Jenna in Japan

My Random Adventures in Japan

Jenna in Japan

My Random Adventures in Japan

Jenna in Japan

My Random Adventures in Japan

Jenna in Japan

My Random Adventures in Japan

Jenna in Japan

My Random Adventures in Japan

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wow! Fantastic Baby! Bigbang concert in Nagoya!

This past Saturday I went to a Bigbang concert in Nagoya! It was soooooo much fun! Last month I posted a picture of an ad for their tour and said I was sad that I couldn't go. Well, that was because Jonathan and I were going to go to Sapporo for Christmas, but those plans fell through because we thought we had made plane reservations but we actually hadn't. But now I'm happy that happened because it meant I had money to buy a ticket!

If you don't know who Bigbang is, they're a Korean boy band and they're awesome. Here's an example of their awesomeness:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thanksgiving, Hattasan, and the JLPT

The Friday before last Jonathan and I celebrated Thanksgiving. I successfully made apple tarts in my toaster oven! I bought premade crusts so they were super easy to make. They were especially delicious with vanilla ice cream. :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

September and October Randomness

Here are a bunch of random pictures from September and October. I've been meaning to do a random post for each month, but I'm kind of behind. I've been busy studying for the JLPT which I took today. Anyways... I will also soon have a post for November.

Mmmm! That's some omurice that I made. Well, it's not much of an omelet I guess because I scrambled up the egg and mixed it into the rice, but it was still delicious. Here's the recipe: Omurice

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Jubilo Iwata 10k


This past Sunday I ran my first 10k! It was also my first race in Japan.

I ran in the Jubilo Iwata Marathon. The word "marathon" here is used loosely. It basically means any long distance race. The Jubilo Iwata Marathon had a 3k, 5k, 10k, and half marathon. So despite the name, there wasn't even a full marathon.

Jubilo is the name of Iwata's soccer team. Jubilo means "joy" in both Portuguese and Spanish. Thank you, Wikipedia. 

I had to get up at 6:30 so that I could meet up with Jonathan at the station around 7:40 and take a bus to Yamaha Stadium. The line for the bus was super long and wrapped around the block, but luckily the line moved pretty quickly because buses came often. I think we got on a bus around 8:00.

When we arrived at the stadium we walked a bit to find the place to turn in our bags. We attached our numbers to our shirts, our time chips to our shoes, and checked in our bags. A few weeks ago we had received packages in the mail with our numbers, safety pins, time chips, luggage tags, and t-shirt tickets. It was a really nice, organized system.

The 10k started at 9:40. It was very crowded at first and a little hard to get around people, but it thinned out pretty soon for me because I'm slow. Jonathan had a hard time during most of the race though.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Christmas Shopping in Tokyo

The weekend before last was a three day weekend so I took advantage of that and went to Tokyo. I did a lot of Christmas shopping. I could have easily found Christmas presents in Iwata and Hamamatsu, but Tokyo is even more awesome.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Last weekend I celebrated Halloween. Well, sort of. In the past few weeks I've picked up some Halloween stuff from 100 yen stores, including the stuff in the picture above which came from Daiso.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Matsuri! A Small Festival in Iwata

On October 12th Jonathan and I were invited to a small neighborhood festival in Iwata. Some neighborhoods in Iwata had their festivals the weekend before (the same weekend I went to the Backstreet Boys concert) and I had wondered what they were about.  

It was a nice day, so Jonathan and I biked from his apartment to the festival. It took about an hour and a half.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Backstreet Boys in Hamamatsu!

This past weekend I went to a Backstreet Boys concert in Hamamatsu! I bought the tickets back in early July and knew about it for a while before then so I had been looking forward to it for a long time!

Earlier this year one of my roommates from college posted about going to a Backstreet Boys concert in her city in the US. I knew that when BSB toured they usually went to Japan so I checked online for tour dates. I got really excited when I saw one in Nagoya, a city less than two hours away from Iwata (an hour with shinkansen). It was on a weeknight, but it would work out. I figured that had to be the closest one but then I scrolled down and saw one in Shizuoka. Only about an hour away! Then I saw the details of that concert and saw that it was actually in Hamamatsu! It was Shizuoka prefecture, not Shizuoka city! I looked up where the concert would be held and saw that it was really close to my boyfriend's apartment! It just kept getting better and better! :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Leopalace Apartment Video

I took a video of my apartment back in August (between climbing Mt. Fuji and going on my Osaka/Hiroshima trip) but hadn't gotten around to uploading it to YouTube. I finally did that today so here's the video:

Overall I really like my apartment. I would like to have a bigger kitchen but I still prefer this kitchen to the one I had in Toi. That one had stained walls and was just really old. Oh yeah, and cockroaches every once in a while. I haven't seen one yet here... I hope it continues that way!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Random Stuff - Cute Stuffed Animals, Hello Kitty Pasta, and More

I bought a neat melon soda cell phone strap. It has bubbly stuff in there that floats around and makes it look like soda!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Even More Random Food

I have so many random posts and I can't ever think of what to call them, haha. I have quite a few photos from July up until now. I'm splitting them into two posts. This one will have all the food photos and the next post will be everything else.

The picture above is of the candy I bought at Candy Show Time in Tokyo.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Shizuoka Prefectural Forest Park and a Thunderstorm

My summer vacation is over and my first day back to school was this past Monday. I wasn't looking forward to going back to school after having 46 days in a row off (counting weekends), but it wasn't too bad.

This post is out of order because I was excited to post about more exciting things that I did, but the day before climbing Fujisan (in early August), Jonathan and I visited the Shizuoka Prefectural Forest Park in Hamamatsu.

We wanted to either visit the park or ride bikes that day and we decided to go the park since we didn't want to tire ourselves out before climbing Mt. Fuji.

The road to the park was winding and narrow but very pretty!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tokyo - Candy and Cuteness

Thursday the 22nd was our last day in Tokyo and the end of our summer traveling. :( We started out the day by going to Tokyo Station to put our luggage in a coin locker. First Jonathan got a drink from a fancy vending machine. There were a lot of Star Trek ads all over Tokyo that week.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tokyo - Shibuya, Shinjuku, and a Storm in Ikebukuro

We started the next day, the 21st, off in Shibuya. After stopping in Starbucks so that Jonathan could eat some breakfast (he slept too late for the hotel breakfast) we spent some time in Loft where I bought some more cute stickers. I'm not sure but it seemed like they had fewer cute stickers than they used to have. They still had some really cute ones though!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tokyo - Odaiba Part Two - Trick Art Museum and Oedo Onsen

After lunch we finally made it to the Trick Art Museum. We had to wait maybe about 5-10 minutes to enter because they limit the number of people so that there aren't too many people trying to take pictures at the same time.

I love taking random pictures so this was a great place for me. So much fun! There's not too much to say so I'll just let you enjoy the pictures.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tokyo - Odaiba Part One - Vintage Arcade


We spent Tuesday the 20th in Odaiba. I took a ton of pictures so I'm going to split this into two parts. I probably should have done that with Miyajima as well. That post had about 100 photos!

To get to Odaiba we took the Yurikamome monorail. The escalator railing in the station was decorated.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tokyo - Ikebukuro, Ueno Park, Ginza, and a Cute Parfait

The next day we went to Tokyo which is only about two hours (by slow local trains) from Atami. We arrived around lunch time so we first went to Namja Town because I wanted to eat gyoza there.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Day at Shirahama Beach in Shimoda


After spending Friday and Saturday in Iwata and Hamamatsu, we headed back out for more traveling. On Saturday we went to Shimoda which is in the southeastern part of the Izu peninsula. I used to live in Izu, but I only visited Shimoda once because even though it wasn't far, there wasn't very direct transportation there because of the mountains. I either had to take an indirect bus route that didn't run very often or take a bus east, a train north, and then a train back south. It just wasn't convenient at all from Toi.

First we arrived in Atami a little before noon. We dropped our luggage off at the hotel and headed back towards the station to find somewhere to eat. We decided to just eat at McDonald's because we didn't want to waste time finding another place and well, it just sounded good!

Friday, August 23, 2013



On the 14th we went to Miyajima, a small island near Hiroshima. From Hiroshima station it takes about 30 minutes by train and then a ten minute ferry ride.



The next day, on the 13th, we headed to Hiroshima. We used our Seishun Juuhachi Kippu again so it took almost seven hours. It wasn't too bad though and it didn't really seem quite that long.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Osaka - Universal Studios


We spent our second day in Osaka at Universal Studios. I originally wanted to arrive at opening, but we arrived about an hour later because we stayed up late the night before. We took a train to Universal City Station. I thought we had to transfer, but we didn't really have to, so we got off the train for no reason. We had to wait about ten minutes for the next train but it ended up being a good thing because the next train was decorated with Harry Potter!!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Osaka Aquarium and Umeda Sky Building

On the 11th, the day after the fireworks, Jonathan and I headed to Osaka. We took local trains instead of the shinkansen because we used seishun juuhachi kippu. That ticket gives you five days of unlimited travel on local and rapid JR lines. It's only 11,500 yen so that's only 2,300 yen a day. It's a really good deal if you have the time to take slower trains.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fukuroi Enshu Fireworks


Last Saturday (August 10th) I went to the Fukuroi Enshu Fireworks festival. Fukuroi is a town to the east of Iwata and it's only a five minute train ride away. The fireworks show took place in a park about a half hour walk from Fukuroi station.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Biking and the Beach

Last Friday Jonathan and I too a bike ride in the late afternoon/evening. Before setting out I bought some snacks at a konbini. I got peach mango gummies, tea, and Cheeza crackers (So good! Better than Cheez-its!) The tea came with a Rilakkuma bottle cover! :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I Climbed Mt. Fuji Again!

On Monday night, Jonathan and I climbed Mt. Fuji. It was his first time, but my second time (here's the post about my first time: Fujisan! I Climbed a Volcano!).

The forecast I saw for Mt. Fuji was constantly changing, but it consistently said that Monday night would be clear. It showed PM rain, night clear, and AM rain, but the rain was only supposed to be a few millimeters. As we rode the train from Iwata to Fujinomiya station it got cloudier and cloudier. It was raining in Fujinomiya when we arrived and started raining even harder while we waited for the bus. Shortly before the bus arrived it started to clear up a bit.

The bus took about an hour and a half to reach the 5th station of the Fujinomiya trail. It winds up the mountain through a really pretty forest. It got really really foggy and creepy looking (I guess the bus driver knows that route pretty well because visibility was sooooo low!). It was cool looking, but my outlook for the climb wasn't good.

We arrived at the 5th station and waited for a while to adjust to the altitude. The bus had taken us to 2,400 meters. While we waited, we looked in the gift shop and bought our walking sticks and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that we had packed.

The weather at the 5th station wasn't good. It wasn't raining hard, but it was misty and there weren't any good views. I was hoping the forecast was right and that it would eventually clear up.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Summer So Far

I have been on summer break since July 18th. I haven't done too much yet though. I'm saving my money for when I go to Osaka, Miyajima, and Tokyo. So I haven't done any traveling, but I've done a few things around here. I've been to the malls a couple times. At Ichino in Hamamatsu I saw Pon de Lion, Mister Donut's mascot! So cute! Jonathan thought this was embarrassing, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity, haha.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ryugashido Cave

About a week and a half ago Jonathan and I went to Ryugashido Cave in Hamamatsu. I think it took us only about 20 minutes to walk through the cave and I've seen more impressive caves in the US, but it was still worth the 650 yen entrance fee. It was cool in the cave so it was a nice break from the summer heat. We're saving money for our summer trips so this was something nice and inexpensive to do.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Biking in Hamamatsu

Last weekend Jonathan and I biked to Tenryu which is a small town in Hamamatsu. We went there because it's near the mountains and we wanted to bike to the mountains.

First, here are some pictures of my bike. I took these pictures a couple of months ago for this blog, but I never got around to posting them.

This type of lock is very typical for Japanese bicycles. The lock is built into the bicycle so you can park the bike anywhere and don't have to find a place to chain it up. 

The kick stand also has a part that locks (not with a key though) so that it doesn't fall over so easily. 

It's illegal to ride a bicycle at night without a light. This one flips so that it touches the tire and the friction powers the light.

Japanese bikes almost always have baskets. Convenient and cute! :)

 The bell! Ding ding ding!

We started Sunday morning by eating breakfast at McDonalds and then picking up some snacks and drinks at 7-11.

I bought tea with the Cheshire Cat on it. 

That's a picture I took while Jonathan was pumping up my tires and I was bored.

We rode through Iwata for most of the way, so here's the bridge crossing into Iwata.  

We rode along Tenryu river for a while, but the train ends eventually so we had to ride on streets the rest of the way. They were very quiet though and mostly went past a lot of fields.

The manhole covers in that area of Iwata had flowers on them. The ones where I live have dragonflies on them.


That's the bridge crossing back into Hamamatsu. Then we crossed the river again to go into Tenryu.


 The bridge in that pictures was a railroad bridge. The train only had one car. So short!

As we headed into the town, it looked like the sidewalk was going to end and we would have to go through a tunnel with cars, but there was a tunnel just for bikes and pedestrians.

It was really cool in that area so we decided to take a break there. We got some snacks from a nearby Family Mart.

This time of year you can find frozen drinks in the konbinis. They're really good when spending time outside because all the other drinks I had that day got warm way too quickly.

We rode around the area for a little while before heading back to Jonathan's apartment.

Tenryu manhole cover

 Hamakita (somewhere between Tenryu and where Jonathan lives) manhole cover

 Beaver crossing sign!

another manhole cover in Hamakita

Overall we biked over 40 kilometers. It had been hot and exhausting, but really nice and fun! :) We later went to the grocery store and I saw this car in the parking lot.

The next week (Wednesday evening, I think) we biked to the Nakatajima Sand Dunes in Hamamatsu. It was probably about 20 to 25 kilometers overall.

We got some ice cream at a nearby Circle K and ate it on the beach. It's not the most beautiful beach (and you can't swim there), but it's still nice and pretty and peaceful in the evening.

We were going to bike to some park today (not far from Tenryu), but it was just too hot and we felt lazy. Maybe some other time! Summer break is so soon! I just have school on Tuesday and half of Wednesday this week!