l'isle joyeuse

Posts Tagged ‘outings

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 

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*

backlog : 2010.05.21

my day in 京都 kyoto after my maiko photoshoot 🙂 it was really sunny, i was sweating a lot :O i’ve been to kyoto many times but i would never get bored of this place. just as i thought, my heart belongs in kansai!


the bus stopped at a rest area on the way to kyoto at night, and i saw this on the shelves 😀 so amusing!!! also, did you know that they have memorial stamps at highway rest areas too? oh japan you amuse me…


walking up 清水坂 kiyomizuzaka 🙂


as you can see, it was really sunny. i should have brought sunscreen along…


i caught a bee! it took me a few tries to get it though, because it was moving around so restlessly


a studio ghibli merchandise store at 三年坂 sannenzaka. i feel like buying so many things…


a cute maltese outside a store, waiting for its owner to finish shopping


obligatory self-photo, the moment i find a reflective surface >w<


a common sight in kyoto


on the way to 嵐山 arashiyama. i took the bus because then i can look at the scenery fly past me outside the windows, instead of staring into the dark subway tunnels


finally, after a long bus ride! 🙂 it’s so beautiful!


the original bridge was made from wood, and even now they’ve still kept to the original design


hiro enjoying the cool wind by the riverbank


another common sight in kyoto : rickshaw pullers


the original wooden beams under the bridge were replaced with iron but the original design was kept


fresh maple leaves. arashiyama is very famous for autumn foliage, and there are maple leaves everywhere you look! i must come again in autumn next time – my favourite season is autumn! ♥


and finally, the bamboo forest path i’ve been wanting to go for such a long time! ♥


they’re really straight and tall :O i tried knocking on one and my knuckles went red 😀


it’s really a tranquil place, and you can barely hear the sounds from the streets, except from the occasional rattle from the trains nearby


it’s a good thing i went on a weekday, though, as it would probably be filled with people on the weekends


野宮神社 nonomiya shrine along the bamboo forest path.


imperial princesses who served at ise shrine first resided here for 3 years to purify themselves, before taken in a procession to ise.


nonomiya shrine has also appeared in the tale of genji, noh stories and waka poems


i know we’re supposed to read the kanji from top to bottom, but i can’t help reading it left to right…


i realized i have this sort of fascination with railroads


a really mysterious looking bamboo bridge in the middle of the bamboo forest


finally, a reflective surface in arashiyama!


after emerging from the depths of the bamboo forest, i walked back towards the river just in time to catch the sunset


so beautiful! the water surface was really calm and pretty too, despite the quick flow of water


i walked a little closer along the river bank and was overcome with the beauty of it


i had dinner at a restaurant nearby since i was starving and the bus back to gion wasn’t going to come around anytime soon 🙂 when you think about kyoto, it’s got to be kyoto cuisine! the set was supposed to come with a chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), but they ran out of it so they replaced it with agedashi tofu


a close-up of my favourite : sashimi! ♥ ♥ ♥


i took the last bus from arashiyama back to the station and back to the hostel 🙂 it’s a really cute and homey place, and they have a whiteboard at the lobby to tell you how the weather will be like the next day


and they have cute handwritten signs all over the place 🙂 there were a lot of photos on the walls, of people who used to stay there. it was interesting! maybe i should send them mine as well…

i finally came back from my weekend trip to kyoto >w< it was quite tiring but well worth the time!

i've been to kyoto a few times in the past but my main purpose in going down this time was to do my maiko photoshoot. i’ve been wanting to do it for a really long time now, but there wasn’t enough time and now that i don’t have classes on friday, i finally have the chance to go on short weekend trips!

i’ve had my sights set on studio shiki ever since i stumbled upon the site, and i am really glad i went with it in the end! the staff were very professional and helpful, and it wasn’t as tiring or troublesome experience as some people who have been through say it was – rather, it was quite relaxing and felt more like a spa treatment to me hahah!

i chose the mini outdoor photography plan 🙂 it costs 16,000円 but upon arrival, they took one look at my hair and asked me if i was willing to pay an extra 2,100円 to use part of my own hair, which would look more natural. i agreed because i’ve seen photos of people with wigs that looked way too obvious in their photos 😀


it was a really sunny day so i was worried about how the photos would turn out, but they were really nice!


i chose a more traditional and mature kimono because i originally wanted a red one, and the closest they had to red was pink, which had a modern motif… so in the end i went with this one! darker colours were really pretty too, especially the blue, green or purple… i had a REALLY hard time making up my mind!


it was really hard not to smile really wide, because we’re not supposed to show any teeth!


maiko, otherwise known as apprentice geisha (or geiko as they are called in kyoto), are well-known for their distinctively flashy darari obi, which literally means “dangling obi. apprentice maiko, on the other hand, wear their obi in the same way but at half the length.


the white make-up is very distinctive as well, especially around the nape of the neck. it is painted in such a way to create the illusion of a mask, by leaving a thin line of bare skin around the face.


it was really good that i went on a weekday as well, because it means less crowds and people that would get in the way hahah!


the mysterious thing was… it was really hot and sunny but i wasn’t sweating AT ALL :O WHY??


can you see where my real hair was used, and where the wig is?


the wind was blowing at the right time! the special raised sandals that maiko wear are called okobo officially, but in kyoto they are also called pokkuri from the sound that they make on the stone pavements when walking. a lot of people have been warned that it is really hard to walk while wearing them, but it was fairly easy for me 🙂


a close-up. i wish i could smile in a happier way but there was no way i can do that without showing any teeth… oh well.


one of my favourite shots 🙂


when i look at close-up photos like these, i feel really glad that i opted for the half-wig… it looks so natural!!!


the mini plan includes 30 photos taken outdoors. the full outdoor plan comes with 60 photos, but it was more expensive so in the end i chose this one! there are cheaper studio photography plans as well, but i figured outdoor shots will be better since it would look more natural 🙂

being a kimono lover, it was a really fun experience, and i must admit that i am now addicted! i am really tempted to do it again!!! i highly suggest this for anyone with a bit of money and time to spare in kyoto… it’s truly a wonderful experience!


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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