May digest!

May was a good month. Despite working even harder than usual and even harder than in April when I had to work on my days off (I taught a zillion lessons in May!), I managed to visit some cool places, eat lots of delicious food and meet some great people. I didn’t get that much sleep though, but well, ‘you win some, you lose some’ as they say. I’ll have all the time in the world in as soon as two weeks, when I leave for Europe for the first time in 3 years. I’ll visit my family in the UK and Poland, meet some people and go to a heap of places that will probably bring back a lot of memories. I really can’t wait, though I’m also kinda nervous. I don’t want to sound pretentious or anything like that, but I’m a bit worried about reverse culture shock too… At least I’ll have a topic to write about when I come back to Japan. Anyway, I still have 2 weeks to go and so I’ll try to post a few blog updates before I hop on the plane.

MAY DIGEST

* Do you remember Rino? She was one of the girls I had a girly chat with and I made a blog post out of it. If you haven’t had a chance to read it but think you’d like to, it’s → here ←. Some readers commented that it would be nice to hear about the girls again sometime down the road. This May I met up with Rino again and it was like meeting a completely different girl! She doesn’t wear a high school uniform anymore, she cut and permed her hair, got new fashionable glasses. She is now studying Japanese Culture at Tokyo Women’s University, which might surprise those who read the article and so know she had dreamt of studying Fashion. When I asked her why she decided to study Japanese culture, she answered “There’s still so many things I don’t know about my own country. At first I want to know and understand Japan better” — which I thought was a very reasonable answer.

* Here’s a collections of some funky items I stumbled upon in Tokyo last month… I do want that tattooed Kewpie though, but I don’t have ¥16000 to spare at the moment. Bummer.

IMG_8749_meitu_2

* Remember, if you’re looking for t-shirts that’ll make you the coolest kid in the block, Harajuku is the place to go!

IMG_8805_meitu_3

* And while in Harajuku, why not go to this awesome Hawaiian restaurant I found with Alanna (UK2Tokyo)? It’s called Aloha Table and →here’s their website←

IMG_8785_meitu_4

* While we’re in Harajuku let me show you this fabulous sticker I grabbed in B-Side Label sticker store (read more about the store on Alanna’s blog)

IMG_8801_meitu_6

* Did you know that there’s often some stuff put outside grocery stores in Japan and shops in big shopping arcades often don’t have any gates? It’s because no one would ever think about stealing things. It is something I kinda take for granted now, but I remember when I first came to Japan it totally blew my mind.

IMG_8762_meitu_16

* I finally signed up for yukata and kimono dressing classes! And that glorious gold furisode you see? It’s a gift from Chika-san and I’m so grateful — she actually wore it for her Coming of Age ceremony… 40 years ago! How amazing is that?! I can’t wait to wear it ♥

IMG_8876_meitu_5

* Oh Asakusa… You can take a photo of any random spot there and it’ll still turn out great.

IMG_8890_meitu_7

* If you’re in Asakusa be sure to visit this absolutely adorable maneki neko shrine!

IMG_8904_meitu_8

…or get some delicious sushi…

IMG_8929_meitu_9

* From Asakusa let’s move on over to Kamakura. It was a super fun one-day trip and there will actually be two separate blog posts about Kamakura and Enoshima. Just look at this tiny taiyaki, the Great Buddha, this stunning view from Enoden (train going from Kamaura to Enoshima) and this Dragon Ball gacha!

IMG_9192_meitu_11

* Postcards from Enoshima…

IMG_0638_meitu_18

Back in Tokyo:

* company party where I ate more than I care to admit

* I have a feeling that Japan is starting to discover the wonderful world of flavoured beers… Here’s shikuwasa (Wikpedia calls it “Taiwan tangerine, flat lemon, hirami lemon, or thin-skinned flat lemon”) flavoured Orion beer!

* So I found a small hidden cinema in my town — they happened to be playing Interstellar (they don’t play newest movies and that’s what I love the most about this place).I was absolutely blown away by that movie! Pictures and music = masterpiece.

IMG_9349_meitu_14

And last but not least..

* I’m sorry for this indecency, but of all the things people imagine about Japan this one is true — yes, this stuff does exist, this was on full display in a hobby store and nobody seemed to think there was anything even slightly wrong with it. But! No, people here don’t have tons of piercings, wear whatever they want and dye their hair purple “because everyone in Japan looks like people in Harajuku”. Absolutely not. Harajuku is Harajuku, and it’s not that hardcore anyway. And no, I guess most Japanese businessmen are not encouraged to take naps during the day as I read on some genius website. I teach many businesspeople — no one ever confirmed it. But some parts of Japan aren’t made up, and that’s the harsh reality of it.

 ↓IMG_9042_meitu_15

Thanks for reading!♥