My heart, it races
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 Happy. Birthday. To. Me
Birthday month has officially finished >.< So on the 13th, I turned 20. Yeah 20... Oh god, somehow I feel old. My besties were like "Finally, you're part of the 20s club".

A few days before my birthday, I went through a little breakdown, where I was like "I don't wanna turn 20, I wanna stay in my teens." My lovely friends in the dorm, did very well to soothe me. Thinking in hindsight,  what the hell had I been thinking? Being 20 has it benefits, especially in Japan, where 20 is the legal age. Now I can drink, smoke and buy a phone in Japan. Unfortunately、Fortunately  only one of them is something I'll be doing. Drinking that is.  

I also got a new haircut in celebration of my birthday! I dyed it slightly redder for winter.

Shinyyyy hair 

Since my birthday was on a Tuesday (booo), I only had a birthday dinner on the day and then we planned to go clubbing as a celebration, during the weekend. Now photos say more than plain text so here we go!!

All aboard the birthday train! 

Birthday dinner with the group! All the important people in the dorm (at the moment), missing Rin-tan and I wish last term's people were here too. ❤  (L-R Lauren, Piedone, Cripsy, Fran fran, Parn Parn, Ban-chan, Maria, Henri, and Annie) 

The lovely cake that Parn made me! Very happy indeeeeed. 

The lovely card that they gave me (in tears (as per usual)) 

After the dinner celebration on the day, we headed a club to celebrate that I could get into a club. We decided on club Camelot, located in Shibuya. So easy enough to get to and also bonus was they had a Birthday Plan. In this plan, they gave us some bubbly, photo service and also a little present.

Outfit I wore. Prezzie from my lovely best friend in NYC. (I love you so muchhh- you crazy woman)

Bubbly time!! With personalised bottles and all! 

 (Poppin' bottles in the ice)

A few of the lovely gifts that I received. I also got a yummy bottle of Cassis liquor and a gorgeous dress, crazy heels and some chocos and cookies. I love my friends so much, it definitely was a memorable birthday!!!

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"Happy. Birthday. To. Me" was Posted On: Tuesday, 4 December 2012 @12:17 | 0 lovely comments
 Take me to the ball game
Time to play catch up! A few months ago for Explore Japan class, our teacher took us to see a baseball game. WOOOO. No really WOOOO. I grew up in Australia and Hong Kong, which means baseball isn't really a popular sport, cricket was. To me baseball, is really American or Japanese.

Baseball is a surprising long game, the game which we watched was at least 3-4 hours long, however since we were having so much fun, and getting really into the game helps make time fly. We watched Seibu Lions (Saitama) vs Hanshin Tigers (Osaka).  The Seibu Lion's dome isn't too far from the Hitotsubashi dorms (around 30mins) so definitely take the chance to see a match if you can! (Baseball season tends to be around late March-late October) 

The real reason I was so hyped up to watch baseball is because I really love this manga/ anime called Ookiku Furikabutte (Big Windup) and thats where I learned all the rules so this was one way for my anime obsession to come to life. 

My teacher is a serious (and when I say serious, I mean CRAZYY) Hanshin Tigers fan, so obviously he got us tickets in the Hanshin Tiger fan area, and we got seriously nice tickets, close to field and great view. (Once a baseball flew towards us!!! Man we could have gotten a rogue ball!)  

Outside the Seibu dome there were food stalls filled with yummy yummy food like takoyaki and kebab! So some people like the hungry people they are, filled up before going into the stadium. I favor comfort first, so I waited till we sat down. (NB our teacher is wearing a Hanshin Tigers Happi coat- GO TIGERS) 

Just walking into the stadium (since we had class, we were a bit late, I think maybe 3rd inning) 

                     Awesome Tiger Fans! They are so passionate and welcoming!!! 

      Henri and I decided to dive into the Hanshin fan style, by buying our own Tiger ears!!

7th Inning Stretch, Balloon tradition, to pump up the team, the fans blow up and let go of these epic suspicious looking balloons. (So glad I'm not on clean up duty!) 

After the Tigers won! Apparently it had been a long time since the Tigers had won against the Lions, so my teacher was like totally crazy and the fans were so crazyyy! The fans are so passionate, I mean they make so much noise, they sing, they cheer, they laugh, they groan with the team. 

That's a wrap! 

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"Take me to the ball game" was Posted On: Thursday, 22 November 2012 @12:19 | 0 lovely comments
I've always been a bit of a shopaholic when it comes to a trip to Animate. Once I spent ¥20000 (2000hkd, 250aud)  in one go. So since I live here now I've become a bit more restrained (think all the food/ alcohol that could be...) but this month was definitely splurge month for me~ I also have a KHR event coming up which I know I'll buy a lot of stuff at. Most of the manga I bought this time are newly published/ just animated so its hard to find them at book-off. (That deserves it own post haha) Also I did buy some which I have in catonese but its a whole new ball game to read them in Japanese. If I were to buy them in HK they would cost at lease 20hkd more... excuses excuses excuses

So from top left to right: Dino x Hibari File, Hibari book cover, Hibari strap, Library War Voice actor message card (from watching the movie), Library War (6-9), Dear (1), Kuroko’s Basketball (1), Utakoi (1,2), Trick of Proposing (Propose no Okite), Library War Novels (Special Kinokuniya Edition), Lion ★Punch Anthology, Aoi Levin (Banyu) Anthology and Okiku Furikabutte (1-3).

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"Shopaholic." was Posted On: Sunday, 15 July 2012 @03:48 | 0 lovely comments
 Sand. Surf. Kamakura
Last Tuesday my friends decided that since the weather was wonderful, that it was time to take a sidetrip to the beach.Now when you say Japan, you don't think of beaches straight away like Australia. To be fair I did grow up there, so I'm definitely biased!

However to my surprise this gorgeous baby was waiting for us after 1.5 ride out from town.

This is the main beach of Kamakura called Yugahama beach. It is about a 15-20 walk from station or a one stop ride on the Enoden train. Just get off at Wadazuka St and walk 5 mins. The beach was relatively busy with a mix of Japanese natives and foreigners. We dropped our stuff and ran to the surf leaving our stuff to the mercy of the aggressive crows... BAD IDEA. They are prone to attack unattended things like this....

 Look at that one on the brolly!  I'm the KING OF THE WORLD~  (Don't worry it's not our stuff >.<)

So to prevent this from happening to us again we took turns on the beach and what would that be without some camwhoring happening... As my friends say, I shouldn't be allowed with my camera... T_T

Definitely enjoyed the day on the beach and recharged my spirit, ready to face the rainy days of summer!

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"Sand. Surf. Kamakura" was Posted @03:23 | 0 lovely comments
 Bundles of silk
Colourful silks dyed in exotic colours. Gold and silver glimmering threads woven. In May, for one of my classes I got to try on a Kimono. Kimonos are definitely one of Japan's most recognisable pieces of clothing. Probably you'd see it and think geisha.

Nowadays the Kimono is worn by the younger generation when participating in their Coming of Age ceremonies, hosting a tea ceremony or attending a wedding. Geisha and their apprentices, Maiko and some of the older generation (yes, both men and women) still wear them on a daily basis. Owning your own Kimono is quite rare because of the sheer cost that comes with purchasing one. They can range from $5000-20,000.

Kimonos have many layers and one of the more famous ones were worn in the Heian Period which could have up to 12 layers (Juni-hitoe). These were reserved for the court-ladies and Empresses. The one I got to wear was a furisode Kimono which is reserved for unmarried women to wear. It is usually more colourful and used to advertise the single status of the wearer.

Usually you have to have someone to help dress you, because of the complicity of matching the layers and colours. The idea is a 'column' is pretty and ideal. The kimono is meant to be sleek and uniform. In bid to do this, you usually get packed with folded towels to create this flat surface. For someone like me, who is top heavy but still has a waist, it is the MOST HORRIBLE thing! I just look round. urgh

Since I don't have many pictures of me being dressed here is some piccies of my friends and I playing human dolls~

As you can see our hair has been set with range of different accessories from bows to flowers to beads.

Then we went to join the boys... who were dressed in Hakama.

Hakama is the used to be a male only clothing but in recent times it worn by both men and women. For women its usually during the university graduation ceremony in which it is commonly worn. Hakama has 7 deep pleats in the 'pants' to represent the 7 virtues of the bushido (武士道)which are essential to the samurai way. Apparently it is an advantage when you have a beer belly, because it shows that you are wealthy and powerful... if not you can always have a helping hand from those lovely folded towels.  Like the kimono its quite rare for people to wear, I have a friend who hasn't even worn it once!

Time for some group photos~

Thats all folks~

P.S: Thanks to the lovely ladies who helped dress me >.< 

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"Bundles of silk" was Posted On: Sunday, 1 July 2012 @10:46 | 0 lovely comments
 Mt Fuji. Hello.
Last weekend a whole group of us joined this tour to go see Mt Fuji. Mt Fuji is one of the biggest symbols of Japan. The active volcano is located in the Shizuoka Prefecture and Yamanashi Pref. which is just the next prefecture over from Tokyo. 

The mountain is the highest in Japan at 3667 meters, and is snow capped a majority of the year. Even when I went last weekend (late May), the tour guide said that it had snowed the day before at the 5th Station. The mountain is only open from July for climbing because its just so damn cold but if you want to see it, you can travel to the 5th Station which is around the 2200m mark. I think it was approximately 12-15 degrees (round 1pm) even though it felt way colder when the clouds rolled in. Maybe it was because I was just in 2-3 layers instead of 100 layers. The bus was way hot so it was hard to balance between dressing for the 4-5 hours on the bus and then 2 hours on the mountain.

 The location is very near to the popular hot spring destination of Hakone, and is visible from Lake Ashiya if you take the Pirate boat cruise.  It's also visible from Gotemba Premium Outlet, if you happen to be making your wallet cry there.

The base of Mt Fuji is surrounded by forest, namely the Aokigahara forest which is a creepily popular place to suicide. I heard from a friend that March to April is the peak suicide season due to the end of the fiscal year being in March. (This also seems to be true for death by train cases. If you ride the trains and they get delayed due to 人身事故, passenger injury there is a big chance that it was a possible suicide attempt. The Chuo- Line is one of the more frequently delayed lines due to this.)  From here its only up up and away to Mt Fuji. 


We tried to take a selfie with Mt Fuji... FAIL 

Super close up~ Steaming Fuji-san 

And the clouds come rolling in~
Check out my newest vlog below:

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"Mt Fuji. Hello." was Posted On: Wednesday, 30 May 2012 @21:57 | 0 lovely comments
 Cat Walk: Japanese Butterfly
When I finally made a trip into town (because I live approx 40 mins away by train, I just can't be bothered sometimes), the girlies and I headed to Harajuku (aka hipster land) to do a bit of shopping. On every Saturday and Sunday there is this used Kimono goods stall which has the most gorgeous second hand goods; from Happi coats, Yukatas to full length Kimonos.  So I got my grubby little hands onto this gorgeous reversible black and print Happi. Yes I did rock up to university wearing this! I felt like a butterfly or bird when cycling cause of the flapping sleeves! 

Dress from Cotton On, Happi Coat from Harajuku. 

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"Cat Walk: Japanese Butterfly" was Posted @06:08 | 0 lovely comments

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