Last Sunday was a day off from my fun job teaching English in Japan at my English conversation school（英会話スクール）, Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi（スミス英会話塚口校）, located in Tsukaguchi（塚口）, Amagasaki City（尼崎市）, Hyogo Prefecture （兵庫県）, Japan. I happily accompanied Smith’s School of English founder Mark Smith to a Smith’s seminar that he was giving in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. Smith’s seminars used to be held only in Osaka as most schools were in the Kansai region, but due to the growing number of Smith’s schools in the Kanto region and the great distance between the two regions, they are now also held in Yohohama for the convenience of the school owners in the Kanto region. I have always attended the Osaka ones as both my home and Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi are not so far away.
Last Sunday was my second time attending a seminar in Yokohama. Like the first time, I used a Japanese bullet train or Shinkansen （新幹線） from Osaka to Yokohama. I really like Japanese bullet trains and prefer them to airplanes. They offer a smoother ride , feel safer, you don’t have to travel outside the city to catch them (which is often the case with airports) and they leave and arrive exactly on time (down to the minute). You therefore can arrive just before your train leaves and avoid all the wasted time which taking a plane entails. Oh and you can order, apart from food and drinks, ice-cream on a Shinkansen! Really! Premium ice-cream in a cup! Now doesn’t that sound good to you? (^.^)If you haven’t ridden a Japanese bullet train, I highly recommend trying one! It’s great! (^.^)
Mark and I boarded a Shinkansen at JR Shin-Osaka Station（ＪＲ新大阪駅）. There was a Starbucks Coffee in the station, so we bought coffee and breakfast before boarding our train bound for Shin-Yokohama Station（新横浜駅）. Once seated, we enjoyed cinnamon rolls, scones and coffee. Delicious! I did some chatting with Mark, read a newspaper and enjoyed the nice view from my window seat. It was amazing how fast we were going and passing stuff. I saw Mount Fuji (a dormant volcano), which is the highest mountain in Japan. At the top of this page you can see a photo of it that I took from the train . As you can see, the top of the volcano was in the clouds! The other photo that you can see was also taken from the train.
Once we arrived at Shin-Yokohama Station, we boarded a local train to Azamino Station in Yokohama and walked to Smith’s School of English Azamino（スミス英会話あざみ野）. It’s a nice 2-classroom school. It was great seeing and speaking with school owners of the Kanto region, meeting one of them for the first time. Seeing new faces in our system is always great! The seminar got under way and lasted for around 3 hours. The seminar was interesting as Smith’s seminars always are. After the seminar I enjoyed speaking to Smith’s School of English Azamino owner Deana about Quebec, Canada (where I am from) and having kids. Deana and her husband Mike are both Canadians like me and have a cute 16-month old boy, who was at the seminar too. I’ll be becoming a daddy next August! (^.^) I appreciate any information or advice! Thanks Deana!
Mark and I eventually went back to Shin-Yokohama Station and to board a bullet train back to Osaka. Before getting on the train, we bought some Japanese packed meals (bento), which we enjoyed on the train. After eating those, Mark ordered us some delicious vanilla ice-cream and nice hot coffee on the train. Like me, Mark likes sweets. (^.^) We then enjoyed talking about Smith’s things, including my school Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi. Once we arrived back at Shin-Osaka Station, we said goodbye to each other. I thanked Mark for everything , he thanked me for coming and we parted. It had been a great day!
Thank you Deana and Mike for letting us hold the seminar at Smith’s School of English Azamino! Your school is very nice!
Thanks again Mark for everything! I had a great time! I look forward to attending another Smith’s seminar in Yokohama and riding the bullet train with you again! (^.^)
Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi