Thursday, November 29, 2012

monkey izakaya

You may or may not have seen this on YouTube, but in Utsunomiya (Tochigi Prefecture) there's this monkey izakaya (kind of like Japanese tapas) where monkeys actually serve you your oshibori (cloth wipes for cleaning your hands). I was worried about sanitation, but my friends really wanted to go, so off we went.

Turns out they don't bring out the monkeys until after you finish eating. Thank goodness! The izakaya owners keep seven monkeys (they're like their babies! or dogs...), and each monkey does something different. We saw three of them: one did "sexy" dances, another was a model and didn't do anything, and the last was a baby that the owner just left with us for a while. It was cute, but since it was only 6 months old, it was really scared of us and really spazzy.

Sorry for the blurry pictures!

Monkey staredown.

I wouldn't go again (food was mediocre), but it was definitely an experience!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

daily sweet

Got this at a cute, local bakery for a quick sweet fix.

Strawberry panna cotta! Yum.

In other news, I am back from Hokkaido! I'll post pictures soon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

alice in wonderland restaurant

My friend really wanted to go to the Alice in Wonderland restaurant for her birthday, so we trekked out to Ginza to see what all the fuss was about. (I took these pictures with my cellphone so sorry about the quality/darkness!)

The decor was amazing. We walked through pages of the book, the roof had giant cards pasted on it, and we sat in a teacup. I didn't get a picture, but the waitresses were all dressed like the characters (mostly Alice, blond wig and all) and each time a course came out, they would warn us of a potential side effect ("If you drink this, you may become super small! Or a giant!" and so on). The pop up book in the fourth picture was actually the menu.

The magic stops there, however, because the food was mediocre at best. For 3000 yen per person for a course meal that was barely enough food (mediocre or not), I don't think I'll go back. But if you just want to try a themed restaurant that's not too creepy or weird (Nic mentioned a prison themed restaurant that just seems too grotesque!), this would be perfect! (Seriously, the decor alone was mind-boggling.)

Address: Taiyo Bldg, 5F, 8-8-5 Ginza, Chou-ku, Tokyo 104-0061

Friday, November 16, 2012

toilet restaurant?!

I'm really looking forward to my Taiwan trip for this winter and I was looking through my old pictures of trips to Taiwan when I found...

Pictures from a toilet themed restaurant! It was a hot pot restaurant and everything had to do with toilets and urinals. The food was fine, but I think seeing all the toilets messed with my mind a bit; I couldn't help but feel like everything had a strange, urine taste maybe? I know, that was gross, but it was how I felt! The ironic thing was, even though we sat on toilets, ate from toilets, and the whole place had toilet decorations, they only had one toilet that actually worked... This was a long time ago though, so I don't know if the restaurant is still in business!

I went to the Alice in Wonderland themed restaurant recently in Ginza, Tokyo, so I'll post pictures of that soon!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

recent makeup buys

I was at Fukudaya (a Japanese department store) browsing the make up when I saw this Love Liner set. It comes with a mascara and a liquid eyeliner for only ¥1995 (normally, the eyeliner and mascara by itself runs for more than 1500!). They also had a pencil eyeliner and mascara set for slightly cheaper, as well as a liquid brow and mascara set. The sets come in two colors, black and brown. I picked the brown because I've always wanted to try brown mascara, but I'm tempted to go back and pick up the black since it's such a good deal. I've never tried Love Liner products, but I've heard good things, so I'm excited to use them!

I also picked up a Heroine Make liquid eyeliner. My favorite mascara is the Long and Curl Mascara by Heroine Make, so I thought I'd give the eyeliner a shot!

Friday, November 09, 2012

i heart pumpkin

Did you know that there's such a thing as pumpkin butter? I need to learn to make this asap!

Pumpkin pie is one of the things I miss most from America, but Japan is no stranger to the delights of pumpkin. Technically, Japanese pumpkin, or kabocha, is a squash, but it's been almost enough to satisfy my pumpkin cravings (though I still want pumpkin pie more than ever). I went to a super cute bakery today and couldn't resist picking up this baked good that was labeled "pumpkin maracon."

Obviously it wasn't a macaron, but it was delicious.

Sorry about the sad picture--I had already munched on it before I remembered to snap a photo.

Do you like pumpkin? What's your go-to fall food?

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

prepping for hibernation

Brought out my kotatsu the other day. A kotatsu is a table with several layers. The first is the table with a heater installed under it. A blanket is layered over it, then covered with a table top. The idea is that you can keep warm with your feet inside the table.

The crazy thing is, it really works! But you have to be careful to not fall asleep in that nice hazy comfortable heat. You may never wake up. Just kidding...kind of. Some of my friends have actually burned themselves after falling asleep because the heater is slowly, well, burning you under there.

It's interesting to see the things Japan has come up with to battle the cold. Kerosene heaters for one--I can't stand the smell of the gas, so I don't use one, but they really warm up a room! I am content with just using my kotatsu and my electric heater for now...

How are you preparing for winter?

Saturday, November 03, 2012

new haircut

I got straight bangs! The hairdresser looked at me after she was done and said, "Now you look like a high school student!" Which is probably not a good thing, since I teach high school students.

But I'm pretty happy with my haircut! I'll have to figure out how to cut the bangs myself though, since my hair grows really fast.

And here's what I wore today:

It's getting really cold now, so I layered two sweaters. I love pink and brown together, but you probably already know that from this post.

Friday, November 02, 2012

chopping off my hair

My hair's been such a mess lately; I haven't cut it since last April! Yes, a haircut is long overdue. I'm not sure what I want though. I've done A-line bobs with and without bangs, medium length with crazy layers, side swept bangs...

I think I want Taylor Swift's bangs, and maybe slightly thinner hair with the same length. What do you think?

I'm getting it cut tomorrow! Wish me luck.