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カテゴリ:札幌 英会話 国際( 21 )   

North to East – Tokyo to Sapporo hitchhiking!   

Hello guys! I haven’t been in Sapporo lately, so those who regularly drop by Chit Chat Café probably have not seen me. I recently got back from working in Hakuba, Nagano Prefecture in a ski resort. I also went and worked there last year. This year was actually my fourth season working in a Japanese ski resort! While travelling through Japan on a working holiday visa I was able to work two winter seasons.

I flew back to Sapporo on the 28th of March from Hakuba but after spending less than a week in Sapporo I decided to enjoy my spring holidays just a little more. Many of my new friends from Hakuba were in Tokyo after the ski resort closed for the year so I wanted to go hang out with them a little more before university started again.

A spontaneous flight to Tokyo is expensive however! Almost 10 000 yen even for JetStar! And I wasn’t enthusiastic about going through the annoying airport security procedures yet again in the same week. So rather than sacrifice my hard earned money on a flight I resolved to have an adventure to get to Tokyo instead.

In Hakuba I challenged myself to learn how to ski. I can snowboard, but never had I tried to ski. Trying something new was enthralling and a lot of fun (but pretty painful when I crashed all the time). But it was a great experience.

So I decided my next challenge: To hitchhike from Sapporo to Tokyo to see my friends.

Was it easy? No. But was it worth it, definitely yes!

I made it from Sapporo city to Tokyo in three days. I rode with approximately ten different people for the duration of my travels, my average travel with each ride was two hours. I had an enjoyable hour with a family and their two dogs who sat on my lap and kissed my face.

However, my first night I found myself stranded in the tiny town of Date in Hokkaido. Fortunately I had two offers by kind families to stay with them the night. In the end I stayed with an elderly man and his cat with a stub for a tail.

My second night I stayed in an Internet café in Aomori city after riding the ferry from Hakodate ferry terminal where the elderly man dropped me off. Waving goodbye to him I had tears in my eyes as he hesitated looking outside his car window in the rain. We had talked for hours on end about many things, about his crazy childhood and the way he moved around for work. Yet I will probably never meet him again. In Japanese you would call this kind of meeting 「一期一会」which in English could translate to “once in a life time meeting.” Yet in the end I had hadn’t even spent an entire day with him.

From Aomori it was straight to Tokyo, a distance over 700km and 9 hours of driving according to Google sensei. In one day I passed through Aomori to Akita then Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, Tochigi and Saitama prefectures before reaching Tokyo.

Jessica (Australia)

by chitchatcafe | 2018-04-14 15:45 | 札幌 英会話 国際

So I got arrested last weekend...   

Honestly, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Okay, so I wasn't really arrested, but I managed to make reservations at "the Lockup". It's a very interesting prison themed izakaya with a pretty fascinating menu. It all starts with pressing a button placed on a skeleton's hand in the middle of the 6th floor in an otherwise unremarkable building. After a door slides open you are lead into a dark room. In the distance, you can start hearing noises, and as you listen you find out that they are getting closer. Right about then, the lights turn on, smoke blows into the room and a lady in a police uniform jumps out at you. BOO!

After a proper scaring, you are handcuffed and taken to your cell. They were nice enough to give you a table and a few (almost) reasonably priced menus for you and your friends to enjoy. The drinks are presented in beakers, bottles, syringes, with all sorts of weird fillings inside. They were pretty good, even if it was a little hard to mix your own drinks with a syringe.

The food menu was properly themed too. I ended up ordering the Devil's Left Hand. A spicy chicken meal that looks like a hand on a plate. It was pretty delicious!

While you're enjoying food and drinks with friends, you can sometimes here sirens and lights go off. When that happens, a bunch of people dressed in scary outfits start rattling cages, jumping into rooms and sneaking around walls to try and spook you.

I'll say this for the record, I wasn't scared at all. They'll have to try harder next time.
However, the food and drinks and service was top-notch. I definitely recommend trying if you want a unique and thrilling experience.

Tyler (USA)
So I got arrested last weekend..._e0169998_15215420.jpg
So I got arrested last weekend..._e0169998_152262.jpg
So I got arrested last weekend..._e0169998_15222963.jpg

by chitchatcafe | 2015-12-09 15:16 | 札幌 英会話 国際

A famous song from Germany   

Do you know a song from Germany? You think you don't know any song? That's wrong! I'm sure you know a song from Germany. Shell I tell you which one?

I found out that this song is popular in Hokkaido when we went to karaoke after the chit chat café pancake party last weekend. It was so fun for me to sing with Japanese a German song! I l really enjoyed it!

I will give you some hints first:

1. The title of the song is a popular dish in Hokkaido
2. It's a grilled dish prepared on a metal skillet or a grill.
---yes, its meet :-) --
3. The meet comes from an animal that has a lot of white fleece.

I think now you probably know, what I mean:-)

And here is the song for you:


But what is the meaning of the song?

Dschinghis Khan was the German entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1979, performed in German by Dschinghis Khan.

The song was written and composed by the Germans Ralph Siegel and Bernd Meininger. As the name suggests, it is in praise of the titular Mongol warrior.

This is the German text:

Dschinghis Khan

Sie ritten um die Wette mit dem Steppenwind, tausend Mann
Und einer ritt voran, dem folgten alle blind, Dschinghis Khan
Die Hufe ihrer Pferde durchpeitschten den Sand
Sie trugen Angst und Schrecken in jedes Land
Und weder Blitz noch Donner hielt sie auf

Dsching-, Dsching-, Dschinghis Khan
He Reiter - Ho Reiter - He Reiter - Immer weiter!
Dsching-, Dsching-, Dschinghis Khan
Auf Brüder! - Sauft Brüder! - Rauft Brüder! - Immer wieder!
Laßt noch Wodka holen
Denn wir sind Mongolen
Und der Teufel kriegt uns früh genug!

Dsching-, Dsching-, Dschinghis Khan
He Reiter - Ho Reiter - He Reiter - Immer weiter!
Dsching-, Dsching-, Dschinghis Khan
He Männer - Ho Männer - Tanzt Männer - So wie immer!
Und man hört ihn lachen
Immer lauter lachen
Und er leert den Krug in einem Zug

Und jedes Weib, das ihm gefiel, das nahm er sich in sein Zelt
Es hieß, die Frau, die ihn nicht liebt, die gab es nicht auf der Welt
Er zeugte sieben Kinder in einer Nacht
Und über seine Feinde hat er nur gelacht
Denn seiner Kraft konnt' keiner widerstehen

Of course I translated for you in English. But you won't expect that the song is about this.

They rode races with the steppe wind, thousand man
And one rode ahead that all followed blindly, Genghis Khan
The hooves of their horses rushed through the sand
They carried fear and terror through every land
And neither lightning nor thunder held them up

Geng-, Geng-, Genghis Khan
Hey, riders - Ho, riders - Hey, riders - On and on!
Geng-, Geng-, Genghis Khan
Up, brothers! - Swill, brothers! - Scuffle, brothers! - Again and again!
Send for vodka
Because we're Mongols
And the devil gets us soon enough!

Geng-, Geng-, Genghis Khan
Hey, riders - Ho, riders - Hey, riders - On and on!
Geng-, Geng-, Genghis Khan
Hey, men - Ho, men - Dance, men - Like always!
And one hears him laugh
Always laughing louder
And he empties the tankard in one swig

And every woman that he liked, he took into his tent
It's said that there wasn't a woman in the world who didn't love him
He fathered seven children in one night
And merely laughed at his enemies
Because no one could resist his power

I hope you enjoyed the song and I am looking forward to going to karaoke with you again!



Stefanie (Germany)

by chitchatcafe | 2014-07-29 15:36 | 札幌 英会話 国際

Santa Barbara   

Today I would like to tell you about Santa Barbara.

My friend who went to study in Santa Barbara, showed me the pictures an videos of this place. I felt like it looked so beautiful that I decided to go study there to improve my English and learn music.

For those who don't know, Santa Barbara is a small city (about 100 000 people) located in California in America. It is about 3 hours from Los Angeles.

It is a very calm and nice place. Also the weather is warm all year long. The beach is very animated. Some people like to run, walk or roller-skate along the beach or others enjoy having barbecues parties.

Most of the restaurants and shops are located in the main street called "State Street". At night we can hear music from many bars. Many bands go there and play music like blues, jazz or rock.

The food is very delicious. Home made taste burgers, Mexican food or fish and chips are very popular.

There are also a lot of beautiful parks. One of them is owned by the actor Michael Douglas.

So if you are planning to travel to America, I recommend you to stay in Santa Barbara for a few days. It really worth going there!

Beto (France)

by chitchatcafe | 2013-05-16 18:25 | 札幌 英会話 国際

I'm back!   

Hi chitchatters!

Do not remember when I wrote my blog last time :-D
Things have been extremely busy the last two months. And…the day before yesterday was my M.A. thesis defense. Valuable Recommendations, Critique and the Survivor (who had the only thought: “if only I could rewrite it…”).

Well, there are so many things still have to be done this month, but I have got a good inspiration! In March I am having Reunion meeting (同窓会 in Tokyo?) with my old old old friends! I have not met some of them since 2007. And I am planning to go to Tochigi, Saitama and Tokyo ^^ So excited! Especially I am looking forward to meeting with Rinachan, an eight-month-old baby girl (of a Kazakh-Japanese couple). I will teach her some Kazakh (~.^)v it must be too early though, haha.

And the latest news… the thing I am most excited about is that I am going back to my country in April!!!
Well, let’s talk about our further plans at the café :D

Assel (Kz)

by chitchatcafe | 2012-02-04 16:43 | 札幌 英会話 国際

Greeting from Czech   


Hello everyone,
It has been 2 months since I left my precious Sapporo and came back home. Before I left Japan I promised Yuka-san to write a „farewell blog“ for you.
Too bad, I didn’t write it.
Well, I’m really poor at saying „farewell“, and much prefer to say: „see you“
Besides, some of you I can meet on skype, or facebook, so fortunately we can keep in touch!

So, instead of a badly delayed „farewell blog“, I would like to write an opposite one – „hello back blog“! In this blog I would like to share with you some experiences of a Czech-Japanese couple, who are trying to start their fresh married life in Czech Republic. Well, this blog won’t only be my job, but I wish to write together with my husband, Hideto, whose remarks on my country are especially amusing, and his experiences of getting used to living in a foreign country might be useful for all of you, who are planning to „hit the road“ and move abroad.

This time I just want to share with you my feelings after coming back home. Do you know a guy named Urashima Taro? Well, I felt completely, like the poor Urashima, who was coming back from Ryúgú-jó to his village. But in contrast to him, I was lucky enough to not open the forbidden box.
I wish you all a wonderful spring, with flowers blooming all over Sapporo, and miss you much!!!!

Ivona (Czech Republic)

by chitchatcafe | 2011-06-07 18:23 | 札幌 英会話 国際

Summer time activities   

Hi folks

wow it`s raining cats and dogs outside...as I write this sitting in the lounge of Dk House.. ( it`s a lot quieter now that David`s gone.. not to mention Jann too.. just jiving guys )

Some of you will have heard this ' cats and dogs ` expression before. We use it when it`s raining heavily. I have no idea where it comes from however.

Well what a year. The World Cup season rolled nicely into the Beer Garden season. And now happily for me it`s the rugby season and my beloved ` All Blacks` ( New Zealand`s National team ) are having a great season .They are currrently unbeaten and have beaten the South Africans 3 games in a row.

Actually thats why I couldn`t attend the last Chit Chat party as it clashed directly with one of these Test matches.

As some of you know I was away for just under two years and came back to Sapporo in Feb.( actually 6months to the day tomorrow ) I had forgotten just how many Matsuris and festivities there are in Sapporo during Summer.

I loved the Beer garden. Even though I don`t drink alcohol anymore the party atmosphere was magic. What a shame the lawn areas were closed off. Oh well hopefully the `powers that be ` know what they are doing.

On the second to last day about 20 foreigners dressed up in fancy dress...( I did my tried and trusted body paint again from World Cup time which was a big Wow for many people ) People loved it. It was the third year in a row so hopefully the event will get bigger and better.

My other big news is that I am playing golf on Sept 5th and it will be my first game in just under 3 years. If I can break 100 .. i.e shoot 99 or lower I will be happy

ok readers...
big namaste hugs

see you in the cafe

by chitchatcafe | 2010-08-23 12:42 | 札幌 英会話 国際

odds and ends   

Hi Blog readers!

This is my first entry for a blog EVER!! Yeah never got into the blog thing but I am giving it a go today. So first topic is: book. Recently read a book called Dune by Frank Herbert. A science fiction book that I really enjoyed. I love science fiction and this book although it may be a bit hard to understand, is a great book and a great challenge for anyone interested in gaining more English vocabulary.

I was also looking at flights to Korea for my summer vacation but they are way to expensive unfortunately. My brother lives in Korea and it would have been nice to see him but not this time I guess. On the other hand, I am going to Vietnam in December with my father and my brother. I am going for about one week to Ho Chi Min (Saigon) and probably a place called Mui Ne. Mui Ne is a beach town not far from Ho Chi Min. Although I have been to Vietnam before I am looking forward to it because I know how great the place is. Everything is cheap, food is good and beaches are nice.

Also I am looking forward to the beer garden in Odori! Everybody keeps raving about it and I can't wait to go and relax with friends with a beer in my hand in Odori.

That's it, hope you enjoy!


David (the canadian guy)

by chitchatcafe | 2010-07-15 14:20 | 札幌 英会話 国際

Good Bye Lenin!   

Few days ago I watched a movie which I would like to recommend to all of you who like a “human drama” and in the same time are interested in Europe and its history. It is the German movie called “Good Bye Lenin!” (2003).

The story takes place in the revolutionary East Berlin (1989-1990), on the background of the rapid changes from the communism towards democracy, tells the touching story about fragile mother and her son. In 1990, to protect his mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, her son tries hard to keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared. This comical plot will definitely make you laugh, but I would like to advice you to take the story seriously, because it hides a very special message!


by chitchatcafe | 2010-04-30 15:52 | 札幌 英会話 国際


Hello everyone!
It has been a while since I wrote here last time. Really hope everyone has been well and healthy. It looks like spring is just ..about to happen, but maybe it is not quite here yet.

Maybe this is my least favourite time of the year..early spring, with its unstable weather and wet snow. I really look forward to real spring with all the flower blossoms and of course Hanami. Actually I have never seen cherry blossoms, so this year will be my first time. I cannot wait for the Golden week to head to Maruyama park for my first ever Hanami. If anyone could suggest any other good places –you are most welcome:O)

Also we have just passed two important dates this month, being the White Day in Japan and Women’s Day in Russia (8th March). I am very delighted that holidays of this kind exist -because that provides a great chance for men to express their appreciation and gratitude to women that they love/like/respect/are being good friends with. I think in Japan the meaning of this day is narrower, being limited to lovers. But in Russia it is the day men have to congratulate virtually all women around them- mother, wife, daughter, female boss/colleagues etc. The best and most appreciated present is fresh flowers. In other words men on that day are really..in trouble (-. -;;;)

Remarkably for some mysterious reason in Russia Women’s Day is an official public holiday while Men’s Day (23rd of February) is not – maybe that is unfair? Gomen ne, all men :OP

As regards my Japanese studies, lately we have challenged honorific language (sonkeigo and kenjyogo) – that was tough. It is like learning all you have learnt so far once again in its honorific form. Luckily , in Russian we also have honorific language, which makes mastering the whole concept easier(though as usual Japanese has beaten any other language by toughness- having two forms of honorific speech!). At times like this it comes to my mind that the more languages you know, the easier it is to learn the subsequent ones. When I look at my Japanese notes- it is a mixture of explanations and translations written in English and Russian - whatever comes to my head first, some grammar patters being more similar to English ones, some to Russian ones – so I guess it definitely helps me learn Japanese.

So everyone please do your best studying English and whatever languages presented by CCC staff and beyond… 頑張って!


by chitchatcafe | 2010-03-25 14:36 | 札幌 英会話 国際