Kyoto with John Bush

Flat Stanley’s First “Hanami Festival” in Kyoto, Japan!

Dear Adrienn and everyone at Class 3-306,

My name is John Bush, and I live in Kyoto, Japan. Each year in the month of April, all of us here in Kyoto enjoy the world-famous Kyoto “Hanami”, which is Japanese for “cherry blossom festival”. During hanami season, people come to Kyoto from all over the world to see the beautiful cherry blossoms. Everyone spends the day under the cherry trees and enjoys a wonderful picnic lunch of special Japanese food and tea, and the beautiful pink cherry blossoms gently fall all around us as we eat. It is great fun!

This year we had a VERY special guest visit us from Staten Island, New York. His name is Flat Stanley. We were very surprised to meet Flat Stanley, and everyone here thinks that he is very special. We took Flat Stanley to the hanami festival, and everyone had a wonderful time! We all enjoyed the Japanese food and tea, and we all wore our traditional Japanese clothing, known here as a “kimono”. Sadly, we did not have a kimono for Flat Stanley, but he still had a great time wearing his tee-shirt and blue jeans. We ate and laughed and sang Japanese songs with Flat Stanley at the hanami festival, and it was a very special day that all of us will never forget! Here are two photographs of Flat Stanley and I enjoying hanami. The man on the right in the 2nd photograph is my friend, Mr. Peter MacIntosh. Peter’s wife was a “Geisha” for many years, and they both live here in Kyoto.

Flat Stanley told us about all the great students of Class 3-306, and we hope that all of you will some day visit the beautiful city of Kyoto! Flat Stanley had a great time here in Japan, but sadly he had to leave us and continue his travels around the world. Everyone here in Kyoto hopes that Flat Stanley has a safe and fun journey, and we already miss him and hope to see him again one day. Please take very good care of Flat Stanley, OK? He is very special!

Very truly yours,

John Bush

Kyoto, Japan

Tokyo and Mt Fuji

A Visit to Japan

This is the final feast and 4 of the 6 Flat Stanley’s on our Japan trip. There were 20 teachers in our group.

This is flat Stanley on the metro in Tokyo and riding a large folded paper crane at Hirai Junior High School in Kashima

Here is Flat Stanley on the bus as we drove towards Mt. Fuji. I’m afraid I couldn’t get them both in focus, so I went with the mountain! This is the last photo I’ll send!


Okinawa, Japan

Dear Chelsey and Classmates,

Well, for those of you who don’t know, Chelsey sent me to Okinawa, Japan to her Aunt Jana’s house all the way from Ms. Mello’s class at Mary Finn Elementary School in Southborough, Massachusetts. I arrived in Okinawa, Japan through the Military Post Service to your Aunt Jana in Okinawa. She is a counsellor at an Elementary school here in Okinawa. The school is for children of Marines stationed here.

Okinawa is part of Japan now, but has influences of many culture including Japanese and Chinese. The island is only 60 miles long and 5miles wide at it wide part.

I arrived at the perfect time here. It was Spring Break and all the students where out for an entire week! I had lots of fun playing with Chelsey’s cousins, Carrie, 12 and Tommy, 4. The family lives off base and has many Japanese neighbors. Here is cousin Tommy letting me out of my envelope.

This picture is right in front of their house on the seawall. You are looking at the East China Sea. They get many strong typhoons here and many times get out of school for them. Normally, you can find surfers and divers in the ocean off the wall. Here I am with cousin Tommy.

I also got to go riding with your cousin Carrie at one of the few Japanese riding stables on the small island. Here is a picture of Carrie and me riding.

Carrie’s riding teacher decided to show me how to jump a horse. I am attached to her helmet below. Claudia took me through a double jump on a horse named Makota. It was very scary, but she’s a great rider.

Everyone drives on the left side here. Your Aunt Jana told me that this was hard for a day or two, but now she can drive just fine. Here I am driving on the left with Aunt Jana.

Another unique thing here in Okinawa are the drink machines. There are located on every corner. Even in our little neighborhood.

Stanley decided to cool off with a Japanese Green Tea drink. It was 80 degrees Fahrenheit today. This picture is of him enjoying the shade of a local blooming tree.

Here I am on a Shi Shi dog. There are two in front of every house here to bring good luck.

Well, it has been a long day and I’ve seen so much, but I need to jump back into my envelope and take a long rest all the way back to Massachusetts.

Take care, and see you soon!