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Sunday, January 18, 2015

January 2015

Hello Everyone!
It has been some time since I posted on this blog. I hope everyone is speaking English during your sessions with Kay. Here are some photos from our New Years' celebration! We went to Asakusa and Sumida City. The Tokyo Skytree shopping area was very crowded. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

YOU! Mind Mapping


The one person you know the best is YOU!  Begin listing the TOPICS
about you!

Create YOU the way you want others to see you. Begin with your
name and show the topics linked to your name.

My name is Nancy     

dance             music            art               school

family             books           friends         malls

My School Life
Nancy; Junior High School
music, art, books

My After School Life
Nancy; friends, malls, family, dance

My Name is Joseph

sports             music           outdoors      malls

family            friends          school          art

My School Life
Joseph: Junior High School
sports, music, art

My After School Life
outdoors, malls, friends

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

ECL Session @ Hagiyama

July 9th, 2014 ECL Session at Hagiyama

Super Typhoon Neoguri is on its way to our area (Kanto Plain).
A good website to keep track of this storm and others is

What's New?
Hmmm, I don't know. Aaaaah, not a good response. Everyone has something
to say. Small talk conversation is very important to further your fluency in English.
So how do you do this? You can try a mind map. Simply, draw a circle and write
in the middle of the circle "Small Talk" and then draw about three lines on each
side of the circle so it looks like the rays of the sun. Then on each line write
topics you are interested in like hobbies, sports, music, school, family, work.
After writing your topics, think about something you can say about each topic.
Make sentences by writing them down or remembering them. Now you are
prepared for a small talk conversation.

Mt. Mito
  • Mount Mitō
    Because it was forbidden to enter Mount Mitō during the Edo Period, there are still many forests of enormous beech trees.Mount Fuji and Mount Kumotori can be seen from the summit, and it attracts many visitors especially during autumn. It is one of the Three Mountains of Okutama.[5]

    Hinohara lies in the mountainous upper reaches of the Akigawa, a tributary of the Tama River. The highest point is the summit of Mount Mitō at 1528 m. 93% of its area is forest.

    The name Hinohara means the field or forest of Chamaecyparis obtusa. Formerly the trees were cut down to build wooden structures in Edo.

    Motoshuku, at the confluence of the north and south branches of the Akigawa, is the center of the village and is where the village offices are located.

    Mountains in Hinohara include Shōtō (990 m), Ichimichi (795 m), Kariyose (687 m), Usuki (842), and Ōdake (1267 m).

    Communities surrounding Hinohara are: to the east, Hachiōji and Akiruno and, to the north, (Okutama) in Tokyo; to the west,Fujino in Kanagawa Prefecture; and to the south, Uenohara in Yamanashi Prefecture.

    There are advantages and disadvantages of using a car navigation system.
    Good points and bad points of automobile Navigation Systems and GPS auto navigation systems and GPS devices are everyplace you turn in today and age. You can learn them in your auto, ship, plane, even in your purse ( if you've a PDA or mobile phone with GPS capabilities united with the right software and / or subscriptions ). 

    Author Spotlight
    Raymond Thornton Chandler (July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959) was a British-American novelist and screenwriter. In 1932, at age forty-four, Raymond Chandler decided to become a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Depression. His first short story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot", was published in 1933 inBlack Mask, a popular pulp magazine. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939. In addition to his short stories, Chandler published seven full novels during his lifetime (an eighth in progress at his death was completed by Robert B. Parker). All but Playback have been made into motion pictures, some several times. In the year before he died, he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. He died on March 26, 1959, in La Jolla, California.[1]

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

ECL Session June 11th, 2014

Announcement: Kathleen will be A Guest Teacher
on June 18th, June 25th, & July 2nd.

Do not stand at my grave and weep, by Mary Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep, 
I am not there, I do not sleep. 
I am in a thousand winds that blow, 
I am the softly falling snow. 
I am the gentle showers of rain, 
I am the fields of ripening grain. 
I am in the morning hush, 
I am in the graceful rush 
Of beautiful birds in circling flight, 
I am the starshine of the night. 
I am in the flowers that bloom, 
I am in a quiet room. 
I am in the birds that sing, 
I am in each lovely thing. 
Do not stand at my grave and cry, 
I am not there. I do not die.

Concert in Shibuya

Mariko Senju Classical Concert

Mariko Senju started to play violin at the age of 2 years and 3 months olds with Saburou Sumi, 奥裕子, and 鷲見康郎. At age 11 she continued to study with Toshiya Eto.

I would like to turn myself inside out to have contact with the instrument which came to me. Even if I spent the rest of my life on music, I don't think it would be enough. I have been trying to devote all my time to the violin."

Tea Ceremony @ the Irish Garden
June 11th T.V. Broadcast via J-Comm Cable

Kabuki at the National Theater

June performance

June 5 (Thu) - June 12 (Thu), 2014 Kyoto

vol.1 Don't understand Japanese?

Don't worry! You can get the English Earphone Guide (at selected theatres.) This service is easy to use and will provide information in English during the performance. In addition to the dialogue and lyrics, there is explanation about the stories, music, dance, properties and other aspects of Kabuki that may be difficult for non-Japanese visitors to understand. Comments are carefully timed to coincide with the action on stage. 

Multilingualism is the act of using polyglotism, or using multiple languages, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speakers. Multilingual speakers outnumbermonolingual speakers in the world's population.[1] Multilingualism is becoming a social phenomenon governed by the needs of globalization and cultural openness.[2] Owing to the ease of access to information facilitated by the Internet, individuals' exposure to multiple languages is becoming increasingly frequent thereby promoting a need to acquire additional languages.

People who speak several languages are also called polyglots.[3]

Japan World Cup Schedule

6/13: Opening Ceremony @ 3am  & First Game @ 5am

6/15: Japan vs Ivory Coast @ 10am Japan Standard Time (JST)

6/20: Japan vs. Greece @ 7am

6/25: Japan vs. Columbia @ 5am

Japanese housewife creates clever inflatable umbrella for tots

One of the reasons that I really like writing about Japan is that there is a steady flow of awesome design concepts from here that few other countries can match. Some of them are incredibly simple and elegant, and My 1st Umbrella is a perfect example of this.

Umbrellas can be terribly and pokey dangerous items, especially for kids, and parents might be concerns about children getting sharp parts in their eye, or jamming their fingers in the moving components. So one clever Japanese entrepreneur has come up with an absolutely brilliant solution. Her inflatable umbrellas are great for young children, as they are light, easy to carry, and most of all, entirely safe. It looks almost like a bath toy, in fact.

Another clear advantage is portability. One umbrella can be deflated in about ten seconds, quickly folded up and put into a bag or purse.

Interestingly the creator of the product, Hiroko Yoshida, used to be a housewife, and is now the CEO of My1st. So far her umbrella has been featured on Japanese TV and on the popular publication Nikkei Trendy.

If you would like to pick one up for your own little one, My 1st Umbrella is available at various retailers around Japan.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

ECL Session June 4th, 2014 @ Hagiyama

iThank you Hiroshi for the great feast for our group last Friday!

A Bus Stop Story
Mountain Climbing in Kanagawa
famous for Kintaro well known
in Japanese culture of Doll's Day.

Following a Guide Book I went 
to a hot springs by bus. The bus route
is serviced by the Highway Bus and the
local bus line. I walked to the next two
bus stops not knowing that it's a long
walk between the stops for one hour
as I was descending two buses passed

I stayed in a Shizuoka and Kanagawa Prefecture
border Hot Springs for 30 minutes.

Hakone Travel: Lake Ashinoko

From Odawara and Hakone-Yumoto

Frequent buses connect Odawara via Hakone-Yumoto with Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi at the southern end of Lake Ashinoko. The one way journey from Odawara takes about 50 minutes and costs 1180 yen. From Hakone-Yumoto it takes about 35 minutes and costs 960 yen. The Hakone Free Pass is valid on Hakone Tozan buses (bus line H) but not on Izuhakone buses (bus line Z).

There is also a frequently served Hakone Tozan Bus line from Odawara via Hakone-Yumoto to Togendai at the northern end of Lake Ashinoko (bus line T). The one way journey from Odawara takes about 50 minutes, costs 1230 yen and is covered by the Hakone Free Pass. From Hakone-Yumoto it takes about 35 minutes and costs 1050 yen.

A slow and scenic way of approaching Lake Ashinoko from Odawara or Hakone-Yumoto is taking the Hakone Tozan Railway to Gora, followed by a cablecar and ropeway ride to Togendai at the northern end of of the lake. From Togendai one can continue by sightseeing boat to Moto-Hakone or Hakone-machi. The whole journey is covered by the Hakone Free Pass.

From Yugawara

There are infrequent buses from Yugawara Station to Hakone-machi and Moto-Hakone (operated by Hakone Tozan and Izuhakone). The one way journey from Yugawara to Moto-Hakone takes 45-60 minutes and costs 1290 yen. The Hakone Free Pass is valid on Hakone Tozan buses but not on Izuhakone buses.

From Atami

There are buses (operated by Izuhakone Bus) from Atami Station to Hakone-machi every hour. The one way journey takes about 60 minutes and costs 1180 yen. The Hakone Free Pass is not valid on Izuhakone buses.

From Mishima

There are buses from Mishima Station to Hakone-machi and Moto-Hakone (bus line N, operated by Numazu Tozan Tokai Bus) every hour. The one way journey from Mishima to Moto-Hakone takes about 50 minutes and costs 1030 yen. The Hakone Free Pass is valid on these buses.

From Gotemba

There are two buses per hour between Gotemba Station and the northern and eastern shores of Lake Ashinoko (bus lines V and W, operated by Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus). The one way journey from Gotemba to Togendai takes about 30 minutes and costs 1020 yen. TheHakone Free Pass is valid on these buses.

Akao Herb & Rose Garden 
irorichaya Japanese Inn

Atami is famous for it's dry fish. Irorichaya can give you a sample of three different kinds of dry fish in one of their lunch set. One person said My wife ordered horse mackerel rice with tea which is also their signature dish during day time. BBQ dry fish is excellent. Horse mackerel is not as good as we expected. 

Akao Herb and Rose Garden

This is a sort of "secret" garden located an hour outside of Tokyo about 15 minutes from Atami shinkansen station. They have an incredible amount of roses and other flowers there. They also have the biggest bonsai tree you'll ever see....

They drive you up to the top of the mountain in a little bus and then you walk down the mountain thru many different types of gardens. 

If you time it in late April/early May you will see all the spring flowers blooming like crazy. Late May/June is full-blow rose garden blossoms.

If you time it right once a year they have a cos-play day where Japanese people who are into dressing up as nurses or Goldilocks or other unusual people are dressed up and wandering around the garden. It is really strange but fun to see it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

ECL Sessions for June 2014

June 4th, 11th, & 18th @ Hagiyama
June 25th @ Fujimi (Yasaka Station)

ECL Session May 28,2014 @ Hagiyama

Today's Topics:

A High School Reunion with a difference
May 20th - 21st an Unofficial Reunion with friends
one teacher attended who is now 91 years old.
Total members attend were 25.

We departed Tokyo and reached Ueno Station
where we boarded a mini-bus. We stopped
at Ogawa Town where you can see the Japan
Alps, Odo Kogan Higlands we had lunch. Kinasawa Village
was our next stop. We went to Susahana Kyo Spa
to take a bath. We stayed at a Pension Lodge
which is a Japanese style Inn. Following our
stay at the Pension Lodge we went to a good
health rest area known.  Zen Kogi was another
stop and enjoy. Daira Station was our final

Nagano is known for longevity beyond 99
but in the early100s. 

Vertigo (from Wikipedia)

Our Privacy Policy is changing on 6 June 2014. To learn more, click here.
Not to be confused with acrophobia, an extreme or irrational fear of heights.

Vertigo /ˈvɜrtɨɡ/ (from the Latin vertō "a whirling or spinning movement"[1]) is a subtype ofdizziness in which a patient inappropriately experiences the perception of motion (usually a spinning motion) due to dysfunction of the vestibular system.[2][3][4] It is often associated withnausea and vomiting as well as a balance disorder, causing difficulties with standing or walking. There are three types of vertigo. The first is known as objective[5][6] and describes when the patient has the sensation that objects in the environment are moving. The second type of vertigo is known as subjective[5][6] and refers to when the patient feels as if he or she is moving. The third type is known as pseudovertigo,[7] an intensive sensation of rotation inside the patient's head. While this classification appears in textbooks, it has little to do with the pathophysiology or treatment of vertigo.

Dizziness[8] and vertigo are common medical issues and affect approximately 20%-30% of the general population.[9][10] Vertigo can occur in people of all ages. The prevalence of vertigo rises with age and is about two to three times higher in women than in men.[4][9] It accounts for about 2-3% of emergency department visits.[4] The main causes of vertigo are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo,[8][11][12] Ménière's disease,[8][12] vestibular neuritis,[8][12] andlabyrinthitis,[12] but may also be caused by a concussion,[3] a vestibular migraine[12] orvertiginous epilepsy.[13] Excessive consumption of ethanol (alcoholic beverages) can also cause symptoms of vertigo. Repetitive spinning, as in familiar childhood games, can induce short-lived vertigo by disrupting the inertia of the fluid in the vestibular system; this is known as physiologic vertigo.[14]

Sumo Tickets

Went to see Sumo and picked up some chocolate snacks.

Grandmother teaches Grandson English
to motivate him to learn English in
Junior High School and have a positive

Tora ga Ame
Japanese (1797 - 1858)
Station 9 -- Tora's Rain at ôiso (ôiso, Tora-ga-ame), from the series Fifty-three Stations of the Tôkaidô (Tôkaidô gojûsan-tsugi no uchi), Late Edo period, circa 1833-1834
Transliterated Title: Tôkaidô gojûsan-tsugi no uchi: ôiso, Tora-ga-ame