Day 59

Day 59: Ring of Fire


Ring of Fire has a very different connotation in my field of work, but I’ll just leave it at that.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s all kinds of gorgeous, but I feel like the eye of Sauron is glaring from beyond as one does not simply walk into Mordor attempting to throw the One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom. But that might be the post-night shift delirium talking. 

Day 60

Day 60: Buddha Ichiban

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Two of my favorite temples reside in Kyoto, the first one, Fushimi Imari, I’ll save for another post, but my other, Otagi Nenbutsu-ji, is this sweet little temple hidden in the western hills of Kyoto close to the Arashiyama bamboo forest.

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Unlike it’s more prominent counterparts like Kiyomizu-dera or Kinkaku-ji, this Buddhist temple is known for the 1200 stone rakan, followers of Buddha, scattered and grouped throughout the vicinity. The rakan are hand-carved statues with varying depictions from two friends drinking, to one with his dog, another with a tennis racket, and another with boxing gloves.

 

Day 61

Day 61: Lazy Egg Life

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One of my newfound favorite characters while living in Japan is named Gudetama. Created by the Sanrio Company, Gudetama is an egg, specifically a raw egg who finds everything pointless and wonders when he will be eaten someday. I know, kinda odd, but what I find him so appealing (Other than he’s an anthropomorphized egg and eggs are delicious) is his reluctance to do anything. In Japanese, ‘Gude’ means having no strength or motivation  and ‘Tama’ means egg. He is literally a meh egg, the epitome of ‘meh.’

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For myself, I use ‘meh’ to describe my reluctance to do things like chores, laundry, homework, taskers at work, essentially things you really don’t want to do but you know you have to do it. I guess that’s why I find Gudetama so relatable because I usually find myself not wanting to do things but I know it’s part of being responsible and accountable for your actions. I call it the reluctance of being a grown-up.

Gudetama is so lazy, he’s usually found lying about on a bed of rice, hanging onto his eggshell, or covering himself with his blanket which is a slice of bacon, very much like me pulling the covers over my head because I just don’t want to be bothered or get out of  bed period.

Like all good Sanrio characters, Gudetama has quite the impressive collection of merchandise, plushes, bento boxes and the like. He even has his own character cafe in Osaka, which I plan on dragging my brother to when we go to the mainland in June.

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Day 62

Day 62: Carbs Carbs Carbs

To take a page from Oprah’s book, I love bread. I LOVE BREAD. And I especially love the Japanese milk bread which is the softest and fluffiest bread on the face of the earth.

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The only downside to this is that once the package is open, the bread does go stale relatively quickly compared to its other carb-y counterparts. But usually once the bag is open the bread is devoured quickly so win-win (Except for my scale).

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It’s the best for melty peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, buttery grilled cheese sandwiches, awesomely scrumptious french toast, or just by itself (Maybe next to a jar of nutella).

Day 63

Day 63: Pancakes

I don’t know if it’s actually a Japanese thing or more of an American influence but there’s something to be said about the pancakes here cause they’re freaking awesome made of tasty deliciousness.

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They’re soft and fluffy and really more borderline dessert and cake-like. Which I guess are what pancakes…are. Fried cakes slathered in butter and syrup and heaping piles of whipped cream (Seriously the amount of whipped cream is cray)

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Day 64

Day 64: Tea Ceremony

I did fangirl a bit when I signed up for the Tea Ceremony tour by MCCS (Marine Corps Community Services). Was it a little overpriced. Yes. Did it go on a little too long for my liking. Not denying that. But it was hella fun.

It was a lovely crash course into the formalities and dynamics of tea ceremonies and the hosts were very accommodating given our limited to none Japanese (Anyone willing to go halfway and communicate in English with my broke-broke Japanese is a Godsend).

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I went twice, first time with a group of 5 people and the second with a group of 9. I can get a little overwhelmed with large-ish groups of people so I didn’t enjoy the second go round as much as the first. The first visit felt more leisurely and we had more time to understand the tea ceremony and the proper etiquette. The second in comparison felt more rushed. Plus it didn’t help that some of the other people weren’t paying attention to the actual ceremony itself so it felt more chaotic. Still, I’m not one to pass up the opportunity to dress up in a kimono, drink green tea and be offered mochi sweets.

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Day 65

Day 65: Get Muddy

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The Crafty Things store on Kadena aside from being the largest resource of crafting supplies on island for Americans (I prefer Daiso myself, but to each their own), offer workshops from sewing to woodwork to ceramics. I’ve taken part in making a pair of Shisa faces and a name sign both classes taught by Jorge, an Okinawan who spent most of his life growing up in South America before returning to his birthplace (And he does have a Spanish accent which I absolutely adore).

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I wish I learned about the classes sooner as I would’ve liked to make more crafty goods like dragon vases and larger Shisas and painting Kokeshi dolls. Unfortunately most of the classes I wished to take usually happened around the same time I was working. Ah well.

Day 66

Day 66: Shisedo

Most people associate Shisedo with high end face care and make up line and this is true stateside. But here in Japan, Shisedo is very much like L’Oreal, there are the generic drug store versions and the high end line, but the products are excellent all around.


I might be a little biased since most American-based products haven’t worked well with my skin, but I’ve certainly enjoyed having access to their products from the shampoo to the lipsticks to the eyebrow liner and the eyeshadows. The conditioner is super excellent and I’m sure it helped restore my hair to its former mermaid-worthy glory.

May 2015 // May 2016

Day 67

Day 67: Manga Souko


A hobby I dearly miss is thrift store hunting. I come from a family of bargain hunters so a favorite pastime of ours is finding nifty things from thrift stores. There really aren’t that many thrift stores out here on Okinawa, except for a 24 hour store called Manga Souko


There’s really not much you can’t find in this store. I’ve found my share of character figurines, beautiful kimonos and obi belts, even a bike I’ve been keeping my eye on the past few times I’ve visited.


But like most thrift stores and bargain hunts, if you don’t get it right then and there, most likely it’ll disappear. Which really doesn’t help my wallet by any means. But I will miss this little spot. There aren’t too many 24 hour thrift stores stateside and this has gotten me through some very long nights during my off days when I work night shift.

Day 68

Day 68: UFO Catchers.

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You think crane games stateside are bad? Japanese UFO Catchers are helllllla addicting. Because they look so damn simple. And even worse when you actually win one game, you get compelled to play more and find yourself short 2000 yen.


The prizes are pretty good, well, for people like myself who like to collect character figurines but they also sell plush toys, pillows, even frying pans and iPods. I usually find the boxed figures easier to grab than the plushes since the game claws aren’t particularly strong.