I visited kindergarten again!


I once again got invitation to visit kindergarten and teach English to the children. It was the same event as the one described in one of the previous notes. This time however the children were smaller, around 3-5 years old. Remembering how energetic were children in January I expected even more trouble, but surprisingly it went very well. The children were super-cute and I had a wonderful time playing with them.

Party with the Japanese teachers


As one of my Japanese classes is about to end because of the summer holidays the teachers threw a party for the students. We went to Okinawa-style restaurant. That was a good chance for me to try various dishes from Okinawa. I liked Okinawan tofu the best, I think it's much better than traditional tofu. Party was getting better and better so after we finished we decided to go to nomihodai in a different place. At the end everybody was stone drunk (including some of the teachers) but we all manage to get home somehow. :) In Poland teachers don't socialize with the students and I think I prefer the Japanese way. :)

Potato pancakes


Some time ago I was invited to participate in an event where foreign students will present the food from their countries. I've always been trying to promote polish culture among Japanese people so when I was asked to participate in this event I gladly accepted.

Every nation was supposed to prepare small amount of food to share with everybody and make a speech about the recipe.

I decided to make potato pancakes. Although I never made them before I saw my friends at Hokudaisai making them and it seemed easy to me. Luckily everything went (almost) as planned. Even though I wasn't 100% satisfied with the result of my job I think I did well for the first time. ^_^

Potato pancakes are very easy to prepare so why don't you try to make them by yourself? Below is the link to the recipe in both Japanese and English.


Karate tournament


As some of you know every week I attend karate training. It's important as I have to keep my weight under control. ;) Anyway recently my teachers told me that I should participate in karate tournament in Asahikawa. I am still a mere white-belt (beginner) so I was a little bit reluctant, but my teachers were very insisting...

The tournament was held yesterday (Sunday). We went to Asahikawa by car of one of my teachers. When I arrived I was surprised to see that the only white-belt people were 3-4 year old kids. After further investigation I discovered to my horror that all the people in my age group were black-belts. o_0 That was unexpected and I wish my teachers told me about that earlier. Anyway my fight was one of the last so I had the whole day to watch children performing kata and fighting with each other. I noticed everybody was very dedicated and determined to win which was very commendable considering the fact most kids were around 12 years old.

Finally I got my chance to show my own determination. ^_- I knew from the start that I was no match for black-belt but I wanted to score just one point. Unfortunately the difference in skills was to big and after receiving a final kick in my jaw I had to accept the 0-4 defeat.

Now my feelings about the event are mixed. On one hand I am glad that I had the opportunity to participate. Last year I was only watching, this time I could be a part of the event. Doing something together with Japanese, taking part in something they do is a good memory. Also learning the real strength of black-belt was interesting experience (teachers always go easy on us). On the other hand I am not sure if I would like to participate again. There is this saying that a wise man must climb the Mount Fuji but only a fool does it more than once. In other words being beaten once should be enough. ^_- That was what I thought at the end of tournament, but today a few days later I think that it's all about learning. Even if I was beaten now I probably learned something so I should look to the next tournament in December!

In the end I must mention that I got special prize for being the only gaijin in the tournament. :)

Father's birthday


Today was Father Manfred's birthday. Around 60 people (or more) celebrated it in House Friendship. There was a lot of good food ;) lot of singing and a lot of nice people. :) Unfortunately I was a bit late because of karate tournament (I will write about it in a few days) but I could enjoy the party anyway. Happy birthday Father and thank you for what you have done for all of us!

A trip to Wakkanai


Last Saturday we went with Father Manfred to Wakkanai. It was a two day trip. Instead of going by motorway we chose to use the road that goes by the sea, so I had a great opportunity to see the sea on my left and beautiful nature of Hokkaido on the right. I must note that the nature of Hokkaido greatly differs from the one on Kyushu and I think I prefer the latter. But the views were splendid nevertheless. Around 17:00 we arrived to Haboro - a town on a halfway of our trip. Here we were about to experience home-stay! I was very excited as it was supposed to be my first home-stay in Japan and (as time showed) I wasn't disappointed. My family was very nice, food was delicious ;) and on the top of that I slept in a traditional Japanese room on tatami! Next day we left around 9:30 and continued our drive to Wakkanai where we finally arrived around midday. First we went to the top of some hill in Wakkanai (I forgot the name) where we could enjoy wonderful view of sea and the city. I don't think I've ever seen such a beautiful scenery before! Unfortunately we didn't have time to stay and we had to get going. Half an hour later we arrived to northernmost point of Japan. I took with me one book of tha manga "Love Hina" in which characters arrives to the same point. I wanted to compare waht was drawn with reality. Although the monument marking the point looks more or less the same, the surroundings does not. I must say I felt cheated by the manga's author! ;) After taking pictures we drove back to Sapporo where we arrived in the evening.

In short: the trip was great! :) I think all more-than-one-day trips are special, you have more time to get know everybody and to play with your friends. I wish some day Father would organize trip to Japan's southernmost point. :)

Yosakoi Soran


I never was a fan of Yosakoi Soran festival. It's just too modern for me. I mean I prefer more traditional forms of Japanese dance. This year however I decided to enjoy it despite my prejudice and I don't regret the decision. I watched most of the performances, mainly on the stage but I've seen dances on the streets too and I was captivated by all the performances.

I really like the idea of Japanese festivals. It's difficult for me to put it into words, but they are very different than those in Poland. In Japan all the people gathers and there is a sense of community, of being together. I enjoyed this sense, this feeling as much as the performances.

By the way - the day after festival I was told that one of my Japanese teachers was dancing in the winning team! Congratulations Sensei!



Last week we made the history! It was the first time the polish team participated in Hokudaisai. For four days we were working hard to introduce our culture (especially the food) to the biggest possible number of Japanese people. Not everything went smoothly but it was our first time and we earned a valuable experience. Besides I think all the people who visited our tent had a good time and (hopefully) liked our food. Lot of my Japanese teachers were later asking me for the recipes for polish dishes especially for potato pancakes (they are very easy to prepare). It was difficult work but we enjoyed it nevertheless. I would like to say thank you to everybody who bought our food. Domo arigatou gozaimashita.

Japanese classes


I joined every Japanese class I know about. Classes are run by voulnteers so they are either free or very cheap. My Japanese really needs an improvement so I am going to study hard! Ganbarimasu! :)

I am going to stay in Japan!


As some of you know my scholarship expired this month and I was just about to return to Poland. However as I like Japan very much I was looking for opportunity to stay. I got a lot of help from catholic church namely Father Manfred of House Friendship. I believe the details are unimportant and what you need to know is that I will still be here for another half a year. I hope I can either find a job or re-enter the University. Thank you everybody for your help and sorry for all the troubles I have caused you!

A visit to primary school


A few days ago I got an invitation from my friend to visit Japanese primary school. I had a lot of fun playing with children when I visited Japanese school last year so how could I refuse? The experience was equally nice. First we introduced our countries to children. Then we played some simple games, ate dinner together and played fruits basket. All in all it was enjoyable event and the kids were cute as always. :)

Yuki Matsuri (Snow Festival)


Yuki Matsuri is the most famous festivals in Japan. This year I had an opportunity to participate in it myself!

First I tried to made a small amateur-made sculpture together with other foreign students and members of an art club of a high school in Teine. I really enjoyed the idea of foreigners working together with Japanese and I hope to participate in similar activity in the future. I would like to thank the Lions Club Odori - the organization who sponsored this activity. Thank you!

Amateur sculpture was just a warm-up however. Together with two of my polish friends we entered Snow Festival's international competition! We made a snow statue of Frederik Chopin in order to commemorate 200th birthday anniversary of the composer.

I really enjoyed those three days of making sculpture. Thousands of Japanese people were coming to our site cheering us up, bringing pictures, souvenirs, food and warm drinks. Never before had I experienced so much goodness! After all those problems I had during a past few months I was really depressed but this festival gave me back my good mood and let me regain my faith in Japan and Japanese people.

The work on the sculpture was very hard. After first day we had to take painkillers as the muscle pain was unbearable. Unfortunately I am not the artist so I couldn't help my friends as much as I wanted. In addition none of us had any experience with snow sculpturing. Due to those problems we couldn't win this year but we learned a lot from our mistakes and we are looking forward to next year! Gold medal will be ours!



A few days ago I got a chance to visit Japanese kindergarten as an Assistant Language Teacher. It was supposed to be a job but to me was just a lot of fun. Children were about 6-7 years old. They were making a lot of noise which reminded me of my childhood. :) I taught them some simple English and played with them a lot. It was really fun! :)

English Immersion Camp in Sunagawa


Some time ago I found a post on student's forum. Somebody was looking for volunteer teachers to participate in English Immersion Camp in Sunagawa. Recently I have been very busy with my research so the camp was a good excuse to go out of my lab and have some fun playing in snow. ;) I applied and got accepted. On the 9th of January I went to Takikawa (the event was organized by the city of Takikawa) to meet the children and the other teachers. We then went together to Sunagawa by bus. My impression of the event is that it was more about bringing together Japanese and foreigners rather than studying English and because of that the whole thing everybody could have much more fun. There was a little bit of "classic" English teaching (we talked with kids about their hobbies, plans for the future, etc.) but the main idea was to perform various activities together and force the kids to communicate with us in English. The activities included building little towers made of snow balls with candles placed inside them and photo contest (which was my favourite). The organizers promised to invite me next year and I am looking forward to it (although probably I won't be able to stay in Japan for so long...)