Ramblings

The Constant Coffee Conundrum

Ever since moving to Japan, I have this new problem. Coffee. You see, “conbini’s” (convenience stores) carry coffee. And when I say they carry coffee, I mean they have an overwhelming amount of options. You can choose between hot or cold, but that’s only the beginning. Coffee is also sold in vending machines all over Japan (and that’s something like 1 vending machine to every 5 people…. imagine it).

Then there are the flavors. Black coffee? No brainer. Milk? Got it. Sweetened/unsweetened? Take your pick. How about caramel? Want some coffee jelly in there? Cafe Latte? Light? Cappuccino? Almond? Honey? Banana? Cream? Hokkaido cream? Brazilian blend? I’ve got it, you want the “relaxed, evening” coffee. Wait, what does that even mean?! Continue reading

Standard
Around the Tokyo area, Ramblings

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Kurisumasu

Japan does Kurisumasu (Christmas) very similarly to the west. Most importantly, they decorate for it. Of course, houses won’t put up Christmas lights (typically) but most major shopping/sightseeing areas put up special decorations.

All the shops are decorated and sell special Christmas merchandise, to boot. If you can imagine the fine, adorable quality of Japanese stuff, it’s like a Christmas shop-a-holic’s heaven.

All over Tokyo, special “illumination festivals” are held during December, and Disney goes all out, too. I’ve taken it upon myself to personally find all of them in the greater Tokyo area. Continue reading

Standard
Around the Tokyo area

Japan + Disney Stuff = Love

These are all different hats modeled by Kris

I grew up with Disney world in my backyard and I went nearly every weekend for the first 9 years of my life. I’m serious. Thanks to being raised by a family in the media business, I enjoyed so many theme parks by the time I was 9, I actually didn’t want to go to Disney. Nowadays, of course, I’m a die-hard fan who can’t get enough Disney.

That said, if there is one thing that stands out to me as insanely different from the American Disney’s, it’s the merchandise.  Continue reading

Standard
Around Koga, Ramblings

Giving Thanks in Japan

Last Thursday, after nearly a month of prep and organization, we finally had our big, ALT Thanksgiving. Naturally, anyone was welcome, and by the looks of it, our Japanese friends really enjoyed the cultural experience.

Especially the part when I had to carve a rotisserie chicken (they were sold out of turkey at CostCo). Apparently, this is something not many get to witness in Japan, so many ooo’s, aah’s, and pictures as I cut the chicken. For me, I was instantly transported back to my high school days working at Boston Market. It was a glamorous job.  Continue reading

Standard
Ramblings

6,000 Miles of Thanks

I woke up this morning in one frame of mind: today is Thanksgiving.

This is obvious for those in the states but from 6,000 miles away, I have to work at remembering it/ feeling it. So, in an effort to embody the true spirit of Thanksgiving, here’s my list of things I’m thankful for. I promise to throw a few sidewinders in.
Continue reading

Standard
Ramblings

Mixing it up

So in an effort to keep myself motivated, I’m changing the pace of this blog. You can still look forward to my verbose “insights on Japan.” But from here on out, the plan is to write more often, write shorter posts, and show more. You’re also going to get to know me a lot better.

Did you know:

  • I’m a fitness enthusiast. Not to be mistaken for someone who is actually fit. I just enjoy learning about fitness and trying new workouts.
  • I’m really into photography and art. You may have guessed this already, but I’m going to let it show more than ever.
  • I have an inner fat-kid. I’m a foodie who loves sweets. Be prepared to hear about amazing food/recipe discoveries.

So, it’s going to turn into more of a “daily-life” blog, with some longer posts about culture and the like sprinkled around.

This is also an attempt to motivate myself to look for inspiration and positives in my daily routine. Hopefully you enjoy some of my findings as well!

 Yoroshiku!

Standard
Travel

Lone Explorer

In an effort for a change of pace and lone exploring, I decided to hop in my car on Sunday and head up to Gunma prefecture to see what’s up. My original goal was to explore Oze National Park, which spans 4 prefectures and is famous for sporting some fantastic fall colors. Earlier in the week, I checked to see what was going on in Oze and there were already reports of snowfall. But, never deterred, I decided to go anyways. Needless to say, both roads up into the mountains were already closed for the season. Not to mention, it seemed a winter storm was on the horizon, bringing in little snow flurries.  Continue reading

Standard