Thursday, January 31, 2013

Japanese Stars Hollow and Bingo

I can't believe I forgot to post the Purikura from the adventure with Moe, Yuuki, and Mitchell!
Can you tell which ones I decorated? XD

Wednesday was a pretty relaxing day. I worked out, went around town, cleaned a bit, watched a documentary on people going vegan, dyed my hair, and such. As I was walking around town, I heard "Look who it is!" and was swarmed with some of the students from the mochi making party. Oh goodness. Their mums were with them, so I was talking with one of them as we walked to the station.

Later on in the day, I was at the bookstore and felt a tap on my shoulder. This always surprises me whenever I'm somewhere other than school. It was Sabrina! =^.^= We talked for awhile and went to nearby shops to look around for some souvenirs for her to bring back to her family since she's going to go visit them this week. They're a lucky family because she bought a ton of sweets to share with them.
We found this is one of the stores:
They're covers to put over spray bottles. Japan makes everything and anything they can cute. lolol. ^___^

As we were saying goodbye at the station, 3 people we knew, Shota, Yuuki, and Yuka, came up to us to say hi. Man, are we in Stars Hollow?

Speaking of, does anyone feel like Granny's Diner from Once Upon a Time looks and has the same feel as Luke's Diner?
Workers with flannel and back-heavy hats. Okay, maybe not for that reason. BUT STILL!

Yesterday, most of the other exchange students and I went to the Seijo grade school to play games in English with them. Evan and I got assigned to play a Bingo using pictures of different foods. There were also about 4 mothers, a father, and 2 teaching assistants that were in our group. They all spoke really good English too. After getting to know each other, setting up and practicing for a bit, we had some lunch.
I knew I would have to have an obento again before I left...
It was pretty good except for the Caramel color and preservatives that they added XD. I really should stop reading the nutrition labels of these.

Then, we headed back to the game area to practice a bit more. There was even a song and a dance to match that we learned. x___X Something about feeling joy and then feeling joy on your head and toes and all over and I don't even know. But it ended up being really fun. XD

There were about 5 groups of 15 kids each that we played Bingo with. We had to show them pictures of food and ask the kids what they thought it was in English. "Do you know what this is? Do you like hamburgers?" Some of the kids didn't know much English, so they struggled a bit, but then I realized how helpful it was to have so many people in our group to help the kids out. Either way, the kids were are terribly adorable. I still marvel at the fact that I haven't seen any kids here pick their noses...
Anyhoo! After, we danced to the song with them a few times. So much joy, man.

We cleaned up and then hung out for a bit more with some hot tea. I tried teaching one of the mums in our group to say "'Merica" correctly. It ended up sounding like "miracle." lolol. I don't even remember what other things we were talking about but I was laughing a lot yesterday.

About a half an hour later, we headed to one of the cafeterias to have our going-away party. There were a ton of desserts:
And then another full tray O___O.

I didn't bother taking pictures of most of the party since Hamanaka looked like she was taking a bunch that will probably be posted on Facebook later. I'll post them here if she does!
But here are the two others I did take:
Bye, "Mithell"! lolol. He never noticed until today even though he's had the same name-tag for a year.
Tom learned the hand-slapping game and hated it. lolol. I got a video of his rage that I should post sometime. XD
But anyways, it was a really chill party. Besides the exchange students, there were only about 12 other people. I had to give another speech and was actually able to say something besides "My name is Kat." I joked and said my go-to, that I liked sports. I think I said that in nearly every other speech, but those were all for introductory ones. I may have to give one more at this party that Okuma sensei is throwing me. Bah! haha.
Then, Yuka came up and said some really nice things and such and then I hugged her and picked her up. lolol.

The party only lasted about an hour. Sabrina and I had made plans yesterday to go out shopping after the party, so we went to Shinjuku ^___^. She wanted to pick up some Tokyo Banana desserts to bring to her family. We were thinking about going to Ikebukuro to go to the Chocolate Paradise exhibit that I went to with Moe, Mitchell, and Yuuki, but since there were so many desserts at the party, we decided not to. I was really relieved actually because I'm kind of sampled-out and not in the mood for a ton of sweets at once, haha.

We stopped at a Liz Lisa to look at the pretty top that I wanted, but after trying that on again and a few other things, I didn't really like the look of it on me as much anymore. I just need to go to Nike. lolol. Sabrina ended up buying some stuff though! She looks good in anything in that store.

We stopped at my place after so I could give Sabrina her present since she'll be gone soon and I won't be able to see her again. It was present day 'cause I gave most of the other exchange students their presents too. AwWwww yeaAaAhHhh!

Sabrina and I were both wondering why we didn't hang out more together here. The time just went by too quickly x___X.

Today, the exchange students will be going to lunch with Toyama sensei. After, Sabrina and I are probably going to be shopping in Shibuya since we'll be there already and then head off to Shimokitazawa for Mitchell's birthday party. Another full day!

This was a lot of text. I need a picture somewhere...
Oh, this is appropriate:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Planetarium Lullabies, Kitty Cafes, and Kiwi Adventures

Three days ago, I finally had a free day, a.ka. recharge day. =^.^=
I went around town, wrote more in my other blog, and then headed off to Shimokitazawa. I just wanted to explore a bit more, but ended up shopping a bit and expanded my wardrobe...lolol. I finally found "girly" clothes here that don't make me look awkward with having muscular legs vs. tiny Japanese girl legs. It was very exciting. So many great purchases, you guys.
The Claire's stores in Japan are a bit different than in the US. It's geared more towards teenagers and young adults rather than little kids. They have so much awesome jewelry, accessories, and hats, that it doesn't seem like a Claire's at all.
After about an hour or two, I went back home and watched more of Once Upon a Time. I've caught up with it D=. NOW WHAT? I tried watching LOST yesterday but didn't like it very much. I'll probably try another episode today though. I mean, if MoMo likes it, how can I not? ^____^'

On Monday, I went to Ikebukuro with Mitchell, Moe, and Yuuki (different Yuuki). I have to say, I was not mentally prepared to speak in Japanese the whole day. Since classes ended, I haven't had the opportunity to use much Japanese for a longer period of time. This day was a challenge x___X. But a good one!
We picked up our tickets for the Planetarium and wandered around the Sunshine City mall for a bit.
Here is Yuuki looking pretty at the Disney store:
 Then, we went out to lunch at a nearby restaurant. This was pretty delicious:
And then off to the Planetarium! We had to run there and inside the Sunshine City building in order to get there on time XD. We probably looked pretty funny, rushing to go to the Planetarium...
We decided to go to the space/shooting star showing. It was really relaxing. Actually, it was too relaxing and I think I may have dozed off for majority of it, waking up here and there to see fake stars above me. It was a good use of 1,000 yen. lololol.
After, I was still really sleepy, but we headed off to a Kitty Cafe.
 It was a really chill cafe, but with cats.
There were people just lying down, knitting, working on homework, reading the Manga that you can borrow from the bookshelves, all while being surrounded by cats. You do have to pay for the amount of time you're there, so we only stayed a half an hour for 600 yen. I would have loved to stay longer, but I did wish there were more cats that walked around. Most of them just sat on their chair or bed and didn't move the entire time. They ruled the place and they knew it.
The atmosphere was definitely really nice though.
Kitty meets KITTY.
 Yuuki was scared of the cats XD.
 Moe liked them though ^____^
 They had free wi-fi, too. So naturally, everyone was on their phone at one point.
Mitchell giving the cat some lovin':
And then it turned around and gave him the butt:
 It just reminded me of:
"Oh, great. The butt."

After the Kitty Cafe, there was an advertisement for an event on the 7th floor in one of the department buildings...
It was for this:
Yes. That really happened. I love Valentine's Day in Japan. Mitchell and I are pros at this sampling thing. This time, it was just chocolate though. Oh my gosh. I wish MoMo could have been there. We got to try about 20+ different chocolates from all over the world. Two places even let us try theirs twice, as we were debating on buying some. So much chocolate O_O.
There was even another floor of other sweets I snuck a shot of:
We must have been there for over an hour and a half because when we went outside, it was turning dark out. lolol.
I wanted to take this advertisement home:
Yesterday, I went to the gym and then met up with Luke to get some fer eeking spicy ramen from Nakamoto.
I really loved all the contents of the last one, so I decided to stick with the same one. We asked if it could be made spicier. The worker said they couldn't, but there was a bowl of chili powder so we could do it ourselves ^___^.
I added just a bit more. I had forgotten how good this was, which is a good thing because I would have wanted to get it everyday forever. Luke seemed to have really liked it, too. He told me that when he was talking with his friend, he said that business men like to go out to drink and have a dinner and then after, go out and get ramen late at night before they go home. Two dinners, man. Post-dinner dinner. XD

Filled with noodles and spices, we left and took a train to Shibuya to explore the areas nearby, Daikanyama and Aoyama. Oh yeah, we had to pick up something sweet after, of course. XD Luke bought an amazing looking Cream puff donut thing and I got some more manako. Anko is so good x__X.

First, Daikanyama-
"You are what you Eataly" lolol.
It had huge pieces of bread. I didn't take a picture of the biggest pieces, but they were double the size of the ones on the top shelf in this one. The store had, well, everything Italian- cheese, noodles, meats, chocolate, wine, an Italian chef (lolol), etc. Luke said it smelled European, so now I know how Europe smells. I know the smell, you guys.
Women's face shaving service:
Face fuzz is not allowed.
Daikanyama was a very simple suburb-like town with independent shops and such. It had a very hipster feel, but more relaxed than Shimokitazawa.
 Bling Me!
 So much shiny stuff in that shop...
 Gundam Building:
It was a school! So awesome. It was designed after the Gundam from the anime.
We also saw a show being filmed. We may have seen a famous person from a J-drama and we didn't even know it. XD
After walking around for a few hours, we had to stop at a conbini to ask where the heck Aoyama was. It turned out that it was on the opposite side of Shibuya, so we had to head back XD. We stopped at one of the malls that had a sweets floor in Shibuya, planning on buying something sweet for later. However, we were given a few things to sample, and didn't bother buying anything ^___^'. I think I'm getting sampled out...x___X
I was able to take a picture of one of the shop's cases!
So cute. So perfect. I wonder how it tastes though...h00t.
We walked from Shibuya then to Harajuku and then to Aoyama. It definitely felt like a smaller version of Ginza.
 There was a small temple in the middle of the city:
Oh man. The rocks were raked. There would be no escaping if we stepped on these:
I found Japanese Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin/The Dark One/The Crocodile/The Coward (Did I miss any names?):
lolol. After walking more, we were in Shibuya again ^___^. Luke had plans for the night, so I decided to shop around Shibuya for a bit before hopping home.
At Liz Lisa, the shop that has clothes that are so pretty, I got to try on a shirt. In the same store in Harajuku, they don't let you try on shirts, so I was pretty pumped.
I fell in love with it. It made me feel so pretty D=. But it ended up being pretty expensive. Bah! I thought it was half of the price but that was just for an accessory they had put underneath it. ONE DAY, LIZ LISA, ONE DAY. haha ^___^

With working out and venturing the whole day, I had accumulated 7500 fuel points on my Nike fuel band with almost 35,000 steps. lolol. woof! =]

Oh, by the way, the reason why the title of this post says "Kiwi Adventures"- apparently, "Kiwi" is a nickname for a person from New Zealand (Luke). That is too cute. C'mon, America!

The plans for today have changed since the amusement park that the exchange students and I were going to go to is closed on Mondays-Thursdays during this season. lolwut. So today is another free day!
 Two weeks, man. Two weeks.