Sunday, September 18, 2011

A toast to Fuji San

Tonight was awesome. I went to a beach Bbq Chigasaki and watched the sun set over Mt Fuji for the first time. It was kickass.


I love the freedom you have to do things in Japan. ^_^

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Visasickschoolhelloholiday

Argh. I've been sick for three weeks! I've been sick a hell of a lot since being in Japan. I'm blaming the children. Why do they have to be so icky?
Getting medication seems to be a bit of a pain in the butt here, but we managed to get cold and flu tablets (Real ones! without getting the "I-bet-you-make-drugs-out-of-these" look.) and we have been importing paracetamol (with a decent strength) from the UK. Paracetamol here is super expensive and weak as water. Us big scary gaijin need something a little stronger.
I really have no idea about doctors at this point, but I do know I have to get a prescription for my asthma medication if I want to buy it here. Booo. In Australia it cost $5 and I could get it over the counter.
If something saves your life, is needed in an emergency and there is not really a way you can overdose on it I don't get why it has to be prescription only. First world problems!

Got my visa renewed for another 6 months. Yay! Also a pain in the butt. The immigration office is in some industrial district in Shinogawa and they are only open on weekdays 9-4. No weekends. Oh hey.. you work? F U. Oh well.
Oh the up side, because we are Australian, we get to extend our visa twice. Other countries usually can only extend it once. That means I have another year here reasonably hassle free. I hope my work sponsors me after that.


Tomorrow is my last day of summer school at work. This also means as of 5pm I'm on holidays. I'm heading to Hiroshima and islands nearby. I think the war memorial/museum is going to be a little heart breaking. Ok a lot heart breaking. I think I got a little to emotionally involved when studying it for most of my degree.
Still, I am looking forward to it. I'm always excited to see more of Japan. Its such an awesome country. It never gets boring.
I do love my home in Tokyo though. It's my base.

I had some of my Japanese friends over to my house the other night. We drank vodka, Iain cooked gnocchi, they filled us up on Japanese sweets and I taught them how to sew hair things. It was nice. We decided my Japanese name is "Aki" as the Kanji for my real name is not good (no matter how much I love my name) Kawaii ne? I'm trying to decide on which Kanji (there are three I can use, all said the same). Do I go with the usual meaning- Autumn, or the others - Sparkle or Bright. I think Sparkle. hehe.

Yesterday was Yukata day at work. We danced a kids version of the Bon Dance. It was cute. Mama San at work dressed my in my Yukata... I'm glad because it is super hard to do for yourself.
I think I look ok, even though I don't really have the straight up and down figure needed for this kind of outfit.

Well I'm off to watch Heroes. I've been chain watching shows because I'm sick and don't want to go out. I have no regrets! :P

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Osaka

I went to Osaka last week for a holiday which was pretty great.

Caught up with a friend and made some more friends. Went to bars more than I should have - Saw sights less than I should have.


The place is generally more chilled out, friendlier, older and greener than Tokyo. I'm happy to return though. Tokyo is kind of more structured and I need that right now.

It was a pretty interesting time full of tasty (AMAZINGLY TASTY) okonomiyaki, sushi and takoyaki, visiting cool areas and trying not to sweat yourself to death.

On the last day we went to an old area about 1 hour out of Osaka to find a monkey park. We ended up hiking up the wrong mountain and I almost passed out from the heat. We did see a wild deer near the top, which was cool, and on the way down spotted the monkey park on the mountain adjacent. At that point we didn't even bother as we looked like we had been stuck in a storm... unfortunately we didn't smell like we had. :/ Set off to buy new clothes and took the death bus back to Tokyo.

A friend in Osaka said that no one in Tokyo is from Tokyo. That seemed true when I arrived back to find it seemingly deserted. Its Obon, which people usually celebrate by returning to their families.

It was really weird to walk around train stations and through my neighborhood and hardly see anyone when usually at even 3am there are people meandering through the streets.
Pics latersssss...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tanabata and Osaka

Ok I'm going to make it a goal to post on here at least once a week. Lets see if I can. :P

Tomorrow night I'm heading to Osaka. I can't wait! Two of my friends live in or around there so I'm super excited to see them.

Friday night I went to a bit of a Tanabata (Star Festival) with a girl from work. It was so nice we are going again tonight.
We wrote our wishes on plastic stars and hung them from giant branches of a bamboo tree. The will burn the branches to send the wishes to the heavens.
The main street was crammed with people, a lot wearing yukata, and stalls of food and excellent shops.
All I had on me was my phone so my photos were terrible. I'll try to remember to take a better camera tonight.

<3

Sunday, July 10, 2011

happy ramble

I didn't think that moving to Japan would change me so much.
Of course getting rid of just about everything you own, moving to a country where you don't speak the language and changing careers is going to be a whole new world, but what I've noticed since the moment I arrived here - I'm happy.

People ask me how long I intend on staying in Japan, and I say forever. They invariably roll their eyes and say, "Give it two years, you'll get over it." Maybe I will, but right now I'm more happy and content than I've ever been in my life. I feel truly happy.

I miss my family and friends, I even miss my pet cat more than a person should miss an animal, but I was really down in Australia.
Now I finally feel like I kind of fit in somewhere, that I can relax. I feel a change in my heart, and I can see a shine in my eyes. I'm really happy.

I had one really bad day here. Walking through Yoyogi Park (Harajuku) and I got horribly depressed. It just consumed me. It was so strange to be so upset in such a beautiful forest. We were there for hours, and by the time I left I felt better.
Sure I get cranky and sometimes am a bit of a bitch, but somethings left me, for good I hope.

I'm excited to do things. I'm more affectionate. I feel alive and confident. Even if I don't last another month in Japan, I know that being here has changed me and I think wherever I go from now I'll smile a lot more.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Japan beauty

Japan is very fashion and beauty conscious. People here tend to be able to pull of any fashion and look perfect every time.
The shop girls and Harajuku Lolitas look immaculate with dollesque faces and I hardly ever see a female under the age of 40 without her false eyelashes on.
I have a really hard time judging how old people are here as they seem to age a lot less than westerners.
So as you might be able to tell, products have to be good here right? Yes! They are amazing.

I thought I would share some of my favourite products that I've found here, that don't break the bank and really do what they say they will. If you see them around or if you are in Japan and are in the market I'd suggest you give them a try.

Moisture and care:

Leaders Clinic Masks -
E.G.F Fillertox Ampoule mask
Collagen Infusion Essential Mask
Platinum V-lift Essential Mask
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These look quite nasty am I right? But they are amazing soothing cloth face masks that really work. I use them 2-3 times a week, and for ¥100 they are really the most amazing value for money. I just used the collagen one and my skin is all plumped up and lovely. Donki for ¥100.

SHIWAtoRich eye.
Next is my moisturisers. This one is only supposed to be for around the eye and mouth to ward off fine lines, but after testing it out and seeing results I use it all over my face. It's about ¥1050-¥1250.
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Kaneo Ururi Lotion
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I use this one if its hot and humid out and I just want something refreshing. Its pretty cheap at about ¥350 for a tiny bottle like this or ¥900 for 200ml. It doesn't really change my skin much but its a nice light moisturiser. Available at most pharmacies and Donki.

UV Lip Cream - Hyalauronic Acid.
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This lip balm i picked up in a ¥100 store because I had lost mine somewhere along the way and was desperate for something. I think its the best impulse purchase i've made. It's really lovely and keeps my lips moisturised for ages with only one application. Available at some ¥100 stores.

MAKEUP:

Chacott for Professionals. Enriching Concealer HD.
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This concealer I picked up from a professional makeup supply shop in Shinjuku called Okadaya. It's here - http://tinyurl.com/okadaya
It's the bomb. It's kind of sticky and very opaque means it covered incredibly well and stays in place. It will forever be a staple in my purse. Rrp about ¥1250

Moist Labo BB Essence Cream in Natural Ochre.
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BB (or Blemish Balm) creams are super popular in Asia. They act glow makeup base, a sunscreen and a foundation all in one. I bought this one because I have dry skin and it gives a healthy dewy glow. It also helps improve skin texture and appearance. They have these in Matt formulations too for people with oily skin. Available at Donki for ¥890

Heavy Rotation Perfect Multi Base Foundation.
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This foundation is pretty great. I wouldn't recommend it to people that have super dry skin unless you use a oil based moisturiser underneath. I use this over the BB cream if I want flawless coverage. It covers really well, but despite the name dosen't look thick and cakey and feels like you are not wearing anything once it has dried. Rrp about ¥1050 in a lot of department stores.

Canmake Nudy Glow Lip Gloss.
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Just a lovely lip gloss. I love 01 color. Its the perfect nude.
Cheap at about ¥650 from most places that sell cosmetics.

Majolica Marjorca Lash Gorgeous Wing Neo Mascara in Bk999 (black)
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BEST! This mascara has a classic wand and millions of fibers that attach to your lashes which you can build up to make dramatic long soft lashes. The formulation is great - It stays true black all day and lasts forever. You need some good makeup remover to remove this. They have three different kinds of wands/formulations in this range. I'm hoping to try the comb shaped brush next time.

Ok well that's all for today.
I'm off to Izakaya with a friend. Byeee