Snoopy Donuts

Japan has an uncanny knack at attracting me to characters I don’t actually care much about. I mean Snoopy’s all right, but I notice him more when he gets turned into a donut.

Snoopy Mister Donut

Mister Donut’s doing a Snoopy campaignsnoopyThey had both white chocolate and chocolate Snoopys, but obviously since Snoopy himself is white I just went with the classic option. It came with limited edition Mister Donut packaging too! (hark at me, getting excited over a paper bag)

And since I had some Snoopy latte art sheets I made myself a cup of cocoa to go with it.

Snoopy Mister Donut

Mister Donut has got to be the most enthusiastic donut chain I’ve seen—they really decked out the whole place in Peanuts and even came out with a whole line of themed stationery. So for the whole month they’ll be extra cutekirakira

Snoopy Mister Donut

A year (and counting) in Japan

Japan Onigiri

It’s been a little over a year since I moved to Tokyo! I read the post I wrote from right before I came and it was fun looking back at everything that’s gone on since last September. Already the second year of university, who would’ve thought it’d come so fast?

So let’s see, things that have changed…

Rilakkuma Toast

Some people call it adulting. I just think of it as staying alive. Last year I was so worried about being away from home but over time I’ve really come to like this strange new freedom I have as a university student in a foreign country. I make my own food (and make it cute) and organise my own room and go out to explore new places. Freedom! New experiences! I love it.

Mount Fuji Japan

And those new experiences have really snowballed since I came here. Spontaneous trips across the region, nights at the ryokan, part time jobs and everything else in between.

It’s like holding Mt. Fuji in the palm of my hand. It’s not even just about travelling but living a different life from what I used to. Meeting people, for one—I’ve never met so many people from so many backgrounds in my lifegirlEveryone has all these stories to tell and it’s fascinating to see how someone was brought up in another culture. And then I feel proud that I have my own to share too (the Merlion is always a hit).

Ryokan Japan

And of course Japan’s culture charms me as always. Maybe it’s because Singapore is practically a baby in this world, but I like Japanese traditions so much whether it’s wearing yukata in summer or eating kaiseki at the hot springslove girlI think I’ve been to the ryokan three times this year already. The love is real.


So after one year, what do I think of this country that I’ve looked at from afar for so long and am finally in? Living in Japan is no paradise but I don’t love it any less than I did before. I love that I get to be a part of this place for four years. Not everything is enjoyable—it’s frustrating sometimes being an outsider and getting reminded that you’re different. In some ways I might’ve become a little more insecure of myself, but because of that also had to become a little braver.

I wouldn’t expect everything to go by like a dream. My reality still has its bad days, but also a lot of cheap sushi and hidden cafes and changing seasons. And friends to enjoy all that with! It’s not all about being bedazzled by everything here anymore, but just being companionable with Japanbear

Seoul Travel Diary!

Hello! University’s officially back in session for the new school year and once again I’m running along trying to keep up with all my classes. But before I pitch myself back into the pit of schoolwork I need to share the last of my summer travels.

Seoul Bingsu

Seoul!kirakiraWe spent a number of days there exploring unfamiliar streets and eating lots of barbecue and shaved ice in the summer here. This is only the second time I’ve ever been to South Korea, but it felt like I really got to know it more this time.

Seoul Gyeongbokgung Palace

I have a soft spot for culture and tradition and basically everything that isn’t modern in foreign countries (which is why I’m always running off to the countryside here in Japan on holidays). Seoul is a buzzing city surrounded by mountains—that juxtaposition!—with huge palaces that’ve stood for centuries. I’m not a history buff, but I still very much appreciate some ancient architecture when I see it.

Seoul Food

And you know most of the memories I bring back home involve foodhurhurI’m familiar with a pretty standard set of Korean dishes, but the actual country had so much more than everything I’d known. I mean, I didn’t even know I’d like eating blood sausage that much.

Seoul Kimbap

Kimbap more like kimmmmbap.

Seoul Bungeoppang

A lot of food was so cheap too. Like this bungeoppang (taiyaki’s Korean relative), which was only a thousand won or a dollar for five. So! Cheap! I definitely ate way too much.

Seoul Ramyeon

Because it’s hard not to when food portions in Korea are intense. Some of my favourites were those giant pots with ramen, kimchi, cheese and everything—you just threw it all in and had a feast with your friends.

Seoul Dakgalbi

I’m sorry for making this picture overly dramatic, but you should’ve seen the amount of cheese. It justifies everything.

Seoul Rose Gelato

Moving on to something more delicatelove girlI went to Myeongdong specifically with this rose gelato in mind. It was packed with tourists as I’d thought, but at least I got to see them carving a huge lump of gelato into this work of art so that was cool.

Seoul Rilakkuma

I went to the CU convenience mart and practically bought out their Rilakkuma bread stock to collect them all. Just because they have cute packaging and stickers inside. Why does this happen to me even outside Japan?!

Seoul Myeongdong

Seoul’s street food outdoes itself. Just look at this one stall in Myeondong, they really love watermelon.

Petite France Korea

Went all the way out of the main city to visit Petite FrancenekoIt was a bit of a chore walking up and down those hills and steps but all those quaint houses and beautiful colours made up for it.

Seoul Live Octopus

Not forgetting our wiggly friend here—we went to the massive Gwangjang Market for traditional Korean food and a lot of stalls had little fish tanks where they kept their octopuses. Except they weren’t pets but the customers’ food. The shopkeeper fished this one out and served it to us right there and then, and it was definitely a dining experience of a strange kind.

Seoul Travel

Seoul was an amazing place to end summer vacation with, and it was the company I had that made me love it so much. Things are just better enjoyed with friends (like when there’s too much food to finish) and I couldn’t have had a better time without themgirl love

I actually have a whole bunch of photos from when we wore traditional hanbok dresses at the palace but I think I’ll reserve that post for another time in between the usual Japan updates. Or when I need to relive vacation memories while procrastinating on homework (as I am now). See you again!

Hanging out at an Owl Cafe

I made friends with owls in Ikebukuro!

Owl Cafe

Maybe it was kind of a one-sided friendship. But at least they posed with us for the pictureshurhurIt was so interesting because I’d never really thought about going to an owl cafe even though they’re pretty popular in Tokyo. But my friend invited me to go so I got to see it myself for the first time!

Owl Cafe

The setup inside turned out to be a lot nicer than I’d expected. They’d really gone all out with the forest theme; it was us and the owls under a lot of trees. And a TV too, if you wanted to watch old Moomin episodes with your new feathered friends.

Owl Cafe

There were owls everywhere, and some of them blended into the forest so well I thought they were statues.

Owl Cafe

I loved this owl which just looked plain shocked to see me.

Owl Cafe

It cost ¥890 to get it, but there wasn’t a time limit and they gave you a drink. So I could still enjoy my chocolate banana smoothie surrounded by owls.

It’s one of those places that’d be nice to experience at least once in your life. And then go again if you have money or a great passion for owlssmile

Sumikko Gurashi Cafe

Sumikko Gurashi Cafe

Finally visited the Sumikko Gurashi cafekirakira

Sumikko Gurashi Cafe

Character cafes are usually impossible to go to because they always get clogged with people queuing for hours, but by some miracle I got a table right away at this one. Probably because it was a weekday afternoon, and an hour away from central Tokyo by train.

Sumikko Gurashi Cafe

It was worth the long journeygoodThey really did put a lot of effort into decorating; there wasn’t a single corner of the place that didn’t have Sumikko Gurashi on it. And that was great, because I adore every one of them.

Sumikko Gurashi Cafe

They were surrounding us while we atelove

Sumikko Gurashi Cafe

Big props to the people who decorated the cafe. They even had a big screen on one end playing Sumikko Gurashi cartoons. I didn’t even know they did cartoons, and the characters just kind of quietly bob around and bump into each other, but it was entertaining to watch.

Sumikko Gurashi Cafe

And of course the food was cute too, even if it was just printed wafers stuck inside sandwichessmileThe wafers didn’t taste of anything so they were really just decoration. But at least it did look a lot more interesting with the characters sitting in between slices of bread.

Sumikko Gurashi Cafe

To their credit they did try hard with their pancakes. The stack was completely doused with cream, which was all they needed to shape it into the white bearbear

Sumikko Gurashi Cafe

This might have been one of my best experiences at a character cafe, mostly because it was nice and empty and I didn’t have to wait for anything (I will never forget the six hour queue at the Kanahei cafe in Shibuya). But the atmosphere was adorable too, complete with giant Sumikko Gurashi characters accompanying you at the tables.

It just steals your heart (and money)girl love

My Taiwan Travel Diary

Taiwan Milk Tea

I’m back in Japan! I can finally catch up with my bloghappyIt’s been a month since I returned, but I wanted to share pictures from my trip to Taiwan while it’s still summer. It was a four day trip but we saw and ate enough to fill several gb of pictures and videos.

Taiwan Hello Kitty Plane

Our airplane surprised us by being decked out in Hello Kitty. I mean everything was Hello Kitty—the plane meal, the seat cushions, the safety pamphlets and even the barf bag. I’m not a big fan of Hello Kitty, but I fully appreciate how much effort the EVA Air put in to looking cute.

Taiwan Castella

Taiwan in general is full of cute things like this bear castella I ate on a day trip to Shifen.

Taiwan Lightbulb Milk Tea

And sometimes they’re borderline hipster too, when they put their milk tea in a lightbulb.

Aside from all that there were also lots of traditional food and desserts which I lovedlove girlI lost count of how many bowls of douhua I had—bean curd with taro balls and tapioca and shaved ice. (I liked the taro balls so much I brought a pack home, but then forgot to eat them before they expired)

Taiwan Peanut Ice Cream Roll

We went all out at the night markets and spent whole nights eating any street food we liked the look of. So. Much. Food! Before I went I’d always wanted to try the ice cream roll with coriander and peanut shavings—it was even stranger but nicer than expected. Honestly whoever thought of this was a genius for making so many curious people want to try it.

Taiwan Breakfast

Local breakfast every daygirlSometimes it was egg rolls, sometimes it was noodles, sometimes it was 50-cent buns from a street vendor. And I always had cold soy milk just to treat myself in the morning.

Taiwan Jiufen

A break from the food pictures! Taiwan is beautiful. My favourite parts were the traditional buildings and streets (which was most of it anyway). On one day we took a day trip to a small town outside the city, and it was literally called Jiufen Old Street. Kind of like going back in time, with red lanterns and old shops everywhere.

Taiwan Jiufen

It seems to be pretty well-known, but apparently this place was the inspiration for the Ghibli movie Spirited Away. I never thought I’d find a place outside Japan that reminded me of Ghibli (just how many times have I referenced it on this blog now?), but this might’ve been the most impressive of all. Just look at that mountain!

Taiwan Jiufen

At night everything lit up and I got my postcard shot.

Taiwan Jiufen

It really was like getting cut and pasted into Spirited Away, completed with dark tunnels.


After appreciating nature for a day we went back to the city and did our shoppinghurhurAnd met this puppy in one of the shops. There were dogs everywhere in Taiwan.

Taiwan Liquid Nitrogen

And we carried on eating our way through the night marketseatThis was the craziest—some sort of liquid nitrogen ice chips that absolutely made you smoke like a dragon when you popped it into your mouth. (It didn’t actually have any taste, we just ate it for the photos)

Taiwan Mango Juice

When I remember Taiwan I think of street food and old towns and mango juice—we might have averaged two cups a day just because they were so cheap and big and exactly what we needed during the hot summer. It wasn’t just the heat, but Taiwan reminded me of Singapore in some ways and I did kind of feel at home while I was therenekoWe were only there for four days, but Taiwan didn’t need long to charm the socks right off me.

Cute things to make with pink soba

Hello! Recently I’ve been busy travelling and going home; I wanted to blog about my short trip to Taiwan so I’ll do that when I’m back in Japan. For now here’s a post about what I made with pink soba.

Pink Alpaca Soba

I got this way back in spring when I went to Kawaguchiko and everything was sakura-flavoured (hence the pink), but this pack of soba noodles only expired in September which is why I waited so long to use themdiet nekoI couldn’t bear to use them and held off until final exams came around and I was trapped at home with little else to eat. And so this pink alpaca was first born (and eaten on the spot).

Pink Cat Soba

I thought it’d be a waste if I had pink noodles and just used them as noodles, so I spent a long time googling inspiration for pink animals or anything remotely decorative. (I tried so hard.) Eventually I just ended up with a remake of my walletneko

They don’t have to be pink, so if you ever have a pack of soba noodles lying around go ahead and get creative with themkirakira

Welcome ♡

▷ . Cheryl

I'm a university student in Tokyo blogging every weekend about cute food and cute places in Japan٩( ᐛ )و

Read my About Me ☆ to know more.

毎週日本の可愛い食べ物や場所についてブログ更新していますヽ(´_`) /♪



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