Memoirs from the Homeland
Going back to Canada was a quick trip back to my culture that I seem to be losing grasp of as the years go by. Yoonho and I departed Tokyo together on Air Canada and arrived in Vancouver in the morning. We waited at the airport until dad arrived and the first thing I ate was some westcoast sushi… despite having just left Japan. No matter how many years I live in Japan, I always seem to eat sushi when I arrive in Vancouver.
We arrived at a nice time to be in Canada. It was colder than I imagined and even snowed hard a couple times.
Mother planned a random Christmas dinner since I wasn’t around and with the Christmas tree still up and the Christmas crackers popping, we celebrating a big happy holiday in February.
It was fun to show Yoonho Canada for his first trip across the pacific. I decided he couldn’t be in Canada without trying some skiing so we went cross-country skiing at Cypress… well I think we’ll stick to the beach for our next holidays because I will take a guess that skiing might not be Yoonho’s thing. However, I think the scenery was especially beautiful that night and despite some technical skiing problems and a car accident, I really had a great time!
Well after having lived in Southern Japan for 3 years and Tokyo for almost a year, I think it is time I visit the opposite extreme… land of snow and ice, crab and salmon… Only returning after a month to Japan, I am once again lucky to meet with my dear student, friend and “mysterious mother”, Kosuke.
Kosuke invited me to visit her hometown of Sapporo and I took her up on the offer and decided to fly from Seoul to Hokkaido as I slowly made my way back to Canada.
It was such a wonderful trip. A winter wonderland of ice festivals, skiing, constant snow and onsen!
The day after I arrived, Kosuke, Nori, Keiko and I went to supposedly the world’s largest onsen (hot springs)! Yes, pretty much my dream. We stayed in a gorgeous hotel with a view of winter scenery. I spent many hours soaking in the natural springs and enjoying the Japanese bath more than any other. If there is anything that I have learnt in living in Japan, it is the art of bathing. There is nothing quite like being in a large bath outside with incredible views and theraputic water.
In Sapporo we went to an ice festival, enjoyed kaiten zushi (rotating conveyor belt) which I must say, is better than any other in Japan. We went to the Sapporo Beer Garden and ate lamb and drank Sapporo beer in true Hokkaido fashion. It was such a great week to explore a new area of familiar, but new Japan.
Skiing was also a great experience since despite being from Canada, I am not a skiier. Kosuke, Nori and Keiko took me to Teine Mt. where I got on the skis and enjoyed hours of fun in some great conditions.
Kosuke and I went to Tokyo together to spend a night there before I depart for Canada. Kosuke’s and I decided to leave the comfort of Shinagawa Prince Hotel and I took her to explore Shinjuku Ni-chome’s night life. She was a natural and seemed to enjoy the charming atmosphere of my favourite area and practically my adopted hometown of Tokyo.