Japan Diaries 4: Week 40

Week 40: August 1-5, 2022

Day 273: August 1, 2022

Monday - Asahikawa with Matsuda-sensei

My wife and daughter left for Asahikawa thanks to the Free Bus Day of Engan Bus

Good morning everyone! It's the start of another week. What's special about today is that Engan Bus is offering a Free Bus Day to Asahikawa City. My wife and daughter didn't miss this opportunity they rode the 8:08AM Engan Bus at the Motokawa-cho bus stop for a day of fun in Asahikawa City.

Matsuda-sensei and I are also going to Asahikawa City

It's a beautiful day to go on a road trip

As for me, I filed for a nenkyu (paid leave) today because I'm also going to Asahikawa City, not with my family but with my JTE Matsuda-sensei. He accompanied me to the Asahikawa Local Private Automobile Association, and then to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, Hokkaido Transport Bureau, and Asahikawa Transport Branch to legally transfer the shaken and ownership of Guy's car to me. 

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, Hokkaido Transport Bureau, and Asahikawa Transport Branch

There were only a few people so the process was fast

The whole process took less than an hour to accomplish. Once we got to the updated shake, Matsuda-sensei called the insurance company to apply for my insurance. The insurance company was quick to work on it and even before we left the parking lot, I was told that we could drive the car by 4PM today as it was already covered by insurance. 

Asahikawa Roadside Station

Asappy was there to greet us

Asahikawa Ramen with a lot of menma

Before heading home, Matsuda-sensei and I went to Asahikawa Roadside Station to eat lunch. We ordered ramen with a generous amount of menma toppings. 

Matsuda-sensei gave me a copy of the Rumoi Shinbun featuring Mugi

From there, we drove back to Rumoi City, and before dropping me home, we first went to Rumoi City Hall to inquire about the COVID-19 vaccination. My wife and daughter arrived home by bus at around 5:16PM. They brought some food like McDonald's and Mister Donuts. Something that made me miss home. 

Day 274: August 2, 2022

Tuesday - Rumoi

Rumoi High School 8/2/2022

It's a very rainy Tuesday morning. Today, I'm heading back to Rumoi High School for work. Like last week, I spent the day studying Japanese. However, today, I started re-using Visual Learning Japanese which is an online learning course provided by the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) to Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs).

Time to study Japanese

At the end of the day, I accomplished 20% of the beginner's course.

After work, Matsuda-sensei drove and accompanied me to the Rumoi Health Welfare Center Heartful to register for my COVID-19 vaccination. We were told that my 2 doses of Sinovac aren't recognized here in Japan and I would have to "restart" my first dose using a different brand. Regardless, I am scheduled for my first dose of either Moderna or Pfizer this coming September. 

Driving Ruru to COOP for the first time

My wife enjoyed her first driving experience in Japan

When I got home, my wife and I took our car for a spin for the first time. Our first destination is none other than, you guessed it right, COOP for groceries. 

Day 275: August 3, 2022

Wednesday - Rumoi (Golden Beach Rumoi)

Rumoi High School 8/3/2022

It's the middle of the week and thank goodness it is now sunny. As usual, I spent my time at Rumoi High School studying Japanese using the VLJ course. 

Rumoi Shinkin Bank

During the lunch break, Matsuda-sensei and I went to Rumoi Shinkin Bank to have my cash card updated so that I could use it for my car insurance auto-deduct payments.

Preparing to head out again

We went to Homac to look for camping equipment

This one is perfect for camping by the beach

After work, my family and I drove to Nakaseki Rumoi Minami Service Station to have the car interior cleaned. This costs 1500 yen. Since it is near Homac, we went there to canvass some camping equipment but chose to buy only folding chairs as the tents are either expensive or small for three people. 

Next stop: Golden Beach Rumoi

It's a beautiful day to go to the beach

Passed by Cape Ogon

There was still some sunlight left when we finished our shopping at Homac so my wife and I decided to drive to Golden Beach Rumoi to watch the sunset. However, before that, we bought some food and snacks first.

Team Nicerio revisits Golden Beach Rumoi

When we got to the beach, there were already plenty of campers there enjoying the sand and the sunset. We set up our chairs, ate our snacks, played badminton, and enjoyed the view. Some mosquitos tried to ruin the moment but they were gone as quickly as they came. 

Overall, my wife is getting the hang of driving here in Japan. For this weekend, we're planning to go to a different town and explore it. #Hokkaido179

Day 276: August 4, 2022

Thursday - Rumoi (Senbodai)

Rumoi High School 8/4/2022

A few more days until the weekend! I'm back at Rumoi High School and for today's work, I continued studying Japanese using the VLJ course. I managed to finish Level 1 Unit 1 which means I only have four more units left to finish so that I can finish the level. 

Back to Homac to buy more camping equipment

When I got home, my family and I drove to Homac again to buy more camping equipment. We also finally made up our minds and bought a tent. We also bought some battery-powered LED lights and a mini table. 

Team Nicerio revisits Senbodai

From there, we went to MaxValu and bought some snacks before driving off to another destination in Rumoi City. This time, we went to Senbodai which is some 15 minutes away from MaxValu

We were the only ones on the hill when we arrived but the good thing was that the place was well-illuminated. We set up our picnic table on top of the huge boulder with the name Senbodai on it. 

I have long wanted to go up to Senbodai and view the night lights of Rumoi City. Finally, it came to fruition today, and not only that, but I also got to have a picnic under the stars with my family. Overall, buying Guy's car is really one of the best decisions that I made here so far. Now, I'm looking forward to the weekends. 

Day 277: August 5, 2022

Friday - Rumoi

Rumoi High School 8/5/2022

Friday oh Friday! It's another beautiful day made sweeter by the fact that the article about Mugi-chan passing Eiken Grade 1 was published in Hokkaido Shinbun which is a prefecture-wide newspaper. It's something that made me proud as I was along with her on this journey. 

I got a copy of the Hokkaido Shinbun  

Aside from that, my co-teacher and friend Chiba-sensei gave me a concert ticket as a gift. The concert will be held in the Rumoi Bunka Center on September 22. Something to look forward to. 

Thank you Chiba-sensei

Like in the past few days, I spent my whole day here in Rumoi High School studying Japanese using the VLJ course. Hopefully, at the end of this month, I get to finish the course and also be proficient in Japanese. 

When I got home, we spent the night preparing for our road trip. Please check out where we are heading by clicking Japan Diaries 4: Weekend 40 below.

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  1. You are lucky to have a nice JTE like Matsuda-sensei. My JTE sucks. I'm not going to mention where I work as an ALT as she's been working there for a long time and seems to have no plans of being reassigned somewhere else.

    1. Matsuda-sensei is really an awesome JTE. I hope you get to meet an ALT like him in the future.


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