The one about spending time at home

This time we didn’t plan to go to Tokyo that often. We’ll only go there for two days of this trip and the rest of the time will be spend at home and in the area. That meant we’ll go out with Tora a lot and he’ll get out a lot more than usual.   

shiba,dog,cute,japan,japanese,white,jeans,chucks,converse,leather,apc

Finally he starts to listen to me

 Walking around the neighborhood I found a lot of interesting spots for taking pictures. I only had my phone but I’m sure that if I find the time again then I’ll bring my camera and take a few more pictures there. The lack of coffee started to show so we decided to get some at 7/11, in Japan you can also buy hot drinks from the shelf. Super convenient! Too bad it didn’t taste that good, very weak and watery. Guess we’re too spoiled from our coffee machines and beans we have in Taiwan. Luckily we came across a real cafe and got something with a bit more taste.  

coffee,japanese,japan,black,japan,tasty,hot,winter,2016

Small cups of coffee for only 200 Yen


 
steve aoki,dj,japan,japanese,studio,music

Steve, you’re living in this small town?

 
Awoken by the hot, black liquid we walked towards a second hand store. Though store doesn’t really cut it because it’s so huge and houses basically everything that people might want to buy in a used condition. Furniture, books, clothes, electronics, music instruments, and model cars or trains. If you’re looking to make a good deal then come here after the weekend when everyone brought their unwanted stuff here and walk home with something nice for little money.   

hdr

Love the feeling of this one

   
car tuning,tuning,car,toyota,youngtimer,trash

Run down Toyota with liberty walk

  
In the evening we shopped a bit for groceries and I found a German product in the store. I don’t know why they’d import it instead of using a Japanese brand. It’s not like this is a famous German product or that it has any special flavor. I wonder if Japanese think the same about the products that we import? 

German whipped cream

 
In addition to that I noticed how many Star Wars related products exist here. I’ve seen various snacks, stationary items, and clothes. Now I’ve found an English to Japanese dictionary in Star Wars design, is it going too far?  

Has it gone too far?


Of course we also spent time inside and we enjoyed Netflix a lot. It’s our time off and we don’t have to think about business everyday. We finished all three seasons of Sherlock (I watched the special in the cinema in Taiwan), just to find out that season 4 will not be released until 2017! That’s insane…good thing that Netflix has a lot more to offer. 

The one about spending time at home

This time we didn’t plan to go to Tokyo that often. We’ll only go there for two days of this trip and the rest of the time will be spend at home and in the area. That meant we’ll go out with Tora a lot and he’ll get out a lot more than usual.  

japan,shiba,dog,cute,animal,japanese,shoes,converse,chucks,white,apc,jeans

Tora finally starts to listen to me


Walking around the neighborhood I found a lot of interesting spots for taking pictures. I only had my phone but I’m sure that if I find the time again then I’ll bring my camera and take a few more pictures there. The lack of coffee started to show so we decided to get some at 7/11, in Japan you can also buy hot drinks from the shelf. Super convenient! Too bad it didn’t taste that good, very weak and watery. Guess we’re too spoiled from our coffee machines and beans we have in Taiwan. Luckily we came across a real cafe and got something with a bit more taste.  

coffee,japanese,japan,black,japan,tasty,hot,winter,2016

Small cups of coffee for only 200 Yen


 
steve aoki,dj,japan,japanese,studio,music

Steve, you’re living in this small town?

 
Awoken by the hot, black liquid we walked towards a second hand store. Though store doesn’t really cut it because it’s so huge and houses basically everything that people might want to buy in a used condition. Furniture, books, clothes, electronics, music instruments, and model cars or trains. If you’re looking to make a good deal then come here after the weekend when everyone brought their unwanted stuff here and walk home with something nice for little money.   

     
In the evening we shopped a bit for groceries and I found a German product in the store. I don’t know why they’d import it instead of using a Japanese brand. It’s not like this is a famous German product or that it has any special flavor. I wonder if Japanese think the same about the products that we import? 

 
In addition to that I noticed how many Star Wars related products exist here. I’ve seen various snacks, stationary items, and clothes. Now I’ve found an English to Japanese dictionary in Star Wars design, is it going to far?  

Of course we also spent time inside and we enjoyed Netflix a lot. It’s our time off and we don’t have to think about business everyday. We finished all three seasons of Sherlock (I watched the special in the cinema in Taiwan), just to find out that season 4 will not be released until 2017! That’s insane…good thing that Netflix has a lot more to offer. 

The one with the accident

No, no, we’re fine. Otherwise I wouldn’t be posting pictures of getting a haircut. Actually it happened right behind us at the salon. 

Today started kind of slow with a brunch at a Indian restaurant. I really liked the different curries they offered, the seasoned rice, and of course the different styles of naan. After our lengthy “breakfast” we decided to spent some time shopping at Doncequote. It was kinda boring apart from trying on funny hats and seeing so many cute baby things. 

Before we got back home we stopped at a pet store to get a tasty snack for Tora. We stayed a lot longer than anticipated. Inside they also have a lot of cute puppies and kittens that want to be adopted. Well, only adopted by a rich family though. A dog sets you back at least 2000 US$, cats had similar prices. Yes I love Russian Blues, Shibas, and Huskies, but in that case I’d rather go for adopting a stray. Nevertheless I played a bit with the kittens since they’re in normal cages as opposed to the dogs that are in a glass cage. 

We spent the afternoon at the Hairsalon, fixing what Taiwanese hairstylists did to us. Just kidding, I just needed a haircut and Narumis friend offered to cut out hair at an incredibly low price. She’s still learning but definitely very advanced and I couldn’t really tell the difference in technique or style. Right in between coloring and cutting we heard a loud bang behind us. Apparently one car ran a red light. The damage to both cars wasn’t too bad but it took a while to sort it all out. 

We ended the day by visiting a famous ramen restaurant. In the beginning they only had a very small place that opened only at night and served up to five people at one time. It obviously grew out of that original place and spread all over Japan, catering a lot more customers than before. Their Nori Ramen was absolutely fantastic, so if you find yourself hungry and craving a tasty bowl of traditional ramen, visit がんこ屋ラーメン. 

car accident,bad driver,japanese,car,safety,honda,haircut

Oops, he ran a red light

  
noodles,japanese,tasty,restaurant,seaweed,ramen

Nori Ramen

  
rice,egg,scallion,onion,seaweed,tasty,food,japanese,restaurant

Traditional food

  
haircut,hairstyle,white,shirt,light,hairsalon

Made in Japan

    
cat,kitten,russian blue,grey,black,cute,pet store,adoption

Big stretch

      

russian blue,car,kitten,cute,pet,adopt,photography

Curled up

The one about taking a vacation

A few stressful weeks lay behind us. Busy schedules due to meetings, visa arrangements, and many goodbyes to friends and coworkers who are going home for Chinese New Year. Now it’s finally time for a well overdue vacation in Japan, even if it’s just for a week. I’m really looking forward to breathing fresh mountain air again and I’m sure that I’ll spend a lot of time outside despite the low temperatures.  Thanks Vanilla Air for giving us the emergency seats and thus a bit more leg space!

   

The one where everyone finished their finals

It’s this time of the year again. The past few weeks everyone’s been very busy, stressed out, and a bit cranky from time to time. That was due to all the projects, final presentations, and of course exams that piled up in the last two weeks of the semester. 

Since I’m not studying at the moment it was kind of funny to see everyone being in a hurry and most places that you’d frequently run into people were deserted. Now the finals are over, late night studying is replaced by drinking on weekdays. Sadly it’s also the time in which a lot of people visit their family abroad or in other parts of Taiwan. It was nice though, seeing most people one last time before they head home. I’m glad that I found more friends that are actually going to stay in Taiwan for a while and aren’t exchange students. That makes the life here a lot nicer. 

Drifters did some soundproofing yesterday and was closed because of that. We went to a different bar than usual and were surprised of how much we loved the comfy sofa and playing Jenga while enjoying German beer and onion rings. 

Next week I’ll be one of those people who’ll go abroad to visit family. Even though it’s technically not my own I’m looking forward to see them again and to explore more of Japan than before. 

japanese sleep bar funny

Finals week costs a lot of energy

The one without fireworks

We’re now a few days into 2016 but still I want to say: Happy New Year! Writing this blog post I realized that I didn’t see any fireworks this year. I didn’t go to any big party in Taipei or Kaohsiung to be with a bunch of strangers, being poked by 23 different elbows during the course of the night. Instead I decided to stay in Tainan with my friends and visit a couple of different parties. You have to hand it to this city, somehow every body ends up in the same place. Everyone knows everyone and it’s huge community that comes together on every special occasion.

Happy New Year! You have to watch the video on your computer. 

I hope all of you had a great start into the new year, hopefully together with your family, friends, and loved ones. 

new year party 2016  tainan taiwan    
    
   

The one without a bed

Last night was a real surprise for us. First we meet Sayuri, her husband and their baby Hazuki (sooooo cute!) and had dinner with them at a soba restaurant in Meguro. Afterwards we visited the bar “Tight” in Shibuya, which I already visited the first time I’ve been to Tokyo.


  

As soon as we got out of the bar we went on to the train station. We waited for about 30 minutes and I was already wondering what’s wrong because no train arrived. In the end all further trains have been suspended and we missed our connection to go back to Arakawaoki. Tipsy, tired, and unwilling to spend a lot of money we decided to stay at a so called Manga Internet Cafe. It was our last option since we were stranded at Shibuya, none of our friends were able to help us in this situation.

The silver lining is that we experienced Shibuya without the masses of people and with the morning sun warming our weak, sleep deprived bodies.


  
  

I love this city in the morning hours. Somehow I thought it would be busier but it had a really calming effect on me that day. We wandered through Roppongi Hills. The area houses embassies from different countries (embarrassingly we didn’t recognize the Russian flag at once), the Tokyo Sky Tree, and loads of expensive restaurants. For example the infamous restaurant from Kill Bill was right around the corner from where we had our desperately needed morning coffee.

Once back home we had a wonderful sleep for three hours and went out to my favorite Indian restaurant with Narumi’s mom. On our way back home I wanted to check which time we should leave for the airport and realized that my ticket wasn’t for the next day but the day after next! So I stayed longer and spent some quality time with Tora and bought a Nespresso machine. Finally I can enjoy espresso again. Taiwan has good coffee, all utensils imported from Japan and amazing choice of beans, but sadly no satisfying espresso. 

The check-in at the airport took longer than usual, the stewardess was typing something in her computer and looked at her screen with a stern expression. Later on I think I know why: I ended up sitting next to the only other foreigner (not from Japan or Taiwan) on the plane and guess what? He’s German, lives in Taiwan with his girlfriend and works in cyber security. We spent the whole flight talking about computers, TV shows, and living in Taiwan amongst other things. This trip to Japan will stay with me for a while.