Archive for October, 2016

October Conbini Favourites

It’s October 31st! I’m going to squeeze in this one post before the month ends!

Fall season has seen a burgeoning of new flavours on the shelves in the convenience stores and I couldn’t be happier about it. It’s not even just the yearly return of sweet potatoes and chestnut either—Japan’s as creative as always with their snacks.

October Conbini Favourites

I drink milk tea all the time but I’ve never eaten them in snack form. Takenoko no Sato (cookies made by Meiji that are covered in chocolate and look like little bamboo shoots) has always had a ton of fun flavours from mango to syrup, so I’m not usually surprised when I see new ones come out. But I was surprised by how much it tasted of milk tea—exactly what I’d imagine the beverage to be if it came in solid form. Meiji delivers!

October Conbini Favourites

There are so many things I’d like to say about this one. Firstly, Doraemon and Hello Kitty look cute togethersmileSecondly, the mug comes with it. You get a whole mug out of buying jelly at the convenience store. That was really the whole reason I bought this—no surprises there—but I was so impressed by what a good deal it was.

October Conbini Favourites

The actual jelly inside wasn’t even bad! It was good, actually. There were lots of juicy mikan chunks inside and it just added on to the satisfaction of getting two good products in one. This is the third time I’m falling for this gimmick and will probably not be the last until my kitchen cupboards run out of space for ‘free’ mugs.

October Conbini Favourites

Hey, real milk teanekoAnd Chip & Dale on the bottle. How do I not buy that?! I’ve always liked Gogo no Koucha, but this new Disney character packaging really seals the deal. It even makes me feel a little happier just by carrying around a cute bottle that costs less than ¥200. Marketing done righthehe rabbit


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!

▷ . Cheryl

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

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