20 March 2018

FYeahJapan: A Walk in Ameyayokocho


Whilst exploring Ueno I decided to take pay a visit to Ameyayokocho, a street which is famous in Tokyo for its markets and street food. One of my favourite things to do when I'm travelling is to check out the local markets as it's a great place to people watch and experience some of the food and local culture. On my way to Ueno I passed through some of the traditional Japanese markets and alleyways in Asakusa but Ameyayokocho, or Ameyoko as it's more commonly know, had a complete different more chaotic feel and was unlike any other place I had visited in Japan, in fact it reminded me a lot of the markets at home with all the noise, food and smells.

Ameyoko is like a mini journey through Asia with all sorts of street food stalls offering anything from sushi to tteokbokki to kebabs to pizza there's a little something for everyone to enjoy. There's also so many stalls selling all sorts of different dry foods and candy from all around the world as well as fishmongers, shoes, souvenirs, beauty shops and of course knock-off goods! I enjoyed my walk through Ameyokocho as it was really interesting to experience a different side of Japan I hadn't seen before.

Where are your favourite places to explore?
Love & Mochi

18 March 2018

Anime I'm Watching & Loving!

Hoppou & nyanbo

So I took a little break from watching anime, although when I say break I mean not watching one a week like I normally do and I've decided not to check out the new release lists and add anymore new anime to my already ridiculously long watchlist but not to worry I should have more than enough to watch until the summer (even autumn) season starts! There's a real mix of different anime for you to watch in this list, a lot of these I'm not quite sure how I found but there's so much great anime out there I hope there's something new or different for you to check out.

Sana has spent her whole life inside a laboratory where she is a test subject due to a special ability she has known as "Alice's Dream" which allows her to create anything from her imagination. She escapes and meets a stubborn old man named Zouroku Kashimura in a convenience store. Zouroku empathises with her story and helps her by not only by offering her a place to stay but the chance at a new life as part of his family. The plot of this anime reminded me a bit of Elfen Lied but that's pretty much where the similarities end, where as Elfen Lied takes on a much darker gory route this anime is much more positive and will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. The animation of the scenery is just beautiful and the relationship between Sana and Zouroku is so adorable, i definitely recommend you giving this a watch if you're feeling a little down because it's so cute you won't help but smile.
Students of Hyakkaou Private Academy are the richest in the world, by day it's a regular school but at night it becomes a gambling den where the students reputation at the school is determined by a variety of games with high-stakes at risk, the students who can't repay their debts become slaves to those who hold their money. New student Yumeko Jabami joins the academy and unlike the rest she gambles not to win but for the thrill of it and her crazy way of gambling beings to shake the hierarchy. This is a really interesting yet twisted anime that reminded me a little of Death Parade. Yumeko is such an interesting character she's completely obsessed with the thrill of gambling and has absolutely no inhibitions which terrifies her peers. The anime gives a great insight into the gambling world, the nature of addiction and why people love to gamble. One of the things I really liked about this anime is how twisted and dark it got and the characters are just relentless, there's so many twists and turns each episode it really takes you on a trip.
Haruto Tsukishiro wakes up to discover he's trapped in dream world! This world is full of witches who are actually young women who suffer from "Sleeping Beauty Syndrome" caused by problems they suffer in the real world so it's up to Haurto to break these witches spells in order to help these women and himself escape the dream world he's been trapped in. This anime confused me at first because I didn't know what the heck was going on as each episode was all over the place, had multiple styles and plots which I later found out was because each episode had a different director work on it so each episode can pretty much be view individually as the overall plot of Haruto doesn't matter in the long run as the focus is mainly on the stories of these young women. That being said after I understood the concept of the series I found it really interesting, basically each of the witches are a symbol of an insecurity or torment that each of the young women has and must overcome in order to wake up and live again in the real world. I liked the message that the series was trying to convey which was basically to not give up and learn to overcome the difficulties life throws at you. Each story was presented in a very unique way, there's a lot of symbolism and crazy art styles which can be distracting but I thought it was an interesting way to present the importance of never giving up and overcoming those difficulties faced in life so if you want to see an anime that's slightly different from the norm then definitely give this one a try.

Hiraga Josef Kou, a genius scientist and Robert Nicholas, a cryptography expert are good friends and and "Miracle Examiners" appointed by Vatican City to examine the truth, conspiracies and lies behind miracles from all over the world. I love a good supernatural mystery drama and I kinda stumbled upon this one by accident and I'm quite glad I did, I don't want to spoil this anime because the mystery is part of the fun but some of these conspiracies just blew my mind, you think a case starts of quite simply but the deeper you go the crazier it gets! I'm a big fan of the gothic genre and I love religious imagery, conspiracies and all things supernatural so if you're anything like me you definitely need to check this one out!

While searching for proof of alien life Ryouta Murakami is involved in an accident which results in the death of his friend Kuroneko. Ten years later a new transfer student joins Ryouta's class who looks exactly like his deceased friend, her name Kuroha Neko. Kuroha is not a normal student she can't read and doesn't know her multiplication tables and even stranger she seems to possess inhuman strength and abilities. This is another one that randomly showed up in my recommends list which I knew nothing about but it had an interesting plot line and name, which I'm still trying to understand. There's a lot of elements in this anime that remind me Elfen Lied and although it shares some quite interesting concepts I don't think it'a anywhere near as memorable or impactful as Elfen Lied it actually felt more like a harem anime than a sci-fi drama with all the random ecchi scenes. Overall I did enjoy this anime, the animation was beautiful, the storyline was interesting and the characters likeable and easy to understand, so if you liked Elfen Lied maybe give this one a try.

Don't forget to check out my anime Giveaway and enter for your chance to win some goodies!
Love & Bubble Tea

15 March 2018

FYeahJapan: A Day in Shibuya - Tokyo

Shibuya 109

After experiencing some culture and sights of Japan on my first day in Tokyo my second day was shopping day! On my first trip to Japan I noticed a guy at Shibuya station wearing this amazing Hachiko themed souvenir jacket and ever since then I've been on a mission to get myself one so top of my list was a trip to Vanquish in 109 Men's which FYI I think has a better clothes selection than the famous Shibuya 109 so definitely check it out even if you're into more feminine styles because they have some really cute and nerdy stuff BUT first we needed food so we headed over to Tower Records to check out the pop-up Osomatsu-san Kawaii Cafe.

Osomatsu-san Kawaii Cafe in Tower Records

Disclaimer: I know nothing about this anime but Violet is a fan so we had to check it out and it's kinda a rule that when you're in Japan you need to check out as many themed cafes as you can! We had to order a drink and a dish each so I let Violet choose the cutest desserts for her photos because I will pretty much eat anything when I'm hungry so I ended up with a matcha cheesecake but it didn't taste like matcha or cheesecake... it had a strange sort of jelly like texture and was kinda bland but it came with fruit so that at least gave it a bit of flavour, the coffee was good though and that's all I really wanted.

Once we were done eating at Tower Records I wanted to get my jacket but on the way noticed a sign for a We Bare Bears event and decided to check it out and to our complete surprise and amazement met not only the bears but Finn and Jake from Adventure Time, The Powerpuff Girls and a bunch of other characters from The Amazing World of Gumball. If you couldn't already tell from my vlog I was super hyped and I took as many random selfies as I could, I kinda love the fact I'm making the same expressions as the bears in these photos even though it wasn't intentional, I was so happy seeing them I just couldn't contain my pure joy and excitement.

We Bare Bears

During our amazing encounter with the bears we found a shop selling a whole bunch of different anime stuff for just ¥100 so ended up spending a lot longer than we probably should have checking out absolutely every little thing they had and then after way too much browsing we finally reached 109 Men's and I got my jacket YEY! Of course I couldn't go to Shibuya without visiting the famous Shibuya 109 to check out all the cute fashion and BTS pop-up shop, Kpop really does follow me everywhere! We also took some Purikura in their super cute new pastel pink selfie room because you have to do purikura when in Japan, it's the law! After all that shopping we were in desperate need of some more food so decided to get some cheap noms at Genki Sushi before walking over to Harajuku for even more shopping. I totally forgot to vlog the rest of the day as my hands were getting full of shopping bags, I was loosing the will to live and it was already getting dark but if you're curious to see all the things I bought in Japan I will be posting a haul video very soon so be sure to stay tuned for that and even more Tokyo adventures...

What's the most random but amazing encounter you've ever had?
Love & BEARS

10 March 2018

FYeahJapan: A Visit to the Himouto! Umaru-chan Cafe in Animate, Akihabara

Himouto! Umaru-chan Cafe in Animate, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan

If you're ever in Japan one of the things you have to do is visit a theme cafe! As I only had a few days in Tokyo I wasn't sure if I would have time to check out one of the many awesome themed cafes there but luckily whilst shopping in Akihabara and in much need of a refreshment break I stumbled upon a pop-up Himouto! Umaru-chan cafe inside Animate and as a fan of the anime had to check it out.

Himouto! Umaru-chan Cafe in Animate, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan

Animate usually changes the theme of its cafe every month or two so I was quite lucky to be around for the Himouto! Umaru-chan one which was in celebration of the second anime series being released. I absolutely adored the first series and like many otakus totally related to Umaru's character... we're like the same person!! Although I haven't had a chance to watch any of the second series yet with all the travel craziness now I'm home and settled I'll definitely be catching up soon in true Umaru style in my underwear with lots of junk food and soda.

Himouto! Umaru-chan Cafe in Animate, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan

After a day of shopping in Akihabara my energy levels were running low so I was in need of some sugar and caffeine to boost my energy and prepare me for even more nerdy shopping so finding this cafe was like finding a treasure and compared to other theme cafe's I've been to in Tokyo quite reasonably priced with all the desserts and drinks costing no more than ¥700 each, they also had main dishes such as okonomiyaki, omurice, curry, hamburgers etc. for just under ¥1000 however as with most theme cafes in Japan there were no vegetarian options but luckily I was craving something sweet anyway so I went for the the yummiest looking thing on the menu, the pancakes.

Himouto! Umaru-chan Cafe in Animate, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan

Himouto! Umaru-chan Cafe in Animate, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan

Himouto! Umaru-chan Cafe in Animate, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan

The pancakes were served with maple syrup, cream, vanilla ice cream and orange sorbet which are all of my favourite toppings, they gave you quite a big helping to and the pancakes were so soft and delicious they definitely satisfied my sweet cravings. The coffee I got was pretty good to even though I don't normally like sweet, creamy drinks I felt like I kinda had to get a cute one because when in "kawaii land"... but despite all the cream and stuff on top it was still surprisingly a good cup of coffee and more importantly gave me that extra energy I needed to get me through the rest of the day because I was not done with my otaku shopping yet!

Himouto! Umaru-chan Cafe in Animate, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan

Animate were also selling some exclusive merchandise in the cafe so I picked myself up a little towel with an embroidered 8-bit Umaru on it as I've been into cute towels recently and I also got some cute coasters as a freebie of Umaru-chan, Onii-chan and, Ebina-chan, the coasters are all supposed to be random so I was pretty lucky to get different ones of the main characters. My one day in Akihabara was definitely a good one not only did I find one of my "MUST HAVE" toys I got to visit a theme cafe of one of my favourite anime to so I would call that an overall successful nerdy trip to Tokyo.

What anime themed cafe would you like to visit?
Love & Hotcakes

Psssst if you want to see more awesome cafes from around the world you can click the button below, buy me a coffee, get treats & a shoutout on my next post

04 March 2018

FYeahJapan: A Day in Ueno Park - Tokyo

Ueno Park - Tokyo - Japan 2017>

My first day in Tokyo didn't exactly go as planned... if you follow me on Instagram and have seen my past stories from my trip you'll know what happened but basically Violet and I had a bit of a mix up with our flight times so instead of her meeting me at the airport she'd actually be arriving the day after me so after some random midnight exploring of Asakusa, shopping in Don Quixote and a sleepless night of stress I found myself awake and not quite sure of what to do with myself so I thought I would make the most of the few days I had in Japan and check out the famous Ueno Park

Ueno Park - Tokyo - Japan 2017

Last time I was in Tokyo I didn't get the chance to visit Ueno so I was happy to get the chance this time and experience some of the many things there are to do and see there, I had hoped to spend a bit more time exploring some of the museums around the park but fatigue started to kick in during the afternoon so I decided to just grab some snacks in Ameyokocho and make my way back to apartment for some much needed rest.

I suppose you can call this video my first vlog as it's my first time filming in a commentary style and sharing my thoughts as I have them. I did intend to daily vlog my whole trip to Tokyo and Seoul but by the end of the second day I kept forgetting to film and my hands were so full of shopping it was getting difficult to juggle a camera as well as my phone so I didn't vlog at all after that and instead just shared some clips and snapshots of my day on Instagram Stories. My short vlogging experience was fun though and I definitely want to make more vlogs in the future as it's a really fun way to look back on your day and remember your thoughts and feelings.

Ueno Park - Tokyo - Japan 2017

Ueno Park is such a beautiful place and it was such a perfect way to spend my first day in Tokyo just aimlessly wandering, relaxing my mind, people watching, exploring Japanese culture and of course eating my fave Japanese snacks. My first time in Japan I felt like a lost puppy but this time I felt a lot more comfortable and I found everyone I met to be super friendly and helpful, it kinda made me sad that I only had a few days in Tokyo but I'm sure one day I'll go back to Japan as there's just so much more of the country I want to see and explore and Ueno is definitely a place I will go back to again if I ever get the chance. 

What are your favourite places to explore in Tokyo?
Love & Dorayaki
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