Seasons of Japan – July 2017 | nihonchique

Seasons of Japan July

July was a very busy month consisting of job hunting, my mom and sister visiting from America, and lots of traveling! I took my mom and sister around Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Himeji, and Hiroshima. All of those places are some of my favorite in Japan. This was the month I truly realized I love photography and traveling. Unfortunately, in the months following afterwards I didn’t get the time to do much of any of that, but it is something that still lingers in the back of my mind quite a lot.

I guess life gets in the way and balance becomes hard when you start a new job, especially one that doesn’t have consistent days off.  Taking from the future,  the the time from then until now was a hard journey that I still am on at the moment. Juggling friendships, boyfriends, new hobbies, and a new job is extremely difficult and still something I am not too sure how to handle. Though that is the case, I feel a lot more wiser than I was back in July of last year and I am continuing to grow.

Despite that, July was an amazing month of traveling and I was finally able to take my sister around Japan for the first time since I had moved to Japan 5 years before. I visited Fushimi Inari, Miyajima, Todaiji, Nara Park, Himeji castle and more, eating our way through many parts of Japan, as my sister is a Major foodie! I am glad she enjoyed all of the food I recommended to her.

Would anyone be interested in a Kansai travel guide? I think that would be fun to make and I can introduce you to some of my favorite spots in the Kansai region! Let me know in the comments below if you are interested.

Took a trip out to Kyoto and visited Fushimi Inari Shrine! ⛩

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

Visited the famous Todaiji Temple in Nara! 🦌

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

Feeding the deer with @prncess.di in Nara Park! 🦌

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

Enjoying some amazing Kobe Beef in Kobe! 🐄🍖

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

Miyajima with the little sis @prncess.di ⛩!

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

Seasons of Japan – June 2017 | nihonchique

June 2017. This is the month that marked the last in a chapter of my life. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get past this month in my life, almost like my blog was kind of frozen in time until I figured out what I was doing. I still now dont know what I am doing and what direction I am going in, but in June 2017, I had the huge high of the NEWS NEVERLAND tour in Tokyo dome with a close friend, followed straight after by the disappointment of hearing that the department/ website in my company I was working for for a year and half would be shutting down and my contract would not be continuing because of it. I was devastated and was extremely hurt that a company I had worked so hard for for a year and a half would just cut me so simply, but despite this I took this as a learning opportunity and got searching for jobs as soon as possible. (Spoiler, I found one and started it at the beginning of August 2017!).

On the topic of the NEWS NEVERLAND tour in Tokyo Dome, that was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in my life. “U R not alone” since then has become my anthem and even when the DVD came out in January of this year, I cried again right long with them at “U R not alone” and had no shame. As I said in the 4th picture, the end of the NEVERLAND tour isn’t the end, and we truly are not alone. NEWS has been along with me on this journey for almost 10 years now. I feel like I have grown with them and they have supported me all of these years, almost half of them being in Japan.  Thank you NEWS. Thank you and I look forward to seeing you in Hiroshima for the EPCOTIA tour in April, 2018!

Wandering around the rose garden at Lunch! 💐🌹

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

🚅大阪〜東京! Living that bullet train life!

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

 

 

 

Playing in a Magic: The Gathering Tournament for the first time – Hareruya Osaka’s first “Ladies One” tournament

A few months ago, my boyfriend introduced me to Magic: The Gathering and was surprised that I had never heard of it, as I am from the country that it was from. As an adult, I was never really into card games, or games in general, but as a kid I used to play Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon – though probably not by the proper rules. My interest in games waned as I got into High School and got into Johnnys, anime, dramas, fashion, and cheerleading before deciding to pursue Japanese and business in University, and then eventually moving to Japan…. which you can say is THE land of card games. I would say that the majority of the people around me didn’t really play card games, or weren’t games in general, which also contributed to the waning interest. That changed when by boyfriend asked if I wanted to learn how to play and I gladly accepted, as I wanted to know what this world was about.

We started to play together at my apartment on the living room table with 2 decks he purchased just for that purpose, and then  about a month and a half ago we went to a card shop and I bought my first starter deck (DINOSAURS FTW!) and from there he helped me add some cards to it to boost it a bit. It is still a budget deck, probably only spending a total of around 3000 yen in (about $30 USD) which included the initial deck + some modifications to it so that I can play in a tournament.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of playing in my first ever Magic: The Gathering tournament!

No, I did not win by any means… in fact I lost every game that I played… but the experience was the most important part. This was Hareruya Osaka’s first “Ladies One” tournament and there ended up being 6 of us playing. It was a casual, Ladies only tournament and it was honestly a lot more fun that I thought it would be! I was extremely nervous, as this was my first time and I know how competitive these types of events can be, but all of the players were extremely nice and helpful to a newbie like me, explaining everything to me as the games went on and asking if I wanted any advice on how to play.  They were overjoyed that there were more than 4 people participating, so that the tournament could happen, especially since there doesn’t seem to be many female players in Japan. A lot of them had gotten into the game through their significant other, like me, so it was nice to chat about that and about women in the game in-between rounds, how long we had been playing, and how we got into it.

I’m glad that my first tournament was a ladies tournament, as it gave me more confidence to play and get stronger seeing other women play and be into a seemingly pretty male-dominated game. I think if I had played in a regular tournament, I would have been a lot more nervous and would have wanted to practice a lot more before I entered into a tournament for the first time, but this was a perfect gateway for me into playing more competitively, especially in Japan where the language isn’t my first language. I honestly hope that this event becomes a regular thing, as it would be nice to play against other women again and make it more accessible to other women who were like me and dont have the confidence to play in regular tournaments yet.

Do you play card games? What do you think about women in card games? Should there be more ladies events to make it more accessible to women? Let me know in the comments below!

Seasons of Japan – May 2017 | nihonchique

May began with me ending Golden Week in America. After wine country at the end of April, I toured around San Fransisco for the first time and it was awesome! Properly saw the Golden Gate bridge and even had a night tour of Alcatraz.

After I got back to Japan, I went on a short day trip to Arashiyama (嵐山)in Kyoto with a friend and biked up to a temple called Otagi Nenbutsu-ji ( 愛宕念仏寺)in a mountain with beautiful statues. I was then wished away for a day trip for work to Kochi again where I ate Katsuo Tataki (鰹のタタキ), a way they cook the fish and Katsuo is “Skipjack tuna”, for the first time (DELICIOUS!)

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge 🌁

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

Night tour of Alcatraz!🔦😱

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

Biking trip in Arashiyama led us to this beautiful temple!

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

 

鰹たたき!🙃🐟 Katsuo Tataki! 👍🏻

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

Seasons of Japan – April 2017 | nihonchique

April started off with a bang with the first leg of NEWS’s NEVERLAND tour in Sapporo! I was so excited to go to Sapporo again after 2 years. My friend and I ate all the food there and even went to an observatory that is considered one of the best night views in Japan! (Except I went during the day… but I digress.)

Next came Cherry Blossom season with some amazing views. Spring is one of my favorite seasons in Japan, and I was so happy to experience the Cherry Blossoms in a few different places (Including my first time to see them in Shiga!)with some special people.

At the end of the month was Golden Week, and I decided to make a trip home to America and experience wine country in California for the first time before heading home to Florida for about a week. Emeritus Vineyards was by far my favorite visit and we had a very nice tour complete with a personal talk with the owner himself! Their wines are amazing and the company was awesome!

Made it to NEVERLAND!!

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

Chocolate Heaven! チョコ天国!🍫

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

Sapporo Butter Salt Ramen! 👍🏻

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

Sapporo! ❤

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

 

Nighttime Cherry Blossom Find! 🌸❤

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

 

桜🌸〜

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

 

Yakisoba under the Cherry Blossoms! 🌸💕

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

Let the wining and dining begin!

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

Second stop: Emeritus Vineyards! Perfect weather for their Ruby Ruby.

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

Third stop: Jordan Vineyard and Winery!

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

Photo Diary – March 2017 | nihonchique

March was even more insane than the previous 2 months before it were. Work took me to Sakai City in Osaka Prefecture a few times and then down to Kochi for a day trip. We also can’t forget about the beautiful Plum blossoms that bloom during March! I caught the tail end of them at Osaka Castle park and thought it was cloudy, I could be happier with how the pictures came out.

I attende Nipponbashi Street Festa for the 2nd year in a row as a Photographer and it was so much fun! There are still more photos to come on my Instagram soon that I will post periodically.

 

Osaka Castle surrounded by the plum trees!

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

More Plum blossoms at Osaka Castle Park!

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

Bright Pink Plum Blossoms in Osaka Castle Park!

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

Spring has come to Osaka! Cherry Blossoms at Daisan park in Sakai City, Osaka

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

Master Roshi@Nipponbashi Street Festa!

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

It's time to duel@nipponbashi street festa.

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

This Harry Potter cosplay was amazing! So realistic.

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

 

 

Take me to NEVERLAND! 🗝

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

Probably what Sakai is most famous for, this is a huge tomb in the shape of a Keyhole that was built in the 5th century during the age of “kofun”, or burial mound cultural. This is the 3rd largest tomb in the world, after the Pyramid of King Khufu in Egypt (Great Pyramid of Giza) and the tomb Qin Shi Huang in China, most famous for the terracotta warriors. This kofun tomb in Sakai is said to be the Tomb of Emperor Nintoku, but in reality there is nothing proving it to be his specifically, though it is defiantly known to be the tomb of the person in the highest seat of power at the time of it being built. As you can see, you can’t actually go inside of it, but by just standing next to it and walking around it you can feel how big it really is. To really feel the size, head up to the observatory on the 21st floor of the Sakai City Hall to see it from above, though not a full aerial view.

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

Just a few steps away from Sakai-higashi station, on the 21st floor of the Sakai City Hall, there is an observatory that you can look out on the entirety of Sakai city. If you are interested in seeing how big the kofun tombs are, this is a perfect place to get a real feel for the size and the numbers that surround the city, as it can be hard to understand it from the ground. It is not a perfect bird-eye view of the tombs, but even despite that you can see the traditional culture merged with the modern city, which is a pretty amazing site. This is also a great place to take a break from sight seeing, as it has a cafe with food and also a very cute latte with latte art in the shape of a keyhole (for 440 yen), which is the shape of the kofun tombs.

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

Photo Diary – February 2017 | Nihonchique

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Japan has so many faces. This month, I was able to see another side of Japan, in a small island called Toshijima, in Mie prefecture. This was for work, but I felt so lucky to go out into nature and experience something that many tourists don’t get to experience. I also went to Ise Grand Shrine on that trip and it was one of the most peaceful places I have ever been to in Japan. You really can’t understand the feeling unless you go personally, so I highly recommend that if you get the chance, go check it out for yourself!

 

 

 

Pearl Swan Brooch at Mikimoto Pearl Island in Toba!

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

Sumiyoshi Taisha in Osaka!

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

Ginkakuji, the silver pavilion! (… that's not really silver…)

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

Fox Statue at Sumiyoshi Taisha! 🦊

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

伊勢神宮に参りました〜!⛩

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

Mysterious Vibes at Ise Grand Shrine!

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

 

 

The Married Rocks at Futamiokitama Shrine in Ise.

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

Krispy Kreme and Hershey's Collab at Krispy Kreme Japan! 🍩🍫

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on

 

Dragon at the entrance of Futamiokitama shrine in Ise.

A post shared by Lauren C. Jubelt (@nihonchique) on