Suggestions? YOUR opinions are WELCOME!

11 Dec

What do you want to read on this blog? What topic are you interested in?

There haven’t been any posts for so many weeks now, not because of a lack of readers, but actually I don’t know what you – my readers – want to know.

So now your opinions are needed! Tell me, what you would like to read and know about and I will put effort into writing about the topics you are interested in.

It is  your chance to get more information about

  • Otaru University of Commerce
  • Otaru City
  • Hokkaido Area

Especially on the first two points there are not many resources on the web, but general questions about Japan are also welcome!

Grab the chance, and leave me here a COMMENT or write me an E-Mail to the address below!meeru




Ranshima Beach (蘭島海岸)

11 Oct

Around 20 minutes west from Otaru Station, you can reach Ranshima (蘭島)  which provides a very nice beach (海岸).  You can access it easily by train (260 yen one way). Since the trains to Ranshima do not come so often, you should check train times by Google Maps. Just type in “from Otaru Station to Ranshima Station” and you will see the departure times. Actually I have been in Okinawa for few days and even in Okinawa, such beautiful beaches like Ranshima beach are rare! So it’s a great opportunity. Check it out. :)

Be careful when entering the train back from Ranshima to Otaru Station. You need to get a “paper ticket” right after entering the train. On this “paper ticket” there is a notifaction about the station you joined the train. If you lose this, you will be maybe charged for a longer distance (up to ~3000 Yen)! If you don’t know what I mean, just observe what the Japanese are doing in front of you. :)


Mt. Tengu (天狗山)

9 Oct

Mt. Tengu (天狗山 てんぐやま) is a mountain close to Otaru City in Hokkaido which is 532.5m above sea level. I really recommend you to go there if you are near this area, because you have a very nice view of Otaru City there. You can access the ropeway station of Mt. Tengu by a 15min bus ride from Otaru Station (I think it is Bus No. 9 and it cost 210 Yen, correct me, if I’m wrong.)
From Tenguyama-Ropeway-Station you can take the ropeway almost to the top of Mt. Tengu. It cost 1100 Yen (around 9Euro) two way. But enough talking, here are some pictures which say more than 1000 words. :)

Photo Walk Tour 01: From OUC Campus to Otaru Station

4 Oct

I’m very sorry for the past weeks, because since my arrival in Japan I didn’t post anything. I was really busy and to be honest, I didn’t had any clue what to post on this blog. But now an idea just came up on my mind and I would like to start a new series of blog posts: Photo Walk Tours. I think this is a great way to combine different interesting material like photos, information and my impressions together in one post.

So here it is: the first Photo Walk Tour which give you an impression of the route from Otaru University of Commerce Campus to Otaru Station.



The route is 2,0km long and it takes around 22-25 minutes to get from OUC Campus to Otaru Station.


1) IMG_6713_klWe departure from the International House of OUC Campus (小樽商科大学国際交流会館).  The International House has been established not a long time ago for the purpose of providing accomodation to international  students and international researchers in order to promote international cooperation. So all of the exchange students, who participate in the YOUC Program or stay for half a year, (mostly) live there.  It has 41 living rooms, 37 of them for international (exchange) students and 4 for researchers. There is also a lounge and a laundry room with washing machines and dryers. More information about the International House will be posted in an extra post.


Our next stop is the University Gate. If you go through it (on the left side is the guard’s house), you will reach most of the OUC Campus’ buildings, e.g. cafeteria, main lecture building, international office, etc. More information about the Campus area will be posted in an extra post.


If you pass by the University Gate, you will reach the bus stop area on the left side. There Bus No. 19 heading to Otaru Station will depart around 2 times per hour. The bus stops at 3 bus stops: High School of Commerce (near OUC), in front of Coop Supermarket and nearby at the station. It takes around 6min to the final bus stop. From the Bus stop you need another 3min to Otaru Station entrance. One ride costs 210 Yen (1,60 Euro) Like you see on the first and fourth picture, there is a high slope, since Otaru University of Commerce is on a “Mountain”. It’s exhausting going all the way back from Otaru Station to OUC Campus, but it’s also some good daily training, which keeps you healthy. :-)


4) On the right side, pretty near to OUC Campus, you will see the entrance of Otaru High School of Commerce. I don’t have further information so far, but as soon as I get more information about that, I will keep you updated.





5) After you pass by the High School, you have to walk like 7-9 minutes to the next station of our Photo Walk Tour.

6) Our next stop is COOP Supermarket. You can get here cheap Bentos (lunch boxes) for around 400 Yen (3,00 Euro), garbage bags (blue and yellow ones, you will need them for your garbIMG_6799_klage!) and other stuff you can usually find in super markets. COOP is opened until 10pm, even on Sundays and Holidays.









7) If you pass by COOP and walk down the street, you can see the televion tower of Otaru. You will also pass the Police Station of Otaru on the left side. Then you will come to a cross-way. On the corner, there is a delicous Yakitori Restaurant named 串鳥 (Kushidori). Yakitori are chicken pieces grilled on a skewer. Also on the corner, there is a convenience store called sunKus. It is opened 24 hours 365days a year. There you can get also bentos and other useful staff. In special cases you can also pay your bills there. More informationen about paying bills at sanKus will follow.

8) On the opposite side of the street there is an small Post Office. It is usually opened until 5pm on weekdays. You can also withdraw money there with your International Visa Card. Master and Maestro Cards are currently not supported. IMG_6810_kl






9) Then, on the right side of the street, a big department store called Nagasakiya will appear. Besides a Super Market on the B1 Floor, there is even a 100 Yen Shop (everything is sold for 105 yen), Shoe Plaza, and ドンキーホーテ (Donkîhôte), a store, where you can get almost everything (e.g. frame for drying clothes!) IMG_6813_kl







10) On the left side, you will reach Otaru Station, our final Destination. There is also a Bus Terminal. From Bus Track No 2 the busses for OUC Campus depart. Again it costs 210Yen, no matter, at which bus stop you leave the bus.


That’s it so far for Photo Walk Tour No 1. I hope you liked it. :)
I will update this post from time to time with additional information. If you have any feedback for me, write me a mail (see about section for mail adress). I’m happy for EVERY feedback you give me. :)

Arrival in Otaru City

14 Sep

Finally I arrived in Otaru City, the place, I will be studying from the beginning of October. Pictures of my dormitory room will follow soon in another post. :)

Notification about Updates

11 Sep

Stay updated and follow my Facebook and Twitter Account. There I’m posting small updates, pictures and so on :D: [No registration needed!!] [No registration needed!!]

From 6th to 10th September I travelled to Okinawa. Now I’m in Tokyo again and I will leave for Otaru, the city I will be studying, on 13th September!!!


Safely arrived in Japan!

4 Sep

I arrived safely in Narita/Tokyo at around 9 am of 4th September (UTC/GMT +9 = Japan Time). Sorry for the late post, I couldn’t get online at Japan earlier. Now I’m finished, because I didn’t sleep for 35 hours and my first day in Japan was full of sight seeing.
I’m off to bed…. gn8! :)

Live Ticker: Departure from Germany / Arrival in Japan

2 Sep

Update 6 – 04th September 08:00 am (Japan Narita Airport – UTC/GMT +9)

: Finally I have just safely arrived in at Tokyo International Airport Narita.

My passport and visa was checked at the immigration bureau and I passed through the customs without any problems. Now – five years later since my last trip to Japan – I’m finally back again in Japan for a whole year!!! I’m so lucky :) Fight Oh – Oh!



Update 5 – 03rd September 12:52 (Germany Frankfurt Main Airport – UTC/GMT +2)

Arrived safely in Frankfurt :) Boarding for A380 to Tokyo Narita in around 15 minutes.

IMG_6334_kl IMG_6335_kl


Update 4 – 03rd September 09:50 (Germany Berlin Tegel Airport – UTC/GMT +2)

Checked in at Berlin Airport Tegel few minutes ago. My baggage was 45,9kg total, more than expected. The limit without paying extra fees was 46,0kg!! So I was very lucky. :) Boarding Time in 20 minutes (10:15).


Update 3 – 03rd September 06:45 (Germany Berlin – UTC/GMT +2)

It’s early in the morning. Couldn’t sleep a lot. Just few hours left in Germany. At 8:15 I will be heading to Berlin Tegel Airport.


Update 2 – 02nd September 20:43 (Germany Berlin – UTC/GMT +2)

Ate my last dinner in Germany (Tonkatsu = Japanese Style of German Schnitzel) at my favorite Japanese Restaurant “Ishin” in Berlin. Checked in at a nice Hotel to spend some wonderful hours with my girlfriend. Relaxing at the moment… :) Tomorrow I have to stay up early in order to get to Berlin Tegel Airport which is not far away from the hotel. I hope I can sleep today, I’m still very excited!


Update 1 – 02nd September 14:21 (Germany Berlin – UTC/GMT +2 )

Just 24 hours left until I leave Germany. This post features my departure from Germany and arrival in Japan! I will keep updating this post, so keep an eye on it. :) Harry

7 days left until my arrival in Japan

27 Aug

Just 7 days (or one week) left before my arrival in Tokyo, Japan. I’m getting really excited now. :) All bureaucratic paper stuff is done and just some small tasks are left. More updates (and pictures) will follow beginning from the final departure day in 6 days. Peace! :)

21 days left until my arrival in Japan + Schedule

12 Aug

From now on there are exactly 21 days left until I’ll arrive in Japan. :)

My schedule for the first two weeks is as follows:

September 4-6 Tokyo

September 6-10 Okinawa

September 10-13 Tokyo

On the 13th September I’m going to fly to Sapporo New-Chitose Aiport. There I will be welcomed by my assigned buddy from Otaru University of Commerce who will lead me to Otaru. I will also get the key for my room at the International House where I’m going to live during my year at Otaru University of Commerce.  :)