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My first white Christmas   

When I first arrived in Sapporo the autumn leaves were such gorgeous and vivid shades of red, crimson, and orange that I was really in awe as I walked around the campus of my university, Hokudai. But soon enough, the leaves fell from the trees and collected on the sides of the paths, the temperature began to drop and winter seemed to be coming. I was so excited to see the snow which people had told me about; I had been told that there would be pure white powdery snow in huge quantities.

So, for many weeks in November I was so excited for the snow to arrive, and when it did I was in awe once again. I love that Sapporo has such beautiful and distinct seasons, a stark contrast to England where the whole year is one season of grey skies, cold weather and drizzly rain. England is cold in winter but there is no snow so the English winter is not fun. However, in Sapporo there is so much beautiful snow that it justifies the cold weather! It is a very exciting and new experience for me to live in a city with so much snow, but being a newbie to this experience I of course made a few rookie mistakes. My biggest struggle was walking. I simply cannot walk on snow and ice! I have fallen over so many times by now and collected too many bruises to count, but after buying some shoe spikes from the shop things have improved! At the beginning I was also not prepared with some good, sturdy winter boots, but now I have two pairs of boots and some snow boots! I also did not bring a jacket that was warm enough for this climate, so I was very cold at the beginning of winter, but now I have three! However, the best thing about living in snowy Sapporo is that I can take the bus and go skiing whenever I want, something which is unheard of in England!

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As Christmas and New year approached I became more and more excited to spend my first winter holiday in Japan and to see my first white Christmas! To make things more exciting, my boyfriend was coming to Sapporo for the winter holiday too. It was his first time in Japan and we did lots of fun things together. I took him to an izakaya, to a cat café, to lots of restaurants, Mt. Moiwa and more.

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For Christmas, we exchanged presents in the morning and then went to my friend’s apartment where she cooked us a delicious dinner and we drank lots of wine. My boyfriend and I wore Santa suits, and it was a very fun Christmas indeed! For new year, we went to Hokkaido shrine. We arrived at 10:30pm and there was nobody there, so we were very anxious! I was told it would be so busy on New Year’s eve, so I was expecting crowds and crowds, but it turns out everyone arrives at the shrine very late! In the meantime, we explored the stalls which were set up around the shrine and ate lots of delicious festival food. We then queued up for Hatsumoude, and when midnight came we proceeded to the front of the shrine, threw some money and made a wish. I wanted a truly Japanese experience for New Year and I think I got it, I had a lot of fun!

Melissa (UK)

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by chitchatcafe | 2017-01-12 17:20 | マンツーマン 英会話 札幌 | Comments(0)

Christmas Eve 2016   

Happy New Year, everyone! In this blog entry, I would like to write about my first Christmas Eve in Japan.


I have only resided in Japan for a little more than 3 months, but I have been fortunate enough to experience so many novel things in my life. I have seen snow before, but only in Sapporo have I ever witnessed such a great amount of snowfall. When I opened my room’s window in the morning and saw the thick snow on the street, it was such a miracle!


In my opinion, Christmas Eve 2016 was the first time that I have ever properly celebrated the coming of Christmas. In Vietnam, the country where I am from, Christmas is an occasion to go shopping, or hang out on the street with friends and lovers. However, typically, we almost never stay home and have dinner with our family during Christmas Eve.


This time in Japan, I celebrated Christmas Eve by enjoying a lovely warm dinner with my classmates from university, with the thick cold snow laying outside. Some of us prepared the main dishes, while others brought snacks and drinks. It was probably the best dinner that I have had in Japan so far. After the meal, we played card games, danced to music, and chitchatted until late.


On the way back together, we had plenty of fun throwing snowballs to each other. Prior to this, I could only read about this fun activity in Manga, so I was very delighted to try out the actual snowball-throwing game. Everyone was laughing so hard. It was such a heart-warming time amid the chilly Sapporo winter night.


Hoang (Vietnam)

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by chitchatcafe | 2017-01-11 17:10 | 英会話 教師 札幌 | Comments(0)