Friday, 25 November 2011


Sorry for the lack of photos but I'm kind of stealing internet on my phone to write this and no laptop internet available here!
So I've been in Nagoya a week now. First we spent 3 days here settling in and meeting people (some lovely people, some idiots. Luckily the other people who'll be living near us are awesome!). We wandered around a lot, had a crazy kareoke night and are lots of good food.
Training started monday, and despite all the warnings about it being "intense", it's mostly been pretty basic boring stuff really, although we have been really busy (partly due to lots of time spent hunting out yummy food!). Peppy just want you to follow their curriculum really so there's not too much lesson planning. Lot easier than the other bits of EFL teaching I've done!
I'm really looking forward to getting to Sendai and getting properly settled into life here. It'll be lovely to have my own apartment, and to be able to get involved in Japanese life a bit more! Only 10 days, and meanwhile I'm making the most out of my time here :D

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

We made it

I took 1 car ride, 2 plane journeys, 2 trains and 1 walk and then, 30 hours later we arrived :D

We showered and headed out to wander around Osaka. It's way nicer than I expected, having read a lot of bad things about it. We are in some little back streets, which are full of little restaurants. We found a katsu place and had a yummy dinner. Thankfully they provided us with an English menu...the little bit of Japanese we've learnt was not working after 30 hours on the go. The lovely waitress even showed us how to mix our sauce and what to do. I love the Japanese already!

After a rather jet lagged sleep, we walked to 大阪城, or Osaka castle. It was really pretty and peaceful. We loved all the cute Japanese primary school kids wandering around with matching hats on! So excited that we'll be teaching super cute kids soon! A lot of them looked as us like we were aliens though, and since we only saw 2 other foreigners all day, that perhaps isn't surprising!

Even better, a random Japanese man biked past us, was very excited and after a lot of 'Good morning' 'Hello', 'Australia? English, ohh, English!' and a lot of manic handshakes, he collared some random passing teenager and made us be in a photo with him. He was very VERY excited to see us, but Osaka is a fairly large place with a large gaijin (foreigner) community and quite a lot of tourists, so he must of seen plenty of Westeners before. Strange, but it did make us both smile!

In the evening, we met up with Eric, one of the people we will be training with next week. He was really friendly, and, having lived in Japan for a year already, was able to take us to a very yummy 29th floor okinomiyaki restaurant and order for us stress free. Lovely.

On Wedneday, we had fun walking around a reconstruction of an Edo village at the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living, dressed in kimonos. 

We then had a good long fight with our bags and the train (too many bags) and finally got to our hotel in Kyoto where we had a good long relax before wandering around and eating ramen for dinner. Yum.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

It's that time...



3 hours in the car, 3 hours at the airport (Gatwick for those who care), 7 hours on plane 1, 2 hours in Dubai airport, 9 hours on plane 2, and then we should be in Japan.

That's the plan anyway. Let's hope it all goes that smoothly!

I've had a lovely last few days - went to the pub with friends on thursday, still been spending lots of time chatting to my Mum and Dad and yesterday it was our Susie and Stacey day, shopping, lunch out, pic'n'mixing it up, quick trip to Sharon's house, Just Dance, baking smartie cookies :D Going to miss you Stace!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Lovely People

Last night I had a whole mix of people over to say goodbye to me. Lots of nibbles and drinks and chats and hugs.

Thanks everyone for coming!

Thursday, 10 November 2011


I am so excited about going to Japan, but I really love my home too.

This week I'm really making the most of being at home for the last time in a long time!

Lots of chats and relaxing with my parents, making cakes, spending as much time as possible with my best friend Stacey and just generally enjoying the quiet life at home.

All interspersed with periods of craziness of organising to go away of course! Packing is coming on now, and I've at least thought about some of the useful stuff. It's a start anyway!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Really? Only 5 days left. Oh dear.

Things I have done - 
Made a packing list
Bought almost everything I need to
Booked flights
Planned our first weeks holiday
Read excessive amounts about fun things to do in Sendai and Japan generally
Procrastinated severely

Things I have not done - 
Unpacked (having moved everything back home after living at work for the last 6 months)
Packed the difficult things
Got a doctors note (although it is coming soon)
Sorted out tax
Sorted out student loan
Got photos printed to stick up around my room/show people
Organised health insurance
Bought my last few bits
Made my room usable by my family and tided away things to prevent them accumulating dust excessively

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

And our location is...

After years of wanting to go to Japan, many months of applying for jobs, many more months of waiting to hear our location from iTTTi (Peppy Kids Club), we finally know where in Japan we're going.

And our location is... Sendai, Miyagi prefecture.

We've known this was possible for a while. Peppy Kids Club are reopening schools in and around Sendai this month after the earthquake and tsunami in March, and the after effects of it, mainly because they've just reduced the exclusion zone around Fukushima. Since my boyfriend John and I asked to be placed near each other, and they were placing 4 teachers in Sendai, we thought this might be our placement. But it is nice to have it confirmed!

We're going in 13 DAYS! Argh! Then a weeks travel in Osaka and Kyoto, 2 weeks training in Nagoya, and we'll be in Sendai on the 5th December (which happens to be our 4th anniversary!). EXCITING!

Apparently Sendai is a lovely city, at 1 million people it's small enough not to scare a country girl like me, but hopefully large enough to fulfil my idea of Japanese city life! It's meant to be a real student city, which hopefully means they'll be lots going on and lots of people to meet!

But despite being very excited to live in a big city for the first time ever, I am also very happy to hear there are also lots of out of town day/weekend resorts, hiking hills, onsens, etc. Lovely.

As for the wider, living in a completely new, alien country side of brain can't comprehend that yet. Too much to think about. Very excited and daunted. I don't think I'll know that til I've been there a while!