New Life in Hakodate

Posted April 14th, 2010 in Ume's Interests 2 Comments »

I received a letter from a former student of mine whom I used to teach English in 2005.  I was in Japan that time to stay with my family after graduating cookery school in Perth.  I wanted to work while I was in Japan to yearn some money as well as to gain experience in cooking.  I got a job at a hotel as a cook in the bakery department and it was pretty busy (and super strict environment), but I also wanted to do something related to English.  I started a kids English teacher job shortly after starting the job in the kitchen.  I wasn’t planning to be such a busy person as it was supposed to be my home-coming holiday and was going to stay in Japan for only up to 8 months.  My husband (boyfriend that time) was in Perth and I felt guilty leaving him, but I really wanted to be in Japan as I couldn’t go back to Japan often while I was a student at TAFE.  

During the period, I bought a car (you will need a car to live in Shiga) and worked everyday.  Plus, I had to – … well, I wanted to – cook dinner for my family everyday as my parents were divorced just a while ago and there’re only my dad, bro and grandma at my house.  It was busy, but I felt good being with my family 🙂  The job as an English teacher for kids was totally new thing to me.  I never thought I would be a teacher!  But there was an opportunity and I thought I would try.  I’m not a “kids” type of person and I didn’t really know how to be with kids, but I tried and I had such wonderful experience. 

My students were between 3 and 7 years old, and 3 years old boy couldn’t even talk Japanese much :p  But amazingly 5 years old boy could speak English very well!  I think his English pronunciation was much better than mine :p  

… anyway, I stayed in Japan for 7 months, and then came back to Perth.  When I was leaving the teacher job, my students and their mothers were saying things such as ” we’ll miss you” and “please keep in touch” .  I started the job just for curiosity, and I didn’t think that it’d be such emotional good-bye when I quit.  Since then I’ve been in touch with them and they still call me “sensei” (teacher) 🙂

The letter I received was from Kiryu, who was 6 years old back then.  The letter was saying that they no longer live in Shiga, are now living in Hakodate city in Hokkaido.  His mother and I were pretty close too, and they sent me some photos.  Oh my gosh, Hokkaido is such a nice place –  I’ve been to Sapporo city (the capital city of Hokkaido) with my family once, and I loved everything… the atmosphere, food and the climate.  

According to the mother, the food in Hakodate is amazing (especially seafood) and Hakodate is famous for shio ramen (ramen noodle in salt broth) (Sapporo is famous for miso ramen (ramen noodle in miso broth).  Their new house is at the foot of Mt. Hakodate-yama, and is surrounded by famous tourist attraction places.  I am definitely visiting them!  😀


(photos from the mother)

2 Comments on “New Life in Hakodate”

  1. 1 Megan said at 9:14 am on April 15th, 2010:

    Ohhhh Hakodate! It’s one of our favourite places. Actually everywhere we have been on Hokkaido is beautiful! We want to live there too. You can see our visit last year here:
    Ume, it’s great that you were an English teacher in Japan. You have done so many different things!

  2. 2 umepontarou said at 10:33 am on April 15th, 2010:


    I saw your post about Hokkaido 🙂
    Mt Hakodate sure is one of the famous tourist places across Hokkaido! The food looks so amazing… 😀
    I’ve never been there. I stayed only around Sapporo city. I will definitely want to travel around Hokkaido next time 😀

    Yes I’ve done many things in my life, and all the experience built current “Ume” 😀
    Although it was such a short period of time, being a teacher was one of the amazing thing I’ve done in my life.

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