What has happened and what’s going on

Hi guys, it’s been a while!  If you don’t count those two solitary posts from August and September, you could say that I haven’t blogged in, like, 6 months?! Now that I’ve promised to reactive the blog I’ve abandoned for months, I have to keep it going! I’ve been thinking a lot about what direction I should take my blog. I was ready to give up, throw in the towel. But when I thought about it long and hard, I realized I really like having my own place to share all the cool places, cute cafes, interesting facts and even just my daily boring life sometimes. At the moment I’m rather busy not only with the daily grind, but also things like job-hunting and studying for the next JLPT, so I won’t be able to post that often — I promise to keep updating at a somewhat steady pace though. I also realized that I didn’t give you much opportunity to read about my experiences or personal views on different topics. In fact I was rather vanilla when it came to choosing topics to write about. I didn’t want to touch controversial topics before, but now I think ‘Actually, WHY NOT?’ So yeah, anyway, feel free to ask me questions about me and my life in Japan, if there’s anything you ever wondered about or there was no one yet to answer your question. I’ll try to include more advice and recommendations as I get asked about various things quite frequently. Hopefully you’ll like this makeover. I won’t be posting my OOTDs anymore as Instagram seems to work better for these type of photos (I will sell some of my stuff though, check out my Depop account!). I decided to keep my monthly digest posts, as they probably give a good insight into what the daily life of someone who decided to live their life in Japan looks like, although it might not be as exciting or crazy as most people imagine.

The last few months were like a crazy roller coaster though, with an insane amount of ups and downs. Let me fill you in on what has happened and what is going on.

September

I must say that September started off pretty well. Weather got a bit autumny, I went to Tokorozawa and even blogged about it, met up with my Twitter friend Zerosonico who snapped some awesome pics…

1_meitu_2

…went to a Winner’s concert…

12144305_824044181050607_896308116_n_meitu_1

I caught the last moments of summer in Makuhari…

2

… and even became a Hina Doll for a day.

(Would you like to know where you can experience this fun makeover? Let me know!) 

12070812_179490205720408_1175696802_n_meitu_1

Like I said, it started off pretty well. I should have known that just when everything seems fine, you should expect life will kick you in the teeth, and most likely will do it with twice the power you could ever expect. Having said that, the end of September was absolutely horrible. Whatever happened, and some rather heavy stuff did, it was the main reason I stopped blogging for a while. I will not go into needless details here as it’s all far away and there’s no real point in digging it up now. If you follow my social media and have any sort of deducting skills, you probably figured it out anyway. At that time I just needed some time off. I went back to instagramming fairly quick, but mainly because it’s fast and easy— and taking pics around Tokyo was one of the things that made (and still makes) me happy.

October

I was still in some kind of an online hiatus for the bigger part of October and didn’t go out that much hence the lack of pics. I did go out to eat sometimes and discovered that Taco Bell is the feast of gods and chestnut ice cream isn’t edible at all. Really, listen to my advice on this one and don’t ever buy chestnut ice cream.

IMG_6044_meitu_4

I’m lucky to have amazing friends who don’t mind dressing up in silly costumes and taking purikura pics with me, despite the fact that we’re both closer to 30, rather than 20 years old. While we’re on that topic, I thought it would be interesting to introduce my best friend Ayaka and tell you about her in more detail, so a special blog post might happen someday soon.

IMG_5912_meitu_3

On the last day of October I spent a lovely day in Kichijoji, wandering around Inokashira Park and hunting for cute cafes. If you haven’t been there, plan a trip to Kichijoji for your next day off because the area is top notch!

1_meitu_2

November

Pretty eventful month. I kept myself busy and tried to spend every day off with friends. With some of them I visited fancy Japanese restaurants and ate grilled eel, others took me to Taco Bell and if you asked me which one I prefer, I’d have a hard time responding to that question as I love them both equally. (Update: I gave it serious thought and I have to say…TACO BELL ♥)


IMG_6571_meitu_5

For quite a while I felt strong aversion to all things Korean and was kinda worried that the September stuff would irreparably ruin BIGBANG for me, but worry not, it didn’t. The boys gave their best again and this time I was lucky enough to have gotten tickets for two days! I went to one of the concerts with my friend Sharla and here you can see her video of us preparing for the concert and here’s the one taken on the concert day!

And actually, ever since the concert, things started to get better and better. 

IMG_6769_meitu_6

I spent most of November studying for JLPT. I studied in all my free time, at every lunch break and then after work. All my days off work looked the same — I woke up, went to a cafe and studied for 6-7 hours. It would probably have gotten boring real fast, but this time I had a very good study partner* who showed me lots of great ‘secret’ study spots, so different than your run-of-the-mill Starbucks, occupied by high schoolers from dusk til dawn. Ueno, Marunouchi, Yurakucho, Sendagaya…

(*study partner as in: I studied my Japanese stuff, he studied his uni stuff) 

IMG_7067_meitu_7

December

It got all romantic and Christmassy, my study partner and I started hanging out more often and visited all the nice “illumination” spots. Take notes and be sure to visit them next year, if you can! Shinjuku, Roppongi, Tokyo German Village (which is not actually in Tokyo) ↓↓↓

(I’ll be posting a separate post about Tokyo German Village — while the place is really cute, it doesn’t get the coverage it deserves)

IMG_7183_meitu_8

6th of December. I had the JLPT test in the morning and as I studied for it for a few weeks, I didn’t worry about it too much (← OK, that’s a total lie, I was freaking out). My JLPT took place in Ichikawa in Chiba Prefecture and from there I had to somehow transport myself to Yokohama, 2 hours away by train. Needless to say I was absolutely exhausted by the time I got to the next venue but it was all worth it. I got to attend a very special event and see things not many people have a chance to see with their own eyes. There will be a whole post dedicated to it, so I won’t go into much detail now. I’ll just give you a quick sneak peek.

12331882_1652320844992847_1672036267_n(1)_meitu_1

The end of this year was definitely one of the best New Years I have had so far in Japan. I went to Kusatsu where I discovered that crab is actually insanely delicious, skiing is fun and a doctor fish manicure is something I’d like to repeat. I also experienced my first ever outdoor hot spring and let me tell you: nothing beats watching the snow fall on you from the starry night sky, as you soak in steaming-hot water with no one else around you. Moments like that will be one of the best experiences of your life, if you ever have a chance to try it. (Worry not, there will be more photos from Kusatsu!)

IMG_7848_meitu_9

I was lucky to have spent the final days of 2015 with some of the loveliest people on the planet ♥

IMG_8031_meitu_10

On the 31st I did what most people in Japan do. I ate toshikoshi soba, went to a shrine and wrote down my wishes for the New Year on a prayer plaque. I went to the majestic Yasukuni Shrine and drank amazake… Then I had to kill time for nearly 3 hours in a manga cafe watching TV, but that’s a story for another time.

IMG_8176_meitu_11

Several minutes before midnight I stood in front of Tokyo Tower and was virtually floating along in the wild crowd. I guess the only reason I didn’t get trampled by the excitedly celebrating crowd was that there was someone in that crowd who held my hand.

IMG_8199_meitu_12

And this is how I entered 2016 with a peculiar feeling that this year will be a good one ♥

Oh, by the way, his name is Yuya

917906_995113250546462_1518425560_n_meitu_2

Guys, thanks for staying around even if I wasn’t active for the last couple of months. I got lots of e-mails and messages of support, thanks for that. The dark clouds are gone and I’m very optimistic about the things that are yet to come, so be sure to come by from time to time to see what’s new in my chronicles of living my Tokyo dream ☺

Thank you for reading!♥

February digest!

If only I could, I would update this blog at least twice a week, I really would. But I’m a really busy individual, hence sadly rare updates. I don’t say that to sound cool — I actually am super busy, and in February I reached new levels of being busy, I need some sort of time management course I swear. I wish I could write an article about every interesting thing I see and every interesting place I go. But writing takes time and I’ve been working on a few serious articles recently. You’ll see one of them next week, but for now take a look at a short recap of what happened in February. 

 

FEBRUARY 2015

 

* Valentine’s Day madness = chocolate of all kinds and shapes for the boy you like… but wait what’s that? Chocolates with an old balding man on packaging? Is it considered romantic in Japan or…? No no, it’s just giri choko and if you happened to have received one this year, I’m sorry to break it down to you, but you have most probably been friendzoned.

* Can you believe it wasn’t until December last year that I finally got a chance to try oden for the first time? Somehow I never trusted all that food soaking all day in warm water, right next to the cash register… Oh how wrong I was, it’s super tasty! 

* Are my eyes deceiving me? Japan has finally noticed that flavoured beers have a chance on the market ?! This one here is lemon + hop, but it did taste like lemon beer, so I was pretty satisfied with it.

↓             ↓            ↓

S__8364034_meitu_1

 

* Hazelnut KitKats! Were they good? YASSSSSSS.

Trunks-ya in Asakusa. Just a store with boxer shorts in traditional Japanese designs. Nice souvenir, no?

* Some more Valentine chocolate madness. Choco-burger, choco-curry, choco-everything…

↓             ↓            ↓

S__8364036_meitu_2

* If you’ve ever been to Harajuku, you’ll know that it’s covered with funky stickers, on building walls, vending machines, stairs, store windows… I spotted this one on that walkway connecting Cat Street with Ura-Harajuku. Well…

* Seoul! It welcomed me with -11 degrees, but it’s okay, I missed it♥

* Spotted on the metro in Seoul. It was interesting because of a few reasons: the topic, the language used (no Korean or Japanese version) and the propaganda-ish tone. I take no sides in this conflict, I just thought it was an interesting thing to see on a metro.

↓             ↓            ↓

S__8364041_meitu_3

 * Blackberry Caramel Cream Latte (or something like that) somewhere in Gangnam ♥

* I’m not a big fan of sweets, but I’m totally crazy about spicy snacks. Korean convenience stores = HEAVEN!

* I know what I just wrote in my previous bullet-point, but let me tell you, the Earl Grey Cookie Pie they serve at You Are Here cafe in Hongdae is to die for!

 ↓             ↓            ↓  

S__8364044_meitu_4

* Myeongdong by night. During my stay in Korea in February, the boyfriend didn’t really have much time to hang out, but that wasn’t much of a problem for me. I went to all the places I visited during my very first trip to Korea and discovered all the cute streets again ♥

* Did I mention my boyfriend is an optician by profession? And he has lots of friends, who are opticians too… I got these glasses in Seoul and they’re so darn adorable I still can’t get over their cuteness.

* Aloe drink and sweet green tea by Lipton — two things I wish I could find in Japan.

↓             ↓            ↓

S__8364048_meitu_5

* I came back to Japan and had a tattooing session again… Let me just tell you, getting your inner arm tattooed, that one damn spot right above the elbow pit, takes the highest position on my personal chart of most painful spots. Damn, that stung! 

* Spring is almost here and Starbucks is always the first to launch all things sakura. I expected a sweet cafe latte with an interesting flavour — I got sweet pink milk instead. NOT recommended.

* I agreed to write concert reviews for popboxasia.com and a Royal Pirates’ concert was my very first assignment. The boys were ridiculously talented and drop dead gorgeous — check them out on YouTube!

↓             ↓            ↓

S__8364051_meitu_6

* Dwarf Asahi beer, how cute ♥

* Reunited after a few weeks! Sweet cheese cream taiyaki… *drool*

* Have you ever been jealous of Goku’s awesome hairstyle? Dragon Ball hair wax — hold level over 9000!

↓             ↓            ↓

S__8364054_meitu_7

 

 Thank you for reading!♥