Archive for the 'Personal' Category

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

Weekly Slice


 It’s a Wednesday night and I’m sitting at my table late at night studying for a test. Or at least I was, until I stopped to come to this blog for a minute. It’s becoming busy againnekoThis semester I ended up taking on more extracurriculars because I was a little too free last year. Now I’m too busy haha.

Fujiko F Museum

A while ago a good friend from Singapore came to visit Japan and stay with me! We’ve known each other for years and had no problem squeezing together for a weekhehe rabbitOn her last day we hopped over to the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum in Kawasaki.

They added new items to the cafe menu!

Doraemon Fujiko F Fujio Museum

You know the story of Doraemon’s about how he used to be a yellow cat with ears until one day a mouse bit them off and he turned blue from the depression? This is me doing a live re-enactment of that and eating his ear (sponge cake with a chocolate face we refused to destroy).

Doraemon Fujiko F Fujio Museum

We had the Memory Bread too—this was always a favourite of mine among Doraemon’s gadgets because it’s just so useful to copy your homework onto a piece of toast and eat it to memorise it allkirakira(Not that it worked for me. I’m still sitting here trying to study.)

After my friend went home I haven’t had the chance to go anywhere muchsigh


But I’m still surviving! On rice balls and lunchtime with friends.


Yesterday it was sunny out—too sunny, we had to bring out the shades—so we brought our food outside and had lunch in the garden. It would’ve been a lot more glamorous without the ants coming to eat the food (and us, for that matter) and the random shirtless boys suntanning themselves around the corner, but it was fun just sitting on the grass with friends and taking our time in the sunheart

Happy Monday with Sumikko Gurashi madeleines

Sumikko Gurashi Madeleines

Hi it’s me again on a Monday morning, but unfortunately this is where I have to stop at because—long story short—I went back to Singapore for spring break and forgot to bring back my laptop charger with me to Japan. So until my laptop’s life support is back I have to severely ration its usage.

Commercial break: Here’re some Sumikko Gurashi madeleines I made at homekirakira

Once I get the charger I’ll post again next week as usual, so till thenneko

How to get good grades in Japan

By eating a bun that has the word ‘credits’ stamped on it, just in case you’re in risk of not having enough to graduate in the near future.

Japan Bread

単位 means credit, by the waykira kira

This post is kind of misleading. It’s not a useful how-to on acing your exams in school but just a personal post from me today, haha. It’s finals season in a lot of universities around Japan nowgirlFor the past week or two I’ve been studying for exams and staying up late to write essays (not so much because I’m hardworking as it is that I procrastinate during the day and binge-watch random YouTube videos instead).

This custard bread might not be useful, but it was entertaininghurhurThey were selling them at the school shop—seems like they have it at universities all over the country too! And on the nutrition facts label they listed the ingredient as brain powder, which I guess makes it sound more promising.

I generally spend my whole life in Japan appreciating their gimmicks.

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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