31 March 2018

Things That Make You Go Oooooo (March 2018)

Is that a yummy carrot I see in your lens?

I can't believe just how crazy March has been, so much has happened in my life this month and so many big changes I can't quite believe how I to this point! The madness isn't going to be ending anytime soon though as I have so many more exciting things coming my way. I really hope you've been enjoying reading about my adventures so far as there is so much more to come, this month was all about Japan but next month will be all about Korea! I hope you're all well and if not hopefully you'll find something in these links to boost your mood...

♥ Rules To Live By For A Positive, Happy Life

♥ Shitty. Amazing. Resilient. Action. 17 Things I Did to Make the Most of This Year

♥ The Life Lessons I Gained From Solo Travel

♥ Why I No Longer Depend on Anyone Else for Happiness, Fun, or Excitement

♥ How To Stop Dwelling on Something That's Making You Feel Down

Coffee and tulips

♥ 10 K-Pop Idols With YouTube Channels You Need To Follow

♥ Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Coloring Book

♥ POW! BAM! Shrink Plastic Stacked Rings

♥ Study Shows Creating Art Can Actually Reduce Stress - Even If You're Bad at It

♥ 28 Genius Depictions Of Words With No Direct English Translation

Untitled

♥ Self-Promotion Advice for the Extremely Self-Conscious

♥ Stop Shaming Women for Spending Money

♥ Everything We Ate in Tokyo

♥ My Guide to Iceland

♥ 5 Easy Ways to Have a Healthier Week

Delicate

♥ Be Good to Yourself: 10 Powerful Ways to Practice Self-Love

♥ 7 Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic

♥ Escape The Crowds: 10 Cities To Visit In Europe In Summer

♥ The Difference Between 'Lonely' and 'Alone'

♥ Here's What Happens When You Start Being Nice To Yourself




Love & Frappes
Cate
xoxo


29 March 2018

Anime Haul and A Walk Around the Tokyo Skytree Pokemon Center


Whilst in Tokyo and Seoul I could not stop myself picking up a few anime goods, as much as I tried to resist, it's just too tempting with kawaii stuff everywhere you look. Compared to my last trip I do think I restrained myself quite well though but I think that was mostly because I only had a few days in Tokyo and although we visited quite a few otaku shops in Seoul their prices were considerably higher than what you can find in Japan, but I still put quite a dent in my bank account...


Most of the things I bought were Pokemon related, after Pokemon Go came out I became obsessed and it's an ongoing joke in my family that if they can't find me I'll most likely be out playing it, which isn't too far from the truth haha! I hope you've been enjoying seeing my hauls so far there will be a couple more coming soon but for now I'm on a spending ban... at least until I can afford my next kawaii adventure!

Who is your favourite Pokemon character?
Love & Squirtles
Cate
xoxo

27 March 2018

Studio Ghibli Exhibition in Seoul, South Korea

Studio Ghibli Exhibition - Seoul - South Korea

Whilst in Seoul I noticed there was a Studio Ghibli Exhibition happening in the Sejong Center and as a huge Ghibli and animation fan I had to go check it out. I absolutely loved my visit to The Ghibli Museum in Japan so I was happy to get the chance to go to a different Ghibli exhibition and learn even more about some of my all my favourite animated movies.

Studio Ghibli Exhibition - Seoul - South Korea

Studio Ghibli Exhibition - Seoul - South Korea

Studio Ghibli Exhibition - Seoul - South Korea

Taking photos was prohibited in the first part of the exhibition but it was set up in a similar way to the Ghibli Museum in Japan showing Miyazaki's workplace, sketches and storyboards, I was surprised seeing some of the sketches on display as they just looked like random scribbles that didn't seem to represent anything so it was amazing to think how somehow these seemingly random ideas got turned into these beautiful movies which have touched so many hearts.

Studio Ghibli Exhibition - Seoul - South Korea

Another part of the exhibition was a room full of all the different merchandise produced for the movies and it was honestly life goals! I had no idea there was so many beautiful things made for the movies although most of the things on display are limited edition and long since out of production it was nice to see how diverse and cute all their merchandise is. I always enjoy seeing peoples different collections especially toy collections. Of course this leads me onto the gift shop which was full of beautiful things to but unfortunately everything there was priced a lot higher than Japan and as much as I wanted to buy out the whole shop I decided to just get one special thing so picked up a little Catbus purse to commemorate my time there.

Studio Ghibli Exhibition - Seoul - South Korea

Studio Ghibli Exhibition - Seoul - South Korea

Studio Ghibli Exhibition - Seoul - South Korea

The second part of the exhibition (which allowed photography) showcased Miyazaki's love of flying and air-planes and featured models, sketches and the inspiration behind just some of the many aircraft that have been featured in the Ghibli movies including a spectacular airship from Nausicaa flying over the city which moved and lit up. Although I've watched all the Ghibli movies multiple times I honestly didn't realise before just how many of the Ghibli movies featured some sort of interesting aircraft or depiction flight, it's so inspiring and touching to see how Miyazaki's dreams of flying were reflected throughout his movies

Studio Ghibli Exhibition - Seoul - South Korea

I couldn't find out much about the exhibit prior to my visit, in fact I only managed to find one short post on a Korean website just stating the location and dates so I had absolutely no idea what to expect so needless to say when I turned the corner ready to exit the exhibition and saw a life sized Catbus you can actually play with I freaked out! One of the biggest disappointments I had whilst visiting The Ghibli Museum in Japan was not being able to play on the Catbus because it was only for kids so having this opportunity as an adult was like a life-long dream come true and I really felt like crying. Ghibli movies are so nostalgic to me and bring back that warm feeling of being a child so having this Catbus all to myself to play with was everything I've ever dreamed of more. Of course I took a million photos with it because this would probably be my one and only chance I get to meet the Catbus and I wanted to preserve the memories, in fact while I'm writing this I have the biggest smile on my face, even bigger than the one on the Catbus!

It's the LAST DAY to enter my anime giveaway!
Love & Acorns
Cate
xoxo

23 March 2018

FYeahJapan: Where to Find Vegan Food in Tokyo

VEGAN FOOD IN TOKYO

Vegans and Vegetarians can often have a hard time finding food when they're travelling and one of the most common questions I'm asked is what do I eat whilst on my travels and how to find vegan food. Japan in particular can be a hard place to find vegan food as a lot of food contains meat or dashi, also a lot of Japanese restaurants are unwilling to make substitutions or changes to their dishes but luckily the vegan diet is becoming more popular and there are quite a few completely vegan restaurants with a different variety of foods to suit all tastes, so I thought I would share a few of the vegan restaurants I found during my recent trip to Tokyo.

T's Tantan in Tokyo Station (VEGAN )
Ramen is probably the most difficult thing to find a vegan version of Japan as the soup base is almost always meat or dashi based but T's Tantan has you covered as not only is everything on their menu vegan but they sell their own branded vegan cup noodles you can take home with you to. I actually ate here quite a few times the last time I was in Tokyo and because it was just that good I just had to make a trip there to have it again. I've tried quite a few of their different ramen bowls and all are good although the spicy isn't really spicy but then again my spice level is ridiculous! I also really like their soy meat to which is kinda strange for me as the whole fake meat thing kinda freaks me out but I always order it when I'm there. T's Tantan is kinda hard to find as it's actually inside the train station, past the barriers, near the Keiyo AKA Disneyland line but you don't have to be making a trip through the station to get there but you will have to pay about ¥100 entrance fee to get in, which is what I did last time but it's totally worth it for some genuine vegan Japanese style ramen.

Komaki Shokudo in Akihabara (VEGAN)
There are quite a few places you can try the traditional style Japanese temple food but one of the most easy and convenient places to go to in Tokyo is Komaki Shokudou which is just a short walk away from Akihabara station. This is another place I ate at a few times on my last trip to Tokyo and had to check out again although I would recommend going early to avoid the crowds as this place can fill up quite quickly and they're normally sold out by late afternoon. The price is quite reasonable to at around ¥1000 for rice, miso soup, a main dish (I normally go for the curry, so good!) and two side dishes and it's really satisfying without being too filling, which is the perfect fuel for a day of nerdy shopping in Akihabara. Definitely check this one out of you're looking for some traditional Buddhist style Japanese food and if you want to bring a little something home with you the restaurant is actually inside a supermarket which sells lots of interesting healthy, organic Japanese foods.

Ain Soph Ripple in Shinjuku (VEGAN)
Ain Soph is actually a chain of vegan restaurants in Tokyo, I've visited Ain Soph.Soar in Ikebukuro and also Ain Soph.Journey in Shinjuku both of which I also recommend but it's their newest branch Ripple I want to give a special mention to because their vegan mac and cheese was out of this world! Vegan junk food is my jam and while I love trying traditional foods of the places I visit sometimes I just want some fries and a burger. I've had a lot of vegan burgers in my time and sadly more disappointing ones than great ones but Ain Soph.Ripple is on the great side and I really enjoyed their chilli cheese burger but the greatest thing is their mac and cheese which I think was the best mac and cheese I've ever had, I honestly could not tell it was vegan as it was so creamy and cheesy and goooood! I would have loved to try out all the other burgers and burritos there to if I had time because they all looked so good but the only downside is that the prices are kinda high for the size of the burgers you get but it's still a good place to indulge in some "healthy" vegan junk food so definitely check it out if only for the mac and cheese!

Soba Noodles in Tokyo Skytree Solamachi Tabe-Terrace (VEGAN)
This place can be found at Tokyo Skytree on the 3rd floor food court above the supermarket and although it's not strictly a vegan restaurant it does have a special vegan menu you can ask for. I wanted to mention this place as it was a new and random find for me and as I mentioned previously finding vegan noodles can be difficult in Japan because the stock is often made with dashi or meat so this was great little find if you like or want to try soba noodles, I also loved that you could customise and chose whatever side dishes you wanted with your noodles and the price was quite reasonable for them to. There didn't seem to be a lot of vegetarian or vegan friendly restaurants in the Skytree so it was nice to have at least one option and a yummy option to, I totally gulped down those noodles after a long cold day of exploring Tokyo and they were super warming and satisfying so check them out if you're near the Skytree and feeling hungry.


What vegan foods or restaurants have you tried out in Tokyo?
Love & Udon
Cate
xoxo

20 March 2018

FYeahJapan: A Walk in Ameyayokocho

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
Cate
xoxo


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.

アリスと蔵六
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.
賭ケグルイ
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.

バチカン奇跡調査官
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!

極黒のブリュンヒルデ
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
Cate
xoxo

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
Cate
xoxo

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
Cate
xoxo


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
Cate
xoxo

01 March 2018

Kawaii Anime Lucky Bag Giveaway!

Love at first sight

All this month I'm going to be sharing my adventures in Tokyo so I thought it would be fun to give all of you a little taste of Japan with another super kawaii giveaway! As I spent a lot of my time in Tokyo fulfilling my otaku desires I thought I would put together another little surprise anime lucky bag for you to try your chance at winning.


I won't tell you exactly what's in this lucky bag as that's all part of the fukubukuro fun but there's a nice diverse selection of charms, jewellery and gashapon toys included which should please all tastes. So if you want to be in with a chance to win this month check out the widget below for details on how to enter.


What's your favourite anime?
Good Luck
Cate
xoxo
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