Recently, I traveled to Itsukushima. You must know it because it is probably the most famous shrine-island in the area. The island is right next to Miyajima and is famous for the saltwater eel.


The first thing I enjoy about Itsukushima is the beautiful "gate". It is probably the most famous thing on the island. When I went, it was cover partially by the sea.


Similar to Nara, Itsukushima also has many deer that run free. It is nice to see them walking around, but I noticed that many of them had ticks on their ears.


Itsukushima also has many smaller shrines on the island. I really enjoyed finding them as many of them are hidden and must be sought out.


The five story pagoda is also magnificent to see. I really enjoy its red color.

Lastly, I went to the new Hiroshima Outlets to try some tsukemen. It was really good. It had a very smoky flavor. Like "katsuo-bushi". It was a really nice day.

Written by David Press-Dawson


10 Months in the Land of the Rising Sun

SES Teachers Amy, Dallas, Taz, Josh & Adrian
Sakura tress blooming in Hagi City



Hello friends! They say, "Time flies when you are having fun!" This past year has been quite an adventure for me. I have been lucky to see and experience many places in Japan, meet many fun and interesting people (both students and new friends), and I have also traveled to some other countries in Asia. Working at Shunan English School and living in the Chūgoku region has been wonderful.


Earlier this year, I went to visit my friend in Hong Kong for my 25th birthday. I really enjoyed touring around this big city. Some people call it the "New York of Asia". There are many public paintings (murals), and it was interesting to see the mix of Chinese and British cultures in this city. I recommend visiting this unique place!

Hong Kong skyline from Kowloon
A mural in Hong Kong central district


I have been lucky to have many visitors, both family and friends, come to Japan. For Golden Week, I met my brother and my friend Evanne in Tokyo. I had a great time, and many laughs with them. We toured around Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Universal Studios, and also Seoul, South Korea! Tokyo itself is such an enormous city, there are endless places to see and discover. Kyoto is my favourite city in Japan because of its many beautiful and historical buildings. I also enjoy Osaka because of the variety of things to see; it really reminds me of Chicago.

Evanne & Blake at Ginkaku-ji Silver Pavilion in Kyoto
Driving MariCar in Asakusa, Tokyo


One of my favourite places in Japan is Miyajima Island, with the beautiful Itsukushima Shrine. I really enjoy touring the historic temples and hiking Mount Misen. When my cousin Bradley and his friend Leon came to visit Yamaguchi Prefecture, we went hiking to the top of this mountain.

Dallas, Leon & Bradley at the top of Mount Misen
With my friends Ayami, Yoko & Tomoko at Itsukushima Shrine


Did you know that every year on July 1st there is a huge Canada Day party in Fukuoka? I learned about this event online, and I went to it with my friends Connie, Riku, Matt & Amy. It was a really fun day. The Canada Day party had many Canadian foods and drinks that you could try, including beer, wine, lobster tails, poutine, smoked-meat sandwiches, roast pork, and many Canadian desserts. The party was at a hotel near Canal City, and there was a lot of entertainment. It was great!

Canada Day party at Il Palazzo Hotel



During the hottest time of the summer, my friend Mason from California came to visit again. My company car was having some troubles, and it broke down inside of a tunnel on the Sanyo Expressway! Luckily, we were rescued by SES staff members, and eventually we went to Kyushu for a little vacation.

Nagasaki Peace Memorial
Dallas & Mason in Nagasaki


We enjoyed Nagasaki City for two days, seeing the historical districts and trying not to melt in the heat! I enjoyed seeing the Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Park. I think it is a very important place to visit, so that we can always remember the tragedies and loss that happens from war. After Nagasaki, we went to the hot spring capital of Japan, Beppu City in Oita! It was very relaxing! 

With my parents at Himeji Castle
Trying takoyaki in Dōtonbori district


 In August, I was very happy to have my parents visit me in Japan. They stayed at my house here in Yamaguchi, and we went on a road trip to Osaka. Along the way, we stopped in Hiroshima and Himeji. It was a long day of driving, but we had a fun weekend in Osaka, sampling food and enjoying our time together as a family. I made sure that my parents tried sushi, takoyaki (octopus balls) and a few other unique Japanese foods.

SES Teachers Mari, Amy & Dallas in Kurashiki, Okayama


Now that September is here, I will enjoy the cooler temperatures that come with autumn. I also hope to enjoy some fun times with my students and friends before I leave Shunan English School in October. Bye for now!