Working Holiday on Otaru Project

WHOOP it up!「もりのきヘルパー's Blog」

Full of experiences

2010.07.13 Tuesday | by leanna@2010
 Hello all! Again, its been a while since I've blogged... here I go...

watashi wa isogashoo desu.

I am keeping keeping very busy here in Otaru.

My lovely friends have showed me many new sights and taught me many things. My brain is very full. Can I say.. Atama Ipai, in Japanese...

Gifts from my new friend! Thank you Yoshi-san
special gifts!
Roses! ii-nioi!

This table is full of goodness. Beautiful homemade pottery, fresh sakurambo (cherrys are now in season), maacha, delicious treats from the bakery close by and ofcourse loving company to enjoy it all with. Oh yes, the view outside is mezmerising too! Ii negame!
maccha delight!

Nihon-jin ga Atama- ii desu. <--- Here i'm trying to say that Japanese people are so smart! Below, i found this parkade fascinating! You drive the car onto the platform, then the machine takes your car up and rotates around. These parking lots are effective, efficient, convient, small and compact. Much better then large concrete parking lots we have in North America. We have many things to learn from this country!
car parkade

Kumiko-san and I enjoy my first cream Zenzai (icecream, sweet adsuki beans and whip cream... hmm delicious) Oishikatta)
cream zenzai

Craft time! Below, I choose from the many colours to create a glass bead!
choosing a colour!

Bead making! Using fire to melt colourful glass= a marvelous glass bead (what is the name in Japanese? I forgot, i'm sorry)
bead making!

Wishing tree!
making a wish
wishing time... hmmm... what would I wish for?

Okay everyone!

Always, thankyou for taking the time to read my blog!

To longlasting sunshine! Love! Light!

jaa-ne mata-ne!

Bye Bye!

Lean =)

I am open to the flow of abundance!

2010.07.07 Wednesday | by leanna@2010

hello! konnichiwa!

WOW. My life here in Japan is wonderful.

Surrounded by beautiful people, who are generous, kind, loving, helpful, wise, supportive, caring the list goes on. I am soo grateful, thankful for all the gifts I have been given and am full of happiness!

Thomas, the driver sensei.. thank you Thomas! and Nozomi the map sensei.... thank you Nozomi! (i'm in the back, taking it easy as these to lovely people graciously take the reigns of the day!) Desination... Shiribeshi! On the way... we stopped at many places... here are some pictures of the day! I would love to put them all up, but here are some!
Thomas and Nozomi with our rental car

Uma you are so beautiful! I love the grace, strength, gentlessness, and deep wisdom that horses (uma) possess.
Uma wa daisuki desu.
beautiful uma!

In a land far, far away.... a castle... in Japan.. one might think I am no longer in Japan, but in Europe?
Yes. Japan has it all.

A spiritual walk to a lighthouse....
walk to the light house

Ii Negame. View seen from my eyes, through my camera... How full of beauty my mind becomes as I continue to capture all of these sights!
views! on the many beautiful!

A Divine power is felt. A divine power is seen.

Ofcorse, the day wouldn't be complete, without some gohan!
Here I "enjoy" ( it wasen't my favourite), but i had to try it! This is uni (Sea Urchan) Very famous and is in season right now in Shiribeshi/Yoishi area.
It melts in your mouth. Very strange tasting experience. The taste, I cannot describe. Please try for yourself.

Today I was a guest at Tomoko-san's english class at her cafe Merino in Otaru.
There I met this very kind man, Yoshi-san. He is also a potter and has a beautiful pottery studio named "Fushitsu Do" located in enchanting Oshoro! He generously took me his studio. Wow this place is so peaceful, I felt like I was floating on a cloud. He's home and workplace is located right on the a hill overlooking the vast ocean! I am in awe and inspired!
This is the next day. Today!
Here I enjoy delicious crossiants (made from this very popular bakery in Oshoro, next to Yoshi-san's pottery studio) Oishikatta! All while staring at the beautiful ocean (umi)! I am soo lucky!

Today's creations! Yoshi kindly let me create some art on his pottery!
the makings of art!

My days are lovely!! And I am grateful for all the beautiful gifts, surprises and people I've met!

Always, thank you for reading!

To yet another day!

Matte ne!


A full week! Exciting. New. Precious.

2010.07.05 Monday | by leanna@2010
 Konnichiwa! Konbanwa!

My days seem to fill up very quickly in Otaru.

I feel I'm serving a purpose here.

Thus, it has been a long time since I have blogged.

Currently, I am on a vacation here at Morinoki's, as Thomas is the helper of the week. Afterwords, though I will be back to work.

Where to start.. always the hardest part.

Here is a brief overview of what last week had to offer.

Kani (Crab). Kore wa kani desu. My new friend Kumiko-san graciously served this delicious crab for lunch. Hiru-gohan ni kani o tabimashita. (is this Japanese correct?) I'm trying....
|Crab. Kani!

All you can eat cherries! Totemo Oishikatta! Very Delicious!
Sakurarambo gari! Koko ni Yoichi desu.
Cherry Picking
Thank you Kumiko-san! Tanoshikatta! Whats not to love about all you can eat cherries? Okay... my stomach wasen't very happy with me... but it was worth it.

Okay... The universe has heard my requests and I am receiving! "I would love to make pottery." So now, many people have come into my life that make pottery! Thank you! Arigato gozaimasu! I am so grateful!
Kumiko-san's beautiful pottery! I am inspired!
Kumikos pottery
Kumiko-sans uchi (home) in Sapporo. Where all the magic of pottery making happens!

The Magic Kiln! Cooking all the lovely Pottery!
the magic kiln!

Made with love... I did my best... and this is the result! hehe.. I look forward to making more!
More pottery I made
created by watashi wa! (me)

Sapporo wa hiru-gohan ni pan-ya o tabimashita!
In Sapporo we had this delicious bread for our lunch.
pan-yah hiru-gohan with Kumiko
Nihon ni takusan pan-ya ga arimasu.

I went for yet another walk around Otaru and stumbled across a delightful sign that read "Wellness" and I gladly went inside to discover this very nice person. We chatted in Japanese/English, as I practiced all the japanese I knew, we were able to communicate just fine though! It amazing how communication works, and how language acts as a barrier, but a common ground can be established. I am forever amazed by this and have made many interesting connections with people here in Japan.
My new Tomodachi (friend) Yoshinari Wakayama. A Chiropractor here in otaru.
Todays adventure...My new tomodachi!
Ichigo Ichie!

A beautiful end to the day!

Thank you for today!


Ofcorse, thank you all for taking the time to read my blog!

Riana (my name in japanese)
Lean-chan =)

More Suprises!

2010.06.30 Wednesday | by leanna@2010
 Hi Konnichiwa! Hello~!

Thank you for your patience, as it has been a few days since I've blogged.
I know you have all been waiting! hehe =)

Okay, so I've offically lost track of days.. as time is flying by here in Otaru! So many new and exciting experiences.

To start...

Beach time!

The weather has been so beautiful (totemo kirei) and atsui (hot) that beach time has came early! Yatta!

I thought I would have to wait until the end of my trip in the south of Japan to go to the beach.....

Here is Chikko Seaside!

Otaru beach (wing bay)

Otaru Coastal Foot Path (Akaiwa and Otamoi Coasts)
This is the view from a "leisurely hike" that i thought we were going on.. turned out to be a good 3 hour uphill hike! Wearing my hiking attire.. a dress and sandles... haha, although challenging, it was worth it to see all these beautiful sights. Ii negame!

Ohh what beauty my eyes have seen!
iie negame (View from hike)

Finally! We made it to the beach, after a sweaty, long hike, here we spend the rest of the day until sunset at Ranshima beach! Ahhh... soo refreshing!
beach2 Ranshima beach
One of the most relaxing, times of day... the sun setting... =) *SMILES
Ranshima beach

Time for food!
Gohan desu.

Ohh how I love Japanese food!

Soba Noodle dish!

I ate bird eggs! Uzura no tamago. They are actually very nice tasting.
bird eggs

Suprise Leanna! Your going to be on the Radio!
Okay... so I thought I was just visiting FM Otaru 76.3 radio station headquaters, but it turns out they put me on the radio! Wow was I nervous and shocked! hahah another unexpected moment here in Japan!
FM Radio station 76.3

Okay.. next... is going to be very interesting to all the Canadian people!

Here in Otaru the stream clock is the same make, as the one in Gastown Vancouver!
When I arrived in Otaru I instantly connected with its vibe and felt right at home and then yesturday I was told that we have similar steam clock in vancouver..

Here.. take a look!  Totemo Omoshiroi (very interesting)!

Gastown Vancouver
steamclock information

Otaru to me, is a very special place. I recommend people spending more time here to explore and see all that it has to offer! There is so much beauty, life, delicious food and its full of suprises..... truly a hidden gem!

All those in Vancouver, I know would love the vibe here as well!

Deffiently a place to add to your travel lists of places to see!



I appreciate you all taking the time to read my blog!

Domo Arigato Gozaimus!

Much Love!


Going with the flow of the day...

2010.06.27 Sunday | by leanna@2010

Good evening all!

Nows my chance to blog...

Full days! New Sights! People! Places! Smells! Tastes! Stimulating all the senses!

Here I start the day watching Japanese drums (Kokyo)!

Japanese Drum (Kokyo)

Lunch time! Gohan desu! Agekamaboko Burger from Kamaei shop!

Kamaei (Shops name)Agekamaboke Burger
oishkatta! delicious!

Very hot day in Otaru! Atsui desu!

Kyo wa atsui desu!

Otaru Canal! Its so beautiful! Walking along feels very european... many venders selling their beautiful works of art etc...
Otaru CanalMore Otaru Canal

Continuing along the harbour, I find these japanese boats fascinating to look at.

Otaru Harbour

Under the bridge. Side of the canal. I like this angle.
i liked this sceen

Fountain! I also find fountains lovely places to relax and look at!

I dip my feet in the water to cool down! Kyo wa totemo Atsui desu! Such a hot day, walking around.. much needed break!

Japanese school childrens buses! Soo colourful and happy.. i like them!

japanese children school buses?

Treasures under the bridge!

treasures under the bridge!

Intricate tree I found walking in Otaru park!

Intricate tree

A rare flower i found all by itself amongst the forest.


So many beautiful flowers (hana)!
more hana

Lastly, Here is a collection of all the garbage we found floating in the sea.
Today.... many people gathered together and took boats out to sea, to collect all the foreign material (its amazing what we found!)... Felt so good to help clean up the ocean, and amazed at how much we all collected. Here the Sea Scouts gather the garbage into bags.
Together we are all making a difference. Good feeling.
beach clean up time

Rewarding! Lovely! Eventful days here in Otaru!

Okay...nemui! Oyasumi nasai!

Good night!

Always... thank you for reading.


My life in Otaru

2010.06.25 Friday | by leanna@2010

Hi! Konnichiwa! Readers!

Its perhaps a mixture of Days 6, 7 (ish)

Hope you enjoy...

(Note to everyone) Also, I will be practicing some japanese words that I know throughout the blogs!

Here, I enjoy the sanctuary of the temple grounds.....This Otera (temple) is located close to Morinoki's.... I am happy because I love temples! Daisuki Otera desu!

Otera (temple)

Beautiful View of Otaru from the temple! Ii Negame!
View from Otera

Here I say Good Evening! Konbanwa! to this Garden Nome that lives at the temple!

On my walk, I stop to capture this view of Otaru's railway tracks!
Railway tracks in Otaru

To my surprise!! Here are BIG (Okii) Pot and Tea Pot! WOW! I think. "Who would use these? and What for?" Omoshiroi! (Interesting)
Okii (Big) Pot and Tea Pot

Another sight on my walk... here is an alleyway in Otaru! Very Japanese.
Otaru Allyway

And the last moment captured on film for the day... I liked the yellow (Kiiroi) house and the red (aka) (In Canada some people call this combination Ketchup and Mustard... =)
Yellow house! Red Car. Ketchup and Mustard!

Well that's all I have for today!

To another day!

Thanks for reading!

Arigato gozaimus!

Gracious, Generous People!

2010.06.23 Wednesday | by leanna@2010
 Day 4-5(ish)

(Days blend together, so my counting of the days may be a little off =)

Gifts of the day....

Wonderful people have entered my life while in Japan! Making all my dreams come true!

1st Dream of making pottery!
Pottery Class! (Sachi Ko, so kindly took me to her Pottery class)
Pottery Class!

Yatta! This is what I made!! (With help from Chiba, (The Sensei (teacher)) It will be ready at the end of August! Long time... but Exciting!

I made =) with help from my Sensei

All of us gather together for a
delicious meal that Ayano-san and Nanaka-san generously made to share with all of us!

Me, Faye-san, Ayano-san, Yoneda-san, Naoko-san <----my lovely Japanese teacher (Sensei) Passionate Teacher! Shes sooo patient, kind and helpful, I'm learning sooo much! Thank you! Arigatou Gozaimasu! (2nd dream to take Japanese lessons)

Beautiful Suprises!
 Oishii katta! Gochiso-sama deshita!

Play time with Hugu! Kawaii!!
Hagu!Hagu your funny!
Hugu biting my finger, but puppy teeth do not hurt!

Many beautiful Views here in Otaru!

Otarus beauty!beautiful drives in Otaru!
more views!I love japan
Japan, you make me smile everyday! Nihon wa daisuki desu! 

Okay thats all I have for now!

See you again soon!

Mata Ne!

Lucky Day!

2010.06.21 Monday | by leanna@2010

Day 3 ...

"I am open to the possiblities of the day"

WOW! Another unexpected, full day!
< BR> Otaru has given me many gifts .... through people, places, things! Thank you!

First ... Faye and I decided to take a walk downtown, passing all the delicious cake shops, I insist we go inside! (I love cakes)

Japan has abundant amount of cake shops! (Many many samples too!) YUM!

 Japanese Cake Shop

This I found interesting .. .. a clock with a sign indicating the weather! Kind of hard to see .. a cloud is glowing under the clock .... indicating its cloudy! Hehhe I find the simple things interesting ....< BR>
clock / weather report

We stoped to watch a small parade ...
small parade

Here we all enjoy eachothers company over drinking some seaweed tea, graciously given to us for free in a seaweed store!
< BR> Loc from Vietnam ... we met near the parade! Quite the mix of countries, Taiwan, Canada and Vietnam! (Ohh traveling brings you together with soo many cultures I love it!!) Well, we all had a very special day together filled with too many precious moments to describe!

Loc .. friend from Vietnam

This sculpture, I found very interesting!

 very interesting wall sculpture

Romantic Otaru Canal!
 Romantic Otaru canal!
Good night Otaru!

Hope you enjoyed! Ofcorse, more to come!! =)

Hidden Gem= Otarunai Backpackers' Hostel MorinoKi

2010.06.19 Saturday | by leanna@2010

My First Blogging experience ...
Hope you all enjoy .....

Here I go .... 

Morinoki's Backpackers is a Hidden Gem! I'm so happy Faye, my friend and fellow wwoofer, Told me about this place! Thank You!

As soon as I stepped into Morinoki's and was greeted by Masa and looked around, I thought ...." Wow I am in heaven! "The View .... beautiful .... The atmosphere .... cozy. The people ..... welcoming and friendly ... What a treasure this place is!

Hammock Oasis .... I will be daydreaming / relaxing here a lot!
Otaru Morinokis Oasis Hammock
Magic Ball!
 Magic ball in Morinoki!

Full of Events here at Morinoki's ... My first evening ... Sudo-san, Soba Master, came over with his handmade soba (he made and cut himself). With help from Masa he cooked and then we all had a delicious soba feast! Oishi katta!!

fresh handmade soba. Masa and Sudo-san, cooking soba 40 seconds!
Soba Time with Sudo Masaji, the Soba master  Team work. The 40 second cooking of Fresh Handmade Soba!

Setting table to have Soba feast!
Time to Eat!
Totemo Oishi katta!


Planting Soba .... early 6 am beautiful morning ... we drive about 20 minutes into the countryside, through tunnels, passing the ocean, beautiful mountains, lush forests, Staring out the window, I `M always inawe of Japans beauty!

Planting Soba for Soba Project! I feel so greatful to be apart of it! What great timing!

Preparing to plant the Soba Seeds!
Preparing to plant the soba!  Soba Project!

Together we spread the soba seeds. Grow Soba! Grow!
 Planting Soba

Afternoon ....
More Talk of Soba ... Sudo-san generously decides to take us out for lunch to Otaru Sobaya Yabuhan to have the famous Kuki Soba (soup dish) which consists of nishin (special fish found abundantly in Otaru), Kazu noko (yellow diamond fish eggs), tororo (vegetable), nori and wakame (seaweed) all infused together in this delicious broth. Totemo Oishi katta!!!

Ita daki mas!
 Kuki Soba (totemo oishi katta!)   
Inside restaurant
Otaru Sobaya Yabuhan (inside)

Enterance of Otaru Sobaya Yabuhan
 Otaru Sobaya Yabuhan (outside)
Gochisosama deshita!

more to come ...... to another day!