Good Friends, Games, and Drinks at the Capcom Bar in Shinjuku

After visiting friends towards the middle and southern parts of Japan, I took one last trip up to Tokyo to hang with some peeps I feel like I never see often enough.

Although we’d all been contemplating visiting the limited Ani-ON Sailor Moon cafe, reservations were totally booked through, so someone else in our circle suggested hitting up the Capcom Bar that’s also on a limited run in Shinjuku instead.  Hey, it’s not like I needed any convincing! 😉

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Breakfast in Tokyo

Although Japan has a lot of great restaurants and serves more varieties of ethnic cuisine than you might think considering 98% of the population is Japanese, one of the first things many foreigners start to lament here is the lack of breakfast options.  Finding a restaurant that serves a proper Western breakfast all day, let alone during actual breakfast time, can be a real challenge!

Last weekend my friend K and I were hungry for a real breakfast before heading off to another edition of Hostess Club Weekender at Shin Kiba Studio Coast, and hit up the recently opened Sarabeth’s Shinagawa for brunch, located in the Atre building of Shinagawa Station.  We left with our appetites satisfied, and encourage you to check it out!

© socks lover girl

© socks lover girl

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Easy Peasy Valentine’s Chocolate

Valentine’s Day is coming up this Saturday and if you don’t already know, it’s a day where women give chocolate (with the expectation of it being handmade) to their significant other as a gift, or as a means of confessing how they feel to their crush.  Some women also give chocolate out of politeness to their co-workers or male friends, called giri choco.

If you’re not much of a chef but would like to give this unique custom a try, here’s an easy way to make some handmade chocolate without a lot of fuss.

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Seasons Greetings from Texas!

© J // Washing Rice Blog

My grandmother did all the decorations this year.
© J // Washing Rice Blog

Hey ya’ll, it’s already Christmas Eve!  I feel like December has flown by so fast!

I made sure to get all my New Years greeting cards in the mail before I left, and did most of my Christmas shopping and got it packed before leaving.  Still, there were a few people I was stumped on what to get, and decided to leave it until I was back in the U.S.  What a big mistake, lol!  >_<;;  Even with a week to go until Christmas, the mall was totally packed!

Hopefully everyone is past the holiday season rush and enjoying some quality time with friends and family, or with your significant other if you’re in Japan.  😉

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Local Korokke Festival

Mr. J and I live in a somewhat rural part of Japan.  I really like the area we live in, but sometimes other foreigners that are new to Japan and get placed here go on about how there’s nothing to do and how they wish they were living in Tokyo or a bigger city.  Besides easier access to concerts, conventions, and huge shopping areas, I can’t think of anything Tokyo and other bigger cities have that rural ones don’t.  Believe me, I’ve lived in Tokyo.  😉

I find most of the time the problem is that people just don’t know where to look.  For example, the shrine we took a walk through in last week’s 7-5-3 post held a korokke (Japanese loan word for croquette) festival during the holiday weekend.  Our area is always putting on various events to introduce local cuisine/culture like this one, but if we hadn’t seen fliers for it or heard about it through a friends, we probably wouldn’t have known it was going on.

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Last BBQ of the Summer

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Shūbun no Hi, or Autumnal Equinox Day, passed last week marking the start of fall.  It’s not uncommon for Japanese summers to persist well into mid-October, but this year it seems we’ve caught a break and fall has visited us at its regularly scheduled time.  To mark the end of the season, Mr. J’s old schoolmates threw last BBQ chance of the year party this past Sunday in Yokohama at the Kodomo Shizen Kōen (Children’s Nature Park) BBQ/Picnic area near Futamatagawa Station on the Sōtetsu line. Continue reading

Owning a Pet in Japan: Where to Buy Premium Food

Dog & Cat Food Brand Collage

Maybe they exist in Tokyo or bigger cities, but in my area and most rural areas there’s a dire lack of pet stores.  Most pets and pet supplies are sold at home or DIY centers, and while they carry a wide range of domestic brands, most don’t sell premium dog and cat food I could find at Petco or Petsmart back in the U.S.  The only “premium food” sold around town is Royal Canin, which is really only premium in price, and not ingredients-wise.

With dogs, you might find it at little easier since the market still caters heavily to them.  But after we first got our cats, I was stuck feeding them generic stuff that was high in grains (not good for their health 😦 ) until I could hunt down some of the better brands high in meat or protein content.  So, I thought I’d pass on the list of stores I’ve come across that import or sell premium wet and dry food.

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