November 2013

Ahoy there!
Forgive the nautical greeting; I’ve spent a lot of time on boats recently, and may have caught cabin fever whilst navigating the high seas between Honshu and Shikoku on a voyage around the participating islands of the Setouchi Triennale. If you miss out on the art festival itself (finishing on November 4th), I still highly recommend a trip to Naoshima whose island shores are permanently dedicated to art. Don’t forget to try the sanuki-udon whilst you’re there, Kagawa isn’t known as udon-ken for nothing. But enough of my piratical/artistic adventures!


I sincerely hope we can now finally say goodbye to tempestuous October’s typhoons and prolific, insatiable mosquitoes. November is upon us and with it the delights of koyo season. Hillsides will soon be ablaze with colour as the momiji leaves put on a show to rival the beauty of sakura season. The time creeps closer when we can justify cracking out the kotatsu and heating (I’m on a
self-imposed ban until December) and settle into wintry hibernation with a good box set. Don’t forget the umeshu you set fermenting last June, the perfect autumnal warmer.

Of course November also brings the highly anticipated Skills Development Conference, two days of socializing with ALTs and JTEs from around the prefecture – by socializing I of course mean networking and sharing ideas… And why not make a weekend of it on Awaji? In this month’s issue Stephen puts the tourism board to shame with his Top-10 island activities. We also have a film extravaganza with Simon’s review of topical documentary Hafu, as well as information about the upcoming Osaka European Film Festival.

Not a cinema fan? Never fear, the Hyogo Times has you covered: in the kitchen Cherie’s taken the iconic hamburger and given it a Japanese twist; Imi has come over all nostalgic for Cornish pasties; and we welcome first time writers Kristin and Lorna, telling us about a few fun things they got up to in October. Plus lots more to peruse on the bus to Awaji!
I look forward to seeing and meeting some of you later this month.
Fair winds till then me hearties!

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