Restaurant Review: CAFE DUMBO

They’ve been written before, but positive reviews of this great little cafe bear repeating. CAFE DUMBO, tucked into a three-story building behind Kohrinbo 109, is a gem. Their menus are limited–drip coffee, basic espresso offerings, juices and a few small meals like taco rice or curry–but the great atmosphere, kind employees, great point system and amazing brunch special make it worth a visit. The second floor is decorated with vintage furniture and you’ll find plenty of reading material if you’re interested in Scandinavian design–they seem to collect art and design books. The employees speak English, and the cafe offers a English menu if you’re worried about your ability to order coffee before you’ve had your first coffee. Plus, for every five drinks you purchase you get a free drink, which is by far the best point system I’ve encountered in Japan.

I went in search of hangover food at 10AM and was pleasantly surprised to find CAFE DUMBO open! The Internet tells me their regular open time is 11:30AM, but the lights were on, sign out and employees ready to accommodate us bright and early. They were offering a brunch special–buy a drink and for ¥200 more you can get two pancakes, two strips of bacon and an egg. For just ¥700 yen I had a refreshing iced latte and an American-style brunch served with my maple syrup inside a glass cowboy boot.

Where: Behind Kohrinbo 109 in Kanazawa
Hours: Open 11:30AM–7PM Sunday-Wednesday, 11:30AM–10PM Friday and Saturday, Closed on Thursdays
Cost: Drinks from ¥450 with food specials available
Parking: Use parking lots behind Kohrinbo

Attention: Classical Music Lovers

Two Ishikawa JETs will perform with the Kanazawa Indoor Orchestra this Saturday evening. You can purchase tickets in advance from Rachel Duplessis or Joanna Clark and they’ll also be available at the door on Saturday evening.

If you’re a fan of classical music, don’t miss this opportunity!

☆Who: Rachel Duplessis and Joanna Clark with the Kanazawa Indoor Orchestra
☆Where: Kanazawa Bunka Hall
☆When: Saturday, June 9 @ 7:00 PM (Doors open at 6:30)
☆How much: ¥1,000


Ishikawa AJET hosted our second annual scavenger hunt, The Greatest Ishikawa Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen (GISHWHES*) last Saturday in Kanazawa. Fifteen participants on four teams scavenged everything from dogs in clothes to Japanese people with facial hair. They posed in the middle of the Scramble–traffic be damned!–jankened with conbini employees and one group got some elementary students to flip the bird.

At the end of the afternoon the Mauricio, Kacie, Candy, Hannah and Seán took away ¥500 McDonald’s gift cards and some memories of trying to scarf down a hamburger that will probably haunt them forever.

Check out a few of the day’s photos behind the cut.

(Most of the) lovely GISHWHES participants

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Improved JLPT Registration Process

Registration for all levels of the JLPT has finally moved into the 21st century. Beginning now, you can register online for the test, and new forms of payment–credit card, convenience store payment or furikomi–are available. Of course, if you like wasting your nenkyu at the the post office, the old system of mail application is still in place.

Test registration for the July 1, 2012 test won’t open until April, but I decided to give the new MyJLPT system a try. See my screenshots and explanations of the system below the cut.

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Brain Rules, Tools & Jewels for Your Classroom

What: Experience the power of 3s: Discover three ways the brain learns. Experience activities that showcase the forces of movement, repetition and emotion on students and learning. Practice classroom management tools that will empower your students, keep them involved and boost their self-confidence.

About the Presenter: Kim Horne is from the U.S., and has been crisscrossing cultures since infancy. She has experience in acting, radio and TV, and began teaching English to children & training teachers in Japan in 2000. She is active in JALT and ETJ and has presented dozens of workshops across Japan. She currently works at a private kindergarten in Gifu City where she gets lots of practice working and playing with happy brains. Kim’s appearance is sponsored by JALT’s Teaching Children Special Interest Group (TCSIG).

When: Sunday, February 26, 2012 @ 1:30-3:30PM
Where: Open University of Japan Fukui Campus, AOSSA, 7th Floor
How much: ¥1,000 for JALT non-members, ¥500 for non-member students

For more information, contact Fukui JALT Chapter at:

Learn more about Fukui JALT and National JALT…

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Charity Caroling at Kanazawa Station

Caroling in 2010
If you have the voice of an angel, or even if you can’t hold a tune to save your life, come share the holiday spirit with Kanazawa’s many denizens and tourists. Ishikawa AJET is sponsoring charity caroling at the Kanazawa Station East Exit–under the huge torii gate–from 4:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 18. Proceeds will benefit Onagawa, a tsunami-struck town for which Ishikawa JETs have already raised funds and volunteered.

Invite your non-JET friends, co-workers and students to hear some singing (and donate to charity). Everyone is welcome! If you’re interested in singing, don’t forget to contact Kathleen Robertson so there are enough lyric packets to go around.

Joanna Clark is a second year ALT in Kahoku City who will be singing her face off at Kanazawa Station on Sunday.

Holiday Greetings for Children in Tohoku

If you’re filled to the brim with holiday spirit and are looking for an outlet, Mayumi Hoshi, Professor Emeritus of Chuo University, has started a campaign to write holiday greetings to the approximately 400 children and volunteers living in temporary housing in Shichigahama Town in Miyagi Prefecture. She’s soliciting cards from all over the world, so even if you can’t write a greeting in Japanese, the thought will be appreciated by the kids who are experiencing their first holiday season in the tough post-tsunami conditions.

Cards are being accepted with no apparent deadline at the following address:

c/o Mrs. Mayumi Hoshi
Shichigahama-cho Saigai-Volunteer Center
Noyama 5-9, Yoshidahama
Shichigahama-cho, Miyagi
〒985-0802 JAPAN
ATTN: Boys and Girls

宮城県 七ヶ浜町吉田浜 字野山5‐9
七ヶ浜町 災害ボランティアセンター
星真由美様 宛

For more information, check out the JET AA post on their website,

Joanna Clark is a second-year ALT in Kahoku City. She plans to spread holiday cheer with Christmas cards and nengajō.

Support Prostate Cancer Research this November

November’s coming to a close, and if you feel like you’ve been seeing more mustaches around than usual, there’s a reason. In Japan, JETs and friends have been growing out their facial hair not only to show off their style but also to raise awareness for prostate cancer. Those who aren’t mustache growing enabled shouldn’t feel left out, though.

This Friday, November 25th will see Ishikawa’s first Movember to Remember party, a night of music and mustaches, at Kanazawa Event House APRE (7th floor) in Katamachi. ¥500 buys you entrance and good feelings for helping out a worthy cause.

Everyone is welcome!


Joanna is a second-year ALT in Kahoku City who is considering sporting a fake ‘stache in support of prostate cancer awareness.