Tokyo

Kaj and I found a hole-in-the-wall “diner” packed with locals enjoying all our favorite Japanese foods just a couple blocks from the New Sanno hotel, our home for a few days. We ordered a bunch of small dishes, getting one more plate of gyozas (pot...

Yokota

Yokota West Elementary may have been our quickest school stop, but it was packed and lively! The principal and I, both Minnesotans, graduated from St. Cloud State University. This is mostly significant only if you’re also from Minnesota. We have a thing about...

Sullivans

When I was planning this trip, a friend reminded me that our friend SuzAnne Payseur was teaching in Japan. I found SuzAnne on Facebook and sent her a note. Her response was, “I’ll see if our school wants you to visit.” And then, later, “They...

DinoJan

Arnn Elementary is Jan Danford’s school. Jan is the mastermind behind my tour. What started with a dream shared by me and Jason Rome, now 11, was made possible by Jan’s excitement, organization, and follow through. Here’s Jan introducing me… We...

An Arcade Farewell

Our last night in Sasebo with the Duran/Rome family was spent at the Arcade, the name given to the covered shopping streets you’ll find throughout Japan’s cities. First, a stop for sweet bean cakes. We preferred the dark beans, warm and rich, oozing from...

A Castle & a Goddess

Kameoka (or Hirado) Castle was our fist stop with Geena, Tom, and Jason on our last day with these Sasebo friends.  The castle is perched on the hillside above the town of Hirado, looking over the sea. Little Kurokojima Island floats below. We hiked the grounds,...