Last Day at JaLS and Summer Fireworks

Friday is grad day at JaLS

We couldn’t have picked a better day to end our 4 weeks of classes at Hokkaido Japanese Language School. It was our last day and we would be going to see fireworks in the evening. However, along with fireworks, comes yukataYukata are traditional Japanese clothing similar to kimono, but they are much lighter and less complex to put on. However, to us, the uninitiated, we needed help to put on these wonderful traditional pieces of clothing.

backside of a woman’s yukata

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Japanese Sweets Creation

Disclaimer: I hate cooking and I’m really bad at cooking. Perhaps I was emotionally scarred as a child against cooking or maybe I’m lazy or maybe I’m incompetent. I don’t know. Cooking is one of the most stressful things in my life. It makes me extremely anxious and grumpy whenever I cook.

Given my disclaimer, it’s amazing that I actually enjoyed our afternoon workshop on making Japanese sweets, or wagashi. This was yet another cultural experience workshop put on by the Hokkaido Japanese Language School, or JaLS. A whole gaggle of us students walked over to the Susukino area and to the Chuo Ward Office all the way at one end of Tanukikoji.

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Kimono Experience

What a way to start my third week at Hokkaido Japanese Language School, or JaLS. We had done taiko drumming the week before. Now on this Monday in July, we were heading off to our next cultural activity of the summer program – the kimono experience.

We headed out as a group to Tanukikoji, a busy covered shopping arcade in Sapporo. It was only a 15 minute walk from our school to a little kimono business, Mitsuki Sakura (美月桜), on the 5th floor of an office building just along the shopping arcade.

walking down Tanukikoji in kimonos

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Taiko Drumming

I am so happy that I signed up for the Summer Program at Japanese Language School Hokkaido, or JaLS. All the cultural activities included in the fee are really worthwhile. One afternoon, we were taken out of Sapporo’s centre to an area called Shin Kotoni (新琴似), which is accessible on one of the JR lines out of Sapporo Station.

We ended up in a very residential area of town. There were not many stores around and the station was relatively quiet. It certainly wasn’t a busy transport hub. We walked for about 15-20 minutes from the JR station to a tiny little building on a tiny little residential street.

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Hastings West Historic Walk – Part 10 | Academie Duello

Between Richards and Homer streets, our Vancouver Heritage Foundation‘s Historic Walking Tour of Hastings West stopped in front of a small one-storey building.  Large windows fronted the building.  Signs with the name Academie Duello were splashed above the entrance. Maurice pointed out that this small building may not be very outstanding, but the pillars contain some interesting architectural features.  He pointed out the crumbling sandstone.  … Continue reading Hastings West Historic Walk – Part 10 | Academie Duello

Attention BC – today is voting day!

Today is November 19th, 2011.  It’s voting day in all municipalities across the province.  Vote for the mayors, councillors, and trustess that you feel will make a difference in your community.  There’s no level of government closer to our daily lives that our municipal governments.  Get out and vote BC!  Polls are open 8am to 8pm. Continue reading Attention BC – today is voting day!

Closing 3 schools in one neighbourhood can’t be a good thing

Parents, teachers mobilize to protest against possible school closures — Vancouver Sun. How on earth did three schools all within a few blocks of each other land on the same chopping block?  Sir Guy Carleton Elementary, Collingwood Neighbourhood School, and Graham Bruce Elementary are all in the Collingwood neighbourhood in East Vancouver.  Carleton is home to one of the oldest surviving schoolhouses in the city.  … Continue reading Closing 3 schools in one neighbourhood can’t be a good thing

Where Have All the Children Gone? | BTAworks

Where Have All the Children Gone? | BTAworks. I think this is a great piece of research by BTAworks, Bing Thom Architect’s urban planning and research arm.  I read about this in the paper the other day, but newspapers never reference their work :S .  Not to worry.  Gordon Price posted a link on his Price Tags blog.  Thanks, Gordon. I’m a big fan of … Continue reading Where Have All the Children Gone? | BTAworks