Where will I go next?


It has been a few months since my last blog post so here's an update on what I've been up to.

A few weekends ago myself and another teacher, Dallas, decided to get away from Shunan and take a weekend break to Busan in South Korea. It was a place both of us had been wanting to visit since we came, and so we booked the short 45 minute plane journey from Fukuoka and off we went!

When we arrived we were both happy to be back in the city and close to the beach. It was lovely to also meet up with friends and enjoy the new experiences of exploring a brand new place. We ate delicious food, visited some of the tourist attractions and walked along the beach. Although the weather was a little rainy, it was still an enjoyable weekend. 

Here are a few photo highlights from the trip 

Dallas and I posing in front of the sign of Haeundae Beach in Busan

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple by the Ocean

Gamcheon Culture Village, I recommend this place!

Gamcheon Culture Village, Harry Potter steps

Gamcheon Culture Village, there is artwork to be found all over the village

Gamcheon Culture Village, the stairs to see stars!
As you can see we had a fun weekend immersing ourselves in all the different sites of Busan. I highly recommend that you visit here, even for just a weekend, as the atmosphere, food, attractions and views are all excellent. 

I am going to continue exploring Asia whilst I am here so be ready for more posts from me. Hopefully my next stop will be...Hong Kong!

If you want to see more photos from my adventures here in Japan (and from the world) you can view my instagram here 

Thank you




Last weekend, I went to Hagi in Yamaguchi Prefecture. I have visited Hagi many times. Why? Because I love to visit the beach there. It is amazing and so beautiful.

I love to visit this beach in Hagi
The water is always a beautiful blue color

I also went to look at the Ukiyo-E exhibit at the Uragami Art Museum. They had many wood block prints from Hokusai and Hiroshige. They were breathtaking, in person.

I ate a delicious zaru soba lunch

My lunch was zaru soba from a small restaurant that serves both udon and soba noodles. I love the cold, zaru soba noodles at this place!

I always visit the brown, COSMOS in Hagi!
My last visit was to the brown colored Cosmos Discount Drug Store in Hagi! I think this is the only brown COSMOS in all of Japan.

Written by David Press-Dawson



Last week was Golden Week here for Shunan English School Teachers. What a great holiday Golden Week is! A lot of the other teachers went to other countries for Golden Week, but I decided to stay in Japan. Japan is the best country for me. 


I decided to make a trip to Fukuoka city. I went on a Tuesday. The bullet train was not busy, so I was very comfortable on the Kodama train. I started my day by going to the new Korean Dessert Cafe, called Sul Bing. It is in Hakata Station, in the basement level 1. Sul Bing is Korean shaved ice. It is a large chain in Korea and has a few shops in Japan, only in Tokyo and Fukuoka. After Sul Bing, I walked around the AMU Mall and found a pop-up coffee shop from Osaka, called Brooklyn Roasting Company. They were visiting for three weeks in AMU Mall. The coffee shop also sold art work from Keith Haring. After that I walked to the Yakuin Station area to my favorite coffee shop in Fukuoka. Then I walked to Tenjin, then Canal City and then back to Hakata Station. It took many hours, but it was fun and I had a great time exploring Fukuoka.


Later, on Thursday, I went to Hiroshima city to explore and relax. I did not know that day was the middle of Golden Week, so it was very busy. There was also a Hiroshima Carp game on that day so the bullet train was totally full! I could not sit down on the train. I wanted to try a Pablo Cheesetart at Hiroshima Station, but the line was very long, they said maybe 1 hour of waiting. So I went to Ichiran Ramen Shop and ate ramen. Ichiran is so good! After I went to a great coffee shop in the area and explored some new areas. I finally went to the shopping malls and looked at some expensive clothes. My last stop was a place that sells goods from Nara Prefecture. I love the toy machine there and always buy a couple if I am in Hiroshima. 


The rest of my vacation was quiet and nice. I just relaxed and cleaned my apartment. I walked around Kudamatsu a lot and even walked Hikari City to relax on the beach. It was great.

Korean Kakigori "Sulbing"

Freshness Burger

Ichiran Ramen

Written by David Press-Dawson



I love to cook donburi. "Ricebowls" are very easy to make and usually are not very expensive to cook. 

I am very creative when it comes to making my donburi at home. I use American tastes for inspiration to create new donburi. 

What do you think of my donburi?

This is my tan-tan donburi. I made a sauce for tan-tan men, but I used it on top of my rice.
This is the pesto and ham donburi. I used pesto sauce, which is made from basil and ham that I fried. It was very delicious.
This was the best one. It is a Philadelphia Cheese Steak donburi! I cooked onions and shiitake mushrooms until light brown, then add sliced steak and cheese.
This is my gyudon. It is the normal style. I used brown rice for this bowl.

Written by David Press-Dawson



Taken from the bridge across from Kintaikyo.

Last weekend I ventured out to Iwakuni to see the cherry blossoms. It was amazing! The weather was fantastic and the cherry blossoms were at FULL BLOOM! There were also many food stands around the river. I ate udon and watched the river flow gracefully. It was great. 

Look the cherry blossoms!

Observing the cherry blossoms made me think about why they are so special. Their short life and great beauty is precious. It is also a sign of the end of winter and the beginning of warmer weather.

The view of Kintaikyo.

I also went to Yanai to enjoy bread from Grand Maman Bakery. It was delicious! I ate red bean paste bread and melon bread.

Written by David Press-Dawson.


3 Months in the Land of the Rising Sun

Koeikan Junior High School
Hello everyone! My name is Dallas Peeling. I am from Vancouver, Canada and I have been working at SES since October 2017. I chose to come to here because Japan has a really good reputation as a great place to teach English. I love how my classes are so different, with a big variety. From teaching children, teenagers, adults, and senior citizens from all English levels, it is a fun and enjoyable challenge for me.

I always tell my students, "No stress, no stress in my class". Although I do not speak Japanese yet, I have also studied other languages. Including French, Spanish, Italian and Swahili. I understand your experiences as language students. So please, always relax and have fun in my class. 🙂

I am really enjoying Japan so far! I think the Japanese people are very polite and respectful, and it is a very beautiful and safe country. I enjoy travelling and practicing photography, so Japan is a perfect place for both activities!
Kanokami - Shunan
I will share some of my photos below. In October, I went to Shimonoseki and Tsunoshima with my colleagues. We enjoyed lots of fresh sushi at the Tsunoshima fish market, and driving around the picturesque Yamaguchi Prefecture.


November was busy. I went to the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine in Oda, and the very impressive Izumo-taisha shrine. I visited Miyajima Island with my colleagues, and I revisited when my friend from California came to stay with me.
Bridges in Oda

Izumo-taisha Shrine

My friend Mason at Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island
While my friend from California was visiting, we went to Kyoto, Hiroshima and Tokyo. The fall leaves were turning many different colours, and they looked very beautiful. We did a lot of sight-seeing, and enjoyed sampling much Japanese cuisine.
Fushimi-Inari taisha in Kyoto

Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavillion in Kyoto

Changing colours of the autumn leaves in Kyoto
In December, I went to Kitakyushu with some colleagues. It was very cold and windy, but we enjoyed some hot matcha tea to warm us up!
Traditional cafe in Kitakyushu with Taz - sensei
For the Christmas holidays, I returned to Canada to celebrate with my family and friends. Last year I was working in Tanzania, East Africa, so I was not home for the Christmas holidays. It was nice to spend time with them. 
With my grandparents, cousins and siblings in Canada
When I returned to Japan in January, I spent some time touring around Tokyo, Osaka, Nara and Iwakuni. It has been a very busy month for sure, but I have really enjoyed seeing the many beautiful sites, trying new food, and learning about Japanese culture. 
Tokyo Tower stands out against the skyline.

Osaka Castle

Many friendly deer in Nara

Kintaikyo Bridge in Iwakuni.


Welcome to 2018

Happy 2018 everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful and exciting break whether it was seeing family, catching up with friends or enjoying some peace and quiet.

For me, I chose to do a 10 day round trip of Japan with my good friend and fellow SES teacher, Taz! We managed to visit 6 prefectures (one by accident), see USJ, Disney Land, Disney Sea, visit Temples, Shrines, shop, eat, be tourists, get lost and most important of all, have fun!

I will try and make this blog as short as possible so here are a few photo highlights from the trip. Enjoy.

December 25th - Found Hogwarts
Our first stop was Osaka and we simply could not resist visiting the famous Universal Studios Japan. As a major Harry Potter fan I was like a child at Christmas (literally) and when we were walking around the place I could do nothing but smile. I had so much fun here and I definitely recommend that you visit if you haven't already. And don't forget to take a ride on the Flying Dinosaur! 
December 26th - Beat the crowds at Fushimi Inari
When we told people we were going to do Kyoto in a day they all laughed. But as 5am came we embraced the journey from Osaka and our first stop had to be Fushimi Inari! It felt great beating the tourists and we got to take loads of cool pictures. If you want to come here, I would recommend coming early in the morning or late at night, by the time we left at 9am the place was already starting to become crowded.
December 26th - Made our very own ramen!
Here is Taz and myself making our very own ramen (from scratch). We booked this place just before we went and it was such a fun experience and the food was delicious! The shop is called Ramen Factory Kyoto and I definitely recommend that you come here. The staff were great and the shop also does Halal meat (a rare find in Shunan!) so it gets double the bonus points for that.

December 26th - saw the Kinkaku-ji! 
 Still on our Kyoto adventures we felt that we could not miss Kinkaku-ji! Although there were lots of  tourists here the place wasn't too crowded and we managed to take several amazing pictures like the one above. The temple is breathtaking and definitely worth checking out when in Kyoto! 
December 29th - Disney Land day!
 As we made our way North of Japan to Chiba we decided to embrace the winter coldness and visit both Disney land and Disney sea. Both were incredible and I was far too excited by all the magic and detail in both parks. Although I do prefer Disney Sea, Disney land was also so much fun and it was my first time ever at a Disney park which made the experiences extra special. 
December 31st - Saw the New Year in Shibuya crossing
Here am I in Shibuya crossing at New Years. The atmosphere here was amazing and so much fun, and I enjoyed celebrating the new year here because everyone was so happy! After the countdown we went and sang karaoke (very badly) and danced our way into 2018.
January 1st - Became a samurai for the day
After having a much needed sleep we woke up and headed straight to the Samurai museum in Tokyo. We did a guided English tour which took maybe 1 hour 30 minutes to complete but it was so worth it. Not only is the museum fascinating and the tour staff informative and funny, but the tour is very interactive and we got to dress up like Samurai at the end.
January 2nd - Saw Mt. Fuji, our last stop before home!
Our last stop before our flight back to reality was to visit Mt Fuji. And before you ask, no we didn't climb it! However, it was breathtaking to see and no photos do the mountain justice. Hopefully one day I will have climbed Mt. Fuji but for now, seeing it in real life was good enough for me.

And there you are! They were my ten days travelling Japan. I am hoping to do lots more travelling in the future as I want to tick off every prefecture in Japan. So far I have visited 10/47 prefectures in 2 months, so I think I'm doing a pretty good job! 

Thanks and once again Happy New year!