Japan Series – Where We Plan To Go

Hello and welcome to the second post of the Japan Series! I posted last month on my blog the exciting news about how me and Dane are FINALLY going to Japan in 2020. It still hasn’t sunk in, but almost daily we are talking about it and where we want to go, whether it be to visit, shop, eat and drink.

We are constantly asking people and researching. I thought I would share with my gorgeous readers where we are planning to go and why!

Image taken from Ghibli Museum website

This is a place I have wanted to visit ever since I heard about many years ago. I LOVE Studio Ghibli so much and alongside Elfen Lied it’s what actually got me into anime in the first place! I have fond memories of my dad and me watching Spirited Away one day after school during a rain storm outside. Years later I bought it on DVD and not long after me and Dane got together, I took the DVD to his house so we could watch it. I even want a tattoo of Haku on my bicep! It’s just a film I adore to the bottom of my heart. The museum apparently isn’t mind blowing, but I don’t care. I still plan to go! You have to book tickets a month in advance, so Dane has daily reminders a month before we’re off to Japan to book the tickets so we don’t miss out! I plan (if I’m allowed to do so!) to take loads of photos of the museum and possibly spend a little bit too much money in the gift shop. 😛

Image taken from teamLab Planets website

These gorgeous light museums are somewhere I have wanted to visit for quite some time now and I am so excited to finally have the chance to go when we visit Japan. I’m not a massive museum or art exhibition person… I can at times find them quite boring, but these interactive light installations look amazing. You can download an app to use alongside the experience, which I really like the look and sound of. You need to book in advance and from memory it said two months, so myself and Dane will be keeping our eyes peeled for when we can book!

Image taken from Sanrio Puroland website

This is a place I’ve ummed about for ages because I really want to go, but I don’t know if I love Sanrio enough to… In the end however, I would really love to go! It looks like it’s a good day out to go and explore, see a couple of shows (maybe) and just go around the area. Of course there’s lots of shopping to be done throughout too. I say I don’t love Sanrio, but I do have a lot of memories with Sanrio. I remember back when I was coming towards the end of primary school and in my first couple of years of secondary school, I adored Sanrio and couldn’t get enough of it! I fell in love with Chococat, Cinnamoroll (alongside his friends Azuki, Milk, Chiffon, Espresso, Mocha and Cappuccino) who came out in the early 00’s and especially Pompompurin! The most recent character Aggretsuko is amazing and I adore her so much. The more I write and think about it, the more I really would like to go to Puroland whilst we’re in Japan!

This is somewhere in Japan I REALLY want to go to but I don’t know if it’s going to happen or not… Basically Nara Park is located in Nara, which is nearly 4 and a half hours away by train… Unless we get up really early and go to Nara for a day… I don’t know if we’ll be able to go or not. In Nara Park you can feed the deer that live there. They bow their heads for food and as a reward, you feed them. Both me and Dane love animals, so it’s something we would both love to do whilst we’re out there. I feel like Dane will sort it so we can go, but I’m worried it won’t be able to happen… We shall see! 🙂

Violet Evergarden : the Movie

Image taken from Kyoto Animation website

This isn’t somewhere me and Dane thought about going before the tragic arson attack that happened at Kyoto Animation on the morning of 18th July 2019. We LOVE loads of anime that has been released by Kyoto Animation such as K-ON!, Nichijo, Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, A Silent Voice, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and Violet Evergarden. It broke out hearts when we heard about what had happened to the studio and it still to this day upsets me. It hurts even more that the director of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid died in the attack of Kyoto Animation. This is by far one of my favourite anime and manga series to date and I know they had just started to work on a second season too. I want to go and pay my respects to be honest and I’m hoping that when we’re out in Japan, Kyoto Animation will have begun to rebuild and me and Dane will be able to see how it’s forming and growing again.

The white color of TOKYO SKYTREE blends into the blue sky.

Image taken from Tokyo Skytree website

This is somewhere I really do want to go to in Japan… However I am also shit scared. I’m not a massive fan of heights in all honesty and I especially hate using lifts. Of course, both of these need to be used when it comes to visiting the Tokyo Skytree. This being said I know Dane really wants to go and visit this whilst we’re in Japan and to be honest with you, I would hate to come back from our trip and think, “I wish we had gone and done it now.” So yes, I will suck it in and go! If anything whilst I will be scared, I know I’ll also love it!

Honestly guys, I could go on for hours about all the places in Japan that me and Dane plan to visit, but I could be here for ages and would definitely bore you all! 😛 These are the main places we plan to go and would love to go whilst we’re in Japan.

Our holiday STILL hasn’t sunk in for me and honestly, it won’t until we’re boarding the plane and I’m beginning to have a mini panic attack!

What do you think to the places both me and Dane would like to visit in Japan? Make sure to let us know in the comments and hey! Even suggest any if you’ve visited Japan yourselves!

Next time I plan to talk about food and drinks places we plan to visit, including cafes! 😀

Until next time, take care all and I hope you have a lovely weekend.

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Around The World in Barely a Minute – TAG!

Another week, another tag post, oh boy I love these! This one is taken from lifestyle blogger Corrine over at Organic by Nerve (link to her blog here).

So after reading her answers, I thought I would give it a go. Damn, I wish I could really go around the world in barely a minute! 😛

Blog World Map

Image of my world readership!

1. Where are you from in the world?

I’m from the UK.

2. Do you prefer summer or winter? Why?

It depends really! I love being able to rock pretty dresses, and such in the summer, but I also love being able to wrap up in the winter and wearing my Dr Martens boots, and snuggly hoodies and jumpers… Can I just say autumn? 😛

3. Summer or winter fashion?

Depends I suppose… I like both for different reasons, but I often prefer winter.

4. Where is somewhere you would love to travel to?

Japan, New Zealand, and New York. 🙂

5. Name your essential makeup items for the beach

Sun cream and an SPF lip balm.

photo2020-01-20152042042201420pm_zpsl9i5ae6o

Image taken from We Heart It

6. Are you currently saving up for a trip?

Not really… I would love to go somewhere though.

7. Do you like/dislike traveling?

I don’t dislike traveling at all! I love going on adventures, especially with Dane.

8. Name a place in the world you would love to shop.

Definitely in Harajuku! There’s just so many awesome shops I’d want to go to there. As well as that probably in Sephora, and Bath & Body Works in America too.

9. Who is your favourite beauty guru and where do they live?

I can’t really say that I have a favourite… Apologies!

10. What accent in the world is your favourite to hear?

Northern Ireland!

photo2024-02-20162052008201020pm_zpsk7kiugae

Image taken from We Heart It

11. Favourite city or country?

Fuerteventura. ^_^ Japan too of course. 😛

12. Travel accessory you always pack?

My Nintendo 2DS, as well as my phone.

13. Preferred method of travel: planes, trains or automobiles?

I don’t mind any of them to be honest… But I’d feel safer in a train or car.

14. Top 3 Travel items?

A book, my 2DS, and my iPhone 6.

15. Hostel or hotel?

Hotel for sure. The Hostel movies have just made me too scared to stay in one now. 😛

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Image taken from We Heart It

16. Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?

I can repeat visit places, but majority of the time I like to find new places to go to. I love a good adventure!

17. Do you read up on your destination for culture, history or safety or do you wing it?

I just wing it to be honest. If I look up anything it’s usually where the best places are for food. xD

18. You’re leaving tomorrow, money is no option, where are you going?

TOKYO!!!!

19. Beach holiday or travel/explore holiday?

I don’t see why I wouldn’t be able to do a bit of both to be perfectly honest!

20. To travel is to…

GO ON AN ADVENTURE! 😀

So that’s my answers from the tag! I tag everyone who reads this to give it a go.

Make sure to leave your  links in the comments down below so I can read your answers.

Until next time all, have a great weekend, and an amazing Easter!

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Halfway To 50!

In a months time I’ll be turning 25. Yes I’ve been alive 25 whole years in a months time. I can’t believe how time has flown over the past ten years and when I think of things I’ve done and said over the years of growing up it makes me cringe. Especially when I attempted to predict what my future would hold when I was seventeen.

I remember at the time talking to a college friend when I was seventeen about where I wanted myself to be when I turned 25. I wanted to have a boyfriend and start a family. YES I wanted to start a family at 25! Fair enough to people who do do that, but for me it’s a definite no.

However the year after that when I was eighteen I decided that twenty-five was too young, and when I turned 28 that would be the year of me settling down and having a family.

Since that time I have started my career (somewhat!), been in a young relationship, a pathetic relationship and now in a serious relationship. I still live at home and I earn sod all money. I don’t think I’m ready to have children in the next 3-4 years, do you?

However I’m not getting any younger and in a months time I’ll be halfway to 50 and that’s a pretty scary thought when I look at how my life is at the moment.

I won’t lie, in the next 5-6 years I would like to be in my own home with my boyfriend, if we wanna get married then so be it, be in a good job, have a puppy/doggy, and finally start thinking about having a family of my own.

Considering the past 4-5 years have flown by its pretty scary that the next 5-6 years are going to fly by just as quickly. Especially with the fact this year has just gone, I can only imagine that the same is going to happen next year too.

So with New Years just around the corner, which also has New Years resolutions tagged onto it I’m thinking of some life goals to go through next year. Big ones at that! I’m thinking if I set myself 5 to complete every year until I turn 30, I’ll hopefully finally be where I want to be in life within those 5 years.

Image taken from weheartit.com

1. To be moving into my own home by the end of 2015.

Over the past couple of months my boyfriend and I have come to the decision that we do want to move in together and the sooner we can, the better. As much as I love living at home (okay that might be a little bit of a white lie) I want my own space. Whilst my family were away for 2 weeks I LOVED just having the house to myself, being able to cook what I wanted, when I wanted and not worrying about anything clashing. It was just amazing to have all that space to myself and it was nice having my boyfriend there with me everyday. Times like that show us both that we CAN stand each other for more than a few minutes and as well as that we were able to go and do our own thing and not have a problem.

Image taken from weheartit.com

2. To have a new car by the end of 2015.

As much as I love my little red bug, I would like a new car soon. In 2017 it’ll be 20 years old and whilst it serves it’s purpose for driving from local places A-B, I can’t drive to university and nor can I drive to my boyfriend’s house, so it means I often have to get trains, lifts, etc which is extremely frustrating when I know how to drive and I want to have the chance to drive on motorways but my car just causes my anxiety to flare. The worry it wouldn’t be able to handle the distance is a worry to me for a start. I wouldn’t want a brand new car, but a second-hand car that’s just had one owner would suit me. My car now only had one owner before me and it was perfect. What made it less perfect was when someone hit it a couple of years ago whilst I was at work. She admitted it was her fault and I got some compensation. Sadly though my cars value dropped by over £500 and it really annoyed me, and still does to this day. I guess it does make me paranoid to have another car incase it happens again… But if you live life-like that you won’t get anywhere.

Image taken from weheartit.com

3. Pass my MA at university with a 2:1.

This is one of my biggest worries at the moment… I finish in September 2015 and whilst it seems far away I know it’ll creep up on me before I know it. I mean next Friday is my last day at university until the end of January now. Crazy huh? Also in a months time as well as getting older, I have five assignments to hand in. Yep FIVE! I’m really anxious about it, but I know with a few late nights and some hard work it’ll all be done in time. BUT I really want to be able to pass with a good mark, a 2:1 would be perfect for me and that is what I’m aiming towards. I’ll have to decide if I want to continue at my university to study my PhD or go and study it at a closer university… Decisions, decisions.

Image taken from weheartit.com

4. Go to Japan for a two-week holiday.

I would love to visit Japan as I have spoken about in the past on my blog and that urge is still very strong. After attending Comic Con at the end of November I want to go more than ever and knowing me I won’t want to come back home! It wouldn’t be cheap to go and I’d probably be inclined to travel out later in the year of 2015 for various reasons. I’d want to go after I finish university as a sort of “congratulations, you finished!” treat, plus it’s an excuse to go, isn’t it? This being said if me and my boyfriend get a house together, I doubt we would be able to afford it. I’d much rather sacrifice a holiday, than a possible home and investment.

Image taken from Charlotte Timmons Instagram account – http://instagram.com/charlotte_eleanor88

5. Get a tattoo!

Okay, this is a silly one and if I don’t do it it isn’t any biggie! I’ve already found the tattoo artist who I would want to do my piece, Charlotte Timmons (here’s her Instagram account, check out her work!) who has also done a piece for my friend, which was beautiful. She does some gorgeous pieces and her animal ones stick out the most to me. As regular readers will know, I LOVE foxes and the fact she tattoos them makes me very happy. It’s an added bonus how beautiful her fox work is. A recent piece (which is the image above) came up on her Instagram and the after pictures of the girl who had it, it’s stunning and really has made me want a fox piece by her now. I might not get a tattoo ever and it’ll constantly be a fantasy never actually played out in reality, but nonetheless and as Mr Potato Head said in Toy Story “hey, I can dream, can’t I?

Will I stick to these? I know at least three of them I’m going to try and succeed in this year, not because they’re goals but because I know I want them enough to get what I want!

As I do every year, I will make some little New Year’s resolutions up for myself, but those will be up on the 31st of December. So keep your eyes peeled for those.

Will you be having a go at creating some years goals? If so, what would you come up with? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, take care all and I hope you’ve had a good December so far.

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Japanese Series: Places To Visit (Inc. Boyfriend’s too!)

Image taken from weheartit.com

Hello and welcome to post number three in the Japanese series! As I mentioned last week on the Asian Food post, I would today be talking about places I really want to go when I visit Japan. As well as that, I also mentioned that I would have a special guest on this post, which in turn is my boyfriend. He asked if he could write about a place he wants us to visit when we both go to Japan in the future and of course I wouldn’t say no!

I shall be talking about three places I really wish to go and visit in Japan, my boyfriends post will find itself amongst those posts and you’ll be able to tell which is his place that he wishes for us to go and visit… It’s snow related. 😛

Whilst the place he wishes to go and visit is snow related, all mine are kawaii and pretty much anime related, which makes me sound a little bad sad, doesn’t it?

This is going to be a pretty long post, so no time like the present to get talking about all the places we wish to go to when we visit Japan!

Sanrio Puroland

Image taken from weheartit.com

When I was talking to my boyfriend about places I could mention on here, I came up with four altogether, this being one of them but when I mentioned that I felt rather silly for wanting to go to such a place, he said he knew how much I wanted to go and it was definitely worth a mention!

I’ve been in love with Hello Kitty and all things Sanrio since the age of 11. I can’t remember how I came to discover who Hello Kitty was, but when I did I was hooked and for years I went out of my way to find things Hello Kitty related to buy. Eventually I discovered that Hello Kitty was by a Japanese brand called Sanrio and there were many other characters just like her and just as cute! I came to find out about Chococat, Charmmy Kitty, Cinnamoroll, Pochacco, Kuririn, My Melody, and many more!

Although Puroland isn’t number one on my list of places to visit whilst I visit Japan, I know it’s definitely there and it’d be a shame to miss it whilst I was there. I’ve seen many pictures of what it’s like inside Puroland itself and it looks like so much fun! I know I would end up spending a lot of money in there, I have to say and that would probably be one of my main reasons for going, to stock on cute Sanrio related products! This is more for children than adults, but after loving Hello Kitty since a very young age, the child in me would love this.

Pokemon Center

Image taken from weheartit.com

I don’t know if I have really spoken about it much, but I love Pokemon and have done since it came out on the Game Boy back in 1999. It’s been over 10 years since then and over that time there have been loads more games released, the anime followed after the game which I watched religiously as a child, card games were invented, and as well as that, Pokemon Center’s began popping up all over Japan, as well as in America.

When I first found out about the Pokemon Center, I thought it was just a museum and thought nothing more about it, but back in 2011 I did some research on it and pleasantly discovered that it was infact a shop! You could buy all sorts in there and I imagined how amazing it must be to actually go and wander around. Then one morning in 2013 whilst I lay in bed, waiting to go to work, I searching “Pokemon Center Japan” into YouTube and was greeted by hundreds of videos that people had recorded, all of them showing what the Pokemon Center was like. The one that showed up the most, was the store in Tokyo!

The stores are owned by The Pokemon Company in Japan and The Pokemon Company International in America. As I would be visiting Tokyo when I finally go to Japan, the Pokemon Center in Tokyo would be the ideal store for me to visit, this being said there is also a store in Tokyo Bay, so knowing me I’d go and visit both if it was doable!

I’ve already said to my boyfriend that I’ll probably need a lot of money for when we visit the Pokemon Center, as I’d want to buy a bit of everything to bring back home with me. I know when I visit Japan anyway that I’ll be buying a lot of stationery (they have the best stationery!) but I know I’ll want to come home with a huge Eevee plushie. Whenever I watch the videos of people in the Pokemon Center’s I just want to buy most of the things they show and I envy what things I watch people showing off that they’ve bought in haul videos.

This is probably number one on my list of places to visit in Japan… Alongside all the yummy food shops too of course!

Shiga Kogen, Nagano Prefecture – The place Dane (my boyfriend) wants to visit

Japan is a destination I NEED to visit in the near future, although being content with doing the expected things of visiting Tokyoʼs many attractions and districts (Iʼm looking at you Harajuku), getting communal in an onsen and traveling south to visit Osaka and Kyoto.

There is one thing I must do and that is to snowboard in Shiga Kogen, Nagano.

As Natalee may have explained, I am an avid snowboarder going on yearly trips away to the French Alps. Resorts in the French Alps tend to be very similar and having to go there every year is becoming quite monotonous. Apart from going up north to Norway and visiting the homeland of my all time favourite snowboarder, Torstein Horgmo, snowboarding in Japan is a high priority.

Japan is notorious for is snowfall, is an incredibly mountainous group of islands and has literally hundreds of Skijo (ski hills). Adding the fact some of my favourite snowboarders, Kazuhiro Kokubo and Tadashi Fuse, are both from Japan it all greatly adds up for me to snowboard there. If you want to truly understand what it is like to snowboard in Japan see the snowboard film “Seven Samurai – The Catcher on the Line”. And to quote Jimmy Peterson from his book “Skiing Around the World”:

“Snowstorms breeze into the Japanese mountains almost unabatedly from December until late March. The cold, stormy fronts blow in from Siberia, picking up extra moisture as they cross the Sea of Japan. They then dump enormous amounts of white fluff all along the western side of Japan. A number of the Japanese resorts rank among the most snow-rich ski areas in the world.”

image taken from powerhounds.com

That above image should give you an idea of what I want to experience.

Most tour operators (I.e Crystal Ski) would suggest going up north to Hokkaido for the fresh powder. There are two problems, I can think of, with that.

The first being that it’s an 1hr 30min plane ride away from Tokyo, where as going to Shiga Kogen is nearly a 4 hour drive away. Bear with me on that. Yes it takes longer, I have taken multiple 24 hour coach journeys to the Alps and even with flying there is always a 2-3 hour transfer from the airport. Plus flying is always a hassle of checking in, boarding and waiting to fly. So I can handle a measly 4 hour bus journey. In the long run it is much cheaper and you get to see the sights of Japan en route.

The next reason is as follows…

Image taken from flightcentre.com.au

Do I need to explain more?

Well yes. This is the Jigokudani Monkey Park, located on the edge of the national park in the Nagano prefecture, a short distance from Shiga Kogen. A place where just under 200 macaques live and bath in the natural hot springs, which you can visit and get up close to. How close you say? These guys are supposedly incredibly tame and let you get within inches of your camera to take nice close-ups, whether I want my camera/phone stolen by a monkey is something of contention. Having it in such a close proximity to a great resort would be incredible and taking a day trip to visit the park is a must in my book.

Ghibli Museum

Image taken from weheartit.com

Like most people, I LOVE Studio Ghibli movies and since I first discovered their films back in 2004/2005 when I watched Spirited Away and since then I have gone on to watch My Neighbour Totoro, Porco Rosso, The Cat Returns, Kiki’s Delivery Service and many more!

I vaguely remember finding out about the Ghibli Museum even existing due to reading about how there is a short film about the cat bus from My Neighbour Totoro and how it was only being shown at the museum at that time. I researched a little about the museum and since then I have wanted to go there myself!

I won’t talk too much about Studio Ghibli here, as I’m saving it for my fourth and final Japanese Series post next week, but I will say this much… Studio Ghibli is the Japanese version of Disney so I can only imagine the museum to be like a mini version of Disney Land, but that little bit better!

Upon checking out the website in the past about what the museum is all about, I’m already craving to go at this sentence:

Standing in front of a sign that says “Ghibli Museum, Mitaka”, a very large Totoro welcomes you at the entrance. When you look through the portholes, soot-black Dust Bunnies are there as well. But this is not the real entrance. Totoro shows you where the real entrance is.

Real entrance??? This is a total children’s fantasy, adventure world, and it just sounds wonderful! Plus the fact that you are greeted by a huge Totoro, is somewhat of a dream come true.

Some of mine and my boyfriends friends have been to the museum and they’ve told us nothing but positive things about it, but as well as that I’ve seen various YouTube videos about it too and all of the people in question spoke of what a wonderful place it was to visit and how they want to go back in the future.

This isn’t number one like the Pokemon Center, BUT it is the second place I would like to visit and I already know like the Pokemon Center that I WILL need a lot of money when I visit, as I will want to buy myself a huge Totoro to cuddle and keep on my bed.

As my boyfriend and I are both big fans, we both really want to visit the Ghibli Museum and it’d be lovely for us to venture around together.

We’ve really got into Studio Ghibli more than ever and with my boyfriend collecting all the films, our visit to the Ghibli Museum in the future will be extremely exciting!

Speaking of Studio Ghibli, next weeks post is going to be a really exciting one!

As I mentioned above, my fourth and final Japanese series post will be about Studio Ghibli and I’m excited to write about it come the weekend.

So, which places would you like to visit in Japan? Hey, have you been to Japan? If so where did you visit, any places you can recommend?

My boyfriend recently inquired about prices for our future Japanese holiday and now we have decided to save up for it! So as many suggestions as possible, especially kawaii and food related!

Until next week, talk care all and I hope you’re enjoying this series.

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