‘Rabbit and grow fat’? — bunny cafe in Jiyugaoka!

In most cases, living in a rented apartment in Japan means absolutely no pets. Not only is it not allowed to have a pet in most places, most people here also lead a lifestyle that simply wouldn’t let them have enough time to take care of a fluffy creature. Although pets are actually permitted in my apartment, I simply can’t do that considering the fact that I spend most of my time outside. Sometimes I do wish I had a cute pet waiting for me to come back home, some cute ball of fur to sleep on my lap. There’s thousands of people like me here, hence the countless pet cafes! I have visited a cat cafe (of course), an owl cafe and this time I spent relaxing 30 minutes playing with other furry pets super popular in Japan — bunnies!

Ra.a.g.f ‘Rabbit and grow fat’

〒 152-0035 Tokyo, Meguro-ku, 1-26-3 Jiyugaoka 5F

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(it’s actually really close to the Jiyugaoka Station, just go out the Main Exit and turn right)

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It’s easy to overlook the place so watch out for the sign you see in the upper left corner!

Important!

According to their website (in Japanese) *click*, they’re closed every Thursday, so be sure to take that into account when planning your trip to Jiyugaoka!

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The cafe is divided into two parts. It has only 4 tables, so I guess we were really lucky to have visited on a day when there weren’t a million other customers. The system is simple: you can choose either 1 hour or 30 minutes with the bunnies. 1 hour will cost you ¥1100 while 30 minutes is ¥600 cheaper, and was enough for us to enjoy the whole experience. You’ll also get a free drink of your choice and it will be served in the cutest cups ever!

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Play time! The lovely shop staff will explain the dos and don’ts and let me tell you a few, while I still remember: 

The DOS & The DONT’S

* because of a high possibility of rabbits wanting to jump out of their cages, you shouldn’t keep the doors wide open

* you cannot take the rabbits out of their cages, you need to ask the staff first

* there can’t be more than one rabbit on the floor (unless they’re rabbits of the same sex, if I understood correctly, otherwise, you know, babies will happen)

* there’s a sign saying “Resting time” (休憩中) on some cages. If you see it, it means that it’s a siesta time for the rabbit

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 I’ve always thought that rabbits don’t make the best pets, because they don’t really show… attachment? I still think that though, so I highly recommend that you get the ultimate rabbit attention grabber for as little as ¥150 — BUNNY FOOD! A little of this, and the rabbits are all yours ♥

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 I admit that spending even a few minutes with animals has some sort of magical relaxing properties. The bunnies seems to be leading a great life, they can take a walk outside their cages sometimes, visitors feed them, they can poop wherever and whenever they want, what a life! Oh, let me just mention that if you have your own furry baby, but you have to go somewhere for a few days, Ra.a.g.f also functions as a rabbit hotel and they will professionally take care of your pet!

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Furry babies jumping and pooping around outside their cages (that hairy carpet was not the best choice the owners could’ve made, if you ask me…) 

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VivaRilakkuma, Shichijyuuni and Kitsune-kun 

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If you’re a fan of those fluffy creatures, you can buy some lovely souvenirs here too, and you know you shouldn’t leave this lovely cafe without a photo with the lovely ladies, who run the place!

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Thank you for reading and please let me know what you thought of this place if you happen to pay them a visit ♥

Impromptu conveyor belt sushi in Omotesando!

Do Japanese people eat sushi everyday? – No.

Is sushi cheap in Japan? – Yes and no.

Is it possible to find good sushi at a cheap price? – Yes (if you’re not very picky)!

Is supermarket sushi edible? – If you like metallic taste of disappointment – yes.

Have I ever eaten expensive sushi? – Yes. 

How expensive is expensive? – For me it was 3300 yen for 11 pieces of nigirizushi for lunch. 

Was it better than cheap sushi? – We’re comparing apples and oranges here.

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Sushi in Japan is considered festive food, eaten on special occasions. I have been teaching English lessons for over 2 years now and I just repeat what I’ve heard from all my students. I have taught probably well over 300 people by now. I routinely ask them “How often do you eat sushi?” – answers vary, but in 90% of cases I hear “once a month maybe…?” For Japanese people sushi = expensive sushi. Cheap sushi is a snack. I cannot imagine master Jiro Ono — the owner of Sukibayashi Jiro (3 Michelin stars!) — serving crab salad, tuna mayo, seared salmon and cheese nigiri sushi and other rather free interpretations of what sushi should be. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll get a chance to try his amazing sushi worth gazillions of yen…? Well, anyway, the 10th of November was not that day.

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It was rainy and gloomy that day, so when I saw colourful pieces of sushi zooming round a small conveyor belt, I thought “Why not! I haven’t had sushi in aaaages!”….

…..so here it is — my impromptu conveyor belt sushi adventure.

HEIROKU SUSHI

 5-8-5 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001

→map←

heiroku.jp

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You noticed the English text on the blackboard? Omotesando is a touristy area and I got a feeling that this place would serve touristy sushi too. There were at least 5 foreigners there, including myself, and that really doesn’t happen that often. Not everyone likes it, so I’m warning you now — in a place like this, they WILL try to speak English to you because you’re a foreigner.

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MENU

(you can click on it to enlarge it)

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Tuna salad

It doesn’t exactly look like a definition of scrumptious, but surprisingly it’s really delicious! Looks can be deceiving. 

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Salmon roe ♥

Cheap kaitenzushi chains usually serve ‘fake’ salmon roe, you’ll know if you’re a salmon roe lover. ‘Fake’ salmon roe is too soft and watery, it doesn’t pop in your mouth. Real salmon roe is a bit hard, like tapioca and it pops when you chew it (which is somewhat satisfying… Or am I weird…)

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Fatty salmon and suspicious looking green onion

All the sushi ingredients should be fresh. But then again I shouldn’t complain because this particular sushi cost like ¥130?

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Crab salad

I really don’t know why I chose crab salad sushi as it’s my least favourite. I can’t even count how many times I gave crab a chance and it failed miserably.

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Natto & raw quail eggs & onion

I’m a big fan of natto (fermented soybeans)! I always eat it mixed with raw egg, green onion and some other ingredients and it is really delicious, please believe me! I must share my secret recipe one day — if you dare to try it, there’s actually a pretty big chance you’ll like it!

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Salmon

Who doesn’t love it? Even cheap salmon is good. Not tasty salmon does not exist.

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Torched salmon & onion & mayo

It’s not your usual sushi, but the salmon + onion + mayo combination is just perfect! Sometimes I’m wondering what ancient Japanese would say seeing today’s wild sushi variations though.

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Overall!

It’s not my usual restaurant review, since this kaitenzushi wasn’t Final Fantasy themed, had no Rilakkumas whatsoever, and didn’t even have toilet-shaped dishes. Just your usual kaitenzushi chain. The place has a great location — right on the main Omotesando street, surrounded by big brands, perfect! They have a menu in English, their staff speaks some English (and will not hesitate to use it), it’s nice and clean and everything….BUT! If you are looking for budget sushi — find Kurazushi or Sushiro. Wider selection, even lower prices and a fun ordering system. I guess they’ll be the next in line to be reviewed by shichijyuuni.com!

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Thanks for reading and if you happen to have visited this place, let me know what you think of it! ♥ (and any restaurant recommendations would be appreciated!)

How to: Budget fashion in Tokyo aka Lookbook vol. 1

I think there’s this myth that Japan is the most expensive place on the face of the Earth. Well… it’s not! Unless you’re a fan of Louis Vuitton and refuse to wear nothing but high brand clothes, when you go shopping here you can fill your closet with hundreds of super cheap items, which don’t necessarily look that cheap. Actually, I don’t spend a heap of money on clothes I’ll probably wear just one season. I’d rather go to an interesting restaurant, hang out with my friends in some cool places, save up money for a trip or stuff like that. When I was a kid, my mother would take me to second-hand shops and we would spend ages digging through piles of clothes in search of a gem. When I was a student, it was actually necessary, because the lion’s share of my savings was spent on rent / books /food. I still love sales, cheap fashion stores, thrift shops, flea markets etc. and Tokyo is like a treasure trove for that kind of thing. Here’s my humble attempt to show you how to do budget fashion in Japan (there will be more posts to come, so stay tuned if you’re interested in that topic!).

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I had 8 days off in June, so here’s my 8 cheap outfits for each of those days.

1.

top: Topshop, about ¥1400

my absolutely favourite jeans shorts: Mustang, bought second-hand for ¥1990 at WEGO Harajuku

creepers platform shoes: Nadia, bought second-hand for ¥2000 at MODE OFF

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2.

 

top: bought in Harajuku for ¥2000

ripped jeans: WEGO, about ¥4000

boots: okay, that one time I treated myself to some Jeffrey Campbell Lita boots I’ve dreamt about for ages. But! I got them on sale for ¥14,000 instead of ¥25,000! And here’s one piece of advice, if you’d like to lay your hands on new Litas or other JC boots, be sure to go to Laforet Harajuku someday between 7/24 and 7/28 and grab them for almost half the price! As far as I know there are only two big sales at Laforet; New Year and Summer sales. I’ll be there!

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3.

top: ridiculously cheap GU t-shirt, ¥500 or so

skirt: GU again, about ¥1200

boots: Glad News, bought second-hand at my favourite thrift shop — Jumble Store for ¥1900! (market price over ¥10,000)

bag: random temporary store at Marui shopping center in my town, ¥999

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4.

 

shirt: GU, about ¥1200

skirt: GU, about ¥500

(look at the prices of the clothes on the right!)

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5.

 

sweater: GU, about ¥800

sneakers I bought ages ago: random cheap clothing store in Nippori, ¥990

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6.

 glasses: ABAB Ueno, ¥1000 (ABAB shopping center, a few floors are a cheapskate’s paradise… there are many other ridiculously cheap clothing stores in Ueno, though)

top: Forever 21, ¥880

platform sneakers: Jouetie, bought second hand at Jumble Store  for ¥3300

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7.

 

top: WEGO, ¥800

boots: Jeanasis, about ¥6000

frizzy hair: humidity, ¥0

…and by the way, this photo was taken in Shimokitazawa — a Mecca for second-hand stores, in fact I’m not even sure if you can buy any new clothes there!

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8.

 

top: Forever 21, bought second hand at Jumble Store for ¥700

skirt: bought second-hand for 400¥ (there’s this awesome second-hand store in Kita-Senju and Shin-Okubo — Shibuya 109 brands and such for ¥400 each!)

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 I’ll be sure to share some of my favourite shopping spots, so any cheapskate like me can find something that will appeal to them.

In the meantime check out these stores — I’ll write about all of them in detail soon!

JUMBLE STORE — I absolutely love it, you can find brand name items at extremely low prices here (Jeffrey Campbell, Marc Jacobs, Jimmy Choo, Joyrich, Alexander Wang, all Shibuya 109 brands, Vivienne Westwood…)

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JUMBLE STORE WEBSITE

MODE OFF — have you ever seen Book OFF? It’s a store with used books and magazines, virtually on every corner in Tokyo. So now imagine a store like Book OFF, but filled with clothes (many brands!)

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MODE OFF (Japanese) 

MODE OFF (English)

Thank you for reading!

Traditional Japanese multi-course meal — kaiseki ryōri restaurant in Nihonbashi!

 If you didn’t know by now, what I do for a living is teach English. Not many people know that I also teach Polish on the side, though. As you may expect, there’s not much demand for Polish speakers in Japan, so I don’t have a whole lot of  students…To be perfectly honest, I only have one! It’s a lovely lady in love with Chopin and the Polish language. I have been teaching her for about one year and a half, and we have actually become good friends. She’s a native-born Tokyoite, so she really knows the best spots around the city. This time she took me to an amazing restaurant in Nihonbashi, where I had an opportunity to try kaiseki ryori for the first time! Beautifully arranged traditional Japanese food, which is a true delight to the palate? Yes, please!

日本橋 皆美 Minami (Nihonbashi)

〒103-0027 Tokyo, Chūō, Nihonbashi, 1−4−1, コレド日本橋4F

Their website: http://www.minami-g.co.jp/nihonbashi/

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There’s one thing you’ll notice quickly. ‘High class’ department stores and (pricey) traditional Japanese restaurants have the same kind of clientele. Apparently, Japanese seniors spend their days on what they didn’t have time for when they were working.

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会席料理 kaiseki ryori is a traditional Japanese meal that consists of many small dishes. The arrangement, the order, the ingredients and even the colour… Everything is thoroughly planned and prepared with the highest precision. Historically, kaiseki ryori cuisine was associated with the imperial court, samurai,  tea ceremony — everything that is truly Japanese. And you can really taste it! Each dish seems to tell a story, flavours meld, creating the ultimate royal feast.

Okay, I ran out of grandiloquent comparisons, so just follow the photos and see for yourself!

The menu

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食前酒 shokuzenshu — aperitif and 先付け sakizuke — appetizer

梅サンゲリアume sangeria ・酢味噌掛け蛍烏賊 sumisogake hotaruika   ・分葱 wakegi  ・ 海老 ebi

plum wine sangria, blue firefly squid with vinegar miso, scallion and shrimp

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Soft firefly squids melt in the mouth

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お椀 owan — literally “a bowl”

雲丹真丈 uni shinjou ・ 椎茸 shiitake ・ 鶴菜 tsuruna ・ 大根  daikon ・ 人参 ninjin 

Soup with a minced sea urchin ball, shiitake mushrooms, New Zealand spinach, a daikon radish and a carrot

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造り tsukuri — raw seafood

 maguro ・ 勘八 kanpachi ・ 甘海老 amaebi ・ 山葵 — wasabi

Tuna, amberjack and pink shrimp sashimi with a little ball of wasabi and perilla garnish

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焼き物 yakimono — flame-broiled fish

鰆のレモン焼きsawara no remon yaki ・ 桜鯛昆布〆寿司 sakuradai konbujime sushi・杏子蜜煮 anzu mitsuni・ 茗荷 myouga 

Flame-broiled Spanish mackerel with a piece of lemon, a little ball shaped sea bream sushi, apricot in honey syrup and  Japanese ginger

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煮物 nimono — simmered food dish

飯蛸 iidako ・竹の子 takenoko・里芋 satoimo ・ 桜麩 sakurafu・ おくら okura

Octopus, bamboo shoots, taro root, a piece of cherry blossom shaped wheat cake and okra plant

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Hidden octopus

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揚げ物 agemono — fried food dish

桜海老と菜の花のかき揚げ sakuraebi to nanohana no kakiage ・ 青唐 aotou    

Sakura shrimp and broccolini tempura with a green chilli pepper on top

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「家伝」鯛めし一式 kaden taimeshi isshiki — some very traditional food with about 150 years of history!

大根おろしdaikon oroshi・ 海苔 nori・ そぼろにした鯛の身 soboronishita tai no mi ・ 裏ごしした卵の黄身 uragoshishita tamago no kimi ・裏ごしした卵の白身 uragoshishita tamago no shiromi ・きざみ葱 kizami negi

 Here we go…grated radish, dried seaweed, minced sea bream, egg yolk puree, egg white puree, chopped green onion. You put a little bit of everything on rice and add a special broth to it. The outcome is like heaven to the taste buds!

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お菓子と抹茶 okashi to matcha — Japanese sweets and green tea

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As you may have already guessed, it is a rather pricy meal (6000 yen  ~ 15,000 yen), but it is definitely worth giving it a go, as a once-in-a-lifetime experience (or twice…or more if you like it and if your wallet doesn’t suffer too much…). Sushi, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, tempura? Cliche! Imagine telling your friends: “I had blue firefly squid in vinegar miso for lunch”. How cool is that! Besides, the restaurant itself is amazing. Absolutely scrumptious food, very relaxing atmosphere and excellent customer service.

Feast for the eyes and delight to the palate!

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Thank you for reading!♥

Kameido Tenjin, shitamachi, turtles and the God of Education

If you can believe information found on Google, there are over 100,000 Shinto shrines in Japan. I got my first omikuji (fortune slip) at Asakusa Shrine, took part in a Shinto mass of sorts at Narita shrine, celebrated New Year in Zojoji Shrine, and took long walks around Meiji Jingu Shrine. They’re beautiful and you can really feel a super unique spiritual atmosphere. When you cross the gates of a shrine, it suddenly feels like everything becomes really quiet and you may even forget that you’re actually in the heart of the largest city in the world.

This time I visited Kameido Shrine, which is said to enshrine the God of Education. Apparently it is very crowded during the juken period (or rather shiken jigoku = exam hell….) when thousands of high-schoolers take their grueling university entrance exams. People of any age and any background come here to ask for positive results on any type of exam. You never know if that one point was just a fluke or if it was actually some higher power looking out for you! With the Japanese Language Proficiency Test coming in July, my boyfriend and I decided to go there and ask the God of Education for a little help.

Kameido Tenjin 亀戸天神

Tokyo, Oedo-ku, Kameido3−6−1

136-0071

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Tokyo shitamachi is an interesting area. Everybody says it’s terribly corny…and well, I won’t say it isn’t, but I have some kind of romantic sentiment towards it, I guess. Shitamachi 下町 (literally 下 = down, 町= town) doesn’t mean ‘downtown’ here, actually, my dear readers, it means quite the opposite. Historically, Tokyo was divided into two parts: Yamanote = richmen, cool kids, glitter, money and high fashion, and Shitamachi = old people, small gangsters, dodgy clubs, cheap alcohol and stray cats.

Today I’m taking you to the latter.

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One might say that it’s some real ghetto stuff we have in here, I’d say in some countries the chairs would be long gone already. So who’s the real winner here?

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But! The other bits of shitamachi are not my topic today but instead I’d like to share a real oasis of peace in the middle of a megalopolis.

Kameido Tenjin is hidden behind trees and bushes, and it’s difficult to believe how close it is from the pride of Tokyo – Tokyo Sky Tree. It’s really quiet here, and if you couldn’t see that sleek giant silhouette thrusting towards the sky in the background, you could easily forget you’re still in Tokyo.

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The name of the shrine (亀戸) suggests that the God of Education may have some little neighbours (亀 = kame, turtle). The pond surrounding the shrine was full of these little creatures. They all know that people = snacks, and they will gather as soon as they see you, so you better prepare some turtle snacks!

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Majestic Kameido Shrine

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This has to be my favourite part of each shinto shrine. There are hundreds and hundreds of little wooden plates with wishes written on them. They’re called ema (絵馬) and they come in tons of cute designs and shapes. I know that maybe I shouldn’t really do it I guess, but I like to sneak a peek or two at what other people write on their ema. I have seen the loveliest of wishes, for health, for love, for a baby, for a happy marriage…

But since the main resident here is the God of Education, there’s one word you can see on almost all emas at Kameido Tenjin — 合格 goukaku = pass [an exam].

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Upon arrival at any shinto shrine, there is some purification stuff to be done. You’ll easily find a water basin called temizuya where you should perform the temizu ritual.

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Hold the scoop with your left hand, fill it with water and pour some of the cool water on to your right hand…

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…change hands and repeat…

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…cup the water with your hand and rinse your mouth with it,  but don’t drink it!  Then rinse the scoop with the remaining water and place it where you previously found it. Simple as that!

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My second favourite thing about shinto shrines has to be omikuji and omamori! I love browsing through the variety of lucky charms, even if I don’t actually end up buying them since I already own a bunch. There’s something for everyone: safety on the road, safe labor and delivery, lucky charms bringing health, love, success and happiness. If you’d like to know something more about your love life, you can get a special love fortune slip for 300 yen (regular ones cost 100 yen). They’re all written in Old Japanese though, so most of the time I just hope there’s something nice written on them.

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Time to leave my own ema at Kameido Tenjin!

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Since I was a child, I have always heard “Don’t reveal your wishes, otherwise they won’t come true!” so just in case I wrote them in my native Polish, so I could be sure that nobody who visits the shrine (and who has a habit of reading other people’s ema…) knows what’s on my mind.

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So peaceful and harmonic…

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My boyfriend and I got regular omikuji for 100 yen and as we expected, they were written in Old Japanese with lots of metaphors and stuff, so we gave up on trying to read them. Anyway, the most important thing is whether they’re actually good fortune slips or bad fortune slips. Here’s a useful glossary:

大吉 daikichi — great fortune

中吉 chuukichi — moderate fortune

小吉 shoukichi – not so amazing but still fortune

吉 kichi – not amazing at all, but better than 凶

凶  kyou — you better be careful

大凶 daikyou – very bad luck aka you’re screwed

But no worries! If you have a misfortune of getting a 凶 or a 大凶, you can simply tie the slip on a special string provided and this way you can break the jinx. This time I got the 中吉, so I guess I have no reasons to worry.

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The JLPT test is on the 6th of July. It’s not me who is gonna take the test this time, though one day I might, just to check myself. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for the boyfriend though, he will challenge the top N1 level. Dear God of Education, we’re counting on you.

Thanks for reading ♥

***

BONUS!

A happy catfish has some news.

Japan.

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Miyomi 美楽味 — BIGBANG themed restaurant in Shin-Okubo!

Another day, another food adventure! I don’t have any sort of real ranking of my favourite restaurants, but if I had one, this place would be sitting nicely on first place. I love everything about it.  A BIGBANG themed restaurant in Shinokubo serving amazing Korean food. What else could you ask for? Not a big fan of  BIGBANG? Absolutely no problem! You’ll find photos, posters and maybe even autographs of many other k-pop idols here too. Not a fan of k-pop at all? Enjoy the delicious and authentic Korean food they serve… and they have a pretty wide selection of amazing dishes!

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It’s just a 2 minutes walk from Shin-Okubo station. You can’t miss the gorgeous pink-haired G Dragon (I’m sure that this poster itself brings in a lot of customers…female customers).

美楽味 Miyomi

〒169-0073 Tokyo, Shinjuku, Hyakunincho, 1 Chome−6−15
ヤナギヤビル1F (Yanagiya Building 1F)

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 You can take a look at everything they offer even before you actually go inside. So as we can see (and as I mentioned before), there’s a special BIGBANG room — unfortunately I have never had a chance to sit there because it’s almost always occupied when I’m there.

Apparently, Haruna Ai has visited the place and left them her autograph. Who is Haruna Ai? When I first came to Japan, I saw her in lots of variety shows and thought she was a pretty cute lady with an interesting husky voice. Well, she turned out to be a ニューハーフ (‘new half‘) – a transgendered woman who won the “Miss International Queen 2009”  held in Thailand (according to Wikipedia, she is the first Japanese to get that title). Well, I still think she’s a really lovely lady. There’s also a pic and a signature of a famous Korean actor Lee Min-ho, so I assume he’s been there too.

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  Inside we have tons and tons of photos and posters of hallyu stars and BIGBANG of course. They play mainly BIGBANG’s music which is one of the reasons why this place is my favourite. Every so often they play music videos of other YG artists, but you won’t hear SM Entertainment or other agencies’ artists here.  I should probably write about another restaurant in Shin-Okubo, where they play only SM Entertainment music for a change (and it was also much cheaper…). Someday I’ll be sure to get to that, so stay tuned.

 

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 I managed to get a rather unflattering shot of CL…

***

If you’re a big fan of k-pop, you might recognize these handsome young men. Unfortunately I couldn’t, so please let me know in a comment if you can identify them for me.

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*JYJ ordering drinks*

Yoochun: I should get that refreshing sour as always… (サワー sawaa = sake cocktail)

Jaejoong: There are many kinds of sours. (very insightful)

Junsu: I guess I’ll go for a sour,  too.

What a natural conversation! /s

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 Kim Nam Gil is not as indecisive as JYJ boys and he knows that what he wants is chamisul (Korean vodka).

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♥The BIGBANG room! Posters, CDs, photos, pillows…A paradise for fans of the fantastic 5. And if you add delicious Korean food to it…HEAVEN!♥

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Big thanks to my friend Misato for posing in such a lovely way with their menu. You may think that their prices are a bit high, but keep in mind that dishes from this menu are supposed to be shared among 2-3 people.

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 Here’s their lunch menu (10:30 – 16:00). Prices vary from 850 yen (which is super cheap) to even 3000 yen (which is not cheap at all). I have tried their japchae, their fried squid rice, kimchi jjigae, kimchi fried rice, bulgogi and probably some others but my absolute favourite is their cold noodles – naengmyon! Sooo good!

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  Cheers! 乾杯! 건배! Bon appetit! いただきます! 잘 먹겠습니다!

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 To make noodles easier to eat, waiters actually cut them. I distinctly remember the first time I ate Korean noodles, I was kind of surprised when I saw a waiter approaching with huge scissors and cutting my food.

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Bibim naengmyon, delicious appetizers — kimchi, yeolmu kimchi,  mechurial jorim (quail eggs in soy sauce) an mul naengmyon

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 This has to be my favourite Korean food restaurant so far. I might be biased because of BIGBANG’s music and posters everywhere, but I would lie if I said I go there only because of them. I love the food, the drinks (awesome makgeolli cocktails!) and the neighbourhood. A great place for lunch – 10/10!

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 Bonus!

My friend Misato is a total babe and I like her simple and cool fashion. I asked her about the items she was wearing that day, so here’s the list:

top: MUJI 無印良品

shorts: moussy

shoes&bag: another edition (www.another-edition.jp)

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  Thank you for reading!♥ (and be sure to visit this place the next time you find yourself in Shin-Okubo!)

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Madosh!Cafe – avocado restaurant in Omotesando

There are so many awesome places in Tokyo I’d like to show you, I really don’t know which one to choose first. This time I’m taking you to Omotesando, to a place where everything is so insanely delicious, you won’t be able to find the words to describe it. And if you love avocado, you might consider moving to Omotesando, near this place. Or moving in to the restaurant itself.

Madosh!Cafe Omotesando

Even though I rarely go back to the same restaurant twice, because I like finding new places and trying new things, every time I’m in Omotesando I end up eating some yummy avocado dish in Madosh!Cafe.

How to get there? Follow the avocados!

5-28-7 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 153-0001
Phone: 03-3400-1188
opening times: 11:30-3:00 pm 5:00-10:30 pm

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If you see a Mr. Avocado & Avocado Sisters graffiti inside, you’ll know you’re in the right place.

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The atmosphere is rather unique, warm and quite cozy (in a different way than and people though). Quaintly mismatched chairs and tables, a Snoopy mascot next to cocky dwarfs. Somehow I really like the hodgepodge of decorations in this place.

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It might  seem that the decoration is made of the most random items the owner could ever find, but I guess there’s some concept behind all these mismatching furniture and accessories. Plastic chandelier with rabbits and squirrels, ketchup and mustard bottles with creepy faces, some mysterious football players dolls (are those sweets? toys? pens?) and Christmas tree lights…

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Dwarfs giving us the middle finger (and a fax machine?)…

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…a SPAM mascot, a LEGO dude figurine, a rather disturbing Bugs Bunny toy and lots of different photos, pictures, vinyl records etc. There used to be a cute pug there, sleeping in one of those empty avocado cardboard boxes, but I haven’t seen it recently.

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I have come to this restaurant on numerous occasions and I noticed that it’s not that busy around 2-3 pm, but last time I went there about 7 pm and my friend and I were really lucky to get two last empty seats. Well, considering the quality of their dishes, I’m not surprised it gets so packed.

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THE MENU

As far as I remember there is a free drink bar during lunchtime (but I wouldn’t bet my life on it, I might be thinking of some other place right now). It gets a bit more expensive during dinnertime – you have to order a drink and there’s also a seat charge to be paid (300 yen). But every cloud’s got a silver lining and thanks to that “dinnertime menu + drink” rule I have discovered a smoothie that is quite simply out of this world. They have some taco rice with avocado, deep fried avocado,  avocado shrimp, avocado curry, avocado rice bowl…

For more details about the menu, check out their website → www.mado.in

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Some of the avocado goodness…

smoked salmon + green onion + avocado rice bowl, nachos with avocado dip you get for free (← not really sure about it though, it might be what you pay that 300 yen fee for?),  minced raw fatty tuna + green onion +avocado rice bowl — rice bowls cost about 980 yen which is not bad at all.

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Here we have some taco rice with cute avocado balls for only about 1100 yen.

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….and THIS smoothie! Avocado and mango smoothie with some chocolate sauce on top. I’ve been trying to find the right words to describe its heavenly taste for a long time, because delicious doesn’t even scratch the surface. Imagine a fusion of a creamy avocado with the smooth sweetness of mango, the moment it touches your taste buds you’ll forget every single darn smoothie you’ve ever had before. It’s the creamiest, the puffiest smoothie I have ever tasted. If it had cheeks, you’d want to squeeze them. It’s a bit expensive though (800 yen), but there will not be a single word of complaint here. It’s definitely more than worth its price.

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The staff is really nice and they even posed with avocados for me. It kind of surprises me how nicely people react when I ask them if it’s okay to take a photo. Really, nobody minds. I always say that I have a blog and I’d like to recommend this place, and they’re like “That’s great, yeah, let’s take a pic!”. Japanese shop and restaurant customer service is second to none ♥

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This place has everything it takes to be considered a good restaurant — great food, interesting interior, and considering it’s on one of the most fashionable streets in Tokyo, prices are fairly reasonable, the staff is super nice, you might even meet a cute Mr. Pug there, you’ll definitely see Mr. Avocado and his Avocado Sisters, and I’m sure that once you go there, you’ll be back.

(I want that lamp. I’m serious.)

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If you’d like to try preparing some of that avocado goodness at home, check out their YouTube channel! Here’s a short video by Madosh!Cafe –  avocado horumon nabe!

Did you know…?

You may see many places selling a ホルモン鍋  (horumon nabe), and I guess that the first thing that will come to your mind will be “are they actually preparing some kind of a hormone soup or what? is it even edible?”. I was a bit confused about the word ホルモン (horumon), but my friend who’s been living in Japan for about 9 years, explained it to me and I thought I’d share!

ホルモン (horumon) is not hormone – it’s guts, entrails. It comes from the Japanese dialect version of the word 放る物 (ほるもの horumono) which means ‘toss away things’ because back in the day guts were tossed away and not eaten.  The more you know!

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Thanks for stopping by♥