End-of-term Sushi Night! Easter 2018


When I started teaching Japanese, I thought it would primarily be an academic endeavour. 

I didn't think we'd go out for sushi, and do calligraphy workshops, and all kinds of other exciting things. 

It's good to get out of the classroom sometimes, spend time in a different environment (and of course eat Japanese food).

Here are some photos from the end-of-term sushi night this Easter. 








Thanks for coming!

Where shall we go for our next (non-academic) event?

2017: A Round Up


I'll let you into a secret.

I wanted to write an end-of-year "round-up" post last year, but I didn't think I had enough to talk about.

This year there's too much! It's been a busy, brilliant year.

Here's what my students and I got up to in 2017.

I started the year off with a chilly trip to Namayasai, Sussex's very own organic Japanese vegetable farm.

↓ Photo by Shino. Daikon radish by Namayasai.

In March, students and I were invited to the Open Day of the Brighton & Hove Japanese Club.

We tried calligraphy, made kanji name badges, and ate a lot of Japanese sweets.


The first term of 2017 flew by.

In the Easter break we had an impromptu school outing to Hove Park for hanami (cherry-blossoming viewing)...


...and to E-Kagen for noodles and Japanese beer.


May in Brighton brings the Brighton Festival and Fringe Festival.

And this year there were a few Japanese events on!

We saw a show by kick-ass Rakugo (traditional Japanese comic storytelling) performer Katsura Sunshine...

...and enjoyed the sunshine with a trip to the beach.
Students in my new Pre Intermediate class had an end-of-year visit from a special guest.

Haruna came to chat Japanese with students during the Free Talk section of class.

↓ Arigatou Haruna!
In July I also went to the Hyper Japan festival in London for the first time.

That was a frantic day full of shopping, different performances, and Japanese street food.

↓ Domo-kun (NHK mascot) and me at Hyper Japan.
Over the summer I also attended a number of brilliant workshops, as part of Ride the Wave - a business support programme run by the council and the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce.

It was a great opportunity to meet like-minded small business owners!

↓ And I got to wear this red and white badge.
Students and I also went to the Japanese Summer Festival organised by Ohisama Ahaha, a Japanese kids group in Brighton and Hove.




Summer rolled by and I rolled off to Berlin on holiday.

This holiday is significant because its the first trip I've taken (since starting Step Up Japanese) where I put the "out of office" on and didn't check my emails while I was away.

Working hard is important, but we all need time off too.


Many of my students were off on holiday too, including Step Up Japanese student Daniel who spent the whole month of August in Japan.



In August we also had the first Step Up Japanese barbecue! Students brought lots of tasty food to share.


In October I attended the Language Show London for the first time, attending language teaching seminars...
...and Japan Foundation events including a talk from Paralympian Gold Medallist (and fluent Japanese speaker!) Noel Thatcher.


In October half term we had the first Step Up Japanese Origami Night, a relaxed affair in one of my favourite pubs.



In November I went for Japanese Afternoon Tea at Portslade's Café an-an. This was a special event for World Vegan Day.


And before you know it, it's nearly the end of the year!

Students met for noodles and festive fun at the Christmas Party.
Like I said, it's been busy.

I'm really, really looking forward to see what 2018 brings!

Thank you so much to everyone who came to classes, took part in events, and supported me at Step Up Japanese this year.

良いお年を!Have a good new year!

Summer Barbecue! Or, "Everybody Loves Corn"



Summer can feel kind of long.

For me, the summer break is when I get to reflect on the year gone and think "big picture" thoughts about what we're going to do in the next year.

But I know that the summer break can feel long for my students. I wanted to have an event in the holidays so we could spend time together, catch up on how everyone's summer has been, and hopefully speak some Japanese too.

I also just really wanted to have a barbecue. Everyone likes a barbecue, right?


I brought corn. Everyone else brought corn too. It was great.




An impressive selection of veggie and definitely-not-veggie food. 

David tending the corn.



Phil brought mochi! ありがとうフィルさん!



Delicious Japanese-y desserts. ニックさん、ありがとう!


After the BBQ, Paul and Will of Sussex Aikido treated us to a mini Aikido demonstration.




There's a little video of this on the Step Up Japanese Facebook page too.



Old and new faces. みなさん来てくれてありがとう!


As usual I was having too much fun (and tending the BBQ too much) to remember to take an actual group photo...








The question is, what shall we bring to eat next year?

Just kidding, I'll definitely bring more corn again!


It was really good to see everyone again, and hearing everyone's news - and speaking some Japanese, of course.

Did you know the Japanese word for corn is... コーン ("kōn")? 🌽🌽🌽