A Travellerspoint blog

AUGUST REPORT

For My Junior High School's homepage Blog

I am surprised - it is August already!

I came to Japan last August, so I have lived here for one year already!!

I have travelled to many places and seen many new things in this year and I still like living in Japan very much.

August is a good month - it is very hot and it is fun to take trips by the lake.

Sometimes I went down to the lake and joined the boat club students for practice after school.

I like to talk English and Japanese with Muro Sensei or ride on the boat with Kurumi Sensei.

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But I got bad sunburn on my feet - we have to be very careful with the sun!!

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I really enjoyed kayaking with the students again this year.

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We went from Makino to Nagahama; I did two trips.

The first was just practice with a few boats and members of the boat club.

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The second trip is at the end of August and students have a long holiday in August, so I had a lot of free time to enjoy travelling and hiking.

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There are many interesting temples and shrines in Japan.

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I like these twisted trees - they remind me of films by Tim Burton.

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One very interesting thing for me was eating noodles at a river resturant.

They have special tatami floor built over a small river where you can sit and eat

It was beautiful and a very nice place to have lunch.

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At the end of August it was time for the second kayak trip, but this time it was much bigger with all the second year students and more boats.

Many parents also helped!

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Kayaking is hard work, but very relaxing and fun too.

I love nature and I am very happy when I see animals or birds (or insects).

There are many birds flying over the lake

It is interesting to see them, but students told me they were 'bad birds' who damage the islands on the lake.

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Summer by lake Biwa is great, and I'm very happy to be in Imazu and to teach you all in the Junior High School.

Let's have more fun with English this year too!

Damon.
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Posted by DKJM74 16:40 Comments (0)

BALI REPORT

For My Junior High School's homepage Blog

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Hello Everybody!

Now it's September and we are back at school again, but I had a very interesting summer holiday.

This year I went to Bali for my holiday.

Bali is a small island south of Japan, and is part of Indonesia, we flew there from Osaka airport.

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I wanted an action holiday so we did many activities in Bali.

The first day we went river rafting on the river Ayung.

It was very exciting and a lot of fun, sometimes the water was very fast and there were many rocks.

We stopped by a waterfall on the river with beautiful rock carvings and took some pictures.

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After rafting we visited an elephant park. They have many elephants from Indonesia here, they have nowhere to live in Indonesia now because people cut down the forest so some of the elephants came to Bali and live here now.

I could ride an elephant for the first time, it was very nice and relaxing. I also helped with the elephant show, holding numbers for an elephant to do math.

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The next day we travelled across the island to go scuba diving. We say many beautiful places as we travelled, there are many rice fields like in Japan but the trees are very different. We also saw Bali's monkeys and an big mountain that is really a volcano.

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Scuba diving was wonderful. I have not dived for six years and I was very happy to dive again.

We saw many colorful fish and plants. We even saw a Baracuda - whih is a dangerous fish with sharp teeth. We saw it inside an old ship called the S.S. Liberty. It was an American ship in World War II, it was hit by a Japanese torpedo. The people on the ship got to Bali and were safe, but later the boat sank here.

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The other days we visited the beaches to try surfing and drove around the island sightseeing.

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We saw many interesting historical buildings, like temples and shrines.

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My favorite place was Pura Tanah Lot, a nice shrine by the sea. It was really beautiful in the evening light.

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The holiday went very fast and soon it was time to fly back to Japan.

When I got back to Osaka I got on a train and wen to Nagoya for the world Cosplay Summit.

I really like cosplay, it is so creative, imaginative and fun. So this was a great event for me, every year for 2 days Nagoya is full of Cosplayers from all around the world.

There were so many people in amazing costumes.

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There is a big stage show with cosplayers from 15 different countries as well.

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This year the Italian team won the big prize - they had costumes from the Zelda games.

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Everybody was happy for them and cheered very loud.

It was a perfect end to a great holiday.

I hope you had a good holiday too.

See you in school soon!
Damon.

Posted by DKJM74 20:22 Comments (0)

MAY/JUNE REPORT

For My Junior High School's homepage Blog

After 'Golden Week' I still had some time for fun trips in May.

I don't meet the other JET teachers often, but in May I went to Kyoto with Kitty Sensei, Ryan Sensei and Ryan's friend Brian. We visited 'The Golden Pavilion' (Kinkakuji).

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'The Golden Pavilion' is very famous around the world, and it is very beautiful. I was surprised to learn that it is not old! The old pavilion was burned in a fire in 1950, the new pavilion was built in 1955.

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This was my second visit to the pavillion, I came here 3 years ago on holiday with my good friend Nik - I am wearing the same T-shirt on both visits!!!

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I also visited the movie village in Kyoto (Eiga Mura), it has many old style streets and buildings.
They make TV shows and movies here. There are many costumes from popular Japanese shows like Kamen Rider.

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The most interesting thing for me were the people dressed in costumes. Cosplay is very popular in Japan, and it is interesting to see the great costumes people make.

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I was very impressed with the hard work to design and make these costumes. In August I want to go to Nagoya for the 'World Cosplay Championships'.

I also saw some traditional Japanese 'costumes' when I went to my friends wedding in Takashima!

I didn't know what clothes Japanese people wear for a traditional wedding, and I wanted to see. So I was happy to be invited to the wedding. My friend wore a traditional white Kimono, and her husband wore a green robe (because he is a Priest!).

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This was the first Japanese style wedding I have seen, so it was very interesting for me.

We also had the school sports day in June, all the students trained hard and practiced to do their best on the day!

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Many things were the same as an English school sports day (running races and relays), but some things were very Japanese and new for me. In Japanese schools large group activities are popular; like this race with many students running tied together at the ankle.

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Team work is very important in this game. Also in this event where whole classes jump rope together. We don't do this in England.

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Now summer is coming, and the weather is nice, it is a great time for studying all the animals that live around Lake Biwa too.

I am very interested in all animals and I love living in a place like Imazu with many birds, animals, fish and insects. You can see many things if you explore a little. In one day of searching I found many things: for example; frogs, newts, crayfish and much more.

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For the best insects though I had to wait for the sun to go down and night to come.

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Fireflies!! They are also very difficult to take photographs of, but I tried hard and took these pictures!

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I was excited to see fireflies as well, this is the first time I have seen fireflies. They are quite magical, glowing in the dark rice fields.

Fireflies are not the only insects you can find at night, so with Kurumi Sensei I took some students out one night to see what we could catch with a black light trap.

We studied many different insects together.

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My favorite insect was this bright blue one, I kept him in my flat for a few days to study - then I put him outside again.

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That's all for today,
I hope you enjoyed reading,
Damon.

Posted by DKJM74 21:02 Comments (0)

GOLDEN WEEK REPORT

My Junior High School Blog

I love Golden Week :-)

This year with school holidays, weekends and personal holiday I had eleven days free to travel and explore.

That was wonderful, but Golden Week is also very expensive so I didn't travel far.

I stayed in Shiga and Kyoto, but visited some new places.

The first place I visted was Uji, in Kyoto.

Uji is a beautiful place with small islands and many bridges on the river.

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Uji is famous for 'The Tale of Genji' - a book written in the 11th century by Murasaki Shikibu.

This is her figure.

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The 'Pheonix Hall' is also in Uji, a nice temple in the shape of a bird with spread wings, built by a big pond.

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We also visted Arashiyama and travelled by train along the riverside.

Coming back to Arashiyama I didn't take a train - I travelled by boat!

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I was very surprised when another boat with a shop came to us with food and drink!

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This Golden week I also wanted to cycle around the lake.

There are many beautiful places around Biwako.

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I really enjoyed cycling at first, but sometimes it was difficult (because of the wind or cycling through busy road tunnels)!

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There was a very big hill on the North of the lake as well.

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I cycled to the top (but sometimes I stopped and pushed the bike for a bit)!

It was hard work, but the views were very nice.

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There was a park at the top of the hill with funny dinosaur and animal models.

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I cycled for about 10 hours the first day, from Imazu to Moriyama (by Biwako bridge).

The next day I planned to cycle through Otsu and back to Imazu - BUT.... the weather was very bad the next day with very heavy rain.

So I went over the bridge to Katata and back home, I still had to cycle 35km (2.5 hours) in terrible wind and rain.

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I only had a light rain coat and after 15 mins I was wet everywhere.

My fingers looked like I had been in a bath for a long time.

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So when I got home I was wet, tired and sunburnt on my legs from the first day (I put cream on my face and hands but not my legs)!

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Still I am happy about the trip as it was a challenge and I did it (even if the skin is peeling off my leg now).

The last big event of Golden Week was our trip to Taga.

Taga is a small but beautiful place in the hills and forests on the east side of the lake.

We went because I was invited to join a science research trip to study the bats in Taga's caves.

We walked up the river valley first, stopping for lunch on and big rocks by (and in) the water.

Then we put on our helmets and lights and prepared to catch some bats.

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The cave has a small enterance with a big centeral cavern inside and some small side passages.

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We could catch bats with our hands (from the walls) or with long poles and nets from the roof.

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The bats were mostly 'Tubenose bats' - which are quite rare.

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We also saw a 'Horseshoe nose bat'.

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We helped to catch many bats, it was very exciting to hold them.

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The bats were all weighed, measured and tagged with a metal ring (many bats already had a metal tag from last years study).

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Everybody was very friendly and I hope to join the group again for some firefly research next month!

So, that was my exciting Golden Week - see you next time!

From
Damon,

Posted by DKJM74 18:29 Comments (0)

APRIL REPORT

My Junior High School Blog

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April is sakura season in Japan, and I am lucky to live near some of the most beautiful places to see sakura in Japan.

I went to Kyoto, Osaka and Makino for `hanami` (Cherry blossom viewing).

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The cherry blossom were really wonderful, but now the flowers are falling down and the sakura season has finished.

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I love nature, and enjoy being out in the woods and mountains.

In Japan I am meeting many new friends who also love nature.

I joined a `Satoyama group` and in April we visited Yasu.

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We collected plants you can eat. (edible plants)

Then we cooked leaf tempura - it was very tasty.

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I am also interested in Japanese farming.

I think the rice fields in Japan are very interesting, so I cycled to Takashima to take some photogrpahs of rice fields with my friend Leila.

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We also visited Gulliver Village, and saw the model village.

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I had fun acting like Godzilla :-)

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Kurumi Sensei is also interested in rice fields and nature.

We visited a special rice field together where many fish come to lay eggs.

We saw a lot of fish.

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I am very happy to live in such a beautiful natural place

Posted by DKJM74 21:35 Comments (0)

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