June 28, 2012

A (vegetarian) foodie in Japan...

I'm not going to lie, it's hard being a vegetarian in Japan but only where eating out is concerned.  I've been a vegetarian since I was 15 and I've watched the evolution of American menus to include more and more vegetarian fare.  Hardly the case in Japan.  Usually if something looks meatless it probably has some small chopped meat or fish in it.  Fish, the Japanese do not consider to be meat.  So when once I ordered something and told the server no meat she brought it to me with fish on it.  I shamefully had to send it back but then she brought me a "special pizza" her chef created for me.  Things like this are few and far between here.  Special orders are almost a no-no. 

I am currently without a fridge.  When I created an account on Amazon.jp I only still had my American phone and just got a Japanese phone on Sunday so I had my American phone number on the website.  Now everything else I ordered from Amazon came without a hitch but the company delivering the fridge told my Japanese friend that they would not deliver it because I didn't have a Japanese number.  Quite dumb.  Anyway, all this leads to making cooking very difficult.  I can make one dish meals but I end up throwing away a lot because I cannot store it.  Meanwhile, for lunch I've been eating so much soba I cannot even choke it down anymore.  I am so sick of it and I know that's probably blasphemy in Japan but everyday for lunch since the 11th.  Kill me.

Wednesday, my friend Nate and I made Mexican.  A taco salad with rice and beans and all the wonderful Mexican seasonings: cumin, garlic, onion and chili powder.  I also made guacamole.  It was heaven. 

Yesterday, I made a gourmet sandwich with wheat bread (a hard find in Japan to be sure), apples, gorgonzola and pecans.  Oh so delicious!

My adventures of being a vegetarian foodie in Japan will continue and I hope this fridge delivery comes off without a hitch tomorrow so I can make more delicious foods!

June 23, 2012

Lost in Edogawa...

The best way to get lost in the city you live in is to board the wrong bus.

In order of ease of use in Japan:

1. taxi  (expensive)
2. subway (cheap)
3. JR trains (cheap)
4. bus (cheap)

I personally find the bus system to be the most confusing in Japan.  I've been told many times to get on a bus and just get off at xxx.  Even this which sounds easy is very difficult. 

Perhaps you read on the (very reliable) internets that bus xx gets you to xxx faster than bus yy.  You get on this bus.  This is the wrong bus.  You ride all over your city seeing things you've never seen before including Ford Tokyo.  An hour later you never arrive at your destination which should have taken less than 20 minutes.  Frustration sets in and the bus driver has to walk you to the proper bus (this is unbelievably embarrassing but a testament to how nice Japanese people can be).  You're now on the correct bus but you've gone so far out of your way that the trip which should have less than 20 minutes has taken you so much time that you don't even remember how much time it's taken you.  At this point you give up and flag down a taxi.  This is how you get lost on a bus in the city you live in.

This is also why I now get incredibly apprehensive getting on a bus now and really don't want to ever get on a bus by myself again.  Yeesh!

Last night I got on a bus with six friends and it was, of course, the correct bus which took us right to our destination.  Maybe the bus system is best operated in groups? 

June 8, 2012

Off the beaten path: Asakusa...

Asakusa is probably one of the busiest places in Japan and because of this it is one of my least favorite places to visit.  There is a long shopping street which leads up to Asakusa Kannon Temple.  The temple is beautiful.  So why is this off the beaten path if so many people visit there?  Well, this morning thanks to jet lag I took a walk in the rain.  It was around 6AM.  The shops along the road to the temple were closed and very few people were about, no tourists.  Every time I've been to the temple I've always seen people with dogs.  It seems to be a popular meeting place for dog lovers.  This morning was no exception.  Dog lovers started in twos and then rapidly multiplied.  Some talked to me in Japanese and one older man asked me about my local (Phoenix) sports teams.  He was a real sports fan.  Here are some dog pics from this morning.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed playing with the dogs.

Lost in Shinagawa Station...

If you've ever been to Japan you might be familiar with these behemoth train stations which are large enough to fit a sizable Japanese popular into it complete with Starbucks and various retail stores.  Shinagawa Station 品川駅 is one of these.  This is where I had to go yesterday.  Now like most stations there are many exits and from experience I can tell you that if you emerge from the wrong exit, you're pretty much screwed.  Yesterday, I managed to navigate the subway (which in my opinion is easy) plus the JR (which is more difficult) all without getting lost.  But Shinagawa Station got the best of me when I took the wrong exit.  From the exit I didn't take I was supposed to get on a bus.  Since I took the wrong exit, there were several wrong buses (instead of one right one).  When I'm lost and in a time crunch, I start to panic so I had a cab take me to my destination and since there was only one bus I was able to take it back to the station.  It seemed so easy going back to the station that I kick myself for getting lost in the first place.  I guess the good news is that I have to go back there and I shouldn't get lost a second time.

June 7, 2012


Hi everyone!  You're not lost!  (Nor am I for that matter.)  I've changed some things around here.  I hope you like it and I hope you stay.  In my new blog "Lost in Japan" I'll still feature my fabulous outfits along with a look at daily life in Japan.  I hope to focus on stuff off the beaten path and not the touristy stuffs that most people come to Japan and see (myself not excluded from that statement if you look at my 5 previous trips to Japan).

I thought I'd start with some clothes!


Jacket Colleen collection, shorts made by me, socks Miracle Socks, boots and bracelet from Kohl's.


Forgive my funny pose as I'm still trying to figure out how to work around this tiny area (such a horrible pose).  Shirt and sweater from Uniqlo (my favorite store I swear), pants Kohl's, necklace Forever 21, shoes Target.  It's my first day of school (unofficial).  My first official day is Monday.  I should take a pic later to see how my hair fared with the humidity.  I'm pretty sure humidity does nothing good for anyone's hair, straight or curly.

Finally I wanted to end with an adorable picture of Rilakkuma in Ikebukuro!

OMG how cute right?!?!?  I just want to hug him!

I hope you have a wonderful Thursday and Friday wherever you are.  More blog to come.

June 1, 2012

What I wore...

Here's what I wore lately (lots of dresses):

I love my sparkly shoes!  I hope you had a nice week!