l'isle joyeuse

Posts Tagged ‘japan

backlog: 2010.5.30

yokohama is one of my favourite places for day trips; the sea breeze, the peaceful tree-lined streets with coffee shops, the artsy little shops that sells wooden spoons with rabbits carved on top. i’m not surprised it’s such a popular dating spot for couples, especially after sunset where it sparkles with colourful lights that blink cheerfully (。◕‿‿◕。)


on this day, i started my journey by getting off at 桜木町 sakuragicho, which is the title of a yuzu song.


after that, i took the bus to the red brick warehouse >w< i've been wanting to visit for a very long time but never had the chance or time to. the 赤いくつ red shoe buses run around yokohama‘s famous spots and it costs 100円 each time you get on, no matter how far you travel.


arrival at the red brick warehouse. i had no idea what it REALLY was, so i was pleasantly surprised when i stepped inside.


lush! you can smell it from miles away ヾ(((´*゜∀゜*`)))ノシ i wish i bought more lush before coming home… it’s my dream to have my house smell like lush


more lush goodies!!!


there are a lot of small restaurants and cafes inside 🙂


cute little interior shops that make me want to have my own house~


there was a shop where everything in there has a rabbit motif. it’s creepy yet adorable at the same time.


i moved to chinatown after some shopping at the red brick warehouse! chinatown always smells like home – the steaming buns, the red lanterns, the chattering old ladies, the old messy shop selling chinese herbs and medicine.


santa claus in chinatown seems a bit out of place, though. it feels like a horror movie gone wrong.


back at shibuya. it’s funny how it feels like home, despite me being a foreigner.


high school boys on their way back from sports practice 🙂 i love japanese school uniforms, with their matching sports bags and parka jackets.


i bought an adorable two-tiered wooden accessory box at the red brick warehouse for 1050円 (`・ω・´)ノシ 

backlog : 2010.05.23


my final day in kyoto during my weekend trip to kansai alone was spent in a small town called 鞍馬 kurama, about 40 minutes away from the main city of kyoto! it was not a very wise move, seeing as it was a city nestled in a quiet, somber mountain area, not to mention it was raining the whole day with strong wind gusts D: but there was nothing i can do because i’ve already planned on going to 鞍馬寺 kuramadera. i had also planned to visit mount hiei as well but i gave up because it was simply impossible.


mount kurama : the home of king of the tengu, who taught swordsmanship to minamoto no yoshitsune. it’s on the border of two prefectures, kyoto and shiga, and being a mountain town, it’s pretty boring and there’s nothing actually “touristy” here, unless…


you like huge, giant tengu goblins 🙂 hiro does! incidentally, this particular statue was featured in a t no arashi corner hahah!


the demons and spritis of kurama are considered some of the most famous in the country


entrance to kurama temple, which is famous for its long winding paths of red and white bonbori lanterns


it was raining too hard and the ground was too dangerous to trek up on foot so i opted for the cable car!


the winding stone-paved path towards the main hall. you can see how eerie it was D: summer it’s this cold and misty?


main hall of the temple


🙂 where i was, with only a summer cotton tunic and a really thin cardigan. an unforgettable experience!


some of the cutest wishing plates i’ve ever seen!


coming down from the temple 🙂 in the beginning, i was tempted to trek through the jungle all the way towards 貴船神社 kifune jinja but i couldn’t even see 5 steps in front of me due to the mist and there was this moment where something hit my mind : “crap, if i get lost in here NOBODY WOULD EVER KNOW AND I WOULD MISS MY BUS BACK TO TOKYO HENCE MISSING CLASS AND I COULD DIE IN HERE AND MY BODY WOULD ONLY BE FOUND 10 WEEKS LATER OMG WHAT DO I DO!!!”

but as luck would have had it, halfway through a small area in the jungle heading towards kifune jinja my feet got caught by a huge confusing tangle of tree roots in a area that was apparently named 魔王階段 devil steps o____o;; it was at this time that i met a group of extremely nice japanese ladies (and one man) who gathered a few times each year to go on trips together! they were really worried about me because i was all alone in the heavy rain and wind in the jungle and they said that if i joined them it would bring the number of people in the group to 12, which was a nice even number hahah!


they even treated me to lunch! 😀 i had matsutake udon *O* SO DELICIOUS!


the nicest people i’ve ever met!!! they were so kind to me, some of them gave me their name cards and one of them gave me her phone number, telling me to call her if i ever go to okinawa! the nice guy (who speaks excellent english and travels around a lot) lives in odaiba apparently and he actually invited me for coffee when we were both back in tokyo but with becki‘s arrival and all there was no time. too bad, really, because i would have loved to meet him once more!


after that, i parted ways with them as they were going to kifune jinja and i opted to go try my luck at the cable car station to go to mount hiei, but we all know how that ended up 😦 the rain and wind was too strong that the cable cars were temporarily suspended and there was no knowing when they’d restart, and the people at the ticket counter told me to come again another time because the temple closes at 4:30pm anyway…


so i made my wet, tired way back to kyoto and treated myself to a nice, nice dinner since it was such a miserable day for me. i had kyoto cuisine at a really posh looking restaurant called がんこ ganko at the train station that was a lot cheaper than it looked from the outside! i ordered the やわらぎ子鍋 yawaragi konabe set (2079円) ♪


pork shabu shabu to warm myself up after a long, rainy day in the mountains with no raincoat on! it really was a surprise i didn’t fall sick 😀


the whole set was so beautifully presented, it was such a shame to eat it! it was really affordable for such great food at a nice japanese restaurant that i couldn’t resist!!! i can’t wait to go back to kyoto again so i can try the other stuff on the menu with teddy >w< he would swoon and never ever be able to look at japanese food the same again hahah!

i haven’t been updating my blog in a very long time due to a lot of reasons. one of it being university, with all the end-of-semester reports and assignments to be finished. another reason would be captain who is an awesome travel buddy >w< too many things to do, so little time!

i'll update my blog properly on each and every place i've went in the past few weeks when all this madness is over, but for now, here is a short update on what i've been up to, hiro-style.


kamakura


shiga


kyoto


kobe


tokyo


nagasaki


fukuoka


kumamoto

almost two more weeks before i leave the wonderful land of the rising sun and return to my tropical island! i shall miss this place dearly 😦 *starts planning future trips back here to japan*

backlog :2010.06.19

on saturday, i went to the narita express platform to pick captain up ♥ it was like a scene out from a really cheesy love drama hahah – we were running to greet each other and went all colkfneoicqhnovihn *insert spazz here*


she got me a present ♥


it comes in a pretty box!


and a nice little bag!


so pretty *O* it’s the cutest bracelet ever ;w; there’s a musical note for nino and a fish for ohchan!


after that, we went to harajuku because apparantly the softbank there is more efficient and foreigner-friendly. we got it done in less than 20 minutes omg :O


we saw the funniest vending machine EVER in one of the idol shops 😀 a vending machine that sells arashi photos!!!


we had epic purikura with our kaibutsu-kun caps and pikanchi shirts >w<


i’m sure we look crazy


after that, we went to shibuya‘s tower records to look at the kaibutsu-kun costume they have on display there >w< he's SO TINY!!!


so, so tiny hahah!


dinner time!!! all-you-can-eat sukiyaki at 1980円 per person ^^


fresh australian beef… how ironic!


pork from chiba prefecture


in to the pot it goes!


😀 yes we are happy


and dorky :p


i ♥ sukiyaki


and that’s the end of an awesome day – the first of many to come 🙂

recently i’ve been going out a lot with megan, a fellow arashi fangirl that i met on lj quite some time ago 😀 it would have been so much more fun had we gotten the courage to speak to each other earlier, because we’re both going home soon! nevertheless, it has been really fun everytime we go out together 😀


last friday we went to pasela to watch the 5×10 dvd. it’s a really nice karaoke place that has a dvd player as well, so we could watch anything we want 😀 it was so much fun, waving our penlights and doing the hand movements along with them.


they even have mouthwash for you in the washrooms :O


after that, we went looking for something to eat, and we saw this : destiny. the words crab chahan with a big “umai!” exclaimation? it is definitely very leader-ish so we went in!


we sat at the counter so we could literally watch them cook our food


it has a really warm, welcoming atmosphere and an authentic chinese ambience


we both ordered the crab chahan


we both chose different sets though. mine came with a small plate of gyoza, and hers came with a small cup of kaarage

yesterday, i met up with her again for dinner 😀 it was quite an adventure! i was supposed to meet her at shibuya but she emailed me 15 minutes before our meeting time to tell me that she had forgotten her wallet at home, her suica had run out of credit and she is now stuck in ikebukuro with no money. i went to get her, and then we had a laugh at how aiba-ish it was 😀


we went to an all-you-can-eat place called nabezo where you could choose between sukiyaki, nabe and shabu shabu (1980円 per person).


it was surprisingly quiet for an all-you-can-eat place! the service was really good too!


😀 meat! unlimited pork and beef, as well as assorted vegetables and random stuff for nabe dishes. i love harusame!!!


us 🙂 i love her red tights and black mary-janes! her dress was really colourful too – really springlike! my outfit on the other hand was a bit more subdued and it looks like winter… hahah!


on saturday last week i went out for cakes with the malaysians 😀 we met up at shibuya and it made my day to see these two huge posters outside the station >w<


i finally took a more decent photo of myself with hachiko!

deru joined us later because she woke up late so azu, kat and i had some sushi to fill up our stomachs since we have not eaten anything for lunch (and azu claimed he can’t fill his stomach with only cakes =w=)

after deru arrived we took the train to 田園調布 denenchofu because i fell in love with the cakes at l’epi dor! there was a small street festival there as well and we made the mistake of taking a look… i spent money again – a really nice bamboo-bottomed handbag for kimono (4000円), and a white heko obi (1000円).


i fell in love with the mille feuille the last time i came, but since i’ve already tried it before, i decided to order something else : the chestnut bavarois ♥ (420円)


it was unexpectedly good :O i am not a big chestnut fan but this one had just the right amount of sweetness and the subtle fragrance of chestnut >w<


the one who hides and the one who poses


the normal ones 😀 hahah just kidding XD and i’ve just realized that we were dressed to match! kat and i in white, and deru and azu in black 😀 talk about contrasts!


the hydrangeas are starting to bloom now! i’m so happy!


possibly my favourite flowers, next to casablanca lilies ♥ they are so gorgeous! *o*


japanese students in their summer uniforms. in japan, it’s a tradition to change all long-sleeved winter uniforms to short-sleeved summer ones. this tradition is called “更衣 koromogae,” which literally means “changing of one’s seasonal clothes,” and usually happens on the 1st of july every year. this doesn’t apply only to school students, but to train station attendants, postal office workers and other professions as well.


my first yukata of the year 🙂 uniqlo has begun selling them, and i immediately fell in love with this one. they get cheaper as summer goes by, but i decided to get this one because it was so pretty and there are chances that they might be sold out when the sales come along.

two more weeks till captain‘s arrival 🙂


welcome!

slice-of-life entries of my life in japan as an exchange student :) feel free to comment... they're my daily pieces of happiness!

to read my travel posts, please click on "voyages"

thank you for dropping by, and have a nice day ♥

i ♥ nino

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i ♥ ohchan

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