Nakanishi Apartment, Miyazaki

I got up and went on a walk with Daiki, Kentaro and Yukimi down to a nearmy creek. Lotsa fun with fishes and crabs.

Went to Sakinoo falls. Above the falls is a vast network of natural stepping stones, "potholes" as the sign put it. Apparently the biggest in the world by some metric, never figured it out. Had soumen for lunch in a spinning stream thing.

Went to Koyama party in Kushima. She seemed content to go hang out with the moms and let me run the whole thing myself, which worked out ok because they liked all of my games.

I got a ride out to Nichinen and caught a train up to Miyazaki, where I'm now staying with the Nakanishi family. Had a couple guests over and we've been partying all night. Sleep.

Nakanishi Apartment, Miyazaki

Today I went to another of Koyama's parties, in Miyazaki. Played soccer.

Went to Udo Jingu and Aoshima. Tossed "luck balls" at a rock. Rescued a misguided earthworm. Played around on the demon's washboards, nifty geological formations at the beaches here.

Nakanishi Apartment, Miyazaki

Today I went with Ms. Nakanishi and one of the other labo moms to Hyuga, a village to the north famous for making Go stones. We saw lots of nifty go stones, and one of the craftsmen was nice enough to take us behind the scenes and show us firsthand how a stone is made from start to finish. It was awesome.

There were Go stones strewn around the area in various states of completion: hundreds of years worth of rejects, I presume.

The tip I read at Sensei's Library mentioned a samurai's grave with go stones. We had to ask around a bit, eventually an old man pointed us to some graves out on a peninsula. Turned out to be the right spot, there were indeed Go stones on that samurai dude's grave.

Miyazaki really is beautiful.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

This morning I went to the Miyazaki Science Center, saw a planetarium show. Neat place.

Saw a Jackie Chan movie (First Mission) on the bus back to Fukuoka.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Today I visited Komatsu party. Small party, only a few kids, but we still had fun.

Shopped around Meinohama for a bit before heading home.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Routine day. Nothing too interesting.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Today Gouji, the go teacher dude, came over and hung out. We played go, he played a game with Dad over the net, and after that we watched some games on KGS. We went to drop him off and I got to meet his dog, a huge and very friendly shiba puppy, shedding all over the place.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Went on some errands with everyone, met a couple of Risako's teacher's.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Today I went to visit my... uh... host great aunt, somewhere south of Kokura, an hours drive from here. Played gardener for a bit (well, helped trim a tree for weird berry things), phailed at shoji, and got to say hi to some relatives living in Wisconsin.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

North Korea tested a nuke again, a real one this time. Not too long after I found out, a couple fighter squads flew by, I guess there's a base nearby. Hmm.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Visited Sakakibara Party today. I managed to dump some tea on a tatami mat, that was smooth. The party went well though.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Today I visited Yamaura tutor in Kumamoto, went to a Kindergarten and a party, both of which went great. Coming back was a little messed up, this tutor is nice but she does not seem to like planning ahead much. Had to take a taxi home from the station.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Tried to buy some new earbuds today. It took me like an hour to comb through the aisles upon aisles of various headphones, looking up product reviews online on a display mac they had nearby. Eventually walked away with something orange.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Visited another of Sakakibara tutor's parties. This one was a little hectic, I think it was too many people for that tiny room.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Today I went to the firefly festival downtown. Not a real big festival, but fun. There was a two-story hamster.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Today I went to Moji and Shimenoseki with my host parents. Went to a nifty spiral museum and learned about the area's history, and went to an aquarium with lots of pufferfish. There was a dolphin show with HnG music.

I got a cold or something, must have picked it up at one of the labo parties last week. Headache and runny nose and dehydration galore. No fun.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Played a few games of go with mr Nakauchi.

Tried yet again to get signed up for classes. This time I finally got through, and whaddya know they're all full. Damn. What really cheeses me off is that I know that at least half the people filling up those spots are going to drop halfway through the course anyways.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Still wrestling with college stuff. Ugh, you'd think the classes themselves are supposed to be the challenging part...

Urakami #2
Amaya House, Kurosaki

Went to Nagasaki today and visited Tabira party. It went really well. One kid figured out how to make his eyes shimmy, that was impressive.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

I still can't find Yotsubato.

Meinohama #2
Amaya House, Kurosaki

I visited Mari's party today (Fukahori tutor), those kids were bouncing off the walls, a lot of energy.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Weekend camp. I won't be forgetting this anytime soon.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Today we went on a walk and saw a taiko group rehearsing in a parking lot.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Gouji-san came over again today.

Migita House, Kagoshima

Today I took the train all the way from Kurosaki to Kagoshima-chuo, the latter bit on the partially completed Kyushu Shinkansen.

I met a high-school Labo kid named Yuuta at the station, and he took me to Migita party. The rainy season officially starts today, and the weather has obliged by wavering between sprinkling and pouring all day. I think I need a better umbrella. See, you can't wear a jacket because it's so humid.

The party was great, afterwards I went to an onsen with my host brother Hajime. We played cards and did some other stuff before going to bed.

Hajime is going to New Mexico this summer. They asked for some help understanding a letter they'd received from his host. They wanted to know what he meant in saying that he goes to the CAP every week. I wonder how these folks got mixed up in hosting, I don't imagine the Civil Air Patrol's values mesh very well with those of Labo. Hope he does ok.

Okamoto House, Kagoshima

This morning I went with Migita tutor and her mother to the Senganen gardens. Yuuta's dad is apparently the head honcho there, and he let us in and gave us a VIP tour of the place. Really pretty. They had a shop selling cut glass for ridiculous amounts of money, the most expensive one was a vase just over 1.5 million yen.

Went to Tanimoto party up in Sendai (the local Sendai, not the big one in Tohoku). That party went great, those kids loved flying around so much I was afraid I might let one go.

Came back and I'm now staying with Okamoto tutor and her family, Miina, Tarou, and Riko.

Migita House, Kagoshima

Today I went to the sand onsen down south. It's a beach with springs under it, so you lie down and they bury you with piping hot sand. Not so relaxing to tell the truth, more just sapping.

Attended Okamoto party, that didn't go over so well actually. The kids were ridiculously shy and they wouldn't warm up no matter what I did. The tutor wasn't helping, telling me to act like a crow and chase them around... yeah I don't think so.

After that I went to Uejo party, that went much better. Then I took a taxi to Migita party and I'm staying here for the night.

Ritsu Seishounen Kenshuu Center, Kagoshima

Today was the first day of the second camp. This stress must be catching up with me, I'm not doing very well.

moon something guesthouse, Sakurajima

This morning at camp I looked outside the window and saw some kittens. The camp went rather poorly, for me at least.

Okamoto tutor dropped me off at Kagoshima-chuo, and by then I was feeling pretty bad. I was planning on taking a bus to the ferry terminal, but I decided to just hoof it, because I wasn't in a hurry. After taking the ferry across the bay, I started to make my way up to the Youth Hostel, but this little guesthouse place caught the corner of my eye. The owners are great conversationalists, and they have a lot of friends who stopped by throughout the evening. There's another guy, Raul, staying here from Finland, here to see the eclipse next month.

I took a walk down the shoreline on some lava trail. No molten lava, of course, but a lot of cool volcanic rock. I think this is exactly what I needed to get myself together. Saw lots more kitties.

Can't forget Ricky and Takashi.

This place epitomizes hippie. There's tiedye and various decorations hanging around, everyone is extremely friendly, they're smoking weed out front, and the only bathroom is in the next building over. Dirt cheap, of course.

Moon Garammasala, Sakurajima

Today I went to the visitor center, a cool little geological museum. Hung out and talked with Raul for a bit, then took a tour bus around Sakurajima. Wonderfully beautiful place. I wish the tour bus wasn't in such a hurry, though.

Now a dude named Sakana is staying here. Professional ukulele player.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Got a neato hippie glass necklace charm Junko made.

Walked all over downtown Kagoshima and even rode on the tram before hauling out on the Shinkansen.

Found a rare Nikoli DS game, Akari. It has demos for Nurikabe and Hitori, too. I must find Nurikabe. I also finally found an online Go game for the DS, wonder why it took me this long. And I found Yotsubato.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Today one of the past Kyushu interns, Emma #1 (from New Zealand) came to visit the office.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Yesterday I visited Oie party in Oita. I stayed the night there, played go fish. Three kids, Takao, Tokio, and (maybe?) Haku.

Today I went to Sasamuta shrine. I looked around the Oita station area and shopping arcades.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

Today I went to Ouchi party in Orio, not far from here. Went great.

Amaya House, Kurosaki

I went to Costco today with my host parents. It's really Costco, same standard layout and everything. Some of the food selection is a little different, of course, but from what I could tell most of the kirkland stuff was still there. Even got to eat pizza!

After that we went to a park with kangaroos and wallabies. Hundreds of them. It was around noon, so they were all laying around and sleeping. They were really cute, and really friendly, they liked scritches.