Archive for the 'Everyday Life' Category

Smiley Omurice

This blog isn’t dead! And neither am I! Which is a surprise, considering how much finals ravaged the last weeks of the semester. But anyway that’s all done with, so I’m ready for summer vacation

Recently I’ve been really into making omurice. When I didn’t have time to go out and eat I’d just get out the pan at home and toss in a bunch of eggs and rice. It isn’t complicated—literally omelette and rice—and it’s even fun. For every artist there are sketchbooks, canvases, doodle pads…and then there’s a nice yellow omelette with a big surface for drawing in ketchup. Nutrition and entertainment all in one.

Now I really want to have people and just cook omurice for them and draw different faces.

And then this was the day I wanted to eat pancakes but couldn’t have any so put a square of butter on a bun and made it look like pancakes instead. I actually thought I was being pretty innovative with this one. But then it made me think I definitely want to eat pancakes.

I mean I do have time now, but then so do a few million other school kids on summer break. So we’ll see

Anyway I’m sorry I have to resort to just showing you pictures of my breakfast and lunch at home…I haven’t been going out recently so there hasn’t been much I could showBut I’m going to take a break now and hopefully rake in the good stuff. Watch this space!!


May Conbini Favourites

Top picks from the convenience store for the month of May (which is already almost over, HOW?)—ready, get set, go.

When you can’t afford fancy macarons, get them cheap from the conbini. Family Mart’s always coming up with new macaron series, so once in a while I get them when I find a craving coming on and I only have that much spare change. These new ones have twice as much cream as usual, so they look bigger and prettier in the box

Here’s Kumamon with his own Pocky, proudly packaged in support of Kumamoto. I don’t know why I like him so much, but if he comes on a snack box I’m buying it. My friends make fun of Kumamon but I think he’s just trying his hardest to be cute. And that’s endearing! Anyway, the Pocky was good

Next up on the weird characters lineup. Gudetama mochiThis was basically mochi with a kind of custard pudding filling inside—a lot better straight out of the fridge, because one time I ate them in the middle of the day and they’d melted inside. But they tasted great when they were nice and cold and firm.

I love it when conbini actually put effort into jazzing up their desserts. Lawson had this lion-shaped roll cake for Children’s Day in Japan, so of course I tried it. The lion’s face was one big mound of custard! That was delicious. Plus I don’t often eat mikan, so it was nice having so many juicy ones all around the cake.

Last one. Kuromitsu and kinako-flavoured sweet potato chips from Calbee, here one minute and gone the next. It’s actually scary how fast these disappear once you open the lid. But I really like these Japanese flavours! I’m always a fan of kuromitsu (black honey syrup? Literally, anyway) so it was really the perfect combination.

And that’s all for May! Life is getting even busier…but then again what’s new. At least there’re always different things to look at in the convenience store.

Sakura in Tokyo 2017

The cherry blossoms are out to play again! Unlike me, because it’s the start of the new school semester. But I’m still seeing sakura everywhere in the streets and loving it.

Last year I saw them for the first time and went all out going for hanami seven days a week, but this year there’s less time to be crazy so I’ve been content with just walking under all those pink trees. And maybe a picnic or two.

Of course my camera is still being stuffed with a massive load of sakura pictures. Everything in the memory card’s been pink for the past few days.

I went to Ueno Park again and had my fill at the food stalls. Everything was up and festive and I got a stick of dango just like last year. Except this time it was pink! Sakura dango, a stick of the softest mochi I’ve ever had.

It got paraded around for a bit too, while I was trying to get the best photo position with the sakura trees in the background.

It’s so fun seeing everyone out in the streets looking excited about seeing the flowers. There’re so many people walking around appreciating the sakura that it just makes you feel better about starting the new school year.

And if you see a bunch of old grandpas with their heavy duty tripods and full-frame DSLRs lined up, you know it’s a good photo spot.

Sakura at sunset is also beautiful and unexpectedly photogenic, as I found out at Rikugien the other day.

January Conbini Favorites

It’s been a while since I did a conbini post! Been a while since I posted at all, really. Technically I just skipped a week of posting, but during finals period everything feels like an eternity when you have to study instead.

If I can’t go out to cafes then at least I’ll make sure I eat good stuff from the convenience stores.

Conbini Chicken Steamed Bun

I’m going to start with this since today is actually the first day of Chinese New Year and it’s the year of the rooster! Lawson was selling this chicken steamed bun that looks like a rooster—I love chuukaman even when they don’t come in animal form.

Kanahei Pocky

Remember the last post about the illustrator Kanahei’s exhibition? To continue about her success, here’s a limited edition Kanahei collaboration Pocky that’s everywhere in the supermarkets and conbini. There’re strawberry and chocolate flavours, so of course I bought them bothKanahei

Family Mart Macarons

Ooh. Here’s the fun one. Sometime last year I was amazed when I saw Family Mart selling macarons, and now they’ve even gone on to make it DIY. The macaron shells come neatly packaged in a cup with jam, and then you assemble everything yourself.

Family Mart Macarons

I just wish they had buttercream instead of jam for filling, but I can’t really be picky when this is obviously more of an activity than a dessert anyway.

Conbini Steamed Bun Heart

And there’re some other cute stuff too, like this heart-shaped chocolate steamed bun from Seven ElevenheartThis thing just oozes with so much filling! It’s so comforting to be able to just drop by a convenience store round the corner and get a hot chocolatey heart to go.

Counting down to spring break…sakura

Tokyo in Red: Fall 2016

(Why does that title sound like I’m trying to name a fashion collection?)

Tokyo Autumn

It’s December and I need to get my life and blogging schedule back in order. Autumn has breezed by and the leaves are already starting to fall off the trees. But not before I got to take pictures of the momijicamera emoji bearIt’s basically the fall version of the cherry blossoms in spring. Except instead of hanami and lots of pink flowers, people go kouyou viewing instead.

Tokyo Autumn

And there’re lots of momiji-shaped manju like this one! Spongy, red bean-filled, and a perfect prop for all your pictures of autumn leaves. A pack of three was barely a ¥100 at the supermarket toosmileBecause unlike back in spring there is virtually no time for a picnic now, so cheap snacks it is.

Tokyo Autumn

I got to see kouyou twice this year! I realised that last year I never really did go at all. I just saw the yellow leaves that were already on my university campus and I was satisfied with that. But this year it was like, no, they have to be red.

This picture was taken at Koishikawa Korakuen near the Tokyo Dome! I’d been wanting to go because I saw these photos of a old red bridge, but when I went there we circled the entire park and just could not find it. We did eventually find it…after the sun had already sethurhur

Tokyo Autumn

Rikugien had a special light-up event going on, so I saw the leaves at night for the first time and it was spectacular. A poet would write about this inspiring sight. Now I can’t decide if I like the leaves better in the daytime or night.

Tokyo Autumn

Either way, it’s beautifulloveI’ve never been so excited about nature before coming to Japan, but that’s because the leaves in Singapore are too green all year round. I didn’t know I could spend this much time standing in front of a tree taking pictures of its leaves.

Tokyo Autumn

But it’s not just the scenery either—sometimes they have food stalls and traditional crafts just to make things a little more festive. At Rikugien there was a mochi stall where they were grilling them on sticks over a straw pit, so we got some to share!

Tokyo Autumn

Soy-sauce flavourkiraIt was soft and salty and sweet and basically the best mochi I’ve had in a while. I mean, how often do I get fresh hot mochi straight off the grill? Practically never. What a good reason to go to the park (besides the autumn leaves).

Tokyo Autumn

Till next year, momijimomiji

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

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

▷ . Cheryl

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

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