Japan Trip 2016 – Week Eight – Kyoto



My first week in Kyoto was marked by a feeling of restlessness, as I was still in the traveling mentality of packing and moving to the next place, so, while I enjoyed myself, I wasn’t always as focussed on the immediate space. By the end of that first week I had settled down, and felt far more comfortable than I had during the first couple of days – it helped that I was still in the habit of waking up between 5 and 6 in the morning, a habit created in Hokkaido. Read more of this post

Japan Trip – Week Seven – Kyoto


The first week after the camp was something a little different, and also very tiring, and although I enjoyed visiting some interesting places, such as Goryokaku, Zentsuji, Miyajima, Hiroshima, and Matsuyama-jo, the reality was that I found the constant hopping from place to place quite exhausting. If anything, I never truly felt that I had given myself enough time to explore the cities I visited, and had barely even scratched the surface, instead focussing on individual buildings, of sights to visit, rather than the cities themselves. Read more of this post

Japan Trip – Week six – The Journey South – Part Two


Although the garden was fascinating, my trains to Matsuyama beckoned – and while Shikoku, like most of Hokkaido, doesn’t have a Shinkansen line, it does have some very comfortable express trains that run along the north coast of the island. Read more of this post

Japan Trip – Week six – The Journey South – Part One


The week started in quiet fashion; the six children who had taken part in the full three-week camp had left the day before, but as I have already mentioned, their departure was rather quiet, and sedate compared to previous weeks. Read more of this post

Japan Trip – Week Five – Hokkaido


The final week of the Nature School camp was a rather odd one, not least because despite a large number of young children arriving, the week was actually rather quiet. This was because I had been asked to assist on what the Nature School called a ‘Challenge Camp’.

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Japan Trip – Week Four – Hokkaido



This was a very busy week, with lots of new children arriving at the Nature School for a more adventure themed week long camp that would involve mountain climbing, spending a day on fishing boats, and ending with a more challenging two-day camp that was supposed to provide a sense of adventure for these children.  Read more of this post

Japan Trip – Week Three – Hokkaido



Whereas the first week was a relatively quiet week, with some intense traveling at the beginning, and periods of activity throughout – including a couple of days to train the volunteers who had arrived, the second week has been very busy. The camp itself started off a little slowly as we waited for all of the children to arrive, and made sure that things were clean, and there were enough futons for everybody to sleep on. But once the children arrived things began in earnest, for a start they were completely full of energy – part excitement, part nervousness. There was the opening ceremony, explaining what rules and other little details about the camp, an icebreaking event completely with over the top Janken, and other silly games, a welcome party with slightly fancier food, and then the ‘Ichigei’, basically a chance for the staff to introduce themselves in the silliest, and most memorable way possible. Read more of this post