Marc's Public Blog - Trips to other locations


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This is a collection of my blog entries related to short or long trips I, or Jennifer and I went on.
I have some master pages for some specific locations/trips:

Paris over many years | Australia over many years | Canada over many years | Japan over multiple trips | Italy in 2011 | France in 2013 | Indonesia in 2013 | Japan in 2013 | Japan in 2014 | Taiwan in 2014 | Indonesia in 2014 | New Zealand in 2015 | Japan in 2015 | Costa Rica in 2015 | Singapore in 2016 | South Korea in 2016 | Japan in 2016 | Japan in winter 2017 | Great Britain in 2017 |

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1997/08/01 2.5 months in Japan with Hokkaido International Foundation
π 1997-08-01 00:00 in Japan, Trips
During the summer of 1997, I had to leave the US and re-enter it with a new visa before I would be able to start working for real. At the same time, after having been an exchange student in the USA in 1991-1992, I really would have liked to be an exchange student in Japan too, but I was not able to do both at the time, so spending almost 3 months in Japan with a host family before starting my work life sounded like a great deal.
It wasn't cheap and mostly took all my savings, getting me to fly back to the US and start a new life in northern california with virtually no money, but somehow I took the financial risk, and it was worth it.

I stayed with a very nice host family in Hakodate on the south tip Hokkaido, and went to school most days to study Japanese all morning and generally do a fun cultural activity in the afternoon. I stayed with a host family, the Takahashi, who nicely took care of me, and thankfully were quite fluent in English as my Japanese was very limited when I arrived there.

A few pictures of my host family:


that was my first rotating sushi plates resturant. where I was ble to invite my family to thank them for their hospitality
that was my first rotating sushi plates resturant. where I was ble to invite my family to thank them for their hospitality


Hakodate had a hill you could take a cable car up to, or simply hike up, which I did one day (I used that time in Japan to get back in shape and lose a good portion of the weight I had put on in southern california):





the beach was used to dry out nori (japanese seaweed)
the beach was used to dry out nori (japanese seaweed)


HIF students having fun
HIF students having fun

We spent a lot of time in school of course. Our teachers were great, and did a little show for us:




After school, while we spent quite a bit of time studying, we also had some cultural events, which were quite fun. Tea ceremony, flower arrangement, kimono wearing, and so forth:







hanami
hanami


One day, we went to a nearby town with castle grounds (honestly I forget where it is):






Another day, we went to a nearby school for show and tell, as well as summer games:


they're not screwing around :)
they're not screwing around :)


I was running inside that cardboard tube :)
I was running inside that cardboard tube :)

we were nicely welcomed :)
we were nicely welcomed :)

Another day we hiked up a local mountain with some volcanic activity:





Summer season is also festival season, that was fun:














After our time in Hakodate was over, we went to Sapporo for a short visit:




And from there, we went in a small town in northern Hokkaido, where I got to try summer skiing and wood carving:












I also spent a few days with other Japanese families after school was over:


At the end of my trip, my then boss Byron was nice enough to offer me a bit of money sot hat I could spend 3 days in Tokyo before flying back, and my host family set me up with a family in Tokyo who very nicely hosted me those few days, and even took me to Kamakura. The pictures are pretty pityful (110 film in a $20 camera, scanned) compared to what I take now, 20 years later, but eh, that's all I have :)

Senso-ji
Senso-ji

Tokyo Tower, which didn't fit in my camera at all :)
Tokyo Tower, which didn't fit in my camera at all :)

Zojo-ji, seen from Tokyo Tower
Zojo-ji, seen from Tokyo Tower

the famous shibuya crossing
the famous shibuya crossing


The nice japanese family who hosted me in Tokyo:


trip to kamakura
trip to kamakura


This is the nice Japanse linux user who had the same laptop than me and we went out for a day together, including a few museums:



I had a great time with HIF and the Japanese Families who nicely hosted me. Sadly I never really got to go back to Japan for 15 years after that, lost most of the Japanese I did learn, and my wife speaks Mandarin, so that didn't help either (and no, I don't hold it against her ;-) ). However after 15 years, I was able to go to Japan again to present for Google at Linuxcon Japan, and I've been going back to Japan every year since then to visit it with Jennifer. Thanks to Pimsleur language program, I was able to relearn a bit of Japanese and manage very basic conversation when needed during our travels.

You can find he rest of my trips to japan here: http://marc.merlins.org/perso/japan/links.html (many much better pictures)


More pages: October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 October 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 September 2012 June 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 May 2010 January 2010 September 2009 August 2009 June 2009 January 2009 December 2008 August 2008 February 2008 January 2008 October 2007 July 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 October 2006 August 2006 July 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 April 2005 December 2004 October 2004 July 2004 June 2004 January 2004 January 2003 January 2001 August 1997

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