I want to show you the little art project I did - custom framing for 3 robots that we picked up at the EMP museum in Seattle.
Framing can get very expensive, so first stop was IKEA. We got 3 of these metal frames, and taped them up.
The robots are silver, blue, and yellow with red accents. So since the frames were already silver, only 2 needed paint. We got metal spray paint and covered them outside. There weren't too many color choices at the craft store, so thankfully the yellow was pretty close to the robot color.
After letting them dry for a day (just to be sure) I removed the tape. For the background we chose a deep red paper. That paper and the robots themselves I measured and cut using the paper cutter at work. The hardest part was making sure they didn't get folded in the crowded train afterwards!
After double sided taping the red paper to the back and inserting, it was time to hang! They are now brightening up the kitchen :D


I was on Japanese TV!

Last Saturday, Marnie and I went to Shibamata, a traditional little area in Tokyo, to go eat some soba noodles. When we got there, there was a film crew inside and they asked us for an interview. I was a bit caught off guard, and I'm glad they only put a few seconds in.

You can watch in on the link below, just skip to 101 minutes in. She says it's her 7th time to eat there, and I say it has a very "soba-y" taste. I loved how they spun the quotes after we said them, very Japanese-y!

Watch it here


Kasai Rinkai Park

Back in January on a particularly nice day, Marnie and I took a bike ride over to Kasai Rinkai Park in Tokyo. It's about 1 hour to ride, mostly on a trail next to rivers and Tokyo Bay, so pretty relaxed. It's a huge park right on the water with an aquarium, ferris wheel, food stalls, flower garden, and lots of open space.

We stopped by the for the aquarium which had some really good tanks set-ups.
 Open top tank
 All anemone tank
 Great colors

 HUGE grouper

 Mirrors on top of the tanks
Round jellyfish tank

Afterwards, we went to a great little Mexican place nearby with awesome burritos and flautas, yum! Now that it's warmer, I hope to take more bike rides!


Winter Vacation

Back in December, I took a trip up north to visit some friends. We stayed at her place, and also an onsen hotel! There was lots more snow there up in the mountains than here, so it was pretty fun.

 It was a beautiful drive up there, just about 3 hours from Tokyo.

The city is in a valley, surrounded by these mountains. It makes for beautiful scenery!

We got a shuttle bus to our onsen hotel, which was hidden up in the mountains in a little village in a tiny valley. The place was very nice which Japanese style rooms. This is the courtyard outside with a very nice garden.

Here we are in our room, wearing yukata after a nice warm bath, being served an amazing dinner. There was tea, sashimi, pickles, fish, soup, tempura, all kinds of tasty things!

There was this extremely old cherry tree nearby the hotel at a shrine. It was beautifully lit up at night.

Here I am the next day, all ready to go snow shoeing for the first time!

We were in a great area with lakes of all different shades of blue and green water. Everywhere you looked was an awesome scene to take a picture of!

And before leaving, we stopped at a place called Round 1. They had all kinds of activities there: badminton, arcade games, bowling, tennis, archery, etc. But I was most excited to challenge the bull! It's just as hard as it looks haha

So that was my trip to Fukushima City and its Winter Wonderland. I hope I can get up there once more this winter~


Coco Farm Wine Festival

I ventured outside Tokyo last weekend into Tochigi for a wine festival, and it was a blast!

It was in Ashikaga, about an hour away on the train and then a shuttle out to the winery. When we arrived we got these handy little packages that sling around your neck, containing utensils, a wine glass, and a bottle opener. And got to keep it all for drinking more at home :) Then we each picked up a bottle of wine and some snackage.

The winery is up near the mountains running through the center of Japan, so it was on a huge hill. Climbing was a bit tricky, but there was a nice view once we settled down. Plus, the weather was spectacular; I was in short-sleeves all day!

You can't really see, but the whole hill was totally occupied by wine-drinkers.

This is the main building, for the festival at least. They were selling wine to take home, snacks, and there were many bands playing all throughout the day. There were acapella singers, jazz, acoustic, latin bands and even some flamenco dancers.

Mathilda and Marnie, and all of us, enjoyed a relaxing day outside the city. Would so go back next year!


End of the year

Hello there, so I realize I haven't posted in a long time, but some of that time I was visiting all of you! To come back I thought I would post a few pictures of the past year with students and at various events at Togaku.

From the school trip to Kamakura

Back from the Togaku School Festival in the English for Children Room
Some of the dancers

We dressed up for the Christmas Party :)

On the second field trip to Asakusa...
...where we had lunch on a boat...

...and sang karaoke! Holly and I doing our world-famous "Barbie Girl."

My team from the school softball tournament.

We did watermelon-smashing at the Tanabata event. I got it!

At our going-away party at Shara, an amazing little Italian place right by campus. We received lots of gifts and sweet notes from everyone

Teachers and faculty who came to our party, and many of my friends!

It was a good year :D I'm glad I still can see these people, and have actually last weekend when I went to this year's school festival. I'm also having fun hanging with the two new interns~


March Sakura

This year was my first experience of the sakura blossoms. I knew it was going to be great, but it was even more beautiful than I had imagined! There were many sakura trees on our campus, it was so nice.

Enjoy the blossoms~

Sky Tree through the trees

Looking over the Sumida River, which is lined by two parks full of sakura trees!

The pictures can't really capture it, so I hope you can come see them yourselves one day :) We can go to the park and have a picnic and do Hanami! I think my favorite part was near the end when the petals were falling. It was like it was snowing petals...aaahhhhhhhhhh