Day 2 in Japan: Tokyo, Imperial East Garden, Ginza & Akihabara

Posted on 12-01-2016 | Tags: , , , , , ,

Today we woke up early and headed to Tokyo Station.  We had Shinkasen’s to book and I stumbled upon a really interesting thing online.  You don’t often hear or see about Tokyo station, but it is awesome if you love food and kawaii Japan.  It’s my highlight so far!

I think we just randomly passed a makeup store in the station and I was SO pleased that they had some early Fukubukuro’s (Lucky Bags ie. my raison d’etre) — I got the K-palette bag. Although the bag contents was revealed in the advertising, which took away some of the fun, it also guaranteed value.

It was 1800 JPY for the bag with 3/4 makeup pieces inside – incl. one eyeliner which you guys know I LOVE.  The eyeliner is normally 1050 JPY which made the bag really good value bc it had a mascara, a mascara cleanser and a face pact.  I also picked up an awesome Sailor Moon eyeliner which I have wanted ever since I saw that it existed. ❤️❤️

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Anyway the real gems of Tokyo Station are at the Yaesu exit of Tokyo station. Any Yaesu exit will do, as they all pretty much join up.  This part of the station, known as Tokyo’s 1st Avenue, is full of awesome things.

There is a “street” inside called “Kitchen Street” and another called Ramen Street, where (you guessed it), it is basically an indoor street full of ramen and other food!  We visited the street a little too early and everything was closed, so I would suggest coming a bit before 11am so that you can beat the crowds to the restaurant that catches your eye.  We managed to find one place open, an okonomiyaki place with to-die-for octopus balls (Takoyaki).

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Takoyaki!  I didn’t think I was a fan of octopus, but these are so yummy and soft on the inside.  It doesn’t even have that much of a fishy taste :D  These were special as you are supposed to have them in the soup provided!

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Above is a slice of the yummy okonomiyaki!  There are different types, some with noodles inside (Kansai/Osaka Okonomiyaki) and other ones like this.  I think this one was my favourite.

If you keep wandering around, towards the central Yaesu exit, there is another “street” in Tokyo Station called Character St!  Omg, it is my heaven LOL.  Rilakumma and Hello Kitty stores, and most importantly, a popup GUDETAMA store!  So Gudetama is an egg character that looks really funny hahah. It is Bryan and my new favourite character!

In the store, they were playing the Gudetama song:

I’m kinda regretting not getting the 3000JPY hoodie now, I got a t-shirt that matches Bryan for 1600JPY.  Here’s a pic of the shirt at the cafe we went to later in the day:

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He got a squeezy toy, which is pretty gross ’cause you squeeze this egg and a gooey looking Gudetama character comes out LOL.  I think he gave it away though, so I don’t have a picture, but here’s someone else’s photo of it (which I stitched together):

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When we got a little hungrier, we decided to try some “premium” cream puffs from Beard Papa!  The premium ones are a lot nicer than the normal ones actually, but I think they are only limited edition or something because I didn’t find these again in Shinjuku (the next day).  They’re really yummy and I definitely recommend trying them!

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We got lost looking for Imperial East Garden!  It was a bit confusing which exit to take to get there… (hover the pics for details)

Bryan posing on the way to the Garden.

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day2-10  We look scary with our face masks on! We were very cautious of getting sick on the crowded trains in the first few days, but ended up giving up later LOL

When we finally got to the Garden, we weren’t allowed in because it was the Emperor’s birthday, so they were having some official event instead! :(  At least we were able to take photos outside:

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There was some festival thing going on, which we briefly checked out:

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Huge line of cars for the East Garden event!

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Even though we couldn’t get in, the walk ended up okay because we managed to find a cute little garden, Hibiya Park.

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Then we walked to Ginza and dropped into Freshness Burger, which is a chain burger joint.  I was super surprised with the quality, it was really yummy.  Bryan and I both had Wagyu beef burgers

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Although it was yummy, we should have explored Ginza more because the street had awesome food!  Such a waste, since neither of us was hungry

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We later went to Akihabara to enjoy the anime goodness, but we got a bit lost because we didn’t take the JR line like Bryan did the last time he went to Japan.  It’s pretty crazy there!  One moment it looks like a normal station, the next it is anime paradise.  It is SO shocking because the change is so sudden.  Akiba was a bit overwhelming for me because the anime section was so busy and pushy and crowded.  As much as I love anime, I can’t say I enjoyed it that much but I think it would be very fun with a group of friends.

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We found the Animate store, a huge anime store where Bryan bought another anime fukubukuro!  I may post a video about it later :D  We ate at the themed cafe at the top, too bad we didn’t know what the anime was.  I was so sad I missed the Umaru cafe :(  I also got a blood nose in this cafe, which was very awkward as I had to rush out to the toilets to get tissues.  So annoying!

We ended up getting a parfait thing, and Bryan got a coffee.  The parfait had little bits of mochi in it, which I love hehehe.

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They did a little performance thing where we have to play paper, scissors, rock and Bryan almost won.  Anyway, that’s all for now!  I am exhausted editing all the photos LOL.  See you tomorrow


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Camping in the Summer

Posted on 18-12-2013 | Tags: , , , ,

Surprisingly my Summer has been pretty busy… I find that I always have something to do, and when I think that I have nothing to do it turns out I’ve forgotten something and make a huge mess of things.  I wish I were more naturally organised.  I plan and plan but theres always an issue lol.

So after Korea we had no budget for another trip, so we went with the cheapest option we could think of- camping!  Last weekend my friends and I went camping at Cape Paterson, sort of near Inveloch.  Tbh when I suggested camping I actually meant roughing it out in the bush with only a crappy “toilet” and no showers LOL.  I know it sounds gross but I actually kind of enjoy the feeling of camping ’cause it’s just so chill and stuff.  But the trip was so much better than I expected!  I would even say I enjoyed it more than our 2nd trip to Rosebud, hahaha.

The camping site was really, really nice.  Not what I was expecting at all.  I was just imagining the horrible toilets which are basically holes in the ground with a toilet structure plonked on top- but it was totally not.  All the facilities were so clean and nice!  The showers actually had hot water, the toilets were flushable and the whole bathroom area was cleaned daily.  There was a camp kitchen, with 2 fridges and a microwave + other appliances (but we still brought our own bc the kitchen…while it was usable, you can never be sure..) and a bbq area.  Not only that but the sites were powered, so there were no issues with charging phones and having light, and the lots were large enough to fit both our tent and car~  The price was very reasonable, about $30pp for 2 nights.  Considering we usually have to pay like $50 a night for a rental house… plus bond, it was really a great saving.  The fact that our stay didn’t fall into peak season was really good, because the camp was close to empty

Just a short walk from the camp- literally just behind the camping site, is the beach.  The beach is beautiful!  Really clean and there were heaps of rocks to explore around and it even had a patrolled area so you know that it’s okay to swim LOL unlike Rosebud where we were just sort of around the beach near the drain… omg.

So Bryan and I left his house first, because Michael Pua told us the night before that he couldn’t drive there early with us because of work.  Basically, our plan was to have Bryan drive me, Pua to drive Mikey and David to drive everyone else because he’s the only one with Green P’s and a car.  Pua dropped the tents off to us the night before and we drove off.  I think it was the first time Bryan had driven so far, but luckily it was a very quiet and straight road trip.  About 10 mins before we arrived, we got extremely hungry so we stopped by Maccas for lunch.  I had a Grand Angus burger and half an apple pie which we shared.  Afterwards, we arrived at the site, checked-in and grabbed the keys to the entry gate.  We didn’t explore because the sky was kind of dreary… so we started to pitch Nelson’s huge tent.

Bryan and I were deciding which to put up, but we figured that Nelson’s tent was packed neatly in the black bag (since we didn’t get it from Nelson/David themselves, we got confused as to which bags went with which tent- we thought David’s tent was half in a plastic bag).  And, his tent had “instructions”, so we went with it.

Turns out it was the most difficult tent to put up.  Took us like… 4 hours to put it up BUT seeing as it was just the two of us, the fact we even got it up before everyone arrived is a feat in itself LOL.  We were really confused…we tried to follow the instructions but it didn’t make sense.. the pictures didn’t match up.  So we ended up doing what we “thought” they meant, spending like 3 hours putting it up that way… but turns out a part of Nelsons tent was inside the plastic bag which we thought was David’s tent.  Finally we worked it out and put up the tent.  It was particularly confusing because Bryan and I are used to smaller tents.  This huge tent had a really unique structure… you have to build the outer “shell” then hook up the inner shell afterwards, which was weird.  But in the end it looked really good and the tent was super nice!

Finally, everyone arrived and we were fairly hungry from all the energy we used putting up the tent.  Luckily they brought food!!  :D  There was heaps of food- more than I thought there would be.  They bought KFC, and Calene + her mum made heaps of dishes, Nelson brought “chinese japchae” that his mum made, Jess brought sandwiches.  So much food, yumm.  But unfortunately, before we could eat it we had to put up the 2nd tent.  It took like 5 seconds LOL.  Bryan and I cri everytim.  Oh well, it’s better that we didn’t waste time putting up tents while everyone was together anyway.  We unpacked everything into the tents and ate outside on picnic rugs.  The only bad thing about the camp is the fact you can have open flames, which means no bonfire But I guess it’s a worthwhile price to pay for nice facilities and electricity.

After we ate, we walked down to the beach.  Too cold to go into the water or anything, but we explored a tiny bit and watched the sunset.  It was really nice and relaxing after the tiring day.  At night we stayed up late playing Mafia and chatting.  I suck so much at Mafia cause Im terrible at lying omg.  But somehow I managed to trick Pulu HAHahah.  Bryan and I were the “murderers” in the game, but no one knew.  Jess and David were trying to convince me of some reason why Bryan was the “murderer”.  David was also like “if you vote for him, you’ll win.” and that scared me cause it looked like he was lying… like he knew it was me or something and his “convincing” me was just a ploy to get rid of Bryan so that they could aim me next round.  So I didn’t want to get rid of Bryan.

I suck at Mafia so I played dumb.  Actually, I could see what they were trying to get at, but it was slightly confusing… so rather than try to comprehend what they were talking about, I blanked my mind out whenever Jess spoke so that I could convincingly not understand.  LOL it must have worked because they didn’t seem to suspect me until later… it probably helped that I also have the excuse that I don’t want to vote out my own bf hahaha.  IDK WHY people always blame me when its not me and when it is… wat.  Anyway in the end Pulu listened to confused me and voted for Jess because her method of playing is to be super sure and convince ppl.  I think Pulu was just like wtf so he looked to me who looked as confused as he was.  I don’t actually like playing Mafia that much… LOL well maybe not “dislike” but I think I’m weird cos I find it really ~stressful~ having to lie.  I mean, it’s definitely fun.  But I hate being anything other than citizen.  I’d rather just watch everyone else play.  I suppose I’m just like that… I don’t like Cheat, and even in Dota I hate “pubbing” because it’s too stressful having the team rely on me.  Idk when I’m doing something “for fun” I like it to be stress-free and no one is relying on me to do anything etc.  At least Mafia is just within friends though, I guess.  Don’t know how I will continue my stress-free life in the real world.

Anyway, we ended up all sleeping in the giant tent because it was scary to go into the other tent… also the other tent didn’t have power cause we didn’t have an extension cord.  The girls basically just used that tent as a changing room in the end.  I’ll try to post about Day 2 tmr.


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City Date

Posted on 07-12-2013 | Tags: , , , ,

Today Bryan and I went to the city to eat some Korean food at CJ Lunch Bar. The place is quite small and crowded so the atmosphere isn’t the best, but the food is definitely well worth it!

We got a huge chicken bulgogi with cheese, sizzling on the plate, side dishes and 2 cans of drink for about 8 dollars per person. The cans of drink are only a dollar and I think the bulgogi dish was 14. They also have a lot of other well priced dishes that looked really nice as well, but I think their signature dish is the chicken cheese bulgogi.

Anyway after that we wandered around the city, just exploring places we haven’t been before. We ate a Harajuku crepe, strawberry #1. Eventually we ended up in QV where we spent a considerable amount of time listening to free live music in this random “Dream” tent in the middle of QV which was a pleasant surprise. The music was good, the singer had a lovely voice and the atmosphere of the tent was super nice. They decorated it really prettily:

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After the last performance, we decided to try some cupcakes at a nearby cupcake shop called The Cupcake Family. We bought the Green Tea one, in full size and a Red Velvet. The Green tea one was delicious! The cream was had a nice strong green tea flavor, and a cute piece of mochi at the top. But I only got a pic of the red velvet.
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After everything I ended up having an early Christmas dinner with Bryan’s family at a Shanghai restaurant since they will be going to Japan over Christmas. The food there was really nice although the service was bad.

Anyway that’s all for now, I’m so tired~


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(Korea) Day 3, Part 1: Hello Kitty Cafe

Posted on 29-08-2013 | Tags: , ,

I’ve been anticipating writing this post up- of course, it’s the Hello Kitty Cafe in Hongdae! Ever since I began researching for the Korea trip, I had been looking forward to the Hello Kitty cafe because like most girly asian girls… I’m pretty obsessed with Hello Kitty. And I know it’s super mainstream and absolutely overdone and overrated but I don’t care because I love it! HAhaha.  This will mostly be a picture post :3

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The Cafe didn’t open until 11AM, so we headed out pretty late to check it out.  It wasn’t very far from where we stayed, and there’s no way you could miss it when you see it:

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(Korea) Day 1: Chicken, Beer and Bathhouses

Posted on 26-07-2013 | Tags: , ,

Apologies for the delay in this post! I’ve been really sleepy and tired lately, and to top it all off my allergies seemed to have turned into a cold… sigh. I’ve written up a few makeup posts but I’ll have to postpone them since I can’t take many photographs yet, with this sickface

Anyway, Day 1! We landed in Korea on July 1. Korea is only an hour earlier than Australia, which was good because it wasn’t too hard to call home on Skype.

I was happy to be off the plane. We played in the airport a little bit, some people exchanged some money, luckily my relatives already gave me some to use to get around for a day or so. Rented two phones for the two weeks, so if we needed to break into groups, we could.

We got a little confused at the bus stop. We were going to take the airport limousine (which is an airport bus) to Hongdae, where our apartment was, named Ann’s Guesthouse. We ended up walking kind of far off the other way, but eventually we found the bus and the ride was okay. It took about an hour to get there, I’d say. Luckily the bus was right near the apartment, so it was very easy to get to and from the airport. Not only that, but the subway station was also a minute away!

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I should have taken some photos of the location but oh well. The main thing is that the location was good, the price was good and the apartment was pretty good too. There was an upstairs area where the girls were originally going to sleep, but in the end we brought down the beds because it was too hot and the aircon was downstairs as well.

The place had wifi, a mini kitchen, a bathroom with fresh towels changed each day, they took a basket of laundry for us daily and and they provided umbrellas and two fresh loaves of bread each day too! Overall a very nice place to stay, it definitely felt the most like home to me.

After settling down in our apartment, we got changed and ready to go out to explore the Hongdae area! We were starving by this time, so first stop was a Chicken and Beer place. Seems like a quintessentially Korean thing to have chicken and beer in one meal, and it’s the most fattening but delicious thing ever. We got some platter thingies to share, and this HUUUUGE beer. It was a lot bigger than pictures make it look,

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I can’t really remember, but I think we kept exploring after and ended up having some street food, watched some street musicians… Oh and did we go to the bathhouse this day? I think so. LOL.

So we wanted to find a specific bathhouse (Jjimjilbang) that David had heard was good, but apparently it closed :c We ended up going to Happy Day Spa, LOLLLL. It was empty, pretty much. Just a few ahjummas and stuff. Oh and some couple who probs were doing it LMFAOOO

OH YEAH there was also a film crew there!!! Some people in the bathhouse room were getting filmed. We peeked into the window and saw some people blindfolded like some variety show and yeah. I forgot what they were filming though… It was familiar but not a show I watch so it wasn’t rly a big deal.

So how it works is you go in, and theres a reception. You pay like 10 bucks and you get towels, bathhouse tshirt and shorts to borrow and a locker key bracelet. Calene, Jess and I tried to change where we couldn’t see all the naked ahjummas LOLLL. Then we met up with the guys in the common area.

First thing we did was go to this freaking hot clay house. omggg my eyes were drying up and it made my face hurt LMAO. I thought it was the lowest level clay house. Everyone sat inside and died, haahha. They seemed to enjoy it but I didn’t really like it because I’m a party pooper liek dat. LOL my eyes were seriously drying, i felt like i couldn’t really breathe and i couldn’t understand why you would go into a crazy hot clay house if its already 30 degrees outside already

But it was kind of fun… And it definitely feels good on your aching muscles after a long day of dragging your luggage around and stuff. I just don’t know how you can stay in there for so long LOL

Anyway eventually we got out and theres this big area with a TV where they were playing the drama “Shark”. They have a lot of mats which you can roll out and sit or lay down on. LMAO Pulu and Bryan (and David? i cant remember) asked some randoms how to turn the towels into those hat things with little balls on the sides, like they do on variety shows hahahaha. It was so funny! Bryan looked so cute kekeke i wanted to take a picture but i put my phone in the locker

Jess and I tied ours into hats too. It was fun LOL it felt like Korea. Actually, Calene and I discussed how it didn’t really feel different to Australia all that much. The humidity wasn’t that bad and the streets were advanced and busy kind of like Melbourne, although tbh I felt safer in Korea for some reason! Maybe because it’s normal to be out at night in Hongdae.

Anyway, we also bought black coloured tea eggs and got some drinks… Tea? Idk what it was actually. I saw in an ep of “We Got Married” that you’re supposed to eat the tea eggs in the jjimjilbang by cracking them open using other peoples heads LOLOLOL i tried on Bryan but it didnt work and it hurt him LMAO poor thing hahaha

After eating we played in the bathhouse more, trying all the different clay houses and then we found the Ice Room, which was basically a freezer room LOL. It was still my favourite room though.

The girls and I made the guys jelly by going into the Amazon room or something HAHAHA girlz only room, guys not allowed. That was where the film crew were before, but since they finished we went inside. It didn’t feel like anything. It was just a mildly warm room LOL

At the end of the night the guys showered in the guys bathhouse. Brandon and the girls didn’t want to witness the private parts of any one else so we waited outside for what seemed like forever. It was so funny, Brandon told us some funny stories and we just chatted and it was fun, although waiting was kind of annoying because they said they’d be “quick”… Nekminute they take like half an hour or something, hahahaha.

After that we considered eating at a cafe but we ended up too tired, so we went home. Day 1.


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