Jenna in Japan

My Random Adventures in Japan

Jenna in Japan

My Random Adventures in Japan

Jenna in Japan

My Random Adventures in Japan

Jenna in Japan

My Random Adventures in Japan

Jenna in Japan

My Random Adventures in Japan

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Kawaii Things To Do In Tokyo

There's certainly no shortage of kawaii (cute) stuff in Tokyo. You can find a ton of cuteness without even searching for it. But if you are planning a trip to Tokyo and are looking for some of the best places for cuteness overload, here are my suggestions.

Get a Lolita Makeover at Maison de Julietta

My best friend Lauren and I had lolita fashion makeovers at Maison de Julietta in Laforet in Harajuku. It was such a fun experience! Lolita fashion can be extremely expensive so if you want to wear an adorable dress without spending a huge amount of money, a makeover is a great alternative.

My Experience: Spring Break Part 2: A Lolita Fashion Makeover and Starry Parfaits
Official English Website: Maison de Julietta
Official Japanese Website: Maison de Julietta

It's worth taking a look at the Japanese website because they have info about special deals and events that aren't on the English page.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Eating in Japan…When You Don’t (Often) Like Japanese Food

Hi, I’m Jenna’s BFF Lauren. I’ve appeared in this blog many times, as I visited Jenna in Japan in August of 2010 and March of 2014. This will be my first post and it’s a long time coming. I’ve decided to do a brief “guide” on food I liked in Japan. I’m not a big fan of Japanese food but I do make a few exceptions for vegetable sushi and some ramen. This will be basically a brief rundown of my favorite meals from my second visit to Japan.

American or Japanized American Food

Swanky Denny’s

This is one of two restaurants from this trip that Jenna and I reminisce about the most. When we were staying in Toyoko Inn Shinagawa Oimachi, which is in a quieter area of Tokyo, we went to eat at an “upscale” Denny’s which we fondly refer to as “swanky Denny’s”. 

Japan has a ton of “family restaurants” like Denny’s and Jonathan’s. If you’ve been to Denny’s in America, it’s pretty much the same concept. Normal reasonable food at  a sit down place for a normal reasonable price. 

But not including the “express” version we went to at SkyTree (which I did not like) this is the only one I visited either of my times in Japan. It had an upscale vibe to it and Jenna and I got to relax and talk in our booth and have our own space which I think is why I really liked it. 

The food was good. I got a hambagu, which is a hamburger without the bun, and it comes with some rice. Not exactly American, but still quite good, and certainly not traditional Japanese food. These are very popular at  family restaurants. 

Jenna has been to Jonathan’s and other Denny’s and would recommend both. But the swanky one we went to was her favorite. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Cost of Groceries in Japan

I did a post before about the price of groceries when I lived in Toi. (Grocery Shopping in Japan) I always went to the same grocery store because there was only one in town. So I wanted to a new post with a bit more variety. I had forgotten I was going to do this post but I found these pictures when looking for pictures for another post.

For the most part I felt like groceries in Japan were reasonably priced. Fruit was expensive though, so I didn't buy it too often with the exception of bananas.

Packaging was generally smaller than I'm used to in the US, but that wasn't such a bad thing for me living on my own. I don't need gallons of milk or whole loaves of bread. I won't go through them before they go bad. In the picture below, the can of Pringles is the same size as in the US, so you can use that for comparison.

Max Valu
May 21, 2013

  • Pringles (wasabi mayo flavor) 198
  • non-fat milk 108
  • mango yogurt 138
  • bagged yakisoba vegetable mix (store brand) 158
  • bagged salad (store brand) 98
  • bagged cabbage (store brand) 98
  • dried melon 350
  • noodles 198
  • sliced ham (store brand) 178
  • instant microwave chocolate cake cup 108
  • strawberry jam (store brand) 258
Total: 1890 yen

August 30, 2013

  • All Bran mixed fruit cereal 298
  • two packs of pre-cooked yakisoba noodles (store brand) (19 ea.) 38
  • pancake mix 198
  • peach and mango yogurt 148
  • Meiji chocolate bar 88
  • ginger 98
  • orange juice (1 liter) (store brand) 128
  • sliced bread (8 pieces) 168
  • strawberry toast flavoring powder 98
  • pasta sauce (store brand) 98
  • Calbee potato chips 128
Total: 1488 yen

Kaldi Coffee Farm (a small store found in malls that sells coffee and import groceries)
September 5, 2013

  • Doritos (no flavoring, do they even sell these in America?) 278
  • Lawry's seasoned salt 430
  • tortillas (10 pack) 630
Total: 1338 yen

Aeon (they also own Max Valu)
September 5, 2013

  • CoCo-kun's UFO Ball cereal 298
  • Sweet Potato Flakes cereal 298
  • Hello Kitty macaroni 158
  • two drinks (not pictured) (115 ea.) 230

Total: 984 yen

Max Valu
September 9, 2013

  • two onions (48 ea.) 96
  • rice (store brand) 1130
  • canned tropical fruit 98
  • six eggs 148
  • Ritz crackers 168
  • non-fat milk 108
  • chicken stock cubes 115
  • butter 228
  • lettuce 98
  • mixed frozen vegetables (store brand) 148
  • plastic bag 5 (Grocery stores often charge for bags. I usually brought my own but sometimes forgot.)
Total: 2670 yen

September 10, 2013

  • tissues 228
  • avocado 98
  • green Tobasco sauce 268
  • canned chicken 88
  • salsa 298
Total: 980 yen

Max Valu
September 21, 2013

  • two Meiji chocolate bars (95 ea.) 190
  • CoCo-kun's Choco Crispy cereal 298
  • sugar sticks (store brand) (like for coffee, I just couldn't find the regular bags of sugar, lol) 108
  • flour 278
  • cocoa powder 648
  • vanilla extract 178
  • chili garlic sauce 420
  • frozen bibimbap fried rice (store brand) 248
  • six eggs 148
  • two bottles of cranberry juice (178 ea.) 356
Total: 2812 yen

Max Valu
September 25, 2013

  • bottled tea 88
  • sliced bread (8 pieces) 148
  • sliced cheese (8 pieces) 198
  • Fruits Granola cereal (store brand) 328
  • sliced ham (store brand) 198
  • paper towels (store brand) 148
Total: 1108 yen

October 9, 2013

  • Chip Star chips 178
  • frosted flakes (store brand) 198
  • pizza toast (store brand) 278
  • chestnut pudding 168
 Total: 822 yen

Seiyu (Owned by Walmart. The Great Value products are sometimes expensive because some of them are imported.)
October 19, 2013

  • apple gummies 90
  • parmesan (store brand) 498
  • cranberry juice (store brand) 498
  • honey roasted peanuts (store brand) 397
  • Biore body wash 447
  • Biore acne care face wash 383
  • drain nets (so food doesn't clog the kitchen sink, one of my least favorite things about Japan) 97
  • plastic bag 3
Total: 2413 yen

November 13, 2013

  • sliced bread (8 pieces) (store brand) 78
  • coleslaw cabbage (store brand) 98
  • chopped green onions 98
  • three packs of pre-cooked yaki-soba noodles (store brand) (19 ea.) 57
  • onion salad dressing 158
  • peanuts (store brand) 288
  • candy bar (not pictured) 128
Total: 905 yen

November 20, 2013

  • milk 148
  • Cadbury Fruit and Nut Bar (imported from Australia, which is still really good, but not as good as the ones I get in the US) 135
  • Fanta green apple 98
  • salad 100
  • sliced ham (8 slices) 198
  • hash browns 228
  • two boxes of instant soup mix (178 ea.) 356
Total: 1263

Kaldi Coffee Farm
November 23, 2013

  • four Inka Kola (105 ea.) 420
  • gochujang 399
  • Korean ramen 88
Total: 907 yen

Max Valu
January 6, 2014

  • All Bran cereal 298
  • rice (store brand) 1030
  • soy sauce 198
  • bean sprouts (store brand) 38
  • cucumber 68
  • carrot 68
  • tofu
  • enoki mushrooms (store brand) 128
  • bananas (store brand) 98

Total: 1974

June 6, 2014

  • Fanta pineapple 81
  • Match Pink soda 81
  • peanut butter 475
  • cinnamon apple jam 284
  • kimchi 278
  • non-fat milk 103
  • watermelon gummies 84
  • frozen bibimbap fried rice 265
  • nail polish 300
  • plastic bag 2
Total: 2109

Max Valu
September 21, 2014

  • sponges (store brand) 98
  • pasta (store brand) 98
  • mini hot dogs (store brand) 98
  • frozen mixed vegetables (store brand) 148
  • aluminum foil (store brand) 88
  • kiwi (store brand) 78
  • kiwi 98 (I think I got two store brand ones but the tag must have fallen off the one, so they charged me a different price)
  • apricot jam 204
  • ramen 88
Total: 998 yen

January 12, 2015

  • peanut butter 475
  • mochi ice cream 278
  • three bags of avocado tortilla chips (98 ea.) 294
  •  three packs of pre-cooked yakisoba noodles (27 ea.) 81
  • coleslaw cabbage (store brand) 93
  • chopped green onion 140
  • ginger 90
  • bean sprouts 28
  • peanuts 95
  • plastic bag 2
Total: 1701 yen

I don't remember where I bought this (either Valor or Max Valu, I think) but I just wanted to show that you can find Nutella in Japan.

I don't have a picture of the receipt so I can't tell the prices, but I know I got this stuff at Kaldi. I don't remember finding Kraft mac and cheese at any other store around Hamamatsu. I also found Tim Tams sometimes at Plaza, a sort of random store with cosmetics and import snacks and candy. The Crispy M&Ms could be found at some regular grocery stores. I didn't get them too many times, but when I did I usually got them at Daiso, a 100 yen store.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

March Randomness: Darth Vader Loves Sakura

I haven't done a blog post in about three months! But I suddenly feel motivated to do the last few posts I have planned. So here are some random pictures from my last month in Japan.

The Star Wars and sakura packaging of these cup noodles really amused me. I couldn't pass up buying one with Darth Vader and falling cherry blossom petals.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Final Tokyo Trip Part 7: Sayonara Japan

Our last morning in Tokyo was spent dragging our luggage from our hotel to Tokyo Station to leave it in lockers. That was kind of awful because the station near our hotel didn't have escalators or elevators. Bleh.

We left some of our luggage at the hotel to pick up later. I had tried to use takyubin service to send some of our luggage to the airport but you had to do it three days in advance. Online it had said three days in certain areas but I didn't think Tokyo would have that time limit.

Then we went to Shibuya. I wanted to spend my last day in Shibuya because it's awesome. :)

It was such a pretty, sunny day! It's great that we had nice weather our last day, but it also made it harder to leave.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Final Tokyo Trip Part 6: Karaoke, Meiji Shrine, and More

March 23rd was our last full day in Japan. As usual, we started out the day with a yummy breakfast at our hotel. I had a couple types of rice, some pickles, hot dogs, miso soup, chocolate swirl bread, and orange juice.

First we walked to Akihabara. Near our hotel we passed a shop that had a display of pretty Disney princess figurines.

In Akihabara we went to Yodobashi Camera and I also tried to find a doll store I had been to before. It wasn't where I remembered and I didn't see it anywhere so I think it had closed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Final Tokyo Trip Part 5: Odaiba - Miraikan, Arcades, Onsen, and a Fluffy Sheep

After enjoying a nice morning at Hama Rikyu, we took the monorail to Odaiba. We ate lunch at Khazana, an Indian restaurant with a super yummy buffet, in Decks and then played Lord of the Rings pinball in the arcade.