The December Link Love

Happy jolly month of December to youuuuuuuuuu!

You didn’t think I’d just fade away into the new year, did you? I’d like to say that neither broken computer nor depressing short daylight could keep me away from updating this blog. But in fact, it had.

Until the Christmas miracle. You guys, my computer is still aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!

It’s a little shaky and shuts down automatically sometimes, but I’ve decided to appreciate the time I have left with my computer. Hopefully I’ll have enough time to also begin posting photos from this summer, which I have been wanting to do for a long time.

Speaking of Christmas, how are you going to enjoy the holidays this year?

I’m actually going to be travelling again. Christmas travel may become a tradition for me (I went to DC last year)…although not sure it’s the best time for travel really. I missed one of my flights last year and had to reschedule, but hopefully that won’t happen again this year. The plan is to head home to Ehime for new years via Helsinki and Kobe!

Oh, and this winter? If the snow in November (which hasn’t happened in Tokyo for over 50 years) is any indication, Tokyo may actually get a real winter this year (and by real, I mean piles of snow)! Whoo hoo!!!

I am excited and even thinking about getting snow boots. Ha.

Well, whether you get snow or not, I hope you are enjoying the jolly joyful season that is the year end holidays! x

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Chuckles all around.

– Finally made my way here.

– Let it snow…in Tokyo!

Christmas trees from around the world.

– But actually this tree is my favorite this year.

This is all kinds of sweet.

– It’s time to choose…this, this or this?

The September Link Love

Happy September everyone!

Is it just me or does it feel like fall all of a sudden? Here I am wanting to cling onto summer for a bit longer and wearing a sundress and I step outside and it’s cardigan weather? WHAT. IS. HAPPENING. This is not the heat island Tokyo weather I’m used to and I feel a bit confused.

Well, enough about the weather. How are you? I hope you’ve had a great summer!

I had a really great summer actually, all surrounding the big family event of the year…my sister’s wedding! It was wonderfully joyous with a bit of chaos thrown in, which I think makes for the best parties. It was quite the Mountain Day (the day of their wedding was on a new Japanese holiday that was just established this year) for our family!

I would tell you all about it except my computer broke down (so long ago that I don’t even remember when…) and I am too lazy to write blog posts on my cellphone.

I could completely overcome this hurdle by just buying a new computer, but was all things in life, you sort of get used to not having something. I haven’t had a tv for over 5 years now and I don’t really miss it. The same thing is slowly happening with my computer, too.

One the one hand, I have more time to swim, read, or sleep when I would have previously just watched an episode of something on the computer. But on the other hand, I really want to catch up on watching all the Elementary episodes while organizing all my photos, especially for the blog. Blog posts are always a place for me to remember things by…so I really want to share photos from Germany and Kobe before I forget everything. And more importantly, apparently Sherlock Season 4 is set to begin in 2017 so I DEFINITELY need a new computer by then.

All this to say, I am enjoying my computer-less days while I can because it’s not something I can live without for long…but until then, my blog posts may be very sporadic.

But I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying this gradual shift from summer to fall! xx

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– Some days are totally like this.

– Amazing views.

– How many have you tried from this list?

This hashtag is everything.

– Who left an impression on you at the Olympics? (Me: Fu Yuanhui, Michelle Carter, Yusra Mardini and Saori Yoshida, to name a few)

The Omoshiro Tube at Hitachi Seaside Park

Did you think all there is at the Hitachi Seaside Park were rolling hills of Nemophilia flowers?

Nope, nope, nope.

This nationally operated park is fairly large and has everything from barbecue corners to cycling courses. There is also a playground of sorts in an area called Pleasure Garden. (*insert innuendo of choice here*). It’s actually a pretty popular spot, though random, with anime themed attractions, semi-roller coasters and even a bmx course.

But we were only interested in one thing…the Omoshiro Tube!!!

This orange tube of fun (which is literally what the name means) is over 400 meters long and it twists and turns around this corner of the park. It is part obstacle course, part observation deck and we had tons of fun on it, as the name indicated!

So if you’re ever at Hitachi Seaside Park to see the flowers, do so. But take some time to see other areas as well. Like the ferris wheel or the beach area by the ocean that we didn’t have time for. It’s definitely worth visiting.

On our way back to Tokyo, we stopped by a parking area on the highway that had a giant Hello Kitty vending machine. Naturally we had to take a photo of it…but just as we were snapping pictures, a man with five dogs walks by.

I’ve seen two, maybe even three, dogs but this man had FIVE.

Hello Kitty vending machine took to the back burner and we were all over the dogs, which according to the nice owner were a mom and her kids. They were so well behaved and sweet as can be, my friends and I were smitten.

You just never know who you’ll meet on the highway! x

Here are some photos:

The June Link Love

Oh June, how can you almost be over?

If you haven’t noticed, I’m a little behind on my blogging schedule. Work has been insane, as in 2am emails and endless documents to go through. And yet, I am weirdly excited about all this because I’m learning so much and it’s a project we’ve been working on for a while now. I’m in an odd place where my body is yawning-so-hard-that-my-jaw-may-dislocated-exhausted but my mind is totally-ready-to-do-handsprings-down-the-hall-pumped!

Hopefully next month, body and mind will unite.

Anyways, did I mention that I was in Germany earlier this month? It was amazing. AMAZING. My first time in Europe and although it was only a long weekend, I had the best time. Can’t wait to share with you!

How are you enjoying June? Is it raining where you are? It’s pretty darn sunny here in Tokyo…is rainy season over? xx

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– Here comes the rain!

Famous novels retitled like Friends episodes.

– Throwback to all this gorgeousness.

Tokyo subway map by walking types.

– A new kind of real estate?

Who are you at the airport?

The Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki

Something about fields of blue that make even rainy days seem bright!

Nemophila flowers in Hitachi Seaside Park (or Hitachi Kaihin Koen in Japanese) are becoming incredibly famous and this park is a popular place to be during Golden Week. These are pictures from last year, actually, but I thought now would be the perfect time to share as any!

I went by car with some friends on a rainy day. It wasn’t suppose to rain but you know how spring likes to trick you that way. But when you’re with your friends, it really doesn’t matter. We bought ourselves an ice cream cone and took a walk around the park.

We were walking up a hill when a little girl passed us in a rush, pumping her arms in an effort to reach the top of the hills as fast as her little legs could carry her. My friends and I were chatting about how lazy we were, watching her leave us in the dust.

When we finally did reach the top of the hill, the scene before us was pretty incredible. I later learned that the hill is called Miharashi-no-Oka (translated: Hill with View) and is 58 meters above sea level. You could see past the blue fields that surrounded us to the green woods beyond, including a big ole ferris wheel. You could even see the ocean, which surprised me.

Just as I was wishing we had better weather for the view, I noticed the little girl that had rushed past us before, wandering around with a half sob on her face. I recognized this look, the brave face of a little one frantically looking for the familiar face of a parent while their heart beats a thousand miles a minute. I’m sure we’ve all had that exact same expression on our faces in the earlier years of our lives.

After a quick look around to see if someone was looking for her, I went over to crouch down and asked her if she was lost. With quivering lips, she nodded her head. So then I asked her what her name was. She mumbled something but I couldn’t quite manage to catch her name, so I asked her again, leaning in closer to hear. She must have though I was deaf because she stuck her mouth literally to my ear and shouted “MANA-CHAN!”

She had my ears ringing but bless her, I did get her name 😉

My friends and I called out for her parents and they were soon there, huffing and puffing up the hill. Apparently Mana-chan had really left them in the dust and they had just reached the top. The sudden relief on her face was apparent as she was scooped up into her dad’s arms and all was well in the universe again. Awww.

Satisfied that we had done our civic duty, we headed back down the hill. It was a good day!

Here are some photos:

HITACHI SEASIDE PARK (国営ひたち海浜公園)
605-4 Onuma Mawatari, Hitachinaka-shi, Ibaraki JAPAN
茨城県ひたちなか市馬渡字大沼605-4
TEL: 029 265 9001

The Three Musketeers in Ikea

Shopping for a bunk bed at Ikea ended up taking all day.

Not that it took that long to choose. I had actually narrowed down the bed we wanted online and we were technically just there to buy it. But you know how it is…we had to try out every couch, gush over the system kitchen that would never fit into my apartment and ponder over how many pots for plants I need (and by need, I mean want).

We also took a break and ate at the Ikea restaurant. Not only are their dishes very cheap, they had a vegetarian dish on their menu, too! We all tried the Veggie Ball Kurozu Ankake and it was really good!

At the end of the afternoon, we finally got around to buying our bunk bed, which we somehow maneuvered into our tiny car. It was a tight fit going back home but I had tons of fun. Mission accomplished! 😀


IKEA SHINMISATO
2-2-2 ShinMisato Lala, Misato, Saitama JAPAN
TEL: 0570 01 3900
HOURS: Mon-Fri 10:00am-9:00pm, Sat-Sun 9:00am-9:00pm

The May Link Love

Helloooooooo May!

And if you live in Japan, happy Golden Week! Are you travelling? Or are you like me and waiting out this peak travel season to go anywhere besides the supermarket?

April was a great month for me. My sister has settled into my apartment this past month and now we have a pretty good rhythem going. I won’t lie and say it was easy. It’s always a challenge living with someone who is not yourself, especially when you’ve lived on your own for so long. Am I right? I may or may not have cried in the bathroom when my sister came with so much stuff that I couldn’t see the apartment floor. So yes, it definitely took me awhile to adjust. But then I think back to my days in boarding school with over a hundred girls, not to mention this will probably be the last time we’ll get to spend so much time together as just us sisters (she’s getting married in August!!!), and I want to embrace this opportunity and enjoy having a roommate. Especially one who knows how to cook! ;D

So that’s what’s up with me. How are you doing?
 
I really love this season before the rainy season. It’s been so gorgeous outside and walking everywhere has never felt better. Hope you’re all enjoying this perfect weather!

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– The breakdown of flag designs.

Chicago neighborhoods. (I love this city!)

– A new kind of camouflage.

– What book should you read next?

– The beautiful art of repairing.

The Night Hanami in Tokyo Midtown

I was passing through Roppongi for work and was pulled towards the lights.
The sakura trees along the Midtown Garden are lit up every year. Yozakura itself is lovely but when they are lit up like this, it really draws a crowd. But surprisingly, at this time of night it wasn’t too crowded and I was able to take a leisurely stroll along the park.
Here are some photos: 

TOKYO MIDTOWN GARDEN (東京ミッドタウンガーデン)
9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo JAPAN
東京都港区赤坂9-7-1
TEL: 03 3475 3100
HOURS: 5:00pm-11:00pm
SEASON: Mid-March to mid-April (depends on the year)

The Morning Hanami in Shinjuku

I know hanami season is over but I just couldn’t go on without sharing just a little.
It may just be my imagination but are there more sakura trees in Tokyo than never before? With a slightly hectic spring schedule, I had accepted that there wouldn’t be a proper hanami season for me this year. It may just be that the hanami gods felt bad for me but it seemed like every corner I turned, there was a burst of sakura waiting for me!
Like this massive tree that was trimmed to a T it almost looked like a pink square marshmallow from the front. 
They say it’s bad luck to have a sakura tree in your yard, something to do with it feeding off human decay or attracting the dead. But others, like this house, say to hell with that and have gorgeous cherry blossoms above their roofs. Do you think it’s true? As much as I love sakura, and even though I’m not really all that superstitious…just in case, I would love to be the next door neighbor 😉

The April Link Love

Happy first day of April!

I just remembered that today is April fool’s day, which I have never been into. Do you like jokes and tricks? I am just one of those people that can’t handle purposely embarrassing people. I know, so uptight and boring. But I get even more embarrassed for them and it’s just too much. Ha.

Anyways, March was an interesting month. My cellphone passed away and since I haven’t made the time to get it fixed or exchanged, I am now living like a pilgrim. Or when I was in 5th grade, give or take a few hundred year. No computer, no cellphone.

It’s not too bad to tell you the truth. Which brings me to question myself…do we really need to be connected to every single person we’ve ever met? But then on the other hand, I’d like to get my cellphone fixed so I can actually call home and talk to my parents.

In other news, the sakura season is finally upon us! Yay!

Happy hanami season, everyone 😉

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Jane Austen is probably mad at us.

– I had no idea!

Not in the mood to party? (Heehee!)

– Haunting photographs.

Community.

– Perfect for hanami!