Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kawaii everything

One thing I have come to superficially appreciate about Japan is that there is no reason why anything I ever own has to be ugly. I have seen super kawaii EVERYTHING - kitchenware, appliances (from blenders up to washers/refrigerators), furniture, clothing, accessories, stationery, various tech devices, etc. If I were so inclined I could trick out my portable WiFi device as much as my cell phone, as Softbank sells skins and straps for it.

However, one thing I think might be kind of excessive are kawaii rechargeable batteries.

So chic~

Like... really? I was too lazy to read the sign so these might have some other wonderful feature beyond being PINKCUTEOMG. But super kawaii rechargeable batteries obviously being marketed to my (young/female/money to burn) demographic??? I guess if I have a Hello Kitty remote for my TV, the batteries inside better be JUST AS ADORABLE AND KYAA-INDUCING.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


My birthday was last week YAY. But I haven't updated this blog for TWO weeks, so here we go~

Two weeks ago I went to my first Urawa Reds game! It was a charity game against Yamagata to raise money for those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. I went with two friends I "inherited" from the teacher I replaced back in February, and they used to teach some of the players' kids so they are BIG fans of the Reds. It was my first time to see the Saitama Stadium, where they played some World Cup games back in 2002. It is possible my brother has those very games on a VHS tape somewhere. The Reds didn't have a cheer section that day so I wasn't able to hear the slightly Engrish Urawa Reds fight song, but I still had a good time. We won the game and I gave a nice sum of money to some cute player afterward (who wasn't Genki, unfortunately).

The day after the game, I went to the Aeon Laketown mall to go explore. Apparently it is the largest mall in all of Japan, and I can believe that. I can usually conquer a mall in a day, but this one was a little overwhelming. Didn't help that I was kind of sick and and I got to experience a lovely 6.6 magnitude earthquake while I was there. I kind of thought I was going to die, or at least get stranded on the Musashino line. No photos, unfortunately, but just imagine a really nice and spacious American mall transplanted into Japan.

This past weekend, I FINALLY WENT CLUBBING OMG. Half-dragged Tracy and Marissa to my faaaaavorite club evarrrrr --- ATOM. Lots of j-boys with crazy hair, lots of good music, and lots of fake eyelashes on my face (see photo). Finished work at about 7pm, met up with the ladies at about midnight, and came home about 7am the next morning. Can't be pulling too many of those anymore, but I had a blast.

I should really buy a legal copy of Photoshop now that I can afford one.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but drunk Japanese people are HILARIOUS. We don't have to do much to stand out anywhere in Japan, since we're gaijin and all, but crazy people kept coming up to us. My favorites were a group of kickboxers with one non-kickboxer friend who kept asking us to punch them in their stomachs, because obviously they can handle it. Not sure if he wanted to be punched, but I personally made sure non-kickboxer friend wasn't left out.

I spent most of the next day sleeping and went to Gyu-Kaku later in the evening with a friend. I couldn't read the menu or anything useful, but I do know I ate a lot of really good meat and cow tongue. There were no $7 pitchers of Kirin or dipping sauce trio like we have in Hawaii (they had shoyu, oil, spicy stuff and minced garlic on the side), but IT WAS SO GOOD OMG. Too bad I didn't think about taking pictures until after I was already full. 

$30 meat platter YUMMMMM.

See the fatty meat in the shoyu? DELICIOUS.

The next day, which was this past Monday if you haven't been keeping track, I met up with Tracy and Marissa so they could take me out to dinner for my birthday. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe at the bottom of some hotel/fancy shopping mall and I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW MUCH I MISS AMERICAN FOOD. Never thought I'd ever miss nachos and barbeque chicken. Some lucky person had a birthday early during dinner and there was a big show about it, so OF COURSE I got the same treatment at the end of our dinner. I was slightly embarrassed but I thought it was very sweet of the girls to do that for me. I got an ice cream brownie sundae, a big Hard Rock photo keychain, and a 15% off coupon for the gift shop which I promptly used to buy a Hello Kitty Hard Rock cell phone strap. SUPER SUGOI.

And this past week I've been getting all kinds of boxes and packages from my family for my birthday! Here's a big photo of most of the stuff I've gotten:

I didn't even know Tokidoki made a charity shirt!!! IT'S SO AWESOME. I love it as much as Caroline loves her floppy hat and I wish I could wear it every time I look at it~

Thank you to everyone who made my birthday special~ I look forward to one more kindofnotreallybirthday thing next week with my two coworkers who had birthdays recently, too. BECAUSE I LOVE THEIR CHICKEN FACES (inside joke, don't worry about it).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

So much to write about!

And no time to write it!!!

So for now I'll just leave you with a small anecdote.

Today I had two boys, both very bright and happy, in an elementary school level class. I thought it'd be funny to bring in the animal finger puppets I usually use in a baby class for a few cheap laughs. I would show them each animal and ask them what the name was in English (*hold up monkey* "What's this?" "Monkey!"). I showed them this one, and you know what they said?

Not duck...


The advertising gets them so young...

Thursday, April 7, 2011


This past weekend, dear Marissa convinced me to go to PUROLAND. I realize the name does not give any hints as to what this place is, other than that it's some kind of amusement park. Here's a clue:

She's so much prettier in person.


Of course we have a Hello Kitty Land in Japan! What kind of horrible place would Japan be if they DIDN'T give HK her own freaking amusement park?

Puroland is made up of four floors and takes up one giant building. The top floor has a restaurant, dessert cafe, and two omiyage shops. The third floor is the entrance to Puroland, which is a big lobby where various Sanrio characters are running around taking pictures and a big gift shop. The park on the first and second floors aims to please really little kids, so most of the attractions are games or theater shows. There's a little boat ride you can take around the perimeter of the third floor, but that's the only ride. I'm not sure exactly where some of the things were located, like the random craft room and the arcade, but they're in there somewhere. There's also more restaurants on the first floor, because you have to eat all kinds of things with HK's face on it.

It is a very *magical* place! We visited Hello Kitty's house, where we admired her furniture and literature collection. Marissa pointed out that most people might find it strange to have everything in their house in the shape of their head, but it didn't seem like Hello Kitty minded when she designed the place. We ate lunch with Hello Kitty's face on it, wandered around the park, and even rang the Bell of Happiness!

Where HK applies her make-up.

Where HK dines with guests.

See that volume 2 missing? HK is reading it right now.

Super happy!

However, we were unable to partake in the game The Next Hello Kitty, which honestly looks like a lot of fun. I'm sure it would've been SUPER tanoshii to try to figure out the game with my heta Japanese skills! Buying the merchandise was probably the better route to take, given the back story to the game.

I knew HK was always after my money, but GEEZ.

After Puroland, we hung out at McDonald's and I almost gaijin smashed some group of girls. They must've been the mean girls of their school, because staring at foreigners and speaking bad English FIVE FEET AWAY FROM SAID FOREIGNERS is something I'd expect out of obnoxious hosts more than middle schoolers.

In Japan, they give you ONE ketchup package
unless you ask for more.
Even then they look at you funny.

But between Puroland and going shopping on Monday, I wore myself out and I'm now legitimately sick. I hope it passes before Saturday so I can go out!!!