Saturday, November 15, 2014


I wrote a blog the other day, but I can't seem to make it publish. I'm going to try again tonight after language exchange. I hope that means you'll get two blogs at once. 

I haven't done much besides work this week, but I'm really looking forward to the weekend and no 5:30 alarm!

Exploring Nagoya

Before Saturday, if you had told me to find my way home from work without using trains and subways, I couldn't have done it. I didn't even know what direction school was from my house. 

It was a really weird feeling. So, I decided to do something about it. Remember, I have no more GPS. So, I took pictures of the map on my computer, and set off. 
Pre-voyage selfie: As you can see, I was worried!

I set off down the road. The playground near my apartment had some pretty flowers blooming. 
The trees are changing as well, but I couldn't get a good shot of them. 
I continued on my way. 

This is life now: City

And more flowers. 
Then, I walked down a long street that pretty much looked like all cities ever. Restaurants, car shops, banks, etc. 

I felt like I was getting close on my picture  map, so I got ready to turn on what looked like the street on the map. 
It was not a street, but a dirt path. I knew that this was the wrong way, but I hoped it would work out in the end. 

I started passing mikan trees (like clementines). 
I really like mikans. 
Please, may I have just one?
Not a green one, thanks. 

Walking along the path was fun, even though it was a bit strange. Pretty white moths swirled around me and flew off into the sky. And everywhere, mikans!

The path began to end, and I looked up and saw this. 
That spire in the far distance is where I work! I had made it! The path had been the right direction after all. 

I was just a little excited. 

There may or may not have been cheering. 

After a few minutes, I arrived at the station! Goal!

Remember the concerned starting selfie? Here is the arrival selfie! Happy face!

I really thought it would be the opposite. I thought I would start out excited and end up worn out. 

Then, it was time to commute home. 
Hail, hail, the gang's all here. 
The funny thing to me is that it takes over 30 minutes to commute 5K. When I ran, I ran 5Ks in under 30 minutes. Wow! 

Anyway, I'm glad that I finally know the way between home and school now (even though I'll be leaving next month)!

And P. S. Happy Pocky and Pretz Day!

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Oops! I forgot to let you know that I made it home safely. 

And I saw this in the subway today!
Now it's time for a nice coffee! It's a cold and rainy Sunday here. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Searching for home


On the bright side, I did locate a gorgeous Starbucks. 

I may never get home, but at least I had a lovely Snow Maple Toffee latte. 

I'll let you know if I ever make it home. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

NaNoWriMo Eve 2014

Every year, I love doing NaNoWriMo as an outlet for creativity. This year though, I thought I wouldn’t do it. With my current work responsibilities, I don’t think there’s any way to fit in writing 50,000 words in one month.

But I got down to the wire, and I’ve realized that I can’t just let it float by. I don’t think I’m going to write 50,000 words, but I’m going to have some writing fun during the month.

So here I am, waiting for midnight (so glad it’s Friday!)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Nagoya Matsuri, Part 2

When we leftphoto (16), this fellow was threatening attack. Well, the rest of the parade was advancing, so he had to head off down the road. Goodbye, fellow!

The historical section of the parade focuses on three ancient rulers in Japan who lived in Nagoya.

Nobunaga Oda lived from 1534-1582 and was born in Nagoya. He was followed by Hideyoshi Toyotomi who lived from 1537-1598. After Toyotomi came Ieyasu Tokugawa who lived from 1543-1618. Tokugawa reached the highest level of the three and became shogun.

The parade includes the three rulers, their wives, and their entourages.


I was intrigued by the juxtaposition of historical characters against modern city buildings.




There goes the traditional band!


The parade stopped. From the intersection down the road, we saw smoke. A battle broke out!




Here come the soldiers, I think. One looks pretty tired!


One of the rulers!


Who will come next?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Nagoya Matsuri, Part 1

I think we all know my feelings on festivals.

If not, feel free to enter festival in my new search box to the right. And that’s just a limited selection!

I’ve been looking forward to the Nagoya Festival since, well, since I found out I was placed in Nagoya. Actually, maybe even since before I was placed in Nagoya. I found it while I was researching Nagoya in case I was placed here!

It did not disappoint.


It was – by far – the largest festival I’ve attended. Booths and events were strung all along the Sakae area, parades wound through the city, a lantern parade happened near the city hall, and the feudal lords strolled through a covered shopping district in another parade.

By the end, I was exhausted. And I came nowhere close to seeing everything!

Day 1: My coworker/neighbor and I hopped on the subway to head to the central festival area. We met another Westgate teacher, and the three of us walked around.

Mom’s favorite food! Sadly, I didn’t have any because I was still full from breakfast.


We were in the Nagoya TV tower area, clearly. I think the tower is prettiest at night.


There’s a stream in the middle of our festival! No one fall in!


It was a leeeeetle more crowded than most of the Wakkanai festivals. Can’t imagine why…


Soon, it was time to head out to the parade! Hurray!

The parade opened with this pink car, and an official looking person waving. We all waved happily!


We all waved to these folks, too.


Several baton twirling groups came through.


And many marching bands!


Then, the first of the flower cars drove by. We all waved again! And everyone took pictures.


Hi, guys!


Little twirlers.


A bunch of older folks had the good idea of climbing up on a planter in the middle of the sidewalk.


More bands!


More flower cars. This went on for quite some time.


This section of the parade finished with a model of the Nana-chan doll – a huge doll outside Nagoya Station.


After the doll, we had to wait a while for the historical section of the parade to begin.


Here we go!IMG_8366


Yikes! What did we ever do to you, mister?

photo (16)

Is this the end of our intrepid teacher/blogger/lover of festivals? Tune in to our next episode to find out what happens!

(I’ve been working on this post for ages and I promised myself I would go out around 10. Guess who has another holiday? Mwahahahaha. I’ll be back!)