永平寺での座禅体験 (キャロル先生)

During my winter vacation, I was lucky enough to stay at a Buddhist temple high in the mountains in Fukui. The temple is called Eiheiji temple and there are one hundred and fifty monks practicing Buddhism in the temple. The temple is over eight hundred years old and surrounded by a stunning waterfall and picturesque bridge. Tall five-hundred year old cedar trees keep watch over the temple and the moss covered landscape.
I stayed for one night and trained in the zazen meditation technique which involved a number of forty minute meditation sessions. This was difficult as my legs became numb from being folded and I found myself drifting off in my own thoughts. The monk informed me that if we lacked concentration during zazen, we would receive a hit with a stick to the shoulder, not as punishment but as encouragement. I found myself with pursed lips and a concentrated face staring at the wall, terrified of the monk with the stick! But luckily, I made it through without being hit and found that the more zazen sessions I


It’s the new year, and I’m excited to be back in school!

I spent my Christmas and New Year here in Tokyo, Japan, and it was my first time to celebrate the holidays away from my family, in another country. It was exciting, and I was able to visit many places in Tokyo.

With some friends, I went to visit some shrines in Asakusa, Bunkyo, Shibuya, and Akasaka. I also saw some amazing sights in Odaiba and Meguro. Although I was far from home, I wasn’t lonely because Tokyo kept me busy with all its lights, festivals, and attractions. It’s impossible not to love it!
The winter break also gave me time to appreciate Japanese traditions and cultures, especially when it came to visiting shrines. I tossed a few coins, clapped my hands, bowed, and rang the bell to offer my prayers and wishes. I also saw many booths selling drinks, food, fortunes, and souvenirs.

Although the weather was extremely cold, the warm atmosphere and presence of friendly company kept me warm.

My first winter holiday in Japan was truly memorable and exciting.


渋谷と川崎でハロウィーン! (キャロル先生) 

This year was my second time to spend Halloween in Tokyo. I didn’t get a chance to visit Shibuya Crossing last year, so I made it priority to visit it this year. It didn’t disappoint, it was so busy but so much fun! My friends and I dressed up in costumes and walked around Shibuya, meeting new people and taking photos of all the different kinds of costumes on display. There was such a great variety of costumes from people from all over. It really was something special.

The next day, I hopped on the train and travelled to the Kawasaki Halloween Parade. This is world famous and I didn’t want to miss it. I stood at the front of the crowd with my camera and managed to take some brilliant photos of the participants in the parade. Some of them saw me taking photos and posed for me, which I really appreciated. It was so busy there but I managed to take many photos to add to my Halloween collection. The make-up and costumes were out of this world and I can’t imagine being able to see anything like it anywhere else. Being Irish, I am a huge fan of Halloween and I am very lucky to be living in another country that celebrates this occasion just as much as Ireland. Halloween originated from Ireland and so it is very close to my heart.

秋到来 (ジーアン先生)

It’s already November, which means that autumn is here and winter is near. It also means that I had to buy many sweaters and cardigans because it’s really cold! I had never experienced this temperature before, so I was quite unprepared.


I was also excited to see the changing colors of autumn: yellow, orange, and red before the leaves fall. Recently, I joined a hiking trip to Mt. Takao. I saw many people there: small children, married couples, young men and women, and even the elderly! I also saw a woman carrying a baby on her back. I was so amazed at their determination and endurance.


It was hot while climbing the mountain, but when we got to the top, I felt cold! And there, I also saw trees with scarlet-colored leaves. It was such a beautiful sight. I imagine that it’s only going to be more beautiful as the weeks go by.


Several teachers have also told me that nearby Inokashira Park will be quite a sight to behold when the red and yellow leaves start falling.


Before November came, the country witnessed several Halloween parties. At Fujimura, we also had Halloween lessons, which was a great way to learn how different countries celebrated the event.


Now that Halloween is over, Japan is gearing up for the Christmas season. I’m very excited to celebrate the holidays in Tokyo, and I have already seen colorful lights and Christmas decorations outside shops and in malls.


Despite the cold, I’m looking forward to autumn and winter in Japan!


2度目の文化祭 (キャロル先生)

I went to see the school’s Bloom festival at the weekend. I was so excited to see the students act out the plays I wrote for them. Their acting was great and they memorized their lines very well. There was so much to see at the festival that I found myself staying until nearly five thirty. The Haunted House was a real treat and I entered it with two students just in case it got too spooky for me. Afterwards I attended a tea ceremony; this was my first time to attend one. It was very relaxing and the tea and sweet I received were delicious. I managed to buy some cake and a curry dinner for lunch too. I basically ate my way through the school festival which was fantastic!

I was also highly impressed with the rhythmic gymnastics show. It amazes me how gifted and dedicated the students are and how lucky I am to have been able to see the school festival twice.


初めまして、ジーアンです (ジーアン先生)

I witnessed my first ever Mass Games on Sept. 11, 2019 in an arena in Hachioji, and it was fantastic! For me, it was an event that celebrated the school’s dedication to discipline, excellence, teamwork, and most of all. . . fun!


When I first learned that I would be teaching at an all-girls’ school with a focus on sports and other active clubs, I was very nervous because I wasn’t athletic at all! I came from Cagayan de Oro City, which is located in the southern part of the Philippines. Since the weather in my country was hot most of the year, I usually spent my weekends reading books at home.


But when I came to this school, I realized how lucky I was. I got to witness a very lively and friendly community. The teachers are busy, but they do their work with joy, The students work hard, and they’re always up for anything.


In the Philippines, we have “field demonstration” where each grade level will present a dance, with costume and props. The Mass Games of Fujimura Girls’ Junior and Senior High School reminded of that yet also showed me more!


This weekend will be the school’s bunkasai, and I’m looking forward to experiencing all that Fujimura Girls’ High School has to offer!


夏休み (キャロル先生)

                          Summer Vacation

For my summer vacation, I travelled home to Ireland for three and a half weeks. It was lovely to be back home with my friends and family. I ate food that I had been missing over the past year, foods like curry cheese chips and a morning fry. I ate so much food I will probably need to exercise more and eat less now that I am back in Tokyo. I was treating myself to all the treats Ireland has to offer, which has to be done when you go on holidays! I was also able to spend some valuable time with my family and friends, such as bringing my nieces to the park and helping my mother at home.

The weather wasn’t so bad, it usually changes from sunny to rainy weather pretty quickly but the rain stayed away for most of my holiday. Irish summers can be very unpredictable but I was glad to escape the extremely hot and humid summer in Tokyo. I have heard that the weather has cooled down a bit since I arrived back which I am very pleased about. I am looking forward to beginning another year here in Fujimura.