1. Japan, making life easy through the little things, like having a hook for your umbrella at subway ticket/IC Card charge machines for…well every time you need to use these machines but can’t find your purse and don’t have enough hands to rummage! Soo べんりいいいいいいいい!!

    じゃ、またね〜

     
  2. Harajuku Gyoza Rou 〜 原宿餃子楼(ハラジュクギョウザロウ)

    On one of our more recent trips to Harajuku we decided on Gyoza for lunch, mainly because we still wanted room for crepes afterwards!! But also because my friend had heard this place is pretty popular and worth checking out so we did! 

    We went mid afternoon so it was pretty quite but we weren’t the only customers there by far, and our food came really quickly after watching it being made in the middle of the restaurant! We went for 

    Bean sprouts with meat sauce もやし 〜 180 yen 

    Boiled gyoza 水餃子 〜 290 yen 

    Fried Gyoza with garlic 焼餃子 ニンニク入り 〜 290 yen 

    Sooo cheap!!! 290yen = £1.70 and it was pretty good too. I’d defiantly go back again but for a gyoza speciality restaurant 餃子専門店 I’d like a few more options of fillings! But then this is Japan and restaurants tend to stick to the main thing they are good at! 

    原宿餃子楼の食べログページ >> http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1306/A130601/13001284/

    じゃ、またね〜

     
  3. Shinjuku 〜 新宿 

    Yes, that is a train going across the middle there!

     
  4. Karaoke with a view!! 〜 眺めのカラオケ!!

    Normally Karaoke booths are small (dark) rooms with no windows but this time when we went to one of the Karaoke Kans カラオケ館 (the karaoke chain with the blue and red sign) in Takadanobaba we ended up being on the 7th or 8th floor and we had windows on two walls of the room to look out of!! It did get pretty cold up there after a few hours but it was fun to be able to look out and watch people walking down below, and as this was on the day before Christmas eve we also snuck in a few christmas songs here and there, a pretty different Christmas build up to last year! 

    じゃ、またね〜

     
  5. Wandering around Shinjuku 〜 新宿にのお散歩 1

    Shinjuku is probably one of my most favourite places to be in Tokyo although I’m not really sure why! There’s virtually no nature or hints of a traditional Japan. Shinjuku station is the busiest station in the world, so as you can imagine it can get pretty hectic at times, and to top it off there’s a pretty dodgy side to Shinjuku! But to me it feels like the epitome of what a big city should look, sound and feel like and quite often I find myself longing to be wandering around there, even though I’m already in Japan and technically already living in the Shinjuku district!! (some people are never happy eh?!)

    However that being said, recently we’ve been to Shinjuku quite a few times and I’d stopped taking photos, mainly because well, I’ve seen it all before. But last Friday, whist we were in Shinjuku my phone died and I’d forgotten to bring my portable battery, so I decided to put my dead phone away and get my camera out instead to take some photos while we wandered around.

    じゃあ、またね〜

    p.s. Expect a few more posts on Shinjuku in the very near future as I went slightly shutter crazy that day! ^^

     
  6. Gundam Cafe 〜 ガンダムカフェ

    A while back during the spring break we spent a day in Akihabara 秋葉 and as our final stop of the day we decided to try out the Gundam cafe for dinner. Neither of us are huge fans of Gundam but we are aware of how big a following it has both in Japan and abroad, so we thought it was somewhere worth checking out whilst we were in the area! 

    The food was pretty yummy, I got a really nice salad and hayashi beef rice for my main dish, and the restaurant had a good atmosphere to it, with a Gundam video quiz on a big screen for people to play along with whist they waited for their food! However I have to say with me not really being a fan Gundam (I don’t I’ve ever even seen a whole episode!), the theme was kinda lost on me! There were lots of Gundam themed foods and drinks on the menu and a gift shop next to the restaurant, but as I don’t really know the characters I just chose what I felt like eating! However there was no seating fee and the food was relatively cheap, especially in comparison to other themed restaurants we’ve been to, so not all was lost! 

    If you feel like checking it out for yourself here’s the link ^^

    じゃ、またね〜

     
  7. Japan’s latest idea, using ice cream cones for salad holders?!

    It’s original I’ll give them that! 

     
  8. View from one of building 22 classroom’s window 〜 22号館の教室の一つからの眺め

    It’s a good job the windows are at the back of the classroom or I would have wasted hours of lessons staring out at this view!

    This term I have lessons in a lot of different buildings around the main campus, which I really like as it feels like I’m getting to see more of the campus each week, but the main base for students studying Japanese is building 22, where these photos were taken from, and where pretty much all my lessons were in the 1st term! 

    じゃあ、またね〜

     
  9. Waseda Main Campus Cafe 〜 早稲田大学の本キャンカフェ

     
  10. BBQ TIME ~^^~ バーベキューのとき

    Last weekend we were invited by a friend to a BBQ that was being held on the Saturday, and as the weather had been so glorious that week and was set to continue over the weekend we jumped at the chance! We actually went pretty far for just a BBQ, so far that we went right out of Tokyo and into Saitama Ken (the prefecture just above Tokyo), but the journey only took 30/40 mins on the fast train and it was so worth it to be surrounded by some greenery, and to be able to get a breeze off the river when it reached over 30 degrees! 

    After a wonderful day I finally remembered to take some photos on the walk back to the bus stop and whilst on the bus going back to the train station! I’m not sure if you can quite tell from the photos but on one side of a hill we went up was of the fields we’d just come from and on the opposite side was the expanse of houses and buildings leading us back to central Tokyo. There was literally a stepping point from one side to the other! 

    I would say I’m looking forward to more sunny relaxed weekends like this one, but Tokyo and the rest of Japan is now well and truly in the rainy season and will be at least until the end of July…so the sun is going to have to be a distant memory for now! haha 

    じゃ、またね〜

     
  11. You know you’ve been in Japan too long when…. 

    you look down after 30 minutes and realise your bag looks like this, with a wallet and a phone ready for the taking! 

    There’s a certain amount of personal safety here, especially for you personal belongings, that is very easy to get used to, and why shouldn’t you? You shouldn’t have to expect that someone will take your stuff!! Here, sometimes people even reserve seats in a restaurant or cafe by leaving their bag or phone on the table whist they que up! However if I had left my bag like this in London, give it 5 minutes and my wallet might have been gone let alone the whole bag!!

    London might take some getting used to this time around! haha

     
  12. Happy Birthday Meg! - 恵ちゃんお誕生日おめでとう〜

    On the Monday before golden week our friend had officially finished all her exams for her year abroad next year so we were all able to meet up at last and have a belated birthday celebration for her!!

    The restaurant we went to was ‘Hearth’ in Ikebukuro, a kind of french bistro come wine bar, although as our friend had to catch her last train at 9pm we were only there for the food! The food however was really really yummy, especially the salad that had so many ingredients in it! And whilst everything was a little pricey we all shared the dishes so everyone got to taste of a few things off the menu. 

    Lastly was the dessert, come birthday cake, for Meg that the restaurant kindly made last minute for us! I say last minute, we literally saw another table celebrating a birthday with it so we asked one of the waitresses if it would be possible to also have one and they made it up for us within 15 minutes!! Japan doesn’t really seem to have birthday cakes as such but they always have extremely cute or well presented birthday dessert plates!! I was lucky enough to get one on my birthday here too!! ^^ We all enjoyed digging in to the dessert together before our friend had to leave and literally run to catch her last train!

    じゃ、またね〜 

     
  13. Tsurumakiyu Public bath house - 鶴巻湯銭湯

    A while back we were all feeling like another trip to the local bath house,  which is around a 5 minute walk away from where we live, but when we turned up it was closed for the day! However it did have a poster outside showing all of the other bath houses in the area, so we decided to try out another and this one, Tsurumakiyu, is the one we went for. It actually wasn’t that much further away, roughly a 2 minute walk from Waseda’s main campus and had pretty much the same set up as the bath house we had originally intended to go to but if anything I liked this one more! 

    I’d happily come back here or even try out another new bath house next time!! And there will be another time because I’m in love with these places!! 

    じゃ、またね〜

     
  14. Kaiten Zushi in Asakua 浅草での回転寿司

    Conveyor belt Sushi/ Kaiten Zushi = 回転寿司(かいてんずし)

    This was by no means the first time I went to a Kaiten Zushi restaurant, they can be one of the cheapest ways to get full in Tokyo so of course we’ve been a fair few times!! But I think I’m yet to blog about any of them so I thought I’d start with the most recent one I went to, which was Ganso Zushi 元祖寿司 in Asakusa.

    At the time we just wanted somewhere easy to grab lunch and knowing that Kaiten zushi is perfect for that we went here, but Ganso Zushi actually a Tokyo wide chain, so you wouldn’t have to go all the was to Asakusa for it. It was pretty reasonably priced, with the cheapest plates being 125yen + tax so around 73p….a little different to England’s Yo Sushi prices eh?! And as all the food is prepped and made in house so as you can imagine it tastes pretty fresh and yummy! However in my opinion I’ve been to better kaiten zushi restaurants that are cheaper, with more choice of food and are more of a fun experience, e.g. you have your own screen to choose your dishes from and sometimes it plays little games with you. But I guess this restaurant is the original version of Kaiten zushi, with a chef or two in the centre of the belt to place your requests to rather than a screen, and everyone sitting around one long conveyor belt rather than in booths so you can all choose from the dishes just going round in front of you. 

    I’ll try and blog about some other Kaiten zushi chains I’ve been to in the near future to show some differences in chains and points I like about them, as they’re one thing I’m definitely going miss when I leave Japan, but before I leave I also want to try eating at a proper sushi restaurant, not to be confused with Kaiten zushi mainly because of the huge price difference, but also because it’s a completely different experience and one I want to try! 

    じゃ、またね〜

     
  15. Andy Warhol exhibition at the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi ~ 六本木にある森美術館でのアンディ・ウォーホル展

    A few Fridays back a friend kindly invited me to go see an Andy Warhol Exhibition with her so we met up and headed to Roppongi after my classes had finished (for the week! wahooo). I was actually yet to go to an art museum or exhibition in Tokyo this time around, so I was pretty excited and intrigued to see a Japanese take on an Andy Warhol exhibition, as I’ve been to a couple in the past in London and wanted to see how they would set this one out. 

    The Mori Art museum did not disappoint at all! It was a really well laid out and thorough exhibition and I ended up learning so much more about Andy Warhol that I knew when I went in. The exhibition was called “15 minutes of eternity” in reference to Warhol’s belief that everyone has their 15 minutes of fame and it completely documented everything that he did in his build up to fame and everything from there on after. I’d never realised how much of a commercial artist Warhol was and I really liked the fact that the exhibition was focused evenly on all his life’s works rather than just his famously reproduced ones like Campbell’s soup tins!

    After spending nearly 3 hours wandering around and enjoying the exhibition we exited through the gift shop (somethings are the same the world over!) and then headed home! 

    じゃ、またね!