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

Sunday, January 26, 2014

November and December Randomness

I bought some cute Disney cookies for Halloween and they had cute pictures on them.

Christmas Break - Tokyo Days 3 and 4

We had planned on staying in Tokyo for just one more day, but we ended up staying another day. It was actually Jonathan who wanted to stay more than I did. I still wasn't feeling 100% better and felt like I wouldn't get completely better until I rested at home, but I was well enough.

Once we went outside though and started walking around I felt really good and was glad that we had booked another hotel.

We spent the morning in Akihabara. It was such a pretty, sunny day! I don't like cold weather, but winter here isn't too bad and it's very sunny! The cold just mostly bothers me at school because there isn't heat and they leave the windows open because they think that prevents influenza. Ugh. If it wasn't for the freezing schools I would actually really like winter here! Well, it's not so great when riding my bike either.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Christmas Break - Matsumoto Castle


The day after skiing, Jonathan and I headed back to Tokyo and stopped by Matsumoto Castle. I still wasn't feeling well that morning. I had wanted to go to the other onsen at the hotel, but I couldn't. Though Jonathan went to the better one that morning for the first time and said that the other one wasn't nearly as nice. So I didn't really miss much, but it will would have been nice.

We ate breakfast at the hotel and I was still nauseous and couldn't eat much. For some reason anything Japanese was sounding really gross right then. So I think mostly just ate some mixed fruit. Even that wasn't very appetizing right then either. It's too bad because the breakfast was really nice and had a lot of choices.

By the time we left the hotel I was feeling quite a bit better. I think actually eating something helped. Jonathan took some pictures as we walked to the station.

Christmas Break - Skiing

The next day after the monkey park we went skiing at Shiga Kogen, which is a huge skiing area. It has like 70-something ski lifts. The pictures here are from the bus ride. I don't have any of where we actually skied.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Christmas Break - Jigokudani Monkey Park

We spent Christmas day traveling to Nagano. It was a long boring day on trains. We got on the train in Oimachi (where our hotel in Tokyo was) a little after 10 and arrived at Yudanka Station around 6:30.

Before leaving Tokyo we picked up a few snacks at 7-Eleven. I saw these Mountain Dew corn snacks (basically Moutain Dew flavored Cheetos) and couldn't resist.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas Break - Tokyo Day 2 - Odaiba

On Christmas Eve Jonathan and I spent the day in Odaiba. 

We took the Yurikamome monorail which is one of my favorite trains. It's automated and there aren't any drivers so you can sit right up front and have a great view! We didn't take the first train available and we waited for the next one to be able to sit up front. It was worth waiting a few extra minutes!

We first went to Decks, a really interesting shopping mall. We played for a while in the vintage arcade. I played a crocodile game that Lauren and I played a long time ago (4th grade I think!) at Discovery Zone. We played it over and over again until we beat the high score. 

I didn't beat the high score, but it was fun!

Next I went to the store across from the arcade (such a fun store with lots of random stuff!) and was excited to see Sailor Moon merchandise. I thought the plushies were cute but up close the clothes looked really cheap (especially for 1200 yen) so I didn't get one. 

I did however get an organizing folder. I love how sparkly and super super cheesy it is!

I also got some cheap and cute candy.

At another nearby store I bought a neat magnet. Pancakes! Yummy!

I didn't notice the funny packaging until I got home. The Rilakkuma tape is adorable, too!

On that same floor I saw a cute display of miniature school lunch. It was outside of a restaurant where I think you can get lunches like Japanese school lunches. You even eat at desks! It looked really cute but kind of pointless for me when I eat school lunch on a regular basis anyways. If there was something like that in America though I would totally go and get some square pizza with cubed pepperonis.


I picked up some creepy glasses for free. 

After eating delicious Indian food, we walked around on the beach for a while. 

We made our way over to Dai San Daiba, No. 3 Battery. It had a nice view of the Fuji TV Building.

Some sort of cannon thing I guess?

The middle of the island was sunken down and kind of woodsy. We didn't feel like we were in Tokyo!

I saw several daffodils blooming. It seems so weird to see them December.

There was also a little bit of fall color left. There are daffodils blooming under that tree. Red leaves and daffodils... not what I'm used to seeing in winter!

When we returned to the main area, we ate Dippin' Dots. I had Chocolate Mont Blanc (a dessert made with chestnuts) flavor which was delicious.

Next we went to Venus Fort. We played basketball in the arcade a bit and saw a neat light display with "snow." 


The Christmas tree with Rainbow Bridge in the background was really pretty! The lights on the tree changed colors and sparkled.

Then we noticed lights on the Fuji TV Building. They flashed and changed with music. It was really impressive! Way better than the lights in Roppongi! I was surprised that I hadn't read about this illumination display online.


We couldn't figure out how they did it because when the colored lights weren't on it just looked normal. Some offices had lights on inside and some didn't.

There's a big staircase on the side of the building and it was also lit up and changed with music. Coolest staircase ever!!!

This video shows the awesome lights on the front of the building and the stairs. 

Later that evening we bought a small Christmas cake, which is a thing in Japan. I wanted a chocolate one but we didn't have much time to look for a small chocolate one so we got this at Vie de France. It had mixed fruit inside and was delicious. I am not sure why it came with candles though. Who is supposed to blow them out?

After quickly eating our cake we went to church. It was in English so that was really nice!

I saw this train on the way back to our hotel. I don't know who these characters are but they wished us a merry Christmas and happy new year.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas Break - Tokyo Day 1

On the 23rd Jonathan and I went to Tokyo. That evening we went to see Christmas lights in Roppongi. I had read about different illumination displays in Tokyo and this one sounded neat. I didn't expect such a crowd though! We actually had to wait in line. Luckily we only waited about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! I'm a bit late for Christmas but I was traveling all last week. Since Jonathan and I were going to be traveling on Christmas we opened gifts on Sunday, a few days early.

The night before we ate dinner together and watched Home Alone. I made gratin and stuffing for dinner. We also had cranberry sauce which I had found in a grocery store near Hamamatsu Station a few days before. So exciting!