I Scream for Ice Cream

I think that Japan is a creative country. There are lots of novelty items for various products that aren’t sold in my country. For example, the many flavors of Kit Kat. There are also a lot of creativity poured into homemade sweets brands. I’d love to visit all these places. The only problem that I have is the fact that most of these shops close quiet early. For example, an ice cream store in my country would probably close aroun 10-11pm. But in Japan, not only ice cream store but most stores close as early as 8pm. When I went to Shibuya the other day, it was close to 8pm and I wanted to have dessert. I was lucky that I could go to this place called Vito and enjoyed their gelato.

IMG_0110.JPG

Okonomiyaki Smile

I have had lots of takoyaki before, but I have never had okonomiyaki. My friend and I have always wanted to visit this okonomiyaki restaurant near our dorm. But it was always full during the evening, and we haven’t been able to get ourselves seats. That day we came at 5pm, as soon as the restaurant opened. In fact, I was the first person to step in that day. We sat down and ordered okonomiyaki for each person, which turned out to be too much. I find that okonomiyaki is very delicious and satisfying. Even though it had vegetables which I don’t usually like, the flavor blends well with the meat, egg, sauce, and all the other ingredients. My friend and I loved the restaurant. We left with very good memories and we would love to come back. Next time, we will take seats along the counter so as to see the chefs cook the okonomiyaki from start to finish.

IMG_0112.JPG

Sukiyaki

I have always wanted to try a Japanese food called ‘sukiyaki’. I first heard about it as a song title from Sakamoto Kyu. The original title of the song is ‘Ue Wo Muite Arukou’ but the English title is ‘Sukiyaki’ because it’s easier to remember. My friend and I went to this restaurant in Kudanshita a few days ago. It was very close to the station, which was comfortable. We ordered several foods, and for the main course we had one big Sukiyaki. It came with a stove to heat the soup and boil the vegetable, meat, and eggs inside. The staff offered raw eggs and we gladly accepted. We took a little bit of everything into our small bowls, then cracked the raw eggs on top of it. We mixed them all together and then ate them. It was very nice, and my stomach was immediately full. I’m so glad we went out for sukiyaki. 

IMG_0111.JPG

Toyland!

One of my favorite things about Japan is the people’s dedication to their work. I think this shows when we visit shops and stores. If it’s a music store, there are hundreds of instruments and all things music-related displayed. And if it’s a toy store, then there would be hundreds even thousands of toys. In many places in Tokyo, they even have many of the toys available for customers to try. This snapping crocodile toy is my personal favorite. It is a classic that has been featured in many shows. It’s simple but also very fun. So we gather a group of people, or at least two, and take turns pressing the teeth. One of the teeth is going to make the crocodile snap its mouth shut, and that person loses. I want to try more toys in the future : )

IMG_0067.JPG

I Love Takoyaki!

There is a nice Takoyaki stall near my home. They sell takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and yakisoba. I like that the price is not very expensive, compared to other stores. Not to mention the size is also bigger than the ones served in other places. My favorite is takoyaki with original sauce and melted cheese topping. I can have a box of twelve takoyaki for only 600 yen. I usually go here during lunch time and go back to eat them at home. It’s even better to eat them during rainy days, when the air is cold and the takoyaki is so warm. I have grown to become very fond of takoyaki thanks to this nice stall. I think takoyak is a must-try Japanese food.                                                                                                                                                                                                            

IMG_0049.JPG

Japan: The Safest Country

Japan is well known for its safety. Ever since I came to Japan, I stopped being worried about leaving my stuffs in public places. I know nobody would take my belongings. That well-known stereotype about Japan was also the reason why my parents supported the idea of me coming here to study. However, a stereotype like that also has its downside. Everywhere we go, no matter how safe it seems, there will always be good and bad people. I have seen many news on television during breakfast with my friends, and the cases have shown that the stereotype is not entirely correct. That is why it’s important to always be careful. We can never let our guards down. I feel scared when I walk alone at night, and some of my friends feel the same too. I think the most important thing is to never feel too safe, because we have to always be careful no matter where we are.

IMG_0047.JPG

Being in Shibuya

I think Shibuya is one of the most popular destinations for tourists who come to Japan. In almost all documentaries and movies, I always see the popular Shibuya Scrambled Crossing. It was most crowded during the Halloween week, where many people gather in various costumes to hang out and take pictures. I usually go to Shibuya when I need to go to Yokohama because through Shibuya is the cheapest way. Some of my friend went there to eat pizza. Even though the neon lights make beautiful pictures, I’m not used to being among so many people yet. And so, when I go there, I don’t usually stay for too long. But I like visiting the Hachiko statue because I like dogs. I have to queue because so many people want to take picture there. I recommend Shibuya if you like fashion, night life, or just curious to how it feels to be in an ocean of people. 

IMG_0046.JPG

Escape to Mitake

I often miss nature when I walk around Tokyo. As one of the most modern cities in the world, Tokyo has so many skyscrapers and concrete buildings. Coming from Indonesia, I find myself missing the sceneries of trees, mountains, and nature in general. I had a chance to visit Mitake recently. The trip took about two hours train ride from Shibuya station. I was surprised when I started leaving the modernity of city life and into the natural beauty of Mitake. I kept looking outside the window throughout the train ride. The air was fresh, and there weren’t many people walking in the streets. There was a huge river that became the spotlight of my trip that day. The water was so cold and many people came to fish.

 

IMG_0045.JPG

My First Snow

I had only seen snow on television and photos. I was always wondering how snow felt. When winter came in Tokyo, I was hoping for snow. My friends told me it would be a problem because many trains would be late or even stopped. Even so, I thought I would be grateful if somehow and somewhere I could finally have my first snow. On a Saturday afternoon, I was leaving for work when I saw something falling from the sky. I looked outside and saw snow! I checked my phone and the weather forecast said ‘snow shower’. Wow, I was so surprised and happy. I wore a hat as I walked the streets so that it didn’t stick to my hair. Even though there wasn’t much, I was happy to finally see falling snow. 

IMG_0028.JPG

Shopping at Costco

I went to Costco for the first time recently. Costco is an American brand for a ‘buying in bulk’ style supermarket. The supermarket itself is actually the size of a warehouse where many items are just dropped and stacked after being carried in containers. I didn’t have a membership but I went with my friend who had one. There were so many differnt items, mostly from America. It’s good to shop there for items that last long, such as toothpaste or other daily necessities. I also wanted to buy the meat and cookies because they were so cheap compared to anywhere else in Japan. However, foods don’t last long so buying too much would be a waste. I also went to the cafeteria, the pizza was American-sized. I love that the drinks were also free-refill. Lastly, we must not forget to bring our own bag because Costco doesn’t provide the bags.

IMG_0027.JPG

My Favorite Ice Cream

I have always loved ice cream. Whenever I’m down, I just eat ice cream because it helps me feel better. Baskin Robbins is my favorite brand of ice cream. It has many different flavors. Some flavors are very creative and unusual. When I arrived in Japan, I was surprised because Baskin Robbins in Japan offer even more flavors than the branches in Indonesia. My favorite flavors are the ‘Cookies’ and Cream’ and ‘Pistachio Almond’. However, in this photo I tried two unusual flavors including ‘Winter White Chocolate’. Even though it’s winter, I still want lots of ice cream. I wonder if someone also likes ice cream as much I do.

IMAGE.JPG