Blogs from Tokushima, Japan, Asia


Asia » Japan » Tokushima July 29th 2017

Ein schöner Tag, heiß und schwül. Japan ist Land 21 auf der Liste und ich habe mich gleich wieder in dieses Land verliebt. Der gestrige Tag war eher zäh. Die Fähre kam aus Wladiwostok und war viele Stunden verspätet. Obwohl sie sich in der Nacht offenbar sehr beeilt hat, waren wir immer noch mehrere Stunden verspätet. Eigene Einreise. Dann MR aus dem Schiff holen. Fotos von Besitzer mit MR und dann von Fahrgestellnummer. Dann mit Taxi zum japanischen ADAC. Mein Führerschein musste übersetzt werden und sämtliche Carnets beglaubigt werden. Es könnten ja Fälschungen sein!!!!! Es klingt alles reibungslos aber zwischen den einzelnen Schritten waren jeweils lange Wartezeiten. Und es war heiß und schwül... Heute fuhren wir dann auf der Hauptinsel Kyushu die SW Küste entlang. Und waren völlig frustriert. Japaner fahren seeeehr langsam. Über weite Strecken ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokushima » Naruto May 2nd 2017

i had heard about this museum before,but being an art snob, wasn't partcularly interested in seeing a museum of fake artworks,replicas.But a year or so ago, i was in hospital in tokushima, and had a day to kill.When we talk about replicas,we usually think about scaled down pieces,but this is something else;full sized exact replicas of eveything from the last supper to Guernica,withe Van Gogh sunflowers and all in between. which is not to say its just the canonical cliches, for there are 1,000 pieces in between. Most Art lovers know the difference between an artwork printed in a book and the real thing,,and due to a special chemical process we won't go into,because I don't understand it,these replicas are as close to the real thing as you can get. When i mentioned I had a ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokushima » Tokushima April 17th 2017

Japan Day 5. Tokushima to Hiwasa. 70km. Three cheers for Carradice capes. The heavens opened for business at 11 o'clock in Japanese fashion and got worse and worse as the day progressed. Not that we regret this trip to Japan as we still love it, despite the vagaries of the weather. Two years ago. Christine made the phrase, "I love Japan, I'll be back" and here she is with 15 others who have either been before, or will certainly return. Early on as we left Tokushima the day was cloudy but warm and dry. We rode through several pedestrian streets with no one around and no shops open, and later sawmills not working - is it a holiday? Easter Monday at home but not in a Buddhist country. We followed rivers for most of the day, ... read more
Pilgrim chanting
Power Station

Asia » Japan » Tokushima December 21st 2012

A final posting to wrap up our autumn trip. Whilst most would know that we are now all safely home and that we had a wonderful time somethign about the wonders of the Island of Shikoku are needed to complete our story. From Okayama we went by ferry to Naoshima (the Art Island) a small island in the Seto Inland Sea. An inspired project, funded by the Fukutake family (publishers of Benesse educational materials), took an island with diminishing industry and aging population and created the Benesse Art site. This produced an utterly new type of space and experience by setting contemporary art and architecture amidst the beauty of nature and inside unused village houses. We visited the main sites including Chichu Art Museum, where "Water Lilies" by Claude Monet, works by James Turrell and Walter ... read more
Chichu Museum Naoshima
View along the Seto Sea
Brian, Gail and Val at Chichu

Asia » Japan » Tokushima November 24th 2012

Day 8 We had an even earlier start to the day, as we needed to set off to catch a ferry to the next island. Breakfast was on the top floor of the hotel, which they had open early for us. It was even more Japanese than usual, and we find the concept of a tray and plastic plate a little odd. We managed some toast and fruit, but there was no yogurt, and the egg that I was going to try turned out to be raw rather than hard boiled. We met in the lobby, and set out for the ferry. On the way, we went through countless tunnels - all of which have a name - and through mountainous regions and again, the autumn colours were outstanding. We were on time for the ferry, ... read more
Huge sandal attached to entrance door
Putting money into the sandal to bring good luck.
Small Sandals left attached to gate

Asia » Japan » Tokushima » Tokushima July 20th 2011

Here I am in the teachers' room at my commercial high school with a beautiful bouquet of pink lilies propped up on my desk. School's officially out for summer, but the copier is still humming and people are shuffling around busy with I'm not sure what, tying up loose ends I suppose. In exactly one week, someone else will be sitting at this desk, living in my apartment and introducing herself to my coworkers, many of whom I can now call friends. Life is a constant series of goodbyes (although I'm not very good at them), but goodbye feels especially unsettling without at least the possibility of running into people at the grocery store. This is goodbye to not only the school and the town, but the country, the continent and the hemisphere. Forever. Surprisingly, I ... read more
Goodbye Friends
Goodbye Students

Asia » Japan » Tokushima » Tokushima July 8th 2011

I wrote this article for Awa Life, the newsletter for JETs in Tokushima Prefecture, which came out today: Six Japanese men in cowboy hats, vests and plaid flannel shirts, a group by the name of Cabin Home, fiddled, strummed and jammed away Typhoon Songda’s howling winds as they took the stage on Sunday, May 29th. I was an attendee of the fifth semi-annual Tokushima Bluegrass Festival, supporting Fumio Fukui-sensei, the machinery and electromechanical systems teacher at my technical high school. After eight months of working together, he had finally shared his secret with me: not only is he fluent in English, but he also plays and sings country, bluegrass and folk music. “ is very simple and easy,” Fukui-sensei told me. “Everyone can play and sing, but it is very deep. Bluegrass and country music has ... read more
Cabin Home, the first performers of the day
Fumio Fukui, a.k.a. Dr. F

Asia » Japan » Tokushima » Naruto June 29th 2011

Sorry about the poor title pun but I didn't want to write another title bemoaning the weather conditions. After a 3 hour ferry ride I made it to Matsuyama and I don't think I have ever been on a ferry for that length of time let alone one with no seats. It was quite a pleasant way to spend the journey, sprawled out on my bit of floor and sleeping the journey away like the rest of my fellow passengers. Matsuyama is home to a castle which overlooks the town and a luxury public bath with different pricing options depending on which bath and which post bathing refreshments you pick (it all sounded very complicated). The rain continued on and off but did let up for long enough to allow enough time to visit the castle ... read more
Tera Tera Bozu

Asia » Japan » Tokushima » Tokushima June 9th 2011

My latest pursuits are in the physical realm, and have transformed my uggh-the-week-is-only-half-over Wednesdays into super-awesome-four-hour-work-out Wednesdays. Yes, four hours of working out in one day, starting at 5:30 am. I don't recognize myself, either. It all starts with a 45 minute bike ride to the farther of my two schools. Happily, this is just the right time for me to plow through morning excercises in the park (as an observer, not a participant). Many Japanese people, especially elderly Japanese people, enjoy waking up at dawn everyday to do taiso, an excercise involving matching track suits and piano music. I'm not trying to poke fun at the Japanese exercise regiment, but it does brighten my day to see everyone lined up in the park taiso-ing at six in the morning. At seven, I'm in my high ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokushima » Tokushima May 20th 2011

At my latest work party, my high school's kendo (sword fighting) coach invited me to meditate with the team at a local temple. Twice a month, as part of their training, they practice Zazen medition, which comes from Chinese Zen Buddhism. At first I was just excited to have such a unique experience, and didn't think about how difficult it might be to sit motionless for half an hour. But when the moment arrived on Thursday night, with incense burning and monks ringing bells, I started to get a little nervous. We had already been sitting cross legged on the floor for about 15 minutes, which is a long time for someone with poor circulation who's used to sitting on furniture. We (and by we I mean everyone else in the room except for me) were ... read more

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