December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve in Japan 大晦日

Traditional New Year's door decorations, I bought one at the market for 400 円

Tomoko made toshi koshi soba for dinner!  And she cooked the shiitake mushrooms I was given by a merchant at the Osu street fair... It was delicious...

A persimmon tree in someone's back yard...

December 29, 2013

Everyday we walk 毎日歩いている

Everyday we go for a long walks around noon.  Andy and I like to discover all the hidden things in this town and the neighboring ones.  We usually get a cheap lunch from the market or convenience stores, go back to the apartment and work for a bit, then venture out again when dusk falls.

Everyday there is more beauty to find in the mundane.

Orange custard bread and white sweet bean donut

Lots and lots of cyclists and I'm perpetually in their path.

Small Buddhist shrine by a crosswalk.

I love apple chu-hai :)

The winding foot bridge high over 2 cho-me

I also love yuzu sake :)

Ham and egg salad croquette, grilled bean sprouts, pickled carrots and tofu

Another winter fav, roasted sweet chestnuts

December 27, 2013

Sakae, Sekaido + Parco Nagoya

Andy and I had a great time walking all over Sakae in Christmas Eve, taking in the sights and sounds. I wanted to stop in Parco to visit an art supply store called "Sekaido" (World market?). I had been to. Parco Shibuya before, but Parco Nagoya I think is even bigger.  It's 3 buildings with 5-8 floors each, pretty massive.

But it's worth it, and if you are an artist or musician, you should make a trip to Sekaido (they have instruments too at this location)

They were having a Comic Fair where manga supplies were 20-30% off (which for me is like blood in the water for a shark and I bought way more than can fit in my luggage)

My favorite paints!  Holbein Acryla gouache!  It's so expensive in the US, I bought three sets and will promptly throw out my dying tubes at home.

Nice little German Christmas market outside.

We grabbed some delicious and cheap curry from Coco Ichiban


What is this?? Sailor Moon figures at Kid's Land? Yes, I think I need one of these too.... (as luck would have it I found one for less at Mandarake because it was returned, woohoo!)

And last but certainly not least, a very happy birthday to my love, Andy!!

Happy birthday!!


December 26, 2013

Japanese pop explosion: Mandarake

No trip to Osu is complete without visiting Mandarake (or any trip to Japan for that matter). If you like any kind of Japanese pop culture AT ALL you'll have a super time here.

Games, comics, toys, costumes, music (all either vintage or new) they have everything and we stayed so long it got dark out!!  And we came back again in the same day!!

I was so overwhelmed with inspiration my brain was going to explode.

Shelves upon shelves of vintage manga from the 1950s to now.

The kind staff person let us see a FISRT PRINTING of Gegege no Kitaro!!!   We didn't even ask, I just wanted to know where the vintage collections of Kitaro where and he was like, "Oh here, look at this $700 book"

I'm spoiled by excellent japanese service, there's no way I can deal with American customer service after this.

Another Harlock for JJ.

Vintage 50s / 60s / 70s toys grouped by character

The bright colors all around, can't focus...

My holy grail of toys... The super rare 1994 Sailor Moon props... Sailor Neptune, Uranus and Pluto transformation wands and accessories, Sailor Moon compacts and pens... Oh man...

Even here in Japan, these are very rare and veeeerrryyy expensive...

See those boxes up there on the right?  the same green + lavender wands as the middle but in the box?

See those?

Guess how much they are.

Picked a number?

Ok, the answer is .....

$1600.00 US FOR EACH ONE. ($500 ea. out of box)

Sweet Jesus...

December 25, 2013

メリークリー!Merry Christmas!

Christmas in Japan is a very understated affair, most people here don't have any attachment to it or nostalgia for it, so it's pretty much a novelty,  I didn't realize how much I loved Christmas until coming to a place that didn't... As much as I miss the New England snow, seasonal food and holiday spirit, I miss my family even more.  They are 7500 miles away!!  Yeesh.

But we did FaceTime today and that was pretty fun, and grabbing Indian dinner with my in-laws was also pretty great.  Makes me appreciate this season all the more.

We were chewing here, so don't mind the funny expressions...

Good food, family and classic video games, doesn't get much better than that.

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2013

Walking in Osu 3 // 大須の散歩③

My favorite time... When dusk falls and the lights start to turn on.