Hiroshima

I went on a day trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima.

One of my students ask me if I would like to go on a day trip with her family to Hiroshima and Miyajima and I jumped at the opportunity. So our day began early in the morning (7am) and we embarked on our 3 hour drive to Hiroshima.

Hiroshima left a big impression on me. When you look at it today, it is hard to believe that the city became the world’s first atomic-bomb target at 8:15am on that terrible day of August 6, 1945.

We visited the Peace Memorial Museum. It narrates the events preceding, during and after the atomic bombing. I found it to be an overwhelming experience. I just could not believe that the world would be capable of such a thing, and after the visit I found it more baffling still that the world has not learned from its own mistakes as nuclear weapons continue to threaten our lives every single day. I remember visiting a section in the UN Headquarters tour that spoke briefly about Nuclear weapons and Hiroshima, but it in no way prepare me for what I saw.

Nevertheless, Peace Memorial Park is a beautiful reminder that hope never dies, and the Flame of Peace is one such symbol, for it will only be extinguished only when the last nuclear weapon has been destroyed.

I thought the most beautiful part of the park was the Children’s Peace Memorial in memory of Sadako, who died of Leukemia at the age of 10 and inspired a whole movement of paper-crane folding. Now there are so many of them that they have them stored in these glass display cases around the monument. In the photo below, the word PEACE is made entirely out of paper cranes.

Not everything was sad though! Hiroshima is a thriving city and I found it quite fascinating as is the first major city I have visited since arriving in Japan. I definitely need to go back and explore. I also had Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki, a Japanese dish that I really enjoy, but thought that it tasted much better in Hiroshima (last picture, I did not notice the guy looking at the camera)!

From Hiroshima we went to visit Japan’s famous Torii in Miyajima.

IMG_0059IMG_0061IMG_0064IMG_0066IMG_0067IMG_0071IMG_0075

Keeping you posted!

Advertisements

My Home Away from Home

A preview of my apartment.

Some of you have been asking about my home. I have been doing some cleaning and arranging so is far from ready to be really shown but I have been working hard on it and I thought it deserves to be given a peek.

So I have taken some pictures of my closet, Very neat if I may say so myself and my working space.

More to follow… promise!

IMG_0042

IMG_0043IMG_0044

Keeping you Posted!

Japanese Wheels!

I’m riding Japanese style!

I have a bike, but for the last 2 weeks was unable to use it because the seat was too high and I didn’t know how to bring it down. The instructions are in Japanese, but I followed the pictures and got it!

Now I have an adorable bike with not only 1 but 2 baskets. I think everyone in Japan has a bicycle, or so it seems, and they ALL have baskets… they are super useful too! Now I go for bike rides every morning, groceries shopping and sightseeing.

Anyways I have taken some pictures of my bike because I like it THAT much. Notice how much lower the seat is in comparison to the baskets. I guess I am that tiny.

I also added an extra picture of my neighbour’s house. I think is beautiful and at first I thought it was a shrine (that was my Japanese ignorance 4 weeks ago, I could not even recognize a house from a shrine), but is actually a house.

IMG_0048
IMG_0047
IMG_0046
Keeping you posted!

The heat continues…

… and it just keeps getting hotter and hotter!

The temperature has continued to climb steadily over the last few days. What gets to me is not the heat, but the humidity. Any type of physical movement seems like a huge effort. You just walk out and begin to sweat.

Some water bottles come with a handkerchief for your face. Japanese people never stop to amaze me, they seem to have thought about everything.

In all of my adult classes I am always being asked how I’m doing with this heat. They all feel sorry for us and seem very concerned about whether or not we have AC in our apartments. They also tell me with a very apologetic look on their faces, that summer has not even arrived yet. According to them this weather is to continue until September.

They also say that winters can be quite cold. Somehow I cannot imagine that at all right now…

So, to keep cool we go to the river on our days off for a swim. I have never been a fan of cold water, so I just put my feet in the water and said that that was as far as I would go in, but was insisted upon to actually get in and stop being a chicken about cold water. So I went for the plunge and after the first shock it actually felt so good!

I only took 2 pictures, but I’m sure that there will be many more trips to the river in the near future. I also must apologize for the second picture as it looks like something out of a Pathfinder Truck commercial. That will also improve over time.


IMG_0028

IMG_0027

Keeping you posted!

Mishima Kindy

I can’t believe that I have already been living in Japan for 3 weeks.

Time surely flies by! I moved into my apartment 2 days ago and will be posting pictures as soon as I clean up my mess from unpacking =)

Last Thursday I accompanied a co-worker of mine to Mishima to do a day of training. On Thursdays she goes to a local kindergarten school and teaches 4 classes of 3-4 years old children.

At first I was shocked! (this is a natural reaction according to all my co-workers) as 60 children ran into the gym for their English class. However, they were the most adorable children I have ever seen! As a teacher you need to keep up with them because they have SO much energy, but is also a good chance to remember not to take life so seriously, as they love it when you are silly.

At the end of each class, they all came up to us for hugs and high fives. I have heard many times about the rewarding moments of teaching in Japan, and I know it sounds cliche, but this was definitely one such moment.

The children have a beautiful pagoda in the middle of the playground and I just couldn’t help taking some pictures.


IMG_0013

IMG_0015

IMG_0014

Keeping you posted!

A New Culinary Experience

I go groceries shopping a lot.

I just realized that I have gone to the grocery store every single day since I first arrived in Japan. I walk in, pick up a basket with the purpose to walk out with something really exciting, and always come out with a half empty basket and my regular stuff.

I’m not particularly a picky eater. On the contrary, I think I’m pretty open minded about food. I have always said that because I live in Toronto I have been exposed to flavours from every part of the world. Also my Mexican childhood gave me the opportunity to try some really interesting (if a little odd for some) food. If you want to learn more, wikipedia mole sauce and you will know what I mean.

Anyways my dilemma is not that I don’t like the food in Japan. I actually do enjoy it, and I always try everything at least once. My dilemma is that I don’t know what 85% of what they sell at the grocery store is. Some things I have never seen before, and some others I just simply don’t know how to cook them. During my first week I made dishes that I’m used to having at home, but I really want to try something new and exciting, except I can’t read anything!

I have literally walked behind people and looked at what they grab and then I pick it up myself and realize that I wouldn’t even know what to do with it. I was told that there are people who will give you tours of the grocery store and explain you what things are. I need to sign up for that.

If you know any good recipes please send them my way, my stomach will surely appreciate it!

Keeping you posted!

More Yukata Party Pictures!

Hi everyone!

I have received some extra pictures from the Yukata Party last Sunday and thought I’d share them with you.

Unfortunately by the time the last one was taken the bow was half undone. Anyways I hope you enjoy them and have a great weekend!!

049 - Copy056 - Copy

074075

Keeping you posted!

Previous Older Entries