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!)

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鰹たたき!🙃🐟 Katsuo Tataki! 👍🏻

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5 Popular Non-Japanese JVloggers You Have To Watch!

YouTube has become a huge platform for people all over the world to share their life and their experiences, and Japan is not an exception! Coming to live in Japan can be an overwhelming experience, and one that many people around would jump at the chance to have, but if you don’t have the resources to yet or want more information before you take the big leap, experiencing Japan through the eyes of someone living there already is the perfect alternative to actually doing it yourself. I watch a lot of YouTube myself, and despite me living in Japan already, I like seeing Japan through the eyes of other people living here every so often. Here are my 5 picks for Non-Japanese JVloggers that you have to watch!

1.Taylor R.

I found Taylor R about a year and a half ago, right after she went through her change from “Cutesy-dolly Tay-Tay” to her current, more quirky self. Her videos are the ones out of all of these JVloggers that I look forward to the most because of her quirky personality and her fearless to trying things that are outside of the box (like copying Kylie Jenner’s instagram feed for a week, walking around Ginza with her DIY designer items, like boots and a Chanel bag, etc.) that sometimes don’t have to do with Japan, but she gives a good look into what it is like for a foreigner living in Tokyo. 

2. Sharla in Japan

Originally from Canada, Sharla has been living in Japan for about 10 years now and has established herself as a prominent JVlogger through that time. She loves anime and Otaku culture (especially Pokemon) and she does a good job introducing life in Japan, as she has done everything from homestay to going to attending a Japanese high school and more. If you want a real look at what life is like in Japan, Sharla is the JVlogger to watch!

3. Micaela

Micaela is another JVlogger from Canada and has also been in Japan for over 10 years. Micalea also attended a Japanese high school when she was younger and then made the decision to move to Japan, eventually attending music school in Fukuoka (Southern Japan). She has done many television appearances and was the former mayor of “Kawaii-ku” in Fukuoka where she has mostly been living. She is very real and recently told her viewers about her experience with Japanese talent agencies and how it wasn’t for her after a while. If you want to experience a different side of Japan besides Tokyo, Micalea is the Jvlogger for you!

4. Rachel and Jun

Rachel and Jun are a American-Japanese married couple who makes videos together all about Japan, intercultural marriages, and  some controversial topics like Homosexuality in Japan, how to date in Japan, etc. They shot up in popularity about 3 or so years ago and they are an adorable couple that covers a wide variety of Japan-related and intercultural topics, so if you are interested in huge range of topics that are well-researched and presented this channel is for you!

5. Texan in Tokyo and Mimei

I couldn’t choose between these last two because they are both good ones to include. Texan in Tokyo (also known as Grace, who is from the U.S.) used to be very active on YouTube, but originally started out as a blogger. She self-published 3 comic books out about life in Japan and intercultural marriages and blogged and video blogged about that and life in Japan and about . About a year ago, she and her Japanese husband decided to leave blogging and YouTube, but hercontent still exist online and are good information on Japan to take a look at!

Mimei is also married to a Japanese man (also a YouTuber, PDRさん), but she doesn’t go into intercultural topics very much from what I know. She calls her followers “Pineapples” and she is more theatrical and artistic about how she makes videos compared to the others. She also does some comedy as well, which is even funnier when her cats and her husband helps and appears! She is very genuine and when you watch her videos it feels like she is talking directly to a friend, so if you want more light watching, she is the YouTuber to watch!

Did the YouTubers you watch make the list? Comment below with who you watch or who you recommend!

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!

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Made it to NEVERLAND!!

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Chocolate Heaven! チョコ天国!🍫

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Sapporo Butter Salt Ramen! 👍🏻

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Sapporo! ❤

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Nighttime Cherry Blossom Find! 🌸❤

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桜🌸〜

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Yakisoba under the Cherry Blossoms! 🌸💕

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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.

 

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Osaka Castle surrounded by the plum trees!

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More Plum blossoms at Osaka Castle Park!

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Bright Pink Plum Blossoms in Osaka Castle Park!

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Master Roshi@Nipponbashi Street Festa!

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It's time to duel@nipponbashi street festa.

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Take me to NEVERLAND! 🗝

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Photo Diary – February 2017 | Nihonchique

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

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Sumiyoshi Taisha in Osaka!

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Fox Statue at Sumiyoshi Taisha! 🦊

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伊勢神宮に参りました〜!⛩

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Mysterious Vibes at Ise Grand Shrine!

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Photo Diary – January 2017 | nihonchique

January  was a whirlwind of traveling for pleasure and for work. I went to see Kanjani8, went to Kyoto 2 times,  and made my first trip to Toba City in Mie. I want to keep up this pace for traveling to areas around Kansai and taking more photos, as it has been a form of healing for me and a way to direct my some of my energy into something that I have had an interest in for a while.

One of the most exciting parts of this month was starting my very first goshuinchō, or special stamp book that you can buy from shrines and temples. With this in hand, you can get a stamp at most shrines and temples that you go to, documenting all of the places that you have been to. January 2017 is the beginning of my journey to see more temples and shrines in Japan and travel more.

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Some of my favorite things ❤

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鳥羽はキレイ〜! Toba is beautiful!!

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Pearl Flower Brooch at Mikimoto Pearl Island!

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Another fun day exploring Kyoto!

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Aqueducts at Nanzenji in Kyoto!

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Photo Diary – December 2016 | nihonchique

December was a very busy month for me at work, so I didn’t post much. It got cold, so I was wearing coats full time since the beginning of the month, thus the dress and coat picture.

I went home to America from December 23rd through January 3rd, and it was special to me because I hadn’t been home for Christmas since 2012. I loved seeing the Christmas tree and having a restful time at home with just my 4 member family.

I posted my Instagram top 9 photos of 2016, and it was nostalgic to see the memories that I had throughout 2016, and it really did highlight some the best memories that I had during the year, including the NEWS LIVE TOUR 2016 QUARTETTO, Onsen (Hot-spring) times, and Fall leaves in Arashiyama. I look forward to documenting  2017 through photos, and I want to take some of those pictures and blow them up and frame them in my apartment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo Diary – October 2016 | nihonchique

The month of October went from warm days of Summer to cool days of Autumn in a matter of weeks. My boyfriend also came to visit from England and we spent a few days together, including going to the Rink Outlets near the Kansai International Airport for some shopping.

October includes Halloween, but I am not really one for dressing up. I love the Fall drinks and decorations that come out at this time of year though!

I also went on a location shoot for work to cover something in Hirakata city, where I studied abroad at Kansai Gaidai back in 2011. It was fun to travel back to that area and experience suburban Osaka for a day.

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Spent the afternoon at the Rinkutown outlets!

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Trip to Kobe Nunobiki Herb Garden on Japan’s First ever Mountain Day

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August 11th, 2016 marked Japan’s first even “Mountain Day”. As it is a national holiday, I ventured out by myself to the Kobe Nunobiki Herb Garden in search for Sunflowers!

Sunflowers have always been a favorite flower of mine since I was a child. To me, they have always represented brightness and standing tall. Growing up in Florida, we never had Sunflowers native to the area, but over the past few years since moving to Japan I have learned that Sunflowers = Summer here. I love how each season has a distinct set of activities to do and look forward to, especially with nature.

I decided on the Nunobiki Herb Garden because a friend of mine had taken me there in May last year and I had fallen in love with the place. I am a sucker for flowers and I just knew that I had to go back…. and now here I am! When I heard that they had a Sunflower field, I knew it would be the perfect spot for me to begin my photography ventures and my travels around Kansai. Kobe wasn’t too far away from where I live in Osaka and it was fairly easy to get to, located just outside of Shin-Kobe station. On top of that, you have an breathtaking view of the Kobe harbor while riding up the Ropeway to the top. I spent about 2 hours wandering around the place and experimenting with my Canon EOS Rebel T2i.

Are there any places that you recommend going to? Please let me know those places and what you think of these photography posts in the comments below!

Japanese Fashion- Room Wear At gelato pique

Throughout  my shopping experiences in Japan, I had yet to stumble upon a store that had room wear, or lounge wear, that I actually liked. I was used to American styles, like Victoria’s Secret and their sub-brand Pink, so when I moved to Japan all I saw was frilly lingerie and room wear, which I had very little interest in. At that time, I also really didn’t care what I wore to bed, wearing some random sleep shorts and an old university t-shirt to bed, but as I became older the luxury of lounging around the house made me realize that I wanted to feel comfortable, as well as fashionable, while at home. During my hunt for some nice room wear in Japan,  back in the fall of this past year I was flipping through a fashion magazine, and I stumbled upon a section of pajamas and room wear. Some of the things were still very frilly, but I saw one set of satin pajamas in particular that I really liked a lot, which is a rarity here in Japan (Pictured below). The store that it was from was called gelato pique (Yes, all lowercase letters), and it has frilly goods, but also some really decent room wear that rivals Victoria’s secret, in my opinion.

 

 

I decided to check out their website, and realized that it was a store that I passed quite often and had seen many of people carrying shopping bags from while I was out shopping myself. I decided to stop in myself after my rampage on the website and see of myself what the items looked like and felt like.

They have a variety of goods, from hoodies to robes, hair bands and socks, as well as pajamas. They even have a men’s room wear collection as well! My favorite series of theirs though is a series called the “Moco Moco” series, which literally translates to ‘fluffy’ in english. They have socks, hoodies, and robes; literally anything that can be fluffy for pajamas and room wear, they make fluffy.

Shortly after I went into the shop, they released their Limited Edition Christmas Collection, and I was in love.

 

 

When my boyfriend was here in Japan for Christmas and New Years, I had taken him into the store to look at a Christmas present for my best friend a few days before Christmas, and ended up telling him that I really wanted one myself. I was really surprised when he just went up to the cashier and bought it right away for me as a Christmas present (after I forced him to confirm that Meghan hadn’t bought it for me as a present already), as we really don’t get each other gifts.

 

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I have worn this hoodie to bed basically every night since I got it (as we don’t have central heating in Japan and it gets very cold at night), and I have never felt more comfy going to bed! Something that I also love about gelato pique is that they come out with limited edition items for different holidays in Japan, like Christmas, Valentines Day, and White Day.

I had been on a rampage looking at their website again ever since they had announced their Spring and Summer collection, and I went out towards the beginning of March and bought a cardigan, making it my second item from gelato pique.

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Once piece of advice that I will give you if you want to buy from this brand is that most of their items, especially the Moco Moco series, are hand wash/ dry clean. Also, their prices are more than Victoria’s Secret (about 7000+ yen, or about 60 USD for a moco moco hoodie), but it is a brand that you won’t be buying multiple hoodies a year from either.