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Showing posts from October, 2017

Churches and Concerts

Happy Halloween, guys!

This year I decided to be a witchy little pumpkin: I cut out jack o'lantern face-shapes and stuck them to an orange dress I already owned and found cute (and cheap!) orange and black witch hat-headband to top off my ensemble. A bit of a step down from the full-body Pikachu I was last year, but it'll do.

Hard to believe it's already November. I've already been here almost 5 months! The days and nights are getting colder (I'm wearing fingerless gloves as I type this) and the sun sets by 5 pm on the regular.

But! Help is on the way: the vending machines across Japan have transitioned, for the most part, to their winter offerings. Hot canned coffee or sweetened tea or even just hot lemon juice and honey, like a liquefied coughdrop. There's even cans of corn soup or beef stew you can drink for a quick "meal." I love being able to get a hot drink whenever I need one from the nearest vending machine.

Backing up a little bit. The past f…

Tokyo Ramen Show 2017

The other day I was browsing the internet for something to do today and the internet rewarded me with the knowledge that there was going to be a Tokyo Ramen Show where visitors could go and, you guessed it, eat ramen from all over Japan. Since my blog is aptly titled "Rice and Ramen" it had to be some sort of cosmic destiny. So of course I went.

The Ramen Show was held in the Komazawa Olympic Park, which was used for the 1964 Summer Olympics. It was a charming place, full of open spaces where people were lounging or picnicking with their kids (Tokyo had 16 days of rain in a row and today was a rare sunny day so it didn't surprise me that so many people were out and about) or playing sports.

The Ramen Show was set up in the park's main plaza:

Altogether there were 18 different varieties of ramen you could try. There were also booths selling ramen-related products (or even just really classy-looking instant ramen) and a performance stage where, apparently, some sort of…

Nomming my Way Through Kiyosumi

A few days ago I found myself in the Kiyosumi neighborhood, an area on the far East side of Tokyo, with my fearless companion Troy (his blog is HERE if anyone is interested). To some of you long-time readers the name "Troy" might sound somewhat familiar and that is because Troy and I met in Japan six years ago when we were both exchange students with AFS! I went to find a photo of us from then, just for the comparison, but after seeing what I looked like (have I ever mentioned that I gained approximately 15 pounds when I lived in Japan the first time? No? I wonder why...) I think I'll pass on that front. Have this picture of the view over the river in Kiyosumi instead:

Our Kiyosumi day basically consisted of walking around the quaint neighborhood and popping into interesting stores. The first was a local chocolate shop called Artichoke Chocolate. I had the most divine raspberry hot chocolate that, to my knowledge, contained no artichokes whatsoever.

It did have this ama…

Home & Garden

Today was a proper, fall day--the sort that's half pleasant and half not. It was cool and windy, but the leaves won't really start changing here until November so all the trees and plants are still pretty green. But it gets dark around 4pm and the air just has that "fall" smell to it, if that makes sense. The not-pleasant part of the equation was the cold rain that fell for half the day and made walking home from the train station a bit of a soggy affair.

And of course, since it was this sort of cold, rainy, fall day I decided to spend most of it walking around outside.

Disclaimer: everything I did today was the result of picking my friend Frances's brain for stuff to do in the Meguro/ Naka-Meguro area because I knew she'd spent a lot of time here this summer.

The first thing I did was a quick stroll through the Meguro Sky Garden.

It's actually pretty hard to describe, and even harder to get a decent picture of. Basically it's this massive concrete sp…