Happy new year!!!!

Happy new years from Tokyo! We are taking a short break before hitting the city tonight. So far I love the city but I haven’t been taking as many pics as a should be (oooops) as we have been shopping (double ooops)
Hope you have a great new years eve and a great start to a fresh new year.

Mustache Madness- Taking Sapporo by storm

Just got back from my Christmas holiday in Sapporo last night. I went with my friend Heather. It was a fantastic winter wonderland of a trip, and its safe to say that I walked a ton, and ate even more. The food was fantastic and company even better.

I don’t have time to fully elaborate on the trip or make a dent on the massive amount of photos that I took over the week, because I am leaving on an overnight bus to Tokyo tonight and most of my day is dedicated to packing, resting, and reading up on the world’s biggest city. But until next time here’s a few teasers of my last week:

 

Merry Christmas!!

I hope that you are having a blessed holiday as we celebrate the day Jesus was born. Hope that you are safe and with people that you care about, whether they are family or friends. Also hope that you are eating yourself into a comatose state b/c that’s how i celebrate all holidays….

my bags are packed (well not yet…..)

so the 3 weeks are mine, no school and I have lots to do. Here’s my plans for break:

Sapporro dec 23-28 for a christmas snow filled adventure with miss heather,

Tokyo december 28-jan 2 for a new years extravaganza with kerrie and and andrew.

with all this travel i’ll become good friends with the shinkansen (bullet train) i wonder if there are any frequent trainer miles available….

Its beginning to look a lot like christmas….

Although I may not be home for the holidays my new home in Japan has embraced christmas and all its tack-tastic decor…

the train station put up lights and created “momotaro (peach boy) wonderland”

 

the mall in the train station also decorated. don’t worry they waited till thanksgiving.

 

we got into the spirit for a santa themed dinner. the costumes were jaccob’s birthday request.

 

my 4th grade class gave my this fantastic santa-san poster. they best part is it isn’t in christmas colors so i can keep it up year-round.

 

milk tea even got in on the Christmas action. as if i needed a reason to love it more….

hope you are enjoying your holidays wherever you may be.

.love.

and another birthday shout-out to mr jacob. only for you  would we dress up like santa for a night out.

fantastic finds

knitting needles. At the beginning of the year I set a resolution to learn how to knit. After 11 mos and no progress I figured it was a lost cause, until last week. While walking through my 100 yen shop, I spotted some kitting needles- 4 for 100 yen. great price! I can’t say no to that. Once I got home I found a how to knit video on youtube, and I am officially a knitting machine. I have made….. a potholder so far.

Romance Touch TP. I thought my apartment could use a little more class, so I did what most people do, buy some classy toilet paper. Romance Touch was the clear winner, it was colored, patterned, scented, and has an incredibly awkward name. I hope to never mix TP with anything romantic.

Life Juice. aka ginger tea. I swear  this stuff cures just about anything, maybe even cancer. 2 weeks ago I got into some cashews- and paid the consequences.( I have a moderate nut allergy that causes severe stomach discomfort when I eat even the smallest amount of nuts) Ginger tea came to the rescue and helped me through the night. When I felt like I was coming down with a cold I started to suck down the juice and came out the winner in the cold battle. Or for those days that I just feel like my body hates me, I just give it the life juice and I’m ready to seize the day. The best part is life juice is easy to make. Just cut up some fresh ginger and boil it in water for about 15 mins, add lemon juice and honey to taste. that’s it!!

my christmas tree. I have wanted a white tinsel christmas tree for the majority of my life. However my parents would rather skip christmas that submit to the tackiness of a white tree. So I found this the perfect time to purchase such a tree. Even better it was super cheep- another 100 yen store find. I found lights, and ornaments to complete the magic. I may look for a way to keep it up year round.

paying for a flight at the convenie. Yeah that’s right, we paid for our flight to sapporo at the connivence store. While booking our flight to Sapporo online, Heather and I faced the issue how we were going to pay for it since neither of us have japanese credit cards. Well the thing is, not many japanese have credit cards. So when purchasing tickets on line you make a reservation, bring the  printout and you pay cash there. And I thought the convenie couldn’t get any better…

this amazing sign. i think is anti-urniating, but thats up for debate.

….and a quick shout out to my lovely ladies Jennie and Heather who had their birthdays last week. You guys are pretty much amazing.

small victories

Not to brag or anything but I pretty much dominated this weekend. To start things off I got my hair cut at a Japanese Salon. I had been holding out for a while, getting your hair cut in a new place is scary enough, throw in a big fat language barrier and it could be an epic disaster. With my trusty friend Jennie by my side we found a walk-in salon called Megami. To start things out the hair washing chair was a massage chair, and I got 2 head messages. I may go back just to get my hair washed. Then the guy that cut my hair was too cool- I couldn’t even handle it, I told him I wanted 4 cm cut off (in japanese thank you very much) and he knew exactly what to do and to even get the layers. I couldn’t have been happier with a Japanese hair experience.

Then Jennie and I hit to town to get ready for the Feliz Navidad party. We managed to find some stellar christmas decorations-inscluding a chirstmas tree- for under $15. Then we got all the fixin’s for a mexican meal. – hence the feliz navidad name. Luckily there is a imported food store in Okayama and we were able to get everything needed for a full taco night.

The Mexican fiesta dinner was a raging success, except the guacamole. Not only was it purchased in Japan, but the label was written in german… yeah german. No offense germany, but what do they know about guac? I know I should have known better buying guac in japan but I was just so excited to see it.  The one food that I have missed more than anything has been mexican and those tacos really hit the spot, and there’s  leftovers.

After dinner we tackled the tree, while listening to Christmas music to get in the holiday spirit. My apartment is a magical christmas wonderland. We finished the night with Elf another holiday staple. Friends, Mexican food, Christmas season delights- what more could you ask for?

To top off this weekend I went out with my new friend Kozue- she’s the homeroom teacher in one of the classes I teach. She took me to lunch at a place that was just too cool- then we went shopping. It was so much fun to just hang out with someone that is younger and actually japanese. We had a great time. And I feel more legit now that I actually have Japanese friends, living in japan and all.

a few good things added up to make an fantastic weekend.