|SES Teachers Amy, Dallas, Taz, Josh & Adrian|
|Sakura tress blooming in Hagi City|
アジアの国を旅行したりしてとても充実しています。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.
今年の初めには香港に行ってきました。壁に絵が描いてあったり、中国とイギリスの文化が混ざり合っていて面白かったです。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|
ゴールデンウィークは東京、京都、大阪のＵＳＪ、韓国のソウルに行ってきました。どの場所も見るものがたくさんあってとても楽しめました。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|
宮島もお気に入りです！いとことその友達と一緒に弥山（みせん）に登ってきました。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|
毎年7月1日には福岡で「カナダの日」というイベントがあるんですよ！カナダ料理やお酒を飲んで楽しい一日を過ごしました。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|
ＳＥＳのメンバーが助けてくれてよかったです（汗）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|
夏には長崎に2日間滞在して、平和公園の原爆資料館も訪れました。そのあとは大分の別府で温泉に浸かり、旅の疲れを癒しました！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|