JET Couples and Families share about their winter holiday adventures
Shantel Dickerson (Oita)
This month’s Family Spotlight features winter holiday highlights from four JET families. Take a peek to see what they were up to!
Family 1: Dentons
Heather Denton (Fukuoka)
My family went on a two-week road-trip from Fukuoka to Tokyo and back! We went to Tokyo (ice skated next to Gundam), Chiba (Tokyo Disneyland Resort), Nagano for sledding, Kyoto, Nara, Fukuoka, and Beppu. We were able to experience and see so many things along our road trip!
Family 2: Whites
Chelanna White (Kyoto)
I’m a Kyoto prefectural JET and my husband, Dan, works at an eikaiwa in our ward (Fushimi-ku). You can hardly throw a rock in Kyoto without hitting a historic site! We went to Seimei shrine with many other people to celebrate hatsumode (初詣), or the first shrine visit of the new year. And, I started a new goshuincho! A goshuincho (御朱印帳) is a special book for collecting stamps at temples. I’m on my second one already, and I’m on my first year. New year, new book!
Family 3: Sevigny
Kim Sevigny (Oita)
It was a magical time for us, the Sevigny family, to be together in Beppu again the first time since 2014. Our three college kids returned home, joining Julia, our 13-year- old, who still lives with us. Highlights included doing a farmstay near Usa, hiking with our Japanese family in Kitakyushu, buying pottery from a local artist in Yufuin, experiencing the jigoku and onsens of Beppu, steaming vegetables for our holiday dinner in Kannawa, and decorating our palm tree with homemade origami ornaments. Our home overflowed with joy and music! Before leaving, the kids all deemed it “the best Christmas ever!”
Family 4: Graun
Adrea Graun (Oita)
After welcoming in 2018 with nabe, friends, and hatsumode at Oita’s Yuzuhara jinja, I was excited for the new year to begin. What seemed like minutes later, I flew, groggily, to Tokyo to meet my cousin, who I haven’t seen in YEARS. We went around for her first trip to Japan. Joined by a friend in Tokyo, we visited Kamakura. We lit incense at the daibutsu, giant Buddha — wowza it’s big — then we popped into Hokai-ji, which I recommend for temple lovers. My cousin enjoyed the idea of fukobukero, thought yakiimo were delicious and in the end, had a Happy New Year in Tokyo!