BTW My WordPress account won’t let me upload any more photos! SO please check out my Facebook blog for pictures! My blog page is Yukunerk. I also have a youtube playlist set up with all the videos I’ve taken including my Taiko concerts which can be accessed through the same Facebook page!
August was full of summer fun, beaches and adventures on Iki. I wanted to travel to visit a friend but I got really busy doing things on Iki that it didn’t work out. So check out below for the adventures I had on Iki island!
Summertime on Iki I don’t have any classes, but the students come and study in the morning and have club activities all afternoon! So every day I visited the band room and played with the brass band! It was really fun practicing and talking with them in English and Japanese. We even began preparing for our summer concert at the end of the month at the Iki museum concert hall! It was a super special concert. The teachers put together an ensemble, the band conductor on the piano and myself and another teacher dueting on the flute. We performed the main song from Beauty and the Beast! The best part was to open the song, a student and I came on stage dancing to the theme. SO FUN!!! I even ordered a yellow dress and did my hair up like Belles to look the part!
At the start of summer, I took the first two days off to take my friends from Fukui prefecture around the amazing places on Iki! THey had a blast and it was a lot of fun revisiting my favourite spots with them! I covered this trip in my previous blog post so please look back there for pictures! I went to a kids class in Bunka Hall, a flute making, and other Japanese bamboo instrument workshop! This was a 2-night class where parents and kids could come and make their own instruments the first night and learn to play them the next! It was really fun and I personalized mine with a shell from the beach I’d been to! I even met one of my teachers there with her nephew! So cute!
The Iki ALTS and our new CIR went to the beaches a lot! I got to check out the beach near monkey rock, and we did a day trip to Oshima islands beach. I even busted out the art set and drew a picture of the port and watercolored the view from the beach! Swimming there was the best! I explored underwater a lot! FInding and following fish and sand dollars! I bought so many shells home! SO fun to decorate the house with! We visited many of our favourite beaches like Twins beach, Nishiki (where we got bit by the little black and white bully fishes and even Kuyushihama.
This was also the month of Obon and firework festivals. In Japan, there are 3 days of holiday that all people get and they usually go home and party with the families remembering those who’ve passed and visit their graves and clean them up! This is a little different from our traditions back home. SO I looked up online how to make my own ancestor lanterns for all my grandmas and I even made my own little incense viewing scene! I displayed my grandma’s pictures and shells with a palm tree drawing Id made at the beach. I lit an incense every day and a candle and I set my lantern out with an LED light, which is usually used to call the souls of the recently deceased to your house to enjoy the festivities. Fireworks are also a big thing here and the best fireworks displays were at the Katsumoto Port! The fireworks are also used to call their souls to the families house. At the end of Obon Spirit boats with the lanterns and their names on them get released into the water, sending them home and to peace. I got a Yukata from the local store and wore it every day, trying new hairstyles and stuff for each of the ports main fireworks shows! SO fun! I even saw many of my students and got some pictures! They looked so cute in their yukata!
The 18th was a summer concert put on a the Tsutsukihama outdoor stage; BE STARS. Our Taiko group performed and all the ALTs set up country booths and we talk the guests about our country and had them do a quiz to win prizes! It was a lot of fun and afterward, they held a BBQ for all the participants. We got to meet the dancing crews from Fukuoka that came and made a lot of new friends.
I went to church with Rachel and her friend too and tried my best to listen to the sermon in Japanese. Rachel translates most of what he says in notes on the leaflet we get. After the sermon, we all gather for a potluck lunch and it’s always delicious!
I continued with my koto and shoudo lessons, getting my first submitted work back! I was graded as a 7 Kyuu, that’s like grade 4! They have a strange grading system that starts at 10 kyuu and goes up to 1, then from 1 Dan up to 7 Dan. Really confusing, but fun to work towards!
The 23rd was my Summer band concert! Got some lovely sunset pics at Harunotsuji village and then met up with the ALTs to celebrate Emi’s Birthday, my concert and The passing of everyone’s JPLT tests! Such a great night! Ended on the beach with a mini bonfire, and me being super tired and drained the next day that I got really sick and had to cancel my shoudo class. I was so exhausted from the week’s events that I just collapsed and couldn’t function anymore. Luckily I spent the Saturday at home and just slept. ALLLLLL DAY!
Rachels Parents also came for a visit and I got to meet them and hang out with them at church! We went on adventures around Iki too with our friend Hiroki, We checked out Dolphin park, Monkey rock, the Demons footprint, the windmills, Sakyobana rock and the Ao island bridge! We ate out a lot in August and enjoyed the food, but our wallets didn’t like us much lol. At Dolphin park, we got to see the new baby dolphins! Hajime and Ao kun and they had the intertidal creatures in the touch pool! So fun! We did a special event where we got to go out onto the platform and meet the dolphins! We couldn’t touch them but I got great pictures!
At this time Opening ceremonies started and school started up again at the schools. The first thing they do when the kids return is do tests to see if the students did their homework over the summer and study. So I started prepping my lessons and materials and also continued to study my TEFL and Japanese language courses.
Well, that’s the Adventures of August! The weather was superb and we had only a few days of rain, no real storms. I also got to check out the Dentist for the first time! With my benefits with work, it was quite affordable! I even did the whole visit in Japanese! It was really funny how the Dentist used a translation app for his technical terms! Well, stick around for the Swing of September!