Working Holiday on Otaru Project

WHOOP it up!「もりのきヘルパー's Blog」

made it up to Mt. Tengu!

2013.12.20 Friday | by zhiying#121
I could see the sea even as I was making my way uphill...

the view from cafe celan -- perfect stop for a lassi (and some soup curry if you're hungry!)  こだわりコーヒー豆も売ってるし


2013.12.18 Wednesday | by zhiying#121
everyone here is just too nice!

mayumi-san made breakfast for me too this morning...

it was so good!  Especially her own special creation of bread and cabbage cream chowder.  

And then for lunch, Masa-san treated Lulu (our new helper from Taiwan!) and I to tempura.


Too sad to be leaving such a nice place with such nice people.  And Huggu.  And Momo.  You'll all be missed!  

Thank you so much for everything!  I'll still be in Otaru for a bit though so I might just put up another post ...

meet butter-kun

2013.12.17 Tuesday | by zhiying#121

As always, I'm amused by Japanese packaging and characters.  And I actually rather like the butter caramels (butter-flavored caramel candies) too.

I went walking along Sakaimachi again today and popped into Sora.  I had seen plenty of lovely glasswares previously in other stores and had been really taken with the vibrant colors.  But being in Sora was almost like being in an art gallery.  I really love the modern, nature-inspired designs, with themes such as icebergs and solar skies.  It didn't quite feel right to be taking photos in the shop, so here's their website instead:

It's my last day at Morinoki tomorrow... I can't believe how quickly time flies by.  寂しくなりますね。


2013.12.16 Monday | by zhiying#121
I was in the mood for ramen, probably because it was rainy and miserable out.

This one's the shoyu version.  Nothing like some piping hot, handmade ramen to chase away the winter blues.

pretty postcard

2013.12.16 Monday | by zhiying#121
found at vivre sa vie + mi-yyu (

by (local?) artist, Hitoshi Hori

This one's of the Otaru Canal.

I also like these, by Matsuri Kaori:

Super cute!  Sold right here at the Morinoki shop.

Tara-chan, who's from Belgium and has been staying here for about 2 weeks left this morning.
: (
We'll miss your bubbliness, Tara-chan!

The revolving doors of life become ever more apparent when you're living in a hostel, where people come and go on a daily basis.  This is probably the end-of-year me talking, but, a big thank you to all the special people who have been in my life in 2013.  As we would say in Otaru Beer Hall (or well, Germany really), "Prost!"

otaru beer party II

2013.12.15 Sunday | by zhiying#121
right here at morinoki with beer made by masa-san.

love how it's shaped like an actual beer can.  It's party, party, party everyday here!

Ooooo and there was handmade soba too.  

sky, sea and snow

2013.12.15 Sunday | by zhiying#121


2013.12.15 Sunday | by zhiying#121

I was invited to join a dinner of delicious Hokkaido hairy crab, tempura and yudoufu (a kind of tofu vinegared soup).

I never knew that hairy crabs were in fact spiky.  

And actually look kinda scary:

Next was some tower-building fun.  First with crab shells:

Then with Reese pieces, butter caramels and the random mini beer mug (made of real glass!)

Throw in a cellphone:

Or two:

And you've got yourself a tower.

Thanks for the fun night guys!  

Had lots of fun last night too with people from no less than 6 different countries.  It's great getting to hang out with so many different people here.
: )

day trip to sapporo

2013.12.13 Friday | by zhiying#121
where apparently PANDA CLAUS is waiting to celebrate a pink Christmas.

The weather was pretty bad (think delayed trains and all) but nothing that some pretty Christmas lights couldn't fix.  There was also the Munich Christmas Market in Odori Park.  Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

last month of the year!

2013.12.12 Thursday | by zhiying#121
So it's almost the end of the year again and here at Morinoki, we made hand-printed New Year postcards with a Print Gocco screen-printing set.  Apparently, this product from the company, Riso, has been around since the late-seventies.

So many colors and so much fun.

After the first round, we had the background colors in place:

And then we printed on the main design in brown, bronze and the occasional black:


Waaaay cooler than store-bought cards, right?