Japan Diaries 4: Weekend 16

Weekend 16: February 19-20, 2022

Day 110: February 19, 2022

Saturday: Rumoi City Weekend Walks

Good morning everyone! It's a fine cold day today here in Rumoi City. It only means one thing... It's a perfect day to stroll around Rumoi City. 

Souvenir Shop Okatteya Moe

It's my first time to see Kazumochan change the diapers of her baby

Can you spot Kazumochan inside the vault?

Kazumochan - Rumoi City's mascot

The first place that I visited today was the おみやげ処 お勝手屋 萌 or Souvenir Shop Okatteya Moe which also serves as the Rumoi Information Center near JR Rumoi Terminal. Just to share, this building was formerly a bank that's why you'd see the city mascot Kazumochan inside a bank vault. 

Rumoi River in Winter

From there, I circled and headed back toward my neighborhood to check the Rumoi River. During my latest visit, the river was already frozen over and won't be easily identified had you not known it was there. 

Grocery shopping in Maxvalu Rumoi

I followed the riverbanks of the Rumoi River until I reach Maxvalu. I went in to buy some groceries and some personal stuff. It was already dark when I finished shopping aside from that I had to walk for about 1.7 kilometers to get back home. 

The eastern side of Rumoi as seen from the Minamimachi district

The long walk was cold so I cooked sukiyaki to warm me up. By now, this dish is probably the dish that I have made the most number of times. Regardless, I won't get tired of this awesome dish. After dinner, I chatted with my wife, and before calling it a day I did my nighttime dip in my hot tub. Well, that wraps up my 110th day here in Japan. See you tomorrow!

Day 111: February 20, 2022

Sunday: Bonding with the Rumoi Block ALTs

Brrrr... it's a very cold morning! ⛄⛄❆❅❄ It's been snowing hard last night and was still snowing when I woke up. 

My breakfast for today

I wanted to go out for another walk but decided that it's better that I do my laundry and clean the house instead because I will be going out for dinner with the other ALTs later. 

We boarded the Engan bus to Onishika

We arrived at the Onishika bus stop 

We were too early for our meet-up schedule in Sumire

My chores took up most of the day and that afternoon, I met with the other Rumoi City ALTs and we boarded the bus going to Onishika in Obira Town. The other ALTs will be heading there too. We were planning to eat at Sumire which is a Syokudo and Teishoku restaurant. 

Onishika, Obira
Just like that, a blizzard engulfed Onishika 

Joshua, Kiaya, and I arrived about an hour early and was shocked at how quickly the weather changed from normal cold winter day to blinding blizzard-like conditions. We looked for a place to stay for a bit and the 100-meter walk from the bus stop going to the nearby Onishika Seicomart was like crossing a raging river.

We had a change of venue. We decided to hold our reunion at Kura instead.

After buying something to drink and munch while waiting for the others to arrive, we walked back to the direction of Sumire and found a warm bus waiting shed. We stayed there while waiting for the others to arrive. When the others arrived, we were shocked to discover that Sumire is already closing for the day. 

Kura has a nice banner

Rumoi Block ALTs 2/20/22

Luckily, the restaurant in front of it, Kura, still accepts customers. Hence, we chose to hold our Rumoi Block ALT bonding there. Those who were present were the 2 ALTs of Tomamae, the Haboro ALT and her family, the Obira ALT, and us, the Rumoi City ALTs.

Kura's kaisen ramen

Because Kura can only accommodate a limited number of people due to COVID-19 restrictions, it suddenly became exclusive to us for the night. I ordered the Kaisen ramen and beer. It was great to catch up and chat with the other ALTs. 

We left at around 8PM which was just in time for the last bus back to Rumoi City. 

Overall, despite the snowstorm, I can say that our trip to Onishika was totally worth it as there were a lot of things that happened in the past months that were worth talking about over beer and food. I'm looking forward to the next bonding of the group.

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