Skip to main content

The June Rainy Season Brings...

So for the past few days, my host family's middle child who lives in Nagoya and works as a massage therapist came to visit for a few days. She was nice-- a little quiet, but kind-- but I didn't see much of her since I had school and she also had some work to do here at a spa or something in Kanazawa. But I had us take a "family portrait" before she left today:

From left to right: Naoko with Cocoa, Me, Nobuko, and Ryuichi.

Then my host parents took me to a place just on the edge of the mountains where there were fields and fields of irises.

There were something like 20 different varieties of's been raining fairly hard these last three days so some of the flowers were bent over, but the ones that were standing were vibrant from the rain and covered with water droplets. The air was fresh and it was lovely--reminded me more of spring than summer.

Then I went back to the Higashi Chaya district that Ryo and I went to briefly at the end of May. Sometimes it's nice to go back to an area and just wander about it by yourself, and go into whatever shop you want just to look without worrying that you're boring someone. And then I found a shop that sold gold plated items (of which Ishikawa produces 98% of in Japan) and they had an entire building, inside and out, that was plated in gold, I kid you not:

This picture does not adequately display how SHINY that building was. I can't decide if I think it's a disgusting waste of gold or just really pretty...

And then I spent a quiet afternoon at home and so my last day of break passed...tomorrow it's back to school.


Popular posts from this blog

Taking a Breather

Sometimes when you're in Tokyo, as wonderful as its bustling atmosphere is, you just want to forget you're in the middle of Tokyo.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a guy from Sweden who regularly came to Japan on business and he said that despite how much he loved Tokyo he could never live here because of the lack of green space. Tokyo has its parks, of course, like all major cities, but if you want unspoiled greenery you have to be willing to head at least forty minutes outside of the sprawling metropolis limits. In winter this desire to surround oneself with greenery might not matter as much, but now that spring is seeping into the atmosphere and the upcoming sakura season is on everyone's mind (NHK even puts out an annual "forecast" for sakura!) the neon lights and concrete jungle start to feel a little oppressive.

That's when little hideaways like the Sato Sakura Museum and Kohmeisen come in handy.

The Sato Sakura Museum is a small museum in Nakameguro…

Short Hair, Don't Care: Model Behavior

I like to think I have a wide range of accomplishments under my belt:

Accidentally over-caffeinated myself conducting ethnographic research--check
Read 3+ books in a single day--check
Never (yet) pulled an all-nighter--check
Sung at Carnegie Hall--check
Published a poem--check

But now I can add a decidedly interesting item to that list:
Been a hair model in Japan--CHECK.

It's a bit of a long story.

It all starts with coffee, actually, like many of my adventures here in Japan do. I was checking out a coffee shop in the too, too cool area of Daikanyama (no, seriously, that entire neighborhood is just Too Cool for me, I don't even know why I was there). There I met stylist Yusuke, who asked if I wanted to appear in a PR photoshoot for the opening of his salon brand's newest branch, boy Tokyo, Harajuku. They're (wisely!) making a site to appeal to foreign clientele--it's a smart move because it's really hard to find a place that has stylists who truly are comfortab…

100K Announcement


Thanks to everyone who has read and followed my journeys in Japan from 2011 to 2017. Your support of my adventures and observations means the world to me.

In celebration of Riceandramen finally hitting 100k views, I am pleased to announce that I will be running a giveaway!

I will send one lucky person a custom box of goodies from Japan that could include (but isn't limited to): snacks, stationary, character goods, traditional Japanese crafts and more. The only limits are weight and size and your imagination (I'll be keeping everything small and light to keep the shipping costs down).

Without further ado, the details and rules of the giveaway are as follows:


The giveaway will run from today, February 25 2018 JST/ February 24 CST to March 11, 2018 JST/ March 10 CST.You don't have to be in Japan to enter: since almost all of my readers are international, this giveaway will be, too. The winner will be picked at random and notified via p…