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’.

Read more of this post

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

Japan Trip – Weeks One/Two – Hokkaido


I had intended to write this over a week ago, but I have found little time to actually sit down and actually do it. My trip to Japan started as most trips do, walking through airports, and sitting in airplane seats that are just that little bit too small too be truly comfy. It was quite a long journey as I took three planes in the end, two to get to Japan, and then a third from Osaka to Shin-Chitose in Hokkaido. I had intended to read or watch films, but found myself spending much of the time listening to music and sleeping.

Read more of this post

Some final thoughts on Japan, its culture and society

Read more of this post

My Final Week in Hokkaido: Kushiro and Beyond

The Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko-go

Read more of this post

My final week in Hokkaido Part Two – Exploring Nemuro

The view out of the back of the train

Read more of this post

My final week in Hokkaido: The end of the camp, but not the end of my travels – Part One

As far as I can remember this was the sunset during on the last full day of the camp

This was actually my fifth week in Japan, haven’t yet written anything about my first week. It was quite a turbulent week with a lot of moving around and some work to clean up the school before the kids arrive. I might write up a post about that week, although it is quite a while ago, so I am not entirely sure I remember what happened.
Read more of this post

The Challenge camp: How we conquered Yotei-zan

The mountain that we had to conquer

Quite a long post ahead, there is just so much to write about.

The challenge camp as I mentioned in the last post was all about the kids deciding to do something ‘challenging’. Apparently there were challenges such as spending 3 days canoeing down a river, or building a raft and living on it for 3 days. The group I was assigned to however, decided on something a little different, they wanted to climb a mountain.
Read more of this post