Archive for September, 2016

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

▷ . Cheryl

A university student in Tokyo who takes pictures and puts them on the Internet

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