Yosano English Camp 2019 与謝野イングリッシュキャンプ 2019


On December 14th-15th 2019 (Saturday to Sunday), an international event called “Yosano English Camp 2019” was held at the Kyoto prefectural youth marine center in Yosano city. For two days, a camp was set up for 5th and 6th graders to practice English. Two coordinators for international relations; Adam from the International Affairs Division and myself from the Kyoto Prefectural International Center were requested to become English speaking staff. “Yosano English Camp 2018” was also organized last year, so it was my second time participating to it. In addition, several ALTs from Kyoto Prefecture also joined.

2019年12月14日~15日(土・日)に与謝野町の京都府立青少年海洋センターマリーンピアにて「Yosano English Camp」という国際事業が行われました。  二日間、小学生5年生・6年生を対象に英語を練習するキャンプが設けられました。英会話の先生として、京都府国際交流員二人の国際課のアダムさんと京都府国際センターの自分が依頼されました。去年も「Yosano English Camp 2018」が設けられ、2回目の参加となりました。その他に、京都府のALTの何人かも参加しました。

More than to improve the English ability of elementary school students, the purpose of this English camp was to encourage them communicating with foreigners using English and gestures without apprehension. It was held also in order to get them interested in foreign countries and multiculturalism from a young age.


Various activities were performed during these two days. Among those, country presentations, mini-conversations, games, gymnastics, etc. The games prepared by the organizers went smoothly. Rock-paper-scissors train, fruit baskets, drawing-guessing games, look over there hoi, navigating games…numerous games were organized to entertain the students.


For the countries presentations, elementary school students divided into about 12 groups to listen to the English speaking teachers. As for me, I introduced general information such as geography, famous places, traditional food for 10 minutes to each group. Without surprise, it was the euro money I had brought with me which got the students best attention! Finally, I think it’s great because the students got to know more about France while spending a good time interacting with me. Thanks to Japanese supporters, high school students and college students, each activity was conducted in a good atmosphere. As a result, both English Speakers and elementary school students had a good time together. On the last day, elementary school students were able to communicate more easily in English. Pleased comments such as “I felt that foreigners were friendly and English was fun” were reported in the elementary school student’s satisfactory questionnaire, proving once again this year that it was a fulfilling English camp.

出身国の発表は、小学生が約12グループで分かれて、それぞれの英会話先生の話を丁寧に聞きました。各グループにフランスの一般的な情報、地理、名所、名物などを10分の間に英語で紹介しました。予想通り、一番興味を持ってくれたのは持っていったユーロのお金でした(笑)。結果的にフランスのことをもっと知ってもらえて、楽しく交流ができて、よかったなという気持ちです。 日本人サポーターズ、高校生、大学生の皆さんのおかげで、各アクティビティは良い環境で実施されました。そのため、イングリッシュスピーカーズと小学生も両方楽しい時間を一緒に過ごすことができました。更に、最終日、小学生はもっと気軽に英語でコミュニケーションをとることになりました。小学生のアンケート結果より「外国の方はフレンドリーで英語が楽しいと感じた」というようなコメントが書いてあったので、今年も充実した「イングリッシュキャンプ」になったかと思います。

International Play Date 子どもとの国際交流

Hello everyone! This is an update from Mary Ho, the Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) in Kyotanabe City.


On Thursday August 22, I held the kids event “Let’s Play and Talk with the CIR!” with a group of 16 young participants at Doshisha Yamate North Community Center. We had lots of fun using English to play games and singing various songs. This event is a continuation from a similar one I held last year.

8月22日(木)昨年に引き続き同志社山手北公民館で本市の出前講座 “国際交流員と遊ぼう!話そう!” を開催しました。楽しく英語でゲームを遊んだり、歌を歌ったりしました。


Finding Similarities Among the Differences 相違点の中に共通点を見つけ出す

Hello everyone! It’s me, Gavyn, the CIR from Seika Town.


This past July, I took part in a Chikyukko Lecture event held by our local international exchange and support group Seika Global Net (SGN). The Chikyukko (Japanese for “small world”) Lecture is a series of talks held a few times a year usually focused on multiculturalism and cultural understanding. This time, the event challenged attendants, both local and foreign residents, to consider not the differences between their respective cultures, but the similarities.



Let’s Learn How to Cook Taiwanese Food! 国際交流ふれあいお料理プラザ「台湾料理」

Hello everyone! This is an update from your Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) in Kyotanabe City, Mary Ho.


In June, I taught an International Exchange Cooking Class event hosted by the Kyotanabe International Exchange Association. This year we had the pleasure of inviting Ms. Huang, a Kyoto Prefecture Friendship Ambassador, as a Taiwanese guest to teach and cook Taiwanese dishes with me.



Goodbye for now, Kyoto! またね、京都!

Published by Maia Hall・マヤ ホール

Hi everyone! I’m sad to say that my time as a CIR for Kyoto Prefecture is coming to a close. I have made countless wonderful memories and met so many different people here over these two years, and for that I will be forever grateful.

Drinking matcha at Ginkakuji Temple!・銀閣寺での抹茶体験


Elementary school visit・小学校訪問

Some things I got up to during my time in Kyoto will stick with me in particular. With the Kyoto Prefectural International Affairs Division and Kyoto Prefectural International Center, I was involved in many different regional level sister-city events and projects. For example, I helped out with the Kyoto Infused with Tea Expo in 2017, attended by the Deputy Lord Provost of Edinburgh, which was a success! I attended various festivals and events specializing in the wonders of Kyoto, such as the Tomorrow’s Kyoto Festival and also worked with Keihanna Science City and getting involved in the fields of sustainability and smart city, something that really piqued my interest. I met, guided and interpreted for foreign officials and organizations from all over the world; helped residents with disaster preparedness, traffic and extreme weather safety; assisted international students and residents in Kyoto… the list goes on!

Intercultural communication workshop・異文化コミュニケーションワークショップ


Getting involved in the community by speaking at Pechakucha Night・Pechakuchaのイベントにスピーカーとして参加

Through KPIC, I am especially glad to have been able to run a number of intercultural understanding lectures, where I had the opportunity to interact and debate with diverse people from all over the prefecture. Some of the topics we covered include introducing the culture, history, and politics of Scotland; Easter festivities where we also did a traditional European activity of dyeing eggs with natural onion skin dyes; talking about the real Grimms’ Fairytales from Germany and how they relate to Japanese folklore and mythology, whilst making glass silhouette candle holders; and most recently, a lively workshop on intercultural communication and the many socio-anthropological theories and reasons behind these differences, and how we as individuals can help cross cultural boundaries to make for a more open society.

International understanding lecture・国際理解講座


Junior high school visit・中学校訪問

Living in Kyoto City has of course been incredible, but with the CIR role, I was also able to travel further afield, all around the whole of the beautiful prefecture that is Kyoto. I went on school visits where I felt like I was able to directly connect with and learn from the next generation of young people in Japan; helped out on tours; and worked at a kids’ English Camp! It really has been a blessing to see every corner of Kyoto Prefecture and know that it is not just the world-famous city that is so special.


At the top of Daimonji Hill in Kyoto City・京都市の大文字山の頂上
Junior high school visit・中学校訪問

As I prepare to continue my studies in Public Policy in Berlin from August (something I grew interested in through this position), all that remains is to say a huge thank you to all of my wonderful and supportive colleagues, both at the International Affairs Division and at KPIC, and the welcoming and enthusiastic people of Kyoto Prefecture who have made my stint as a CIR something I have learnt so much from, and of course, an absolute and unforgettable dream. ありがとうございます! I’ll be back!


Let’s enjoy Taiwanese Culture! みんなでいっしょに台湾の文化を楽しもう!

Hello everyone! This is an update from your Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) for Kyotanabe City, Mary Ho.


On Saturday May 25th, I ran the event 2019 Kyotanabe International Exchange Association Annual Anniversary Event: Let’s enjoy Taiwanese Culture! Every year, the association selects a theme and this year it was chosen to be Taiwan. This year the event featured Taiwanese cultural talk and Taiwanese martial arts performances.


As the speaker for the Taiwanese cultural talk session, I talked about Taiwanese people’s personalities and communication style as well as a brief introduction on Taiwanese history. It was the first time that many of our participants listen to such content and everyone was very curious. At the end of my talk, I had a quiz session with prizes. The participants actively raised their hands and people who answered the correct answers got Taiwan-related goods as prizes. It was exciting to see the participants enjoyed the talk so much. Everyone had fun during the quiz session too.


Then we had Mr.Wang and Mr.Chen perform Taiwanese martial arts for us. The lead performer – Mr.Wang is currently teaches at the Osaka Chinese School for various traditional martial arts such as swords arts and Tai Chi. During the event, not only did they perform the martial arts on stage but they also arranged a practice session with the participants. The participants got to learn the basic moves of Tai Chi and how it can be practiced for daily exercise. Everyone was amazed by the performances and enjoyed learning Tai Chi with the performers. The two hour event went in a blink and I was very happy to see the participants learn about Taiwanese culture in an enjoyable atmosphere. It was a wonderful day filled with the wonders of Taiwanese culture.


Thanks for the Memories!最高の思い出をありがとう!

Hi! It’s me, Michelle, the Kameoka City CIR. I will be finishing up my term here at the end of June. When I think back on all the valuable experiences I’ve accumulated here, my heart becomes filled with deep gratitude. Thanks to all the people who looked out for me, I was able to lead a truly fruitful, fulfilling and blissful life in Kameoka.


The time I spent here is an irreplaceable treasure to me. I got to learn a little bit of calligraphy, traditional Japanese dance and kimono dressing. Work-wise, I did more than I ever thought possible and it has led to close friendships with amazing colleagues, fellow foreigners, citizens from sister and friendship cities and last but not least, kind local people. When I received my placement notice 4 years ago in May, I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would come to love Kameoka this much and that I would be so blessed in both my professional and personal life.


I also love Kameoka city itself. It is blessed with beautiful nature (Sakura Park during cherry blossom season and Kuwayama Shrine during fall), delicious food, and a great location. I remain ever so grateful and amazed that I got to enjoy gorgeous rural scenery on bike rides, hiking at the breathtaking Hozu valley, eating delicious traditional cuisine and cozy cafes (my favorite café in the world is Limone!) while being only a stone’s throw away from the famous Kyoto city.


Michelle at Limone
This place is so cozy and comfortable that I must have been here more than a hundred times!

Volunteering as a facilitator for the Powwow English Conversation session run by local citizen group Kyo-cro-cul was especially rewarding when I saw how enthusiastic and interested participants were to use and learn English. Learning about calligraphy, Japanese dance and kimono dressing allowed me to experience traditional Japanese culture up close and deepen my understanding of the intricacies behind each art.


Michelle Takarazuka
I fulfilled my dream of watching a Takarazuka show in Takazuka City thanks to a close friend whom I met in Kameoka!

Creating, planning and facilitating the Global Café sessions (organized by KIEA) brought me immense work satisfaction when I saw how happy participants and foreign guests were when interacting and exchanging cultures. I was initially intimidated and overwhelmed at first with business trips abroad. However, not only did I increase my professional competency once I overcame various challenges, I also formed close bonds with some wonderful and interesting people I met in the countries I visited.


Through my position at Kameoka City Hall and Kameoka International Exchange Association, I was given many chances to be actively involved in a variety of work from official visits and exchanges between sister and friendship cities, 2020 Tokyo Olympics related Host Town initiatives, to projects and newsletter editing work to promote international understanding amongst local citizens. Neither words nor pictures are enough to convey the diversity of experiences I was blessed with, so allow me to introduce some of these many experiences via the video below!


Thank you all for making me the person I am today. My next step takes me to Tokyo where I will be challenging myself on an entirely different stage. However, I hope to make similar connections in my new community by making full use of my experience as a CIR and to continue engaging in international exchange activities as I move forward.