人気ブログランキング |

カテゴリ:英会話 教師 札幌( 54 )   


Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I have wonderful memories of my childhood, waiting for Santa and spreading granola on the lawn for the reindeer… However, Christmas can be a sad time these days as I no longer get to spend Christmas with my family. Although Christmas Eve in Japan is usually a romantic time for couples, in the U.S. the whole season is usually meant for spending time with family. My grandmother and I would put up the Christmas decorations and bake holiday treats, my father and I would watch old holiday films, and my mother and I would go shopping for everyone’s perfect gift. The last two Christmas’s I have been in Japan. I love that Sapporo Station is decorated with lights and playing Christmas music, but it can feel a bit lonely. That is why, this year, my mother decided to come in December and spend some time with me before the holiday season was over. It was a really nice treat for me to see my mother, so I took her to the German Christmas Market in Odori Park, and to Otaru to buy souvenirs for the rest of the family.

Of course my mother could not stay for very long, she was only in Sapporo for one week. I was very sad to see her go back right before Christmas, but she gave me wrapped presents to open on Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, I had a really good time with some friends who made a Western style dinner with turkey, stuffing, and truffles. On Christmas Day itself, I had another good night with friends making takoyaki and playing board games. I learned that it is important to enjoy Christmas no matter where you are or who you are with. Celebrating together and understanding the true meaning of Christmas is what really matters!

Maggie (US)

by chitchatcafe | 2019-01-06 14:13 | 英会話 教師 札幌

Cheap beers in the summer   

During the Summer holidays I went to Europe for one month. It was my first time visiting continental Europe and I was able to visit Germany, France, Denmark and Czech Republic.

Coming from Australia I always thought alcohol in Japan was very cheap (in Australia a beer at a bar is about 900 yen!) but I soon found once I arrived in Germany that beer was even cheaper there than it was in Japan.

In addition to cheap beers, if you keep your cans and dispose them into recycling machine inside major you can receive a decent amount of money in return (that can be used to buy your next can of drink!)

Glass bottles can also be returned to receive money at a specialty shop selling only drinks.

It is a very good system and encourages people to recycle correctly.

It public places, especially parks - people would leave their empty bottles beside the bin rather than put them inside. This made it easy for people who wanted to earn a little money to collect the bottles left behind.

In Germany alcohol is cheap - however, the further you go east in Europe the cheaper things become. This, of course means that the alcohol also becomes cheaper.

In eastern Europe Czech Republic is famous for being a backpacker heaven. Backpackers from around the world who come to Europe will naturally spend a few days in Czech Republic - most likely in the capital city of Prague, enjoying the too cheap beers (and also delicious fruity ciders) and very affordable accommodation.

A night in a hostel in Prague can cost about 1000 yen and a beer brought in a bar about 300 yen.

One evening I went to a supermarket close by my hostel to buy some dinner and a bottle of Coke. Once in the supermarket I made my way to the refrigerated section and put my hand inside the cool shelving to grab a bottle of the dark sugary drink. Yet as I did this my eyes fell across the shelf above the soft drinks, lined with glass bottles of beers and ciders.

The price below the beer was labelled '20 korunas'
The price below the cider was labelled '25 korunas'
The price below the coke was labelled '35 korunas'

I hesitated a moment, my hand lingering in the fridge before I eventually wrapped a hand around a bottle of beer and walked to the cash register to make my purchase.

Summer is for beer after all.

Jessica (Australia)

by chitchatcafe | 2018-11-28 11:56 | 英会話 教師 札幌

Goodbye snow!   

The snow has melted! In January, I couldn’t wait for it to go. However, now it’s gone I miss it already! I wish I had had time to go see the drift ice or try ice fishing. I wonder if I will have to wait another 21 years to see that much snow again… Hopefully not. But I’m sure 21 years later I still won’t have forgotten waddling on the ice every day trying to not be late for work! It seems it’s time to welcome the next season to Sapporo! Hokkaido is so exposed to the natural elements, it feels like I’m being given a tour of the seasons by mother nature. Or like that song – the 4 seasons (also the name of a popular pizza topping in the UK)! I can’t wait to see the beauty of spring. Every time I see the little new-born streams of water running down the streets from the melted snow, I think about all the plants sucking it up to create something beautiful. We, as humans, are so lucky to have been gifted the ability to realise natures beauty! Let’s hope my memory will do it justice for years to come…


Honor (UK)

by chitchatcafe | 2018-03-30 14:56 | 英会話 教師 札幌

Gagaku in Hokkaido Shrine   

Hello everybody on Chit Chat! thanks for joining us! I love to talk and share about culture, Ideas and different ways of understanding our beautiful world.

I must admit I have not any particular skill on writing so I'll do my best to tell you about interesting things that happen on my stay in Sapporo! Basicaly I've being studying deeply Japanese language and music. That is to say, that my Social life (and skills) have dropped considerably hahaha, but In the meantime I've learned and shared a lot with many different Japanese people.

I'll tell you about one interesting experience I had in Sapporo, I went to a gagaku (traditional music) workshop at Hokkaido Jingu on February. It was a two day experience where we stayed at the Jingu office the night and continue studying the next day. A very enjoyable experiece! I was not the only foreigner in the workshop so I was very relieved to see another one.

I learned a lot of interesting things about the Instrument Shō(笙)and I was surprised that Shō players were very few. I suppose is not a widely played instrument in Hokkaido… but It was very good for me since I could ask many questions and learn a lot from the teachers.

After a long rehearsal (more than 8 hours!) we relaxed and drink with the teachers! they really changed from being very strict to be very gentle! after the little party I took a bath, went to sleep and from 6am in the morning we rehearsed one last time and finally we played full orchestra at the Jingu office building for the enshrined gods and the good health of Hokkaido people.

I got a certificate, and few photos (I can show just some of them, sorry). Anyway, I hope you all have a good end of the winter (My god, is so long!!!) I’ll attend another workshop at the end of March, so maybe I’ll do another blog about it!. Bye and thank you so much for reading.

PD: I also attach a drawing a friend of mine gave to me before she went back to her country, is so funny! hahahaha tell me how you think about it when we met at chit chat!

Julián Ferreira
Músico - 音楽家


by chitchatcafe | 2018-03-22 15:22 | 英会話 教師 札幌

Otaru Daytrip   

Greetings! Maddy here.

I’ve only recently started working at the Chit Chat Café so this is my very first blog. I spent a lot of time mulling over what to write about, especially since I haven’t been on any fun adventures recently- but then I decided I could write about one of my best memories from this summer 😊

Otaru is the loveliest little oceanside town, and I’ve already been down there about four times… and in August, my boyfriend and I took a daytrip to the Otaru Aquarium! First, we took a JR train straight to Otaru station, and even though there weren’t any seats left, we still got to enjoy the view of the countryside and the sea. Afterwards, we waited for a bus that would take us up the hill to the aquarium. It was a pretty warm day so we grabbed bought some cold & sugary drinks (blue Hawaii hehe) from a nearby vending machine.

Once we arrived, we got our tickets and then went inside to explore. We got to see all kinds of sea creatures, and I especially appreciated the jellyfish, the red octopus, and the tiny conger eels. Also, if you go sometime, don’t forget to check out the balloon lumpfishes (フウセンウオ) because they’re too cute to miss.

Next, we had lunch in the cafeteria and we both bought a sort of omelette curry that was shaped like a turtle :P (it was called カメの太郎くんランチ). Whether you are 5 years old or 30, I think everyone can enjoy a plate of turtle-shaped curry. After finishing up lunch, we went to see what marine animal shows were going on. We saw every one of them- dolphins, penguins, seals – but I have to say that the walruses’ performance could not be beat. The trainers would say “aisatsu!” and they would wave their fins at the audience. And they’d say “hazukashii!” and they cover up their walrus faces like they’re embarrassed—soooo adorable. I wish I had filmed it actually, looking back. Maybe I’ll have to go again.

Continuing on, next door to the aquarium was a mini amusement park which included a ferris wheel! Being on a cutesy date and all, naturally, we had to ride it. From the tip top we took a bunch of photos of the view. It was so beautiful, almost like a backdrop from a Ghibli movie (see below~).

Finally, we decided rather than taking the bus again, we’d ride the ferry back to central Otaru. We barely caught the last boat, and had to run down the port to board in time. This ferry ride was quite relaxing and the heat wasn’t so bad thanks to the sea breeze. We also got a glimpse of one of Japan Coast Guard’s ships which was pretty cool!

We wandered around the streets of Otaru a bit before going home. I always stop by the オルゴール堂 so we went there and tested out some music boxes and stared at creepy antique dolls for a bit. For dinner, we couldn’t really decide on a place in Otaru so we just went home and ate Kimchi Soondubu at Sapporo Station!

Anyway, it was a wonderful day spent with a wonderful person. Next time I go back, I want to see Otaru when it’s covered in snow and the canal is lit up with Christmas lights.


Maddy (USA)

by chitchatcafe | 2017-11-16 15:34 | 英会話 教師 札幌

Living Nippon   

For the first time in all of my dozens of years on this earth, I’m the queen of my own castle. I am now living solo.

(In my apartment)

It is almost 7 months since I arrived in Sapporo.

And today, I have listed 7 things I learned about living alone and as an expat in Japan.

#1 Convenience stores
Convenience stores in Japan are awesome. Since I live alone, I find it a waste of time to cook for one. I usually get myself a meal on my way home from conveniene store. You can find almost anything there, and they're always clean, well serviced, and safe.

#2 Food
When I'm not eating conbini food -- I get out and treat myself to a nice Japanese restaurant. I like ramen, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, udon, soba, ebi tempura and the list could go on and on. I like Japanese food very much. Japanese food is great. It's healthy, tastes great, and is fun to eat. Though tons of choices, I was overwhelmed when I arrived how expensive it is to eat out in Japan.

(Food shopping!!! My favorite kind of shopping)

(Takoyaki to go for dinner)

(At Victoria’s — I love Japanese food and steak too!)

#3 Not safe
Sapporo is not safe, it is ridiculously safe. No guns. No drugs. There are some bad gangster folks downtown but there is not very much violent crime.

One thing that I have never seen anywhere else is that people in restaurants leave their wallets and expensive smartphones on the table when they go to the bathroom. And they would go together, so nobody in the party would be there to guard them and their money and expensive electronics would be out in the open unguarded.

Coming from a third world country -- I've never come across such great confidence in strangers!

#4 Job

Probably the easiest way to get yourself over to Japan is by getting yourself a teaching job there. Luckily, there always seems to be an abundance of positions available, because Japan always wants to learn more English. For some people, the job market isn't so hot in their home country, so getting a teaching job in Japan can seem like an attractive option.

It is all about your connections. Once you have a base of contacts and a group of friends you can relax. When people first arrive they typically befriend other expats or people who want to practice English, but making an inroad with the locals is the only way you are going to develop a strong work and social network. It is a bit of a struggle at first.

(On my way to school)

(Prepping for my class — but selfie first)

(Walking to school 🍁)

#5 Commuting
Compared to Philippines public transport, Japanese public transport is unbelievably awesome. (at least trains and subways)
Its subway and train systems are crazy convenient, accurate, and make getting around the city so much easier.

But taking taxi is a absoulutely expensive. Once, I was out late at night, I had no choice but to take a taxi. A less than 15-minute drive cost me almost 2000 Yen. I swore not take taxi again.

(Going home from school — I take JR line everyday.)

#6 People
Being polite doesn’t mean it must be fake or unnatural, it can be more of a lifestyle. Japanese people are friendly and polite, at least the the middle-aged generation. Old people may be curious about your background but might not know how to interact with you. Young people keep to themselves on their smartphones and electronics, as I'm sure most are in any country. People here are always ready to help you even though there would be a language barrier.

The Japanese are very friendly, and incredibly welcoming and I was so pleased to confirm this for myself! It's a very different world, and a country that I highly recommend to my friends to visit someday.
(Haloween party at the cafe)

(Random Saturday night at Susukino)

#7 Toilets
Honestly, I’m spoiled now. The welcoming feeling of a warm, toasty seat during your private time makes going to the bathroom in Japan a surprisingly enjoyable experience.

Who knew you could have so many buttons when in the Philippines we just have a flushing option!

Shiela (Philippines)

by chitchatcafe | 2017-11-09 19:55 | 英会話 教師 札幌

Finally summer break, after all.   

So what is there to tell about summer life in Sapporo.

For now I am enjoying my spare time.
Of course I have planned to travel in Japan a little. I am looking forward to go for a few days to Niseko that is said to be a really nice travel destination with great scenery. Start of September I also was invited to visit a friend in Chiba, but up till now my break was more relaxation than eventful. Therefore what have I done with my moderate leisure time so far?

Near to my apartment there is a small café/bar. Because I have a test after the break I currently learn a lot Japanese. But writing grammar exercises and Kanji for hours just is neither the most satisfying task nor the most helpful for actually using or speaking a language. For this I started going to this shop to talk to the owner and other customers. In such a casual setting, sitting together with native speakers, it feels comfortable to experiment with speaking and not being afraid of making mistakes. Already I feel how my speaking has improved.

Another thing I have been doing a lot is reading. Gladly I have rediscovered my capabilities. As a kid I used to read a lot and even the bigger books didn't last long. Over the years I always felt that I had lost the ability to read as curiously and passionately as before. Recently even shorter books took a longer time than I was used to. Over the last two weeks I already read two fairly long books and still going with the next. With his great writing style and amazing world-building I developed a love for the books of China Miéville. The first I read was a historical narrative of the Russian Revolution 1917. In an interesting mixture of compelling writing and proper research it gives not only great insight into many aspects of this significant historical event but also makes for an entertaining reading. The author is quite renowned especially for his works in Sci-Fi and Fantasy.
The Bas-Lag book series, I started reading after that, consists of the titles "Perdido Street Station", "The Scar" and "Iron Council". It is hard to put the trilogy into a genre but it definitely is fiction. The press has called him an author of the "New Weird" which fits very well in my opinion.
"Perdido Street Station", the first of the series, tells a mysterious story revolving around a quirky scientist and his group of friends that face unforeseen troubles. It is impressive, how in these books, a complex society is created with so many minutely described details. I am looking forward to see the other stories unfold now that I have finished "Perdido Street Station".

So much for my summer break so far. In my next blog I hope to be able to report about my travels to you.

Jan (Germany)

by chitchatcafe | 2017-08-27 12:21 | 英会話 教師 札幌

My expenrience with snow in Sapporo   

Before coming to Sapporo, I have never lived in a place with so much snow before. In October 2016, when I opened the window and saw tons of snow on the street for the first time, I was filled with joy and literally had to run downstairs to play in the snow around my dormitory.

In February 2017, I joined an event to build a snow sculpture for the Yuki Matsuri, and had a really happy day at Odori Park. It was really amazing that they could create such huge and magnificent snow sculptures with intricate details. The festival was absolutely wonderful, and attracted so many foreign visitors to the city. It was also very fortunate that they celebrated the 30 years of Final Fantasy 7 with a big sculpture of the two famous characters of this legendary Japanese game, and I had the opportunity to be in Sapporo to witness it.

In March 2017, I went skiing for the first time in a Cross Country Skiing event, and it was one of the most memorable days of my life. I did not expect skiing to be so much fun, and tiring at the same time. It was such an enjoyable workout and I kept smiling no matter how many times I fell. I was utterly joyful when I could finally ski down slopes well after some practice. Cross Country Skiing has become the newest entry on my list of favourite sports. I am very glad to be living in Sapporo, the city with beautiful white snow.

Hoang (Vietnam)

by chitchatcafe | 2017-03-11 14:16 | 英会話 教師 札幌

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)


by chitchatcafe | 2017-01-11 17:10 | 英会話 教師 札幌

My Sapporo Experience so far   

I have been in Sapporo for almost 3 months now and I have experienced so many new things it seems as if everyday I do something I've never done before or eaten something I've never tried before.

When I first arrived I was expecting really cold weather and lots of snow it when I arrived it so hotter here then I could have imagined and I thought to myself is it always going to be like this?

Later as I got settled and the autumn season started to kick in the rain, the wind and the cold weather reminded me of my home town and I felt a bit more at ease considering I am in a different country.

I was told many stories that when winter comes it would be colder then I could imagine and of course they were right. It doesn't snow often in England I have seen it snow maybe about 4 times in my life and whenever it did it seems the whole country would stop and panic as if the world had ended.

So now that winter is here and the snow has fallen to me it's truly amazing I've only seen this much snow on TV everything had been turned into a glorious white the roads, the buildings even people when they walk outside in the snow storms is covered with soft powdery snow.

I'm honestly enjoying every moment dispite the freezing cold temperature I can't wait to so more and I am fascinated that the people living here think it's just normal I'm looking forward to my first ever white Christmas and I'm so happy that I get to spend it in Sapporo.

Tristan (United Kingdom)

by chitchatcafe | 2016-12-14 14:46 | 英会話 教師 札幌