シンガポールの最近のブログ記事

Now that we are in hibernation mode (stockpiling on food and fats! because it’s winter), let me introduce a place you should give a try should you come down to Sapporo.

冬で、皆食欲が上がったそうから、美味しいパンケーキ屋を紹介する!

Situated just a few blocks away from JLI, there is a place called ‘Maruyama Pancake’ that serves really delicious pancakes! It’s not very easy to spot as its sign is pretty small and is right smack in the middle of a residential area so don’t worry if you don’t spot other shops nearby. You’re probably in the right place.

学校から10分ぐらい歩いて、「円山パンケーキ」と言うパンケーキ屋はとても美味しいと思う。ちょっと探しにくいが、住宅街の真ん中ので、もし住宅ばかりなら、多分正しい所だよ。

Setting you back at a really affordable 1400yen per set, they come in three choices: devil, angel and savory. Unfortunately you can’t just do ala-carte and order just the pancakes but trust me when I say it’s worth it getting the whole set. The effort to make the whole platter so presentable deserves commendation. Here are some pictures of what we ordered:

一セットはただ1400円ぐらいで、三つの選択がある:悪魔、天使と食事のセットがある。パンケーキだけの単品ができないけで、セットが本当に綺麗し、注文やりかいがあるはずだ。

It might not be a really filling meal but if you are thinking of having some sweet indulgence while being in a café with great ambience, do consider this place. They also have another branch at Akarenga Terrace near Sapporo Station so you have another option if Maruyama is a little off for you. Enjoy!

量がそんなに多くないけど、もし甘い口が食べたくて、そしていい雰囲気の店が行きたかったら、円山パンケーキはいかがでしょうか?

 

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秋が本当に早かった。札幌の生活に慣れたら、規則的な生活を過ごし、あまり観光しなった。そして勉強の上その時ぐらい居酒屋のバイトも始めて、余裕の時間がほとんどない。でも、久々時間があって、友達と一緒に増毛に行った。

ケーさんのお勧めで行った。その日の前バイトが朝四時までだし、待ち合わせは朝十時ので、往復4時間の交通時間はほとんど寝ちゃっいた。でも時々止まって、いい景色の写真を撮った。本当にすごく綺麗だ。私の述べりの代わりに、こちは写真だ。スマホーンのカメラので、写真の質がそんなに高くないけど。

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面白いことは漢字で、増毛は髪の量が増えるという意味だ。だから、台湾の友達と冗談を作った。坊主になったら、増毛に行くべき!私はその理由で行きたくないわ!でも、もしその問題があれば、増毛へ行ってもいかがでしょうか?

Autumn passed by really quickly for me here in Sapporo. After the initial settling-in phase, I got into a routine and rarely explored around. Plus I started working in an Izakaya which really took up a lot of my time on top of school. Still, this was the odd occasion where I managed to make time for a day trip with my schoolmates.

The destination was Mashike and we went there on the recommendation of K san. Having been totally worn out from the previous day of work, (I ended work at 4am unfortunately and we arranged to meet at 10am) I slept through most of the ride back and forth which took about 4 hours combined. Still, we stopped by some scenic places for photos and I have to say some of the scenery was breathtaking. Instead of words, I shall let the pictures do more of the talking this time. My camera phone didn’t really do the sceneries justice but it was still a sight to behold nonetheless. 

An interesting thing to note was that in Chinese or Kanji, Mashike literally means ‘increase in hair’, probably either in volume or growth. There was thus a running joke between the two Taiwanese friends among us that anyone experiencing balding should take a visit to Mashike. I sure hope I don’t visit for such a reason!  But for those of you out there who have tried everything in vain, why not take a trip down and try it out yourselves?

 

The winter’s getting harsher as the days pass so I guess it’s time to bring back more memories of summer again. This time it was a day trip that I made with friends from Hokkaido University. We rented an 8-seater to accommodate all 8 of us as we made our way to Noboribetsu. It was a pretty long trip so we did make pit stops along the way, taking photos of the beautiful scenery as well as having lunch at Kinoko Tengoku (Mushroom Kingdom).  

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The place that we spent the most time was at Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura (Noboribetsu Period Village). Honestly speaking, we all agreed that it was a place that you don’t really have to go if you’re visiting Noboribetsu. Partially it’s due to the fact that we spent so much time there that we didn’t have enough time for other places!(We only rented the car for a day and had to return the car by 8.30pm before the place closed. Also travelling alone took about 4 hours back and forth) =( It was a relatively small place but did have some interesting displays and performance shows. Still, the saving grace of the place was the haunted house and ninja trick house that we visited. It provided lots of entertainment for us ‘kids’ and brightened up our moods after the long trip. I just wished the mini games such as the shooting gallery and such were included in the fee we paid to enter the place =(

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It was after this that we made our way to Noboribetsu Jigokudani (Noboribetsu Hell Valley), a popular tourist destination in Hokkaido famous for its onsens (hot springs). However, as previously mentioned, we had not much time left by the time we arrived so we thought it might be a waste to pay for an onsen session that would barely last half an hour. Still we managed to try the foot onsen which wasn’t too bad an experience itself. (Plus it was free! Great for students like us on a budget!)

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It’s been about 4-5 months since this day trip. I wonder if I should visit Noboribetsu Jigokudani again sometime soon. After all, it’s the perfect season for a relaxing dip in an onsen.

時間が立てて、冬が段々激しくなって来た。だから今は暖かい夏を思い出すのいい機会だと思う。今度は北大の友達と一緒に一日旅の思い出しだ。レンターカーを借りて、八人は一緒に登別まで行った。交通時間は結構長いので、行く途中少し休んで、綺麗な景色の写真を撮ったり、キノコ天国で昼食を食べた。

一番長い時間を過ごした場所は登別伊達時代村だった。正直で、皆行かなきゃ場所じゃなかったと思った。一つの理由はそこで長すぎ過ごして、他の所の時間があまり足りなった。(レンターカーは八時半まで戻さなきゃから。そして、交通だけも四時間ぐらいかかったし)そんなにでかい場所じゃないけど、面白い展示とかショーがある。その上、忍者のハウスとお化け屋敷も結構楽しかった!子供ぽいの私たちをすごく楽しくさせた。一つの悔やみはゲーム料は入場料に入ったら、いいと思う。。。

時代村の後登別地獄谷に行った。北海道で有名な観光名所で、皆よく温泉を体験するために行く場所だ。でも前述べた通りで、残り時間は少なかったから、足湯しか行かなかった。三十分もすごせなかったら、温泉に入るのは勿体ないと思った。でも足湯もいい経験できたし、無料だし(貧乏の学生たちにはお勧めだ!)、無きにしも非ずだった。

この一日旅も四~五月間立ったから、もう一回行くかな。。。(冬は温泉に行くのいい季節だし)

It's winter now here in Sapporo and everyone seems to be uploading pictures of the frosty scenery on social media. Yet I will be the odd one out here and share about my experiences in Summer instead! Don't get me wrong; I love the cold and all but now that I'm doing a part-time job along with my studies, I really have much less time to explore and travel around Hokkaido than before. While I also mentioned I enjoy the simple life, on top of that, it doesn't hurt to reminescence about warmer times: It makes me feel warmer and I can save on my rising electricity bill by not using the stove so often hehe!

Back in summer, a friend of mine from Singapore who was exchanging in Tokyo bunked over at my place and we did a little exploring. While I did not venture with him to further places like Furano or Hakodate ( he was with his girlfriend, who wants to be a lightbulb all the time?) we did manage to explore most of Central Sapporo as well as make a short trip to Otaru.

Following the recommendations compiled by students of JLI, we tried many things ranging from revolving belt sushi to Hokkaido's famous soup curry. We even managed to find a Singaporean "kopitiam" (Singaporean term for coffee shop/ cheap food center) in Tanukikoji, though I didn't try it personally. (I just left Singapore back then for a couple of weeks tops, why would I miss Singaporean food so soon? However, now that I've been here for about half a year, I definitely should get to trying it someday soon!)

For Otaru, to sum it up succintly, it's basically the "music box" place. Well it does have a short canal to walk along/ take a short boat ride, as well as parks, the thing that caught our eyes was the sheer number of shops selling music boxes. And even though we visited on a weekend, most shops outside of the tourist ones were closed =S At least we didn't leave empty handed and got a custom made music box with the OST of Star Wars (which my friend is crazy of).  Another thing was that we visited in summer, so we couldn't get to see the snow light path that is recommended in most travel guides but just the summer version of the canal. Perhaps it's time to make a return to Otaru soon now that it's winter! (The great thing about having four seasons, something  hot, humid Singapore desperately needs, is that the same place can provide different experiences year round. What a treat!)

今は冬の季節から、皆雪景色の写真をアップしてばかりだが、私は逆で夏の経験をシェアする。冬が嫌いというわけではない(冬、雪、冬の寒さが大好きので、北海道に来た)。ただバイトを始めたから、旅行の時間が全然無くなるんだ。そして、地味な生活が好き上、温かい経験を思い出すと、温めくなり、ストーブを使う必要がない。(ちょっと電気代も下がるために、笑)

夏の時、シンガポール人の友達(その時東京で留学している)が私のアパートに泊まって来た。一緒に遠い所(富良野、函館とか)まで行かなかったが、札幌中央区と小樽は結構旅行した。

JLIの学生が集めたお勧め書で、色々な料理屋を食べてみに行った、回転寿司も、北海道有名なスープカレーも。その上、狸小路でシンガポールの料理屋も見つけた。その時まだ北海道に来たばかりから、シンガポール料理はあまり恋しくなくて、食べなっかった。でも半年が立って、一回食べてみたほうがいいんでしょう?

小樽なら、簡単に説明すれば、「ミュージックボックス」の所だった。確かに運河があって、パークもあるけど、一番目に触れるのはミュージックボックスの店だった。週末に行ったけど、旅行者のための以外の店がほとんど閉めてある。でも、手ぶらで帰ったことではなく、スター・ウォーズ のミュージックボックスを買った(その友達がすごくスター・ウォーズに熱狂している)。も一つは夏に行ったから、小樽雪あかりの路を見えなっかた。そろそろ又小樽に行く時間かな。(季節がある国は、良いことが同じ所が違う経験をあげられることだ。熱いより、蒸し暑いシンガポールもあれば、いいんなあ~)

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Time really flies and I can't believe I've stayed in Hokkaido on my own for almost half a year. Looking back, it felt like only yesterday when I first landed at Shin-Chitose Airport to embark on a new chapter in my life.

Oh and before I go on, perhaps a short introduction about myself would be appropriate. My name's Kasper =) I'm 24 and a fresh physics graduate from the National University of Singapore (graduated in May 2014). Most people would be wondering why a physicist would be spending his time in Japan studying the language but to give a real simple answer, I just love the place so much!  I'm not purely a physicist but I also minored in Japanese Studies during my college years and I am proud to say that it is also in this area where my true interests lie.  My experience so far has not led me to change my opinions about Japan in the slightest and am happy to report that I'm really enjoying life out here!

I have to admit though that I'm quite the introvert and hermit so staying at for most of the day does not bother me in the slightest. Not that it's the case right now as I juggle my studies, part-time job and planning for the near future so life's pretty hectic these days. Still, just a disclaimer for those reading, I don't travel much and have still yet to explore much of Hokkaido so don't be expecting me to share too many tour experiences and recommendations for places to visit =S I enjoy a simple life. Daily life in Japan also excites me. A visit to the nearby supermarket for groceries; getting a haircut; finding cheap and good places to eat on a regular basis; these can provide wonderful experiences too! Unless you're really loaded and really love to travel, I guess travelling would be a great way to spend time here but to all other average joes (hehe) like me and prospective students, try and enjoy the little things in life a little more. 

That said, do go out and enjoy yourself once in awhile, just to change it up now and then. And with that I end my post with a few pictures that I took roaming the streets of Sapporo when I first arrived. Expect more soon!

時間の立つが本当に早いだね。。。もうすぐ札幌に暮らすのが半年になるけで、初めて新千歳空港に到着のは昨日のようだった。

あ、進む前に、ちょっと自己紹介が必要だね!私はキャスパーと言う。24歳、シンガポール国立大学の物理学部卒業したばかりだ(2014年5月卒業した)。皆多分「どうして物理学者が日本にいるの?そしてなぜ日本語を勉強している?」を考えているはずが、簡単に答え、日本が大好きだ。私は大学生の時物理を勉強するだけじゃなく、日本研究のマイナーだ。そして、一番興味が持っているのは日本と日本の文化だ。今までの経験も私の観点を変わらせなく、今札幌の生活はとても楽しいのを報告したい!

でも、私はちょっとお宅的で、あまり家を出ないの私にかまわないんだ。今の生活はちょっと忙しいけで、バイトをしながら、学校と将来の設計をやっていて、遊ぶ時間があまりない。そして、北海道にまだ行ってない所が多いだ。だから今読んでいる人たち、旅をシェアするのを期待しないで!私は毎日普通の生活は私にとってすごく”エキサイティング”!近いのスーパーを買物しに行くのとか、安くていい料理屋を探すのとか、床屋へ髪の毛を切りに行くのとか、それもいい経験になれると思う。もしお金もちなら、もちろん楽しんで旅行へ行って。でも私と同じ庶民(笑)なら、普通の生活にもちょっと楽しんでね。それが経済的にもっとリアルになる。

そう言ったが、せっかく日本に来たら、時々旅に行くのはいいんじゃない?じゃ、今日はここまでで、札幌に来たところの写真をシェアする!じゃね!

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