Thursday, August 25, 2011


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


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.