February 28, 2013

A vegetarian foodie in Japan...

Hi all!  Here's a short food post for ya!

First I made some Kimchi Quesadillas:

I'm sure these are not at all healthy but they are delicious!

Next DIY pasta:

Just rotini, red onion, chickpeas, artichoke hearts and tomatoes.  I made a dressing with the oil and spices from the artichoke hearts.  So delicious!

I also tried this Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt.  It didn't taste much like cookie dough though.

Next I made this delicious Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower:

TO.  DIE.  FOR!  I also made homemade Ranch.  I have no idea if it's actually Ranch.  I just dumped a bunch of spices into Greek yogurt.

Finally, I bought some red curry paste a while ago for a lame recipe and have been looking for others uses for the jar.  I found this Vegetable Curry Stir-Fry:

 It was quite good. 

Anyway that's all that's been cooking with me!

February 25, 2013

Charisma Man...

I am on my 8th month in Japan.  I'm still a newbie here.  I'll admit that.  I hope one day I can say I've lived in Japan so long I know it all.  Meanwhile, I'm still learning.  Maybe, I'll always be learning.  I like to learn.  One of the things I didn't know about prior to coming to Japan was the concept of Charisma Man.  Today, I'll educate those who may not know.

Charisma Man is a comic strip about a blonde-haired Canadian "geek" who moves to Japan and gains instant celebrity based solely on the fact that he is western.  Charisma Man's nemesis is Western Woman, who unlike the Japanese women in the comic, can see that he is indeed just a geek in Japan.

See below:

(Click for big)

Although it is a comic strip, Charisma Man is quite accurate.  I've seen Charisma Men in real life.  In fact, I am astounded when I see sometimes grotesque men with beautiful Japanese women.  But then I am making judgments based solely on appearances.  He could be the nicest man in the world and she could be a total bitch.

The problem with some Charisma Men is that like their print counterpart, they really hate western women.

Now let me just say that not every western man is a Charisma Man and not every one hates western women.  That would be making a gross generalization.  But there are some out there who seem to hate the western woman for no reason other than the fact that she is immune to his false charm.  Fortunately, I work with a lot of great men and although some of them may only be here to date Japanese women, they have never treated me terribly just because I am a western girl.  Unfortunately, this is not the case for every western woman in Japan.  Some of them have been treated horribly by Charisma Men, sometimes right in front of my very eyes.

I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that if you as a western man come to Japan, you can either be totally cool or a total Charisma Man.  I'd suggest being cool to everyone (and not just Japanese girls).  I mean that is the philosophy I'm trying to live by: "Be excellent to each other."  And before you men (or even women) treat a western woman like she isn't worthy to clean the spit off your shoe, try to remember that while living in a foreign country may be easy for some, for others it can be the most difficult thing they've ever done in their life.  The last thing anyone needs while trying to cut it in a place that can be incredibly difficult to live in is just another person kickin' her while she's down.

This is my PSA.  Thank you for your time.

"Be excellent to each other."

February 22, 2013

Lipton Tea...

Hello!  Keeping warm?  I'm off to colder temps this weekend but it's okay.  I'll have my honey to keep me warm as well as onsen.

Meanwhile, I leave you with some new teas.

First is 梅はちみつ:

I'm sure this came about to celebrate plum blossom season.  It's quite good (even though I've only had it once).  I'd like to have it again.  This one's a keeper!  (Also, I can't wait to see what appears for sakura season.)

Next part of the Premium Series is Perfect Measure Cream Milk Tea:

What is wrong with the Premium Series?  I learned my lesson last time.  Of this I only had a few sips.  I'm glad I had the sense not to drink the whole thing.  Not really a fan of this one either.  (Thanks to Ola for the translation help!)

The list:
  1. Milk Tea
  2. Maple Milk Tea
  3. Lemon Tea
  4. Peach Tea
  5. Earl Grey Milk Tea
  6. Green Apple Tea
  7. 50/50 Tea & Lemonade
  8. Tropical Fruit Tea
  9. Chamomile Citrus Tea
  10. Roast Milk Tea
  11. Jasmine Lemon Peel
  12. Grape Tea
  13. Straight Tea
  14. Apple Tea
  15. 50/50 Tea & Fruit Punch
  16. Matcha Milk
  17. Tea Cappuccino
  18. Mikan Tea
  19. 50/50 Tea & Nectar
  20. Luxurious Milk Tea
  21. Muscat Tea
  22. Plum Honey
  23. Cream Milk Tea
The Top Five:
  1. OG Milk Tea
  2. 50/50 Tea Lemonade
  3. 50/50 Tea & Fruit Punch
  4. 50/50 Tea & Nectar
  5. Jasmine Lemon Peel 
I often wonder what happens when the teas start to repeat.  The horror!  The horror!

February 19, 2013

Yushima Tenman-gū Shrine...

Last weekend I went to Yushima Tenman-gū Shrine 湯島天満宮 which is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the Tenjin the Kami of Learning.

The shrine is located just west of the big busy bustling Ueno district.  I am still always shocked to find such peace and beauty in the midst of the crazy city.

They go up:

Many many ema tablets wishing for success on exams:

The different types of plum blossoms that bloom here:

Ema & paper cranes:

Tying off a (bad) fortune:

People praying for success at the shrine:

Plum blossoms start to bloom.

Many food stalls that day:

Yushima is a beautiful shrine and I may just go back there to see the plum blossoms when they are in full bloom.  This is definitely one of my recommended places to visit in Tokyo.

February 18, 2013

In fashion...

Hi all!

I'm still here and still braving this unbelievable cold.  Saturday was by far the worst day I've experienced, so cold.  I think I have wind burns.  Is that possible?



Although this outfit was cute, it was too cold to wear these pants without a layer underneath.  Ah well, live and learn.   Sweater Wal-Mart, scarf & shirt Target, jeans Colleen Collection (Levi's), boots Chiyoda.


Sweater H&M, jeans Colleen Collection (Old Navy), boots Chiyoda, scarf Target.


I wish this sweater was long sleeve because it's so warm!  Sweater Uniqlo, shirt Daiei, pants & boots Kohl's.  (And they laughed when I bough fur lined over the knee boots in Arizona!)


Sweater dress made by me, shirt Target, leggins and boots Kohl's.


It was my friend's birthday and also Mori Art Museum day.  (See post here.)  Anyway, it's a Goodwill outfit!  Sweater (Target brand) & skirt Goodwill.  necklace JCPenny, tights Daiei, boots Chiyoda.

I hope you're warm!  I'm sitting under the heater.  Till next time!

February 17, 2013

Monument for Nothing...

Today I was fortunate enough to visit the Mori Art Museum to view Aida Makoto's exhibit "Monument for Nothing."

Aida's exhibition features some beautiful and some rather large pieces of art, many which are a scathing social commentary on aspects of modern Japanese society that people like to keep hush hush.  His work is loud and powerful and has been called "provocative, subversive, and perverted."  I had a true emotional reaction to many of his pieces.  

The only thing in the museum that can be photographed is called "The Non-Thinker."

Here's some things I purchased:

Two folders and some postcards of his work.

Afterwards you can walk through the observation area for some stunning views of Tokyo:


If you live in Tokyo, I implore you to go see this exhibition (though if you are overly sensitive you might want to avoid some areas).  It cost a mere ¥1500.  Quite possibly the best ¥1500 I've spent in a good while.  Hell, I'd say if you live in Japan get here!  If this ever comes to your town, it is a definite must see.  

Here is the website.

I hope you had a nice weekend.  Tomorrow it's back to the grind.

February 16, 2013

Where have I been?

To be honest?  In dreamland.  The truth is, I'm quite certain that I've met the best guy in Japan.  And since I don't have any sort of personal blog, you get to hear all about it here.  I just can't sing enough praises about how wonderful he is.  I've had so many bad dates and dating experiences that I forgot how wonderful dating can be when done with a wonderful person.  Despite being from different cultures, we have loads in common and he's so respectful of my crazy quirks like not eating meat and obsessing over プリクラ and such.

A few weekends ago on our way out of Taito Station, there was a BIG alpaca that I mentioned I LOVED.  We walked around the whole UFO section until we found one machine with one alpaca in it.  It happened to be pink.  I know that I've mentioned this before but unlike America, they want you to win and will help you.

Here's proof:

Not only that but a lady stopped to watch and offer advice.  Now as a side note, I have been coveting these ADORABLE alpacas since they debuted in Japan (who knows when).  I have sat green with envy while so many people posted these suckers in their blogs.

Would you believe that I just had to wait for the right time.  (On another side note, I tried to win a much much smaller version for myself in August.  I suck at these games btw.)

I am so happy she came home with me and I'm even happier she was a gift from a truly wonderful person.

Her name is Yuki (which is snow in Japanese for those who don't know) because it's winter and she's sportin' a snowflake necklace.

Here's me cuddling with her but ultimately wishing she was the Honey:

That pink glow is because I actually have pink lights in my room.  No, I'm not kidding.

Anyway, I think about him a lot and sometimes find myself smiling randomly. I'm happy I found me a special guy.  That's where I've been.  I've been working, I had a random illness featuring congestion and I have been working on building a relationship with my boyfriend.

I have a couple things coming up on the blog so don't give up on me!  I hope you're well and warm!

February 10, 2013

A vegetarian foodie in Japan...

Yeah so...apparently it's been about 2 months since I updated this section of my blog.  Sorry about that!  I have eaten at places and even made food.  I guess I've just been lazy about posting.  That means this is going to be long.  Sorry about that too!

Beautiful and delicious 4 cheese pizza from Pizzeria e Trattoria da ISA:

Thanks to National Azabu supermarket I got all the necessaries to make my kick ass enchiladas:

 Brown sugar cupcakes prefrost:

Sometimes I make the most beautiful omelette  you've ever seen:

Killer vegetarian ramen from T's Tantan:

Finding Chipotle (aka Frijoles) in Japan:

Back at Devil Craft again:

Some gorgeous bruschetta I made:

Lentil Chili:

Some hot chocolate and ricotta pancakes from bills in Odaiba:

Artichoke Cream Pasta:

(No recipe, just kinda winged it.)

Taco rice from Chaya:

Obama Veggie Burger from Pink Cow:

Pretty much the best brownie I've ever eaten Butter Brownie from Pink Cow:

It's Vegetable! is a vegetarian Chinese restaurant that makes mock meat.  It's super delicious!  I want to eat there all the time.

Sweet & Sour "Pork":

"Fish" with Lemon Sauce:

Some fancy food from a fancy ass dinner party I went to:

Beautiful crepes in Shinjuku:

Look at this bomb ass pizza I designed from Domino's Family Restaurant:

How to Get a BF pasta, garlic bread and Caprese:


Soup from Soup Stock Tokyo:

Black Bean Tacos:

Surprisingly found cilantro at my local supermarket!  (And these are by far the best tacos ever.)

Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes:

Few things mesh like cherries and chocolate which make these are some damn good cupcakes.

A proper tempura lunch in Ginza:

Whew!  Sorry for the mile long post!  I hope you found some recipes in there you like or for you Tokyoites, some places to eat.