Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Away for a while

I might not be able to write for a while as I am on my way to Brazil now. I've been in the Admirals Club Lounge (American Airlines) in New York for 9 hours now. In a few hours I'll finally be flying to São Paulo. I have a family emergency and don't know exactly when I'll be able to return to Japan. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Feast in the English Communication class

We ended our Community College English course with A LOT of great food yesterday. Everyone cooked and we had a very pleasant pot-luck lunch. I'm sorry I can't show everyone all the dishes. Takamiya-san brought great miso peanuts, giant peanuts, and black beans that he harvested himself! How lucky we were!
Not the whole group but most of us.

Pumpkin balls by Hiraga-san.

Coke chicken (Hasegawa-san) and colorful rice (Furukawa-san).

Sharing photos of Greece.

Delicious rare cheese cake (Yoshihashi-san).

Hawaiian poke by Koga-san.

One of the dishes by Imazeki-san:  "shiokoji" chicken.

Oden with ingredients directly from Tsukiji (Kakisu-san).

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bangkok University

The President of Bangkok University Mathana Santiwat visited JIU yesterday. She first went to our Kioicho Campus in Tokyo where she met with our Chancellor Mizuta and signed a sister university agreement. After that she came to the Togane campus to meet all the deans, some students and to see where prospective students would study. It was a pleasure meeting such a powerful and dedicated woman. She can certainly inspire our students. 

Mariage Freres Debut

Sayuri and Hanako were finally able to go to Marriage Freres on Thursday. We decided to go there for a cup of tea after the service. It was a perfect day for a warm cup of tea. Of course we had some cake as well!

Honoray Chancellor Seiko Mizuta

Our Honorary Chancellor Seiko Mizuta passed away on January 4 at the age of 101, and her memorial service was held on Thursday, January 17. She was the founder of JIU and a very respected person. I don't know exactly how many people attended the service, but it was certainly the largest crowd I'd ever seen. Prime Minister Abe and lots of other people sent their condolence messages and presidents of sister universities also attended the ceremony. It was a beautiful day that reminded me of how elegantly she communicated with people. She is the person who hired me and changed my life 20 years ago and I am very grateful to her. May she rest in peace. 

A lot of snow

This is a photo I took from my window when it started snowing on Monday, January 14. Five hours after that A LOT of snow had accumulated on the top and around my car. No one in my neighborhood was able to drive the following day. I wore the snow boots I bought in Yamagata for the first time and then walked to the train station. Coming to JIU was quite an adventure that morning, but I have to tell you that those boots really work--they are great! I have to thank Koseki-san for taking me shopping and showing me  the type of boots that are not available here in Chiba. 

National Kaohsiung Univ. of Hospitality and Tourism

The delegation from the National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism (Taiwan) was supposed to come to Togane on Monday, but because of the heavy snow they delayed their departure from Tokyo and visited JIU on Tuesday, January 15. It was a pleasure having Vice-President Chiang-Tung Pan on our campus. We had met in Tokyo and also in Taiwan before but not in Togane. It was a freezing cold day and their visit ended up being very rushed and short, but I'm very glad they decided to come despite the terrible circumstances. 

Disney group back

The students who did their internship at Disney World in Florida arrived back in Japan on Saturday, January 12 in time to take part in the coming-of-age ceremonies in their hometowns. They returned with a lot of heavy luggage! And I'm sure they didn't enjoy the drastic change in temperature.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Beautiful Mount Fuji

Great view from the plane on January 3.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Rainy Saturday in Taipei

Kyuhun up in the mountains.

The gentlemen who made the delicious lunch we had.

At Sogo.

A one-star Michelin restaurant--super crowded but worth waiting.

Outside the National Palace Museum.


Quite nice tea on the 5th floor.

101 at night--in a rainy night.

Greetings from Taipei

For a change, I am enjoying a short vacation in Taiwan. I arrived in Taipei on the 3rd and was greeted at the airport by Professor Ko, a professor my students and I respect and owe a lot. Today he took me to  his new work place here--Taipei Chengshih University of Science and Technology--and also do some sightseeing. I was honored to meet some of his colleagues and also the President of the university who hosted a lunch. The food was excellent--it's been excellent every single meal--and I especially loved the sweet potato dessert served at lunch. It reminded me of the Japanese "daigaku imo," but it was sweeter and the crunchiness was different as well. 

A visit to the market at Takashimaya.

Never seen such a huge star fruit in Brazil.

Superb bamboo art--we got one of these for tea leaves.

The dessert I loved!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

Can you tell that's a giant strawberry? We started the year eating traditional Japanese food and some strawberries we bought in Chiba yesterday. The weather in Tokyo was great today and we actually didn't freeze outside. May 2013 be a great year for you--where ever you may be in the world--and may it bring you and your family all the best. Feliz Ano Novo.