams pointed at the castle!

Food!! Glorious Food!! July


Once again I have eaten many delicious and some strange foods this month!

Richard taught us how to make tortillas!

I made these banana cakes for the 4th of July beach party

Rachel's homemade apple pie

American dogs!

Boiled eel with ginger which we made as part of our cooking lesson

Lettuce, tofu and fried chirimentaiko (small whole fish) which we made as part of our cooking lesson

Fried burdock and carrot

Our meal we made in our cooking lesson

Fried chicken in a box from a vending machine!

Yakinikku (grilled meat and vegetables) at my teachers house


Passionfruit flavoured alcohol!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Summer days at the beach!

31st July

We spent another wonderful day at the beach this month. A small group of us went to Matsue Kaigan beach for an afternoon of relaxing, swimming and eating delicious food! I love my summer holidays!

The beach - beautiful blue skies and amazing friends!

My Hello Kitty floatie's maiden voyage! So cute!

The girls and I at the beach

Our little set up on the beach

Shikama Hanabi Festival!

25th July

Every summer there are fireworks festivals all around Japan. People usually wear their summer kimonos (yukatas) and go and enjoy the fireworks while eating festival food! This year I only went to one festival - the Shikama Hanabi Matsuri with Kyosuke and his friends. All the girls including me wore our yukatas and watched the beautiful fireworks over the port.

Food stalls


Kyosuke and I at the fireworks!

More fireworks!

Kyosuke, Makoto and I

Stephanie, Megumi and I in our Yukatas!