How are you? Is it getting warmer there? Spring finally seems to be
coming here. In fact, at the weekend we changed to British summer time so
the mornings and evenings are brighter now.
Last time on this blog I wrote about my trip to London but I didn't tell
you my main purpose for going. Let me tell you about it today...
The first time I went to Japan (over 15 years ago) I went as part of the
JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Programme. The JET programme brings
native English speakers from 40 countries to work in Japan, and I was lucky
enough to pass the interview. After we return to our countries, there is
an Alumni Association we can join to continue the JET community at home.
This year is the 30th anniversary of the JET Programme so the Japanese
Embassy and the JET Alumni Association in the UK hosted a reception to
celebrate. As I have been involved in the JET Alumni Association in the
U.K., I was invited to this special event.
The reception was held at the House of Lords at Parliament. Of course this
is a very famous place and members of the public cannot usually go in
there. I felt so excited and nervous at the same time! The reception was
a formal event so we had to dress up. Here is a picture of me as we
arrived at Parliament...
The room of the reception had a terrace and from there we had a view of the
River Thames and The London Eye. We could also see the beautiful Palace of
The people who attended the event were all connected to JET or the Alumni
Association. You can see a picture of me with some of the Alumni
Association at the top of this article. (You can also see us doing a
more fun pose at the bottom of this article.) Last week I told you about
Dr. F who did a lecture about Japanese literature which I attended in
London. He was also at the reception...
There were speeches by the Japanese Ambassador...
And also by the Chairperson of the JET Alumni Association in the U.K...
In addition, a video was shown of people talking about how they had
benefitted from the JET Programme. Though I'm so shy and dislike talking
on camera, I was included in this video. I spoke about the wonderful
people I met in Toyama and Hiroshima, the school I established with Mr. O
in Hiroshima, and my current online lessons. I would like to show you this
video but unfortunately the general public cannot see it yet.
After the video, the dignitaries helped smash open a massive barrel
As well as this barrel, we enjoyed lots of champagne and some interesting
There were also different types of alcohol from various places in Japan...
As we ate and drank, we listened to Japanese music...
It was amazing to be part of this reception and I felt really sad to leave
Parliament. As I left though, I walked past one of our famous sights, Big
Ben, and that made me smile a lot...
In typical British-style, we finished the night at a pub where we drank and
chatted a little more...
The following morning, a couple of us from the Alumni Association, the U.K.
Chairperson, and a representative from the Japan Local Government
Centre got together for brunch...
It was a nice, calm way to finish the event. It was a real privilege to be
involved in this reception to mark the 30th anniversary of the JET
Programme. Thanks to JET, I got to experience something that not many do:
a reception at Parliament. I made some great acquaintances there and will
remember it for a long time to come.
I hope you enjoyed reading about this and will look forward to seeing you
all again next week. Until then, take care! Best wishes, from Corrina. ☺️