A Travellerspoint blog


For My Junior High School's Homepage Blog

Happy New Year!

This is my first blog in 2012 - the year of the dragon!

Outside it is very cold and snowy now, but today I want to show you some pictures from September and October of 2011.

In September it was still nice and warm, perfect weather for the school's kayaking trip on Lake Biwa.



This is my third time kayaking with the 2nd year students, and I always enjoy it very much.

This year we had new kayaks, for two people.

Some students fell in the water, but everybody had a life jacket and teachers soon helped them.

It was very funny sometimes.


The weather was wonderful this year, and on the second day we saw many birds on the lake.

It was very beautiful to see them all flying together.


When we got back to Imazu everybody was tired but happy.

The kayak trip is always great fun, and I'm already looking forward to next years trip!


A few days later I was on another boat in Uji, with some friends, to watch ukai (cormorant fishing).

The boy with the hat is Nick, he teaches English in Kosei Junior High.

Next to him, wearing blue jeans, is Andrew. He teaches in Kutsuki Junior High.


'Ukai' uses birds and fire to catch fish.


The fire makes it easy for the birds to see the fish and to catch them.

Then you can take the fish out of the birds mouth.

The birds can't eat the fish because of a special ring on thier neck.


After fishing they take off the ring and the birds can eat some of the fish.


Ukai is a very interesting part of Japanese culture, and very relaxing to watch.

I think I will go again next year.

Posted by DKJM74 15:57 Comments (0)


For My Junior High School's Homepage Blog

This Summer I had a chance to try some great new sports and activities.

First, I was invited to go the BSC Water Sports Centre near Katata to try windsurfing!


I went with some friends, it was our first time windsurfing.

It was difficult to stand on the board and we fell in the water many times.


We got tired and sunburnt, but it was a lot of fun!

My next trip was to Shikoku to try 'white water rafting' and 'shower climbing'.

I don't have any photos from rafting, but it was very exciting.

I have been rafting 3 times before, in the UK, Bali and Slovakia, but this was my first time shower climbing.

In shower climbing you do an 'action course' in a mountain river!


We had to climb, jump and swim.


The best part was going down a high waterfall.


In Shikoku we also visited an old bridge.

It was very high and you could see the river under your feet!


My last new sport of the summer was 'zip lining'.

I went with my friends, Andrew and Roxy.

We went to Biwako valley for zip lining.


There were 7 lines on the course.

The highest was 23 meters high, and the longest was 105 meters long.


Zip lining is fun and easy to do.

The best thing is flying like superman - it feels great!!

Andrew Roxy Damon

Trying new things is always great fun, and in Japan I have many chances to try new things!

The next report will be my Autumn report where I also did many interesting things.

I went Kayaking with the school, exploring caves in Taga and watched Ukai (cormorant fishing) in Uji.

Please read about that next time!

(Coming soon I promise!)

Posted by DKJM74 18:44 Comments (0)


For My Junior High School's Homepage Blog

After my trip to England and Prague I was happy to be back in Japan.

So I decided to visit some traditional Japanese places!


This is Daigo-Ji in Kyoto, the gardens there are very nice.

I liked the fish pond and red bridge very much.


There is a mountain behind the temple that I also climbed.

There are some great views from the top!


I saw some interesting Buddhist figures in another temple at the top of the hill.


The next week I went to another temple in Kyoto, near Arashiyama, with my wife.

It is called Nenbutsu-Ji, and it is famous for having many statues there.

The statutes are small and cute.


There were so many of them - we were surprised!


We walked around for a long time looking at them.

They are very interesting.


My next trip was to Ishikawa Ken.

This trip was for our birthday's - my wife's birthday is on July 16th and mine is on August 2nd.

So we made the trip at the end of July - between our birthdays!

In Ishikawa ken we visited Kanazawa.

There is a big and beautiful garden there.

We could enjoyed Japanese green tea in the gardens.


We also visited Kanazawa art gallery...



and a museum of cars!



Ishikawa Ken was very interesting and I want to go there again sometime.

Back in Shiga Ken I had the chance to go to see some interesting Summer festivals in August.

First, I went with my friend Andrew to see the Biwako Birdman competition in Hikone.


This migh look very exciting, but...


it's not so exciting - you have to wait a long time to see somebody fly, and then they only fly for a short time!

Here is a nice example -

The fireworks in Otsu were much more exciting!

Ostu firework festival is the bigest firework show I have ever seen.

It's really beautiful too!!



That was only half of my Summer though - as well as traveling I tried many new sports and activities this summer.

I'll write about those next time - in my summer report part II.

See you then,

Posted by DKJM74 16:56 Comments (0)


For My Junior High School's Homepage Blog

June was an important month for me.

I was going back to England for the first time in two years, and not just for a holiday - but for me WEDDING!

On the 5th of June we took a plane from Osaka to London.

There are many old and famous buildings in London.

In this picture (under this) you can see -

Big Ben (the famous clock on the Houses of Parliament.)

St. Paul's cathedral and the Millenium bridge.

Outside Westminster abbey (Where Kate and William got married).

Tower bridge.

Inside Westminster abbey

The British museum.


We also saw Buckingham Palace where the Queen lives in London.


For me the most interesting things was 'The Doctor Who Museum'.

'Doctor Who' is a popular British science-fiction TV show.

It started in 1962 and is still on TV now.

In the museum you can see many costumes and characters from the show.


After three days in London we travelled to my home town, Nottingham.

Nottingham is in the middle of England, my mother and father live there.

Nottingham is famous for Robin Hood, you can see his statue in the next picture.

Next to Robin Hood you can see my parents house and my mother and father having dinner with my Japanese friends.

It was very interesting for everybody to meet and talk.

You can see some buildings in Nottingham too.


The big building in the next picture is called 'Wollerton Hall', it will be in the next Batman film.

In the new film, Batman is going to live in this building!!

You can see a very popular English food too, fish and chips.

My Japanese friends enjoyed eating fish and chips.


The big day was on June 11th.

Haru and I got married at a nice farm.

When I was a boy I lived near here.

It is a beautiful place, and I was very happy to have my family, friends and new Japanese family all together for the day.

My three best friends were all there - Nik, Julian and Chris.

We have been friends for 20 years (from 16 years old to 36 years old!)


Haru had a beautiful white dress, this is traditional at an English wedding.

I had a suit and a walking stick!

We had a great day and I was very happy to get married to Haru.

We can share English and Japanese language and culture together.

I think that is very important (that's why I'm an ALT)!


After the wedding we had a small party in the park.

The best part was the flying lanterns!

The lanterns fill with hot air and fly - they look very nice in the night sky.


Soon it was time to leave England and we flew to Prague in the Czech Republic.

Prague is a very old city with many great buildings.

I think it is nicer than London.


I lived near Prague for many years, and I can speak a little Czech language.

It was very nice to eat Czech food again.


Prague is beautiful at night.

Many buildings have 'night-lights' and look wonderful.

We really enjoyed our time in Prague, but soon it was time to come back to Japan.


We were in England and Prague for two weeks, and it was a great trip.

Now we are back in Japan and I'm happy to see all the students again.

Soon it's going to be summer vacation and time for more travel around Japan.

Where will I go next??

Wait and see!

See you next time,

Posted by DKJM74 23:02 Comments (2)


For My Junior High School's Homepage Blog

April is always a beautiful time to see Japan.

For a few days, all across the country, the cherry trees are blooming and everything is pink.

I love the Japanese word - hanami (in English - 'flower viewing') and enjoy going out to see the flowers.

Kyoto has many good hanami spots and it's easy for us to visit them.


These pictures were taken on the 'Tetsugaku no michi' in Kyoto.

We also went to see the cherry blossom in Takashima.

I borrowed a double kayak, and we out on the lake to see the blossom from the water.

It was a very nice way to enjoy 'hanami' and it was a lovely day!



Golden week is in May, and I visited Taga.

Last year I helped with bat research in the Taga caves with people from Taga museum, and this year I wanted to help again.


It was really nice to meet Maeda San and Abe San again.

We caught and studied around 70 bats this year (a few more than last year).


We caught tube nose bats (left) and horse-shoe nose bats (right).


I helped to move the bats to a safe place after we studied them.

I got some really nice photos too.



I really enjoyed helping and I want to go again next year.

This May I also saw a robot event in Osaka.

It was called 'Robo-cup'.

The robots were all made by students.

These are from Junior High students,


and these are from University students (The white robot below is a robot you can buy, the students didn't make it).


There were many other robots there too.


Most of the robots were playing 'football' (though not all the robots had legs), but some robots danced, or helped people - like these.

Robot dance routine.


This cat has a robot inside!

My favourites were the small black robots that played football.

They were very fast and funny to watch.

They often fall down, but they can stand up too!

'Oh, wow!'

More robots falling and standing up.

Goal attack.


Lastly, my BIG news.

In June I am going back to England (and the Czech Republic) for two weeks.


Because Haru and I are going to get married on June 11th :-)

I'm very excited and happy, and I hope we will have a beautiful wedding.

I will be back in Japan on June 18th and will show you all some photos from our trip and wedding then.

Wish me luck!

All the best,

Posted by DKJM74 21:53 Comments (0)

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