Okonomiyaki!

The other night I went out with some friends to Okonomiyaki. It was my first time eating the Japanese savory pancake. I believe only native in our group knew what they were doing but we had a great time learning the ropes for grilling our own food. The table we were sat at was a traditional short table with cushions around it. Typically you sit on your knees or crisscross but my legs quickly started falling asleep so I was the weird foreigner all sprawled out but they were very understanding as my legs are stupid long.

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Unfortunately, Mihi didn’t send me any pictures she was in, but she was taking this one so that’s something. The other two are Swan and Jihyung (AKA Kelly) 

 

Mihi, the native in the group convinced us to get the courses so we could try a bunch of different things. We got a few different kinds of okonomiyaki, something else I don’t know the name off and some yakisoba. It was all very delicious but I got full almost half way through. So much food. In America, we often stereotype the Japanese as eating less and it is true that their portion sized tend to be smaller but don’t be fooled, Japanese people can eat. There were two Japanese girls across from us and they put away almost as much food as the four of us did. I don’t know where they put it all. The first okonomiyaki was my favorite. Not a clue what was in it but it was so good. I always have so much fun going out with my friends. That was a really fun night. Lots of good conversation. We stayed there for almost 5 hours I think. We got there around 5 and didn’t leave until after 9. Time flew.

I look forward to going out with them again. I will, of course, write about it when I do. Thank you for reading. As always, I love to hear from you guys so please leave a comment. If you enjoyed, give this post a like and consider sharing it. I’ll write again tomorrow.

Aja

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Harajuku! Off The Beaten Path

The other weekend a new friend of mine took me around Harajuku, which for those of you who don’t know, is a district that is huge for fashion subcultures and anything that isn’t Anime or Mainstream. It is very popular with many artists such as Gwen Stafani as she mentions a lot in her Rich Girl song.

Even Marilyn Mason is known to strut that territory when he visits Japan I learned. There’s a good reason for that. This time around I didn’t get any fashion shots, I will save that for another post, but I did get to go to plenty of cool places, some popular and some more for the locals.

 

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The first thing you see when you exit the station

 

After we got off the train and exited the stations we decided to get lunch as we were both hungry. She asked what I wanted and I said whatever. The first place we were going to go to was closed so she took me to this great 70s themed burger place. Whoever picked the music in this joint knew their stuff, bands like the Bee Gees and America, and even some Jackson 5. I was singing along to almost every song. If you want a sense of the atmosphere of this place, listen to I want you back by Jackson 5 while you read this like I’m doing as I write this.

 

P_20170409_130038While there I got a chicken burger and a mintP_20170409_131428 milkshake and it seemed artisen. The burger was so juicy and the mixture of the sauces and veggies on it were well thought through. It was delicious. The milkshake was another pleasant surprise! They used actual mint. There was not a drop of syrup in that shake. It tasted very different than the hyper sugary shakes you get in the states but it was so rich and still very sweet. It was great. I’d be curious to try their other flavors.

Next, we went to Kiddy Land! It’s a hot spot for tourists and foreigners but it was worth it. Four floors of plushies and figurines from lots of great media. I didn’t take too many photos as I wasn’t sure if I was suppose to, but you can get a sneak peak of what you can find in there.

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There’s something for everyone. There’s Disney, Starwars, Ghibli, and plenty of Japan original characters, some anime stuff and even some terrifying mascot character you can take pictures with. Lucky for me, it was already surrounded by kids so I skipped out on that. The place was a wonderland for kids and for those that enjoy youthfully sort of media. Sometimes it’s nice to escape into a Ghibli Film, what can I say? Another very interesting experience I had was going to the bathroom. That was the first time I ever saw one of those fancy smart toilets. It even had a flush sound button. Which I don’t quite get because I’ve heard it, it’s not convincing and who are you tryna trick anyway? The seat was heated which is both kind of nice but also a bit disturbing having been use to a cold toilet seat my whole life. I still have not tried the bidet, I have to admit, I’m mildly scared too, but I guess that’s an experience I should have. I’ll let you know how that goes someday.

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Next, we went to a mall that has a super cool entrance. It’s like going through the looking glass. Inside was even more surprising because the shops don’t have store fronts. They’re P_20170409_152420just open. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when one shop ends and the other begins, except they usually have different color flooring and internal walls. This really surprised me and my friend was amused by this. I said “Does this make it easier for people to steal?” and she explained to me that that isn’t a very big problem here. There’s a sense of trust between the Japanese, so they don’t feel the need to make shopping more difficult. Apparently, most malls are like this here. It was very nice. You could easily see what was inside and there was a nice flow between stores, overall if we could swing it in America I would say it’s a better way, but unfortunately, our culture doesn’t support the same level or trust or morality, ironically. You can kind see the open shop format in the Conan Cafe picture below. This trust and respect in this country makes it feel like one big neighborhood a lot of the

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Characters outside a Conan Cafe

times. I feel very safe and able to get help at any time if I needed. The shops trusting its costumers embodies that to me. It’s just an example of how it’s different here in a good way.

 

Lastly, we went to a Sushi restaurant. It was super cool. You order on a screen and it comes on a little platform that speeds down a track to you. It was delicious and not very expensive. I got P_20170409_200243quite a bit of food and didn’t spend very much. The sushi was amazing. I got some raw tuna on rice or tsuna nigiri and the fish here is so much fresher and way less fishy. It tried a bunch of different things but that was probably my favorite and I don’t normally like raw fish.

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P_20170409_122943We did so much more that did but I didn’t capture it all. This post would have been twice as long and I wanted to experience somethings not through a lens. Undoubtedly, I will make more posts about Harajuku. I plan to collect fashion pictures and street art photography. I will give you a taste of what I saw.

Look forward to the things to come. This post has turned out to be very long, so if you made it this far, thank you very much! I hope you enjoyed it. I promise to work on my photography.

Thank you for reading. If you have anything to add or have any questions, leave me a comment below! I love hearing from you guys!