Back in Canada

Hello friends & family & followers,

I have returned to Canada safe and sound. I have been here just over a month now and am settling in well. I would like to continue blogging as I have enjoyed doing so for the last three years. I would like to keep this blog set up as it is right now, as my documentation of my life in Japan, so I will continue blogging over here at my blog on

Thanks to all who have read and followed me along in my adventure in Japan. It certainly was a beautiful experience. I met amazing people and will always hold Japan and the people I met there dear to my heart.

I leave this blog now, as I left Japan, with a quote given to me by my dear friend (one of many who I miss so much already):

“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”                                                                                                                           ― Miriam Adeney

June Photo Challenge : Images

I have no idea why Flickr is failing me, and refusing to show the photos I link to. I have been trying to update the links to refresh them and get them to show, but it doesn’t seem to be working all the time. If you see a Flickr error message instead of an image, you should still be able to click on the image, which will take you to the Flickr page of that image where it can be seen.



Cats of June

During this past month, I took a fair amount of pictures of cats. I filled my cat-image-quota, which I limited to one, for my photo a day challenge (quota filled here) early on. But that didn’t stop me from snapping pictures of cats whenever I could. I collected cat pictures, I just didn’t post them.

I present them to you in all their glory now. All photos taken with my Nikon D3200 and 50mm1.8. in the month of June.

Behold, gentle reader, the cats of Japan…


14_06_29_179.jpgOhashi jouzuuuuuuu. (Reference for foriegn readers in Japan).


Which photo do you like the best and why?

That’s all for now (what more could you possibly ask for, anyhow?)


June Photo Challenge : 30

We have reached the end; the end of June; the end of my photo challenge month; and the end of my last full month in Japan. Wow.

I went out today in search of something worthy of my last image, and decided to take a little self portrait (a.k.a a classier “selfie”) in the mirrors in the street. These traffic mirrors are commonplace here, alongside the tiny roads I wander while looking for pictures. So here I am. This is just an average scene, me wandering the streets with my camera.


My final thoughts on this past month. A lot has changed, and is changing, in my life right now. I originally started this project with the idea of just forcing myself out of my house. I can get a little hermit-like at times so I wanted to give myself a reason to go out and walk and a place (this blog) to hold myself accountable. I found, for the most part, it wasn’t as hard to find photos as I thought it might be. Some days were obviously a bit more challenging than others. Some days I spent hours (seriously, so long) in front of my computer debating between 3 or 4 images I’d taken that I loved. I found my walks helped me to re-appreciate this country that has hosted me for the last 3 years. I was out seeking beauty, seeking culture, seeking to share experiences with you. I’m glad that I rediscovered some of this appreciation during this last month.

If you haven’t grown tired of all the photos yet, and I hope you haven’t, I really want to share with you more images I made this June. My goal was to each day edit and upload only one, which was a challenge in itself. I always took more than one picture a day, ranging from 4 or 5 up to around 100. I would like to edit and share some of my other favourites with you this week (including a post of all the images of cats I took! haha).

With that, I want to sincerely thank you for following me along with me this past month! Now, bring on July!



June Photo Challenge : 28

Just getting home late Sunday now from a weekend trip to Takamatsu, Kagawa with Deandra! I had an amazing time but am so tired now! Can’t be too bothered to edit/upload pictures, but managed to make a choice for Saturday’s picture! A day late (and will be a day late with Sunday’s) but oh well! Will write more tomorrow!

takamatsu station kagawaAs seen from Takamatsu station. 

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

xo – R

June Photo Challenge : 25

In order, today went from “this is boring/the worst” to “this is a lovely” then back to “this is the actual worst”.

Here’s what happened:

It was a test day at school, so the morning was fairly boring for me. The afternoon was regular classes, and I was scheduled to teach with one teacher who brings me to every class she possibly can. She has no discipline with the students, and her classes are insane. One boy today took of his pants and ran around the classroom hitting other students with his belt. The teacher did not acknowledge this. Another boy got up and sat on his friends lap. Another just kept screaming “SEX SEX SEX SEX”. Teacher just kept on teaching despite the lack of respect/attention the students had for her. Its really a strange experience to be in a class like that. And, get this: this class is split up, so she wasn’t even teaching the entire class. Half the class goes with another English teacher and the other half stays with her, so there were only about 14 students in the room. When she first started bringing me to this class, I essentially walked around keeping kids inline. But today, (oh I’m so close to the end of this job) I just couldn’t be assed and so I stood at the side of the room and stared at her as if to say “how are you letting this happen?” Its not my job in any remote way to discipline the kids, so I was really going beyond when I did before. Technically I am just the English assistant, there to help out with pronunciation, listening, reading, etc. But really this job is so much more.

After school I decided I needed a drink. I had to cycle to the bicycle repair shop where I had dropped off my bike yesterday to be fixed (I was using a loaner bike). I thought after that I would go buy some Disaronno at a special shop down by Katie’s house. Katie, conveniently, was on the exact same page as me, and we met at the store. We each bought snacks and some booze and headed down to the river to have a drink out of Hello Kitty plastic cups. We ended up talking for hours, as usual. And with that, here is today’s image.


(and check out Katie’s image today here!)

Once the sun started to go down at around 730 we figured we’d better head home. Although, I had a nasty surprise waiting for me. A COCKROACH. ‘Tis the season. Deandra said that her Japanese teacher told her they come out during rainy season because the drains flood, so it’s common to find them in your house now. THEY ARE THE ABSOLUTE WORST AND IMPOSSIBLE TO KILL AND THEY MAKE ME CRY. But I battled it out (and won) and he is now dead and in a garbage bag on the curb of the road. ICKY.

So that’s how my day went from bad to good to bad again. Nothing a little Disaronno and The Mindy Project won’t fix.

Hope you are all having a wonderful day!

– R

June Photo Challenge : 24

My view as I ate lunch with my fifth grade students at elementary school today. In front and out of focus are the trays of school lunch on the kids’ desks. The pink things are their thermoses filled with tea. The window shows us mountains, of course. In front of the window sit the rags which students use to clean the hallways. Students clean the schools here; there are no janitors. After lunch, every day, students spend 15 minutes cleaning the school.

Elementary school lunch Japan