Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Tops Tuesdays: Sleeping with a Ghibli Character

There's no denying the Studio Ghibli films are a huge international success. That means there is a lot of Ghibli merchandise on the market. I spotted this adorable Totoro sleeping bag on Pinterest and decided to share here. There are various options on ebay if you want to buy one for yourself. Enjoy!

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Sunday, 26 May 2013

The Izu Life: Attending a Goukon in Japan

image taken from http://hokuromura.exblog.jp/8510138/
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Friday night found me standing outside a train station waiting for my ever-late friend and host of that evening's "goukon." A goukon is a kind of mass date that is popular in Japan where a group of (mostly) strangers meet up for some beer and laughs and then afterwards the couples that clicked call each other for follow-up dates. Such practices are becoming increasingly common and important in a country with a declining birth rate and where working individuals are finding less time to build meaningful relationships. Goukons provide a relaxed atmosphere to essentially date several people all in one evening. I myself had been asked to join this goukon after a couple of the host's friends pulled out. I shifted nervously, hoping my outfit was appropriate; heels, cigarette pants, and a boyfriend blazer. A group of boys standing nearby were jostling each other and giggling; obviously at the start of a big night out themselves and less nervous about it than me. 

"How late is she now?" my friend I had roped into doing this with me asked.

"8 minutes."

But just then we spotted her brilliantly bright pink coat weaving through the crowds of dull salary-men suits towards us. Surrendering her ticket at the gate, she jogged over to us, all apologies for being late. Another couple of women who had been standing nearby shuffled over and introduced themselves. To my embarrassment, we had been standing next to some fellow attendees for the same goukon for the past 10 minutes without realizing it. Only our host knew all of the guests. She introduced us all then quickly bobbed away to hug one of the boys who had been jostling with his friends earlier. Oh, God. They were the guys we were here to meet? It was going to be a long night...

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tops Tuesdays: Dance Dance Revolution

I took a week off last week but now I'm back with today's Tops Tuesdays post. This week during my Internet travels I found this video on YouTube and decided to share it here. There are plenty of DDR videos out there but this is by far the most mind-blowing in my opinion. Enjoy!

YAMI: Inside that building are the answers to questions I've been asking myself ever since the series began. Finally, I'll know the truth about my past.
TÉA: Do you think they'll have DDR in there too?
YAMI: Téa, it's Japan. Of course they will.

Friday, 10 May 2013

T.G.I.F.: Black Sabbath in Tokyo and May Sumo Tournaments

Not only does Japan celebrate Mother's Day (母の日) on May 12th this weekend (Happy Mother's Day, mum!), but also Ozzfest is coming to Tokyo. Ozzfest is a rock concert featuring Slipnot, Tool, Slash, AND Black Sabbath held at the premium rocking-out venue, Makuhari Messe

If that is not your cup of tea, why not check out the May sumo tournament at the Sumida sumo stadium? It starts May 12th and continues until the 26th. Click the image below for  more information and ticketing details!

Art of SUMO15 Art of SUMO
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Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Tops Tuesdays: Giant Robots

I'm a little unsure of the origins of this video but I spotted it during my travels of the interwebs and thought it was awesome. In it, a girl test runs a "Kid's Walker Cyclops" constructed by Sakakibara Kikai. Will the Japanese love of robots ever cease to be? I hope not. 

Here's some music to listen to simultaneously with the video above...

Friday, 3 May 2013

T.G.I.F.: Free Yoga Session in Roppongi

Happy Golden Week! For those who don't know, Golden Week (starting today) is a series of four national holidays in close succession which people in Japan usually use for travelling around and out of Japan. Unfortunately, that means this is NOT a recommended time to travel  in Japan due to the high density of crowds around popular tourist destinations. It can be impossible to get a seat on trains and hotels often hike their prices up anticipating the competition for accommodation. So what to do?

If you are stuck for ideas and are in the mood for something quirky and relaxing, I recommend skipping Golden week altogether, sticking around, and trying the free yoga sessions being put on today through May 12th at Tokyo Mid Town in Roppongi, Tokyo. Escape the frantic pace of the Golden Week rush and take a moment to slow down and smell the roses. There are two sessions a day; the morning session (9am) and afternoon session (7pm). Enjoy!

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