05. 19. Sunday – Osaka

The clouds promised rain at Takaragaike

The clouds promised rain at Takaragaike

05/19 Sunday
So, the Osaka trip… The occasion to go over was that I got a ticket to an event of traditional entertainment from the Tokugawa era, like shamisen, the traditional flute, singing, dancing and rakugo. One of our teachers is playing the shamisen, and she gave away tickets (the event was free btw, you just had to get a ticket). Since I wouldn’t be able to get a taste of these things otherwise (especially not at the same time) I took this opportunity and while I was there I thought I could check out other things too.

I planned the trip quite well: I looked up which subway to take from and to, what discounts they have for public transport, where to go and when, where to eat lunch and so on. I had a very tight schedule, and of course not everything fit in in the end. I didn’t have a map for Osaka, so I got an offline map application on my tablet where I marked all my destinations, which was very useful later.

The only green I saw from the train

The only green I saw from the train

The difference is clear at first sight

The difference is clear at first sight

I left home at 8:30, a bit later than planned. I got to Demachiyanagi, where I could take the Keihan line directly to Osaka. A one-way-trip costs 460 yen, so it’s not even that expensive. We left for Osaka shortly before 9:00 and the trip took an hour approximately. I saw some greenery on the way, but after that it was one town after another, you can’t even tell where one ends and the other starts – same with Osaka, the agglomeration is huge. We got to Osaka shortly before 10:00 and just stepping out of the station you could already see the difference. Osaka is a big, metropolitan city, while Kyoto is much smaller. After arriving my first destination was the Osaka Museum of History, because there was an exhibition about Japanese ghosts and demons I was interested in. I was walking along the Osaka Castle while eating some cookies, and got to the museum in 20 minutes, but only because I was walking slowly while taking photos here and there.

The wall of the Osaka Castle - btw, there's sea water around it

The wall of the Osaka Castle – btw, there’s sea water around it

This is the closest I got to the castle

This is the closest I got to the castle

This is where you enter the castle grounds

This is where you enter the castle grounds


The building of the Museum (left) with the local NHK next to it (right)

The building of the Museum (left) with the local NHK next to it (right)

The flier of the exhibition

The flier of the exhibition

The museum is actually huge and I was thinking about if I should get a ticket to see the general exhibition as well, but I thought it would take too much time, and I was right. I just went to see the special exhibition and I was in for one and half hours. They were displaying a lot of materials and it was very interesting. I especially liked the onryou section and was glad to recognize some famous stories like Yotsuya Kaidan, and then the separate sections for the animal youkais. While many of the drawings were quite creepy (not in the scary, more in the disgusting way), there were actually some which were quite cute XD There was a huge crowd, so it wasn’t easy to get through. I guess I can be grateful for being a bit taller than the average Japanese ^^;

It started raining...

It started raining…

I got out around half past 11, and had to decide what to do. Originally I was planning to go to the Osaka Castle as well, but the event was starting at 14:00 and I still had to get lunch, so I decided I should go for that, because who knows how long things would take – and it was a good decision. As for lunch, being a vegetarian needs extra organizing, so part of the preparation was spent with looking for vegetarian restaurants in Osaka. Thankfully the Happy Cow site has a good section for Osaka as well, so I marked quite some on my map. Location- and timewise there were only two or three in the final choice, and I decided to try the Indian restaurant Shama at the Yotsuhashi-suji. I decided beforehand to mainly use the subway for moving around because it’s faster than the bus – despite the backside of not being able to see anything from the city. For the public transport I got an Eco Card, with which you can use on most of the vehicles unlimited times for a day. It’s very useful and on weekends it costs 600 yen only!

Just liked this building - nice mixture with the shop

Just liked this building – nice mixture with the shop

But first I had to find the subway, which took like 15 minutes with me looking in the wrong direction when it was right in front of the museum XD; I got onto the Chuo Line till Honmachi and transferred to the Yotsubashi Line till the Yotsubashi station. The restaurant isn’t far from that, but the subway stations are huge in Osaka and I must have gotten out at the wrong end, because another long looking around awaited me ^^; First I had to realize where I was and with the mostly absent street names in Japan it’s not that easy. At this point I didn’t realize I could use the GPS in my tablet to identify my location, but well, it also started to rain like the weather report promised, and it’s not that great to use a tablet in the rain. Actually I asked in a conbini once if they had a map, but they didn’t, so I need to get one at a tourist center the next time. So after identifying where I was I started looking for the restaurant. I wasn’t sure if it was really next to the road, so I went to a lot of alleys as well, but I should have just trusted the map ^^;

Shama - will be back there one day

Shama – will be back there one day

My lunch

My lunch – the veggie meat and my lassi arrived later

Actually I almost went past the restaurant, so you need to look very closely since there are so many things there. In the end I got there half past 12, and was very happy to be able to eat something. Shama is a vegetarian restaurant, so they use eggs and dairy products, which is okay for me. It’s actually run by Indian people, which is a good point, though on the other hand at first it wasn’t sure how we would communicate XD We started out with Japanese and then switched to English, so the place is safe for non-Japanese-speaking vegetarian foreigners as well. I ordered a lunch set, which contained pumpkin cream soup (yay!), salad, curry, another similar thing with mushrooms (both very hot), nan, rice and some kind of a veggie meat (was is the soya tikka perhaps?) and I picked lassi for drink. I have to say it was all very delicious and filling – I would go back there any time. Actually the boss(?) is quite chatty, I guess it’s the Indian way of caring for the guests.

Creo East

Creo East

It was still raining, when the concert was over

It was still raining, when the concert was over

Originally I was planning to check out the big Mandarake near the restaurant after lunch, but by the time I got out it was already past 13. Since Creo East, the place for the event was far and I had to walk a lot as well, I decided to skip Mandarake and maybe go back in the evening. I looked for the Shinsaibashi station and with the Nagahori Line I went to the Osaka Business Park. Actually this like was the first where I saw the bars at the stations that only open when the train is there. So, from there was a 15 minutes walk from the station in the rain, and while it wasn’t nearly as hot as now (if I had known…), for me it was already very mushi-mushi. Anyway, I got there in time, and the event of all the traditional entertainment started. It was very interesting and I didn’t regret going, and otherwise I probably wouldn’t be able to see such things. The only backside was the length: it lasted nearly three-hours-long ^^; There were many people who left, and I could somehow understand that despite it being very rude. So yeah, the length kinda messed up my plans, since I still wanted to check out many manga and DJ-related shops, but now it was clear I wouldn’t have time for everything and that I will be late for home.

There 's a bridge to the Osaka Castle grounds - well, Osaka is full of bridges...

There ‘s a bridge to the Osaka Castle grounds – well, Osaka is full of bridges…

There are skyscrapers as well...

There are skyscrapers as well…


Nipponbashi - not pretty

Nipponbashi – not pretty

Salt+Litchi? It's sweet though...

Salt+Litchi? It’s sweet though…

Since Meikido was the most important for me, I decided to go to that area, and took the Sakaisuji Line till Naghahoribashi and transferred to the Nagahori Tsurumi Line which brought me to Nipponbashi. I arrived around 17:40, and started to look for Meikido, and it was no easy task. This part of Osaka turned out to be a big shopping district with tons of shops on the most different scale, though nowhere near as pretty as the Shijou shopping district here in Kyoto. I market the places on the map, but I wasn’t sure how exact it would be (it was pretty exact actually), and with all the small alleys and shops I just couldn’t find it.

And the small alleys

And the small alleys

Maids looking out for potential customers

Maids looking out for potential customers

This time I started using the GPS as well, because I had no idea how far I was from my goal and I couldn’t guess the distances. While I was going here and there I realized this was the mecca for the otaku, as there were tons of specialty and related shops, gamer arcades and such – I even spotted Toranoana already, that I wanted to visit later. I was wandering around for at least 45 minutes, and I almost gave up finding Meikido, when I decided to not just look into the small streets looking for the ads, signs and the name of the shop, but actually go in there. Well yeah, that did the trick of course, although I almost missed Meikido, because well, apart from the illustration on the door and a small one on the side there is absolutely no sign of what kind shop it is – or that there actually is a shop at all! With all the big ads for other shops it was a big surprise, so no wonder I couldn’t see it – but otherwise it was in the exact spot my map said ^^;

Look for this door - it's very hidden though...

Look for this door – it’s very hidden though…

The shop itself is indeed like a hidden place for girls, and the employees are all girls as well. On the other hand shopping for secondhand DJs in not easy, because you need to pull a huge batch to get through them, which takes time and it tiring – especially after a long day. Not to mention there are a lot of things I’m interested in, and along the way I discovered even more treasures – like the original DJ section with stuff I have never seen in the online shop. While I was shopping the song for the customers to leave the shop was played, and I desperately tried to get through my fave artists, and just threw the things into my basket. Still, I left there quite some unique stuff and I regret that, but maybe next time. I discovered the Terra e… section at the last second, so I didn’t have much time for that, but still found some missing things. I left the shop as the last customer in the last minute at 19:30, but I left there a lot of money, so I hope they didn’t mind it that much ^^

Fruits milk

Fruits milk

Kitarou on the wall!

Kitarou on the wall!

It was late and I was tired, still I wanted to check out at least the location of the other shops like Animate, Toranoana, so I walked there. That street is just the heart of the otaku mecca I guess, and even beside these shops there are a lot of similar and second-hand ones, so I have to come back here for sure. I quickly made a round at the Animate, but it was late for me, so I decided to go home for the day. While I was walking to the station I saw the first homeless people in Japan – and one of them was actually reading manga. Since then I saw some in Kyoto as well, but they live under the bridges in small houses, so generally you don’t meet them on the streets. So I got to the Nanba station/shopping center complex, and it was another huge task to find out where the subway was, and it took more than 30 minutes orz In the end I took the Midosuji Line from the Nanba station to Yodoyabashi, where we left with the Keihan for Kyoto around 21:00. I was totally spent, and happy to get home after 22:00 – and I was sure I would skip the morning class on Monday, because I needed sleep.

It was a great day, but with a tight schedule (and I planned even more) and with a lot of wandering around. Oh well, it will go better next time. All in all I have to say I’m pretty glad I landed in Kyoto and not in Osaka or another bigger city for the matter. Sure, I thought it was a pity that Kyoto doesn’t have all the shops I need, but Osaka is huge, busy and dirty – reminded me a lot of Budapest, but of course, Osaka is much bigger with taller buildings. Kyoto is on a smaller scale and much better and easier to live in. Sure, I will be back to Osaka for sightseeing and shopping, but that will be enough for me. Anyway, I had a great and tiring trip to Osaka.

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By Darklight Posted in Trip Tagged

05. 16-18. Thursday-Saturday

Fried mushrooms with daikon and egg plant yoghurt salad

Fried mushrooms with daikon and egg plant yoghurt salad

05/16 Thursday
Finally a free morning. I had to cook lunch today, but otherwise it was refreshing not having to go anywhere. Lunch was a bit experimental. I made an eggplant yogurt salad, and since I didn’t know how the yogurt would be, I had no idea if it would work out or not. I also bought real garlic for cooking, and used it in the dish too. All in all the end result was yummy, but totally different than at home. The yogurt isn’t as sour, which is good, and the garlic seems very mild too, though I’m not sure if it’s a good thing – though the salad was great. As for the main dish, I cooked up some mushrooms with bean sprouts, and the experimental part: I added daikon (white radish) too. At home we don’t use daikon for cooking, and I bought it to eat it raw because I like it, but it was so hot, that I got serious stomach aches while and after eating it. What to do, I figured I could use it for making lunch, and it worked out perfectly – very yummy, I will use it in future as well~

New sprouts on the tree

New sprouts on the tree

Must have been a hard-working spider

Must have been a hard-working spider

We got some clouds and strong winds

We got some clouds and strong winds


*___*

*___*

Tastes like juice and nothing like milk

Tastes like juice and nothing like milk

Uni itself was just like always. Since I wanted to be home as soon as possible, I just went to the 100 yen store for a few things – new sweets for the next week included. Here at home I thought I should check out the discounts of the supermarkets online, and there I discovered I missed a carrot discount yesterday :( Still, just to take a look I went to the Fresco upwards to get yogurt (for breakfast), and I was seduced by a mini tomato discount, and decided to try the fruits milk. Latter is fine, quite refreshing, but you can hardly taste the milk there, just the fruits – which is good for me as I don’t really like milk XD; After getting rid of the pack at home I left for the grocery shop at Shuugakuin to get some strawberry. Fortunately they had carrots to a better price too, so yay. And like always, the strawberries crowned the day.

Pretty flowers

Pretty flowers

This pic would have been so great without the truck

This pic would have been so great without the truck

05/17 Friday
I was planning to go to Osaka on Sunday, so I thought I should start learning for Monday’s classes, and that’s how I spent the morning. Well, mostly, because I was surfing a bit too, and there I was confronted with another missed exhibition: the 40th Anniversary Versailles no Bara exhibition in Osaka from April 30 to May 13 orz You can think how I felt, it’s just… and AGAIN! *siiiigh* I guess I have to start stalking the sites of all the mangaka I like, because who knows what else I will miss otherwise. Too bad, really, especially now, that I’m here. But who knows, if I really stay here for five years, maybe there will be more chances in future ^^ Anyway, I also discovered via ComiNata, that a magazine, Pen is doing a shoujo manga special with BeruBara on cover. I wanted to check it out before deciding to get it or not, as I could buy more manga for the price of the mag. So I went to the library at KyoDai after my classes, but they don’t carry the mag, on the other hand I found Eureka there with the recent BL special. It a huge wall of text, but I will try to read it later. It would be great to get that mag too, but who knows if I will find it. Btw, which shop carries second-hand magazines? Hm…

Tasting the new sweets: Sesam biscuit - without the sugar coating it would be 100%, now it's just 90% XD

Tasting the new sweets: Sesam biscuit – without the sugar coating it would be 100%, now it’s just 90% XD

Actually my first time having pocky in Japan - I got the thin ones for the more choco; and strawberry choco next to that - wasn't that fond of the latter

Actually my first time having pocky in Japan – I got the thin ones for the more choco; and strawberry choco next to that – wasn’t that fond of the latter

The pocky can even ride in your bag

The pocky can even ride in your bag


My evening snack: huge salted beans!

My evening snack: huge salted beans!

As for Pen, after contemplating it for a while I decided to drop by the 7 Eleven conbini at Shuugakuin, to see if they have it. After reading more about it on the net I was more and more inclined to buy the mag, especially after finding out that Pen was a mag aimed at men! Oh! Now I was wondering how the shoujo special would look like there. The conbini carries the mag and after flipping through the pages I bought it. There are specials from important series, introducing genres, heroines, situations, a timeline and what not, everything with huge, pretty pics. Sure, I guess there won’t be all too much new info for me, but it will be good for building my vocab, as I’m more inclined to start reading this than the thick books I borrowed from the library. All in all, a happy purchase, and just to raid my wallet a bit more, I discovered some other second-hand manga shops, so I will just have to check them out – maybe not next week, but the week after that, as my scholarship will arrive till then~

Epic cover for the Pen special

Epic cover for the Pen special

One page of the BeruBara part, but they  were introducing more series of course

One page of the BeruBara part, but they
were introducing more series of course

Short descriptions by genre - here the sci-fi (11nin Iru! and Himitsu *__*)

Short descriptions by genre – here the sci-fi (11nin Iru! and Himitsu *__*)




Shoujo time line starting from the Sixties, which should be the focus of my research

Shoujo time line starting from the Sixties, which should be the focus of my research

The guy in shoujo - Momo is there~ And of course Ren...

The guy in shoujo – Momo is there~ And of course Ren…

Magazine guide - quite interesting

Magazine guide – quite interesting


Soup with daikon

Soup with daikon

05/18 Saturday
This Saturday I was having a Sunday, because tomorrow I was planning to visit Osaka, so everything I generally do on Sunday had to be moved to Saturday. That means, my day wasn’t that interesting, I was just making a soup, washed my clothes and did my homework for Monday. I really hate those Mondays, because we have tons of homework, and this includes composing longer texts for two classes, which is hard. Composing texts in Japanese is generally hard, and it takes a lot of time, not to mention we have to write it by hand, which is strange in the 21th century – and all the more tiring. Sure, it’s useful for the future, but I hate that I have to spend my weekends with that, and that there are even two classes like that on Monday ><

In other news I experimented again. I still had a lot of the too hot radish left, and since it tasted like kohlrabi in the main dish I made a few days ago, I thought I could add the rest to the soup I was making. I had a feeling the radish would behave like a kohlrabi in the soup, and it was indeed like that! The end result was delicious, and from the taste and texture you can hardly tell it’s not kohlrabi in the soup. I actually had no idea these two vegetables were so similar, but a useful discovery, as daikon is cheap here, and it makes the soup more rich – yay~

The rest of the evening was spent with preparations for tomorrow’s trip, like checking out public transportation and making a detailed plan for the great adventure.

05. 15. Wednesday

...this time with additional maron pieces

…this time with additional maron pieces

Got new dorayaki...

Got new dorayaki…

05/15 Wednesday
On my free day I had a task: I had to use the coupon I received the last time at the Horikawa Book Off. It was a unique coupon, because you could get all books for half the price, but the trick of that shop is, that the two floors are operating different cashiers, so I had to decide beforehand where I want to use the coupon. Anyway, I didn’t want to spend the day just with that (though I was sure it would take a huge part of it), so I decided to watch the Aoi Matsuri that took place that day.

The huge torii of the shrine

The huge torii of the shrine

The Aoi Matsuri is one of the three big festivals in Kyoto, and one of the oldest and biggest ones in Japan. A lot of people are walking down the road during the procession, all dressed in beautiful Heian costumes – I love that period and those clothes~ The procession proceeds from the Imperial Palace and goes very slowly up to the Kamigamo Shrine, but stops at the Shimogamo Shrine around midday. That was the place I decided to watch the procession – in the sheltering shadow of the trees, as it was burning hot that day too. There was a huge crowd of course, but you could catch some good places to watch. I was making a video for my parents, hence the less photos. Sure, there are other parts of the festival as well, even before this day, but for me it was enough for now, as I had other things to do.

Paying customers had a special seat of course

Paying customers had a special seat of course

The procession was like this all along

The procession was like this all along

*__*

*__*


It was yummy too~

It was yummy too~

Cereal bar *__*

Cereal bar *__*

First I got something to eat and drink from a mini Fresco, as I had to stand around quite long while waiting for the parade. To my surprise I found cereal bars there! OMG! I already thought they didn’t exist in Japan at all, but there they were. I was getting that of course, and I have to say, it was delicious, though a bit expensive. It costs 128 yen, and you can get more filling things for that money already, but it’s a good thing once in a while. I have to note that I couldn’t find these cereal bars at the Frescos near my home since then, which is a bit sad :(

My lunch~ I loved the pumpkin pieces there~ Made me want to eat pumpkin cream soup~

My lunch~ I loved the pumpkin pieces there~ Made me want to eat pumpkin cream soup~

After that I went to the shopping district at the Shijou street – again, I was with the all-day bus pass. I went to Matsuontoko for lunch, and unsurprisingly it was delicious again. I have no idea how they do it, but these fake meats taste really good. First I was a bit afraid after reading that today’s menu was takorice, because for me tako = animal, but the waitress assured me everything was vegan there, so yay. I really like trying their stuff, and there’s still more on the menu~

My main purpose for coming to Shijou was to get a few things I was kinda dreaming about for weeks. Before, when I was checking out the expensive department stores I found a Nakahara Junichi corner at the stationary part of Takashimaya. It’s just wow, notes, clearfiles and whatnot, all with gorgeous illustrations of Nakahara Junichi. That time I didn’t get anything, because I didn’t _need_ anything to use, but later I decided to get at least a clearfile, just… because. And I could use it too. So this was the day, and first I almost thought I messed up and it was only a temporary corner, as I couldn’t see them, but fortunately it was not the case. The reason for the change was a special event going on for the 30th anniversary of Dayan the cat. They had all the merchandise you can imagine for Dayan, and they were soooooo cute! But I resisted the urge to get more junk I wouldn’t use anyway, just for the sake of cute. Sure chara merch is not cheap, but you can afford it, so I’m very envious of those who can use such pretty things all along during their school years – or anime goods. Anyway, I got my clearfile, and I was dangerously eyeing the notes too, but resisted in the end. Takashimaya is a high-end store, so the packing proved that too – my file was put in a pretty paper bag, and when they saw I had no regular bag to put it in, I got a big paper bag too ^^; Although I was hurrying to the next location I stopped at one of the galleries, and saw some amazing paintings just out of a picture book. I quickly took notes of the names so I could look them up later, and they are indeed great – especially Yokoyama Maya, Fujishiro Seiji, but they had pics from Kiromelo and the Fujiyoshi Brothers as well.

After this I went back to Animate, because I wanted to check out if they had Nakamura Asumiko’s B no Gekijou and the Animate only box for both volumes. They had them, but I still couldn’t decide to buy them, because it would be over 5000 yen altogether. But in the end I will have to get it, because it won’t show up at Book Off – or if yes, in a state I wouldn’t want to anymore, because these are collector items, not just regular comics. Instead I got some merchandise, and I think it must be fate that it was for the Kimi to Boku series – the same series I ordered manga from Japan to for the first time in my life many years ago, even before the series actually became popular. Still, what I’m still missing is a phone strap. I still don’t have any, because none of the available ones really caught my interest… hm… Actually in the evening I saw a Natsume Yuujinchou gacha machine in front of a conbini, but I my bus was just coming, when I noticed it, so I couldn’t try it. I thought, that one could be okay as a phone strap.

Another fish

Another fish

And the maron paste

And the maron paste

With that I left for the bus, but before that I got taiyaki at another shop again. This time I decided to try something else, but they had only one other sort, and from the kanji I had no idea what it was. I asked the guy there, but he just said the same thing that was written there, so I couldn’t get any further, so I took the risk and got that ^^; Fortunately there was no animal in it, but it took me a while to realize what it was: some kind of a maron paste! It was delicious, and I will get some more of that in future as well, but I still have no idea what it’s called in Japanese XD;

There are graffiti in Japan, too - and poor employees to wipe them off

There are graffiti in Japan, too – and poor employees to wipe them off

Crowded pachinko parol in the night - there are a lot of those, oh well

Crowded pachinko parol in the night – there are a lot of those, oh well

My last station was the Horikawa Book Off, where I spent hours with first checking out what they have, deciding on which floor to use the coupon, and then actually taking the stuff. From the number of the books it could be I was getting less than in the discounts over the Golden Week, but I decided to use the coupon for more expensive books, so yeah. Sure, you can always buy more, but I think this was enough for now and I was already feeling guilty for buying so much again after the shopping spree during Golden Week. Not to mention I will be here for five years hopefully, so I don’t have to buy the whole shop in the first two months XD; With that I headed home by bus, which was slow of course, so I got home pretty late in the evening after a busy day.

05. 13-14. Monday-Tuesday

And the insides

And the insides

Today's breakfast

Today’s breakfast

05/13 Monday
I really wasn’t looking forward to it. Mondays are just too much with four classes, and all of them are very intense with too much homework and tests. Not to mention getting ready too early still doesn’t work out for me here, so I’m always rushed.

Lunch - got some nice spoons for home, too

Lunch – got some nice spoons for home, too

I already had enough after two classes, but there were two more. My lunch was just onigiri again, this time with egg-macaroni salad. Not bad actually, and no animals in there. I really have to figure out something for Monday’s lunch… hm… (actually by the time I’m posting this it’s solved already ^^)V ) After the two remaining classes I stayed to use the wifi with my tablet a bit more, and got home dead tired. However I didn’t have any fruit for dinner, so I had to go out again. I went to yesterday’s store to get more strawberries, but today it was a bit different and a bit more expensive (okay, just 198), but still worth getting and was delicious too. As for the rest of the day, I should have read some more, but it was impossible: I went to sleep shortly after 22:00.

Greenery in front of our uni building

Greenery in front of our uni building

The entrance of the International House

The entrance of the International House

Part of the Yoshida South Campus with the conbini on the left

Part of the Yoshida South Campus with the conbini on the left


Conbini Danish

Conbini Danish

And the insides

And the insides

05/14 Tuesday
Summer was there T__T I thought we would still have time, because April was relatively cold, but no: on Tuesday we had over 30°C! I can’t survive in these temperatures, and the sun is so strong, I would burn to ashes without my parasol. The nights are warm too, but I don’t want to use the aircon overnight too, so yeah… I’m afraid what’s coming up to me in summer *siiigh*

Anyway, I only had to go to the grammar class in KyoDai today. I was planning to get the delicious choco Danish at the bakery in front of the Demachiyanagi station for breakfast again, but I got company on the train and it wasn’t able to do that anymore. Instead I got the same at the university combini, and while it was great, it just doesn’t compare to the freshly baked one at the bakery – with roasted almond on top.

After my class I hurried home to eat and to read some more of the book we were discussing at Seika, but I got some IT issues with my tablet I had to investigate. Issue solved, just another occurrence of anti-virus softwares possessing to much rights over a machine and being overprotective. The class at Seika today was in English, so it was easier for me. Still I have so much to read to catch up. I guess that’s how I will spend my summer. On the way home I dropped by Fresco to get some fruits and additional ingredients for cooking tomorrow, and that’s how the overly hot day ended in an overly hot evening – viva la aircon~

Choco cookies, they were okay

Choco cookies, they were okay

I was really wondering what these were, since they are so huge. I didn't want to believe it, but it's indeed corn O_O

I was really wondering what these were, since they are so huge. I didn’t want to believe it, but it’s indeed corn O_O

05. 10-12. Friday-Sunday

Red potato soup

Red potato soup

34 potatoes -_-

34 potatoes -_-

05/10 Friday
It’s good that it was a short week, and finally it was over. Actually I had a lot of homework, studying and reading to do, so I didn’t think I would do much over the weekend. On Friday I made a soup, because the previous one was gone the day before. I got new potatoes for a good price and I decided to make a goulash based soup just with them, which would be easy and quick as well. However I didn’t take into account just how small the potatoes are. For new potatoes I generally don’t peel them like normally, just scrap the thin skin with a knife, but there were so many tiny potatoes (there were 34 to be exact -_-), that it took like forever to clean them. I spent more than an hour with the peeling and in the end I even got a blister on my finger orz Anyway, I thought I would run out of time with the soup, but the cooking itself was really fast, so in the end I managed to eat the soup before leaving.

Tsubuan

Tsubuan

Full of red bean paste

Full of red bean paste

The classes seemed awfully slow, and meanwhile it started raining too. After my classes I wanted to use the wifi on my tablet for a while, so I run over to the conbini on the campus to get something to eat. This time I tried another Japanese sweet, tsubuan. It was a good choice, because it’s basically a red bean paste manjuu, but next time I will try something else as well. On a sad note I didn’t find any onigiri there, which doesn’t contain any kinds of fish or meat :( Anyway, I was surfing a net for a while, and loaded a few tachiyomis from the ebookjapan site. I love it btw, which is kinda unexpected, because I wasn’t that fond of digital manga, and I am a bibliophile person who just loves pretty print editions, but it’s great. Buying e-manga is another issue though, because they cost kinda the same as printmanga, and that can’t compare to a Book Off. Well, the selection maybe, because I was checking out old Takemiya Keiko titles, which are hard to find in Book Offs actually, so we will see.

Impressive colors after the rain

Impressive colors after the rain

Wet azalea blossoms

Wet azalea blossoms

After that I dropped by Coop again. Actually I need to get a credit/debit card, because I need to order from abroad. For orders in Japan it’s not necessary, but from overseas it is. They are offering a Visa card for Coop members, so I thought I would check it out. It turned out the application needs to be made via post, and I got the package for the application at the shop. I really have to get through the conditions and such first though, but of course everything is in Japanese, so yeah ^^; Then I returned to the 100-yen shop and drug store at Hyakumanben, because I forgot to buy some stuff like bowls for vegetables and fruit, egg slicer and such – and of course sweets XD At the drug store I randomly picked a deo to try, because my own will run out soon, but I don’t really have high hopes for these roll-ons here… Maybe I should have picked one for men, hm… Oh, and I got a hand cream, because working in the kitchen and washing your hands too often makes them just too dry. Actually I’m quite satisfied with my pick here ^^

And that was basically my day, after that I just came home to laze around as I felt too tired for anything else.

05/11 Saturday
My Saturday was spent with a lot of frustration from my side. It started raining on Friday in the afternoon, and it didn’t stop until Saturday evening – meaning HUMIDITY! Since the isolation sucks in Japan, it means, my room turned equally humid – and my books all wavy orz This means my textbooks for KyoDai (though I didn’t really care about them), and the borrowed books from the library! I was pretty desperate, because those books just aren’t mine, so I was trying my best all day to straighten them again. After a few day and flatting efforts the books got back to the original state, but it became clear that I need dehumidifiers, as the aircon it just not enough, and that I need to put all the books in a box. I only dared to check up on my manga in the boxes the next day. Fortunately everything was okay in there, so I’m a bit less worried about what’s coming up in the rainy season.

And here are the sweets I got the day before:

Soy bean choco - very interesting, there's a white one too, I'll try that next time

Soy bean choco – very interesting, there’s a white one too, I’ll try that next time

Candied orange peel covered with choco – amazing *__*

Candied orange peel covered with choco – amazing *__*

The best in the batch: peanuts in choco, and the choco is tasty and melty - incredible~

The best in the batch: peanuts in choco, and the choco is tasty and melty – incredible~


The drug store at Shuugakuin

The drug store at Shuugakuin

05/12 Sunday
Finally no rain. I had to do some shoppings, so I went down to Shuugakuin, which is indeed a small town center with almost everything you need. I had to buy a new commuter pass, and I went to the local drug store to get some dehumidifying stuff. I found them too, and I got a little box type thing for my chest and flat ones for my manga boxes – you know, better to be safe than sorry, especially with manga and humidity. I got some discounted stuff at Fresco, but unfortunately they didn’t have anything fruit-wise. There’s another grocery shop I went to before, and now they had a box of strawberries for 190 yen only! I have never seen strawberries that cheap here before, so of course I got one, and while I was already there I bought cheese too~ I gave in to temptation and got something from the bakery, which was a good idea, because I had to make new rice for lunch, and it took very long. Now I measured and it takes an hour to make the rice. And that’s actually all, after this I was just studying and reading a book for Tuesday’s Seika class, and the best of the day was the delicious strawberry of course.

My "breakfast" - the pastry was made of croissant dough

My “breakfast” – the pastry was made of croissant dough

My juice had all these fruits and vegetables

My juice had all these fruits and vegetables

Strawberries *__*

Strawberries *__*

05. 06-09. Monday-Thursday

A portion of the Komorebi train - one day I will get more of it

A portion of the Komorebi train – one day I will get more of it

Hello there, big bug

Hello there, big bug

05/06 Monday
I wanted to take it easy on Monday, but then I realized I literally forgot to buy something at the Takaragaike Book Off. I quickly made a trip to the store, but had to realize one of the books was already gone. Oh well, I got the other and a few more extras, and that concluded my huge manga shopping spree over Golden Week. Otherwise I just spent a peaceful day at home.

_The_ choco Danish

_The_ choco Danish

And the insides

And the insides

05/07 Tuesday
The first day back to school… Yeah, it was a bit hard getting myself to go to the uni again, but that’s how it is. The best part of the day though: I discovered my currently favorite pastry at the Demachiyanagi bakery. It’s a chocolate Danish, which is yummy as it is already, but this one has almost slices on top that are baked together with the Danish and get this roasted taste. Together with the choco cream and the croissant dough the combination is indescribable *__*

A quite refreshing lemon-herb mix

A quite refreshing lemon-herb mix

Not bad, but expensive and not worth the price

Not bad, but expensive and not worth the price

Today I also had a class at Seika, so other than that nothing really interesting happened. This time we had Azuma Hiroki’s Otaku: Japan’s Database Animals, so I had a lot to read beforehand. After the seminar I went to the library to borrow some books about manga which could be important for my research. I got them too, and I used a lending machine for the first time in my life XD Well, the books were all Japanese, and I realized quite soon that I just wouldn’t be able to read them within the lending period – I just need to buy these books and try to read bit by bit. The wall of kanji can be really scary…

Dorayaki...

Dorayaki…

...with bean filling

…with bean filling

05/08 Wednesday
To compensate for my busy Golden Week my body was telling me to stay at home this time. Okay, I went to shop for some ingredients for cooking, but that was it basically. I tried another traditional sweet, dorayaki, which basically has a sponge type of dough with azuki bean paste filling – right up my alley, as you can guess already. I also tried a soy bar in the hopes it would be like a cereal bar, but it wasn’t the case. Other than that I quite liked it anyway, but it’s not really cheap. I also discovered over the weeks that there are a lot of different kinds of nuts, beans for salted snack here, not just peanuts and the kind. I decided to try these too, and this time I got some peas with black pepper – interesting and not bad ^^ Otherwise it was very hot already, so I was happy to stay in my air-conditioned room.

Soyjoy blueberry soy bar

Soyjoy blueberry soy bar

Tiny cookies, but yummy

Tiny cookies, but yummy

Black pepper flavored peas with peanuts

Black pepper flavored peas with peanuts


But in reality I eat it like this XD

But in reality I eat it like this XD

Eggplants with tomato sauce and rice looking tasty

Eggplants with tomato sauce and rice looking tasty

05/09 Thursday
On Thursday I was cooking in the morning – my fave eggplant dish with tomato sauce and rice… and without cheese *siiiiiigh* Going to uni in the afternoon it was incredibly hot again, but I finally managed to get a good pic of the “dai” kanji on the mountain, that will be burned over the summer. In this weather the classes are harder to bear too, between them I had to get something to eat – I had a similar pastry before, just with choco, and this one was with strawberry jam. Oh and I got milk coffee, cold of course – too sweet for my taste, but the coldness was refreshing. After classes I went to the library of KyoDai to borrow the book needed for our next Seika class. I managed to get in here before with my Library Card, so it was no problem, but the borrowing didn’t work at the machine. I needed to make a registration here too, but oh well, in the end I got the book.

The focus should be on the "Dai" in the back on the mountain

The focus should be on the “Dai” in the back on the mountain

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The coffee had an AnoHana campaign that time – anime is indeed everywhere


Grape chew on the outside...

Grape chew on the outside…

...and inside. A bit like Maoam and very fruity

…and inside. A bit like Maoam and very fruity

A ball of Azalea at KyoDai

A ball of Azalea at KyoDai

05. 05. Sunday

Aww, these cute mushrooms~

Aww, these cute mushrooms~

05/05 Sunday
Continuing with a few days. Due to image-heaviness I will do it in two posts today ^^

Actually I wanted to stop with the manga shopping because I bought a lot already, but there was a shop I didn’t get to go to a few days before, and I really wanted to check it out. Once again, when, if not during discount, so I made some plans to have culture and shopping at the same time. But before that I had to prepare lunch – this time I made a pörkölt (goulash?) of cute, tiny mushrooms with pasta – aww, it was great! I love Japan’s mushrooms~

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The torii of the Umenomiya Shrine

This must have been the shrine's cat - it was so ugly it's almost cute already XD

This must have been the shrine’s cat – it was so ugly it’s almost cute already XD

Anyway, after lunch I left for town, again with the 500-yen shi-bus pass. This time I traveled very far to the west part of Kyoto. Actually it was the same road where Nitori is, but even further away, almost at the end of the city area for the bus. My goal was a small shrine, the Umenomiya Shrine, which turned out to be another very old relic in Kyoto. The sun was blazing mercilessly, so I was a bit suffering, but what do you have parasols for? The shrine was easily found, and while the buildings aren’t big, there’s a huge garden hidden behind the doors. Since I was there, I took a look at the garden, of course. There was a small lake with fishes, ducks, a lot of trees and blooming flowers. The fishes (all koi) made squelching sounds and I even saw once jumping out of the water – it was really interesting. The azalea were a bit over the peak already, but still pretty, and the acacia were especially gorgeous *__* During my way in the garden I had to change batteries in my camera, but the other ones weren’t charged normally, so I was left without a camera suddenly. I already though I wouldn’t be able to take more photos, but then I remembered I could use my phone, as it has a 5 megapixel camera – yay, and so my photo shooting was saved~ The garden was impressive, really, and even better, I saw some heron type of birds sitting in the trees there – I have never seen them doing so in my life, it was very interesting.

Tried calpis for the first time - not bad, actually

Tried calpis for the first time – not bad, actually

After going around the shrine I wanted to visit a Book Off in the area – well, because Google said there was one. In the end it turned out there’s none and the info on the Google Maps is wrong or outdated. I wasted a lot of time going around the area looking for something it wasn’t there – I should have checked the website of Book Off in the first place ^^; Despite getting late in the afternoon I decided to stop by Nitori on the way back to get two more card boxes – just in case XD; I wasn’t in the shop even for 15 minutes, so I should have been able to get on the next bus, but I missed it, and I had to wait in vain for another 25 minutes for the next one orz Yeah, buses are evil and slow.

Yep, the Book Off is clearly recognizable

Yep, the Book Off is clearly recognizable

I arrived quite late to the Book Off I really wanted to check out – the one at Horikawa Gojou. Just as expected, if there is a Book Off somewhere, you don’t need to search for the store, it’s easily visible. As for the shop, I was very impressed, it’s big, with a lot of space, they do have the 250 price like the one at the Kyoto Station, and the books are less worn out too! My second fave place I guess *__* The only problem, the two floors have different counters, but generally it’s not a big issue. I bought a lot of stuff on both floors, and to my surprise I got a coupon at one of the counters: I could buy books for half the price with this on weekdays once during the next two weeks O_O Actually, even better than the 20% discount! So yeah, it was clear I need to come back here soon for more XD

Of course it took time to check through everything, so by the time I got out it was already evening. I had to get back to a bus that would take me home, so I was walking from Gojou up to Shijou and on the way I got an onigiri for dinner. At the bus stop, while I was checking out the different busses and routes, suddenly a bus arrived with Hyakumanben written on it. I had no idea about this bus, but got on thinking it would be okay, and it would go the same way as the others. But then the bus went ahead to Gion Shijo, a totally different direction on the other side of the river. First I was a bit worried, but since the bus would definitely stop at Hyakumanben, I thought, worst case I have to run a bit with the books to my train. Later I realized this bus must be one of those that are going around the town without having an end stop, and it was indeed like that – so we stopped at Demachiyanagi as well. It was a good decision to take this bus, as I saw a new part of the town – and spotted the colorful Yasaka Shrine I knew I had to visit sometime in future.

Without further ado and much words, here are more pics of the shrine and the garden:

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