How are you today?
I heard that it is pretty cold in Japan and has even snowed in some
places! I also heard there was a terrible earthquake and tsunami in
Fukushima. I hope any friends or relatives you have in the area are
What have you been doing since last time? I went to our capital
city, London. Let me tell you about it...
The night I arrived in London, I met a Japanese acquaintance who works at
the Japanese Embassy. (You can see a picture of us at the top of this
article.) She took me to a yakiniku restaurant. It had been about a year
and a half since I had eaten yakiniku so my eyes were bigger than my belly
and we ate meat, vegetables, and rice until our stomachs almost popped! Of
course I had my "dessert stomach" (betsu bara) though so we managed dessert
too! However, the most interesting thing for me was the drink I chose. I
had a matcha beer! (Beer mixed with matcha and ice cream.) Do you have
that in Japan? Does it sound yummy or yucky to you? Have a look...
My purpose for visiting London was to go on a one-day course to learn how
to teach Japanese to British children and the next day I attended it. It
was held by a group called The Japan Foundation. For privacy reasons, I
couldn't take a picture of the people attending, but here is a picture of
the set up for the course...
Whilst there, I learnt some interesting games and songs for teaching
Japanese. For example, British children can remember Japanese numbers like
1 - ichi = itchy
2 - ni = knee
3 - san = sun
4 - yon = yawn
5 - go = go
6 - roku = lock
7 - nana = Nana (Grandma)
8 - hachi = hatch
9 - kyu = queue (a line of people)
10 - jyu = ju(do)
By doing gestures for the English but saying the pronunciation in Japanese,
British children can remember Japanese numbers. It's good, isn't it?!
At the course, I made some new Japanese acquaintances. One of them
lives in London with her British husband and child, but she is originally
from Hiroshima. It made my heart sing to hear her speak Hiroshima dialect
and it made me realise I do miss my "second home."
After the course, I wondered up and down a street called High Holborn
whilst waiting to meet some acquaintances. These pictures of the street
show London very well: a complete mixture of old and new...
For dinner, I met two ladies who I met for the first time at the wedding I
told you about in October. One of London's good points is we can get
almost any kind of food we want! Have you ever tried Ethiopian food?
Though I have been to Ethiopia very briefly, I didn't have the chance to
eat the food so I wanted to try it in London. Here is a picture of what we
shared between the three of us...
The food came on a massive pancake. We had to tear off bits of the pancake
and use the pancake to pick up the food with our hands. There were
vegetables, various kinds of meat, eggs, some spicy combinations, and some
sweet ones too. Of course the thing I enjoyed most was the Ethiopian beer
though! (You can see a picture of the three of us girls at the bottom of
this article. The quality of the picture is not so good though
On my last day in London I took a peaceful walk with another new
British friend I made at the wedding in October. We walked past the house
of the singer Amy Winehouse who passed away when she was only 26. Out of
respect, I didn't take a picture. We then went to the British Library and
looked at ancient manuscripts and old maps. There was a map of the route
from Edo to Kyoto from the 1800s and some old Buddhist scriptures from
Japan too. It was fantastic! My friend and I also had lunch in the
library cafe. This is an image of it from the Internet...
Isn't it amazing to be able to sit right next to all those books whilst
eating? Well for me, a book-lover, I was in heaven!
It was then time for me to get my train back to Liverpool. I felt quite
teary on departure and feel a massive gratitude to all those new
acquaintances and how lovely they made my time in London. I hope you
enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed the experience.
Please tell me about your new experiences too. Until next time, take
care! Best wishes, from Corrina. ☺️