Saturday, May 21, 2016
Sunday, May 15th, 2016
I was able to meet up with Lisa, after following your blog in the past and mutually following each other on Instagram for quite some time we were able to make time to meet. We have a mutually good friend, Jenn! So I was excited to meet Lisa.
We decided to go to the Sailor Moon exhibit. I know, I know, everyone is posting about it. But I kinda really wanted to go.
I grew up with Sailor Moon, and it was probably my favorite anime as a child. In the US, we struggled with having Sailor Moon be cancelled and then come back, only to be cancelled again. It was so heartbreaking. So me and my sisters would get Sailor Moon merchandise whenever we came across it because it wasn't common.
The exhibit was pretty cool, it was nice to see the artwork. Some of the pieces in the exhibition gallery were covers of my American Sailor Moon comic books I bough when I was elementary school. I still have those comics somewhere is storage.
Sailor Moon toys were also on display where I saw a similar model of my Sailor Venus doll. I'm telling you, I loved Sailor Moon. My love for planets developed from Sailor Moon.
I was always more fond of the outer Sailor Scouts because they were more mature and mysterious. Sailor Saturn and Neptune were always my favorite.
Since me and Lisa went to the exhibit on a Sunday, it was super crowded. Luckily, the late wasn't too long to enter the exhibit and it was pretty chill. However, what was not chill was the cafe wait. To get into the Sailor Moon cafe we would have to wait 2 hours. Me and Lisa were not down for that.
The food in the cafe doesn't even look appetizing, it's more for pictures, so we decided to pass and go to a cheaper cafe with no wait that still tasted good.
We headed to Shimokitazawa were we talked and chilled for a few hours and walked around and explored a bit. Lisa lives close by so I followed her lead. It was cool to explore because I hadn't been to Shimokitazawa since I went with Hopy when I first came to Japan 2 years ago. So crazy.
It was good meeting up with Lisa and doing something a bit different than usual.
Friday, May 20, 2016
Saturday, May 14th, 2016
I went to do a chill and short shoot with a photographer named Mike. He's from California and we got along right away. He was super chill, and I felt really relaxed shooting with him. It's been a while since I've done a shoot. These were shot on film, oh, how I love film.
Photographer: Mike Misc
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
I had to work Friday but my friend ended up staying anyways so we could go out Saturday. I get off work at 9pm because my classes I teach are after school classes. Everything is usually closed in Minano by 9pm except for conbinis. So we went to Chichibu to eat tsukemen. It was my first time having it and it was really good.
I kinda liked it better than ramen because I always have to wait forever for the ramen to cool down enough for me to eat it. I have what Japanese call 猫舌, which means cat tongue, someone who can't eat really hot things (hot in temperature). So the tsukemen really was good for me.
Saturday, May 7th, 2016
My friend wanted to take me to this restaurant he went to when I was working. He went for a ride in Ogano and really liked it. It was わらじカツ.
Again, this was the first time I've had that. It's s thin, flat piece of katsu. Apparently, the restaurant we went to is one of the more well known わらじカツ places, the meat is fresh and tastier than other places according to my friend. It seriously tasted so good, and is probably one of my favorite type of katsu now.
Ogano is pretty cool, apparently it's really biker friendly. The restaurant even said "welcome ogano bikers" in Japanese and English. My friend told me every restaurant in the area has parking for bikes, and even when we were leaving the restaurant there were more bikes than cars.
When we were in the restaurant, there was a poster of a bridge with an icicle illumination. It looked super cool and I wanted to go in the winter, my friend suggested we go now so we did, just to check it out.
We drove out to it where apparently it was a forest park. When we got there we saw a large group of older people by a table with lots of food.
I always get so paranoid with tattoos in the countryside because my bosses told me that in Minano their way of thinking is equivalent to my parents' generation. My parents are pretty old school, traditional and hate tattoos with a passion and believe they are for criminals and prostitutes. So I always think the worst and think that people in the country will have a similar outlook.
It was hot that day so I wore a romper with no sleeves and like I stated before, my friend is covered in tattoos, to his neck and fingers. But the old people welcomed us warmly, and invited us to eat.
They completely ignored the fact that we had tattoos and wanted to get to know more about us. They were so cute and friendly. Honestly, whenever I meet genuinely kind people, a bit of my faith in humanity gets restored.
We ate some food to be polite but we were still stuffed from our lunch. However, they offered me dessert, and that I couldn't refuse lol. It was some homemade かりんとう and it was really good! Again, my first time having it. It really reminded me of Mexican churros.
Apparently it's sold at conbinis but they are a bit different than the homemade ones. The old lady made seaweed flavor, sesame, chile, and other ones I didn't try. I was addicted to the sesame, they gave us some to go on our way to the waterfall.
So we walked to the waterfall which was a pretty short and easy walk. The trail reminded me of something from a Ghibli film. So green, random mushrooms, and so many butterflies. Very much like something from a fairytale.
The bridge was cool, definitely something I always wanted to see in person. The waterfall was really nice too! I preferred the waterfall in Minano better but it was probably because we couldn't get closer to the one in Ogano, you could only go on the bridge. It was still really nice and we enjoyed it.
By the time we got back the old people had pretty much left. There was only one old man and he gave me some more かりんとう to take home, so cute!
Friday, May 13, 2016
My Golden Week was nothing special, but it was definitely fun. I was just going to stay home and chill, which I did, but I had company. One of my friends was free during Golden Week and wanted to hang out.
Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
Wednesday was a bit of a lazy day. It was suppose to be raining so we planned to just stay in and watch movies. But the weather was nice! We ended up staying in still because we felt lazy so we watched some movies he brought, Almost Famous and Hot Fuzz. I've already seen Almost Famous but it's been a while so I forgot how much I liked it. It was my first time seeing Hot Fuzz, and I liked it so much I watched it again over the weekend.
Thursday, May 5th, 2016
The next day we decided to actually do something. I had to work Friday so we thought if we were going to go out, it had to be today. I guess the area I live in is known for waterfalls so we went to one in my town.
My friend rides a motorcycle so we went there by his bike, and it was so fun! The walk to the waterfall was super easy, no hiking necessary. And it was beautiful, the water was crystal clear.
There was another waterfall further up but we were a bit hungry because we didn't eat breakfast and decided to eat at the udon place next to the waterfall. It was so good, we had cold udon and soft cream. I had the golden sesame milk soft cream which was amazingly light and delicious.
Afterwards, we went to Nagatoro which is known for boat rides in the river. I wasn't sure if I wanted to ride a boat but I definitely wanted to be by the river. I love rivers. So we went and explored a bit. We found a campsite where several people were chilling and having barbecues.
We went to a more touristy area where lots of little shops were. They had lots of different types of food which kinda made me wish we didn't eat right before we got there. It smelled so good. There was also cucumbers on a stick and shaved ice. Perfect for the hot weather that day.
Me and my friend stayed by the river for a bit and watched people ride boats and rafts. It was cool. Several kids were skipping rocks along the river bank.
We stayed there for a bit just relaxing. Since we're in the mountain area, we saw several different birds: swallows, hawks, and an 鵜.
I've never heard of an 鵜 but my friend told me about them in Japan and they seriously sounded so cool. I was amazed by what they could do and he was excited to see it.
After chilling by the river bank for a while, we decided to call it a day. A simple day, but a good way to spend it.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Anyways, I went out one of the weekends I was going to Tokyo to do a shoot. It ended up working out perfectly.
In case you guys didn't know, my sleeve is going to be a Peter Pan sleeve. But I wanted to just do symbols of things that remind me of Peter Pan. The tattoo is in relation towards the book and the Peter Pan 2003 movie, not the Disney one.
I could go into depth about the meaning of it for me, but I rather not. It's somewhat personal and rather just keep those thoughts to myself. But I'm super happy with my cute little flying ship and am excited to do the rest of the sleeve.
It took about 3 hours, and it was painful as fuck. It's been a while since I've gotten a tattoo so I totally forgot about the pain tbh. The most painful parts were the bone and inner arm area of course. They are infamous for pain.
I'm looking forward to the shading/coloring but not the pain of it lol. I will be doing it in parts, doing the second part in June and probably the other part in July, not sure yet. It's almost done healing now.
Hope you guys look forward to my tattoo adventures. It's been a long time coming.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
As lame as it sounds, in surprised by how friendly country people are. I probably have my views of country people skewed due to American country folk.
My neighbors are super nice and invited me and my friend for a BBQ over golden week. They were interested in California and even tattoos which totally surprised me. They both had tattoos and her husband does it as a hobby. It's pretty cool and very much surprising and relieving because my friend is covered in tattoos and we didn't know how my neighbors would react being inaka and all.
My coworkers are also really nice and funny. They definitely try to communicate with me though they can't speak English and my Japanese sucks lol. The students are also super entertaining, the girls are sweet and the boys are hilarious. Junior high in America and Japan are totally different. Probably also the countryside plays a factor.
I go to Tokyo on the weekends every now and then and friends visit me as well. There's not much to do besides outdoor activities but living in Minano is really nice. The green hills are so pretty! And driving everywhere isn't too bad since everything is pretty close. It is actually pretty similar to California tbh.
I have lots to post about which I will try to catch up slowly! Mostly due to wifi difficulties but definitely will be trying to post more!