Monthly Archives: February 2011

Train Time

Ashley and Isaac are helping me show off the wonderful trains here. They look roomy, but don’t try riding them during the school hours of around 8am and 5ish pm. That’s when the students stampede.

As you can tell, every available bit of surface is used for advertising. The middle of the ceiling, the sides, even on the door. And the round rings are for holding onto when stopping, starting or going around a curve.

This train is a staple for going places, though Gunma is known at the most car driven prefecture in Japan.

Cool thing is, if the train is ever late for some reason, they’ll give out notes explaining why you’re late for work or school. But, there has to be an official reason.

Leave a comment

Posted by on 28/02/2011 in Functional Things


Tags: , , ,

Throw it on the BBQ

Awesome for lunch or dinner (though probably not breakfast) is grilled meat! Situated in the middle of the table is your grill, and then you have about 90 minutes to grab whatever meat you want; pork, beef, lamb, squid and chicken. Then, throw it on the BBQ, sit and chat. Turn it over with the tongs.

While waiting for it to cook, you can get other side dishes of pineapple, carrots, salads, fried shrimp, etc. (I’m not listing all the food, ’cause then I’ll be here all day 🙂 )

If you’re in Japan, try it! If you’re in Brazil or Korea, you’ve got some great BBQ yourself!

Leave a comment

Posted by on 27/02/2011 in Foods


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pizza Party!

Pizza in Japan is…interesting. If you eat it, then I hope you like mayo, corn and sometimes eggplant.

My favorite – Shrimp, Crab and stuffed crust

My husband’s favorite – Tuna, Corn and Mayo

And you’re looking at a Meat Mayo Pizza. I know you’re jealous. 🙂


Leave a comment

Posted by on 26/02/2011 in Foods


Tags: , , ,

Sports Day

Sports Days at my technical school, Shogyou. Each homeroom of 40 students are dressed in the shirts that they designed for competition in tennis, soccer, basketball and more. The kids really look forward to this day and it happens every year that there is NOT a school festival (so about twice every three years).  Normally happens in summer time too.

This is the gym and an interesting thing about it is that when the students all stand up to bow, the floor shakes. I asked a teacher about it and she said that because of earthquakes, it’s better that the floor can move a little bit. I’m good with that. 🙂

By the way, the color coded bags (by year) the kids have next to them contain their outside shoes.

Leave a comment

Posted by on 25/02/2011 in Fun Things!, School



Test Check

So apparently this week is going to be a school week. 🙂

The wonderful lady below is one of my co-teachers (or maybe I should say I’m her ALT). She puts up with my jokes, my questions, my whistling and my random hugs…but enough about her suffering. 😉

She’s at the window telling my other co-worker that the listening test is working fine in all the classrooms that she had to check. See, in Japan, the whole school takes tests at the same time. All the students…every classroom. But not always the same tests, since sometimes different classrooms are divided into their culture classes, i.e. Calligraphy, Music and Art.

I’m not sure which system I like better; taking all your tests within 3 days and leave school around 12…or have the teachers decide separately for each class when the tests will be, having the test and all other school work too.

So that resulted in this picture…checking the listening test (and then it’ll be time for me to ‘check’ the test).

Leave a comment

Posted by on 24/02/2011 in School


Tags: , ,

Elementary School


Sooo, elementary school. No uniforms, which is pretty different since both junior high and high school are in mandatory uniforms, public and private. Maybe it’s because kids grow so much at that age?

One thing that is mandatory are the school backpacks that you can see in this picture. One costs about $200, and the main colors are red for girls and black for boys. Sometimes, you can find it for a bit cheaper (I think Costco has it for about $150), and there are other colors like dark blue, light blue and pink.

And one of the best things about being an elementary school student in Japan? You can walk home from school.

There are no school buses, and at that age they’re not allowed to bike to school, so they walk in groups to and from their neighborhoods…which means that they can play on the playground until it’s time for dinner. 🙂

Or maybe it’s learning how to ride the unicycle during P.E.?

Leave a comment

Posted by on 23/02/2011 in School


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bitter Virgin

While looking through the books, right to left…Japanese, Japanese, Japanese, ooh, English! Bitter Virgin? Really?

Ah, Engrish. There are so many sayings around that aren’t Engrish, but have an unique category of their own. Maybe, Englishes? That could be a good name.

Bitter Virgin – book (as seen above)

I Shall Kill More Than You – hat (bonus points, it was on a elementary school kid)

Cum Here – shirt (seen in a used clothing store, and someone bought it the very next day)

Poon Patrol – hat (when explained to the girl who was wearing it, she decided to keep on wearing it since most Japanese people can’t understand it).

Smile and Punch – pen case (it has a smiley face…where is the punch?)

As you can see, nothing is specifically wrong here…they’re just odd. Amusing. Worth collecting. 🙂


Leave a comment

Posted by on 22/02/2011 in Engrish


Tags: , , , ,