Monday, January 31, 2011

Green Tea Ice Cream

It might be a commonly-known thing, but one type of ice cream you can buy easily in Japan is green tea / matcha ice cream!

You can buy it in America, but it's definitely a lot harder to find. In Japan, Häagen-Dazs even sells their own version in grocery stores. I didn't buy their brand, though. Instead, I got it at a little ice cream / takoyaki / snack bar in a small town I was sight-seeing in. It was good, although a bit overwhelming flavor-wise after a few licks. I'm sure that depends on the maker, though -- I might've just been unfortunate to have my first time eating matcha ice cream be with extra matcha!

Tokyo Tower

When I was in Japan, I went to Tokyo for two days. Since I was only going to be there for two days, I wanted to make the most of it, so I made a list of the places I just had to visit, and one of those was Tokyo Tower.

I went at night, and the view was amazing! It would've been nice to see it during the day, though -- pretty much every angle was the same thing, lights and cars on dark streets.

The ground floor of the tower was really, neat, too! There were lots of displays with the history of and information about the tower.

Also, when I was there, they were getting ready for a Michael Jackson event that was happening soon, so they were playing nothing but Michael Jackson songs there. His face was also everywhere there.

Definitely worth a visit if you want to do a little sight-seeing of Tokyo! You can pay a little extra to go to a higher observation deck, too! You have to wait your turn, but even though it was crowded when I went, the time passed really quickly. :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Nagoya Castle

Since I'm just so enthusiastic about blogging, I thought I'd post again. :) Certainly is easier to make shorter posts; I think making drawn-out, long posts is what killed my enthusiasm for blogging before. Wish I had blogged more while I was actually in Japan (I was there for a month in the summer), but it is nice to look back on all I did while I was there.


I lived in a city close to Nagoya, the capital of Aichi Prefecture and the third largest city in Japan. I only went to Nagoya to explore around once, but it was a lot of fun! I didn't even get to Sakae, though, I'll have to make sure to go there next time I'm there.

I waited for my friend at the train station (which is the largest in Japan, if I remember correctly...and it was indeed huge!), but since I got there early, I did some sight-seeing from the window of the 21st floor.

In the center? Nagoya Castle. Right in the middle of the city, pretty much. Even though I never did get a chance to go there, I just think it's really interesting that there's such a clash between the bustling city and the old castle.

Tea Treats!

I'm probably going to sound like all I do is eat by posting yet again about food, but it's just that I'm hungry at the moment. :P

Whether in America or in Japan, one thing I absolutely love to have as a snack is a warm cup of black tea with a little milk with some sort of baked good on the side. And while I was in Japan, thankfully I didn't have to settle for boring old cookies!

Pudding parfaits! Whenever I went to the store, I always checked for these (they tended to sell out of them a lot! Although I did tend to go to the store later in the day). This one was kind of a mix of a layer of pudding, a layer of cake, and strawberries in syrup, topped with whipped cream, a bit of cheesecake, and a little chocolate straw.

I haven't been able to find something exactly like this where I live, although I do live in the middle of nowhere. If I do see something similar at the store, they're much larger (maybe twice the size as this one).   Maybe I should try making my own...


I'm craving sushi right now. I bought some the other day from the Chinese restaurant in town, and while it was pretty much the standard type of sushi you'd expect from a small downtown restaurant, I could so definitely go for more.

Really, nothing special about it. Just can't stop the craving, you know? I hardly ever get anything besides spicy tuna or spicy salmon rolls wherever I go; there's not much more of a selection where I'm from.

When I was in Japan, I got salmon, lettuce, and mayonnaise rolls at a local grocery store once. Maybe it was because I also got BBQ chicken wings during that same trip, but that was one of the best meals I bought from a grocery store.

(Also, they were huge! Four of these equals, like, ten of the sushi I bought in town.) 

And here I thought posting about sushi would lessen the craving for sushi, whoops. Instead I'm wishing I could get more of those mayo/salmon/lettuce sushi.


Hello! And welcome to my blog!

There isn't any one specific theme to my blog, other than the majority of the posts will probably be, in some way, related to Japan. I've been studying the language for over seven years now, and I can never resist talking about language-related things. Buuuut, seeing as that might end up being a tad esoteric and I want to appeal to as many people as I can, I'm hoping to post about a bunch of other things, such as literature, history, geography, music, television, food (!!) and pretty much anything there is when it comes to Japan (or perhaps of other counties as well, I love that kind of thing!). For the record, though, I'm a huge fan of Japanese variety shows and dramas, so forgive me if I drag so-and-so actor or actress into unrelated posts. ;) (I haven't really watched any anime series in years, though, so also forgive me for being out of touch on that sort of thing.)

Anyway, the title of this blog, "ikigomi" (意気込み) means "enthusiasm," so even if I don't blog about something Japan-related, let's hope it's at least enthusiastic!