Welcome to Japan! We arrived in Japan around 3:30 Japan time.  We are very excited to be here! How about some first impressions!

The weather id definitely different! We left behind the beautiful blue skies of Eugene and entered the cloudy skies of Tokyo's humid and hot and rainy season. Oh well!

In the Tokyo part of Japan, there are buildings everywhere! And boy are they built close to each other! Speaking of close together, I took my first Japanese bath tonight. The bathtub is very deep but not very long, so my knees were pushed right up to my chin. What a kick!

The good news? Lots of bicycle riders. The bad news? Very few of them wear helmets. Darn! I saw my first shrine today: the Okunetama Shrine! It was established in 111 AD. Pictures coming! We had a wonderful Chinese meal tonight of noodles and chicken and dumpling for $21! Yeah!

That's it for now as I am about to fall asleep on my keyboard! More to come! Thanks for reading!



6/19/23        1 United Stated Dollar        142.00
6/20/23        1 USD                                141.63
6/21/23        1 USD                                141.71 
6/22/23        1 USD                                143.02   
6/24/23        1 USD                                143.70 
6/26/23        1 USD                                143.49 
6/27/23        1 USD                                143.9 
6/28/23        1 USD                                144.57 
7/4/23           1 USD                                144.68

                    10 USD                                  1420.6 Yen

                    100 USD                                14206.0 Yen

                    1000 USD                                142,060 Yen

                    500,000 USD                        71,000,000 Yen

                    1 Yen                                        .0070 USD

                    10 Yen                                        .070 USD

                    100 Yen                                        .70 USD

                    1000 Yen                                        7.00 USD

                    10,000 Yen                                    70.00 USD

                    50,000 Yen                                    350.00 USD

                    100,000 Yen                                700.00 USD

                    1,000,000 Yen                             7,000 USD 

                    6,500,000 Yen                            46,000 USD

                    10,000,000 Yen                            70,000 USD 

                    55,900,000 Yen                            394,000 USD 

WC = Weather.com        ACC = Accuweather
6/19/23: WC            78                                                61
6/20/23: WC            81                                                58                        48
6/21/23: WC            72                                                60                            69
6/21/23: ACC            78                                                70                        76
Miami: ACC            83                                            78                            85
6/22/23: WC                78                                        64                            72
6/22/23: ACC                79                                    68                                77
6/23/23: WC            75                                    66                                    79
6/23/23: ACC           74                                        70                                89 
6/26/23: WC            84                                    73                                    84
6/26/23: ACC            81                                71                                    89 
6/27/23: WC            90                                    73                                    60
6/27/23: ACC            88                                74                                    62 
6/28/23: WC            86                                    74                                    55
6/28/23: ACC        91                                        76                                    60


Japanese news in English: Japan Times: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/

AVERAGE WEATHER IN TOKYO (on the left)  and EUGENE (on the right)


MONTH        HIGH        LOW        HUMIDITY        RAIN       Eugene Rain     Eugene Humidity

January            50                36            32%                    2                4.1                    84

February          51                37            39%                    4                4.2                    79

March              57                42            41%                    4                 5                      73    

April                66                50            48%                    6.4             2.5                    68

May                75                 60            53%                    6.5            2.1                     64

 June                79                67            65%                    7.3            1.2                    59

July                 87                74            67%                    4.5            .5                       49

August            89                77            64%                    5.3            .3                       50

September      82                70            63%                   10.4            1.4                    56

October          73                60            57%                    8.7              3.1                  73

November      63                50            50%                    4                4.9                    82

December      54                40            40%                    3.2              6.5                    83

TOTAL                                                                        66.3            35.8


 Dew Point Ranges


The general rule of thumb is that dew points in the 50s or lower are comfortable during the warm months. 60 to 65 and it feels sticky or humid. Dew points above 65 are downright muggy and even tropical when they reach the 70s.

More Dew Point Ranges


May average = 57

June Average = 66

July Average = 75

August Average = 75

September Average = 71

October Average = 56

: https://weatherspark.com/y/143809/Average-Weather-in-Tokyo-Japan-Year-Round#Sections-Humidity

"We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.

Tokyo experiences extreme seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.

The muggier period of the year lasts for 3.6 months, from June 11 (23% Dew Point) to September 29 (23% Dew Point), during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 23% of the time. The month with the most muggy days in Tokyo is August, with 27.4 days that are muggy or worse. August 8th has a 91% Dew Point!

The least muggy day of the year is February 13, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of."


Dec.-April = 0; May = .2; June = 1.2; July = 10.3; Aug. = 24.6; Sept. = 27.4; Oct. = 15; Nov. = 1.8


What is not so gorgeous are the concerns raised in this article I found about the experience of a woman of color in Japan. 


"Long-term, if you can tolerate, dismiss or ignore being the object of constant stereotype-laced presumptions, irrational fear or untoward curiosity — you’ll probably have a great time in Japan. If you’re not that person, you can still power through and reach your objectives. The students understood, sadly, it’s familiar ground to many Black Americans. It’s not the first time they’ve had to choose how to respond to ignorance. But, how do you process these interactions in a way that doesn’t negatively impact your self-esteem? Figuring that out will be your key to success here."

That is some beautiful writing! At the same time, I am saddened by this state of affairs in Japan. I am certainly going to do my part to address "Japan’s pervasive xenophobic and exclusivity mindset." 



Ah, the world of decision-making! Hybrid? All electric? Gas and Electric? What's best???? What about the production of the energy for these different cars? Use of coal? Nuclear power? Other?

The following information is taken from this web site: https://www.trade.gov/market-intelligence/japan-transition-electric-vehicles

According to that article (written in July of 2021), "Japan is transitioning to 100% electric car sales by 2035." 


The following is taken from this web site: https://www.statista.com/statistics/745675/japan-share-of-electricity-production/

According to that article, written in January 4, 2023, the following is how electricity was produced in Japan in 2021.

  1. Natural Gas: 34.4%
  2. Coal: 31%
  3. Renewables: 20.3%
  4. Petroleum and Waste: 7.4%
  5. Nuclear: 6.9% 


I was thinking that I needed to wait until I have my professional camera equipment. I forgot that I can take decent photos with my iPhone. So much fun!

These are all pictures from our first full day in Japan. Amazingly enough, despite the fact that it is the start of the rainy season, the weather is gorgeous today! The first picture is of the Okunetama Shrine, a very cool site that is five minutes from where we are staying in Fuchu. The second picture is of the entrance to the Tokyo Racecourse, the most famous horse racing racecourse in Japan. The third picture is of the Anyo-ji Temple in Fuchu.

We had quite the shopping experience today! We bought a high end photography printer, a microwave, and other appliances at K's Denki. I have never seen so many employees in one store! I swear that they had a employee stationed in just about every aisle of the whole store! At one time, we had four different employees helping us! It was probably the most responsive customer service I have ever experienced. How do they make any money when they have to pay so many folks?

The first and third and fourth pictures are from the Koan-ji Temple and the second and fifth pictures are from the Okunitama-jinja Shrine. It seems there is a shrine or temple around every corner! This is quite special as these sites are unique and interesting and aesthetically pleasing!

One thing that I am really enjoying is all the walking we have been doing. Given that we have not yet purchased a car, we have been walking to many places, and taking the bus or train for longer distances. Now if we could just convince the rest of the world to do the same.

The Toyota Yaris Hybrid is quite an amazing hybrid as one driver got 90 miles per gallon while doing city driving! Given that my wife is Japanese and we now live in Japan, the pressure is on to buy a Japanese car. It looks like the Yaris might be a good bet! However, I am hoping to ride my bike as much as possible, and then take the bus or train, if necessary. 


The mix of older and newer architecture in the Fuchu/Tokyo area is quite impressive! This is a shot I took of the entrance to the Tokyo Racecourse during a nice run this morning. With the help of my iPhone, I was able to successfully navigate a three mile run. Progress!

The Tokyo Racecourse is quite an impressive facility. It is huge, to say the least! It was built in 1933. According to the source listed below, it has a capacity of 223,000 and seating for 13,750. Those figures make this the highest capacity horse racing facility in the world! The perimeter of the course itself is just over a mile. If you include the grounds, the overall perimeter of the facility increases to 1.5 miles or  a little more. 

To say the least, this horse racing is big business. For just the Japan Cup, there is 6 million dollars tied to that event! Catch this! In 2021, the betting turnover for the Japan Racing Association races totaled close to 32 trillion Yen or 7 billion dollars!

In addition to the facility, there is some wonderful landscaping and a beautiful garden. I would like to gain entrance just to see that part of the facility! 

It is truly incredible to me that there are so many people interested in watching horses go around a track. However, given the facility and the number of spectators, one can certainly feel the potential excitement! In addition, many people have a love affair with gambling. This is one big-time way to satisfy that desire.




This morning I ran to Fuchu Park. What a wonderful Park! I feel so fortunate as our new house is just a short distance from the park. In addition, also within close proximity, is the Shogaigakushu Center, which has a fitness facility, tennis courts, an indoor pool, and table tennis! Lastly, Sengenyama and Nogawa Parks are also in that neighborhood. We will be in park heaven!


I think the photo for "A New Friend" captures some of the tranquility and beauty of the temples and shrines in Japan. For my run this morning, I think I went to at least four different temples, all within a mile and a half of where we are staying. Amazing! Just as amazing is the combination of shapes and angles and colors and shades. Many of these temples have cemeteries next to them. The cemeteries themselves are quite photogenic!

Another blessing this morning was that it appears I found my first friend in Japan, besides family. I was running very slowly and another runner approached me and asked me where I was from. We ran together for a bit and then exchanged phone numbers. His name is Alkato. We are going to get together for a run soon! How cool is that!

One thing I am enjoying is the tranquility and peacefulness for the temple grounds. The early morning hours have been heavenly in that regard! 


We just had the most unbelievable customer service experience ever! Here is what happened.

We are in the process of buying a Toyota Sienta car.

We went today to do a test drive of that car.

The sales person agreed to allow us to go to our motel in the Sienta we were test driving and pick up my bike and take it to a local bike shop that my wife likes. We have been looking for a shop to put together this very expensive, high-end racing bike.

That shop said they could not set up my bike.

The Toyota sales person said he would keep the bike and help us find a shop that would put together my bike. 

The Toyota sales person called five other bike shops! All five said no to setting up my bike.

My wife then called a shop called "RERIDE" and the owner said he would set up my bike.

As we speak, the Toyota sales person is delivering my bike to RERIDE. Unbelievable!

Toyota has certainly earned our service! I can hardly wait to start riding again!

All the best,



OK, I have figuratively died and gone to heaven! I cannot believe the quality of these photos for a hand-held phone! These were all taken at Kyodo No Mori Park in Fuchu, just 1.5 miles from our motel. The park has several ponds that are home to these water lillies,. The word got out as there were a number of other photographers taking advantage of nature's flower show. What a treat!

Speaking of treats, I am really enjoying exploring the different neighborhoods. In terms of a comparison with the United States, Japan has many very narrow pedestrian pathways that connect the different neighborhoods. When going in these pathways from the downtown areas, I feel like I am entering another world! 

The Japanese are very strict about pedestrian crossings. It is a big no-no to cross the street if the pedestrian light is not green. This can be a bit frustrating when there is no car to be seen! However, I have been a good boy and have been obeying those signals! 


What is the epitome for teachers? To hear from former students and to find out they are doing well and are living satisfying and productive lives. I had just such an experience today! I reconnected with Cam, a very fine young man whom I coached at Springfield High School from 2007-10. What a joy it was to again experience his contagious smile, his grace, his talent and intelligence, and his zest for life. This is what keeps teachers like me in the business of teaching. All the best of luck to you, Cam!

The other pictures are from a short but worthy excursion we took today to the Jindaiji Temple. What a captivating site to share with Cam! I am looking forward to another visit to this site as they have several botanical gardens. And so it is with Japan's never-ending beauty!


The photos are of the Kokubunji Temple, a mile and a half north of our motel. Another interesting and unique site! I love the colors and the angles and the shapes! When I take shots from different perspectives and not just from standing front and middle, I get some very fascinating effects!

Interesting, but not quite so positive, is the price tag for having my bike put together. At this point, it appears that price tag is around $450. Ouch! We have not yet picked up the bike, so we do not have the details. The mechanic did say that there were some broken parts. However, I did not think it would be $450 worth of broken parts! Oh well!

I will continue to work on finding a bike shop with whom I can have a long-term relationship. I was definitely spoiled by Len, the owner of Len's Bikes in Springfield. He is amazing!

Speaking of amazing, I continue to be amazed at the intricacies of customer service in Japan. For a country that I think prides itself on efficiency, the customer service focus seems to be on relationships and extensive communication. In short, there is one heck of a lot of talking going on! Unfortunately, I cannot understand any of it! For all I know, they could be talking about the weather! I am going to try and use Google Translate to see if I can catch some of the meaning.




Today I went for a run with my new friend Alkato.  He gave me a wonderful tour of the area, including a short stint along the Tama River. We also ran by a very nice garden park, Kyoudo no Mori Kouen. Exciting to see a new area! He was a very gracious host as he told me about his life and his travels and work in different countries. He retired from his job with Yamaha and now has his own business. He and I share a love of running and good health and good relationships. In addition, like me, he likes to have goals and finds motivation from working to achieve those goals. 



 So much of life is about repetition! Today was my third or fourth visit to the gorgeous Okunitama-jinja Shrine. Each time I go, I see something different! That is the way it is with serious high end photography. Those photographers go back to certain scenes again and again. They keep looking for that unique and perfect shot.

The red building is the Ono Shrine, another member of the Japanese unique structure club!

Tomorrow, our repetition and practice and execution moves us one step closer to the final stage of our move to Japan. We will be moving into our new house, although we will not have any furniture and other possessions until July 17th. 

One of the reasons Setsuko and I make a good team is that we both have the discipline to continually apply and repeat the little steps necessary to make big changes. In many ways, the changes do not get much bigger than this!


I cannot tell you how many times in life my first impressions turned out to be way off base. Such was the case with these pictures. At first glance, I was not happy with them. However, they have definitely grown on me, especially with some editing! They are all pictures of temples and cemeteries adjacent to those temples. It is fascinating to me how elaborate some of those gravestones are!

We are in our new house with no furniture! All of the items that were shipped will be delivered on July 17th. The plot thickens!

Setsuko reserved a tennis court for today, so we had the pleasure of playing tennis when it was 99 degrees, with 75% humidity, and with a Dew Point of 75. Yes, it was toasty! Speaking of toasty, I decided to pick this day, of all days, to get lost in Japan for the first time. The vast majority of the time, Siri and the iPhone are extremely reliable. However, on this glorious scorcher of a day, Siri did not recognize my new address and had me going in circles until I finally put Siri to sleep and figured out the way by myself. So much for modern technology!


This is a picture of the Shogaigakushu Workout Center I have been using. This is a public facility that includes tennis, swimming, strength training, table tennis, badminton, and other activities. I have really enjoyed being able to lift weights on a consistent basis! Yes, I love to maintain my strength for fitness purposes!
The bad news is that we lost power this morning. Setsuko freaked out and texted me while I was out exploring. The result of a clerical error, power was returned pretty quickly. Nothing like a great introduction to our new house!  



These are all pictures taken of the Seigan-ji Temple. Please check my "Temples Details" page for more details. This is another example of the aesthetic and geometric beauty of these temples. The Japanese sure do know how to create some gorgeous buildings and monuments!

I took my first longer bike ride today, almost 11 miles to and from the Tama River. Felt great to be back on the bike! I do need to be careful as I almost got hit going around a blind corner close to our home. It is going to take some time to get used to these narrow streets. 

It is another warm day as it is currently 97 degrees and is supposed to hit 99! Call me a little crazy, but I have a different way of dealing with the heat. I try to use air conditioning as little as possible so that the heat is not as much of a  shock when I go outside. That seems to work for me as the heat does not seem to slow me down. I just sweat up a storm and drink gallons of water!

All the best,


One of the things I am enjoying the most about our move to Japan is the time I have been able to put into strength training. Due to my busy schedule in the US, I had not been as consistent with those workouts as I would have liked. Below is the routine I have been following at the city gym in Fuchu. I have been walking the .75 miles to and from this facility. Nice warm-up and cool-down!

  1. Overhead Press 
  2. Bench Press
  3. Upright Rows
  4. Leg Press
  5. Calve Raises
  6. Abdominal Pulls
  7. Roman Chair Leg Raises
  8. Back Extensions
  9. Lat Raises
  10. Rotator Cuff External Rotation: both arms
  11. Rotator Cuff Internal Rotation: both arms
  12. Oblique Rotation: both directions
  13. Hip Adduction: groin muscle
  14. Hip Abduction
  15. Hip Football Kicks
  16. Hip: Kick backward

This covers most of the major muscles of the body. I do one set of 10-20 repetitions for each exercise. The whole routine takes me about 40 minutes. Below are the guidelines for using this gym.

  1. The cost for Fuchu residents is about $1.50 per day.
  2. The locker rooms are spotless!
  3. Free lockers are available.
  4. The facility also has table tennis, badminton, tennis, an indoor pool, and other activities.
  5. You have to wear indoor gym shoes in the weight room. You have to leave your street shoes in a shoe box. 
  6. They typically have 2-4 staff members in the weight room at all times. As with many stores and customer service operations, some of those staff members stand ready to serve the constituents. It is very impressive!
  7. Everyone is expected to grab a towel and wipe down machines after use. 
  8. For the popular machines, there is a dry erase board. You are expected to record what time you will be finished with that machine. There are time limits for those popular machines. There is also space for one person to put their name down on a waiting list. 
  9. They have an intriguing massage tool with round pieces that go round and round like a bike wheel. The person sits on the seat and then puts the desired body part over the moving round pieces. I am hoping to try this but it is very popular!
These are more photos from the Takahatafudo Site. What a treat! Thank you Setsuko! The combination of greenery, landscapes, buildings, shapes, colors, history, tradition, and tranquility made this visit an amazing experience! We were also fortunate that there were hardly any people there!

Today, I had my first bike ride in Nogawa Park, a huge park just a mile from where we live. I had a wonderful ride and was in lighthearted hysterics the last 20 minutes as Siri took me in circles. I think she decided to make the most of my ignorance of Japanese navigating!

All the best,


The last of these six pictures is a shot taken at the top of the hill in Sengenyama Park, the closest park to our house. So cool to get a great workout and then finish at that display! The other pictures were taken at the Tamacho Cemetery. The Japanese sure know how to make their cemeteries look good!

If you have looked at many of my pictures, you may have noticed that I rarely put the subject right in the middle of the picture. Generally speaking, our eyes prefer to see the subject just to the left or to the right of center. More specifically, if we divide the photo into thirds, the eye wants to see the subject on one of those lines that divides the photo in thirds. 

In addition, many photos are more interesting when taken from an angle rather than being taken from a position standing directly in front of the object or person. 

I always appreciate feedback, so please let me know what you think!

All the best,



These are photos of a calligraphy display at the fitness center I have been using. The translations from "Google Translate" did not make much sense. I think the purpose of these is to advertise an upcoming class on writing calligraphy. These prints sure are gorgeous!

I continued my exploration efforts this morning by doing a nice ride along the Nagawa River. However, the path is narrow and there are a lot of cross streets, so it was hard to build up and maintain much speed. I returned to our house on the main roads. One of those roads went parallel to the Chofu Airport. I was also able to cut through the Musashino-no-Mori Park. I want to explore that route again as it had some nice cycling space!


Sorry, it's been a few days since I updated this blog. We have been busy organizing our new house and we took a short trip to Nasu, a beautiful area about 2.5 hours north of Tokyo. 

The modern looking train is the Shinkansen Bullet train, the train we took from Tokyo to Nasu. We made the 106 mile trip in an hour! Some of these bullet trains can actually do up to 200 miles per hour! How I wish we could match this kind of versatility in the US!

The cool looking modern building is the Nasushiobara Station, the Bullet train station in Nasu. Once again, the Japanese have a way of designing very attractive buildings!

The temple pictured is just a five minute walk from the Nasu train station. Beauty and proximity!

The house amongst the trees is a resort house in Nasu that we are thinking about buying. Lots of trees and lots of solitude! Another plus is that the house is about 1.5 miles from Nasunogahara Park, an amazing park with 12 tennis courts, four pools, lots of trails, and plenty of other amenities! 

 Now let's talk about death. I believe that the first picture is the cremation facility at the Tama Cemetery.  The Japanese tradition is to cremate the body and then to bury the ashes at the family site. 

For an excellent introduction to how the Japanese approach death, please check out this web site: https://voyapon.com/japanese-cemeteries-traditions/

Another good resource: https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/1059282/Tama-Cemetery

"Tama Cemetery, opened 01 April 1923, is the largest among the eight Tokyo cemeteries, and covers 1,280,237 square metres. Redwoods and trees are representative of the Musashino region. Spring cherry blossoms, and autumn foliage accompany the gravesites of many famous historical figures. Appropriate for sightseeing or just walking, this was the first cemetery in Japan to imitate the forest cemeteries of other countries, particularly Germany."

 I can attest to the "forest cemetery" reference as I have been blown away by the landscape beauty of that cemetery! It is very close to our house, so I have been using it for cycling and for running. What a treat!



These pictures were all taken near the Imperial Palace, the Tokyo residence for the Japanese royal family. The bridge is the Nijubashi Bridge. The garden shot was taken in the Ninomaru Garden. I will be sharing a lot of photos from these gorgeous sites as I took almost 1400 photos in one and a half days! Photography heaven!

I took and used all of my professional gear. Including my water bottle and tripod, I hauled around about 30 pounds worth of gear. In the 95 degree heat, it was definitely a challenging workout! What was also challenging was my first solo excursion around Tokyo. I was able to get from our motel to the bridge with no problems. However, such was not the case for the trip back to the motel! I guess the spirits decided I needed more exercise as I proceeded to walk for six miles when the trip should have been just over a mile! 

Unbeknownst to me, there was some glitch with the address Setsuko texted to me. Basically, I walked in circles for two hours! However, it got even more hysterical! I got to what looked like our motel. It had the same name and same appearance. I got in the elevator but my card did not work. A gracious customer helped with selecting the second floor. The door opened, but it sure did not look like our floor! Back in the elevator, with my card again not working, the elevator took me up to the 11th floor. Somehow and some way, I ended up back on the main floor. 

Fortunately for me, one thing did go right. The clerk spoke English! She looked at my card and said that I was at the wrong motel. My motel has a similar name but is down the street! After a total of just over 30,000 steps, I slept well that night!

All the best,



I realize I may be prone to exaggerations! With that in mind, I think our trip this past weekend broke all kinds of photography records for this kid! 1000 photos in one day! So, kick back and let me introduce you to the amazing Rainbow Bridge!

The Rainbow Bridge is a gorgeous suspension bridge in downtown Tokyo. It goes across Tokyo Bay to Odaiba. The name comes from the fact that lights on the bridge flash different colors throughout the night. 

Our timing was impeccable as we got to our motel before the light show started. Speaking of our motel, that was our first bit of good fortune. I made the good move of asking Setsuko if we could get a room with a view of the bridge. Although it was a little expensive, she nailed that big time! In addition, from a photography perspective, we sometimes have to pay a little extra to get to the best locations.

We had a dinner reservation for 7:30. That meant we had an hour for my first round of photography. I had a ball! However, little did I know, Setsuko had discovered the real secret!

After good fortune number two, a fabulous buffet meal, I told Setsuko I was tired and ready to crash. She then showed me one of her pictures of the Statue of Liberty look-a-like. My third bit of good fortune! So much for being tired! I was back in action! I then spent two hours finding every angle I could find that included the statue and the bridge. I think the results are pretty stunning! That statue changes colors about every thirty seconds. I think I captured just about all of its colors and the various tints! 

The other picture was taken the next day on the boat ride from Odaiba to Tokyo. Good fortune number four was that boat ride! I snapped a number of shots with my iPhone 14 Pro, including the one pictured above. Once again, I was blown away by the ability of the iPhone camera to capture sharp images while the boat was moving!

I cannot thank Setsuko enough for this amazing trip! You will be seeing more results as I have 62 images that I think could be published. A record setter!

All the best!



You may be wondering what hair and bikes and exercise have to do with each other! Well, here we go!

You might remember that I paid $450 to have someone here in Japan put together my first bike. I certainly did not want to go through that again with my second bike!

I had the good fortune of checking in with my friend Stuart. He is a genius at coming up with solutions! When I told him about my situation, he said he had just the fix. He has a friend, Mr. Hara, who has done a great job with his wife's hair. That friend is also a bike fan. He said that his friend would set up my bike at no cost. Stuart said that as a form of gratitude, it would be good for me to schedule a hair appointment. Wow! 

Now, this all seems so simple, but.... I have cut my own hair for at least 30 years! We are talking some serious invasion of my space to let someone else mess with my head! However, it was truly a no-brainer, as I was not about to pay another $450 for this operation! 

I have been a part of many different connections in my life. But, a hair cut and bike construction? That is a new one! However, all is well! Mr. Hara did a great job on my bike. He even came to our house to do the work! Then it was my turn. Little did I know that I was going to lose twenty pounds worth of hair!

One of my hair-cutting goals has always been to keep my big ears covered with hair. So much for that! Despite my hair loss, it was a great experience! He was very gracious and made the event very relaxing. He certainly has earned a new customer! The enclosed picture is the end result. 

I honestly think I could now go undercover as I do not think my friends and family will recognize me!

And back to exercise! I have put the links to these machines at the bottom of this post. Two of the best and most important exercises are knee raises and back extensions. The knee raises exercise is very good for the abdominal muscles and is generally considered safer for the low back. The back extension exercise is one of the most effective exercises to help with the low back muscles. 

We had similar machines in Springfield, but decided to not bring them to Japan. I just purchased these machines and put them together yesterday. My body is loving the reunion!

Here is to good hair, good cycling, and healthy muscles!

All the best,





So sorry to be out of touch! My last post was on September 14th. How time flies when you are having fun! And boy oh boy, I have been having fun!

Let's start with the good fortune! A very nice friend recommended that I go to the Nogawa Park Nature Observation Garden. When I told her I would probably go next week, she said that the flowers may be out of bloom by then. I am very glad that I went today! Thanks so much to my friend!

All three pictures are from that Garden. Believe it or not, I took 2000+ pictures in 3.5 hours! I was a busy boy! The bird pictured is a Kingfisher. That is definitely my good luck bird! Here is the story. My previous trip to Japan was in 2007. I had the opportunity to do some bird photography close to the same spot as I went to today. Lo and behold, back 16 years ago, there was a Kingfisher that was the star of the photography party. The area was full of those big long lenses! Unfortunately, the shots I took were not that good. I guess I must be doing something right as I really nailed the photo this time around!

Now let's talk about another of my favorite topics, that of exercise! My three favorite machines include the back extension machine, the leg raise machine, and the leg press machine. We now have the first two machines, but the third is expensive and too big for our house. I recently discovered the "sissy squat" machines! These machines are definitely not for those with a fear of a good leg workout! I purchased an inexpensive version of this machine. The link is below. Make sure you check out the inspiring video. If only I could have muscles like those!

 And now let's talk about good service! For those who think that good manners and good deeds are a thing of the past, think again.  I have included below the link for this wonderful piece of inspiration! Some very thoughtful genius came up with the clever idea of starting a cafe that uses workers who are struggling with dementia. The cafe also employs support workers. My favorite line in the article? "At Japan's dementia cafes, forgotten orders are all part of the service." Just how cool is that? Now if I could just get going with learning the Japanese language, I could volunteer for them. Happiness personified!

All the best to you and your families,





It has been awhile since we took our trip to Wimbledon. It was time to re-join the world of sports photography! And what a cool world it is!

A big thank you to Setsuko for getting us tickets to the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis Tourney!  It was a fabulous experience!

After about 2.5 hours on a number of trains, we arrived at the Ariake Coliseum and Tennis Forest Park. The top picture is of the Stadium Court, the court with the retractable roof. Quite an impressive tennis court! 

The rest of the pictures are from a practice session we watched shortly after we arrived. Amazing! The woman with the blue hat is Iga Swiatek, the number two player in the world. The woman in the red hat is Nadiia Kichenok, and the woman in the white hat is her doubles partner, Miyu Kato. 

For all you tennis players, I hope you notice the concentration, the footwork, the use of their bodies, the preparation, and the flawless technique. These are some of the reasons they are some of the best in the world! 

Being the space case I can be, I accidentally forgot to bring all of my memory cards. Shooting 12 frames per second, I maxed out with 3000 photos in an hour or so! I then pulled out my iPhone. I was hoping that I could use the "Burst" setting, which takes 10 frames per second. However, for some odd reason, I kept getting videos instead of still photos. Oh well! 

I will be better prepared next year! In any case, it was a wonderful trip and a pleasure to see these great athletes up close!

All the best,




There are not many songs that pertain to Seattle. One of the few is a song titled "Seattle" that was written by Hugo Montenegro back in the late 60's. It was used in the television show "Here Come The Brides." My recording of this beautiful song is dedicated to my brother and his family as they live in that great city. Love to Drum and Monique and all!

These are again photos from our amazing trip to Kyoto. I took 3000 photos in 5 days! Glorious sights! The orange posts are from the world famous Fushimiinari-taisha Shrine. The stairs wind up for a mile as you walk through the passageway that goes between the posts! Amazing! It was a little challenging to get photos without humans in them as there were so many people. However, the further up I got, the fewer the people. Luck and patience!

The other two photos are from the Byodo-in Temple. Again, what an exquisite site! A fun story. I was photographing the Temple when I got a phone call from Setsuko. She was literally standing a few hundred feet away. However, she did not want to leave her spot as she had sighted the beautiful great blue heron that is pictured in this post. After getting over my petty frustration from being interrupted, I joined Setsuko and took 300-400 pictures of that bird as it was so close!

Thank you to Setsuko for making this such a memorable trip!

All the best,




When I think of Colorado and music, I think of John Denver. This is a recording I did of one of my favorite Denver songs, Perhaps Love.

I would like to dedicate this song to my sister and her family, as they have lived in the Denver area for many years. Ty and family, I hope you enjoy this song!

The pictures were again taken during our trip to Kyoto. The picture with the bridge in it was taken at the Imperial Palace, the former home of the Japanese King and Queen. What a beautiful garden! 

Another one of the highlights from this trip was spending time with Dana and his family. They used to live in Oregon, where we had the good fortune of working with Dana and his two sons in our tennis program. The younger son, Ryoma, is now an up and coming star on a university tennis team.  Go Ryoma!

Dana is extremely bright and has traveled the world doing corporate development work. In the process, he has been at the cutting edge of that industry. I had the good fortune of going for a long walk with Dana through the beautiful countryside near their home, just outside of Osaka. In the process, Dana shared some of his pearls of wisdom. What a treat!

All the best,


Here's To The Blooms!

This is a recording of "Try To Remember" I made on my Yamaha P-515. I would like to dedicate this song to the Blooms. This has always been one of my my sister's favorite songs!

These are more pictures from our Kyoto trip. What a gorgeous place!

All the best,



This song has a special place in my heart as I played this Neil Diamond classic, "Play Me," at our wedding. This is my way of saying thank you to Setsuko for such a wonderful Japan experience. Love you lots!

The pictures, taken with my iPhone, are from an amazing excursion to Showa Kinen Park I took by bicycle with my friend  Stuart. We rode our bikes 6+ miles to the park, then rode around the perimeter of the park, then walked parts of the interior. What a gorgeous place! I particularly enjoyed the Japanese Garden! After this wonderful experience, we rode to a restaurant owned by a friend of his and had a fabulous Japanese meal. What a day to remember! 

I feel fortunate to have these relationships to nurture my soul. I will end with some of the lyrics from this Neil Diamond song.

                You are the sun, I am the moon
                You are the words, I am the tune
                Play me.

Does it get any better than that?
All the best,


These photos were taken at a Festival we attended last Saturday night. The top photo was taken during a very cool live performance. I was mesmerized by the beautiful clothing they wore!


The above link is to an amazing performance by Lucy Thomas when she was 13 years old. She has a voice that is out of this world! I dare you to not get goose bumps when you watch that video! 

Lucy is now 19 years old. She just came out with her fifth album and is due to be starring in the musical "Rosie" in 2024. Without a doubt, she has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard! 

She has also recorded some gorgeous duets with her sister. What a talented family! I love her song selection as she has recorded a number of songs from musicals. 

One of the things that is so amazing is the passion she puts into her singing. She sings with a maturity that is much more typical of someone twice her age. 

The good news is that you can access almost all of her music online. With that said, I just got the mp3 version of her first CD. I will almost assuredly be buying all of her music! 

All the best as we head into the holiday season!



Happy Holidays!

I made this recording of "The Impossible Dream" back in 2011. That song has always been one of my favorites as it beautifully captures my life philosophy. In addition, I sang that song at my dad's funeral service. I miss you dad!

A big thank-you to Tai, one of our wonderful employees at the American School. He warned us about some road closures due to an upcoming bicycle race. I had heard about that race but did not know any of the details. Thanks to the heads-up from Tai, I photographed the race and had a great time! 

I am so fortunate as the race passed within a mile or so of our house. How convenient! The first two pictures of the tandem racers were taken with my professional gear and the rest were taken with my iPhone 15 Pro Max. I still cannot believe the capabilities of that iPhone camera!

Speaking of not believing, it was incredible to me that as best as I could tell, the course set-up work was all done the morning of the race. That is an incredible amount of work to be done in such a short period of time!

As seems to be a Japanese tradition, there were hordes of workers monitoring the race course. Heaven help anyone who got on that course! 

As a serious cyclist, it was so inspiring for me to see these expert riders in action. In particular, the tandem riders were competing in the "Para" event, an event for those with a visual impairment. How cool is that! What an exciting but scary thrill it must be to ride 20-40 miles per hour with little or no eye sight! I guess you hope the rider in front is really paying attention!

I can hardly wait for my next ride!

All the best,

Bob Reed



Happy Holidays!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! I made the recording of "With You I'm Born Again" back in 2011 on the grand piano we had in Oregon. What a beautiful song!

I finally got my first group of nice pictures of Mt. Fuji! What a thrill! My friend Stuart and I did a wonderful hike to the top of Mt. Takao. I will never forget when we came through the trees and walked out into the observation area and were presented with this memorable view. What a treat! 

While I have had some nice views of Mt. Fuji, this was the first time I had my professional equipment. Nothing like that zoom telephoto lens! I am definitely convinced that I can get better photos with that professional gear. I also just purchased a lightweight tripod for hiking. Using that helped me get the clarity in these photos.

Inspiration is a big part of my life! It is interesting to me how that inspiration shows up. I remember when I was thinking about doing my last blog update. I was tired and really not in the mood to work. However, I then thought about how I had promised a friend that I would get the cycling photos on the blog as soon as possible. That thought then inspired me to get the job done. In the process, I totally forgot about how tired I was. Thank you to all of you for inspiring me!

Marcel Schwantes makes this point in a different way in the article, "The Ultimate Measure of Success Comes Down to a Few Simple Words."  The web site address for the article is below.

What are those words?

"Your success depends on the cycle of caring. When you practice care, kindness, and generosity throughout life, it comes back to you ten-fold."

I love those words! One of the commitments  I made when moving to Japan was to put more time and energy into developing and maintaining friendships. I realize now that due to how busy I was, that was not a priority for me when I lived in Oregon. With that said, I do feel like I have always done my best to be a caring and kind human being. Ongoing work in progress! 

All the best to you and your family and friends,

Bob Reed




I made this recording of Let It Be on my Yamaha P-515. Now if I could only more consistently follow that advice!

This was the trip of many firsts!

  • This was my first major attempt to focus on Mt. Fuji. What a gorgeous sight it is! I went to the 5 Lakes area and spent 4 days photographing Mt. Fuji. 1500 photos!
  • I cannot ever remember missing a bus for a major trip! I went to the bus stop an hour early. The sign said that the bus stop was "across the street." Given that I was standing "across the street," I thought I was in the right place. However, upon further investigation, what the sign neglected to say was that the bus stop was the other side of the overpass and up the stairs! By then the bus was long gone! Fortunately, Setsuko was able to get me on a later bus.
  • This was my first major Japan trip by myself. Quite the adventure when it came to ordering food!
  • This was my first major photography trip with a bicycle as transportation. Except for the fact that this mountain bike rental desperately needed a tune-up, the cycling all went well!
  • This was my first photo/hiking trip on which I suffered a pretty tough injury. I was almost at the end of a rugged hike on the second day. I was not paying close enough attention and I slipped on a strip of slippery mud. I was wearing running shoes, which did not help. I fell backwards and landed on my photo backpack and my bike helmet. I felt a sharp pain and immediately thought I had ruptured a disk. Alas, it was a bad muscle bruise. I was stiff and sore for the rest of the trip, but still managed to do the photography I wanted to do.
  • This was my first time getting kicked off a bus! When I tried to get on the bus to go home, the driver asked for my seat number. Given that my ticket was written in Japanese, I had no idea. The driver then told me to get off the bus! I tried to show him my electronic ticket, but he was adamant! Fortunately, after I left the bus, I found a worker who found my seat number. Homeward bound!
  • This was the first time a hotel worker asked to take my picture. I stayed at the Hotel Camelot, an older place with a first floor devoted to music rooms and studios. The customer service was out of this world! As I was getting ready to leave, the hotel front desk worker asked if they could take my picture. Three staff members and the owner then joined in for the picture. Very touching!

Happy New Year to all!



I recorded this version of Born Free on my Yamaha P-515. This song has always been special to me for a number of reasons. I love the message and loved reading the book and seeing the movie. I have always loved the lyrics and the melody. Lastly, it was the first song I learned on the piano. 

In 1976, I rode a motorcycle from Seattle to San Francisco. Each night, I camped on the coast. Before losing the light, I would practice this song on a melodica, a flute-like instrument with a short piano keyboard. My mom inspired me to try this instrument as she used to play one on our sailboat. 

After I returned to Alaska, I took piano lessons. I will never forget when I hit my first chord to match the first note of this song. I fell in love with that harmony!

The pictures are from a recent day I spent with my friend Rohan in the Shinjuku area.  Thank you to Rohan for your guiding! The Godzilla figure is perched up high on a building. The other two photos were taken at a very photogenic cemetery.

I am doing double-duty with this message. I am putting it on my blog and am sending it to my email data base. For those in the data base, feel free to let me know if you do not want to subscribe to these updates. 

Given that it is now 2024, it seems appropriate to reflect on this past year and think about 2024. Here are my thoughts.


  • I am so thankful for so many things and so many people!
  • First and foremost, I am thankful for all the people in my life, including all of you. Thanks for your messages! Please keep them coming! I will respond to all messages!
  • I am thankful for my good health. I know that many people are struggling with a variety of health-related issues. My heart goes out to them.
  • I am thankful for Rohan, Stuart, and Dana, three friends I have spent time with since moving to Japan. You have been wonderful!
  • I am thankful for Setsuko, my amazing wife. She has made the move to Japan one of the best things I have done with my life. While I miss all of you who live in the US, I am enjoying this new adventure.
  • I am thankful for the resources we have. While Setsuko and I have worked hard to get where we are, I also know that we have been very fortunate.
  • I am thankful for the technology that enables me to do so much, including staying in touch with all of you!
  • I am thankful for the organizational skills I have developed that help me stay on top of my many responsibilities. 
  • I am thankful for the discipline I have to make good choices and decisions. It is not always easy!
  • I am thankful for the ability to read and for the access I have to so many great books. What a treasure!
  • I am thankful for forgiveness. I have certainly made my share of mistakes. I fee fortunate that people have graced me with some slack!
  • I am thankful for the opportunity to live in Japan. I realize this is an opportunity that is not available for many people.
  • I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to work in the special education field. I am loving my job at the American School in Japan!


  • Sending two North Eugene High School singles players and a doubles team to the state tourney.
  • Another successful year as a special education teacher at North Eugene High School.  
  • Leaving the US knowing that I did my best for the community in the areas of tennis and special education.
  • The sale of our home in Springfield, Oregon. This enabled us to move to Japan.
  • The move to Japan. 
  • Putting time into friendships here in Japan.
  • Helping Setsuko realize her dream of returning to her homeland and living close to her daughters and grandchildren. 
  • The consistent cycling and strength training and photography in Japan. 
  • Sharing music and photos and updates on this blog. 
  • Joining the Japan Citizen's Climate Lobby group and putting more time into environmental studies. 
  • The satisfaction that comes from knowing that I am doing my best to live a productive and meaningful life and that I am living according to my values and principles.


  • I am concerned about the environment. While I understand this is a controversial topic, it seems to me there is some substantial evidence to suggest that we need to make some major changes, especially when it comes to the use of fossil fuels. I plan to continue to study this topic and learn as much as I can and then take steps to act on my conclusions. 
  • I am concerned about the divisiveness and lack of grace in the United States, especially as it relates to politics, social justice, race, guns, and other controversial and sensitive topics. I desperately hope we can improve our capacity to have difficult conversations in a respectful manner.  

I hope 2024 is a great year for all of you. May we work together to make this world the best it can be!

All the best to you, your families, and your friends,




I recorded this version of Sounds of Silence on my Yamaha P-515. As you will soon see, by coincidence, the timing of this recording is right on!

These pictures were taken at a fire burning event at the Tama River, about two miles from our house. This is a New Year's tradition in Japan. The idea is that people will pray for a good start to the new year. 

One of the blessings about moving to Japan has been having the time to read and do research. One of my favorite but complex and emotional topics is that of climate change. One of the things that has made that topic so difficult to deal with is the lack of conversation about climate change. This is just not a topic that has been discussed much if at all in my social circles. As the song suggests, it seems we have "Sounds of Silence" when it comes to talking about climate change!

With this in mind, I am hoping to set up some climate change forums. My idea is that I would host these forums by Zoom. Anyone with the link could attend. The purpose of these forums would be to give folks a chance to share their thoughts and concerns and questions and actions related to climate change. What do people think about climate change? Are they concerned? If yes, why? If not, why? What questions do people have about climate change? What actions are they taking or do they want to take related to climate change?

The goal would be to support each other and listen to each other and work to understand each other as we share our thoughts. The goal would not be to argue or debate or solve any particular climate problems. 

Please reply by comment or email me at reedrobert77@gmail.com I will then get back to you with possible dates and times for this forum. 

I think many of us are feeling pretty isolated when it comes to dealing with climate change. I am hoping we can support each other as we move forward to tackle this immense issue. 

All the best,



IMPORTANT! For some odd reason, the music formatting has changed on these Blogger posts sites.. To listen to the song, click on the small box with the arrow in it that is in the upper right corner of the post screen. That will open up another window with a box in the middle of the screen. Click on the "play" arrow and the song should start. Please let me know if this does not work. Sorry about this!

I made this recording of "Hello Again" on my Yamaha P-515. This has always been one of my favorite Neil Diamond songs. It beautifully captures the feelings that come with falling in love.

These pictures are all from our recent trip to Odawara. The castle is the Odawara Castle, which is gorgeous at night as it is lit up by some impressive spot lights. The water shot and the brightly lit up building were both taken right outside our resort room. A very attractive location!

As my climate change perspective has continued to change, my lifestyle has also changed. After many years of a love affair with beef products, I have decided to give up beef. As best as I can tell, the climate impacts related to beef are substantial. I am also doing my best to not consume dairy products, primarily milk. I have replaced that habit with soy milk.

 The good news is that in the process of making this change, I have discovered the joy of smoothies! Here is my current favorite.

3  bananas

1 cup of blueberries

I cup of pineapple

1 cup of strawberries

2 large Kale leaves

1 bunch of spinach

2 cups of soy milk

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon of turmeric

A bit of ground pepper

Put this all in a blender and enjoy this tasty and nutritious treat!

Shortly after we arrived in Japan, I joined an international climate change organization titled Citizen's Climate Lobby. I initially joined the Japan chapter, but realized that the language barrier was too much of an obstacle. I recently joined the Eugene/Springfield chapter. Despite the time change, I am very much enjoying my interactions with that group. Here is the web site address: https://citizensclimatelobby.org/

I am also excited about joining some "Climate Circles," meetings that give people a chance to share their concerns about climate change. Here is the link, https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/climate-psychology-alliance-29918075735

All the best,



I made this recording of the Cat Steven's song, Father and Son, on my Yamaha P-515. This has always been my favorite of his songs. I love the melody and I love the lyrics!

These photos were all taken with my new Canon RF 100-500 lens. I am particularly pleased with these photos as the conditions were pretty tough. When I started photographing early in the morning, it was in the high 30's, with winds ranging from 10-15 mph. Chilly! 

I thought it would be fun and interesting to do a review of my first nine months in Japan. This is going to double as my email message that I will send to folks in my data base.


A special greeting to the North Eugene tennis players and their coaches as they embark on the spring season. I wish I could be there to cheer you on!

Another special greeting to the staff at Willamalane. I hope your tennis programs are going well!

A third greeting to current and retired staff at North Eugene High School. I miss all of you!

Lastly, to everyone else, I hope you are doing well! Please email me at reedrobert77@gmail.com with updates!

SETSUKO:       I once again need to thank Setsuko for giving me this opportunity. It has been a great experience! Setsuko's recovery from knee surgery is going well. She is hoping to be back on the tennis court in May. Yeah! It has been really cool to see how happy Setsuko has been living so close to her two daughters and two grandchildren. They are all doing well!

SCHOOL WORK:       I have continued to enjoy my half-time special education teacher assistant position at the American School. Not only have I loved the work, I have also appreciated the welcoming I have received at that school. I have been cycling with some of the teachers and I played the piano at an open mike event. 

CYCLING:      I have missed the more tranquil cycling from Lane County, but have loved my cycling opportunities here. My regular ride of 13 miles takes about an hour. The 20-30 mile Sunday rides take 2-3 hours. Excellent workouts!

FITNESS:     I have had more time for strength training and stretching. My body has appreciated that commitment! 

HEALTH:     Setsuko is a wonderful cook! Primarily for environmental reasons, I have been cutting back on my consumption of beef and dairy products. I have turned into a real fan of smoothies and have been making some very nutritious minestrone soup. There is yet still hope for my cooking potential!

FRIENDS:     As I have mentioned before, I did not have much time to put into friendships when living in Lane County. Since moving to Japan, that has changed, for the better. 

PHOTOGRAPHY:     This has been one of the biggest changes I have made. Generally speaking, when I lived in Lane County, I did one major 7-10 day photo session during the summer. Since moving to Japan, I have been doing photography at least once or twice a month, if not more. In terms of bird photography, my new lens is making a huge difference! It has been very gratifying to be able to share my photos on my blog. To say the least, the photo opportunities here have been amazing!

TRANSPORTATION:     I have loved not driving! I have loved being able to get around by foot, bike, bus, and train. What a joy!

MUSIC:     My change in this area has been the same as the change for photography. Now that I have increased my standards for my piano playing, I am practicing 3-6 times per week. In addition, I have re-started to play the guitar and sing. I use an informal finger picking style that makes for a nice accompaniment to my voice. 

ENVIRONMENTAL WORK:        This is another area of big change for me. Although I have been committed to recycling and other individual steps, I had not previously invested any time in being part of an organization. Since joining the Citizen's Climate Lobby, I have become much more involved in taking collective action. Every little bit counts!

THE CHALLENGES:      I certainly miss the people from Lane County! I miss the ease with which I could find things I needed and the ease of shopping. I miss the easy access to beautiful natural settings and I miss the lack of traffic and the lower population density. I miss the school teaching opportunities. I miss being surrounded by people who speak English! Because I am not willing to fly, for environmental reasons, I will miss a family wedding this September. Darn! I miss the opportunity to attend in-person meetings and other events in Lane County.

In short, it seems there are almost always pros and cons to the major choices we make. Despite the challenges listed above, I am happy with this choice I have made. I feel very fortunate to be in a financial position that affords me the opportunity to spend time doing what I love to do. Given the incredible gift of Zoom and texting and emails, I am still able to stay in touch with folks from Oregon and with my siblings and with others who share some common interest. 

I think I have shared that one of my "big" goals is to live to be 100 years old. So far, so good! I feel like I am doing the right things and living in the right place to make that happen. One day at a time!

All the best to you and your families!

I hope you have a wonderful spring season,


Bring on the Guitar and Let's Sing!

Happy Spring!

Sorry to be out of touch! It has been a busy spring! Several people have asked me to record my singing. Here we go! Although I certainly am no pro, I have really enjoyed working on my guitar and singing skills. More to come!

The cherry season has come and gone in our area. However, the good news is that I was able to capture some of the incredible beauty of the cherry blossoms. What a treat! 

The top photo was taken at Rikugien Garden, a gorgeous garden in the Tokyo area. 

The second photo from the top was taken from the entrance to the American School, the school where I work.

The third and fourth photos from the top were taken in the Tama Cemetery.  I have the good fortune of walking through that cemetery on my way to work. A real joy!

The three photos at the bottom were taken at the Jindai Botanical Garden, one of my favorite gardens close to our house.

I hope you enjoy the music and the photos.

All the best,



Hello again!

I hope you enjoy my recording of the classic, "Leaving on A Jet Plane." That song has always had special meaning to me as it was the first song I learned on the guitar. I only wish I could match the wonderful recordings by John Denver and Peter, Paul, and Mary!

These photos are from Jindai Botanical Garden, such a gorgeous place!

As I think I may have mentioned, my current job at the American School is over at the end of this year. While I could stay and work as a substitute teacher, my preference is to have a regular position, so I get the joy of working with the same students on a consistent basis. 

There is a wonderful web site that lists most of the top international schools in the Tokyo area: https://www.international-schools-database.com/in/tokyo

Call it luck or call it persistence, I recently hit the jackpot when I discovered an amazing gem, The Tokyo International Progressive School, or TIPS, https://www.tokyoips.com/

This is from their main page: TIPS is an international school for grades 4 - 12 that provides alternative education for students with mild learning differences and with academic, emotional and/or social challenges. Founded in 2000, TIPS is proud of the expertise of our staff and the results of our programs.

For those of you who know me, you can see that this is a perfect match for my skills, experiences, and educational interests and pursuits. I will be teaching a language arts class, a humanities class, and will be assisting with two PE classes. This part-time position is about fifteen hours per week. 

I did a sample lesson as part of the interview process and had a ball! I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity! To make matters even better, it is a very nice 9 mile bike ride along the Tama River to go from our house to the school. It takes me about 40-45 minutes, a perfect amount of time for peace and quiet and reflection!

Lastly, this will give me the opportunity to delve into reading comprehension, one of my favorite subjects in education. While this will not match all the highlights from my position at North Eugene, it will give me the golden opportunity to do work I dearly love. Yeah!

I hope you enjoy the Spring!

All the best,



I hope you enjoy my recording of my favorite Simon and Garfunkel hit, Sounds of Silence. I just watched the iconic viewing of that song in the classic movie, The Graduate. Dustin Hoffman is still going strong!

The pictures were taken at the Rikugien Garden. I photographed during the day and then stayed for the evening, when various parts of the garden were highlighted with flood lights. It was stunning!

Yes, life in the fast lanes! As I previously mentioned, I accepted a teaching position for this coming school year with the Tokyo International Progressive School, otherwise known at "TIPS."

What I did not know when I did my last update was my teaching assignment. I will be teaching 10th grade language arts, grades 4-8 reading comprehension, and helping with two PE classes. Please keep in mind this is a part-time position. Just to keep me truly on my toes, they added 7th grade science. Wow!

Between the science planning work and my increase in reading volume, I have been going full speed ahead! Below is a list of books I have read in the last two months.

  1. Wonder
  2. Counting By 7s
  3. The Secret Garden
  4. Catcher in the Ry
  5. 1984
  6. To Kill A Mockingbird
  7. A Kind of Spark
  8. Oh The Places You'll Go
  9. Out of My Mind
  10. Poet X
  11. Fault in Our Stars
  12. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying the reading, the studying, the learning, the thinking, and the planning. I have a flexible schedule, so, why not??!! I would highly recommend any of the above-mentioned books. In particular, Wonder and Counting by 7s and Out of My Mind and A Kind of Spark all highlight young people with very challenging circumstances, some of which are related to disabilities. Very inspiring!

It is truly ironic that Setsuko asked me two months ago what my dreams are. I told her that one of my dreams is to again teach reading comprehension. Who says that dreams do not come true????!!!!To prepare for that class, I have been picking 1-3 paragraph excerpts from the books above and other sources. I will then use those excerpts to model comprehension tools and techniques and help students improve their reading comprehension skills. I will adjust the reading levels as necessary. It is so amazing that with artificial intelligence, I can put a passage into certain web sites and the related software is able to increase or decrease the reading level. So cool!

I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity. It will be great to get back in a regular classroom! As any good teacher will tell you, there is nothing like challenging one's students, providing an effective framework and environment and instruction, and then observing the progress and success. Beauty in motion!

I hope you have a great summer!











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