Be Careful of The Typhoon 台風に注意してください!

台風に注意してください!! This week, southern Japan has been faced with the oncoming Typhoon ‘Neoguri’.

Many people in Okinawa were affected by high-speed winds and blackouts in the early stages when the typhoon started it’s journey from the south. Reportedly, around 90,000 are still without electricity in Okinawa.

Now the typhoon is moving north towards Kyushu and mainland Honshu where the land is getting hit with powerful winds and severe rain.

It is predicted to move up here to Fukushima tomorrow, Friday July 11. We expect heavy rain and strong wind so please take care. It’s a good idea to stay indoors out of the danger’s way.

今週、日本南部に接近する台風 「ねおぐり」 に直面してきました。




Tips For Passing Tests

Are you studying for an English test? Maybe TOEIC or EIKEN? Those seems to be the most popular tests for Japanese students of English.

Here are some tips for passing your test.

Study, Ask, Practice, Prepare, Perform

Study – General study of the overall content comes first. You might already be taking English conversation classes or studying by yourself with a text book or audio course. Study needs to be a daily activity so you can steadily improve. There are specific books to help you study and prepare for TOIEC and EIKEN tests. Look in your local book store for a book to help you study.

Ask – When you have a question about the content in your text book or about the test coming up, it’s best to ask someone who knows. You can ask your teacher in person or read official websites on the internet for more information.

Practice – Whenever you can, practice your test with a real person (your teacher) or use a Practice test book. The more you practice, the better you’ll perform on the big day of your test.

Prepare – In the days leading up to the test, prepare everything you need for the test. This includes making sure you know how to get to the testing facility on time. You should also review all the content that will appear on the test.

Perform – Take the test with confidence. Have a positive mindset that you will score great on the test. If you’ve studied and prepared for the test, you will have more confidence naturally. Concentrate on your test questions and let your mind deliver the answer. If you’ve studied well, the answers will all be in your sub-conscious mind. Keep an eye on the time too. Most test takers worry and fret about being able to complete the test on time. You may have to hurry to answer all the questions so be ready for that.

Good luck on your test!


Spring Time! Cherry Blossoms & Warm Sunny Days

Finally, Spring time is upon us. Yippee!
cherry blossoms fukushima

I get a burst of fresh energy when spring comes. I think everyone does. The green trees and grass is a very welcome sight. In Japan we’re lucky to be able to enjoy the colorful trees when they blossom in March and April.

When I first came to Japan, I thought that all the colorful pink trees were Cherry trees. But I have learnt that these beautiful blossoms appear on several different kinds of fruit trees. There are apple, plum, apricot, cherry, and possibly some other trees I’m not yet aware of.
cherry blossoms fukushima

What are your favorite things to do in spring? Do you go to view the cherry blossoms and other trees in the park? In Fukushima, there are a couple of popular flower viewing places I know of. Hanamiyama is probably the most popular, but equally as crowded.

I hope you enjoy Spring. It is my second favorite season. Summer is my #1 favorite. I love being hot and wearing just shorts and a t-shirt.


Big Snow In Fukushima Winter 2014

This winter has brought a lot of snow to Fukushima! I’m very surprised!


I’ve seen the news on TV and on the internet news sites. There are a lot of stories about the heavy snow fall and many accidents that have been caused by the snow.


Image from

How have you been coping with the snow? Did you have to shovel the snow around your house and work place?

Did you suffer a lot of inconveniences like closed roads or  slow moving traffic?

The heavy snow in Fukushima and Touhoku area is not one of my favorite things about the place. It causes a lot of trouble for almost everyone, especially those who live in the more rural areas where they might not remove the snow from the roads with the snow plow.

The only really good thing about snow is that is makes for good snowboarding and skiing!

Take care on the roads driving and don’t injure yourself shoveling snow. It can be heavy so it can be easy to hurt your back. Also, watch out for falling snow off roofs!  I know every year a number of people die or get injured from falling snow from roofs.

Ganbatte! Stay positive and happy because spring will be coming soon!

– Stuart









Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2014

Merry ChristmasMerry Christmas and a Happy New year for 2014 from Stu and Otto at Let’s Eigo!

Thank you for all your wonderful support during this year.

We hope you’ll be around for more fun lessons and activities with us in the new year and for many more years to come.

For most people in Japan right now, you’ve probably just started your new year “O-Shogatsu” holidays.

Please enjoy your time and and be safe and careful driving on the streets!

And it’s so cold outside, so take care not to catch a cold! Eat lots of vegetables, garlic and stay warm!

See you in 2014 and together we’ll have fun learning and improving our English together.


メリークリスマス!! そして、ハッピーニューイヤー!!








Winter Is Cold But Beautiful

下の方、日本語の翻訳があります。GoogleTranslate をつかましたので、変な日本語になったかもしれない!

Once again we’ve experienced another season change in Fukushima.

This time it’s winter.

snow on the trees

Fall came and went so quickly, it was nice while it lasted but now we have the cold winter to bare for at least 3 months.

Although I don’t like the cold weather much, it’s such a nice sight driving through the mountains, seeing white snow aloft the trees and coating the forest floor.

The view from Fukushima city of Mt. Azuma in the winter is a miraculous sight. It reminds me that I’m far away from Australia and this is a wonderful, unique place.

In winter, I try to stay indoors for obvious reasons, but I love to get out and go snowboarding when I can – and when weather permits.

Hopefully this year I will be able to go out with Otto for some fun on the slopes.

Here are pictures from a few years ago. These pics were taken by pro photographer Pete Leong, a friend (and fellow Aussie) I made here in Fukushima, who is now living in Okinawa.

pete and stu snowboard

When I get out to snowboard this season, I’ll be sure to post photos for you to check out.

Do you go snowboarding? Where do you go? What other things do you do for fun in winter?

– Stu








冬には、私は明白な理由のために屋内に滞在しようが、私は外に出てたときに私ができるスノーボードに行くのが大好き – とするとき、天候が許す。





– ステュー

Happy Halloween – Do You Know The History Of Halloween?

Happy Halloween from Let’s Eigo!


Sorry this post is a little late. Halloween was last week! T_T!

To celebrate Halloween, a friend visited my house for lunch and we had a few simple decorations at our house.

It was definitely not a big scale Halloween party like you can see in America. American’s love to put very elaborate decorations in and around their homes.

Afterall, I am Australian and Australians don’t officially celebrate Halloween. It’s primarily an American celebration (holiday). It’s not really that popular in Japan, although there is more talk of Halloween and more merchandise for sale in Japan than in Australia.

Even though, I think Halloween is fun, especially for the kids! And as a parent it’s fun to put decorations around the house and get costumes for kids.

Do you know the story of Halloween?

First, the meaning of the word “halloween”, it comes from the words “All Hallow’s Eve” (the day before All Hallow’s Day).

In the past, All Hallows Day; a day people believed spirits of dead ancestors would come to visit the earth day was on November 1st.

On the Eve of All Hallow’s day, people would dress up in costumes to scare away the evil spirits. This is where the costume culture that we see today originated.

There is more to it, so here is a video to explain it in simple, fun English.

Did you do anything on Halloween?

When Let’s Eigo becomes bigger, we will definitely be running Halloween parties! That will be something to look forward to.

Now it’s not long until Christmas! That is another favorite time of the year.



Autumn Colors, Blue Skies @Mt. Adatara

The season has changed! Autumn is now in full swing and the colors are beautiful.

I took these photos this morning because I was so happy to see a blue sky and sunshine on the mountains near my house.

After so much rain lately, today was such a nice sunny day that I decided to take my kids up to Mt. Adatara ski resort and get some pictures of the trees.

I love Autumn. I love the cool air, the colors and the clesr blue skies. The only thing I don’t like is that Autumn comes, winter is not far away. Of course winter has good things too.

Autum 2013 Adatara Dake 010 Autum 2013 Adatara Dake 006 Autum 2013 Adatara Dake 022 Autum 2013 Adatara Dake 011

I hope you enjoy the photos.


What A Hot Summer In Fukushima 2013!

This summer has been super hot! Do you agree? The last few weeks especially have been very hot and humid.

Today is not too bad because it has been raining on and off. It’s still very humid though.

Here are 5 tips for coping with the humidity of Fukushima’s hot and humid summer!

1. Drink plenty of fluids. I always have a glass or bottle of water nearby.
You must keep your body hydrated on hot days, especially if you spend a lot of time outside.

2. Wear cool clothes. If possible wear shorts and a T-shirt to work. If that is not possible, wear very loose fitting clothes or clothes with good ventilation.


3. Go swimming! My kids love to go swimming even though our swimming pool is tiny.

4. Use air conditioning but use it sparingly. I set the air conditioner to 28 degrees. I don’t want to use too much electricity because I care about the environment.

I hope you can get some ideas of how to stay cool in the intense heat this summer time.

Do you have any other ideas for dealing with the heat?


Unagi Day


I always ask students to tell me about Unagi day. Many people don’t know much about the origins of this tradition and eat unagi, simply because it is promoted. One of my high school students explained the history of Unagi day as coming from a simple promotion strategy for eel catchers back in the edo period.

Unfortunately it seems that Japanese eels have been over consumed to the point where they are becoming extinct. A news report that i saw today says that the volume of imported eel has dropped by 35% this year due to decline stocks even from outside Japan.

Undoubtedly prices have gone up but the problem is really that people don’t seem to care that species extinction has a real impact on our environment.  People buy eels because its “tradition” (ie. doing something for the sake of doing it) or because people are told to do so, and now people will buy it as a luxury item as it becomes rare and expensive.