Japanese School in Japan,Fukuoka - NILS

School News

Information Session from the Police Department

05/20/2016

We invited police officers on May 12th and hosted an information session for our new students. This event is designed to help our students experience their life in Japan as safely as possible. In addition to NILS, the entire community supports their wellbeing.

 

First, the students learned how to report emergencies by calling “110.” Then, they learned how to avoid being reported to the police. One of the officers talked about situations most commonly associated with trouble. For example, being too noisy in a dorm or apartment at night, or congregating in parking lots of supermarkets or convenience stores to party.

 

Next, another officer talked about traffic safety regarding bicycles. Our students come from many different countries, each of which have different traffic regulations.  Riding a bike is the primary method of transportation for our students to go to school and part-time jobs. I have listed some of the most important rules below.

 

  1. Individuals must ride bicycles on the left lane like automobiles.
  2. Individuals may not ride bicycles on sidewalks. (There are exceptions.)
  3. Individuals must stop at the stop sign.
  4. Individuals may not drink and ride a bicycle. The rules are the same as driving an automobile.

 

These are common sense rules; however, individuals can get seriously hurt or hurt others if they don’t follow these guidelines.  Last year, the Police began enforcing these rules against illegal bicycle riding, and the penalties and fines have become stricter. In particular, if you kill someone in a bicycle accident, you will be required to pay between 50 million yen to 100 million yen. Of course, if you follow rules, you will avoid these fines.

 

It is our mission to support our students so that they have the best educational experiences possible.


Coming-of-Age Day

01/12/2016

Yesterday (January 11) was Coming-of-Age Day.  It is the day to celebrate young people who have reached the age of 20.  In japan, the youths over 20 are regarded as adults, and from the age of 20 onwards, people have the right to vote, drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes.  Local cities and communities hold Coming-of-Age ceremonies for those young people throughout Japan.  Many young women traditionally wear gorgeous kimonos with long sleeves called furisode on this day.

This national holiday used to be January 15, but from the year 2000, it changed to the second Monday of January so that people can have a long weekend.


Visit to Yusentei Park

11/10/2015

I had been to many parks and gardens, but so far, I have yet to experience having Matcha (Japanese green tea) in a garden. It is great that NILS had arranged a trip to Yusentei Park, a Chisen Kaiyu styled Japanese Garden in Fukuoka City, on 21 Oct. 2015.

We were fascinated by the huge size of the Koi (carp) when feeding them at the Shoinzukuri style pond. They were so close to us that we could even touch them.
There is a beautiful waterfall which enriches the pond, and also a nice spot for photo taking.

 

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We moved on to the Ohiroma Hall, a 29msq (17.5 tatami mats) room facing the pond, to have our Matcha and Wagashi (Japanese confectionery). Sensei went through some basic etiquette on the tea ceremony with us before we enjoyed the Matcha and Wagashi. The Matcha was bitter but with the sweet taste of the Wagashi, it harmonized and balanced the taste… 美味しいですね。。。

After the Matcha, we lingered around the Ohiroma Hall, to enjoy the scenery and also photo taking. The water is so clear that we can see the koi swimming around clearly…
The scenery is really great and with the matcha and wagashi, it really calms one’s mind.
A very nice experience though but it is a pity that the leaves have yet to change colour, I believe it will definitely add more points to it.


One Day Trip to Kumamoto & Miyazaki

08/24/2015

NILS students in the Short-Term Program enjoyed one day trip to Kumamoto and Miyazaki last week.  We believe it was a great experience for them to enjoy our nature and ancient culture.

 

What a wonderful treat! Beautiful landscapes, fresh air, quiet, contemplative shrines in secluded parts of the countryside, mountains, rivers, and much more… including local wines. One of the best class outings, and one of the best trips out to the countryside I had during my stay in Japan.

Kumamoto prefecture is located at the center of the Kyushu Island, about 150 km south from Fukuoka city. Natural parks and nature preserves cover about 20 percent of the prefecture. The entire area is known for its scenic beauty.

We took a locally operated bus from near the Tenjin station in Fukuoka, which took us all the way to the center area of Kumamoto. A very confortable ride in an air-conditioned bus, with plenty of short stops on the way, to stretch our legs.

The further away from Fukuoka we were getting, the more beautiful and scenic the landscape was becoming. We were passing through small villages surrounded by countless, geometrically shaped rice fields, small vegetable and flower gardens. The bus began to climb higher and higher into the hills, and we found ourselves in a lush, green forest. The road was winding between steep volcanic mountain peaks covered in thick forest. Looking through the bus’s windows into the valleys below us, we could see small village houses, and countless terraces of rice fields hugging the steep mountainsides.

Around noontime, we arrived at one of the local farms, where we were treated to a wonderful buffet of freshly prepared food using local ingredients. What a great feast that was! There were about 20 different dishes to choose from, variety of teas, and delicious desserts. On the way out we could purchase preserves and other local products.

After lunch we were on our way again, this time to visit local shrines. We stopped at Heitate shrine, Amanoiwato shrine, and visited Takachiho Gorge with its picturesque waterfalls, bridges, and famous shrine. We had a chance to admire local architecture, peaceful locations of Shinto shrines secluded in remote areas, away from city noise. We had a chance to walk through the forest, over mountain rivers, into caves carved into the sides of a mountain that housed many small shrines. We also got a chance to witness some of the ceremonies, and had a guided tour of one of the shrines. At the end we were able to purchase some souvenirs, local foods, and locally made wines.

This adventure took almost entire day. In the late afternoon, we claimed back into our confortable bus and filled with great memories rode back to Fukuoka.


Fukuoka’s famous festival

07/24/2015

It was a very early time in the morning I had to set my alarm clock to go to the Yamakasa festival.

I arrived at my train station at 03:30, where they just opened the gate to enter. Only two colleges from school and one or two other people were waiting for the early train. And when it arrived, to my surprise, it was quite crowded. So NILS class wouldn’t be the only one heading to the festival.

Tired but really wondering how the festival would be we walked from Tenjin to near Hakata station where the festival took place. Even in these early hours the temperature was more than comfortable to wear shorts.

And then the festival started exactly at 04:58. It was a race between seven different male teams in the age from child to elderly men. Each team had to bring their float as fast as possible to the finish line; the float was carried by around ten people. Encouraged by all the visitors, they ran quite fast to end up as winners. Probably the refreshing water which was splashed from some people was a reason more trying to flee from that early shower.

The festival ended with a huge and heavy float carried by around 25 people. It was definitely worth to wake up at this unusual hour to see the race.

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Yusentei Park

07/16/2015

On Wednesday, Hirose sensei gave us a briefing on Yusentei Park and the proper way to drink matcha (traditional green tea) that is usually served during the traditional tea ceremony.

This was another wonderful example of Japanese culture and everyone embraced it wholeheartedly.

We made our way to the beautiful Yusentei Park which was erected in 1754 during the Edo period. This park and the beautiful summer home of Fukuoka’s most famous samurai and family, the Kuroda clan did not disappoint. The garden was the first traditional Japanese garden introduced in Fukuoka and the traditional tatami matted house was a joy to behold. 11222358_10153519708522425_8359001942490611267_n

The class fed the koi fish in the very large pond that fronts the housed then proceeded to go inside the house.

We were able to examine the inside architecture closely and then had our matcha in the appropriate manner we were taught.

Another wonderful and educational outing.

Thanks Hirose sensei!

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Ramen

07/11/2015

Yesterday’s activity making ramen and gyoza was so much fun.

I have eaten ramen and gyoza many times and I have previously only cooked the instant ramen and frozen gyoza. This was the first time making ramen and gyoza from scratch. After this experience, I want to buy a pasta maker.

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Explanation for cooking ramen and gyoza was in Japanese and I could understand most of it, so it was a really good listening practice.

Yesterday, there were some middle school students on a field trip at the cooking school and I was able to speak to some of the students and teacher in Japanese. I was glad to get to practice speaking with people outside of my NILS classmates and teachers at the cooking school.

Overall, this was a very memorable experience.

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Kushida-Jinja

07/09/2015

This week’s trip was to Furusatokan and the Kushida-Jinja.

The museum showcases life and culture of Hakata, mainly of the Meiji and Taisho eras. It was interesting to see how life in hakata used to be. We then watched a fifteen minute video on an upcoming festival that was also going to be one of our field trips. After the museum we went next door where they had multiple looms for making Obi.

The climax of the trip was supposed to be us attempting to use the loom. For me, it felt completely lack-luster. The lady taught us how to use the machine, and we each got to use the loom for about 1 minute each. I found it more interesting to watch a professional work on her own complicated loom, than use the simple loom myself.

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After browsing the gift shop, we went across the street to Kushida-Jinja. By this point, I’ve been to four shrines in the Fukuoka region; so if the shrine doesn’t have anything to separate it from other shrine. We were at the shrine for probably 10 minutes, and then we left. Overall, the trip was fun.

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Tanabata

07/07/2015

Tanabata is the Star Festival held on July 7. It is based on the legend in which two stars in love, Altair and Vega, who are split apart on opposite sides of the Milky Way, are allowed to meet once a year on this night by the Emperor of the universe.

 

Sasa kazari

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In old days, people prayed to become clever with their hands on this day. This custom remains today. People write down their wishes on strips of poetry paper in five different colors and hang them on branches of bamboo trees.

We introduce this culture to the short program students and teach them how to write their wishes in Japanese.

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Hakata Ningyou Painting

06/25/2015

This week we went to Hakata to check out a store that sells ningyou, or Japanese dolls.

Before that we got short history lesson about the tax system in Fukuoka and learned that if you couldn’t pay money you could pay with rice or other goods that you made such as ningyou. Due to this Hakata ningyou came to be known far and wide for their quality.

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I like it when we tie the activity into the culture.

Once we got to the store I was blown away by the quality of the dolls. I knew they would be good but they were fantastic. I couldn’t even tell they had been painted. The range was impressive as well. From delicate ladies, masculine samurai, all the way down to cute children dancing.

After getting the chance to look around and put the fire to our inspiration we were given the choice of dolls to paint. It was a good cross section so that there would definitely be something that would interest everyone. I chose a cute dancing child as my doll and then sat down to paint.

There was a good selection of paints. Enough to be able to mix any colors I could want. We were provided with only two brushes though. I kind of wish we could have gotten one more super fine brush but the two we received managed to get the job done. I have always liked art and painting so this is by far the activity I have enjoyed the most.

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Painting calms me and I really lost track of time and before I knew it was almost up. I managed to create something I was happy with but I easily could have spent all day painting it. I most definitely want to come back and paint another one.

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