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Tag Archives: Culture of Japan

Toyota City – Days 5 and 6

The staff at the elegant Shinagawa Prince Hotel in Tokyo was helpful and friendly. I will miss Tokyo.  It’s a happening city — very much like what I envision New York City, where I’d like to visit one day.

Saynonara Tokyo!

Day 5

Going on a ride in the Shinkansen (bullet train) was a lot like flying in a plane, except everyone must board in 60 seconds or you are left behind!

What a cool experience! We zoomed all the way to Toyota City in 2 1/2 hours; by car this would take about three times longer!

Mount Fuji was spectacular! This picture doesn’t do it justice since we were going too fast, but we could see it from our seats.  It was a bit surreal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Family, travel, Uncategorized

 

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Domo Arigato – 6 days to go!

It’s over 6,000 miles from here to Tokyo!  As I finish getting ready for my AMAZING trip, I can’t help but think about all the Japanese families who make the 6,000 + mile trip to America AND put their kids in our schools.  Think about it.  You travel that many miles and (jet-lagged) are expected to acclimate to American culture and schools — not to Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Countdown to Japan Adventure

I still can’t believe it!! In only five weeks, I’m heading to Japan for a homestay with a Japanese family, sightseeing in Tokyo, Toyota CityHiroshima and Kyoto and teaching English to fifth and sixth graders.  It’s part of the International Educators to Japan program, as explained in a previous post.
In preparation for my visit, I’m learning about the Japanese culture and a little of the language. Fortunately, many friends and family have been to Japan and have advice for me.  Here are just a handful of their interesting tips:
  • don’t look people straight in the eye — it’s rude
  • change into a different pair of slippers before entering into someone’s bathroom
  • carry baby wipes or handkerchief for washing hands in public bathrooms
  • have lots of business cards handy and let the other person hand theirs to you first to avoid rudeness
  • bow, only slightly, when meeting someone
In anticipation of my trip, I’ve posted some Japanese pictures on Pinterest of the places I’ll visit.  It all looks so beautiful, but believe it or not, what I look forward to the most is meeting the Japanese people and embracing their culture.  My brother-in-law lives there so I’ll be meeting up with him.  Also, one of my ELL students will be there during my visit and I plan to see him and his family.
I feel so honored to be chosen for this Japanese adventure.  I’m the only one from my entire school district and one of eight participants coming from Metro Detroit.
The countdown begins today! Woohoo!
 
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Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Teaching, travel

 

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Konnichi wa

I can’t believe it! I was selected to go to Japan this summer as part of an international educators to Japan program!!! This includes a home stay, sight seeing and school visits. During the school visits, I will observe their classroom as well as teach a lesson to the Japanese students. I’m a little nervous but keep reminding myself that I already teach ELL kids and it should be similar. Right? 🙂 I feel so honored to be part of this program and will post my thoughts on my blog as the days get closer and of course, during the two-week trip.

How did this happen? First, I attended a Japanese School Open House — pretty amazing stuff — and learned about the IEJ program. Then, I was recommended by my school principal and submitted an essay about why I should be selected.  I’m pretty blessed because they received applications from all over the world and they picked me! Woohoo!

We will be about 30 participants in the 2011 program — from Michigan, California, Georgia, Texas, Oregon, Canada, UK and Belgium. I can’t wait to meet everyone.

So — how do I prepare for this (other than updating my passport)? Well — I decided I want to learn as much as I can about the Japanese culture, the country and the language prior to the visit. So far, I’ve learned a little Japanese etiquette (from AT&T On Demand) and I’ve checked out a number of library books and programs.  Of course, I’m not going to be fluent by summer, but something is better than nothing, right?

Just today, I received a tentative schedule and it looks like I’ll start out in Tokyo,  go to Hiroshima and then end up in Kyoto.  I plan to meet up with my brother-in-law who lives near Kyoto. It’s wonderful that I have family in Japan who I’ll get to visit.  So excited!!

So….today’s word of the day is Konnichi wa — hello.  Simple, but it’s a start.

If you’ve traveled to Japan, post your advice here!

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2011 in Family, kids, Teaching, travel, Writing

 

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