一昨日, 日本で初めてキャンピングをしに行きました。友達と一緒にコテージを泊まるのが凄く楽しいよ。皆さんも行ってみないか?滝野(たきの)のキャンプ場は札幌駅から南北線で真駒内駅まで20分をかかります。そして、キャンプ場まではバスで行くことができます。あまり遠くないね!私にとって日本のいい事はそれですよ。楽しめる場所はいつもすぐそこにあることです。

              Last Friday, I went camping for the first time in Japan. It was a very fun to hang out with my friends in a cabin for the night. Takino is just south of Sapporo, about 20 minutes on the Nanboku-line towards Makomanai. From there you can either ride a bus or take a taxi to the campgrounds. It really isn’t far at all. To me, that’s one of the good things about living in Japan. There is always a place to have fun just around the corner.

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The Lavender fields had lots of pretty flowers but, they really smelled bad!

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Waterfalls near the rest area. I wonder if these are the ones the park was named after?

It felt great near the bottom, nice and cool. 


それではまた来週!See you next week!











When it comes to winter I think of many things.
The Japanese kotatsu heater and mikan oranges, snow, and hot pots.

Today I made a Chanko hotpot with my friend so I decided to make a blog about hotpots!

Hotpots warm your heart.

You definitely don't eat a hotpot by yourself.

You get together with friends and have a hotpot party!!

My favourite type of hotpot is kimchi.

When I eat hotpot my whole body gets warm.

I wonder if everyone has had the pleasure of experiencing hotpot cuisine?




As I've never written a blog before, I suppose introducing myself would be a good place to start! My name is Tessa Anastasia Hansman and I am from America. My name is really long so you can call me " Tecchan" for short :)
I first studied at JLI Sapporo from April 2009 to the end of November 2010. During that time I did so many fun things! I took traditional tea ceremony classes, and made lots of Japanese friends! I also made friends with people from Sweden, Germany, China, Korea, Spain, England and Australia! It was also my first time living in a big city[E:subway]
  While I had a lot of fun, part way through my studies my father took ill and was in hospital. I quit school and returned to America wishing the whole time I was there that I could come back to Sapporo and study Japanese again.
  That's when JLI Sapporo said I could come back for a short term course for 10 weeks and finish what I started!! I was so happy! Even though I am only here for a short time this time around I am so happy to be here and getting to graduate like I wanted to!
   I do fun things everyday so starting in my next blog entry I am going to talk about cool places in Sapporo and all the great things this city has to offer!

Bankei_1  毎季節学校の遠足がある。去年の秋は円山動物園に行って、冬は札幌の雪祭りに行った。今週は春の遠足で郊外の山の中にある「ばんけい」という外で遊べる遊園地に行った。
Bankei_2_2 ばんけいは冬にスキー場で、雪が溶けたらパークゴルフコースになる。日本に来る前、パークゴルフはぜんぜん知らなくて、今度は初めてだった。木製のクラブがあって、軽いゴムボールを草の上でホールまで打つ。拡大した洋風ミニゴルフという感覚だ。

Bankei_3     Every season the whole school takes a field trip. Last fall, we went to Maruyama Zoo; in winter, we went to the Sapporo Snow Festival. This week we had our spring field trip and went to Bankei, an outdoor recreation area in the mountains just outside the city.
    Bankei is a ski hill in winter and a park golf course when the snow is gone. I’d never seen park golf until I came to Japan, and this was my first time playing it. You have a wooden club and a light rubber ball that you smack across the grass to reach the hole. It feels like a bigger version of miniature golf.
Bankei_4     You have to hit the ball fairly hard, and walking around the course gives you a bit of exercise, too, so the game is mostly popular with older people, but even a lot of the students were getting tired towards the end. The game is actually harder than it looks -- especially if you’re playing on a giant slope -- but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
    After about two hours of park golf, we stopped for lunch -- all-you-can-eat “Ghengis Khan” (again, not the Mongolian guy -- read my last post a little ways down if you’re confused). The weather was really nice, so we grilled outside and attracted all the local crows.

花見/Flower Viewing


Picture_1  春といえば桜だ。桜が咲いていると、花見の季節になる。人が集まって、桜の下にピクニックする。実はほとんどの人が桜を無視して、酒と食事に集中して友達と一緒に盛り上がる。
Picture_2  近くのレストランからグリルを借りて、和風バーベキューした。北海道に来たら、いろいろなところにジンギスカンの広告が見られるが、モンゴル人の征服者じゃなくて、焼きラムのことだ。野菜、焼きそば、とジンギスカンをいっぱい焼いた。

Picture_3     Springtime in Japan means cherry blossoms, and when the cherry trees are blooming, it's “flower viewing” season. People get together and picnic beneath the cherry blossoms, although in reality most people ignore the flowers and focus on drinking, eating, and having a good time.
    This weekend the school had its flower viewing picnic at Maruyama Park. About sixty people came, including a lot of the teachers and teacher-training students. It was a little cold, so I didn't think many other people would be out, but the park was completely full of picnickers.
Picture_4     We rented some grills from a nearby restaurant to barbecue Japanese-style. If you come to Hokkaido, you'll see a lot of places advertising “Genghis Khan,” but it has nothing to do with the Mongolian conqueror – it's actually what people call grilled lamb or mutton. We grilled a lot of vegetables, yakisoba noodles, and Genghis Khan.
    A little while after we arrived, a large procession of college-aged people came through, chanting and beating a Japanese drum. They gathered in the middle of the park and began dancing in a circle. Some of them were wearing really unusual costumes (see the picture), and the men that were dancing were mostly in red loincloths. I had absolutely no idea why any of this was happening, but it was certainly entertaining. A lot of people were taking pictures, and a few brave ones even joined in the circle. From what the Japanese teacher training students said, they were some kind of club from Hokkaido University, but that was all anyone seemed to know.

Flower 先週はゴールデンウィークという4つの祝日が続く連休だった。普段忙しい日本の社員の休む機会だ。僕は人出を避けたくて、旅行はしなかったけど、天気が良かったから琴似発寒川公園に散歩した。名前の通り、ただの川に沿った公園だけど、山が見える落ち着いたところだ。
River_tall ゴールデンウィークに伴って、「五月病」という現象もある。4月から学校と会社の新年度が始まって、一ヶ月間みんな頑張る。そして長いゴールデンウィークの春休みがあって、休みが明けても誰も仕事や勉強に集中できない。今週は確かに五月病という感じだと思う。

     This past week was Golden Week, a string of four national holidays that give the usually busy Japanese workforce a chance to go on vacation. I don't like crowds, so I didn't do any traveling, but we had some nice spring weather, so I took a long walk out to Kotoni Hassamu River Park. As the name implies, it's just a park along a river, but it's a nice, quiet place with a good view of the mountains.
    Nothing says spring in Japan like cherry blossoms, and along the river some of the cherry trees were starting to bloom. At least, I'm pretty sure they were cherry trees – there are a few different varieties, as well as some other kinds of flowering trees. At any rate, it's a lovely time of year.
    Golden Week creates a phenomenon known as “May sickness.” Schools and businesses start their new year in April, everyone works hard for a month, then they have this nice, long spring vacation, after which nobody can focus on work or study. It's definitely feeling like it will be that kind of a week.

Yama1 札幌の魅力の一つは、都会なのに自然と触れ合いやすい。札幌国際日本語学院のある円山は特にそうだ。昨日は円山公園に登山をしに行った。(登山と言っても小さい山だけど、丘より大きい。)

Yama2_2     One of the things I like about Sapporo is that although it's a big city, it's pretty easy to enjoy the outdoors, especially in Maruyama, where JLI is. Yesterday I went to Maruyama Park to climb the mountain (it's a small mountain, but definitely bigger than a hill).
    There are two paths up the mountain. I took the one around back by Maruyama Zoo because it's a little easier and usually quieter. I only saw two or three people on the way up. It's still early spring, but the leaves on the trees have started to bud, and some wildflowers were blooming along the path.
    The climb takes me about thirty minutes. It's definitely a workout, but it isn't that difficult. I see people jogging up and down sometimes, and lots of older folks make the climb, too, so it's definitely doable.
      Once you get to the top, there's a little clearing with a bunch of boulders where you can sit and look out over the city. I stayed up there for a while. Recently I've been worrying about what to do after I finish JLI and whether I should go back to the U.S. or not, but seeing the whole city like that reminded me of how much I love being here.
    The pictures don't really do it justice, sorry. Trust me, when you come, you'll have to go and see for yourself at least once.

Yama3_3 Yama4



     The new school year has started, and I'm trying not to be lazy anymore. I haven't studied outside of school very much since I passed the JLPT. It felt like a huge accomplishment to pass, but there's still a LOT more to learn.
    Our teacher told us something interesting last week. The old JLPT level one was based on about two thousand kanji and ten thousand words. Two thousand kanji is about the same as what a Japanese person has learned when they finish high school. The average adult, however, has a working vocabulary of about twenty thousand words and can understand about forty thousand. Even if you mastered all the JLPT material (which I certainly haven't), you'd still be a long way from having the same kind of vocabulary as a Japanese adult.
    Thinking about that motivated me to keep studying, so I went to the big Kinokuniya bookstore next to Sapporo Station to do some shopping. I bought two books to study for Kanken (kanji test). It seemed like a challenge and a good way to work on kanji and vocabulary.
    There are ten levels for Kanken. Level two is aimed at high school graduates, which I figured would be kind of difficult, so I started by looking at the book for level three, for middle school graduates. Nope, no way. Hadn't even seen most of the kanji in there. I wound up deciding to start from level five – it seemed like a good mix of new and familiar words. The book also has a bunch of cute pictures in it because it's aimed at elementary school students.
    Yeah, still got a long way to go.







It looks like this will be my last post.  I've learned a lot since coming here to Sapporo - of course I've learned a lot of Japanese, but I've also learned a lot about myself.  As I've spent time with new friends and friends from way back when, I have realized things about my own heart and the world around me. (As cheesy as that sounds...) Of course people are different throughout the world, but really, humans are humans, and I've come to understand that wherever I go I am part of the same family.  Rather than thinking of myself as a person from such and such a place and belonging to so and so's group, I have started to think of myself as part of this universal body.

Anyway, I've learned a lot of various things =].

Japan has tasty food, and the people are so nice!  If you're worried about whether you should come or not, just come!  You'll be glad you did.








Recently we had the Doll Festival, which happens every year on March Third, Girls' Day.  On that day, there are festivities all over Japan, many of which involve these beautiful doll sets which can be seen in people's houses and in department stores.  I took some pictures, so please check them out!

Also, if you say "Japan" I think there are lots of people out there who think of the traditional Japanese Lunchbox, or bento.  But as it turns out, if they're not handmade, there's the fear called "bad taste".  For example, at Lawson they have "Bento" but it's not the sort of thing you would want to eat, if you get my drift.  However, I have found a really good bento shop here in Sapporo.  It's called TubomiTei and you can eat really tasty bento there.  If you ever come to Sapporo, please try it out!