Japanese School in Japan,Fukuoka - NILS

School Activity Report

書道体験~Japanese Calligraphy



On June 12th we had the opportunity to try making Japanese calligraphy. Even though I had done something similar when I first came to Japan years ago, it wasn’t so detailed. I learned a lot: from new Japanese words to all the necessary items to perform Japanese calligraphy the right way, to the techniques used in this type of art.

Of course, you can’t master calligraphy with just one try; nevertheless I found this activity really interesting. It was fascinating and intimidating at the same time see how you must draw every stroke to obtain an aesthetical pleasant kanji. Definitely, this is a tough art to conquer.

At the end of the activity we also received some presents: the calligraphy kit; a brush pen and a customized seal. That made me very happy, it was so unexpected!



八女紙漉き体験~Japanese traditional paper craft @Yame city



On June 6th we went to Yame city to see how Japanese traditional paper is made.

The whole trip may take a while if departing from Hakata station, but I think it is worth it, especially for those who have never experienced something like that, as it was for me.

Yame is a quiet town and, even if it isn’t all that big, it has a lot of Japan history and traditions in it.

So, we first went to Yame Cultural and Traditional Crafts Museum to try making in person some examples of Japanese paper. The process was actually very easy to follow and the final product really nice: we made some bookmarks and postcards, that we’d been able to customize as we liked using for example dried flowers. The paper seems rustic, as it is kind of uneven and unrefined; but I think this is exactly what makes it so unique.

While we were waiting for the paper to dry out, we visited the adjacent rooms full of famous Yame crafts. We could admire some example of bamboo-made goods and utensils; beautiful paper lanterns (some were huge); arrows and arches; Japanese Hina dolls. But for me the most incredible crafts were the Buddhist altars. Some were bigger, other smaller, but they are all so refined and full of details that one can’t help but be amazed.

After that, we also saw an example of Japanese puppet theatre.

We also had the opportunity to buy some of the local green tea, since Yame is well known for its tea, too.

As for the other activities, I really enjoyed this one, since once again I could get in touch with the Japanese culture.









Nanzouin walk~南蔵院~


On May 30th we went to Nanzoin. The place is located in Sasaguri town, which you can reach by train, followed by a brief walk.

As soon as you step out the station, a beautiful landscape welcome you: mountains covered with the bright green of the trees and a small river.

We headed to the statue of the reclining Buddha walking through many chapels, shrines and then up a hill.


I didn’t expect you can actually go inside the statue, as we did. We reached a room located approximately in correspondence with the Buddha’s heart, where we prayed a little bit before exit.

I was surprised that a Buddhist temple and lots of Torii could be found so closed to each other, as they formed a sole worship place, with no evident difference between the two religions. For example, we walked through a tunnel dedicated to the Seven lucky Gods of Japan; we could admire a statue of Fudo Myo-o and a very large number of other statues representing the Buddha’s disciples.


For me, the most remarkable aspect was that this large complex is entirely surrounded by nature with perfect harmony: woods, routes, also a waterfall and a small cave; and you can get lost and feeling calm, tranquil and regenerated, too.

There were also so many turtles! I love them so much that I was really happy to see lots of them.

So far, this was my favorite activity, I really enjoyed it and I would love to go to Nanzoin once more before my return to Italy.









友泉亭~Japanese garden “Yusentei park”



On May 22nd we went to Yusentei Park. I found it very pleasant, as being surrounded by nature is one of my favorite things. Moreover this park shows pretty well a typical Japanese garden, with its lake full of carps and maple trees. The view was fantastic from every angle. We also enjoyed a cup of matcha green tea with some Japanese-style confectioneries.

We then visited Fukuoka zoological and botanical gardens. I preferred the most the latter, since I feel quite uncomfortable seeing wild animals kept in captivity. Nevertheless, the botanical garden was amazing. I had never seen flowers as big and colorful as the ones I saw there. Their smell was really nice, too.

I really liked this activity.






博多街歩き~Hakata city walking

5月のいいお天気の中、博多の旧市街を散策して来ました♪ 福岡の歴史や文化についてたくさん勉強できた1日でした。

Today we joined the Fukuoka Walking Tour. Despite the weather (it was quite hot, but also windy), I really enjoyed it.

I learnt many things about the city of Fukuoka, particularly some aspects of its history. We visited some Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, being able to know various aspects of the Japanese religion and culture that you don’t hear often outside this Country (unless you do specific researchers or consult genre specific books).

I liked visiting the Old City of Hakata the most; it is so beautiful! You can clearly see how tradition and modernity melt together with great harmony.

Surely worth it.






Open Top Bus (オープントップバス観光)

This week we went on an open top bus tour of Fukuoka. It was a great opportunity to get familiar with the different areas and places in Fukuoka City.

We started at Fukuoka City Hall near the Tenjin station. We visited spots such as Yafuoka! Dome where the SoftBank Hawks baseball team plays, Fukuoka Tower, Ohori Koen, and the busy streets of Tenjin just to name a few. We also saw views of the ocean and crossed on a tall beautiful bridge. The baseball stadium was framed by very interesting buildings that were supposed to look like ships.

We enjoyed the view of the different neighborhoods decorated with the young greenery of spring. The azaleas were in full bloom and the wisteria garden had also started to drop their grape-like flowers. One of the best viewing spots of the spring season was the large park surrounding the Fukuoka Castle Ruins. We will explore these different areas further in the weeks to come.


川下り体験 柳川 ( Yanagawa outing )

Hinamatsuri, Dolls’ Festival, or specially Girls’ Festival is a festival quite special to the Japanese culture.  Families celebrate the day with the display of dolls signifying the Emperor and Empress, along with dolls of different levels in the traditional hierarchy, with the aims to offer blessings for their daughter.  This is one of the most heartwarming and colorful festivals in Japan.  This week, not only was I able to witness how Japanese people celebrate Hinamatsuri, I was able to experience this in Yanagawa, a town known for its many bridges and canels, which can be navigated by boats.


Tsuboi-san accompanied me in this trip. Thanks to him, I was able to understand more about the culture and tradition of Yanagawa and Japan as a whole.  We started our day trip with a boat ride. Our punter was an Ojiisan, an elderly man. He showed us his wonderful punting skills by going through amazingly narrow bridges with ease. He not only introduced the places as we punted along, but also entertained us with singing Japanese folk songs.  His voice was really awesome.  The whole journey was 4 km long which took about 40 mins.  The ride was really entertaining and comfortable.  Unlike Venice which seems to be overcrowded with tourists and has constant congestions  in the canels, Yanagawa was relatively relaxing and serene.


During the boat ride, we saw a stage where Hinamatsuri ceremony was performed, and children gathered on different boats, getting ready to send paper dolls to the canels, with the hope to pray for good fortune and health.


After the boat trip, we went to the the Tachibana Museum. Besides housing lots of important cultural properties, the museum also displayed an awesome collection of traditional dolls specifically in celebration of Hinamatsuri. The dolls together with the unique hanging ornaments were gorgeous. The Museum has an attached Japanese garden which was an absolute beauty. The best viewing point was from the second floor.


We had  lunch in this old building overlooking the beautiful garden. Lunch was unagi, Sea eel, which was also famous in Yanagawa and a must-try.  The day was wrapped up with a short walk around Yanagawa town, where we could see a lot of fully bloomed sakura trees, a Shrine with caged chickens, goats, a monkey and some other animals.  It was a very enjoyable and memorable day trip !


お花見 (Hanami party)



Spring is a lovely season to visit Japan and hanami (cherry blossoms viewing) is a much anticipated festivity in the year. Having the privilege to come to Fukuoka in March, I have been looking forward to the hanami this week. Although it was not my first time viewing sakura, it was my first time going with a group of Japanese teachers and classmates.

I have always been fascinated by Japanese people’s hanami culture; it is not just a mere action of appreciating sakura blossoming; its a celebration of the beauty in life, the approach of spring, and camaraderie of friends and families.  We went in a group of 10 teachers and classmates to the Maizuru Park, where we had bento under the cherry blossom trees.

Afterwards i went with teachers to visit the ruins of the Fukuoka castle and Korokan Historical Museum, a guesthouse for diplomats in ancient times.  I found it particularly interesting that researchers of the museum could actually infer what food the people had eaten, and even reconstructed the whole feast in the old days just by examining the elements found in the toilet remains. It was a really funfilled day.



Japanese doll painting (日本人形絵付け体験)


This week I was accompanied by Yoko sensei to make the traditional doll of Fukuoka.

When we arrived at the shop, we couldn’t help but marveled at the display of hundreds of beautifully handcrafted dolls. After a little tour around the shop, we started to work on our own dolls.

Of course with the limited time we had, we could only do coloring for our chosen doll mold. There were plenty of molds to choose from and I chose a little cat mold.  I had a lot of fun mixing different color paints to make my cat look more interesting.  I got inspiration from Yayoi Kusama’s polkadot pumkin and decorated the back of my cat with black polkadots.

After an hour of hard work, my cat doll had eventually come to life.  Sensei and I posed for some pictures with our own works.  I named mine “God of Cats”.  I think it looks adorable and majestic!


学業祈願(Praying for study success)

今月の初め、卒業生は、「大宰府天満宮」という神社に行き、学業のお祈りをしました。 ここは、学業の神様の神社として日本で有名です。 特に12月~2月は、日本では受験シーズンなので、受験する日本の学生がたくさん祈願をしに来ます。 NILSの学生も卒業後は、ほとんど日本の学校へ進学するので、一緒にお参りをします。

Our graduating students visited a shrine called, “Dazaifu-Tenmangu”, which is well-known as a place in where a god of study is, and prayed for their study success in the future. Not only our students, but also many Japanese students who would take the test for next school come here to get pass.


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