Kawaii Traveling

Tag along and travel with me :)


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Cute animal overload! ;)

Hey!

Sooo, the third day here in London we started off by climbing up Primrose Hill (right next to Regent’s Park) ;) We have to state, that we expected a much steeper ascend… But nonetheless, in all seriousness: the view is worth going! See for yourself:

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View from Primrose Hill

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Atop Primrose Hill

So we stayed a bit on top of the hill, enjoying the view. (Maybe a bit too long, since we both have sunburns now… :S)
And after that we went to eat something by the river, near the London Eye and the Big Ben.

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Big Ben

Since we had the Travel Card we saw that we could get some discount for the River Buses (aka ships) that go to Greenwich and decided to go.
I like seeing cities from the river perspective and enjoyed the ride.
And Greenwich also is pretty beautiful! The Greenwich Park is very beautiful! We had to ‘climb’ a hill again, but again: the view is so worth it! :D
By the time we arrived (I think 4 pm) the Royal Observatory was already closed, but I think it may be worth a visit…
We spent quite some time at the park and really enjoyed the flower garden and the animals ;) We stumbled upon a cat and quite some amount of squirrels. We also found some bird: does anybody know what kind of bird this could be?

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Maritime Museum

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The fabulous view in Greenwich Park

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@ Greenwich Park

Animals: ^^

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Can you spot the parrot? ;)

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stray cat

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Cuddly cat

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Squirrel! ^^

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What kind of bird is this??

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random kawaii picture of the day? :D

The rest of the day we spent near our hotel eating at a food chain named: ‘Pret a manger’. They have sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups, etc. for a pretty decent price. So if you don’t want to spent too much money on food but don’t want to eat out of the supermarket everyday this, Pret a manger, along with other chains like that (for example there’s ‘Japanese’ food at Itsu), is a good alternative.

I hope you enjoyed reading!

Thanks!

Pia


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London Parks

Hello guys!

So after our exhausting first day we decided to walk some more and go down the entire Oxford street. Which is the main shopping street in London. ;)
Although we didn’t want to buy anything we ended up buying like 5 or 6 DVDs or Blue rays in a shop a friend had recommended me: hmv. They have pretty good deals. I bought a set of 3 DVDs (Pitch Black, Dark Fury and The Chronicles of Riddick) for just 8 pounds and Riddick (to complete the set) for 6 pounds. :D

After roaming around the shops we decided to go to the Hyde Park. I’m afraid I’m not too fond of the park. It’s OK, I guess. But I’ve seen much more beautiful parks… Nonetheless we ate at a café at the park (some tomato soup and a salad).

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@ Hyde Park

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Hyde Park

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@ Hyde Park

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Albert Memorial

After eating and walking around the park some more we decided to visit another street market: Portobello Market, since it was relatively near to Hyde Park and there was a bus going from the park to the market. Soon we saw that the market indeed is open on weekdays too, but we went back there on a Saturday and it was far more crowded and more stands open then. So I would recommend you to go on a Saturday (I’m not sure if they open on Sundays, you would have to check). Nonetheless some stands were open and the street is beautiful I think…

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Portobello Market on a Monday

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A bus that goes to the world’s end! :)

Afterwards we decided to visit yet another park: The Regent’s park. And THIS, is a beautiful park :) Especially the flower garden.

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@ Regent’s Park

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Flower Garden @ Regent’s Park

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Regent’s Park

After resting our feet a bit at our hotel we decided to eat at China town (again). ;) This time at one of the hundred …dragon… restaurants. The food was OK, but at the end of our meal, when the waitress came for our plates she accidentally knocked over a cup of soy sauce which ended up on my jeans… Oh well. ^^

So I decided to lift my spirits up with yet another cup of Bubble Tea. :D This time I got me some Taro Milk tea. It was delicious, but a little bit too sweat… But I guess that’s Bubble Tea… :S Although, I have to say that I think the British are pretty fond of very sweet things… The day before I had some coffee drink and I couldn’t finish it, because it was just too sweet!

While walking around a bit we stumbled upon the M&M’s Shop and later Piccadilly Circus.

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M&M’s Store (like 5 floors or so of M&Ms…)

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Piccadilly Circus

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China Town

So that concludes yet another day.

Thank you for reading!

Kisses,

Pia


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London calling :)

Hey there!

We are in London! It’s so weird, since all our other holidays together we’ve spent either at the home of the other one or in Japan. :D So when we arrived to London we had that feeling of going back to Japan, even when London is NOT like Japan. (obviously)
I’ve been to London before, but I was 8 back then, so I don’t remember too much. My first impression now was: beautiful! I really like the type of houses here, these old brick houses. But, I also have to say, London isn’t the cleanest city I’ve been to either… :S
The first night we went out in search for something to eat and ended up in China Town (I guess we really miss Asia? ;) ). There is quite some cheap restaurants run by families. We ate some meat with rice and for desert we got some bubble tea. It was delicious (and cheap)!!

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China Town

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China Town

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Matcha Bubble Tea with Tapioca Pearls :)

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I love the Taxis here in London!

The next morning we decided to go to Camden Street market. We also paid Kings Cross Station a visit. But I must say: I didn’t have the Harry Potter feels I expected ;). Camden market has a lot of clothing and accessories and I found a beautiful necklace there. It’s fun just to go around and look at some stands.

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Random cool looking House :)

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Kings Cross

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They have pianos in Kings cross station :) So cool!

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Camden Market

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Camden Market

Since we have the Travel Card and can go anywhere in the city by subway or bus we took one of those cool red buses to the city centre. I really love those buses ;D Especially when sitting on the top deck. You don’t have to pay for expensive tourist buses. Just take a normal bus in the city centre (for example the 11).

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Sitting at the front in the top part of a London Bus :)

We got off the bus at Trafalgar Square and from there went to see all the touristy sites. Buckingham palace (where we could see some marching band), Westminster (especially the Big Ben), the London Eye… :) I’m not too fond of doing ‘normal’ tourism, but here in London these sights are a must! I mean, the Big Ben for example is so beautiful!!

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Trafalgar Square

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Trafalgar Square

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Buckingham Palace

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@ St. Jame’s Park

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We accidentally saw a marching band in front of Buckingham Palace

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Big Ben

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Big Ben

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@ Jubilee Gardens, the London Eye

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Westminster

 

After wandering around a bit we ended up at Covent Garden, another street market. I loved the atmosphere there. Many little shops that sell beautiful things and many street entertainers create a unique experience.

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After walking such distances we decided to rest a bit at our hotel and later ate dinner at a pub nearby. I had a typical English (I guess) pie and Juan a not so typical hamburger ;)

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Both were delicious!

Afterwards, despite a little rain, we took the bus to the Tower Bridge where we could take some beautiful pictures.

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beautiful church

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View from the tower bridge

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Shad Thames

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the Shard

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Tower Bridge

 

As you might imagine we were pretty exhausted after that… :D

That concludes our first day here. Sorry, I fear I might have gotten a little rusty writing these blogs since my last time :P I hope it’s not too painful to read.

Thank you very much! Until next time!

Pia

 


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I’m back! (and DIY Bath bombs ^^)

Hello guys!

Sorry that I didn’t post in such a looong time!! :S
But I’m back now!! And tomorrow I am leaving for London! So I will have another little adventure to write to you about! ^-^

For know I thought I might share something new with you:

A very quick DIY for making your own Bath Bombs!

You will need:
30 g of coconut butter
100 g of baking soda (= natron)
50 g of citric acid
50 g of starch
(I did mine with rice flour, since I had some left, also works)
~20 g of sea salt (optional! use rough salt if you want a ‘peeling’ sensation)
and finally 20 drops of some kind of scented oil (of your choosing, I found some lemon grass oil and I love it! Just be sure it’s an oil and has no water in it!) and, if you like some food colouring for that pop of colour!
I did mine without the colouring since I didn’t find them in my local supermarket…

So you should be able to find the ingredients in your local supermarket or drug-store. Or you just buy them online.
For the shaping I used some rose shaped silicon moulds normally used for little cakes. You could also use some silicon moulds for ice cubes (in fun shapes for example). It really depends on your taste and also on the size you want your bath bombs to be. Mine were as big as the ones you can normally buy at some beauty stores (the size of a muffin) but I’m thinking of making smaller ones next time.

So, what you have to do is quite easy:
You melt the coconut butter (either in a microwave or in a water bath, but be very careful not to get any water into the bowl!!) and then you add all the ingredients to it. Always be careful not to get any water into the mixture! Else it will all bubble away (it happened to me… :S)!
Mix well and finally fill the mixture (it feels a bit like wet sand) into your moulds and let the moulds rest in the fridge for quite some time (for example over night) to let them set.

And voilà!

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My very fist bath bomb :) It would look nicer with some colouring, but I couldn’t find it in my supermarket :/

So tell me if you tried it out and if it worked fine! :)

I will write to you soon!!! (from London!)

 

Thank you for reading!

 

Greetings,

Pia


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Sakura and last day in Japan… :'(

Hey guys,

on the 29th, since the weather was really nice we decided to go to see some more Sakura and also, since it was our second to last day in Japan to go Shopping one last time in Harajuku. And since the Yoyogi park is right next door to Harajuku it was just logic to go there.

So we didn’t take any pictures of the last shopping trip, but we accidentally went past a bank where there was Hikakin giving autographs or something. Hikakin is a famous beat-boxer in Japan, he also has his own youtube channel, if you want to check it out.
The line to get into the bank was HUGE!!!

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everyone wants to see Hikakin

The part of the line that you see on this picture is only a fraction of the whole line! It really was insane!

Being one of the last days we went to eat sushi again. This time at a belt sushi restaurant. We didn’t take any pictures (sorry!), because every time we grabbed something of the belt we ate it so fast without even thinking of taking a pic. But we took one picture:

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Uni

It’s sea urchin, Uni in japanese. A japanese guy we met at the bar of our hostel had told us to try it, since it was so good…. Well…. I’m sorry, but we hardly could eat it all…. I guess it’s not our kind of thing… It tasted really fishy and the flavour was quite strong! But maybe some of you might have liked it?

After the lunch break we went to Yoyogi park. There were quite some people.

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so many people doing hanami

But as I suspected, the cherry blossoms got more an more beautiful each day… It’s such a pity that we are not there for the full bloom… Nonetheless, it was stunning.

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yay for Sakura!

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Yoyogi park

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So many people enjoying the blossoms

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obligatory selfie ;)

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I love spring

In order to refresh myself I bought some Ramune at the park. I tried it before, at the Okonomiyaki restaurant and really liked it. It tastes somewhat like Sprite but the fun thing about Ramune is the bottle. :) There is a small ball on top of the bottle that seals it. In order to open the bottle you have some plastic thing that you have to put on top of the ball and push it down, so that the ball falls into the bottle. The bottle has a unique shape, so that the ball then stays in the upper area. It’s hard to explain, but I have pictures to show you what I mean. This time I tried another flavour… I should have took the normal one… This one pretty much tasted like it looked. ;) Like bubblegum. I guess Ramune normally is for kids… But hey, the normal flavoured one tastes good AND is fun! ;) I recommend you to try it, if your in Japan.

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So after resting some time in Yoyogi park and watching the sakura we decided to head back to Asakusa. Walk a bit there and go back to the Hostel to take a nap. We had planned to go out all night for this last night in Japan…

On the riverside in Asakusa the cherry blossoms also were very beautiful.

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Tokyo Skytree

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So many people!

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there are so many different cherry blossom trees!

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such a beautiful painting

And I had a cute snack before going to the hostel ;) It was some kind of sweet bread filled with custard.

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random kawaii picture of the day!

So in terms of pictures we didn’t take any more this day…

After taking a quick nap and getting ready to go out we met up with Alex Papadimoulis, the founder of the daily what the fuck, a blog about “curious perversions in Information Technology” (so it says on the website). Since JJ reads this blog very often he saw an entry of Alex, that he would come to Tokyo to see the Sakura and wanted to meet up. The bigger meet-up would have been in April but since there were a few people that wanted to meet up earlier the 29th was also set as a date. The plan was just to meet up at Shibuya and than go to an Izakaya, a japanese style bar. Where we went they had an all-you-can-eat-AND-drink for just around 3000 Yen. It was really cheap and VERY delicious. We tried quite some amount of japanese food and drink. :) The people were all very nice and we had so much fun!

After that we went to another bar to drink one more drink and then some of us decided to go to a Karaoke place to stay there all night.
Since in Tokyo the Subway only stays open until 12 pm many people that want to go party have to stay up until 5 am (when the first subway goes) or leave at 12 pm to catch the last train home… It’s quite fascinating really, in Germany (at least in the bigger citys) there is always a way home. The subway closes maybe at 1 oder 2 am (at least on weekends), but there are always night-buses that go every hour or so.
The Karaoke was fun too. They didn’t have many german or spanisch songs (exept 99 Luftballons or Suerte by Shakira), but plenty of english songs to choose from.

So when we arrived at the hostel it was like 6 am and we still had to pack and than check out at 10 am the latest… ;) Yeah, we didn’t get too much sleep that last night in Tokyo. But it really was fun! Thank you again to all the lovely people that made this experience a pleasant one! I hope to meet you again sometime.

Our very last day in Japan we spent most of the time sitting inside, either the Hostel, a bakery or a restaurant. It was raining quite strongly and we were pretty tired….
One last highlight was the dinner we had: unagi, eel on rice.

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eel with rice menu

It was soooo good! I really recommend you to try this!

Our plane took of at 22:30 pm or so, so we had to head to the airport. We had so much luggage! We even bought an extra bag to bring home with us, since the stuff we bought here didn’t fit in our backpacks any more! :D Luckily at Quatar Airways they don’t care how many bags you have, if it’s under 30 kg.

So now we’re home again… :S I already miss some things about Japan. But of course it’s also good to be home. You have your own bed, can see friends and family, etc.

I hope you enjoyed my posts about Japan. I think some time soon I will write some more posts about things I noticed in Japan. And maybe I will write an entry about things that we brought with us to Germany.

Thank you so much for reading!

Pia

 


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Hanami

Hello guys,

this is me writing the last few posts about our trip to Japan. We arrived in Germany yesterday, and I must say, I’m a bit sad… Of course it’s great to be back home and have a real bed, and all your stuff and you can see your family and friends, but we really enjoyed our trip to Japan and there are a few things we already miss about it. Maybe I will write some post about those things later.

So the 28th, since the weather was pretty nice we decided to go from Asakusa to Ueno park by foot. As we already did some times. It’s not too far and I really love the districts in between. The idea was to see, at least some cherry blossoms. Since it was our last days in Japan we wanted to enjoy the weather to the fullest and see if we could spot some early blooming trees.

Already on our way to Ueno we could see some trees blooming.

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on our way to Ueno park

In Ueno park there were quite a lot of people although it was Friday morning. But I suspect on Saturdays and Sundays and when the Sakura season reaches it’s high point there will be even more people! Even though most of the trees were just beginning to bloom it was so beautiful!

 

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signs at Ueno park with the rules for Hanami (Cherry blossom viewing)

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people enjoying the weather

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a shrine in Ueno park

 

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Hanami

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some trees were just beginning to bloom but some seemed to be almost at full bloom!

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so many people having a picknick

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beautiful

Since there are many food stalls in Ueno park we decided to get some variety of foods to eat while enjoying the view of the sakura blossoms. We had some takoyaki, some flour batter balls with octopus in them, Yakitori, grilled chicken, and Okonomiyaki. All of those things were delicious! The Okonmiyaki we had the day before at the restaurant obviously tasted better, but these still were pretty good! I love the taste of the special Okonomiyaki sauce also, so we bought some to bring home with us :)

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takoyaki

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yakitori

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Okonomiyaki

And since we felt like eating some ice cream too. We went ahead and bought some soft ice cream. Soft ice is pretty popular in Japan, I think. You can get some almost everywhere. We tried some green tea and some sakura flavoured ones. They were sooooo good!!! I really love everything sakura flavoured!

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green tea and sakura ice cream!

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So next we wanted to try the Ueno zoo. It was a pretty spontaneous decision. I really love animals, especially cute (or as JJ states some ugly) animals, but normally I don’t go to the zoo too much since sometimes it’s depressing… :S You know, because the animals are caged and sometimes (depending on the zoo) the cage is quite small… Uneo zoo is not one of the worst I’ve seen, but the cages still are pretty small I guess. So I enjoyed seeing the animals but at the same time I felt sorry for them… I feel so ambivalent about it… I know that some zoos are trying their best to provide good and big cages. And zoos bring the animals closer to children. Some zoos even are important for preservation of some animals.

JJ seemed to enjoy himself though and took like a million picks!! So I tried to pick the best…

 

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Ueno zoo

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I love pandas

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a bear

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I’m not sure how I feel about this pick…

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some monkeys delousing each other

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penguin!

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hakuna mattata

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one of my favourite animals, which I haven’t seen live before: Tarsier

After our visit to the zoo there still was some hours with sunshine left so we went around in Ueno park a bit more. Since it was friday evening I guess more people had time to come. It was getting full. :) Sorry about that many pics with sakura blossoms, but I really like them and wanted to share them all with you!

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obligatory selfie infront of a cherry blossom tree ;) Everyone does it!

So after walking around quite a bit we were a little tired so we stopped at the Starbucks again. This time I tried the new vanilla lemony swirl frappuccino, whereas JJ opted for the good old matcha frappuccino :)

The lemony swirl one also tasted very good. It reminded me of lemon cake :)

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Starbucks frappuccino (green tea and vanilla lemony swirl)

After that we soon went home since it was getting pretty cold and we didn’t have any jackets. JJ always wanted to take some pictures of Tokyo Skytree at night, and since you have some pretty good views of it near our hostel he took some pictures. They are all very good, but I’ll show you one of the best (in my opinion).

 

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Tokyo Skytree

The tower is lit in pink these days, since it’s sakura season :)

For dinner we wanted to eat chanko again. In 2009 we found a little restaurant near our hostel and loved the food so much that we ate there twice. Chanko is typically a food for sumo wrestlers since it’s very rich and also a bit fatty. It’s a bit like nabe (japanese hot pot) maybe the difference is the fattier meat inside. At the restaurant you get the pot with all the ingredients in it and let it cook until everything is cooked through. After eating everything you can order rice or noodles, so that the broth doesn’t go to waste. Since I was very full we just ordered one portion of ramen noodles (since JJ wanted some).

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Chanko

It was sooo good!!!

Well, that was it for this day.

Thank you for reading!

Pia


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Okonomiyaki heaven

Hello,

since the last two days the weather wasn’t too nice and I had a little accident (more later) we didn’t do too much and I will write of theses two days in just one post.

So yesterday we first went to Roppongi, since we never went and it’s one of the spots tourist guides always sent yo to. Actually I wasn’t too thrilled, but there was a beautiful little park where we relaxed for some time.

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at a park in Roppongi

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japanese style park

For lunch we had some Ramen and Gyoza (dumplings). Both were delicious and cheap (since it was a fast food chain).

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Ramen and Gyoza

Afterwards we wanted to go via Shibuya, but then I had my little accident… Apparently I walked on some stair step but didn’t notice and well, once the step ended I fell. On both of my knees. One burst open pretty bad and the other just a little. But my tights were ruined… Since I had nothing to disinfect or band-aids we went to the nearest family mark to get both… In order to know if there was some kind of disinfection liquid we had to ask the staff pointing at my bleeding knee. ;) But I got both. The problem was, that the band-aids I got were too small for the wounds. So we tried to cover the big wound as good as possible when a young man came by and offered me some bigger band-aids. I gladly accepted. Since it was still early in the day I decided to go on. But my tights had two big wholes on both sides… It almost looked like I wanted to do a fashion statement ;)

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don’t you think this will be the next big thing in fashion?! ;)

So we then took the subway to Shibuya and looked around a bit. We spent quite some time at Tokyo Records. A CD shop. Since it’s a little difficult to get japanese music in Germany we wanted to look around to see if we liked some of the music. JJ actually bought some CDs to bring home. The band he found is Man with a mission. We quite like their music. It’s rock music by the way. And by chance I found some cute shoes for just 1000 Yen from a shop in Shibuya. ;) Yay!

One thing you notice immediately when you are in districts like Shibuya, Shinjuku or also Harajuku is the great amount of flashing lights (as in advertisement, big screens etc.) and the advertisement over loudspeaker. For example there are special trucks that advertise bands. So basically there is big pictures of the band on the sides of the truck (often even lighted, so you can see it at night) and then they play their music. Or in shopping streets it’s common that people from the stores stand outside and scream at you how good the shop is. Even in the subway, which normally is very quiet we got overwhelmed by the amount of advertisement. And also the advertisement is quite different from the ones in Europe. The posters in Japan are overflowing with information, pictures and text.

Since JJ wanted to buy a big Gundam (see earlier post) figure and saw some earlier in our trip in Ikebukero we went there again. The figure was quite expensive but in this particular shop (Labi Electronics) it was cheaper than in other stores we had seen the figures. It was about 5000 Yen. The thing is huge, like 20 cm or so, we will see where we will put it in our apartment… When JJ managed to assemble it back home I might post a picture.

For dinner we went to a near by burger restaurant in Ikebubero.

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burgers!

The burgers were pretty good, but the potatoes were cold and had no sauce… :S

So that was all we did yesterday… Not much, I know.

Today it was raining quite bad so we first went to Akihabara again for some more souvenirs and stuff. I think we were there like 4 hours. And we bought some stuff for some friends and an Attack on Titan (Shingeki no kyojin) t-shirt for JJ and some Rilakuma Kigurumi (onesie) for me :)

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Rilakuma onesie! ;) I tried it it on as soon as we got home :D

Our lunch consisted of quite some portions of curry. JJ had some with japanese croquettes and I had Omurice (omelette over rice) with curry. We love japanese Curry, we even bought some to bring back home and cook it then.

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japanese curry

For the night we had planned to meet the japanese girl we met in Nikko. So we went to the hostel to leave all the things and then went to meet her at Shinjuku.

We wanted to meet at a certain exit of Shinjuku station but the station is so big that we were 30 min late just because it took us so long to find the right exit…
We wanted to eat Okonomiyaki (japanese savoury pancake, kind of) and than go to the Tocho, but the restaurant we wanted to go said we had to come back in like 1,5 hours so we decided to go to the Tocho first and return then.

The Tocho by night is quite awesome. Check this out:

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from the Tocho by night

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big Tokyo

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Tokyo Tower in the background

We returned to the restaurant at 20 pm (the waiter had told us that there would be space at 20:15) and had to wait quite some time to get a table. But the wait was worth it!!! It was super duper delicious!!!

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Okonomiyaki!

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Yakisoba Okonomiyaki

If you come to Japan I beg you: try Okonomiyaki!! We got three different types, the normal one (which I actually liked best), some with green onion and than a Yakisoba one. They were all very good.

So afterwards we went home again, since my knees also hurt a bit… And now it’s time to go to bed ;)

Thank you for reading!

Pia

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