Category Archives: Kyushu

Aoshima Shrine

On the last day of my trip to Miyazaki Prefecture in January I traveled to Aoshima Shrine with my fiancée and her family. The shrine is located in the middle of the forest on a small island connected to the mainland by a bridge. The day we attended was a large festival where attendees braved the cold seawater for good luck this year. We arrived in the afternoon so we missed the crowds. Next to the island is an interesting

Food of Miyazaki Prefecture

You might have noticed that there was no post last week. The reason is that I spent 5 days in Kyushu’s Miyazaki prefecture. Though I’ve been to Kyushu three times with my students on their school trips, this was my first time to the southern prefectures.  There was a lot to see and do so I’ll split the trip into a series of posts on each place I visited. This post I’ll use to share some of the interesting differences

2013 School Trip – Day 1

One significant modern rite-of-passage for young people in Japan are school trips.  Generally, there is a school trip for elementary, junior high, and high school levels.  For Junior High students, the school trip occurs in the second year and is three to four days in another prefecture.  For students in many schools in Okinawa, the school trip destination of choice is Kyushu. This year, I was able to go on the school  trip as the photographer for two of my

Things to Come on MTJ

Hi all! As you might have noticed, I was out all last week with my students in Kyushu for their school trip.  I will have a lot more to post on that amazing experience, as well as plenty of pictures.  I ended up with over 4,000 plus video.  Most of the photos I won’t be able to share due to privacy concerns, but since I haven’t had a chance to finish up all the draft posts I have, I opted

2013 Japanese School Trip (Live Tweeting)

Monday is a day off in Japan in celebration of Coming-of-Age-Day which we just celebrated on our island yesterday.  I’ll be posting about that soon, but this week I have the opportunity to travel from Okinawa to Kyushu for the Junior High School Trip.  School trips are a huge part of school life and are memories that will stay with students forever.  This year I’ll be live tweeting throughout the four-day trip.  Check back here for new tweets or follow

Glover Garden Nagasaki

Nagasaki is a city full of history.  As the home of Dejima Island, it was one of the first Japanese cities to be influenced by foreigners.  When Japan finally did open,  many entrepreneurs from around the world traveled to the city to take part in new opportunities.  One of them was Thomas Blake Glover from Scotland.  Upon the top of a hill he built a house that still stands today, along with several historical buildings and gardens. The Glover Garden (pronounced closer to

Kastella Cakes

There are a lot of different types of omiyage in Japan, but perhaps one of the most famous is Kastella Cakes.  Castella is a type of  fluffy sponge cake with roots in Portugal that is now a specialty of Nagasaki.  One brand in particular, Kastella, is famous throughout the country.  During our school trip, we purposely stopped at the Kastella factory just to get omiyage for the students and teachers back home. The original Kastella flavor is honey, but there

Dejima Island – Nagasaki Bay

Dejima Island in Nagasaki bay was the only point of formal international trade and communication during Japan’s  period of isolation in the Tokugawa period.  Construction of the artificial land mass ended in 1636 and was for use by Portuguese traders.  The missionaries that accompanied them were viewed as a threat and were eventually banished.  The Dutch took over the island and were sequestered there.  Dejima was eventually surrounded as land reclamation began from 1861, where it eventually lost its original boarders