From Fukui, with Love

The slow, slow escape to Kyushu

Posted by in Mike's blog

“Why did you come to Kyushu?” Our host asked me this great question on our second night in Fukuoka prefecture.  We spent our golden week holidays (almost) as far away from home as the highways across Japan can take us.  It was an ambitious road trip, but the places we went were unlike any we have seen before. The plan “Golden week” is what we around here call a group of national holidays in late April/early May.  Most of the country gets time off of work, and it’s the busiest travelling…read more

Adventures in snowy Nagano

Posted by in Mike's blog

Nagano is like our home away from home in Japan.  One of my former students has generously made her vacation home available for our family to visit as often as we can.  So far we’ve been there 4 times – once in each season. The 1998 winter olympics put Nagano on the map, and now we know why.  It’s snowy in a way that Vancouver and Sochi are not.  Taking photos of the scenery was one of my goals for our trip, but we visited some cool places too. So…much…snow……read more

Osaka with kids: More than we bargained for

Posted by in Mike's blog

We have taken the Bunny around the world.  Before her 2nd birthday (when she could ride on airplanes for free) she had been to Montreal, Toronto, Paris, Rome, Pisa, Tokyo, Osaka and Seoul.  We consider ourselves to be experienced at travelling with kids, but last month…we lost to Osaka. We’ve since identified the problems.  Some have solutions, others don’t.  Between the Turtle needing to stop for mommy milk and diaper changes and the Bunny running out of steam mid-day (she’s too old for a stroller now), we learned the hard…read more

Express busses are bad news

Posted by in Mike's blog

“Express” is the wrong adjective for Japan’s highway busses. We have been told by a few friends that express busses are an “affordable alternative” to train travel. Unfortunately, these busses also mean giving up a few of the nicer luxuries that come with riding the rails… Aside from not having the freedom to move around from car to car or seat to seat whenever we please, highway “express” busses are especially prone to TRAFFIC JAMS. We foolishly chose to begin our trip to Kyoto & Tokyo on an express bus….read more

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8 things we learned about riding trains with a toddler

Posted by in Mike's blog

We’re pretty good at travelling with the Bunny. Now that we’ve been back from our vacation for a few days, we’ve had a bit of time to reflect on a pretty big accomplishment:  We survived 2 non-consecutive days, enduring 10+ hours (on each day) of train travel with a toddler – and nobody died.  This wasn’t her first long trip, either.  She’s been on plane rides just as long a few times, and when she was still a baby she went on a couple of road trips, too. Of the three…read more

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Train travel from Fukui to Mihara

Posted by in Mike's blog

Today we rode the rails all the way from Fukui to Mihara. Where’s Mihara? It’s about 12 hours away from Fukui with stops on slow trains… This marks the beginning of our spring vacation. Up until this point the only other trip we had taken in Japan since we arrived last August was that one time we went to Osaka for the weekend in our first month. We have been waiting and saving for an opportunity to use Mary’s generous vacation time to see more of Japan, that is one…read more

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Smile for the bus

Posted by in Mike's blog

Living in Fukui is a wish come true. For years, I have wished for the opportunity to live in a city where cars are not required, and now my wish has mostly been granted. Japan is known for its extensive and efficient public transit systems. If we were in one of the big metropolis cities, there would be no questions about whether we would get a car or not. In Fukui…most people drive. So many people drive that as of this past Friday I don’t think we know anyone else…read more

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