Lesson 120: Visit Japan

Our vacation was 2 months ago and we came home to hit the ground running.

Luckily this blog has gotten much more traction with some friends at #TeachersCollege and #ColumbiaUniversity. That being said, I was embarassed to see my post about Japan never went through. My friend from China said something last week like “Hey I visited your blog and loved the Beijing photos but…what happened to the ones from Japan?”


Well, here we are several months later as I’m winding down the semester. You see, when you get a degree and decide to pursue teaching certification, your life becomes a sitcom…or is that just me?


To receive a specialty certification to work with adults and K-12 students in New York, you need to have two student teaching experiences–one in a K-6 and one in a 7-12 setting.


Well since you last saw me in Beijing, I have logged over 350 hours in a Kindergarten classroom, finished my thesis, and written probably one hundred pages of lesson plans and papers regarding second language acquisition in pre-pubescent children.


In that time, I also found myself raking in the airline miles as Alex and I ended up in Salt Lake City for a wedding (Congratulations Dean and Andrea!), back home for a bachelorette party (Love you, Andie!) and home on a separate trip for a bit of an emotional roller coaster of a surgery. I am emotionally exhausted.


Our trip to Japan at the end of August saved us. Had I gone straight from working full time and full time classes this summer into this semester–I would be–well–probably with pneumonia or something from being so worn down (but Alex and I totally didn’t escape–ask me about the construction at the Utah State Capital that fell onto me or the stomach bug we both had on a red-eye flight…have you ever actually used an airline barf bag? Don’t wish it upon yourself.)


So, much overdue, some photos from the end of summer…next up you can hear about a few more ‘ventures of Fall!


Tokyo Skyline with Mt. Fuji


Ishuien Garden, Nara

The Floating Shrine, Miyajima

The Atomic Bomb Dome: Hiroshima

Coffee Talk: Japan Travel Tips

  1. Absolutely get the JR Rail Pass
    Travel half the distance of California in 1.5 hours and do day trips you didn’t even think were possible! We saw so much of the country…also can be used for various metro lines!
  2.  Pack slip on shoes (but with grip!) for taking on and off at temples
  3. Drink. Enough. Water.
  4. Try Okonomiyaki–huge noodle pancakes that you cook in front of you on a grill! Our pick is Nagataya, in Hiroshima.
  5. Visit a Whiskey Distillery: Beautiful mountains and a free tasting? Perfect for those of us who aren’t crazy about Sake. We really loved visiting Nikka Distillery and the nearby city of Sendai.


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