Japan 2k16 – Week 10 (June 6 – June 12)

The Japan blog continues! 🙂

Day 1: June 6

After a fun (but tiring) weekend, we embrace the start of the week with a test (boo). Luckily, according to the flowchart and exam schedule, this week would be pretty chill – so we went out a lot.

Day 2: June 7

Today, the only thing due in school were some paperwork for one of my classes – so yey! I went back to the dorm right after to sleep and clean my room.

Day 3: June 8

Winona, Pam, and I planned on going to Ueno Zoo – but due to time restraints, we changed our plans instead and went on a mini-food trip, haha! It was around lunch time when we headed to Tokyo station after our classes. Tokyo Station is an interesting place to stop by when you’re in Tokyo – since the station is filled with shops (you don’t even have to get out of the station)! We decided to hit Ramen Street first to eat the best ramen there. After some research and debate, we lined up at Rokurinsha (六厘舎) – which is known to have the longest lines (you can check out their menu here – it’s in Japanese though, so use Google translate). Luckily, we arrived before the lunch crowd, so we only had to wait approximately 30 minutes. The store is relatively small, so it only seats about twenty people.

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This ramen shop is known for its tsukemen (つけめん) noodle dish (it’s a type of Japanese noodle dish in which you dip the noodles in a bowl of very thick soup first, then you eat it). To learn more about the difference between tsukemen and ramen, you can read about it here.

We all ordered the original tsukemen dish – which cost us just ¥850! The dish arrived really quickly, and before you know it, we were stuffing our faces with one of the best noodle dishes I’ve ever eaten. This is the first time I’ve eaten tsukemen, and I’m happy to know that the dish lived up to the hype.

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We were really full – the fullest we’ve ever felt, and that’s saying a lot; BUT the food trip must continue.

Continue reading “Japan 2k16 – Week 10 (June 6 – June 12)”

Japan 2k16 – Week 9 (May 30 – June 5)

And the Japan blog continues! I made a promise to myself to try to finish my blog before classes begin next month. Now, without further adieu, here’s the blog post for May 30 – June 5!

[Heads up, this is a long post.]

Day 1: May 30

Today is the first day of midterms week, and I admit that it’s off to a good start (so far). We had our Japanese oral exams (which went pretty smoothly, thank goodness) in which my partner Tiffany and I had to create a script / scenario in which she is a waitress and I am a customer in a restaurant. [Thankfully, I was able to apply the script in real life situations as well.] Actually, the oral exams are the easy bit of Japanese classes – the difficult part is grammar, vocabulary, and – of course – the Chinese characters, Kanji.

There’s another exam tomorrow, so my friends and I headed straight to the dorm to study.

Day 2: May 31

Today’s exam is kanji, reading and writing, and listening. A triple-combo attack to poor Sophie. Still, the battle’s not over because…

Day 3: June 1

…there’s another test. Today is the last day of hell week midterms! YEY. The test today is grammar (nooo) and particles (it’s crazy how many particles Japanese has). After the midterms, I had one more class then I’m free! My family is in Japan right now for a business trip, so I headed for Kawasaki (really far from Tokyo) and to meet them.

The trip was worth it though since I haven’t seen my dad in a couple of months (and the food was delicious too).

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Day 4: June 2

Just a few more days to write papers and study, then I can finally rest during the weekend.

(but we had ice cream because we literally live five minutes away from a Baskin’ Robbins)

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Day 5: June 3

I’m really jealous at how everyone back at home is lining up to watch Me Before You as it won’t screen here in Japan. I’ve been dying (haha) to watch it ever since the trailer was out. I also wondered if I would cry as hard as I did reading the book. (Spoiler: I didn’t.)

Continue reading “Japan 2k16 – Week 9 (May 30 – June 5)”

Japan 2k16 – Week 8 (May 23 – May 29)

I’m ashamed to say that I’m already back at home (in the Philippines) and I still haven’t finished writing my Japan blog posts 😦 I’m catching up right now to make up for it (and the one month break helps too haha!)

Day 1: May 23

Today marks as the first day (for my friends back home) of the third term in my home university! Good luck guys! Hehe. I went shopping for a bit today in Shinjuku’s Uniqlo for a few shirts and stuff haha. The weather’s getting hotter – so I needed some lighter clothes / summer clothes!

We also went to Harajuku for a bit just to eat some crepes:

hehehehehe
hehehehehe

Day 2: May 24

A few weeks ago, I applied for a baito (or part-time job), and today I get my first shift – well, a trial shift; but a shift nonetheless. I applied in a nearby conversation café wherein I basically have to sit down with a couple of Japanese people and converse with them in English for three hours. I won’t say much about what happened during that shift, but I can tell you this – that shift would be my first and my last for the entire trip (haha).

Day 3: May 25

Today, my friends and I had classes until 3 in the afternoon. I was so restless because we were going to Ikebukuro (also known as the “female version of Akihabara”) for several reasons: first, we were going to buy tickets for Tokyo DisneySea (yay!); second, we were going to visit the Pokémon Center (double yay!); and lastly, we were going to Animate (the one-stop shop for animé merch).

After classes, we quickly ran to the train station and made our way to Ikebukuro. We bought our tickets to DisneySea (so excited) and went to the upper floors for the —

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Pokémon Center!

We ran in – no questions asked. I had two things in my mind that I would want to buy; first, a Piplup (don’t judge) plush toy and a gym badge – any badge. Fortunately, I was able to find a really cute Piplup plush – and at a reasonable price, but the gym badges – alas – were limited edition and sadly out of stock (for good).

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Continue reading “Japan 2k16 – Week 8 (May 23 – May 29)”

Japan 2k16 – Week 7 (May 16 – May 22)

Yes, yes. It’s been a quite a long time and I’m really sorry about that! I’ve been so busy these past few weeks – busy exploring Tokyo and the weight of school, of course; but now I’m taking the time to update on my exchange program here! 🙂 I hope you enjoy reading as much as I had recollecting these memories!

Day 1: May 16

Today was a very ordinary day in school. I went through the usual routine of going to school, having Japanese class, then going back to the dorm to rest and do homework – BUT there’s a good reason why I didn’t go out today.

Day 2: May 17

Today, I was supposed to go to the Louis Vuitton exhibit near the school but decided not to anymore as the weather was terrible. It was raining really hard the whole day, so after school, I asked Winona: “Hey. Do you want to have doughnuts and coffee and wait for the rain to stop?”, whereas she agreed. We went to Krispy Kreme in Shinjuku (near Toho Cinema) and did just that. Now, there was a Taito station near the doughnut shop so I wandered inside and saw a giant Snoopy stuffed toy inside one of the UFO machines.

I didn’t believe that I would win something like that – but then:

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I WON. Winona and I were laughing so hard because our faces mirrored the same expression like: “WOW. I ACTUALLY WON. I GUESS I’M NOT THAT MUCH OF A LOSER AFTER ALL.” HAHA.

The day pretty much brightened up afterwards – both figuratively and literally.

Continue reading “Japan 2k16 – Week 7 (May 16 – May 22)”

Japan 2k16 – Week 6 (May 9 – May 15)

This week was a pretty chill week (nothing really exciting happened except for a few exceptions)! Hope you enjoy my re-cap!

Day 1: May 9

Today, my friends and I went on another midnight run to Lawson in our second attempt to buy Ghibli Museum tickets. Notice my use of word: attempt; meaning we failed again as tickets are not yet on sale (sadly). Other than that mishap, it was a regular school day again!

Day 2: May 10

After school today – Winona, Pam, and I went to Iidabashi for our job interview. Yes, I applied for a part-time job here in Japan at an English Language Cafè. Basically, it’s like a cafè wherein Japanese people or other foreigners go to in order to practice conversational English for an hour at a rate. Luckily, later on, I was e-mailed that I passed the interview and that I needed to go and have a trial session before they announce that I got the job!

Day 3: May 11

After school today, one of my classes had a field trip to the Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park.

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The field trip was not only very educational, but it was also very enlightening. I got to birdwatch for the first time and see some plants and other living things in its natural habitats.

I also met up with my cousins in Shinjuku and spent the rest of my evening going around with them!

Continue reading “Japan 2k16 – Week 6 (May 9 – May 15)”

Japan 2k16 – Week 5 (May 2 – May 8)

Hello! Er, it’s definitely been a while. I thought that I would sit down and catch up on my blog today since I’m staying in! Here are the things I did a few weeks ago!

First of all –

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Day 1: May 2

Today is one of my best friend’s birthday; happy birthday, Chiara! ❤

After classes, Pam (from the Philippines) and I went to Tokyo Station! I was so excited to go since I’ve been reading so much about how large the station was with so many stores inside – this includes three particular locations which caught my attention; namely: character street, ramen street, and restaurant street. I was not able to really explore Tokyo station the first time I went there, so today should be very interesting.

One of the first things I saw in the station was Tokyo Banana stores – which made me so happy since I do love Tokyo Banana.

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We went around for a bit, hunting for character when – lo and behold – we found it:

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Let me explain: basically, character street is a “street” filled with different character shops. These stores sold limited edition (Tokyo station- limited) items and other merchandises. Here is a directory of the famous Character Street.

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REALLY happy about the Snoopy shop and the Ghibli shop!

Priorities first, of course. I immediately headed for Snoopy Town. My eyes grew really wide when I saw the limited-edition Snoopy plush toys in Tokyo Station koban (police) uniforms! I wanted to buy one, but sadly placed it back when I saw the price – maybe one day I’ll come back for it.

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Continue reading “Japan 2k16 – Week 5 (May 2 – May 8)”

Japan 2k16 – May 1 (Snoopy Museum!)

After waiting for several weeks, the Snoopy Museum Tokyo finally opened last April 23 in Roppongi! I tried to get tickets to the opening day, but when I went to Lawson to buy – it was sold out! I got the next possible date, which was May 1!

Let me tell you about my day in the best way:

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Through writing and through pictures!

So, as seen in the picture – Pam and I went to the Snoopy Museum together! (I’m so happy that I found someone who’s just as crazy with Peanuts / Snoopy as I am.) Winona also came with us, but she didn’t go in the museum. Instead, she explored Roppongi.

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The entrance to the museum!
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The evolution of Snoopy – from classic Peanuts to modern Peanuts!
AHHHH
AHHHH

Continue reading “Japan 2k16 – May 1 (Snoopy Museum!)”

Japan 2k16 – Week 4 (April 25 – April 30)

Hello, everyone! I hope you’ll enjoy reading this as I had a fun time writing and experiencing these events (especially Sunday)! 🙂

Day 1: April 25

Today I finally check off something from my “Things I Must Do in Japan” list, and that’s going to Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory – home to the Totoro cream puffs!

After school, Winona and I went to Shimokitazawa (this place is heaven, by the way). We were so happy since it’s literally a few stations away from the dorm!

After walking around for a couple of minutes, we finally found the small sign that leads to the famous cream puff store!

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It’s actually really hidden, so you need to have sharp eyes!
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YES.
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The first floor is actually the cream puff store, and the second floor is their restaurant (and bakery for other bread). You can order cream puffs and eat it on the second floor!
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When we went in, we were immediately greeted by a really cute sign and Totoro merch everywhere!

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I mean, just look at them! Ahhh!

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The flavors for this specific month are chocolate cream, strawberry cream, original (vanilla), and banana caramel cream.

Continue reading “Japan 2k16 – Week 4 (April 25 – April 30)”

Japan 2k15 – Week 3 (April 18 – April 24)

I know, I know. I’m about two weeks late for this post! There’s just so much going on simultaneously – mostly school work and chores; but I finally had the time to sit down and re-tell my week 3 (here’s to hoping that memory will serve me right)!

Day 1: April 18

Today marks the first “week-sary” of going to Sophia University! Even if we literally started just a week ago, the workload is already pretty heavy. In Japanese classes, we have exams every day so studying and memorizing grammar rules and words and such take time. I went straight to the dorm after classes.

By the way, may I introduce you to the best cookie ever (sold in Japan / Japanese stores in the Philippines) – that’s manufactured, of course (nothing beats a homemade cookie!):

Country Ma’am Chocolate Chip Cookies!

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Gosh, these cookies are just perfect. Not too sweet, very chewy, moist, with the right amount of delicious chocolate in them. I’m addicted. Help.

I finally took some time to try the KFC here in Japan and:

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It’s pretty much amazing. The chicken is so good – so tender and just the right amount. The homemade biscuits came with maple syrup and the coleslaw is so good! Even if it didn’t have any rice, this meal made me so full. I had such a hard time finishing it. Wow.

Day 2: April 19

I literally didn’t sleep a wink today (well, tonight). I was too busy studying and reading for classes! This is my first all-nighter (in my collegiate life, that is). Wow.

I didn’t have time to cook, so I bought something from the convenience store:

This was my
This was my dinner (& dessert)!

Continue reading “Japan 2k15 – Week 3 (April 18 – April 24)”

Japan 2k16 – (April 16 to April 17)

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I will be creating a separate blog post for April 16 – 17 since a LOT has happened and if I did place it in the previous post, it would make it too long. ANYWAYS —

I went to Lake Kawaguchiko (near Mt. Fuji) with my uncle and his family and attended the Cherry Blossom Festival!

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On the way there!
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We stopped by the station to ride another bus that takes us directly to the lake / festival and I saw these cookies! They are so cute – shaped like little Mt. Fujis!
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I bought a box of 10 assorted cookies to share with my friends in the dorm 🙂
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These were the flavors inside the box! Personally, my favorites were strawberry, earl grey, and chocolate!

Continue reading “Japan 2k16 – (April 16 to April 17)”