06. 03-06. Monday-Thursday

Conbini croissant

Conbini croissant

06/03 Monday
The ever so long Monday. Since I was hungry, I got a choco croissant at the conbini on the school grounds. It was okay, but yeah, nothing beats the freshly baked ones. For lunch I got my usual milk coffee, and discovered and interesting snack, a combination of cereals, dried fruits and white choco. Of course I had to get it, since real cereal bars are so rare here, and it was delicious~ I can only recommend it for a rich snack.

Cereal choco~

Cereal choco~

The day was long, but after that I headed back to yesterday’s drug store. Actually the day before I was checking out some skin creams, because mine from home was just running out. But the skin care situation is horrible in Japan – at least for me, as I like things to be fast and simple. And here they have like 5-6 products instead of one cream, and all of them expensive. Still, I discovered one product, a gel type of cream, that advertised itself as combining 5 products in one – the thing I need. Still, I couldn’t buy it just like that, so I looked it up on the net, and since it looked okay, I bought it today. Well, since I’m constantly using sunblockers it’s not like I have been able to use the cream regularly, but it seems okay – though I’m sure I will bring skin cream with me from home if I get the chance again. After this I was just trying to read for next day’s Seika class.

I saw this tree on my way to Demachiyanagi and liked it a lot

I saw this tree on my way to Demachiyanagi and liked it a lot

On the wall of the washroom at Seika

On the wall of the washroom at Seika

06/04 Tuesday
This day was nothing special except for the regular classes. I was very exhausted at the end of the Seika seminar, so I just hurried home. The only new thing was my route home. There was a route I wanted to see where it leads. I followed it, and ended up at a less used bridge over this part of the river – it’s pretty and not noisy either, despite the heavy traffic not too far. I took some photos, and followed the road home.

The view from the newly discovered bridge

The view from the newly discovered bridge

And the south side

And the south side


The poster of the exhibition

The poster of the exhibition

06/05 Wednesday
In the morning I went to the supermarket, but after lunch I had somewhere to go. Before I discovered an exhibition I was interested in, so I visited it with a girl from the same Seika seminar on my free day. It was an exhibition from the works the illustrator Katou Masao, who was an important artist of the Taisho and early Showa eras. I have never heard of him before, but seeing a few images in the ad of the exhibition I was taken immediately. He was heavily influenced by Art Nouveau and his pictures are dreamy, so I just had to visit this exhibition, especially since the pre-war girl magazines are important in the development in girls’ comics as well. The exhibition was at the gallery is Isetan in the building of Kyoto Station, and we were going by bus (206), as it was the easiest and cheapest way. The exhibition was amazing, there were tons of illustrations, and even books and magazines from his time, and finally some works by other important artists from his time, like Yumeji Takehisa, Tabatake Kashou, Kobayashi Kaichi, Takahashi Haruka and a bit from Nakahara Junichi as well. While seeing those amazing images I had to realize, just how many great there are in Japan, who are completely unknown in the West. I have only heard of Nakahara Junichi and Tabatake Kashou before, and it’s just too bad. I would really love to dive into the world of these artists if I had the time. Maybe I can even tie it in to my research somehow~ Anyway, I got the booklet of the event in the end, so I have some basic information in my hands. At the shop I experienced another example of the Japanese wasteful packaging. The booklet originally wrapped was put in a small bag, and when they saw I don’t have anything to put it into, they put it in a huge paper bag as well ^^;

This was my first time seeing Hydrangea aspera

This was my first time seeing Hydrangea aspera

Refreshing orange with the sparkles

Refreshing orange with the sparkles

After this I had some shoppings to do, so first I went to Avanti to get a Western-type plate for soup and a small plate. I found them at Daiso, but the color was different, so I was thinking about it for a while, but since I didn’t see suck plates anywhere else, so IK got them. I also checked out the local Animate for Nakamura Asumiko’s book, but they don’t even carry A4 books… Shortly after I said good-bye to my fellow exhibition-goer, and headed to Aeon Mall to the other Daiso for a mop – strange that one Daiso doesn’t have any plates, the other doesn’t have mops – hm… This time I was seduced for the first time to buy a gacha from the machine: a Nyanko-sensei :D Gacha are really addictive though, and later I started to collect other things as well, but yeah, I will restrain myself, because getting duplicates just isn’t fun.

One of the gacha rows at Aeon Mall

One of the gacha rows at Aeon Mall

My first gacha

My first gacha

I got a drunk Nyanko-sensei XD

I got a drunk Nyanko-sensei XD


As you can tell I love taking photos of Hydrangea

As you can tell I love taking photos of Hydrangea

My lamb mascot dressed up as a frog o_O

My lamb mascot dressed up as a frog o_O

I had another reward for myself that day. Previously I was eying the amethyst pendants at Stone Market, and in the end I got myself one :D I guess that’s where I will get myself a b-day present next year as well, because it seems they will have fitting rings for me too – we will see. After this I got some manga at the Toji Book Off of course, and I headed home in the evening. I was a nice day~


I still have no idea what this is, but it's pretty

I still have no idea what this is, but it’s pretty

06/06 Thursday
The free morning was much needed. After my classes ended in the afternoon, I went for hunting for _real_ bread. When we went to Falafel Garden with my professor and fellow students, I got a lot of tips from them, where what to buy – among them rye bread. Since I wanted to make egg goulash again, I needed bread to that, but not that inedible shokupan. One of the bread selling places is at Chayama, so I went to search for it.


The strange building of the university

The strange building of the university

Pastry with choco, almonds, filled with cream

Pastry with choco, almonds, filled with cream

*__*

*__*


The bread - only 250 g, but better than nothing

The bread – only 250 g, but better than nothing

This was actually the first time I was getting off the train at another station, but it does indeed work like that. The bakery was a bit further away at Shirakawa-dori near the Kyoto University of Art and Design. It wasn’t easy at first, but in the end I managed to find the bakery and they had the rye bread. Of course it’s not cheap, but it’s worth. The bakery is generally on the expensive side, but I couldn’t resist and tried one of their pastries~ After that I dropped by Comic Storm and got some manga too.

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05. 30-06. 02. Thursday to Sunday

Falafel plate

Falafel plate

05/30 Thursday
Rounding up May in this post and finally proceeding~
Since I have mornings free on Thursdays, I decided to visit the Sanjo Bookoff to finally be able to use the coupon I had. I walked down from Demachiyanagi to save costs, because I knew I would need to come back in the weekend as well, and finally I could look around freely without having to fight my way through reading Japanese crowds. I don’t really like The Sanjo store, because the books tend to be worn out, but I found a few things and you know what, even while being there I got another coupon of 50 yen discount :D

It was still rainy :(

It was still rainy :(

Mint chocos *__*

Mint chocos *__*

Shopping took time like always, and since I wanted to have lunch too, I had to take the train if I wanted to make it for my class at 13. I went back to Falafel Garden for food, and took the falafel plate. It was rich and filling, and I just love their juicy falafel~ Satisfied I went to my classes, and except for buying some delicious mint choco at the 100 yen shop that actually was it for today. The previous day took out a lot of me, so I needed some rest today.

Paprikás újkrumpli with cucumbers~

Paprikás újkrumpli with cucumbers~

Another big bug

Another big bug

05/31 Friday
Friday was also quite eventless. I went to the supermarket, and I was seduced by the pumpkin discount there. I was really craving some pumpkin cream soup already, but you know, cream is very expensive here and I didn’t even have a blender for making it. Despite that I caved in, and figured that maybe I could manage with a masher too. So after my classes I headed to the 100 yen shop for a masher among others, and I couldn’t wait to try making a soup with it tomorrow.

A different type of pudding, but I didn't like it much

A different type of pudding, but I didn’t like it much

The choco cookies were okay

The choco cookies were okay

06/01 Saturday
Finally going into June with blogging~ Saturday was a bit busy, because there was a mini symposium at the Manga Museum in the afternoon. After lunch I headed for the museum, but I had a slow day and was tight on time. Still, I didn’t want to go without taking a look at the hydrangea that were already blooming after the last time. I was quickly shooting a few pics and hurried to the museum.

Mochi in my taiyaki?! o_O

Mochi in my taiyaki?! o_O

The symposium this time was in English and about mahout shoujo. Coincidentally I was supposed to write an article for August issue of Mondo about the genre, so I was wondering if I would hear about findings I didn’t know before. The event lasted till closing time, but even after that I went back to the shopping area to get some manga and DJs at Lashinbang, and taiyaki to eat. The taiyaki this time had white azuki and even a mocha in it o_O I went to Anmimate as well, because I wanted to get Nakamura Asumiko’s A and B no Gekijou with the Animate-only box, but they didn1t have it anymore. If I’m buying collector items, then with a box, so I didn’t get the books hoping they would get the box version again. Anyway, the day was tiring, so I hurried home after all this.

And now ajisai spam:

These were gorgeous~

These were gorgeous~

Close-up

Close-up

These were still on the way

These were still on the way



Pumpkin cream soup

Pumpkin cream soup

06/02 Sunday
My typical lazy Sunday. I had to run to the supermarket for a discount and had get shampoo at the drug store, as mine from home was running out. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out which one to buy, but since I had no better idea I took the same one as mine, the golden Dove, though I knew it wouldn’t be the same in the end. And yeah, it’s totally different: different fragrance, different effect on the hair. It’s actually not bad, but it makes me wonder if they put some straightening stuff in it, Sure, it’s not like I have an extremely wavy hair, but ever since using this shampoo it’s less wavy… Hm… I don’t like that. And it seems to be a general trend, but why did the normal/dry/etc types of shampoos disappear?! Now we have all these uncertain categories… As of August this shampoo is starting to run out too, and to be honest, I have no idea if I should try something else, even from Dove’s line. Because it’s not bad, and who knows, maybe the others are even worse – on the other hand I like my hair to have a bit more volume. Hm…

Bunapi with p-man

Bunapi with p-man


Otherwise I finally made my pumpkin cream soup~~~ I was using the small masher I bought, and while it’s not perfect, it made happy to be able to eat this~ Having only one gas burner is a real pain, because you can’t do things parallel, so at least a good thing my main dish was fast to prepare. Still, due to that and the shopping I had quite a late lunch… Otherwise just studying for Monday.

05. 29. Wednesday

Starting the day with some pocky

Starting the day with some pocky

05/29 Wednesday
As previously mentioned, this day was very long for me, so be aware of pic-spam. It really started after lunch, when I headed for downtown. First I walked to Shuugakuin for paying my rent, and then I took the train to arrive at Gion-Shijou. The reason for going downtown was to finally pay the airport tax. At the bank I asked how to do it, and it turned out due to the small amount it needs to be done via ATM – so I could have done it last weekend as well, _if_ I understood the ATM itself ^^; Actually it was Japanese only, and ATMs are complicated in Japanese, so in the end I got help from and employee there.

It was already raining at Gion-Shijou

It was already raining at Gion-Shijou

Clouds

Clouds


The entrance of Yasaka Jinja

The entrance of Yasaka Jinja

There were many of these

There were many of these

After that I was wondering what to do. I also wanted to go to the Sanjou Bookoff, because I had a coupon expiring at the end of the month, but I couldn’t do that. The weather was bad, it already started raining when I arrived, and I don’t like shopping for manga in the rain, because the books get wavy. Then I thought about the Yasaka Shrine I discovered one evening before, and it was the perfect opportunity to visit it. I walked to the other side if the river, and since it’s part of Gion already, there were even more tourists, be it Japanese or foreign. Although it was raining lightly and it was very humid, there were a lot of people at the shrine.

Many were praying and ringing the bells  - the kids obviously just for fun

Many were praying and ringing the bells – the kids obviously just for fun

Amazing

Amazing

The place was full of smaller shrines for different purposes

The place was full of smaller shrines for different purposes


The Maruyama Park

The Maruyama Park

I took a big round, and I discovered the Maruyama Park behind the shrine. Although nothing was blooming anymore, the park is pretty, there are even artificial lakes and flowing water. There were some lazy ducks at one of the lakes too – everybody was taking pictures of them XD I was walking in the park, when a foreign guy stopped me and asked me to take a pic of him. It was fun, because it was with his ultramodern smartphone, and it just didn’t want to work out ^^; After that he asked me about a few places and like how to get to the Kyoto Station – that was when it turned out he was Korean, because his guide book was written in Hangul. In the end I asked him to take a photo of me as well, and continued my walk at the park. I started walking upwards, and somehow there was no end to the road, so I got higher and higher up on the mountain XD I saw a huge bell, a cemetery, and saw some stair leading down to another temple or shrine, but I decided to check out the other direction.

Lake

Lake

Lazy ducks - there were wild ones in the lake too

Lazy ducks – there were wild ones in the lake too

There's no end in sight

There’s no end in sight


Where to go?

Where to go?

The huge bell

The huge bell

Yes, it's humid up there

Yes, it’s humid up there


The entrance of Chourakuji

The entrance of Chourakuji

In the end I found two stairs which seemed to lead two shrines. First I went upwards to a place which turned out to be the Chourakuji Temple. It was actually my first temple, as I have been to Shinto shrines before. Well, I’m more attracted to Shinto than Buddhism, so yeah ^^; The temple isn’t big, but it was several buildings, a small spring. It was quite slippery due to the humidity (actually I doubt it’s every dry there, because the forest is thick already), but I went up the stairs there. Actually I was in heels, because I had no idea I would go up to the mountains today, so yeah ^^; The way lead through bamboo tries, up to a small and old cemetery – it really had an interesting flair. And the best, you could have a look at the town from there, and that was when I realized I was actually quite high there already. The view was great~

Statues

Statues

Treasure room with bamboos in the background

Treasure room with bamboos in the background

They had a bell too

They had a bell too




An old cemetery

An old cemetery

It was really high

It was really high

They had a small garden too

They had a small garden too



Ootani Sobyou

Ootani Sobyou

Dragon~

Dragon~

After the temple I checked out the other stairs, and ended up at Ootani Sobyou, though to tell the truth I had no idea anymore, what exactly I was viewing – I just noted the name and looked it up afterwards. The buildings and the garden very beautiful~ There was also a cemetery and it looked great in that environment. And the best thing, at these parts there were hardly any people anymore.

Fountain

Fountain

*_*

*_*

This looked amazing

This looked amazing


The garden was pretty

The garden was pretty

Cemetery with an amazing background

Cemetery with an amazing background

Hello there~

Hello there~




The way to Ootani Sobyou - actually I was chasing a huge black butterfly, but without success ^^;

The way to Ootani Sobyou – actually I was chasing a huge black butterfly, but without success ^^;

This was closed unfortunately

This was closed unfortunately


After this I decided to head back to the town, because my walk was getting too long already. Later I realized I was missing quite a few temples and shrines around the area, but well, there was literally one at every street corner, and at least I saw the two highest ones. I was sure I would be going up there anymore, so it’s for the best. As for the others, I can check them out any time. I was walking here and there while going down and saw many beautiful places.

Back to Yasaka

Back to Yasaka

Those cages kitsune remind me of a certain manga by Kuku Hayate XD

Those cages kitsune remind me of a certain manga by Kuku Hayate XD

Bye-bye Yasaka

Bye-bye Yasaka




And it's still cloudy...

And it’s still cloudy…

Being back in town I headed back to Shijou-Kawaramachi, which meant crowds… I just got a taiyaki to eat and decided to try the Sanjo Bookoff before going back home. It was already in the evening, and once again it was full of people – I swear I even saw familiar faces! And these are the people who just wear off the book and never buy anything, it’s horrible… I had to realize that I need to come back once more in the morning for the coupon, because it just doesn’t work out otherwise. I headed home, but the day wasn’t over yet: I had to go shopping for ingredients and fruits. On my way home I saw another crown just sitting on the ground, meaning, behaving strangely, but at least it didn’t seem to be close to the road. The incident on Monday was still strongly in my mind that time… Finally the long day ended. It was very eventful, and I have been to beautiful places – and to think it was only because the road didn’t want to end… XD

05. 26-28. Sunday-Tuesday

Saw some bottlebrushes on my way back from Shuugakuin

Saw some bottlebrushes on my way back from Shuugakuin

Sorry for the long break~~~ I totally didn’t realize it has been almost a month already orz Well, July has been very busy for me, so despite spending more time at home than before, I had to study most of the time. But the semester has finally ended at both universities, and starting 07/31 I’m on summer holiday. I still have some work to do and I was planning a lot for the holiday, but I will try to catch up in the coming days. Really, I promise! XD Today I will make a short post only, becasue the next day will be long – and I had a long day today too, so next time. Yay news: I bought and oven today (among other kitchen tools) \^^/

Melonpan and fried mochi

Melonpan and fried mochi

The local Sensodyne

The local Sensodyne

05/26 Sunday
So back to the end of May… On May 26 it was just the general Sunday routine mixed with a bit of shopping at Shuugakuin. I got some toothpaste and a facial cleanser. The toothpaste seems to be the local Sensodyne, but is called Shumitekuto XD I really don’t get it… And it also seems quite different from the Sensodyne at home, so I wonder if it’s just as effective – seems okay, but nothing special I guess. As for the facial cleanser, I never used stuff like that at home, but here, next to the road and the railways, it’s just too dirty for my skin. I picked Perfect Whip from Shiseido, and it seems to work fine. I also got additional stuff for lunch and prepared soup with mushrooms and peas – it was delicious *__*

Soup with eringi and green peas~

Soup with eringi and green peas~

The only cherries for me this year... American import btw...

The only cherries for me this year… American import btw…

Today’s lunch was late, so I some pastries from the bakery. I wanted to try the famous melon pan, but I don’t know… It tastes nothing like melon, there’s a lot of sugar on top, and not really delicious… I guess I don’t share the enthusiasm for this. I tried some fried mochi too, and I have to say it was way more interesting than the melon pan. I got strawberries too, but the main part of today’s dinner was cherry~~~

Hard coated pastry with white azuki filling

Hard coated pastry with white azuki filling

05/27 Monday
The hated Monday… I was very hungry, so I got some pastries for breakfast. Next to the delicious Danish I also picked one filled with white bean paste, while the dough was quite crunchy. It was okay, but I don’t think I will get it anymore – the dough is just too hard. There was also a sad thing that day – I saw how a crow was hit by a bike T__T It was really horrible, and of course the crow didn’t survive it. Previously I was observing the crow, because it was down in the bushes and I thought it was strange, but then it jumped onto the road and was hit… I thought about this for a long time that week. Somehow the shadow of passing was over that week. A few days later I also saw the news on the net that a certain actor passed away. He was younger than me, a great person from what could be seen in public and died of something you generally don’t die of in the first world, so it just makes you think about a lot of things…

On my way to Quanat

On my way to Quanat

Anyway, I had a long day, but after my classes I decided to a department store at Chayama called Quanat, so I was walking there. There were several reasons for me to go there: they have a Uniqlo too, and the big discount was still ongoing, so I decided to get some more pieces. There’s also a shop called Yamaya that carries imported food and I wanted to check it out. And last but not least there are two second-hand comic stores in the area, a Comic Storm and a Furu, and I just wanted to see what they are like.

There is one train that has anime ads all the time - too bad only moe harem stuff...

There is one train that has anime ads all the time – too bad only moe harem stuff…

The Uniqlo is good: it’s smaller than the one at Kawaramachi, but less busy so it’s easier to get by. I got some tops and cardigans to a good price, not to mention some of them are specifically UV-cut types of clothes. After this I had enough of looking around, so in the end I just took a short look at Yamaya, but otherwise I just left Quanat like that without checking what else was there. I went to look for the two comic shops instead. Both are small, but might have good catches. Furu’s prices are more expensive, but the volumes are wrapped, so maybe. Comic Storm has both wrapped and unwrapped stuff, and I discovered after a few times that people are even reading wrapped stuff by opening them, which is not that funny. On the other hand Comic Storm has a lot of complete sets packed, which is good! As for the prices, they have more expensive and very cheap stuff as well, and there can be good findings. I got a few volumes, and went to look for the train station to go home. The Chayama station is a bit far from everything, but oh well.

A pretty garden on my way to KyoDai

A pretty garden on my way to KyoDai

Clouds rising...

Clouds rising…

05/28 Tuesday
I had a long day on Tuesday. After KyoDai I had my seminar at Seika, and after that, although I was dead tired already, we went to a comic exhibition with my professor and fellow students. The funny thing is, the gallery was at Demachiyanagi, where I pass by almost every day, but I totally didn’t notice it ^^; The place is small, but they have a lot of unique stuff, including alternative comics. After the exhibition we went to have dinner – not a thing I do every day, but once in a while I can, and I was hungry due to the exhausting day anyway. Because of me we were picking a place that has vegetarian food as well, and in the end we tried Falafel Garden, a place that was on my list too. They specialize in falafel, kebab and such, so the menu isn’t that huge, but if you feel like eating such things, it’s a great choice.

Two-pita-set at Falafel Garden

Two-pita-set at Falafel Garden – yumm~

Fortunately they had a plate, where you can have two types of pitas, so in the end I got a falafel one and a baba ghanoush one – latter for the eggplant paste in it. Both were great, the falafel is juicy, there were a lot of vegetables, and the baba ghanoush the best choice! It’s very similar to the eggplant paste my family makes, though less spicy – I was happy to be able to eat it, because I couldn’t make one due to my lack of an oven. Yeah, I had to get an oven… (And today I got it~~~~~~) Like that the long day ended on a happy note.

05. 25. Saturday

...and the insides

…and the insides

Creampan...

Creampan…

05/25 Saturday
This day I decided to go to the shopping district. The reason was, I had to find a Mitsui Sumitomo Bank to pay the airport tax, and I didn’t find any closer. Later it turned out there were closer ones, but oh well. The tax issue was strange too, because I didn’t get the first mail from the Foreign Student Division about it, and when the reminder mail arrived, it almost made you feel like a criminal for not paying the tax yet ^^; Actually I think this is because their English isn’t that great, but still. Not to mention the mail system of the FSD or KyoDai is horrible, there are more mails I didn’t get, and I’m not the only one.

Miso katsu

Miso katsu

Anyway, before going to town I went to the Fresco at Shuugakuin and got some strawberries at the other shop – and a creampan for breakfast~ Then I hurried to the shopping district, because I wanted to have lunch at Matsuontoko. The lunch menu was miso katsu with fake meat of course, brown rice, salad with a great sauce and pumpkin cream soup – yay~ I just love it~ After eating I went to look for the bank and found it too, but yeah, it was Saturday, so there were no windows open. Somehow I thought Saturday would be safe, but well. Sure, the ATMs were there, and with small transfers it’s always via ATM, but without help I had no idea which button to push.

My other objective was doujinshi shopping. After my trip to Osaka I just couldn’t accept the fact that a big town like Kyoto doesn’t have any place for second-hand DJ shopping. I was searching through the net and found one in the shopping district and few days later I found another one while I was flipping through Animate’s magazine, the second-hand shop Lashinbang, so I wanted to look for both. On the way back I took a detour to the Daimaru department store to check out how it is like. Well, it’s another high-end store, but just like the others, it’s full of people. I was actually looking for a jewelry box, and saw some too, but for ridiculous prices.

The Nishiki Food Market was crowded...

The Nishiki Food Market was crowded…

After a round I wanted to get out and continue my search, but I had no idea where I entered the store, and when I got out I had no idea where I was XD; I just went in the direction that made sense and soon I found myself at the famed Nishiki Food Market. Well, I for my part wasn’t really impressed, and I can say, I won’t go back there ever, if I don’t have to, because it’s narrow, full of tourists and a constant fish stench. Due to the latter I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible, but everybody else was walking very slowly and nearly impossible to pass by. The only interesting thing was a shop there they were in the process of making mochi in a huge wooden bowl and wooden hammer.

So many pretty stones~

So many pretty stones~

There was a demonstration at the shopping district - it was against North Korea, pachinko and what not

There was a demonstration at the shopping district – it was against North Korea, pachinko and what not

When I finally got back to the usual shopping arcades, I looked for the shop I found online, but the thing was… it wasn’t anywhere. I checked the street view beforehand, so I knew what to look for, but it just wasn’t there… Later at home I checked the net again, and it turned out the shop closed doors at the end of 2012 – too bad… While I was in the area I dropped by the Loft department store to check out the jewelry box situation. I didn’t see any, but I remembered maybe I should look around the Uniqlo there to see if I can find some clothes – mainly pants. It turned out Uniqlo was having huge discounts, so I came at the right time. Since Uniqlo is probably the only store to have plain black clothes it was a chance I couldn’t pass upon. I found some great tops, and I decided to try on one of the pants that seemed okay from the length and material (I’m very picky there).

Actually during all the looking around I became conscious of guy, who seemed to be there at every shelf and corner of the shop where I was going. Actually I noticed him in the household goods part of Loft already, but it wasn’t suspicious then, but at Uniqlo it was already clear, I’m being followed orz Sure, I have read about it before, and even the school guide books warned us about such things, but I still, I was hoping it wouldn’t happen to me. I took my time with looking around as everything was new to me and there was a huge crowd in the store, but the guy didn’t seem to give up – it was really unpleasant and a bit scary too. Actually he was really standing out too, because it was the female clothing floor, and there were only a few guys with their wives or girlfriends, while he was alone. That disgusting pig of a stalker! Due to the crowd there was a long line in front of the fitting rooms, and that was my luck. It took a long time till I got in and out, and fortunately that pig gave up during that. If he was still there following me, I would have informed the store, the security or whoever, and wouldn’t have left the store while he was there. It’s no joke, really. Ever since then I’m not wearing the top I had on either – it has a very low neckline (though not really revealing), so maybe that’s what attracted that pig. I noticed that female clothing is quite different in Japan than in Europe, and I don’t just mean the very frilly, girly, childlike fashion. In Japan the tops are very uptight with generally high necklines showing nearly nothing of the décolletage, while they are showing their legs all the time wearing waaaaaay too short skirts. Really, those miniskirts wouldn’t be acceptable in Hungary at all. Not to mention I don’t really get it either, because the short Japanese women have short legs, so showing them off is not that great… Hm… Anyway, while I my tops aren’t provocative, the necklines might be considered quite daring sometimes, which is just ridiculous :/

So back to the shopping. It turned out that in Japan my size will be M – already thought so, because the Japanese sizing fits the smaller Japanese bodies, so bye-bye S size. With the tops it was okay too, but it seems I won’t be able to find fitting pants here. L is too big (especially around the waist), and while M fits, it feels quite small and uncomfortable. I need to either lose some weight (which isn’t very likely nor I do I want to) or I won’t get here any pants. We will see, but at least I got some good tops.

Apple and calorie off~

Apple and calorie off~

Cake plate~

Cake plate~

After shopping I was quite tired already, and hungry too, so I went to a Tully’s Coffee and got a cake set with ice coffee – yummy~ I really needed this. The café was quite crowded, but then I noticed one of my classmates from the language school there with whom we are generally sitting next to eachother – it was a huge coincidence, because well, just what are the chances to accidentally find someone you know at a random café in the huge shopping district XD; Anyway, after eating up I left her alone to study, and I headed to the Lashinbang in hopes to find one shop for second-hand DJ in Kyoto. It wasn’t easy, but I found it, and it’s a great shop, albeit small. The pricing for the DJs isn’t as great as at Meikido, so I doubt I will use them too much for that, but they have second-hand manga and merch stuff as well! The price range for manga is between 200 and 400 and they have a small box with stuff for 100. While I won’t buy much from the 400 yen manga, you can always find some great stuff there. I even got a point card there, so I will be back for sure~

Hydrangeas on the way

Hydrangeas on the way

The second demo I saw that day - a different one, this was for Okinawa

The second demo I saw that day – a different one, this was for Okinawa


After that I dropped by the Manga Museum, but it was late, so I was just checking out the shop. They have nice stuff, but not cheap of course, so one day… On the way I saw a lot of hydrangea which just started to bloom, so I knew I have to come back soon if I wanted to see the pretty flowers.

More hydrangeas on the way

More hydrangeas on the way

Just the riverside

Just the riverside

05. 20-24. Monday-Friday

Sorry about the long break! Actually we’re in the exam period this month, though here it doesn’t mean there are no classes, so my life has been quite busy with presentations, tests, and I even have some work to do. Well, it won’t be over for the rest of the month, so I won’t be free till August. As for blogging, today soon I will finish May (yeah, I know ^^;), and after writing up a few days I will have pre-written stuff, so it will be faster~

My lunch~

My lunch~

05/20 Monday
After the intense Osaka trip I was totally exhausted, so it was pretty much clear I would skip my first class on Monday. Well, it’s not that important anyway, I take it for the sake of practice. But even with skipping one period, I was half-dead the whole day ^^; The weather was fine again, but there were still some clouds sitting on the mountains. This time I couldn’t take good photos, but I will post some later, it’s breathtaking every time I see it. Actually the reason for this phenomenon is that Kyoto is like 1000 meters above sea level and surrounded by even higher mountains, so yeah, the clouds are closer. And this is also the reason for the too strong sun and the hellish temperatures orz

Too bad it was a bit sweet, because otherwise it was great with all the seeds

Too bad it was a bit sweet, because otherwise it was great with all the seeds

This one was my best buys here - tastes like choco cookie ice cream~

This one was my best buys here – tastes like choco cookie ice cream~

Anyway, this was the first time I brought lunch to the uni. I didn’t have rice anymore, so I dropped by the bakery at Demachiyanagi to get breakfast and to see if they have something not sweet to go with my lunch. I picked some kind of a bun with five different seeds which I thought definitely wouldn’t be sweet – well, I was ^^; Though not as much as others, and it was very yummy, so it’s okay. And today I dared to use the microwave at the conbini on the school grounds for the first time too, and it was all fine :D Sure, I’m also buying something along with it, but I have seen others just using the microwave without anything else, so I guess it’s okay.

My lunch with the bread - it was even shaped like a normal bread

My lunch with the bread – it was even shaped like a normal bread

05/21 Tuesday
On Tuesday I just made some eggs with mushrooms for lunch. The most interesting was, that the day before I found a bread at Fresco that looked quite normal, it even had some seeds in there. It turned out that the bread was still white, but at least more edible, than any of the horrible Japanese shokupan. I was still quite dead from my Osaka trip, so I couldn’t really read all the stuff that was needed for the Seika seminar, but in the end we did something else. We watched the beginning of Leni Riefenstahl’s signature movie and parts of a documentary about her – it was very interesting.

It has some kind of a sauce at the bottom too

It has some kind of a sauce at the bottom too

Yakipurin~

Yakipurin~

After my class I had to go shopping again. I was hungry for some sweet dessert, but well, Japan isn’t great in dairy products, not to mention all their puddings contain gelatin, which is generally made from pig bones, so yeah… But you know what, there was just one type, that didn’t list gelatin as an ingredient! I spent a lot of time deciphering the content, and it looked safe to try – which I did at home too. Actually, I still think that yakipurin might be safe: the consistency isn’t as firm as in other Japanese puddings and it strongly tastes as egg white, which can have the same stabilizing function. So yeah, there might be one cool sweets I can eat in Japan ^^;

I always wanted to try this!

I always wanted to try this!

Because... mushrooms!

Because… mushrooms!

In the end I liked these choco almonds even more than the mushrooms/

In the end I liked these choco almonds even more than the mushrooms~


Indeed a giant!

Indeed a giant! There is a type with cookies and one with choco ice cream, but this is the best

And delicious! There are huge choco parts in the cone as well!

And delicious! There are huge choco parts in the cone as well!

05/22 Wednesday
Shopping again. Yeah, these one-day-discounts are literally killing me here, because sometimes you need to go shopping every single day. Anyway, first I went to the Takaragaike Fresco, but unfortunately other than the discounted stuff I wanted, I couldn’t even get fruits – the discounted bananas were already gone too. It was very hot, so I decided to get ice cream, and there was a three piece discount, so got even three XD After coming home I tried it too, and it’s the best – ever since then I’m only buying this ice cream *__* Since I had to get some stuff at the 100 yen shop, I went to Shuugakuin. At the other Fresco I got the banana, and the other grocery shop strawberries and apples~~~ Finally, I was hungry for some apples already! All in all, way too much running around, but I got everything I needed.

Photos are deceiving, that thing was big

Photos are deceiving, that thing was big

Aside from the shoppings I was just studying and the day could have ended like that as well. But then, while I was talking to my parents via Skype, I noticed a huge centipede crawling above my door!!! OMG! It was a shock, because it was so long – more than 10 cm for sure! Generally I don’t like killing animals, even such as this, but I won’t let a huge centipede crawl around in my room. So I tried to hit it to death, but it was just falling down (scary!) and ran under the door, and we started a hide and seek. In the end I could drive it away, but yeah, it didn’t make me feel secure… -_- After that I read up on the net about mukade, the Japanese centipede (mine wasn’t it, fortunately), and since then I was having nightmares about mukade at least twice ^^;;;;

Pasta with a broccoli cream sauce

Pasta with a broccoli cream sauce

Yumm~

Yumm~

05/23-24 Thursday-Friday
Nothing special, really, just going to classes. On Friday I was cooking, and I decided to make something more expensive: a sauce with broccoli and cream – yeah, cream is very expensive here, and while it’s rich on fat, the consistence is way too liquid. Anyway, I was craving something like this so I made it, and it was yummy *__* Won’t have it too often, but sometimes I just can’t help it ^^

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.

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