Kim in Sapporo

Chronicles of the (mis?)adventures of my year abroad life in general


Now that the initial excitement of being shortlisted has worn off (well, kinda, I’m still like REALLY REALLY excited) I’m starting to think about things I’m nervous about. 

Without a doubt, it’s going to be worlds apart from the carefree life I led as an exchange student. Not only is it my first real job, it’s going to be IN JAPAN and mostly (only?) using Japanese.

I’m not going to have my ready made group of other foreigners. Does this mean I’ll make loads of Japanese friends? Or will I feel lonely and culturally isolated?

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY… will where I am placed have good sushi???? 

(my god I just can’t wait until I eat real sushi again)


14 04/14

JET Programme

I can’t quite believe it, but today I got a letter saying that I’m on the final shortlist for a CIR (Coordinator of International Relations) position on the JET Programme.

Which means that unless something goes dramatically wrong from here, I’m going to be going back to Japan in August!


05 04/14


(Source:, via realjapanesefood)

26 03/14
Anonymous asked: Hi! Me and a couple of friends are planning to stay in Tokyo for a 7 days. We wanted to see Kyoto too. What would you suggest doing? We are mere students on a limited budget.

Hey! Sorry for the late response. Apparently when I use tumblr on my phone I don’t get a notification when I get a message :S 

Gosh, well, I only spent a few days in those places too (Sapporo is very far!) In Tokyo I really loved Tsukiji fish market, so that a MUST for any sushi lover. It can be a little expensive to eat there though. ALSO OMGOMG in Tokyo we went to a maid cafe in Akihabara and it was amazing… I didn’t really think of going there myself, but I met up with my Japanese friend and she suggested it would be really fun, and it was!!! 

That’s all I particularly have to say about Tokyo, though there’s a ton of stuff to do there obviously. Just depends what you’re into.

About Kyoto… well there’s so many temples. Actually, you can feel a bit ‘templed out’ after a while, but the ones I liked the best were Kinkakuji and Fushimi Inari! Fushimi Inari is really cool because you also climb a mountain.

If any of my followers who are/were in Tokyo or Kyoto have any suggestions, feel free to weigh in!

11 03/14
28 12/13

itsokayhoneyのコメント: heyy! im not going to study in Japan, but im trying to plan a trip at the end of april/beginning of may. Id stay in Tokyo about a week, but then id spend a weekend in Sapporo! What should i see, where should i go, and what should i eat? :3 thx

-Hey! Well, let me start with FOOD. (I realised while writing this that it’s going to get long. If you don’t wanna read it all just look at the bold bits. Lol.)

Hokkaido food is pretty much the BOMB. I don’t know what your likes/dislikes are, but these are the foods I think you should try:

-SUSHI! Hokkaido sushi is really wonderful. And so fresh. Even cheap places have good sushi. There is a really popular conveyor belt sushi inside of Sapporo station called Hanamaru, and they have an English menu. It is a little more expensive than most conveyor belt sushi places, but I’d recommend it. In particular Hokkaido is famous for shellfish like scallop and crab, as well as sea urchin and ikura. 

-Jingisukan This is a version of yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) but using lamb. I’d never thought I was really into lamb that much before I tried this. However, it’s really, really divine. They have the BEST place in Tanukikoji 4-chome called “Jin Jin”. There’s no English menu on line but there is in store. It’s also extremely cheap for how good it is. 

-Ramen another thing Sapporo is famous for is ramen, particularly miso ramen.  I would recommend the “Ramen Republic” in the Esta shopping centre as they showcase famous local ramen shops. (They have a “Ramen Alleyway” in Susukino but most Japanese people say you should avoid that.)

-Soup Curry basically, the name is self explanatory! Curry but a soup! I don’t have a specific recommendation but there’s plenty around.

-Crab (…if you’re rich) Hokkaido is famous for crab and it looks pretty much amazing but it’s really expensive (over 5000yen per head). If you’re interested in that you can head for the building with the giant mechanical crab. 

As for tourist attractions, that’s more difficult, since Sapporo isn’t filled with old shrines and stuff. Since you’re only there for a weekend though there should be plenty of things to do. I’d recommend going up the TV tower, visiting Odori park and Susukino (if you’re into drinking you could try a night out in Susukino!), Sapporo beer factory (can’t remember but I think you get free beer hehe). Hokkaido Jingu in Maruyama park might also be interesting! However, I would NOT recommend Maruyama zoo, I think the conditions are terrible.

If you had more time, or if you’re feeling ambitious with  your time (it’s about a 30/40min train ride) I would strongly recommend visiting the neighbouring town of Otaru. It’s lovely, and has amazing seafood.

If any other Sapporo/Hokkaido residents have any recommendations, feel free to weigh in!

27 12/13


Since I no longer study abroad in Japan I don’t update this blog, but I noticed I get almost the same amount of visits as when I was still in Japan and posting frequently..!

I presume that most people who visit this blog are interested in studying abroad in Japan/ living in Japan, so feel free to ask me anything you want! :) (I still come on tumblr to look at my dashboard lol so I’ll see your message)

23 12/13
I just found these “Hokkaido-ben” cards that I bought in a giftshop in otaru before I left!

Even though I lived in Hokkaido for one year, I know almost no Hokkaido-ben. Haha. Actually I’m pretty sure I never heard anyone speak like this!

Edit: OMG just saw that ざんぎ is one of these cards. Now of COURSE I know that one (Hokkaido word for chicken karaage). I guess I DO know Hokkaido ben after all!

I just found these “Hokkaido-ben” cards that I bought in a giftshop in otaru before I left!

Even though I lived in Hokkaido for one year, I know almost no Hokkaido-ben. Haha. Actually I’m pretty sure I never heard anyone speak like this!

Edit: OMG just saw that ざんぎ is one of these cards. Now of COURSE I know that one (Hokkaido word for chicken karaage). I guess I DO know Hokkaido ben after all!
08 10/13

Reverse culture shock?

So! Many people say that when you return home you’re sure to feel ‘reverse culture shock’. And, well, I don’t think I have a culture *shock*, as such. But certain things are weird. For example:

  • Going to a cafe/restaurant and staring at the menu just like I DON’T WANT TO EAT ANY OF THESE THINGSSS
  • Automatically keeping hold of plastic bottles “until I can find the PET bottle bin” until the harrowing realisation that there isn’t one and it goes in the SAME bin as all the other things.
  • Automatically going to throw my receipt in the little receipt bin they have at the counter in stores only to realise there ISN’T one
  • Accidentally almost leaving valuable possessions on the table when going to the toilet etc.
  • Thinking it’s safe to walk around alone at night
  • Drinking alcohol without Ukon no Chikara - a Japanese hangover prevention drink (Seriously considering importing this…)
  • The fact that there are many many people fatter than me not just post-menopausal ladies
  • Dirty public toilets with no buttons (especially missing the ‘embarrassment music’ button)
  • GOOD offers at supermarkets - offers in Japan by and large tend to be like “save 10yen!!!” so I was quite taken aback to see an offer where you can buy one drink for £1.45 or 2 for £1.90
  • However, PRICES here have been a definite shock to me. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m poor now but I swear half the time I buy something here I’m at the till like “you’re charging me WHAT?!”. Even though Japan is supposed to be an expensive country.. 
  • Ordering a large and it actually being very big
  • The price of one cocktail being over the price of one nomihoudai…

That’s all I could think of for now! 

11 09/13
My final sushi. Mere hours before leaving Japan. </3

My final sushi. Mere hours before leaving Japan. </3

02 09/13