Monday, February 10, 2014

January Fun: Bowling, Spo-cha, Bento, and More!

After all our traveling we got back home on the evening of the 30th. The next day was New Year's Eve but we didn't do anything special. New Year's Eve is a family holiday in Japan so there's really nothing to do unless you're visiting family. Neither one of us really cared about the holiday so we just relaxed at our apartments instead. I spent the evening in my apartment watching Kohaku Uta Gassen and either working on making videos for my blog or making a puzzle. I really can't remember for sure.

Kohaku Uta Gassen is a popular New Year's Eve music program. It's an interesting mix of pop and traditional music. Two teams, the red team (female) and the white team (male), perform songs and at the end a winner is declared. This year, the white team won. I think I enjoyed the female performances more though. But a lot of them were very similar... too many big girl groups. AKB48, NMB48, and SKE48 all performed. I really don't see a difference at all in those groups. 

I didn't go back to school until the 8th so I had quite a bit of free time. I spent time working on my blog, making my new Disney puzzle, and cooking a bit.

I made Bibimbap (a Korean dish) one night. It was rice topped with tofu, mushrooms, bean sprouts, carrot, boiled egg, and cucumbers. I mixed gochujang in, too. Yum! I got the recipe here.

One night I was wanting Colonel Crispy, the chicken strips from KFC here. But I was at Jonathan's for dinner and there's no KFC around there so we got konbini food. So I was excited to see Colonel Crispy flavored potato chips! Hahaha! They ended up being really good (and really did taste like Colonel Crispy) and I bought another bag later.

We had a three day weekend the 11th through the 13th. On Saturday we went to another Aeon mall in Hamamatsu that we hadn't visited before. We took a train and then walked to the mall, which was quite a long walk. I took a picture of these pretty flowers along the way. I'm still surprised by flowers in winter here.

The mall had a lot of the same stores as Ichino, the closer Aeon mall, and seemed a bit older, but it was still a really good mall. We ate dinner at an Indian restaurant which was really good. Also, the Kaldi store there had a bit more stuff than the other two I've been to I think.

Then the next night we went bowling at Round One. They had a deal where we could have unlimited games until 6 AM! We didn't stay that long, but we did bowl 11 games. It was so much fun! Oh, and I was one of the few girls there in pants. That's a weird thing about bowling in Japan. I would never go bowling in a skirt in America, but I have done it in Japan (just not that night).

That's a pudding cup I bought at the Max Valu grocery store near me. It was delicious! Chocolate pudding with a bunch of stuff on top and then more pudding on top of that!

The next weekend we ended up at Round One again. First we ate dinner at the mall though. We ate at Kobe Motomachi Doria. Jonathan had omurice (with mushrooms, I think) and I had eggplant doria. I wasn't sure what doria was exactly, but the picture looked delicious and I wanted to try it because doria is a food you can make in Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon. Yes, I partially chose my food based on a video game.

I was really excited when our food came because both of our dishes came in bowls with fire underneath of them. The food is really hot so they give you another bowl to dish it out into. It was soooo delicious. It was rice with cheese and eggplant and tomato sauce. Amazing! The only problem was that it didn't quite fill me up enough. They had sets with salad and maybe soup or something so next time I would get a set. But we just went to Mister Donut afterwards for dessert.

At Round One we did Spo-cha. I'm not sure what Spo-cha means. I'm guessing the "spo" part is for "sports" but I'm not sure about "cha." Sports challenge? Anyways, it's a couple floors of a bunch of activities. We paid for three hours, but we should have done the unlimited deal which was only a few hundred yen more. I just wasn't really sure at the time how long we would want to stay or if it really was unlimited.

There's so much to do! We played table tennis, basketball, and darts and did archery and batting cages. The batting cage was kind of scary at first, but then it was really fun! The also have an arcade and it's unlimited too! For about 1800 yen for three hours (2100 for unlimited) it's a really good deal!

 The automatic table tennis game is fun. It shoots balls at you and you try to hit the lit-up squares.

Just like Katniss! Ok... not really. I only hit the target a couple times, haha.

The next week over 900 elementary kids in Hamamatsu got food poisoning from the school lunch. Jonathan doesn't teach at any elementary schools, but all school lunches were canceled in Hamamatsu for a while. He had to take lunch to school and he hates cooking so I offered to make his lunches.

If I used a recipe, I'll highlight it and you can click on it to see the recipe.

The first day he had rice with some furikake mixed in, some green vegetables that he picked out at the grocery store, pineapple, tamagoyaki, some mixed vegetables (cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms) that I cooked with olive oil, a little bit of sesame oil, and red pepper.

This bento had the same mixed vegetables, cucumbers, spicy Korean tofu, and rice. I used the extra sauce from the tofu on the rice. 

Cucumbers, pineapple, cherry tomatoes, salad, pineapple, rice with spicy korean sauce, and tamagoyaki. 


Jonathan wanted curry so I did that. This wouldn't be a good cold bento, but he was able to microwave it at school. I used a premade curry packet but added in some extra eggplant.

Looking at all of these bentos is making me hungry! It's lunch time here so I will eat when I'm done with this post.

McDonald's here is having a "Vintage American" theme right now. It's kind of weird, lol. The honey mustard chicken sandwich was really tasty. I just ate the fries plain but it came with cheese sauce (Jonathan ate it but I didn't think it was good) and bacon bits. 

One day we went to LaLaport. I didn't buy one, but these fighting cat Gachapon toys are so cute!

We played basketball at the arcade and I beat Jonathan and finally made it to the third round! You advance to each round by reaching a certain score. It's only 30 points to make it the the second, which is easy, but then you need 150 points to make it to the 3rd round which is much more of a challenge. I finally did it! You need 250 to make it to the 4th round. I wasn't too far off! 

Krispy Kreme opened at LaLaport fairly recently. I got a chocolate raspberry jelly donut. I'm not a huge raspberry fan, and I don't usually like jelly donuts, but this was just so pretty and fancy looking! It did still sound good to me, but I would have gone with something else probably. But this ended up being super delicious. The jelly was really good and everything was yummy. I would buy this one again, but it was a limited time one so I probably won't even get the chance.

January was such a fun month! It made me really glad that I'm spending another year in Japan. I can't imagine leaving in March!


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