Tuesday, 5 January 2010


During my time in Japan so far, one type of food has had a massive impact on my tastebuds and my waistline: Gyoza.  They are a type of Chinese dumpling filled with either pork, shrimp, vegetables or all three! They are very delicious and highly addicitve and their appeal is only increased by the fact that they are really cheap to buy.  As mentioned before, I recently bought a Japanese cookbook and was delighted to see that the author included a recipe for Gyoza in her book.  I have tried and tested the recipe, which was surprisingly easy, to great success - if you want the recipe let me know ; ) 

Saturday, 2 January 2010

The Countdown

Well ......New Year's Eve was eventful and not in a good way.  The night started off really well back at the apartment, lots of drink, chat and music but this changed when we arrived at the club.  It was a pretty impressive club, very big and as promised a good sound system, lasers, good tunes and ofcourse a huge glitter ball were delivered on the night. However, it was so crowded that you couldn't even move on the stairs - furthermore this factor mixed with alcohol caused some people to get aggressive and want to start fights for no reason - yes I did get my head bashed against a wall, but it was due to a knock on effect, I wasn't the target, but still it pissed me off! Another guy started on my boyfriend who was trying to protect me after being squashed between so many bodies that I couldn't breathe - testosterone levels were high that night.
On a more positive note the countdown in the main room was great, everyone's eyes fixed to the countdown clock on a big screen waiting for it click into 0:00; with a backdrop of techno music the tension in the room was really high.  As it got nearer to reaching midnight, people started cheering and getting increasingly excited and whether you wanted it or not would hug you and introduce themselves - most of the people I met seemed to be from America. 
We actually left really early around 1.30am which for me has to be a record but the final straw was a French guy not taking no for an answer and physically trying to force his tongue in my mouth - idiot! Or was the last straw, someone puking on/near my foot? Anyway, I much preferred eating sushi and drinking clam miso soup down the street and having a nice conversation with my friends.....CONCLUSION: I think I'm too old for clubs now, the novelty has worn off.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

New Year's Eve

I'm very excited because tomorrow is New Year's Eve, probably one of my favourite nights of the year.  Welcoming in the New Year is a great excuse to get dressed up and drink copious amounts of alcohol - yay.  As well as this I just like the motivation it gives me to change for the better and make promises that next year will be an improvement on the current one.  So far I have decided to do more exercise, eat less junk food and save more money - quite achievable I think.
We have tickets to go to Womb, a nightclub in Shibuya - it has 3 floors and a great sound system and tomorrow Jeff Mills is the guest DJ - should be a good night.  The nightclub featured in the film 'Lost In Translation' which isn't the reason I want to go there but because MixMag named it one of the top ten clubs in the world, I will have to decide for myself tomorrow though.  The only thing bothering me right now and it is quite a shallow thought - what am I going to wear......

Monday, 28 December 2009

Japanese Cooking

I have just bought a copy of "Harumi's Japanese Cooking: More than 75 Authentic and Contemporary Recipes from Japan's Most Popular Cooking Expert' - phew long title!  Let's hope the recipes aren't as complicated as the title.  We keep eating the same food at home and it mostly consists of rice, pasta or noodles with something added to it (usually seafood and tinned tomatoes!!)  - so it's time to try something new and authentic before I go off eating : /  ....it should get here in about 3/4 days yay! I hope I can find all of the ingredients needed - availability isn't the problem at least, just my non-existent Japanese.  Will see how it goes.....


My urge to explore somewhere new took me to Akihabara, electric town.  It was as described, a place where you can choose from a wide selection of electronic goods, manga, video games and ofcourse visit a famous Maid Cafe.  When I read about the maid cafes online, I thought they would be quite entertaining - as you enter a cafe a girl dressed in a maid's outfit (or school girl/nurse/fairytale/whatever) greets you with "welcome master" and provides a service very similar to the more traditional geisha girls.  They kneel on the floor, mouthfeed you and even give you a foot massage in some places - hmmm creepy.  When we set off we intended to visit a cafe for the experience but when I got there and saw the tired  promo girls dressed in quite ridiculous and unsexy outfits trying to get customers, the glamour left the idea.  We went into an 8 floor manga shop which also provided some surprises - the manga comics (for men and women) were quite sexual in nature and on the 'ladies' floors' there were a lot of comics illustrating gay men touching each other - I couldn't work out whether it was aimed at the ladies' or not as I saw some girls happily flicking through them.  Whatever floats your boat though, it didn't bother me - just opened my eyes to manga even further.  On the top floor the was a maid cafe - a long line had formed made up of single guys, friends and couples - a mixed clientele.  I peeked my head round the corner and heard loud screeching and what I think was singing, on the video screen, girls dressed in cosplay outfits were shouting into microphones and dancing.  I spotted a western couple (I think they were American/Canadian) leaving quite swiftly - they glanced at each other in a bemused fashion and shock their heads.  To be fair my boyfriend and I did the same, but it was more to do with the loud screeching than anything else.  Maybe next time.......

Sunday, 27 December 2009


I have to say it's been a strange Christmas, although the shops were full of decorations and Christmas treats and playing the usual carols it didn't really feel like Christmas! Even decorating the apartment and playing Xmas songs at home didn't do the trick haha. We reserved a table in a popular ex-pat haunt called the Pink Cow in Shibuya and ate a traditional dinner of turkey, potatoes, veg and gravy  - it was really good actually and we met some nice people there.  After that we went for a walk around Shibuya, through the narrow alleyways and up towering buildings in lifts to try and find new places to eat or drink.  Tokyo never fails to interest me, even if you get fed up of one area there are so many places to go and discover.  We found a great seafood restaurant on the 10th floor of this building which had great views of Shibuya -the prices were impressive too though eek.
I've been very lazy so far into the holiday, just eating a lot and sleeping so today I want to go and explore somewhere new...and get some exercise!  It's so warm at the moment - it was 19C yesterday - its really nice but I have a feeling that January and February won't be so kind to me....

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Back to work....

After being off work for two weeks with acute back pain I had my first day back at work yesterday. It wasn't as painful as I thought it would be- phew, plus the belt is really helping (yes I am currently wearing a support belt - sexy).   I have another busy day today and lots of children's classes so i'm a bit worried - eek.  I have had to cancel going to Aomori prefecture which is in the north of Honshu island as I don't think sitting in a hot spring for a long time is good for my back.  The shops are filled with Christmas decorations and they even play Christmas songs in the department stores yet not many people actually buy a tree for their home, decorate or buy each other presents.  The big celebration here is New Year where families (usually the housewives) clean their houses from top to bottom and go out drinking with colleagues and friends in December. New Year is usually spent quietly with families and Christmas is marketed as a couple's night!! Strange! It's difficult to get a reservation on 25th Dec in Tokyo! I better go to work, I hope my 6 year old doesn't hit me too much today - will have to be strict today ; )