A tiny bit of Halloween

I didn’t know Halloween was big in Japan, many places have decorations, of Halloween corners decked in Orange and black, with the little bats and pumpkins and tacky costumes. Some shops went as far as dressing the cashiers in Halloween costumes. But since places in Japan have a ‘No photography’ thing, I missed many of them, but here are a little bit I managed to capture,

Somehow many of the decorations are so cute, it’s still in Japan.

Sweets and Halloween always go well together.

Can’t tell if they are spooky or cute ^_^

East meets west, Origami Halloween decorations at a local bookstore.

It’s probably always Halloween in this shop (it’s a stage makeup supply shop) but these days it’s extra Halloween-y.

There is also that creepy guy with a head that rotates 360° and doesn’t seem to want to appear in any photos.

I actually like how the Japanese celebrate things that have nothing to do with their culture, it’s just so cheerful 🙂

Everything is better with strawberry

I don’t really know why but there are a lot of strawberry flavored things in Japan, from milk to mochi almost everything has a matcha green tea version and a strawberry version.

Bistro SMAP x 7-eleven strawberry jam mochi. Too bad I ate the one I had before taking a pic.

Then there is the “Ichigo milk” made famous by Gintoki Sakata, the protagonist of the comedy anime “Gintama

It’s real, and tastes great. But Gintoki doesn’t shop in the supermarket I go to,

Another variant from 7-11 which is also so good.

Strawberry Kitkats are one of the most popular Japanese kitkat flavored (I don’t know where the ones weird ones I saw on the internet are)

Strawberry Pocky with heart shaped sticks, could this get any cuter?

Mister Donut, a popular donuts’ chain, offers strawberry flavored ones.

Is it a fish, is it a cake? It’s Taiyaki

It was the first time I tried Taiyaki, the Japanese fish shaped hot cakes which involve no real fish in any of the steps. They sold them at a stand in the food area in the underground floor in Q’s mall in Abeno.
(I noticed that most Japanese malls have something food related in their basement.)

The traditional ones have sweet bean paste in them, but there weren’t any when I went so I picked a custard one.

I had this custard filled Taiyaki on my birthday. The texture and taste is somewhat similar to pancakes and the custard filling was thick and delicious. Also they are served warm.

Update: I managed to get a taiyaki with the original filling, it still looks the same on the outside, but the filling is different.

 

Sweet red bean paste, the original taiyaki filling.

A little thing from Taiwan

Many of my classmates are Taiwanese (which is a bit of a problems since all of them speak Chinese and I don’t), but that’s not what this post is about.

It looks like the most popular souvenir to get from Taiwan is Pineapple cake, and one of my classmates, got us – Non Taiwanese people – some of these cakes.

The package shows that these were intended as souvenirs even though I can’t understand the writing on the wrapping.

This is a little drier than usual cakes, but it has gooey pineapple center and was delicious.

Round goes the … sushi (A Kaiten Sushi infographic from TripAdvisor Japan)

I couldn’t do it better 😀

(Well, I didn’t think I will be posting an image from the internet on this blog, But since it is totally related to the theme, I thought ‘why not’?)

Okay, so people who like Japan, or have been there, or just like sushi, must have heard of the word (“回転寿司” -> Kaitenzushi) or “Conveyor belt sushi”. If you haven’t, a Kaiten Sushi restaurant is a fast food restaurant where the sushi passes in front of the seated customers on a conveyor belt, and they pick the plates that they want off the belt, then at the end, the plates are counted and you pay according to the type and number of plates you have had. Simple, right?

Not if you have never been to one before. The above infographic shows some rules and trivia about the do’s and don’ts of  Kaiten Sushi in a vibrant colorful manner. (Image links to source.)

When I first found this image, it was posted, accompanied by this lighthearted article on the Japan related website RocketNews24.

Head over to read the article here -> Uber-complicated foreigner-friendly guide to conveyor belt sushi will make your eyes pop out

Rolling down the streets.

Just a little bit of parked bicycles, before a pedestrian only area.

Well, this is an average amount of parked bicycles.

The people of Osaka sure love their bicycles, everyone rides them. From Salarymen (Japanese name for office workers.) to moms, even trendy girls in heels and the occasional flamboyantly dressed host. So, scenes like the above a very popular in the streets of Osaka.

Umbrellas, umbrellas everywhere.

Well, today is my birthday, so I decided today’s post would be about something that people who know me associate me with (No, not Star Wars)…. well, umbrellas.

From katana and Bleach jokes, to downright creepy “Another” jokes. Many people who have met me know that umbrellas were important to me, I owed them a lot for not getting sick in the rainy winters. So when I came to Japan, I was surprised by the amount of umbrellas, since it wasn’t winter, but soon enough I knew the answer and had an umbrella of my own.

Of course the most popular umbrella is the clear one you find in convenience stores.

Somehow I never took a picture of them, so I got one online 😦 Photo courtesy of Flickr user 246-You

The 3 coin shops have a nice variety. Mine is black like these, but as tall as the ones in the back.

The people who already know me know that I have to have a non fold-able black umbrella ^_^

Don Quijote (or just Donki) has a variety of samurai ones, along with many other tourist appealing things, it’s easy to understand since this one is in a touristic area.

More of them in the ninja themed shop 🙂

 

More and more umbrellas (these are ones in a cute stationery shop)

And although some people here use foldable umbrellas (like the ones below in the last picture) they don’t really stand a chance in typhoon rains, so it’s perfectly normal to see people with long umbrellas all the times.