宮津姉妹都市ネルソン市表敬訪問 Official Visit to Miyazu Sister City Nelson, New Zealand


For one week this November from the 6th to the 13th, a group of seven people including both Miyazu citizens and city hall employees visited Miyazu’s sister city, Nelson (New Zealand).  In accordance with it being the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Miyazu-Nelson Sister City Agreement, a resigning of the agreement among other ceremonies was held and the visit served as a valuable opportunity to reconfirm the significance of the friendship and bond that the two cities share.



geyserWe left Japan for New Zealand from KIX Airport on the evening of November 6th. We first arrived in Auckland Airport from which we took a bus to Rotorua.  The flight from kIX Airport to Auckland Airport was approximately 10 hours.  After arriving in Rotorua, we were guided through a miraculous limestone cave where we got to see glow worms.  We also visited a giant geyser and got to experience and get used to the New Zealand climate and cuisine.  While riding on the bus from Auckland to Rotorua, all that could be seen was pastures and beautiful green vast landscape.  The color of the pastures and landscape was so vivid and brilliant that it was very impressing.  We also got to have some New Zealand beefsteak and try the local beer and wine which was all delicious.


nelson-2After spending a few days in Rotorua, we left on the morning of the 9th and headed to Nelson via Wellington.  We arrived a little after noon and a welcome party holding a welcome sign written in beautiful calligraphy lettering was waiting at the airport to greet us.  Everyone who came to meet us at the airport was so warm and friendly and kind.  After being treated to a delicious lunch, we were shown Nelson’s famous Boulder Bank (A land form similar to Amanohashidate in Miyazu but with no pine trees and covered in rocks.  It is also 13 kilometers long; about 4 times the size of Amanohashidate).  Both the Boulder Bank and the ocean surrounding it was very beautiful and calming. The area had a lot of palm trees and seemed tropical.  There was a lighthouse on the Boulder Bank that we were going to climb if it wasn’t for the rain.  In the evening, a movie night was held by the Japanese Association in Nelson featuring the Japanese film “Maiko is a lady”.  Before the movie started, there was time to chat and mingle with the Japanese residents of Nelson as well as the Mayors of Nelson and the Tazman Area and the Japanese Ambassador who were all in attendance.  The Japanese Ambassador also read an English greeting welcoming the visiting party from Miyazu before the movie started.  It was a very nice relaxing time.


nelson-3The next day, the group spent the majority of the day sightseeing visiting Miyazu Garden, (We found and took photos in front of the tree that NZ Association President, Mr. Adachi planted with the former mayor of Miyazu and the memorial plaque), the Nelson Cathedral, the winery, and enjoyed a pottery experience at a nearby village.  In the evening, an official dinner with the Mayor Reese of Nelson City was held.


maori-1The resigning of the Sister City Agreement was done on the morning of the 11th.  Both Mayor Reese of Nelson and Deputy Mayor Ueda of Miyazu resigned the agreement and the two cities reconfirmed their friendship and bond to one another.  It was a very significant event for the two cities.  The founder of the Sister City Association also attended the event and the members including the Deputy Mayor were very honored to get to meet such an important person who had contributed so much to the friendship between the two cities.  After shopping in the afternoon, we were invited to an evening farewell party at Carl’s house.  Carl is the conductor who organized and executed the performances in Kyoto, Osaka, and Miyazu earlier this year.  Everyone enjoyed chatting and drinking being reunited with members of the chorus group who visited Miyazu earlier this year and had a very nice time.  Even in only a few short days, and despite the language and cultural barriers, everyone was able to become close and enjoy each other’s company and newfound friendship.  The members of the chorus group who attended the farewell party sang several songs for us including “furusato” beautifully.  Those who had heard the concerts they gave while visiting Miyazu and Kyoto, felt nostalgic and were happy to be able to hear their beautiful singing again. The next morning before leaving, we were invited to have tea and cookies at the former Sister City Association Chairman, Mary’s house.  Afterwards we were taken to the airport and received a warm farewell from the citizens of Nelson who had taken care of us while we were there.  We are so grateful to so many people who helped arrange our visit including Lyndal who is Chairman of teh Sister City Association and planned our stay, found us hotels, and showed us all around Nelson during our stay; Mary and her husband, Akiko, Carl, and many others who accompanied us on our sightseeing and welcomed us so to their city so warmly.  We are very grateful for their kindness and thoughtfulness.maori-3


maori-2We left Nelson on the afternoon of the 12th and traveled to Wellington.  Due to the bad weather (rain) and a flight delay, we had to change our original sightseeing plans.  We visited Zealandia Sanctuary which tells the history of the native animals of New Zealand, and the Te Papa Museum with many displays of Maori architecture and culture.  We also watched a video explaining how films such as “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” were created and rode a cable car to a look-out point where we could overlook the city.  It was raining when we rode the cable car to the look-out point so the entire town was covered in a misty fog.


We began our journey back to Miyazu on the morning of the 13th and finally arrived back in Miyazu at around 10 pm the same day (Japan time).  We had many memorable experiences and were able to interact with a new culture and the people of our sister city and feel connected to them even though there is a ten hour distance between us by plane.  We had a very special experience with many new cultural discoveries.


Since Japan is not my native country, this trip was a very good chance for me to travel to another English speaking country besides the US for the first time and compare the culture with my own.  For me, one of the most interesting things about New Zealand was how much the native Maori culture is valued and is treated with respect as the native culture of the land.  I was surprised that the Maori language was one of the national languages along with English and sign language.   In the United States, we value freedom and equality and strive to achieve it but in reality we still have a very big problem with racism that we have yet to overcome.  There were also native people inhabiting the American continent before the European settlers came over who had a very similar belief/value system to the Maori people which was also similar to the Japanese Shinto religion and animism outlook on life.  However, in the competition for land, these native peoples were driven from the land and the majority of them died either from disease or in battle.  There are very few pure Native Americans left in the United States and large parts of the culture and language of these native tribes has been lost.  According to the explanation I heard from the JTB agent, New Zealand has a similar history of driving the native tribes off their land and also has only a small population of pure-blood Maori people.  However, they now acknowledge this historical mistake and work to preserve the Maori culture and share it with the world as an important part of New Zealand culture.  I thought this was very honorable.  The JTB agent also discussed that because New Zealand has a very low crime rate and little racial discrimination it is a popular country for study abroad.


One other interesting thing was that all of the restaurants closed very early especially in the more rural town that we visited.  We discovered this when we went to eat dinner one night and had a very difficult time finding a restaurant that was still opened.  The next day when we asked the JTB agent about this he explained that the people of New Zealand in general tend to value their private life above their work and so they will close their businesses around 5 or 6 pm so that they can spend the evenings with their families.  He said that this was quite typical.  Some Japanese people may be surprised by this and think that the restaurant owners are lazy or unmotivated but I thought that it sounded like a good way to live a fulfilled life in a non-monetary sense.


Lastly, out of all the places that we had a chance to visit the place the was most memorable for me was the limestone cave and glow worms in Rotorua.  It was so exciting to be in a cave and the glow worms on the ceiling of the cave looked just like a starry night sky.  It was so breathtakingly gorgeous and an amazing experience.

Posted in Culture and Traditions - 外国の文化・習慣, International Exchange 国際交流, Miyazu - 宮津市 | Leave a comment

Miyazu- Cultural Exchange Events 宮津市の異文化交流イベント




Since arriving in Miyazu, I have had the privilege of working in cooperation with the international organization IOHMIYAZU to promote internationalization and foreign exchange activities.





An international culture-exchange event is held once a month.  The theme is either a seasonal event originating from overseas, baking, or an event designed around the interests/talents of one of the city’s AETs(We sometimes have AETs from surrounding areas cooperate in our events but it is usually the AETs stationed in Miyazu City).  There are two major types of events: events where foreigners introduce their culture to Japanese residents and events where Japanese residents introduce their culture to the foreign residents.  As examples of the first type, since I have started participating, there has been a Halloween party, an Easter egg hunt, a St. Patrick’s Day painting event, A kickball tournament, baking events (cookies, cakes(several)) etc.  As examples of the second type, there has been a Japanese New year’s games event, a traditional Japanese dance experience, and a guided tour of the different shrines and temples during the setsubun festival.



IOHMIYAZU is also working on another project that involves training volunteer English tour guides.  Volunteers who have interest in English are trained in pronunciation etc of English explanations of famous cultural sites or culture of the area.  The volunteers practice both together at the sessions and at home until they are able to guide foreigners in English while referencing the document.  One purpose of this activity is for the Japanese volunteers to rediscover Japanese culture and the culture of Miyazu by studying the famous historical sites and culture of the area more deeply and of course, to then be able to convey this newfound knowledge in both English and Japanese.  The first trial was held at Seirinji Temple in Miyazu and the theme was Zazen meditation.  Volunteers both experienced Zazen meditation for themselves and did desk work where they studied the significance, methods, etc of Zazen meditation.  On October 17 several members of a gospel choir from New Zealand and the UK agreed to participate in the Zazen meditation during their stay in Miyazu in accordance with the 40th anniversary of the Miyazu-Nelson sister city connection.  It was the chance the members had been waiting for and although it was their first time to actually guide visitors, they did very well.  Sessions have also been held on origami and paper crafts and the Old Mikamike House (a historically significant building once used as a sake brewery)but there haven’t been any chances for the volunteers to actually try guiding visitors yet.14720539_671950302961533_7352727436807063995_n



Lastly, I am doing a monthly lecture on American culture in order to try to improve the citizens’ awareness of foreign culture.  This lecture has been held four times thus far on the topics of the American election system, guns, Easy to identify with topics(drinking age, smoking age, and other age limits; driving; and the school system), and discrimination. The aims of these lectures are to raise citizens’ awareness of foreign affairs and to foster a sense of global awareness and broaden their horizons by learning about foreign cultures as well as to gain a deeper understanding of their own culture by learning the differences that it has with foreign culture.  In addition, I am always hoping that through learning the differences with other cultures that the participants will also be able to grasp the similarities that their culture shares with other cultures and by doing so learn to communicate more effectively with people of different cultures and gain a deeper perspective to be able to think of things from many different angles and perspectives.  Many international activities, not restricted to my town, target people who are interested in studying and learning English and so only a small portion of the community can participate.  I think this is a big problem that needs improvement so I conduct these lectures all in Japanese so that more people can participate easily.


I hope that there will be and that I can help plan many more activities in the future and to be able to contribute to internationalization and intercultural understanding in whatever ways possible.

Posted in Culture and Traditions - 外国の文化・習慣, International Exchange 国際交流, International Lecture 国際理解講座, Miyazu - 宮津市, Multicultural Society 多文化共生 | Leave a comment

宮津警察の活動に協力して。。。 Working with the Police 


This April, something unexpected happened.  After coming back to the office one day. I heard from my boss that while I was away visiting a nursery school or kindergarten that the police had come and wanted me to lecture at the police station.  At first, some of my coworkers were worried about me doing it alone and seemed to think that it would be better to do it with the AETs as a group even though the police had specifically asked for me to do it and it was a Japanese speech.  However,  in the end, I convinced my coworkers to let me do it alone as I had been asked to do.



The content of the lecture was to gather information and stories from other foreigners and discuss the good and bad points of Japanese police officers, areas that need improvement, how to interact with foreigners, and about police officers overseas from a foreigner’s perspective. The reason for the lecture was that with the recent increase of foreign visitors, the police have to interact with foreigners more and more despite not knowing how to or being used to doing so and thus they hoped to gain insight by listening to a foreigner’s opinion about the issue.


I asked around and gathered information from the AETs and other foreigners around me and gave a short lecture in May as I was asked.  Newspaper reporters and other media personnel were there and so it was very nerve-racking but after the lecture was finished many of the police asked me questions which assured me that they had been listening.  The lecture was held right after the weekly morning assembly and so quite a few people were there to listen.  The police listened very carefully and actively and seemed to be interested and asked many questions so it felt worthwhile.



This lecture was the original reason that I was able to make a connection with and started working with the police but even after it was finished, I was asked to cooperate in many activities such as flier distribution and PR activities. Through these activities I was able to have many memorable and unique experiences for which I am very grateful.  As a part of a an activity to raise awareness about terrorism, I translated and helped distribute an English flier to the foreign tourists at Amanohashidate station.  I also was able to ride on the police patrol boat and relay English messages to the residents of Ine reminding them to lock their doors when they leave their houses etc;  One of the Miyazu AETs was free in the office on the day that we distributed the fliers at Amanohashidate station and so she also helped us and we were able to distribute the fliers together.



The police also came to the monthly lectures that I am doing and introduced me to members of the Japanese coast guard and Japanese customs as well.  I was later asked by the Japanese coast guard to serve as a one day coast guard officer which involved distributing fliers at a community event while wearing a Japanese coast guard uniform.


I was also able to have dinner/drinks with members of the police, coast guard, and customs workers which was fun since I was able to talk with many people that I normally wouldn’t have the chance to talk with.



During the month of August,  since I had no nursery school/kindergarten visits, I was asked to teach English at the police station and I accepted.  The police asked me to do this because they were having troubles handling lost item reports and giving directions in English and wanted to become able to handle these cases more effectively.  A police officer who had experience working in America taught and my job was to read the foreigner’s role in the scenarios that he had prepared. However, the content of these practice sessions was very difficult for the participants and I couldn’t help but feel that memorizing a pre-written scenario would not actually be effective in dealing with foreigners in everyday situations where you cannot predict what they are going to say and would need to have enough English knowledge to deal with flexibly. It seemed like it would be more effective to hire one person with the ability to use English practically and have them deal with all foreign cases. Regardless, I continued to participate in these English sessions once a week through the end of August.


I hope that I will continue to have more opportunities to work with the police and others in the future.




Posted in Miyazu - 宮津市, Multicultural Society 多文化共生, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

宮津の姉妹都市デルレイビーチ市からの訪問団の観光案内・文化体験への付き添いAccompanying Visitors from Miyazu Sister City Delray Beach on Sightseeing and Cultural Experiences


For six days from June 4th to June 9th Miyazu hosted a group of three chaperones and seven high school students from its sister city, Delray Beach.  During their stay, the visitors participated in several activities such as attending a Japanese school, visiting local sightseeing spots, and meeting with the mayor of Miyazu.




The seven high school students each stayed with a host family while the chaperones stayed in inns and hotels in the Amanohashidate area.  In between their arrival on June 4 and their departure on the 9th, the group experienced the beauty of Miyazu by participating in several activities designed to convey the historical value and appeal of the city.



The students attended Miyazu Senior High School and by doing so were able to get a taste of what daily life is like for a Japanese high school student as well as learn about the Japanese education system.  Not only did the students learn about Japanese school life but they also presented to the Japanese students about their own town and school culture.  This was a good opportunity for the students to learn about eachother and cultural differences.  The students also visited the Marine High School located in the Kunda area of Miyazu.  The chaperones also attended this visit.



A meeting with the mayor was also held.  During this meeting, he students were able to ask many questions about the cultural significance and meaning of the different areas they had been shown by their host families as well as ask and learn about Miyazu history and culture.  I was very happy to be able to attend this meeting and serve as an interpreter between the mayor and the high school students.


Cultural experiences were also planned and executed by the Delray Beach Friendship Association.Cultural experiences included a visit to Kanabiki Waterfall, Japanese Aizome, and Tamgoyaki making in which students were shown how to make tamagoyaki and also got to taste it.  The students were able to experience Japanese representative culture as well as the unique culture of Miyazu.  The students especially seemed to like Kanabiki Waterfall which is also popular among the foreign residents of Miyazu.  The students played in the water and took many selfies as well as a group shot at the end before leaving. DSC_1279


The most impressionable and impactful experience out of the ones I attended for me was the farewell party held the day before the group’s departure.  The farewell party was attended by the high school students, their host families, the members of the Delray Beach Friendship Association, and several city employees and was held at a fancy grand hotel in the Amanohashidate area.  Even though, the time the students were only in Miyazu for a total of six days and the time they spent together was very short, they enjoyed chatting and taking photos together and were very reluctant to leave at the end of the party.  They had a hard time saying goodbye to each other. The thing that most impressed me personally was the students’ individual speeches before the closing of the event.  The Japanese students and American students were asked to give short individual speeches about their experiences over the past six days.  The American students were asked to give speeches in Japanese and the Japanese students in English.  The American students had their speeches translated and were prepared but the Japanese students mostly spoke all in Japanese so while I had to Interpret at least a part of everyone’s speech translating the Japanese students’ speeches was my main job.



     Everyone was in tears when they read their speeches.  They talked about how important the relationships and connections they had made with everyone there were to them and how they would never forget their experiences they had here. They also talked very passionately about wanting to utilize their experiences in the future and not wanting their experience to go to waste.  I was impressed that the students were able to share and experience so many things and make such deep connections with those around them in such a short period of time.  I was also impressed that the high school students were able to not only realize the importance of their connections with the people around them and how precious they were but also were be able to be grateful and express their feelings of thanks in words despite only being 15 or 16 years old.  I deeply felt that it was very significant that the students came to Miyazu and had this experience at an age where they were still young enough to be impacted and implement the experience into their future plans and goals but mature enough to grasp and understand the meaning and significance of their experience.  After listening to the students’ emotional teary speeches, I felt certain that even if they don’t choose a career having to do with international exchange that they will make use of their experience either personally or in a different career.I was deeply moved and realized that this was what cultural exchange and raising globally aware adults is all about.  I was so grateful and happy to have been able to attend and be a part of this event that inspired not only me but everyone in attendance.     

Posted in International Exchange 国際交流, Miyazu - 宮津市 | Leave a comment

おおきに、心の古郷、京都! A heartfelt thanks to you Kyoto, my second home


Alice from KPIC here! I will be finishing JET at the end of July. 5 years have passed so quickly, and it feels like I arrived just yesterday. This will be my last article on this blog.

中学校から日本好きな私は「いつか日本で働いて長く住みた いな」と思って、日本の自治体の国際化に貢献できるJETプログラムに申請しました。しかし、英語圏出身者の募集は毎年何千人もいるが、フランス人募集は 5名以下のに対して、応募は100人以上もいるという激しい競争率が現実です。ですから、合格した時には本当に夢が叶い、幸せの極みでした。

「国 際交流員の仕事は何?」とよく聞かれますが、今になってやっと答えが分かりました。「国際交流の何でも屋さん!」です。5年間の中で知事と首相レベルの通 訳、訪問団を迎える準備と同行、ミシュランシェフの付き合いなどという制度上のレベルで普段関われない仕事もあれば、住民に向けたワインセミナー、フラン ス伝統舞踊体験など、地域と深く関われる仕事もありました。

I have been in love with Japan since junior high, and it was one of my dreams to work and live in Japan, so applying to the JET Programme was only natural. Every year, thousands of people from English-speaking countries are recruited but only a few spots are available to French people, while hundreds apply each year. So when I got accepted, it was like a dream come true.

Interpreting for oyster farmers in Ine village 伊根町で牡蠣養殖業者同士の通訳も

Interpreting for oyster farmers in Ine village

People often ask me “What does a CIR do?”. After all these years, I think I finally have the answer: “A CIR is the jack-of-all-trades of internationalization”! In my 5 years, I did some work that usually fresh graduates don’t get to do such as interpreting for Kyoto Prefecture Governor and Prime Ministers meetings, welcoming delegations and accompanying them, working with Michelin star chiefs, but also work involving the Prefecture’s citizens and connecting with the community with events such as wine seminars and traditional French dance classes.

印 象に残った仕事は山ほどあります。大好きな京都府と南仏の地域を友好協力協定諸の調印で繋げて、アーティスト、高校生をはじめ、色々な当事者が交流できる 環境を作ったり、「フィールドトリップin京都府」で府内の市町村へ外国人住民を連れて、地域ならではの文化体験と住民との深い交流でお互いに豊かにな り、偏見と孤立感を解消し、地方振興に貢献する事業も担当したり、色々しました。全て知りたい!という人はセンターのHPで読んでくださいね。

Signing the friendship agreement 友好協力協定諸の調印

Signing the friendship agreement

Field Trips were awesome! 大好きだったフィールドトリップの仕事

Field Trips were awesome!

There is a mountain of things I will remember. I got to do many wonderful things, such as linking Kyoto and my native southern France together through a friendship agreement, creating many ties between the two regions thanks to artists and students exchanges, or creating links between international and local residents through Field Trip programs across the whole of Kyoto Prefecture, breaking down stereotypes and isolation, and contributing to local areas. Look at the Center’s website to check everything I did!


ま ずは、学校訪問。国際交流員として府内の小・中・高校で授業をする機会がありました。日本の学校はよくアニメやドラマに出ているので、実際に行って、学生 と交流して、本当に暖かい思い出が盛り沢山。特に、素直な日本人小学生に何度も感動しました。彼らの声は今でもずっと響きます:「ええええ」(フランスの 文化に対するビックリ声)、「メルシー」(フランス語を一生懸命習ってくれた姿)、「先生!」(発表の途中でも質問をする好奇心)。それから、訪問後の手 紙で涙を何度もこぼした「フランス語を習う!」「世界に出たくなった!」「無意識な偏見を意識する!」。未来を作る次世代の視野を広めて、光栄です。皆さ ん、世界の色々な架け橋になってください。私もみんなの笑顔で頑張れます。

Dancing with the kids 子どもとフランスの鴨踊りを踊る

Dancing with the kids

There are two times when I felt that my work was truly meaningful and that I really contributed to the community.

Alice6First, school visits. I got to visit elementary, junior and high schools and do classes there. Japanese schools often appear in dramas or anime, so actually being a part of them and meeting the students are some of the best memories I made. I still hear the students’ voices: “Whaaaat” (when hearing about French culture), “Merci!” (their remembering of French), “Teacher!” (when interrupting the presentation to ask more out of insatiable curiosity). Their letters often got me tearful too: “I want to learn French!”, “I want to see the world!”, “I will be careful of stereotypes!”. It was an honor to broaden their horizons. I hope they build tomorrow’s peaceful world. I will take your smiles with me from now on.

それから、私は「よさこいで燃え尽きる者」とよく同僚に呼ばれています。来日してすぐに、「颯戯 FUJA」という京都のよさこいチームに入って、全国のお祭りに参加して、ある祭りではチームをまとめる役割もさせていただきました。ここでよさこいが 「超楽しい!」以外に、一番感動したのは「外国人」ではなく、「アリス」として受け入れてくれたことです。「日本では~」と言いながら、「私達日本人とあ なた」の壁を作らずに、同じ地域とチームの一人として見てくれたこと。多彩な国籍と人柄を全て「外国人」としてしか取り扱わない無意識な差別が多い日本 で、外国人住民の私がよく疲れていましたが、毎回チーム活動でリフレッシュして、刺激を貰い、仕事もプライベートも頑張れることができました。

名古屋のにっぽんど真ん中祭りに参加 Participating in the Domannaka Festival in Nagoya

Participating in the Domannaka Festival in Nagoya

Alice8My colleagues often call me “the Yosakoi girl”. As soon as I arrived in Kyoto, I joined my team, “FUJA”, and participated in lots of festivals around Japan. I even got to be team leader for one of them. Outside than Yosakoi being super fun, the thing that stood out the most is how everyone treated me as a member of the team and as myself, Alice, rather than “the foreigner”. They didn’t build walls between them and me. It’s easy to get tired in Japanese society where the diversity of non-Japanese are clustered into a big “foreigners” label only. Meeting with my team every week was so refreshing and gave me the energy to keep on living and working in Japan.



大原のおばあさんにフランス語を教えるお母さん My mom taught French to a shop owner in Ohara

My mom taught French to a shop owner in Ohara

メ ディア、テレビ番組、雑誌ではなく、自分自身で違う価値観、文化を感じて、理由を知るようにしてください。「異文化」は「海外」に限りませんよ。隣人、違 う仕事の人、県外の人なども「異文化」を持ちます。自分の文化や価値観と比較して、すぐ判断するのではなく、相手の話を直接聞いて、「外国人」「外の人」 ではなく、「その人」のことを理解しましょう。それから、機会があれば、世界に出て、自分が「マイノリティ」になる経験をしてください。そうすると、異文 化理解の上、自分のアイデンティティ、価値観と自信がしっかりします。豊かな人間になります。


Finally, here is my last lesson for you (because I’m a “teacher” now!)

First! “Make your own opinions yourself”.

大原女の行列に参加した! I became a Ohara girl!

I became a Ohara girl!

Experience different cultures and values first-hand and not through media such as magazines or TV. “Different” doesn’t automatically mean “foreign”. It can be your neighbor, people from different fields of work or regions etc. Don’t judge and compare from your own culture but listen to that person. Don’t treat them as “different” or “foreign” but as “this person in particular”. If you have the chance, live abroad and become a minority yourself. Not only will you understand other cultures and viewpoints better, but you will also get a new insight on your own values and identity. In a world where obscurantism, hatred and terrorism are on the rise, it’s our duty as citizens of the world. Reach out to others and build bridges instead of walls.


おおきに! Thanks Kyoto!

Thanks Kyoto!

京 都それから、日本で出会ったみなさんが、受け入れてくれたことに対して感謝。5年間でできた経験は人生で唯一のことばかりで、私を成長させ、豊かな人間に してくれました。過ぎ去った5年間を、京都府国際センターと京都府国際課、それから皆さんと一緒に過ごせたことはとても光栄なことで、私の次の職場や人生 の様々な場面で、心を温め、支えてくれる大切な思い出と力になると思います。これからも京都で冒険したり、よさこいを踊ったりするので、会ったら声をかけ てください!皆さん、心からおおきに!それから、またね!

Second! “A heartfelt thank you”!

次の冒険へ! On to the next adventure!

On to the next adventure!

All the people I met in Japan and Kyoto have welcomed me into their hearts and local communities, and I am so thankful for that. Everything I experienced in these 5 years has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience and helped me grow so much. It was an honor to work together with the people at the Center, the Prefectural Office and everyone I met, and these memories will be the strength that will support me in the next step and warm my heart on down days.

I will still enjoy Kyoto and dance Yosakoi here and there, so say hi if we meet! A big thank you and see you later!

Posted in Announcement お知らせ, Kyoto Prefectural Center - 京都府国際センター | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Greetings from the CIR in Maizuru – 舞鶴市国際交流員の挨拶

July might be the month of farewell for a lot of us, but here is a new CIR introduction!
Meet Sun Yanan, the CIR in Maizuru. She arrived in April and will be staying one year. Go read her self introduction here:





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Goodbye from Jake, CIR in Seika 精華町国際交流員ジェーク氏の退任の挨拶

Hey everyone!  I’m Jake, the CIR in Seika Town and this will be my final post on the Tabunka blog.

Jake last2Over the past two years I have met new people, tried new things and learned stuff about myself that I wouldn’t have if I had worked anywhere else.  I had a great time working in Seika and I am excited for the CIR who will be coming in August to take my place.

Seika is a beautiful town with warm, friendly people.  In the mornings when I walked to work, I would be greeted by all the little old ladies walking their dogs calling out “Good morning!” and in the evenings I would get a “Welcome home!” from the people tending their gardens and rice fields.  Sometimes, the kids from the nearby elementary school and junior high school would walk back with me or if they were feeling really brave try calling out to me in English.  It really made me feel like part of the community these past two years.

Jake last4Working as a CIR was also a wonderful experience and I had the opportunity to make some great friends and do some things that I never would have expected to do.  I remember barely even being there a month and been asked to visit Kameoka to dance in front of kids!  Every day I was doing something new and thanks to all of that I believe that I really grew as a person.

For the next couple of years, I plan to live here in Japan so I am sure I will be back to visit often, but even if I move away from Japan I know that I will always be able to come back to Seika!

Thanks for reading everyone! And make sure to watch for articles from my successor!


Jake lastこの2年間、私は新しい人と出会って、やったことないことをいっぱいやってみて、そして他の職場だとわからなかったであろう自分のことについて分かりました。私は精華町で働くのをとても楽しんでいて、次の国際交流員のが精華町がその同じことを経験できるのをとても嬉しく思っています。


Jake last3国際交流員として働くのもとてもいい経験で、いい友達もたくさんいっぱいできて、いつもやらないと思っていたことをいきなり仕事で体験しました。そうといえば任期の一カ月もたってなかった時に亀岡市に行って子どもの前で踊るイベントに参加したことを思い出します!毎日は新しいことをやっていたからそのおかげで本当に成長したと思います。



Posted in Announcement お知らせ, Seika - 精華町 | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment