Archive for the 'Personal' 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!!

Saying goodbye to ℃-ute and my childhood

It’s rare for me to talk about things like this, but let’s do it!

℃-ute! My favourite girl group of all time and one that I’ve followed for nearly ten years. I first discovered them when I was in my first year of secondary school, so it’s pretty odd to think about how much time has passed since that one random song I stumbled on that got me into them. The members are all around my age and it kind of felt like I was growing up together with them, awkward stages and all.

I vaguely knew it would happen someday but at the same time I never thought about them disbanding until they announced that they would this year, after working for 12 years.

So two weeks ago I went to their final concert! And cried. A lot(In my defence so were a lot of people, least of all the girls themselves) My friend Reira and I went together, and I’m really glad I did because we became such good friends through our common love for these groups in the first place. Being together made the day a lot easier to survive too—we took the first train out and began queueing at the venue from 6am for goods lolIt was hardcore and I got completely roasted in the outdoors.

That was my first time ever seeing my favourite group live, and the last time. Obviously I wish I could’ve had the opportunity to see them in person much earlier…but at the same time, I’m also sort of glad that this became my one and only live memory of them. ℃-ute disbanded at their peak, so I think I saw the very best of them at the end.

I cried a lot but they weren’t so much from sadness as they were from being moved by the sheer power of their performances. Also, have you ever been to a concert in Japan? No cell phones, no recording. Just fans and their light sticks and coordinated cheers. It’s a truly magnificent organised chaos and I love it. Goosebumps! I highly recommend it

There’s something about seeing artistes you admire so much in person. There’s something else about watching your childhood come to life for a fleeting moment. I spent my school years watching them, listening to them and occasionally trying to be like them (honestly if it weren’t for ℃-ute I would still be walking around in sweatpants and a centre parting).

Watching this group disband was a little like watching a part of my childhood disappear. But as hard as that is, seeing them move on gave me some motivation to grow up too. So like I said in my last post, I’m going to properly focus on what I like to do

At the end of it, I’m just really glad that I had something I could love and enjoy so much. ℃-ute is always going to remain my favourite

Turning 22!

I turned another year older on June 16! Right in the middle of the year. I’ve always liked how neat that was. Anyway! So I’m 22 now. It’s more awareness than actualisation; there isn’t any real difference except that with every year older I get, I think more and more about what I really want to do. Getting there slowly

I was 16 when I started this blog. It’s kind of embarrassing to read the kind of stuff I wrote back then (I don’t recommend it), but at the same time it’s fun seeing all the differences and also what’s stayed the same.

Like how I’m still drinking fruit juice at restaurants…just in fancy wine glasses. I may grow inevitably older but my love for mango will never die.

This was at the beautiful place my (even more) beautiful friend took me to for dinner (check out her blog!) and it topped anything I’d ever expected for my birthday. Literally, it was way up at the top of the building in front of the Tokyo Skytree.


Even the appetisers came arranged on a mini Tokyo Skytree! The nicest, loftiest dinner place I’d ever been to. It was the 31st floor, but I was over the moonConversations and food under the lights in front of the tallest tower in Japan…that was a truly great scene. And everything till then just swelled up into one big mass of happiness. For lack of a better word.

To the friends who wrote me cards, gave me flowers, let me eat my favourite cakes or just simply thought of me in some way—my heart is so full because of you

So. Twenty-two! My goals are cheesy but important. I want to grow up and be less shy, more daring to show the friends around me how much I love them. To smile at people more and be brave about it. I’m so cautious I always end up expressing how I really feel in a long roundabout way (that the message kind of gets lost halfway through), but I’m going to try harder now.

And well the other goal is to study hard I guessAlready almost halfway through university life!

One last thing—I want to be able to blog more intimately and candidly like I used to when I was 16 and just wanted to share with people about my day. I don’t know when I started becoming less carefree about blogging and just churning out post after post about cafe reviews; I enjoy that, but I also miss being a little more personal with myself. A long time ago I made this space online for myself, so I’m going to use it as much as I can!

Thank you for coming to this blog.

Hakone in December

Hello! It’s already the end of December and I’ve only had one post this month?! It’s been a few of the busiest weeks I’ve had this year with school and part-time jobs and everything in between, and I hadn’t even had time to realise Christmas is this Sunday. But it’s almost time for a short winter break, so tonight I’m going to sit back and try to revive some of my holiday spirit. And blogging frequency.


The other day I had to go to Hakone, and it’d been a long time since I last went there so I took lots of pictures. I think Hakone’s a staple on the itinerary of every traveller to Tokyo, so there were tons of people as usual. Everyone heads to the volcanic valley in Owakudani for some good black eggs bathed in sulfur.


Those eggs are really popular, and they’ve even spawned a huge line of souvenir goods and snacks. Some of the shops have a keychain of Hello Kitty dressed up as a black egg, which is actually cute. There’s also a popular story that they add seven years to your life, which gets a bit suspicious if you eat several of them at once. I didn’t get to eat any this time, but I saw some cute egg-shaped chairs.


And I saw Mt Fuji too! It was super clear that day (with the occasional big cloud sailing across) and so we got a good view of the mountain. Hakone’s still one of the best spots to see it up close—just go up Owakudani on a fine day and you’ll get your postcard shot.


What better prop for your food photo than Mt Fuji?


We went up and down by cable car. Did you know the black eggs get a ride by cable car too? They get stuffed into a little crate and then transported up and down the mountain by their own mini ropeway system. So they can enjoy the scenery high up there along with us.


But the town landscape back on the ground is just as beautiful too. Everything’s authentic and traditional, with lots of rivers and old bridges. So old that this bridge we were on was shaking as we were walking across it (which was slightly alarming seeing it was made of stone).


Another famous icon of Hakone—the huge ship that ferries you across Lake Ashi. Look at it all majestic and being blessed by that ray of sunlightkirakira


After you’ve had a full day of exploring Hakone (all the tourist maps are literally designed to go one big round) you can return to the main station at Hakone-Yumoto for some good hot food when you’re hungry. I wasn’t touring around the place or anything but I was still hungry anyway. So we had soba! There are lots of soba and udon restaurants around, so any of them would have something delicious.

I had agemochi soba, which was completely delicious but also a bit of a mistake because I only had 15 minutes to eat and not enough time to finish the two big mounds of fried mochi that came with itcryBut still highly recommended if you have more time than that and are not a slow eater like me!


Otherwise, just hit the souvenir stores for free tastings. I’ve never seen a street that gives out this many samples. Since I hadn’t had breakfast that morning I ate my way through at least ten stores and got full fast. There’s no better breakfast than pieces of mochi and hot steamed manju.


Kamaboko’s also one of the specialties at Hakone, so there were lots of free samples like this cute panda one toopanda


And even barbecue. Would you believe that? Right in the middle of the street. It was a store selling seafood, so they had grills set up outside where you could literally take their stock and fry them up yourself. And they even had free tea to drink with it.


Free barbecue, beautiful nature and life-extending eggs—Hakone is a wonderful place to visitkirakira


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

Pancakes in Bed


I’m here with pictures of pancakes again. I had hotcake mix lying around at home, so one Saturday when I was alone at home with nothing to do and no one to eat with I just opened it and dumped it all into the mixing bowl. It turns out that pancake mix could actually feed a lot of peoplehurhurNo matter how much I poured into the pan they just wouldn’t stop multiplying.

Totoro Pancakes

I ended up with a whole stack, so I just played dress up and decorated most of them with whipped cream and a chocolate pen. This was the nicest (and most recognisable, I guess)kirakiraI realised I make a lot of Totoro-themed desserts. He’s just so easy to reproduce. (Also, is Totoro a he? I’m never sure if I’m using the right pronoun)

Lunch Plate

And then because I ate too many pancakes at breakfast I tried my best to pack in more nutrition at lunch. This is my homemade lunch plate of veggies, tamagoyaki and corn souphappyI skipped past the pancakes and sent a picture of this to my mom instead.


It’s July, which means it’s finals monthcryBut it’s also almost summer vacation time! I’m surviving on the hope that soon I get to travel and go home for break. The heat has come to Tokyo and I’m not sure what to think about it…I’ve only ever been here during the cold seasons and this doesn’t feel like the Japan I know and love. Just kidding. Shaved ice! Yukata! Summer festivals! I want to do them all once I’m done with the semesterhappy

My First Birthday (in Japan)

Hello! I’m sorry I took another break in posting…there’ve been about a hundred reports due these few weeks and the only time I stopped doing (procrastinating, more accurately) them was to turn 21.

Birthday in Japan

It was my birthday on on ThursdaykirakiraI’m most definitely past being a teenager now, which is still kind of sad but also weirdly satisfying. The number only gets higher from here on so I’m just going to embrace the whole adulthood thing, whatever that meanswaving

Birthday in Japan

It’s the first time I’m having a birthday in a foreign country (and right in the middle of midterms, no less), but having friends around me more than made up for it. They went out of their way to make it a happy day for me, and it was the best way I could’ve spent my birthday away from homeheartIt’s a good thing that I’m in Japan after all!

Birthday in Japan

I mean, where else would I get a cake that looks like ramen? (If you think that looks real wait till you see their pork cutlet bowl cake)

Birthday in Japan

Or a surprise at the end of dinner in a small cafe perched on a building overlooking Shibuya? They turned off the lights and played the song Happy (“it’s so nice to be happy SHALALALA”) while my birthday cake came out in this entire procession. I loved it all and I love my friendsheart

So I really am 21 now…but I don’t feel it yet so I’ll talk about being 21 some other time haha. But I’d just like to mention what an aesthetically pleasing number my birthday was. I’ll never get another 6.16.16 againneko

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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