Thursday, April 30

During the week that the Sakura were in bloom, we got up one morning at 5am to go see a Sakura tree, "Taki-Zakura", that is over 1,000 years old! It was so beautiful, and well worth the early morning! And besides, how often can you see something so old?

You can see the base of the tree here - it is huge

You can see the posts that they have put up, to help the tree from falling down!

People come from all over to look at the tree while it's in bloom - even at 6am!

Ashley Sensei, Kawaai Sensei & Abbie Sensei

Posted by Posted by Chris and Abbie at 8:37 PM


Monday, April 27

In Japan, the Sakura (Cherry Blossom Trees) are a big anticipation. The trees only bloom for 1-2 weeks so everyone in Japan follows the blooming trees throughout the country - the blooming starts in the South and works its way North. We live in the more North part of Japan, so they don't bloom here until later, which means we got to see them!

We live right next to a river that is lined with the Sakura trees, so everyday we got to see the beautiful trees!

The river by our house

What they look like up close...

The city hangs lanterns from the trees

The lanterns at night

Posted by Posted by Chris and Abbie at 7:00 AM


Saturday, April 25

We have internet - we are so excited! Over the next few days I will work to post all of the pictures and updates we want to show all of you.
We have been teaching for 3 weeks now and have pretty much settled into our schedules. Here's what we do everyday:

Chris teaches at a Jr. High school (7, 8 & 9 grade) about a 25 minute train ride from our house. He works with two Japanese teachers - Tami and Yuko - and assists them with their English classes. After school he has been joining some of the "club" activities - baseball, kendo and volleyball. He'll probably help the baseball team out on a regular basis starting next week.

Chris also teaches one evening class at the English School for 7th grade boys.

Chris' School

In the mornings I teach at some nearby Elementary Schools. There are 5 of us that go each morning and teach in 2-4 classrooms, depending on the size of the school.

In the afternoons, I teach at the English School. I have 2-3 afternoon/evening classes a day, and my classes range from 1st - 7th grade (students have a class twice a week).

The English School

We are having a good time getting to know the students and teachers that we work with. Our teammates here have been so helpful showing us different ways to teach the classes and helping us learn the curriculum. We are so thankful for all of them and feel so blessed by all of their help!

Posted by Posted by Chris and Abbie at 8:03 PM


Thursday, April 16

Hey everyone - sorry for the delay in posts. We still don't have internet at our house, so we don't get online too often. All is well here in Japan - we will post as soon as we can! (Lots of pictures to come!)

Posted by Posted by Chris and Abbie at 5:36 PM


Friday, April 3

Oh, the adventures of living in Japan. Most things in our apartment have been pretty easy to figure out, but today my goal was to conquer the washing machine. How hard could it be - it's a washing machine. Well, that's what you say, until you take a closer look at this:

I'm happy to say I succeeded and have completed 2 loads of laundry. Next up is the dryer...I thought I'd wait to try that one until later...for now this will work for drying:

This is really our "shower room". You can see the tub at the bottom of the picture and the shower head up top. You actually stand outside of the tub to use the shower.

Posted by Posted by Chris and Abbie at 3:12 PM


Well, I'm sorry for the delay in posting pictures of our new home. We don't have internet in our apartment yet, so we have been coming to another teacher's house to use hers (thanks Jeni!).

We really love our apartment - it is small and cozy. We were so blessed that the couple that was in the apartment last left so many things for us to use! So it already seems quite settled.

Our new home...ours is the first floor

Our kitchen

Living Room - directly off the kitchen

Our bedroom - the bed is just a little larger than a twin size bed - NO JOKE!

Posted by Posted by Chris and Abbie at 2:57 PM


Wednesday, April 1

We've finally arrived in Japan! We got here last night (Tuesday) - it's currently Wednesday morning here now, Tuesday night for everyone back home. The time change is a bit crazy to figure out - we're 14 hours ahead of Chicago time.

We had fun last night exploring our new apartment - it is very cute and quite cozy. We were so blessed by the couple that lived here before us - they left our apartment filled with lots of things, and we are so thankful that we won't have to buy a lot right away! And we've been able to spend the day unpacking and getting things figured out.

We'll write more later and post pictures as soon as we can.

Posted by Posted by Chris and Abbie at 11:25 AM