Japan Diaries 4: Weekend 9

Weekend 9: January 1-2, 2022

Day 61: January 1, 2022

Saturday - New Year, New Adventures

Happy New Year everyone! My Filipino friends and I stayed up late waiting for the clock to strike 12 to celebrate New Year. Although our Media Noche was not as grand as what we usually have back in the Philippines, we were contented with being with each other and celebrating this holiday together.

Me and my friends finalizing our Certificate of Eligibility

Since we stayed up late, naturally we also woke up late. We spent the whole morning finalizing our paperwork for the Certificate of Eligibility (COE) application so that we could bring our family here to Japan. We are planning to submit these to the Sapporo Immigration Office on January 5th. 

Here's our New Year's meal

Drinking Sapporo beer in Sapporo City

We decided to just stay at home the whole day to rest and make our itinerary for the next few days. Before sleeping we watched the film Brightburn. Overall, we might not have visited any new place today but we managed to accomplish Overall, we might not have visited any new place today but we managed to accomplish most of the requirements for our COEs which made us more confident to submit them. 

Day 62: January 2, 2022

Sunday - Exploring Sapporo City

Good morning everyone, we woke up early today to prepare for the first mass of the year. In Filipino culture, we usually attend Holy Mass on the first day of the year. However, since we were unable to do that yesterday we took the opportunity now to attend one especially since it's a Sunday. 

Attended worship service at Latter-Day Saints for the first time.

However, for this mass, I won't be going to a traditional Catholic Mass but to a Latter-Day Saints (LDS) worship service. To be honest, I'm a bit anxious as it would be my first time to do so. Regardless, I have no issues attending celebrations and worship services of other religions as long as I'm welcome in their place of service and it promotes peace and respect for other beliefs. 

Tozai Subway Line Station list

We were picked up by Ai-san that morning and then went to the Shinoro Chapel for today's worship service. Overall, it is similar to how some Christian denominations celebrate their masses but this one focuses a lot on testimonials and sharing of their members. Since it's a small community, its members were close like family and they were happy to see new faces attend their services. Hence, after the mass, we met most of the church's members. We were even driven home by one of its members. 

Tozai Subway Line - Sapporo City

Tozai Subway Line Stations Sapporo 1 - 9

That afternoon, we headed to central Sapporo as my friends wanted to revisit the 2nd Street Oyachi Shop beside Oyachi Station because there was a big sale they wanted to go shopping for. Since we are buying the Donichika Ticket (520 yen), I told my friends that I wanted to make the most of my ticket by going on an eki-stamp hunt along the Tozai Line. Since my friends knew that I collect eki-stamps, there were very supportive of my plans. 

Tozai Subway Line Stations Sapporo 10 - 15

We parted ways at Odori Station on the Tozai Line. They proceeded to Oyachi Station while I headed to the Miyanosawa Station which was the first station of the Tozai Line.

My self-imposed rule for this eki stamp hunt is simple. I'd board down the station, take a photo of the station name, locate the eki-stamp and stamp it in my travel diary. I then head back and hop on the next train bound for the next station. In addition, I won't use elevators and escalators in the station. Although that sounds very easy, it was actually challenging. Some eki-stamps were hard to spot aside from that, there were 19 stations in the Tozai Line compared to the Namboku Line with 16 and Toho with only 14.  Regardless, I mastered asking the line "Eki stamp was doko desu ka?"  

Tozai Subway Line Stations Sapporo 16 - 19

Overall, it took me about 4 hours to complete the hunt. I also probably burned hundreds of calories in brisk walking combined with going up and down the steps of the stations. Coincidentally, I finished my eki stamp hunt as my friends finished shopping. 

Tozai Subway Line Stamps 1

From Shin Sapporo, the last station of the Tozai Line, I just hopped on the train to Oyachi Station to meet my friends at the 2nd Street Oyachi Shop. I did a quick look at the things sold in the shop and was astonished to see a good condition pre-loved randoseru (Japanese school bag) which my daughter would surely love. The bag costs only 950 yen. A brand-new randoseru fetches from 29k to 100k yen depending on the brand and quality.

Tozai Subway Line Stamps 2

Tozai Subway Line Stamps 3

From the 2nd Street Oyachi Shop, we boarded the subway at Oyachi Station going to Odori Station. We transferred to Namboku Line going to Sapporo Station. Before moving to the Gakuentoshi Line we decided to look for a place to eat dinner first so that we won't cook at home anymore. We settled in Yoshinoya in Sapporo Station. I ordered a set meal as I was really famished from all the walking. 

Yoshinoya at Sapporo Station

After eating, we walked to the western side of Sapporo Station to buy tickets for the Gakuentoshi Line going home. We reached my friend's house at around 9PM. We didn't stay up late that night as we were tired from today's activities. Well, that's all for today, see you for tomorrow's trip!

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