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

Thursday, September 17, 2015

March Randomness: Darth Vader Loves Sakura

I haven't done a blog post in about three months! But I suddenly feel motivated to do the last few posts I have planned. So here are some random pictures from my last month in Japan.

The Star Wars and sakura packaging of these cup noodles really amused me. I couldn't pass up buying one with Darth Vader and falling cherry blossom petals.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Final Tokyo Trip Part 7: Sayonara Japan

Our last morning in Tokyo was spent dragging our luggage from our hotel to Tokyo Station to leave it in lockers. That was kind of awful because the station near our hotel didn't have escalators or elevators. Bleh.

We left some of our luggage at the hotel to pick up later. I had tried to use takyubin service to send some of our luggage to the airport but you had to do it three days in advance. Online it had said three days in certain areas but I didn't think Tokyo would have that time limit.

Then we went to Shibuya. I wanted to spend my last day in Shibuya because it's awesome. :)

It was such a pretty, sunny day! It's great that we had nice weather our last day, but it also made it harder to leave.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Final Tokyo Trip Part 6: Karaoke, Meiji Shrine, and More

March 23rd was our last full day in Japan. As usual, we started out the day with a yummy breakfast at our hotel. I had a couple types of rice, some pickles, hot dogs, miso soup, chocolate swirl bread, and orange juice.

First we walked to Akihabara. Near our hotel we passed a shop that had a display of pretty Disney princess figurines.

In Akihabara we went to Yodobashi Camera and I also tried to find a doll store I had been to before. It wasn't where I remembered and I didn't see it anywhere so I think it had closed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Final Tokyo Trip Part 5: Odaiba - Miraikan, Arcades, Onsen, and a Fluffy Sheep

After enjoying a nice morning at Hama Rikyu, we took the monorail to Odaiba. We ate lunch at Khazana, an Indian restaurant with a super yummy buffet, in Decks and then played Lord of the Rings pinball in the arcade.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Final Tokyo Trip Part 4: Hama Rikyu

On March 22nd we started out the day with a delicious breakfast at our hotel and then set out for Hama Rikyu.

As we walked towards the garden we passed through the Shiodome area. There was some boy band concert going on that morning. I have no idea who they were and they sounded like just about every other Japanese boy band. I would have liked to watch a little while longer, but Jonathan had no interest.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Final Tokyo Trip Part 3: Metropolitan Government Building

After a super kawaii dinner at the Pom Pom Purin Cafe and shopping around Harajuku a bit, we headed to Shinjuku to visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.

There is a free observatory on the 45th floor. It's at 202 meters. It's not nearly as tall as Skytree, which has observatories at 350 meters and 450 meters, but it's free and still a neat view. If I had to pick just one I would go to Skytree even though it's expensive. But I think it's nice to see Tokyo from above both during the day and at night, so I suggest to go to one during the day and the other at night.

After waiting in line for a little bit (ten or fifteen minutes maybe) and getting our bags searched, we took the elevator up to the 45th floor.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Final Tokyo Trip Part 2: Pom Pom Purin Cafe

 After enjoying sakura at Shinjuku Gyoen, we went back to Harajuku to go to the Pom Pom Purin cafe at our assigned time (we received a ticket a few hours earlier).

Everything about the cafe was so cute! Pom Pom Purin is one of my favorite Sanrio characters so I loved it!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Final Tokyo Trip Part 1: Sakura in Shinjuku Gyoen

On March 21st we started out the day in Harajuku. I had sort of planned on us eating lunch at the Pom Pom Purin Cafe, but they were giving out tickets to return at a later time (like I had suspected). We got tickets to return around 4:45. So then we headed to McDonald's for lunch.

On the way we passed by several stores. Those sheer skirts are super popular right now and I saw them in so many stores!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Moving Out: Sayonara Hamamatsu

The day after my birthday I started really packing up my stuff and throwing things away. Though I did take a break to go on one last bike ride with Jonathan.

We just went to the beach which isn't very pretty, but it was still nice to just ride around. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My Birthday: Kanzanji Ropeway

On my birthday Jonathan and I first went to Ichino because I wanted to eat ramen there. I wasn't very hungry yet when we got there so we visited some stores first.

We spent some time in Village Vanguard. It's such a fun store! They sell a lot of very random stuff and have a good selection of Sailor Moon merchandise.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

One Last Biking Adventure: Lake Sanaru and Hamamatsu Castle Park

On March 8th Jonathan and I went on one last biking adventure. Well, we went biking the following weekend too but it was only for a couple hours, maybe even less. So the 8th was our last long biking adventure.

I think we left sometime between 10:30 and 11:00. We planned on biking to an observatory at the top of the Kanzanji Ropeway at lake Hamana.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

February Randomness: Pokemon Toilet Paper, Sailor Moon Chocolate, and More!

I'm back in the US now! I'm a bit behind on posts since I got busy with packing and stuff, but now I have some time to catch up.

These first two pictures are actually from January. McDonald's had curly fries for a while! They maybe weren't quite as good as Arby's, but they were close. I would have gotten them again, but by the next time I went they were already gone.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sapporo Snow Festival Part 6: Nakajima Park at Night

After the Mt. Moiwa ropeway, we visited Nakajima Park again to see the candles lit up. I was excited to see that the Japanese garden area of the park was open because it had been closed during the day.

The candles were so pretty! The pictures don't really capture the atmosphere of the flickering candles in the snow.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sapporo Snow Festival Part 5: Mt. Moiwa Ropeway

After walking around Nakajima Park for a while we went to a nearby tram stop and headed to the Mt. Moiwa Ropeway.

I had been hoping to get to take the tram decorated with Snow Miku that I had seen on a flyer, but we got an old, ugly one. Though we did pass by the Hatsune Miku one later so at least I got to see it! :)

Sapporo Snow Festival Part 4: Nakajima Park

After Odori Park we went to Nakajima Park which is not part of the snow festival, but there were still some sculptures there. On the signs I saw several made by sports teams and clubs at local schools.

On Wikipedia I found out that Nakajima Park was one of the official snow festival sites for a couple years in the early 90s. I'm kind of glad that it's not anymore because it's not crowded and is a great place to see snow in a pretty setting while in Sapporo.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sapporo Snow Festival Part 3: Odori Park in the Day

We started off our second day in Sapporo with a delicious breakfast at the hotel. Yummy!

Then we walked toward the festival. There was a lot of snow piled up on the sidewalks around our hotel. But when we got to more major roads in the Susukino district there wasn't any snow on the sidewalks because they are heated from underneath.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sapporo Snow Festival Part 2: Sapporo TV Tower and Ramen Alley

The Sapporo TV Tower is located at the end of Odori Park. It's not super tall, but it has a neat view of the park. Since the festival was going on, it was crowded and took us over an hour to buy tickets and take the elevator up. But at least part of the line went around the gift shop and I saw some cute merchandise.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sapporo Snow Festival Part 1: Odori Park at Night

Last Friday, Jonathan and I flew to Sapporo to go to the Yuki Matsuri (Snow Festival). We flew from the Chubu International Airport in Nagoya. It was a pretty neat airport!

We wore masks on the trains and plane to avoid catching anything before our trip. I had been wearing masks all week because they had been required at most of my schools to help prevent flu. I'm not sure how effective they are really, but there weren't too many absences at my school so maybe they work.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

December and January Randomness: Sailor Moon Merchandise and More!

Wow! I can't believe it's already February. I have less than two months left in Japan! I have a list of things I want to do before I leave and I've already started checking some things off. Anyway, December and January were both great months and here are some random pictures of things I've done.

Actually, that picture is from late August. I just finally got it off of Jonathan's phone. It's Shippei (Iwata's mascot) at LaLaport! :) 

In early December I took the N3 level of the JLPT (Japanese language proficiency test) and thought I did horribly. I thought vocab and listening were ok, but grammar and reading were really hard! I wasn't worried about it because I had taken it for fun (yeah, I'm weird) but I was still relieved that it was over.

When I got back to Hamakita Station I saw Christmas lights in the area.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Winter Break Part 10: More Odaiba

The 28th was our last day in Tokyo and we spent most of the day in Odaiba. Before heading out though we had breakfast at the hotel.

Toyoko Inn Shinagawa-eki Konan-guchi Tennozu was definitely the largest Toyoko Inn I've stayed at. I really liked it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Winter Break Part 9: Bigbang at Tokyo Dome

On Saturday the 27th I went to a Bigbang concert at Tokyo Dome! But first that morning we headed to Shinokubo to eat lunch, which was also kind of breakfast because we had missed the breakfast at the hotel.

We took the monorail to Hamamatsucho Station and then took the Yamanote line to Shinokubo.

We had to wait a while to get into Miyomi, but maybe only about 20 minutes so it wasn't too bad. Miyomi plays a lot of Bigbang videos so it was very popular that day. It was also pretty much only women there though there was one other guy, with probably his girlfriend, in front of us in line. Then I saw a couple more come in while we were eating.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Winter Break Part 8: Night Helicopter Tour Over Tokyo

This is the second part of my posts about getting engaged. Here is the first part: Winter Break Part 7: I Got Engaged!

When we arrived at Maihama Station we went out the north exit (not towards Disney), went to a clock tower, and waited there. I realized we were waiting for a bus or something, but I had no idea where it would take us.

Other people started gathering in the same area, but then they got onto a hotel shuttle bus. Jonathan was very worried and thought whatever we were going to might be canceled. He kept checking a website and tried calling some number, but something wasn't updating and he couldn't find out anything. A couple other buses came, but they weren't what we were waiting for. I said I was happy enough and didn't care if we did anything else. I couldn't imagine the day getting any better so I really meant it. Jonathan was still very worried though. Whatever we were waiting for was late.

There was a group of three people who seemed to be waiting for the same thing. They spoke Chinese, but one guy spoke English and asked Jonathan if he was waiting for the same thing. I didn't catch the name of the place though. So then that guy called the place and told us the shuttle would be there around 7. Jonathan was very relieved!

When the shuttle van arrived I was very excited to see what it said on the side. Helicopter tours! I have wanted to do that for a looong time. I saw people fly over Tokyo in a helicopter when I watched some silly show called "I Survived a Japanese Game Show" back in college. Then I looked into it when I moved to Japan but it was expensive.

The driver didn't acknowledge us and seemed in a bad mood or something, but oh well. We were on our way!

Luckily the late shuttle and driver were the only bad experience. Once we arrived at Urayasu Heliport, the staff was extremely professional and it felt classy. The lounge was nice and I had a free orange juice while we waited for our flight.

We had to put our stuff in lockers, go through a metal detector, and watch a safety video before boarding. Then it was time to go! Boarding was exciting because the propellers really created a lot of wind. They spun super fast and were a bit scary, but cool!

We got in the helicopter with six other people. There were four seats facing forward and four facing back. They all faced each other. I was on the right side, by the window, facing forward.

After buckling in we soon took off. It was sooooooooo beautiful. It was a super clear night and the city sparkled. I've been up in towers at night, but they don't even come close. As the helicopter flew, the view constantly changed. It was awesome every time the helicopter tilted as it turned. We flew over many famous places such as Tokyo Tower, Skytree, Tokyo Dome, and Rainbow Bridge. So perfect!

It was pretty much impossible to get good photos, but Jonathan did take a few short videos. These pictures are some stills from that video. They don't do the view justice at all though.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter Break Part 7: I Got Engaged!

Finally it was the 26th, the surprise day Jonathan planned for me! I had been curious about it ever since I had decided to see Bigbang in Tokyo. I was trying to decide whether to go on the 26th or 27th and Jonathan told me to go on the 27th. I asked why and he said we were doing something on the 26th but wouldn't tell me what. I was kind of suspicious, but he said some things to make me think it wasn't a big deal. He said I'm always the one planning our trips and wanted to give me a break. I still kind of wondered why he wouldn't tell me anything, but it kind of made sense. If he had told me any plans I probably would have tried to do most of the planning anyway.

After breakfast at the hotel, we took a shuttle bus to Shinagawa Station. There Jonathan told me that we were going to Asakusa. I couldn't figure out why we were going there. Sky Tree was close, but why wouldn't we go to a closer station? There were cat cafes and bunny cafes in the area but I knew Jonathan wouldn't want to ruin the rest of his day with allergies.

When we arrived in Asakusa Jonathan began searching for something. He headed towards the river and looked around there for something. Then I figured it out. He was looking for a boat dock. Back in the spring I had looked up some boat info so I knew that many of them begin in Asakusa.

We crossed a street and soon Jonathan found the ticket office and bought tickets for the Himiko boat to Odaiba at 1:25. So what we were doing until then? Skytree!

I had been up in Skytree before, but I had said I would like to go back on a sunny day when views were better. The weather was very clear that day!

It was fairly early on a Friday morning so it wasn't busy at all. We were able to pretty much just walk right up to the ticket counter and get our tickets. We hardly waited for an elevator either.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Winter Break Part 6: Christmas - Church, Kyu Furukawa, and Arcades

We started out the day by eating breakfast at the hotel. It was our first time eating it at that hotel.  We hadn't eaten it the day before because we had actually left before breakfast started. The food was similar to other Toyoko Inns, but they had a few more options maybe. But the breakfast area was huge!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Winter Break Part 5: Christmas Eve at Disney Sea

On Christmas Eve Jonathan and I went to Disney Sea. I was excited to see it decorated for Christmas.

That morning I put on some Frozen nail stickers. Unfortunately the designs were a bit too long for my short nails so the pictures got a bit cut off on some, but they were still cool.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Winter Break Part 4: Lake Chuzenji

After checking out of the hotel we walked to Kinugawa Onsen Station.

Jonathan enjoyed sliding around on the ice. He got stared at by some old people, haha.

We had a little bit of time before our train so we briefly stopped in a gift shop. I bought a really cute bunny pouch.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Winter Break Part 3: Kinugawa Grand Hotel Yume no Toki

After Nikko we headed to the nearby town of Kinugawa Onsen and checked into our hotel, Kinugawa Grand Hotel Yume no Toki. A woman led us to the room and served us tea. So fancy!

The room had two separate rooms (one with western beds and futons in the main room) as shown on the website, but it was even bigger than we had expected.

Winter Break Part 2: Nikko

 On Monday the 22nd we went to Nikko. It was my second time but Jonathan's first.

I took that picture in Asakusa as we walked towards the station.