About me


Welcome to my blog!

I arrived in Fukui in August 2012 as an Assistant Language Teacher on the JET Programme and have been teaching in a junior high school in Echizen City.

Sadly, I’ll be leaving Japan in August 2014 this summer but I hope to continue blogging about my time in Japan after that.

If you can’t tell from my British spellings, I’m from England. I studied Social Anthropology at Cambridge University from 2008 to 2011 and have followed my passion for teaching English as a foreign language since then. So far I have taught in Nepal, the UK and Japan. Where next?

Postcards from Fukui is about my life living, travelling and teaching in Japan. I hope it can be useful for foreigners who are living in or travelling through Fukui.

Comments, questions and likes are always welcome!

Enjoy reading!


14 thoughts on “About me

  1. Hello, Sophie! I’m Harumi Yamada. You edited my report on a summer phonetics course last year. An English friend of mine happened to find your blog, and sent me the link. I enjoyed reading some of your articles. Thank you very much. I look forward to reading more of your intriguing postings!

      • Hi, Sophie! I hope you remember me! How have you been? Hope you’ve been well.

        I’m now married to a Hood in May last year (2014), and my name is Harumi Hood. (I’m using “Harumi Yamada”, “Harumi Yamada Hood” and “Harumi Hood” now.)

        As I noticed you wrote that you’re now working for people who are planning traveling in Japan. If you have hikers, literature lovers or others who want to know more about Japan among your customers, please introduce “One Hundred Mountains of Japan” that my husband translated to them. The original book is called “Nihon Hyakumeizan”. You can see some excerpts in Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Hundred-Mountains-Japan-Kyuya-Fukada/dp/0824847520/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1420690614 )

      • Hi Harumi! Yes I remember you, of course I do! Yes, I’m well. Sorry it’s taken so long to reply to your comment. I’m too busy to blog much!

        Congratulations on your marriage! You can choose many names now!

        I really want to the book “One Hundred Mountains of Japan”, it looks fascinating! When I’ve read it, I’ll let you know what I think.

        All the best!

  2. Great blog and photos Sophie. Very natsukashii! I was a Sabae ALT from 2005-2008. Enjoy every minute of you time in Japan.

    • Thanks Colin! So you spent three years in Sabae, you must’ve loved it to stay three years! Still most JETs who are posted to Fukui do end up staying three years. Thanks for the encouragement to enjoy it, I will! All the best.

  3. Hi Sophie, I found your blog and have sneakily been reading it online at work! I think it’s fantastic (especially the photos!) and I love reading all your entries and catching a look behind the scenes as it were. I have always wanted to visit Japan and now have the opportunity for a two week visit next year! As I will have to cram in as much as possible in the time frame, I was wondering if you had any recommendations? Also, I am dying to try the ninja cafe!

    • Hi Sophie2! Thanks for reading my blog! I have many recommendations in Japan. If you only have two weeks, I’d recommend you definitely see Kyoto and Nara, Osaka, Hiroshima and Miyajima. There is so much to see and do in those cities alone! There is also a ninja cafe in Kyoto, but the Tokyo one was far better! Contact me if you need some more help planning your trip!

  4. Hello, Sophie,

    I don’t know you, but I have read quite a bit of stuff from your site. I am an aspiring JET teacher. I have taken a TESOL course from Anaheim University and am fluent in Japanese (having spent two years living in Japan, but not teaching English), but other than that, I have no experience as a teacher. I was wondering if you had some tips for me on how best to make myself appealing as a potential JET candidate. I don’t know whether I should sign up for the TEYL (Teaching English to Young Learners) Certificate program on the Anaheim University website or whether I should maybe instead buy the ELL/ESL Survival Guide book on Amazon. I want to be fully prepared for any eventuality, and be able to create games that would be helpful for any English learner of any age, and you seemed to be a really good person to speak to about this. If you could help me with any information on how to be successful in the JET program and as a teacher of English in general, I would be very grateful.

    Kindest regards,

    • Hi Andrew,

      I’m from the UK, so the criteria may be a little different for the US, but I would say you seem a perfect candidate for JET. It’s great you speak Japanese, but it is not necessary. I think they are looking for someone who has an interest in Japan but who hasn’t studied too much, or lived here before so they have become jaded to the new experiences here. Experience as a teacher would really help your application, but with your degree you must know a lot about teaching, so just try to utilise what experience you’ve had. I did the CELTA course before I came here and had some experience, but not everyone does. If you can show your enthusiasm for Japan and for teaching I’m sure you’ll get an interview, and hopefully a place.

      Good luck,


      • Hi Sophie,

        Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement! Being able to get a job teaching in Japan would mean a lot to me. I hope I won’t let any potential employers down and treat any students of mine so that they feel satisfied with me. I’ve never been the greatest at getting kids to like me, but I hope I can make them feel at least happy enough with the teaching I do. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, でも頑張る(がんばる)ぞ!

        With Gratitude,

  5. Hi, Sophie! Thanks for your mail! I’ll be in Switzerland, where my husband lives, and sometime in Oxfore, U.K., where my husband’s parents live, in August and September. I still have three more weeks to go before that.

    I hope you’ll enjoy my husband’s translation of Nihon Hyakumeizan (“One Hundred Mountains of Japan”), and I hope some of your customers are interested in Japanese mountains, too. Please let me know what you think of the book when you’ve finished reading it.

    Take care!

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