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カテゴリ:英会話 プライベート レッスン( 51 )   

Trip to Tokyo   

When I first heard the news that Arashi was taking a hiatus starting next year I was very sad, although not that surprised due to their age. I have been a fan of Arashi ever since watching Hana Yori Dango in high school and falling for Matsumoto Jun. Even though I moved to Japan it is still quite difficult to get tickets to Arashi concerts. There is no such thing as fan clubs for bands in the U.S., therefore I was very confused as to why I needed to pay money and join a fan club to even be able to enter a lottery for tickets. My love for Matusjun is quite strong, however, so I did enter the fan club and bought a ticket from another member for the Arashi concert in Tokyo last March. I got a hotel room, bought plane tickets, and headed to Tokyo! While there I went to harajuku to buy goods from the official Johnnys store, which I had to line up for three hours to get in. I also went to yebisu garden place because it was a landmark in Hana Yori Dango and Hana Nochi Hare. This was all very fun and exciting, but when it came time to go to the concert as Tokyo Dome I was not able to go in! The tickets I had purchased were real tickets, however the name on them was another fan club member that I had bought them from. The Arashi security guards are quite strict and so I lost almost three hundred dollars and did not get to see Arashi perform! Although I am quite sad about this, I still feel like my trip to Tokyo was enjoyable and at least I can buy the dvd of their performance someday! Even though I may never go to an Arashi concert, I will always go near the venue to “breathe the same air!”

Maggie (US)
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by chitchatcafe | 2019-05-23 15:11 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

Spring Break in Thailand   

For my break at university I decided to go to Bangkok, Thailand with my roommate. It was a very exciting opportunity for me as I had never been there before and it was a much cheaper plane ticket than flying back to America. Although it was difficult living with my roommates family who speak Mandarin and being in a country that speaks Thai, I had a lot of fun and would love to go back sometime.

I never knew much about Thailand and Thai culture until I met my roommate and she showed me a Thai drama. Ever since watching that show, I fell in love with Thai traditional culture. One of my favorite experiences this spring break was going to see a historical play and being able to try on Thai clothing.

I do not handle spicy food well, which was a concern of mine when traveling to Bangkok as it is common knowledge that Thai food is spicy. However, I found that there are many different options in Thai cuisine like sweet and sour dishes that were right up my alley.

All in all, I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to a new country and experience a new culture while I am in university. That is one of the best things about living abroad and making friends from all over the world. I am, however, happy to be back in Sapporo and go back to my daily routine!


Maggie (US)





by chitchatcafe | 2019-03-28 15:40 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

My Journey to Japan   

How I came to Japan!

When I was very young I was deeply interested in Chinese history and language. As a middle-schooler, I begged my mother to let me go to the Chinese Saturday school. She finally agreed, so I studied Chinese language and culture for two years.

Going into high school, however, my school did not not offer Chinese as an elective, they offered Japanese. It was closer than French or Spanish, so my brother and I decided to take it. Through this class I gained a new interest in Japanese history and culture, although I didn’t learn much of the language! We mainly just watched Ghibli films!

As senior year approached, I looked for many universities in the states, as I wanted to be closer to my family, but all of these schools cost $20,000 to $40,000 per year. One day, while on a walk with my father and my dog, my dad said, “if you really want to move to Asia then why don’t you just go now.” This comment surprised me and as soon as I got home I started researching universities in Japan and China.

I found that Japan has more programs for foreigners in undergraduate than China, so I applied to three Japanese universities. I was a nervous wreck until I found out whether I got in or not. Hokkaido University was where I really wanted to go, so when I got accepted I was ecstatic.

My mother was not happy, she still blames my father, but I came nonetheless. I hope that I am saving my parents money and making them proud!


Maggie Thomas (US)



by chitchatcafe | 2019-02-21 15:27 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

The Fun and Frustrations of Moving   

Hello everyone! It has been a little more than 2 months since I moved to Sapporo and it's been one of the best decisions of my life! Every day brings something new, some fun and exciting, but sometimes it can be challenging. Coming from a small town in Australia didn't exactly prepare me for living in a big city, let alone a foreign city where I don't speak much of the language. However, the people have met here have made it all worth it, and I wake up every day excited.
Since I arrived here in early September, I have climbed mountains, bathed in isolated outside onsens, attempted to master Japanese bureaucracy and getting healthier than I have been in years. Every day I go for a run/ride just, so I can enjoy the autumn leaves, feeling that winter chill getting closer and closer.
Last month I also moved in with my cousin Jessica, and every evening we try to talk for a few hours about what we've been reading, sometimes at the expense of sleep. It took me a while to get settled in, but now I feel this apartment is now my home.
It has been nice meeting everyone at Chit Chat, some customers I have met during chat session, and some I terrified with my Halloween costume; A big thanks to everyone who voted for me! I'm looking forward to meeting every one of the next few months and I am looking forward to the nest party.
And so here I am; into a new routine in a new country and I know it’s going to be a fun and exciting 12 months. Hopefully I can become more confidant, wiser and of course a better photographer.

Rocky (Australia)

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by chitchatcafe | 2018-11-14 15:50 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

My first time to Susukino   

Hello everyone,

I was lucky to arrive in Sapporo on the 25th of September 2017, which was early autumn so the scenery was fantastic. The green leaves started to turn yellow, the weather was really nice, and the temperature was perfect, around 17 degrees. My friends and I decided that every week we’re going to have a new adventure, go to new places and travel around Sapporo, after that, Hokkaido. The first place that we decided to visit is the Susukino area.

It was a beautiful Sunday night, we met up at Sapporo station, and since everyone was hungry, we went to a curry restaurant. That was the first time I had soup curry here in Japan. We have curry in my home country (Vietnam), but the flavor is much different. Vietnamese curry uses a variety of spices, but the main ingredients that we use are only chicken and sweet potato, while the soup curry here has a mix of different vegetables, which I really love. After dinner we headed to a small, cozy bar. Unfortunately, I’m not 20 yet so all I could drink was Soda and water. I don’t remember the name of the bar, but I friends said they have some of the best drinks they’ve ever had.

The southern part of Sapporo at night really reminds me of Ho Chi Minh city ( my hometown). All the crowded streets, the flashing lights seem to bring the city to life. We went for a walk after leaving the bar. Although it was quite late, we decided to go to a nearby karaoke. I love singing (although I’m not really good at it). We sang for 2 hours, mostly English songs. I tried to sing a Japanese song called “なんでもないや” from the movie “君の名は“, it’s my most favorite song.

I miss my family back in Vietnam but I don’t feel homesick because I’ve made friends with really nice people from Sapporo, and although I have only been here for 1 month, I think I’ve already fell in love with this amazing city.

Avery (Vietnam)

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by chitchatcafe | 2017-11-01 16:27 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

Changes   

I’ve finally started my lessons, only a few Japanese classes this week, but full fledged first semester starts from next week. I am a little bit excited about it but nothing abnormal actually to my surprise. I thought I would go crazy with excitement, but I just feel normal about it. Maybe that’s what growing up is, you just feel normal about stuff.


A lot of developments have been happening in my life too, including me and other people, countries at some cases even, so I feel lots of things happening at once, a pace that is little bit too fast for my taste. But I guess during rainy days a good thumbnail to remember is, “Good stuff passes. But bad stuff passes too.”


Speaking of rainy days, what’s with Sapporo these days? The weather was perfectly fine up until last week, now it’s just all hell breaks loose. Yesterday night, was so cold, I actually had to wait in a konbini for a couple of minutes to warm up, and then go back to my home. Hokkaido is just one crazy place. It’s April now I mean, not even the start of it, it’s Mid April, and you still can’t go out without a scarf. And I bought a bike you see, I was super excited to ride it and not be late for school and stuff, but now, whenever I try to ride it, it’s either raining, or a wind that’s so cold and strong it just stops me on my tracks. Calm down a tad bit more, Hokkaido my dear? You’re hurting me, literally. (Note: It’s snowing at this very moment I am writing this.)


I went to a football game the other day with a friend and his kid, between FC Tokyo and Consadole Sapporo which the Sapporo won. As I’m living in Sapporo, I was like “Go ConSa!” the entire match. I guess I’ll go see more games from now on when I have the time. (And the money, aren’t those tickets a bit too much expensive??) Also after the game, we went to a yakisoba place, and guess who did we meet? The game announcer for that nights game! I heard him speaking at the game, and then just casually came to eat yakisoba at the place we were. That was a nice coincidence.


So yeah. Life in Sapporo, I’ve gotten used to it more or less now, some stuff doesn’t excite me as it used to, some stuff I like even more compared to the time I first came here. Life is fun here, I like it. Maybe full of hardships, lots of stuff to think about and lots of homeworks but always, always fun.

Dee (Turkey)



by chitchatcafe | 2017-04-13 17:10 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

Spring is coming!   

Hey everyone!

I stepped outside the other day and I finally realised that it's mid-March and winter is coming to an end. I imagine many of you are very excited for the arrival of spring, meaning you can cast aside your worries about shovelling so much snow!

Although it isn't my favourite season, winter is still one of my favourite parts of the year, espcially here in Sapporo. Walking in heavy snowfall, the amazing feeling when you finally sit down and enjoy some warm food and the frequent events Sapporo is world famous for, all of these things have made this the most enjoyable winter so far in my life.

It's strange thinking back and realising the snow started falling all the way back in October and, after a brief period of time with no snowfall at all, December kicked off with record amounts of snow! I've lived in Sapporo before, but waking up and seeing all that snow on the ground still managed to surprise me.

As for my highlights this winter?
Going to Sapporo Factory with friends to eat and see the Christmas tree and decorations back in December. Although it wasn't too special, it was very nostalgic for me having lived in Sapporo four years ago and it's very pretty once it gets dark outside.

For New Year's, an old friend from Sapporo University came from Australia to visit me and we went all the way to the middle of nowhere (Fukagawa!) to eat some ramen made by one of our friends. Probably the most expensive ramen I've eaten to date as the total of the food and travel exceeded 7000 yen!

And last but definitely not the least, the Snow Festival! Every day after work I would walk through the festival and just enjoy the atmosphere and I'm sure I'll never forget the Trump/PPAP snow sculpture!

I hope you all had a good winter despite all the snow and cold weather and I look forward to seeing you all in the Spring!

Michael/Waffle/ワっちゃん

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by chitchatcafe | 2017-03-21 17:09 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

Field Trip to Tomakomai   

Hey everyone! How was your summer? Personally, I'm super happy that the fall weather is finally here. I'm sick of sweating all the time! Of course, it was hotter in New York, but everything is air conditioned there. Here, if feels like I'm always walking from one hot room to the next. Anyway...

Last weekend, I decided to make the most of the beautiful weather and go skateboarding with my friends. I'm not a very good skateboarder. I've been snowboarding for years, but the area I grew up in didn't have any concrete so I never learned to skateboard.

My friend was actually supposed to teach me last year, but he never did so a few months ago I decided to give it a shot anyway. The rainy weather kept me inside for awhile, but other than that I've been practicing every day! It's just as fun as snowboarding (but a little scarier)!

Back to my weekend. My friend and I drove down to Tomakomai and met another friend. Three dudes, skateboards, and a boring town. Lol. Why Tomakomai? Well, my one friend lives there, and he told us there is really good skate park that nobody ever goes to near his house. In Sapporo, everything is busy on Sunday, so we decided to take the trip and check it out.

Of course, as luck would have it, they were hosting some kind of event at the park when we arrived. So we drove around until we found an empty parking lot and skated there for awhile. The concrete was actually pretty smooth--way better than in front of my share house, which is where I usually practice.

We skated there for a few hours and then decided to get some food. My buddy, Shoma, and I are both big fans of ramen and soup curry (we almost always get one or the other every time we see each other). We went to this place called Yamato and I had really good miso ramen (my favorite).

After a big meal of ramen, Gyoza, and rice, I figured everyone would want to go home, but instead we decided to see if the skate park had emptied out. Luckily, it had, so we boarded for another few hours before making the long trek back to Sapporo. It was a pretty awesome day, but after 7 hours or so of skateboarding, I'm pretty sore. I guess I need to practice more often.
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by chitchatcafe | 2016-09-13 15:09 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

UFOs and other fishy experiences!   

As a European who had never set a foot on the Asian continent before laying down my hat in Japan 3 years ago, I can tell you that going food shopping is like an endless treasure hunt in some unknown galaxies.
Most discoveries are harmless and usually pretty satisfying. I could name few of them : the wobbly dodgy colored konnyaku, the slimmy stinky shiokara, the stringy brown-yellowish natto, or the soft tubular weird looking chikuwa. I think that one of the most mysterious meal I ever had was Oden, the first month I was in Japan. This great typical Japanese dish is probably one of the strangest looking one for foreigners. We can only tell about the egg, any other delicacies are UFOs...Unknown Floating Objects.
This is to say that in our european countries, we barely know any other Japan than Sushi Japan, or Ramen Japan for the connoisseur.

However, there's one poisonous UFO found in the ocean that we know about and we fear : the puffer fish, or commonly known as Fugu. Ask any foreigners coming to Japan : they either don’t want to eat it because it’s dangerous or either want to it it because it is dangerous. Whatever is the reason, it is a hit! I had tried to taste it on my journey to Osaka when my family visited me but I was promptly stopped by my beloved mother and aunt, as I could possibly die and, as a result, end their well-deserved holidays in Japan.

However, I didnt give up the idea and this year, I decided to challenge that cuttie face and head to SanPiers aquarium where a special Fugu event was held. After this first encounter of the Fugu kind, I must say that I was even more eager to have a bite! And here came my luck a week ago : a trial set of 5 small frozen fugu from the shop!

It’s been a week now and as you can see, I'm still alive!

See you soon chit chatters!

Claire (France)

by chitchatcafe | 2015-02-13 16:28 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

Parks adventures   

It's been a while since my last post. I hope you're enjoying the summer where ever you are! As you know I'm taking a break and I'm actually posting from the Far East of Hokkaido!

Anyway this time I'd like to share with you my new interest for parks and playgrounds in Japan.I don't know if it's only in Hokkaido but recently, cycling a lot around town during the day, I came to realise that there's at least a playground per block! You may not realise it but that's a lot compared to what you have abroad!
Anyway, being busy at work and daytime being way to hot lately, I've started wandering at night when temperatures are cooler and streets more quiet, looking for the coolest playground in town. Have I found it or not, it’s hard to tell since there are a thousands of them in Sapporo but I can tell that I had forgotten how much fun playgrounds were! Kids are lucky! See-saws, swings, slides, merry-go-rounds, climbing nets or walls and so on. But the best structures by far are the zip-lines! There’s nothing more thrilling than hopping on a rope hanging on one side of a pole and letting yourself sliding down the other side! Of course there are many other new structures in a hundred different designs but the zip-lines, trust me, are the best!

My quest for the Ultimate Playground is far from being over but if you wander at night you may find me somewhere sliding down a rope having the best time ever!

Claire (France)

by chitchatcafe | 2014-08-02 17:20 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン