Saturday, 22 February 2014

Update November- February

So 2014 is here and soon (4th March) I will have been in Japan for a whole year!

Over the last few months I have done a lot of exciting things:

  • I went to a T.O.P from BIGBANG fanmeeting in Yokohama at the end of November and got a seat only 24 rows from the front. 
  • Went to 'Namjatown' and ate the weirdest ice cream flavours ever (for example: eel, garlic and beef tongue' lol)
  • In December I went to the BIGBANG concert at Tokyo Dome in December which was AMAZING.
  • We went to a BIGBANG club night run by the B.B cafe and drank and danced way too much. haha
  • My family came to visit for Christmas and New Year and it was wonderful to see them and show them Tokyo! We saw a alot of tourist sites and traditional Japanese shrines and temples I hadn't had the chance to visit yet.
  • Going to BIGBANG karaoke rooms to sing and molest the walls
  • Hunting down Sailor Moon merchandise (some of which is still hard to get hold of even in Japan!)
  • Tokyo Disney Sea in February and eating more popcorn (in an array of strange flavours) than should be humanly possible
  • I started taking Japanese lessons again and I hope I can improve my skills so I can get more stuff done myself! (A friend also started teaching me a bit of Korean!)
  • I also received a certificate from my company as a 'Teacher of distinction' My manager and staff nominated me. I was very thankful.
And of course I've been generally hanging out with awesome people and talking, eating, drinking and shopping in the city that really has started to feel more like a home. Sadly a few of my friends here had to leave or will be leaving in a matter of weeks. I am emotional about that... :( 

Already planned for the next few months, I want to visit the YGFamily Exhibition in Japan next month. In May I will go to the YGFamily concert and see BIGBANG, 2NE1, Psy, Winner etc etc. I am so excited! I saw a poster for the concert 2 weeks ago in Shibuya.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Happy Birthday T.O.P!

Today is November 4th, which means it's TOP from BIGBANGs Birthday. Yesterday I went with my friend to to BB cafe in ShinOkubo (Korea town) in Tokyo. It's a BIGBANG themed cafe and they were having a celebration party for TOP's Birthday. There was food, cake, TOP masks, glow-sticks, alcohol, music, a quiz, prizes and a lot of very excited people who love BIGBANG. It was SO much fun!

This month BIGBANG start their Japan dome tour and next month I will see BIGBANG again in Tokyo Dome. I am so excited and the organisers of this event have lots of other parties and stuff planned around the time of the concert so I am super excited!

In other news, Halloween has come and gone and Japan have already put the Christmas decorations up everywhere! For Halloween at work we had to dress up in costume for an entire week and still teach English lessons to kids and adults! I chose a nice simple costume, Kiki from the Studio Ghibli movie, 'Kiki's delivery service'.

I can't believe it's already November! My Mum, Dad and Brother are visiting me next month! Another very exciting thing to look forward too!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Sailor Moon musical - La reconquista

On the 16th of September I was lucky enough to go and watch the new Sailor Moon musical in Tokyo. We had front row tickets just by pure luck. We could see every piece of glitter and bead of sweat on the actresses. lol! It was amazing!

Ever since I was a teenager I watched the old Sera Myu musicals and always felt a little sad that it was something I would never experience since I was too young and had no funds to go to Japan. Plus they ended in 2003. This experience literally bought me to tears. I felt incredibly lucky.

We had to brave the typhoon to get there (which was NOT fun!) and we spent the entire day being geeky, checking out the new Sailor Moon products in Shinjuku Isetan, kiddy land toy shop and we also went to the special Sailor Moon karaoke event.

On display in Isetan were the new phone cases, make up products and jewelry. They also had some special items. Sailor Moon socks (over priced, but had to buy a pair! lol) and some paper aprons. I am really not sure why... in my opinion it's a fairly useless product and cost too much, but they were cute anyway. haha

In kiddy land, a huge toy store in Harajuku, the Sailor Moon figure is still selling well and there are posters advertising the other Sailor Scouts soon to be released.

At karaoke, we mainly spent money buying the special drinks so that we could collect as many different coasters as we could! The drinks were also pretty good. Mercury and Jupiter were really tasty, but sadly the Mars one tasted like some kind of strange medicine. haha

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Summer time

Time for a well overdue update!

The Japanese Summer is SO hot and humid it's unbelievable! Coming from England where the Summers are mild and it's never really that humid at all, it was quite a shock!

I now understand why Japanese people have to carry parasols, fans and sweat towels with them everywhere during the Summer time! All I can say is thank goodness for air conditioning.

Over the past few months, I've been working hard in the intense heat which has often left me a bit stressed, grumpy and restless, but, I am enjoying it here all the same. On my days off I have been partying or relaxing and just appreciating and loving living in such a great city. (despite melting from intense heat every single day!)

Being a huge fan of Kpop, especially BIGBANG and 2NE1, I have been enjoying taking advantage of the great Kpop club nights that Tokyo has to offer. The clubs here are much better than any club nights I've ever been to in London (sad but true!) It's nice meeting other Kpop fans too.

In December BIGBANG are coming to Japan for a concert toour, so me and a friend snapped up tickets for their concert in Tokyo Dome in December. It's going to be so exciting! My membership for their official fan club came as well! Got my light-stick so I'm ready to cheer!

The Sailor Moon musical is in two weeks! (so excited!) Since the shows 20th anniversary is being celebrated this year, merchandise is starting to appear again and I got my hands on the new S.H Figure arts figure and saw the promotional displays in stores, including one in Akihabara. The food in Japan is amazing, and there are so many good restaurants to visit. Recently I went to another Alice in Wonderland themed cafe with friends. I've visited the cafe in Shinjuku before, this time we went to the one in Shibuya, which has a carousel theme. The decor is so amazing and the food is so cute! My dessert was in the shape of a cute smiling cheshire cat. :3 There are many different Alice cafe's in Tokyo with slightly different themes. We're hoping to visit each one eventually! We also discovered a REALLY good hawaiian burger place in Ikebukuro. Though trying to eat such a huge burger stuffed with avacado is rather tough without a knife and fork! haha!

Hawaiian burger in Ikebukuro

I am looking forward to Autumn when the humidity will drop again and it's a little more comfortable being out and about.

After clubbing all night after work on Saturday my body hurts. lol. So today I am going to go get a relaxing massage before a 6 day work week next week. (Yikes!)

I've got a lot to look forward too for the rest of this year, including my family coming to visit at Christmas! It gets stressful living abroad and surviving on such basic Japanese and having to ask for help a lot, even just to read your bills and post. However, this is the best life experience I've ever had, and I hope I can keep living here for a while... if not forever maybe!

Here are some kittens that were in Harajuku the other week. There was a guy looking after them and loads of people were crowding around to look and take photos. I'm not sure if he was trying to sell them or what but they were super cute and I wish I could have taken one home!


Monday, 1 July 2013

First birthday in Japan, Cats, Sailor Moon musical and the 'Queen of kawaii'

BIG update ahead! (o^.^o)

Last weekend on the 23rd of June it was my 25th birthday! I celebrated by going to a 'cat cafe' in Shinjuku. This is where you pay to spend time with many cats all in the same place. You can play with them, stroke them and feed them treats! There are lots of books there to read so you can have a coffee, sit and relax reading a book or talking with friends and petting all the cats! :D I really miss having a cat so after 3 months with no cat contact this was super cute and exciting!

After going to the cat cafe we went out to Korea town for some food and onto an Izakaya for celebratory drinks. In all, Japan is still as exciting as when I first arrived. It seems every time I go out somewhere I find something new and interesting.

I was lucky enough to have a friend in Japan help me to purchase tickets to the Sailor Moon musical happening this September. I was SO excited to hear they were launching the musicals again after so many years. It's to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series. I NEVER thought I would get the opportunity to see one! In Japan many concert tickets are sold where you cant choose where you sit, it's like a lottery system. I got FRONT ROW tickets for the Sailor Moon musical. :D Super excited!

Japan's 'Queen of kawaii' Miss Kyary Pamyu Pamyu who I saw in concert back in London, is all over Japan right now. She's got a lot of advertising campaigns and her new album came out a few days ago, so promotions are popular.

After walking around Shibuya and Harajuku on a rather humid afternoon. We decided it was time for some food. So we went to 'Shakey's pizza' in Harajuku where you can pay just over 2,000 yen and eat all the pizza you like. You can mix and match different pizza toppings, so we decided to have a bit of fun and have a pizza that was half chicken teriyaki and half marshmallow and chocolate! I'd never eaten a 'sweet' pizza before. I was a bit worried but actually it was very delicious!

I also visited the 6%DOKIDOKI shop in Harajuku which was just as cute as I thought it would be. The staff were so cool, amazing and kind and helpful!

I've been getting a lot of 'purikura' photos whilst on my adventures in Japan. Mostly with MAH BABE Emilie <3 We used the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu themed booth yesterday and the decoration options were awesome! Here is a selection of various purikura:

Sorry for such a huge update... I should space these out more often.. for more of my Japan adventures as they happen, check out my instagram account: katie_2ne1

Hopefully off to Tokyo Disneyland next weekend! whoo! very excited! :D


Monday, 27 May 2013

In the name of the moon, I will punish you!

'Sailor Moon' was, and still is, one of my best loved manga and anime. A few weeks ago I visited 'Azubajuban' which is the area of Tokyo where the Sailor Moon series is based. I visited the park where various Sailor Moon scenes take place and one of the local shrines that inspired Sailor Mars's shrine. The area was also in walking distance of the iconic 'Tokyo Tower' which features in so many anime and manga series. Sadly, due to it being a national holiday, it was too busy for me to go up it that day. However, I can go back another time to visit the observation deck.

Akihabara is a great place in Tokyo to 'geek out'. There are many anime, manga and idol shops and cafes. At the moment there are promotions for the new Sailor Moon figure which I managed to pre-order! We also ate some delicious ramen for lunch and hunted around the anime shops. So excited about the new Sailor Moon anime that is currently in production!
There was also a shop with loads of Studio Ghibli merchandise. I had to resist buying all the 'Kiki's delivery service' goods! 

Other various adventures in Tokyo recently include; hanging out with friends eating and drinking in Korea town, going to a 'fruit pallor' in Ikebukuro to catch-up with an old friend, finding the 'Ben and Jerry's' ice cream store in Harajuku and getting my hands on Kyary Pamyu Pamyu designed adidas trainers! 


Friday, 3 May 2013

Korean BBQ, Pokémon center, Akihabara and Alice in Wonderland cafe

I've been busy recently as it's golden week in Japan and I've had some time off to explore Tokyo :D
Therefore this whole post will be full of photos! You have been warned! haha

Golden week started after a tough Saturday of working for so many hours I lost count. However, because we had to work late my Head teacher who is awesome bought us all pizza :D

The vacation began with a day of catching up on sleep and washing. Then it really kicked off with an AMAZING Korean BBQ in Korea town with my other staff members. It was SO much fun and the food was incredible! Afterwards we went to Karaoke which was really fun as always!

Chillin' with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu in Shinjuku and GDragon in Korea town.

I went to the Pokémon center (Tokyo branch) and my inner 9 year old was rejoicing. They had everything pokemon related, ranging from stuffed toys to cooking utensils. I bought a few things including CHARIZARD SOCKS.

I wandered around Akihabara and explored the various anime and idol shops that are there. The third Evangelion film has just come out so there were Evangelion themed things everywhere! 

I found a store with some Sailor Moon stuff but it cost more than my rent... so there was no way I could buy it! I did buy a few small things though including an Asuka figure and T-shirt, a stuffed Jiji from Kiki's delivery service.

Guess who was on the side of Akihabara station? :D Sailor Moon! I saw this and had a total 'fangirl moment'! The new anime starts this summer and they were advertising the new toy figure coming out soon. Here is my shelf with the new Asuka figure and Jiji on it, along with some other geeky things.

I went with a friend to the cutest cafe that has an Alice in Wonderland theme in Shinjuku. It was one of the best things I have done in Tokyo so far! The food was incredible and SO well presented! The cafe's decor was also amazing! The cafe was on the basement floor so it really was like falling down the rabbit hole and entering Wonderland! I had a beef dish in the shape of the Cheshire cat and a pudding that looked like a card soldier. Afterwards we went shopping in Harajuku finding all the lolita shops. I ended up buying some shoes but no lolita outfit... yet! 

Purikura in Harajuku :D