Golden Week vacation

There are several national holidays during the first few days of May in Japan. This break is called Golden Week. This year the holidays fell on Saturday and Sunday so we only got 4 days in a row. Some years you can take one day off work and end up with a 9-day holiday.

On Saturday, we drove to Kobe. We were a little late setting off because my good friend Jim from Australia and his cousin from England arrived just as we were planning to go. But we were so glad to see them. 

The drive to Kobe took about six hours. A student in my English Workshop class said that it would take four hours. I can only wonder how fast he drives!

We arrived late afternoon. There was no point going to a museum so we went to IKEA instead.


I love IKEA. When the first one opened in Scotland eight years ago, I went with my sister and we spent about eight hours there with our two small babies. Well, that small baby is now 8-years-old and he and his sisters really enjoyed looking at the kids’ furniture in IKEA. Even my husband enjoyed shopping there. He is an art teacher and  he says that going to IKEA is like going to a design museum. There is also an IKEA train and bus decorated in IKEA fabrics!

But IKEA in Kobe was so busy. I couldn’t believe how many people wanted to go there. I’m glad we went so late. I bought new sheets, towels, cutlery, some toys, ice cube trays, cushions, and some garden stuff. 

Then we met up with my dear friend. We have known each other for 17 years! Now she works at the Portopia Hotel in Kobe. It is a great hotel and if you ever visit Kobe you should try their restaurants. After a wonderful dinner, we went back to her apartment and the kids got into their sleeping bags. They thought it was great to go camping indoors! 

Thanks for letting us stay.



  1. GaijinGirl said,

    May 7, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    My absolute pleasure, Eleanor-sensei! I am greatly looking forward to putting that IKEA gift card to use. Did you know that if you show your IKEA Family card at the restaurant or cafeteria, your drink bar cup is free of charge and the Swedish meatballs are 15% off?! I think I’ve discovered a new study place!!!!! I’m going to invite my friends to study for TOEIC while I study Japanese!

    I’m glad you enjoyed the restaurants. It was a joy to see you, however overbooked I was. Next time you will have my 100% attention!!!!!!! Please put me back on your “friend” list… (^_~)

  2. kei5 said,

    May 14, 2008 at 8:05 am

    Hello! I am kei5 writing from Hong Kong! Your husband told me about this blog and I was happy to read your writings. Add, I was happy to know Gaijin Girl is fine now. I went to IKEA in HK to buy something small a few weeks ago. It is not so big, but there were so many people.

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