Monday, February 28, 2005


Today the 3rd year students graduated and the hairdressers must have been flat-tack on the weekend.

I knew I should have got my haircut!

I swear most of the teachers must have visited the hairdressers that weekend because everyone was glammed up to the max! Even in a suit I felt a little under dressed as one teacher (although it could be because he was a 3rd year homeroom teacher) had his hair dyed, cut, slicked and was in a tux! Very impressed!

There were no classes, just a graduation ceremony held in the school gym. Although I could hardly understand the speeches, the overall feel of the ceremony was one of vanilla warm fuzziness on a spring morning.

There was also NHK film crews and journalists in attendence which I thought was quite odd. But it was later explained to me that this year was the first year of graduating students involved in the "Environmental protection and natural disaster mitigation" course. Apparently Maiko High School is the ONLY school in Japan to offer this course. Not bad.

As the graduating students exited the gym, the teachers formed two rows and clapped as the students walked out. It was such a great atmosphere. Students were smiling, parents were proud, even some teachers were tearing, a few girls were uncontrolably sobbing, even some boys were openly crying and then there were some who shouted for joy and did a victory jig as they bid their high school goodbye.

After the ceremony I went upstairs to the 3rd year floor and took photos with the students.

The teachers were also provided with a boxed lunch. Yummo! It included adzuki bean rice which is eaten on special occasions.

*sniff* I'm going to miss my 3rd year oral communication class - they were such a great lot.

Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello

O-bento Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 27, 2005

More visitors!

Before the tears could dry, I had two more visitors from back home.

Loreen and Felix came down my end of Japan and stayed for a few nights. They are on their way to London to do the whole working/holiday thing that most aussies do and decided to drop by Japan.

They arrived in Tokyo to check out the sights and stayed with Rui for a few nights. Then they shinkansen-ed (bullet train) it to Kobe. It was really good to have them here. They helped keep my mind off missing Brendon and I had fun catching up with them. Thanks guys!

Armed with their trusty Lonely Planet guidebook and hardcore-to-the-max itinerary, they managed to check out quite a few places, castles and temples. After school we'd meet up for dinner. We went out for Kobe beef and Izakaya - definately a must, and to Polo Dog where we bumped into some Awaji JETs.

On Saturday I joined them for a trek around Osaka. We went up to the Umeda Sky Building for the amazing view of Osaka. We didn't end up going to Osaka-jo (castle) because it was cold and rainy and SNOWING!! Plus after Kyoto, I think they were pretty castled/templed out.

Thanks guys for coming, I hope you guys had fun! Sorry if I was still emotionally raw but I really appreciate you guys helping me get back into the swing of things. I've already started thinking about all the old skool songs I'm going to put on my soon-to-be-purchased ipod mini hehe Have a safe flight and all the best for your adventures in the UK. Keep in touch! xox

Me, Loreen & Felix at Izakaya in Sanners Posted by Hello

Sky buffet Posted by Hello

Loreen & me going up the Umeda Sky Building Posted by Hello

Floating Observatory Posted by Hello

Felix, Loreen & the okonomiyaki Posted by Hello

Us and the sumos in Osaka!! Posted by Hello

Shirokiya Izakaya Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 20, 2005

One month already

Well it's been one month already. *sigh*

Yes, it's flown by and yes, I'm going to be a wreck!

Sleeping in is so good. We stayed home today and Brendon tried to pack all his shopping and stuff into his suitcase. He's taking one of my sports bags home because he's got too much stuff. hehehe

We headed to the Sky Buffet for dinner tonight. Just a quiet dinner with a great view. It was so nice just to relax but I knew that this great time with having Brendon over here would have to come to an end.

After dinner we took some crazy picture stickers then went home for last minute packing.

Woke up at 7am and made our way to Sanners to catch the airport limousine bus. The last time I was on one to Kansai International Airport I was on my way home. This time the emotions were totally backwards. Brendon managed to get his luggage through and we just sat waiting till it was time for him to go in to immigration.

My eyes are all puffy and coming home to an empty apartment was the worse feeling. Everything reminds me of what we did together. Cooking together, watching TV together, sitting on the floor looking at our shopping spoils together. I really miss home now.

Brendon - thank you so much for coming and visiting me. I really appreciate everything you did for me and for putting up with me, looking after me when I was sick, doing the washing and ironing, making me laugh, the little surprises...everything! I miss you so much already. I hope you had a safe flight back and I can't wait to see you again.


Sky Buffet Posted by Hello

Friday, February 18, 2005

Eating way too much

After school we went out to eat at the restaurant I went to with my 3rd year teachers.
Very tasty herb chicken and pasta. I can't wait for it to heat up again because I'm sick of this cold weather!

When it's this cold I don't want to leave my all! Once inside the shops or restaurants it's okay, but all the travelling and walking you have to do is freezing! So jealous right now of Perth's hot weather!

On Friday night we headed to Osaka's Den Den Town so Brendon could get a digital camera.

Afterwards we met up with Chieko. She wasn't able to make it to the Izakaya get together because of work. We went to this Italian restaurant called "To The Herbs" in Namba. It was so good! We each had pastas and shared a Caesar salad, pizza and dessert. I felt so sick because I ate way too much.

I guess when Brendon goes, it'll be back to eating for one again. *sigh*

At "To The Herbs" Posted by Hello

Me & Chieko Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


I went to school today but my head was still sore. I can't believe that I still don't feel better after all that sleeping I did!

After my one class today, they said I could go home.

That night my host student had arranged a reunion get together Izakaya so they could meet Brendon and I could meet up with other students who had been on the exchange.

It was so good to see them all again. I couldn't believe how much we all had changed. I didn't have any drinks and just ate a bit but the boys really got on well with Brendon and they drank heaps! Most of them are on uni holidays so they kept the drinks coming. The girls are gorgeous and just as friendly. One of them is getting married next week!!

Although I didn't feel all that good, I still had a good night and was really glad Brendon had fun too. He was quite tipsy and slept on the train home. He was so funny.

The gang Posted by Hello

The boys Posted by Hello

The girls Posted by Hello

Monday, February 14, 2005


Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

Hope your day was filled with commercialism and chocolate. haha I won't rant on about what I think about this Hallmark holiday, as most of you probably already know, but if you do have a loved one I do hope you had a great day doing something special or not so special - as long as it was together.

I was still sick from Kinosaki and felt like crap all day at school. I should have gone home but I thought I'd stick it out. My head was so sore and my fever wasn't going away. So after school I went to the doctors and got some anti biotics. I didn't feel up to it to go out for dinner so we stayed at home and Brendon made me chicken corn soup! My favourite! It was so delicious!

I didn't go to work the next day because I was still so sick. I felt bad being sick while Brendon was here and he had to look after me. Thanks so much sweetie! You're the best! xox

Lucky me! Posted by Hello

My tulips Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 13, 2005


This friday is Foundation Day, another glorious public holiday!

So after my classes on Thursday I went home early and we made a 3 hour train ride to Kinosaki. Kinosaki is a little town very north of Hyogo. It's famous for it's onsens - hot springs (they have 7) and crabs!

My mate Jon lives up there and is the only foreigner there besides any other tourists. So basically everyone in town knows him and vice versa. He so kindly organised for us to stay in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese style inn, complete with crab dinner and traditional breakfast.

The place we stayed at was so nice! I'm really glad Brendon got to experience it. Tatami room, paper sliding doors, futons, yukatas - the whole shibang! Jon joined us for the crab dinner and it was a feast!!! Pretty much crab everything. I've never eated so much crab before that I felt so sick. After getting cleaned up in the ryokan's own onsen we met up with Jon at his local Shot Bar, run by the very talented and nice Yamaguchi-san. Cocktails and snacks were tasty and the karaoke box even got a hammering. Yes *sigh* Brendon and I even poorly attempted 'Land down under'.

Next day we had an amazing breakfast served in our room and it was snowing. This was the first time Brendon got to see proper snow! We headed to Jon's place and I stayed there to rest up while Jon took Brendon for a quick tour of the town. I had a fever and was feeling tired and down with the flu. We headed for lunch and went up the Kinosaki ropeway to the local temple. The view was gorgeous and we made our very first snowmen!

We went out for chinese for dinner then headed back to Jon's place. There we met up with some other JET's who live in neighbouring towns, Chris, Jason, Luke and Andy. We headed to the Shot Bar again for some more drinks and karaoke. I headed back earlier because I was still feverish while the boys continued on.

Next morning we all headed to Sento no yu onsen and relaxed. After a last tour of Kinosaki and omiyage buying, Brendon and I headed home because I felt too crap. Damn flu!

Thank you shout out to Jon! Thanks matey - you were the best tour guide, thanks for your hospitality, organising our ryokan and letting us crash! Domo arigatou gozaimasu!

Ryokan - traditional Japanese style inn Posted by Hello

Crab dinner Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello

In our yukata Posted by Hello

Japanese breakfast Posted by Hello

Kinosaki Posted by Hello

Snow! Posted by Hello