Monthly Archives: April 2013

Cat cafe aka neko cafe in Japan

Updated on : April 28, 2013   *  Last modified on : December 22, 2016

Hello there~!

Since one of my friends Neko (of course this is not his real name though XD) asked me about “Neko cafe (cat cafe)” in Japan, thought about do a bit of research on it and write about it.

I guess we have many weird (?) types of cafe nowadays in Japan, start with
“Maid cafe”, “Shitsuji cafe (butler cafe)“, “Neko cafe”, “Samurai cafe”, “Handa duke cafe” that you can try soldering etc.(didn’t even know about some of these until today!!)

OK, let’s get back to Neko cafe XD.

Check out the videos on YouTube here. Clicking the link you will see the result of the videos for “Neko cafe”.

Neko cafe is a cafe that the cafe own some cats and the customers can play with the cats while you enjoy your cafe and tea. You can check the definition on the wikipedia here.

neko

This is the photo I am borrowing from this neko cafe in Tokyo.

The shop has nice site with many photos and blog so go there, it is in Japanese but I think it will be fun to see those photos! Let’s stick with this shop to find out about the neko cafe. Since I do not know much about it, I cannot talk about general neko cafe, so referring this shop as an example ;).

In this neko cafe, seems there are 17 cats.

This probably be a special thing about this shop though, there are set price with hours.
This shop charges 150yen for 10 minutes and with the set price,
1) 1,500yen for 2 hours
2) 1,800yen for 3 hours (this is only available for weekdays)

You would need to order drink with separately from above charge.
The price of the drinks is between 200 – 500yen.
Also you can have anything to drink plan at 350yen. They have 5 kinds of hot drink and 5 kinds of cold drink.

This is the link for neko cafe throughout Japan. It is in Japanese though, looks you can find neko cafe pretty much anywhere in Japan if you want to go.

Man, there are so many things I do not know about Japan~~~~ lol!
I am pretty interested in “Samurai cafe“! It sounds pretty fun to go with person who loves Samurai stuffs!!!

Hope you enjoy the article! Nyan!

NHK Osaka hall with Ethan, How to get there from JR Osaka

Updated on : April 27, 2013

Hello!

After eating Soba, Ethan and I walked to the NHK Osaka hall where the Berryz Kobo concerts were to be held on that day, April 21st.

This is Ethan good to go for the concert and me XD.
Ethan wearing Risako, his love’s happi.
Someone’s finger is shown in the pic haha.

DSC_0468  DSC_0469

Now let’s explain how to get to NHK Osaka hall from JR Osaka station, since when some of you come to Japan and go to NHK Osaka hall, you probably come from JR Osaka station :).

******** Instruction from JR Osaka to NHK Osaka hall ********

The nearest station from NHK Osaka hall is called “Tanimachi yon cho-me (Tanminachi 4 cho-me)“.
It is a subway station.

(1) When you get to JR Osaka station, you need to find a subway station called Higashi-umeda.
“Higashi-umeda” is a station on subway called Tanimachi line.
If you ask for either “Higashi-umeda” station or Tanimachi line, most probably people will help you out to get there.

(2) If you find the “Higashi-umeda” station, buy a ticket and go to platform 1,
which heads for Minami-morimachi, Temmabashi, Tanimachi, Tennoji and Yaominami.
Tanimachi 4 cho-me would be the 3rd stop (after Minami-morimachi and Temmabashi) if there will not be some new stations made between them in the future :p. It takes only about 6 minutes.

(3) If you get to Tanimachi yon cho-me station, look for exit No.9.
Once you get out from the exit No.9,  you will see the NHK Osaka hall right outside!

******************************************************************

This is Ethan and I inside the NHK Osaka hall.

DSC_0467

It was the first time for me to go to the H!P concert venue.
I talked to some of the Japanese wota people, hehe.
Many Japanese wota recognized Ethan and approached to say hey. There was also a guy from Seattle, USA!
It is quite amazing that they have a lot of fans all over the world!!! The Japanese that I talked to, he said he also follows Berryz abroad when they have tour oversea!!

I asked him “so you must be like working for Berryz Kobo, aren’t you”
and he replied “YES” looking very satisfied with my question.

This site called Jorudan is probably good to use when you want to know how long it takes to get from one point to another or how much it cost etc. I usually use Japanese version of this site and this is really handy.

JORUDAN

Ethan took me to a nice soba noodle! (Osaka)

Updated on : April 25, 2013

Hi there! How are you doing?

Last Saturday, I met up with Ethan from France in Osaka.

He had 2 Berryz Kobo concerts that day at NHK Osaka hall.

Arrived to JR Osaka station a little bit past 11am and emailed Ethan is now (it was our first time to meet in person, even we knew what we look like via facebook). When I picked up my phone and tried to phone his number, I saw someone with red gloves with phone in his hand!!

“Hey~ Ethan~~~!” “Oh Nozomi?” we eventually heading to the same exit without noticing XDD.

We did the nice to meet you time of greeting saying “hajime mashite~” and Ethan told me he has a place that he could take me for lunch.

Metup

This is the photo taken at the Osaka station while we are moving from JR Osaka to subway station.

I have live in Osaka for several years, but I am kind of person never be good at memorizing good places to eat and directions, it was nice that Ethan knew some places. It is kind of odd though, when I see my friends oversea, sometimes they know more about the area than I do lol.

DSC_0466

This is the Soba restaurant ”Sobakiri Tsutaya” that Ethan took me. Very cozy Japanese looking restaurant.
The restaurant was on kind of hidden street and looked like known by those who know kind of place. Could be famous since there are so many people in line.

DSC_0464 DSC_0465

The left is what I ate and the right is Ethan with his dish :D.

The restaurant serves many kind of soba noodle and soba noodle seems to be their strength but I really liked that soup! It was duck soap (hot) and eat the noodle dipped in the soup like the photo below.

SobaEating

It was quite windy that day so the hot soup really pleased me.

Essential Kanji for coffee drinker

Updated on : April 16, 2013

Hello there!

I will talk about some Kanji today!

While I was with Sylvain last Monday (man! can’t believe it has been a week already!), French vending machine do not have coffee. With that discovery, Sylvain bought a can coffee at a vending machine.

If you are coffee drinker, you may want to know if the coffee is either black, with sugar etc.
Oh I am a tea drinker by the way :p.

So let’s talk about how to tell what type of coffee you are looking at at the vending machines.

Here are the photos I got from Amazon.

BlackCoffee

It is probably not hard to tell which one is black coffee since it is said “black” in English and the cans are black (circled them in red in above photo).

Now let’s find out about less sugar :D!

Sylvain wanted coffee with less sugar. It would help if you are too.

Bito

Do you recognize a same kanji on above photo?Actually there are 2 kanjis in common.

Yes, BI and TO.

The latter kanji means sugar and first kanji is small sort of. So if you see those kanji on the cans, you know the coffee is less sugar.

There are coffee with one more kanji before them also like this one below.

Chobito

It says  Chobito-.  This one has even more less sugar. The first kanji means “super” :D.

Hope it will help you find the coffee of your choice when you come to Japan ;)!!

 

P.S. Oh, I just remembered. The best line Sylvain made while we were together.

There was a girl while we were walking together that he thought was cute.

He murmured that ‘I would press “like” button if she is on facebook!’ I thought it was hilarious XDDDDD!

Sylvain and the vending machines

Updated on : April 11, 2013   *  Last modified on : May 8, 2013

I wonder if there are any other countries with vending machine with coffee or not.

Is it unusual or usual??

While I was walking in Nara with Slyvain on Monday, I just noticed that French vending machines do not have coffee.

After Todaiji temple, we went to a restaurant to eat.
Here is happy Sylvain with tea in his hand and our meals~~~~~!
I had the one in the middle photo (sashimi, raw fish Tofu, miso soup set ), Sylvain had the right one (chirashi zushi and nyumen noodle set).

Sylvain wanted to have a cup of coffee after the meal, but it cost 300 – 400yen so we left the restaurant and walking on the street.

I suggested him why not have the one of vending machine and pointed out the coffee at a vending machine on the street. He said he does not have coffee in vending machine in France. What they have is like coke and stuffs like that.

I tried to remember how that was in the US. I do remember they had coke but cannot really remember coffee. They probably had one comes with paper cups but not so sure about in the cans.

Do they???

Here are coffees in a vending machine. Red color at the bottom of the can means hot and blue cold.
I have been told from one of my German friends that cold coffee is weird……. Is it——?!?!

Will write a bit more on this in the next post!!

~ to be continued :p ~

Sightseeing in Nara with Sylvain

Updated on : April 10, 2013   *  Last modified on : May 8, 2013

On April 8th Monday, I had a friend from France came over to Nara.
I know him through a facebook group of idol fans.

We had some incidents before meeting up, but could meet up at JR Nara station a bit past 11 in Monday morning.

Got a guide map at the tourist information, asked where to go (aha! I do not know much about it even I live here for 2 years now :p :p :p and this is really famous place for sightseeing).

We were suggested to go to Todaiji temple, five storied pagoda of Kofukuji temple and Kasuga taisha shrine.

So we headed to Todaiji first walking through the famous Nara park where you can see deer all over.

We got to the Todaiji temple, ask a man to take a photo of us. Cheese :D.

Then approach the temple.
Inside the temple, the big building behind us on above photo, there is the guy sitting.

Yes, this guy.

The Great Buddha.

This photo does not have anything to have for size comparison, but this Buddha is pretty BIG! 14.7m high. Hum it does not sound very big if it is said like that but pretty big if you see it at the site.

~~ to be continued ~~

HIGH WAY BUS! Traveling cheap inside Japan

Updated on : April 5, 2013   *  Last modified on : November 14, 2016

Hello!

One of my friends who is coming to Japan the end of this month just has asked me the cheapest way to move Tokyo to Aichi prefecture so I am writing about the high way bus today.

This is wonderful site you can check at. WILLER EXPRESS.

This is the entire map of Japan here.

0405_JapanMap

Japan seems pretty small in a world map but it is not that small if you live in or be there XDD.

My friend is traveling Tokyo to Aichi this time, so it will be this bid on the map he is traveling.

0405_TtoA

It takes 6 and a half hours by bus.
Of course if you use bullet train (Shinkansen), it will be definitely quicker to travel (still takes about 2 hours by Shinkansen).

It depends on what is your priority on your trip that time I guess on what transport option you use.

Highway bus is a really good way if you want to travel cheap with certain distance.

 

Go to the site Willer Express and enter the info you need (traveling where to where and stuffs) on the left side of the screen where the red arrow is on the picture below. You will see the very reasonable price traveling long distance ;).

0405_WillerExpress

Goooooooood luck!!

 

P.S. Adding some info on May 16th 2013 (today is my birthday by the way XD)!
Seems this company has even better deal.
Sunshine Bus Tour (in Japanese). Thanks for the link Robert!!

AUCFAN, Minimizing Your Winning Bid

Updated on : April 1, 2013

Hello everyone :).

When you try to buy stuffs on auction, sometimes you just get so heated up with other bidders and just keep bidding up. That is part of the fun on auctioning, but at the same time if you are the buyer side, you want to buy it in a low price.

So today, I will introduce you the site named “aucfan“.

On this site, you can check the average winning price on the items you are after.

Click here and go to the aucfan site. You will be seeing something like this below.

0401_AucFan

1) At first, choose the green tab on the site saying “落札相場 (average winning price)”
where the red arrow is on the above screen shot.

2) The red square in above picture is where you put the keyword(s).

Let say you are after
Tanaka Reina’s birthday event DVD “Otsukareina Kai”
(someone has just asked me to look for this DVD yesterday, so using this as an example XD).

So let’s put 「田中れいな おつかれいな会 DVD (Tanaka Reina Otsukareina kai DVD)」
(to find the right searching keyword in Japanese, check out here)
for the keyword and

3) press the search button where the red circle on above the picture.

It will show you the list of the item’s winning price and the date of the auction ended.

0401_AucFanEx1

You can see the winning prices, number of the bidders and the ended date.

By checking this site, you can see if the item you are after is likely to be put up again, how much the winning price likely to be and etc.

Hope the info is helpful~~~ :).
P.S. Sakura flower (cherry blossom) near my place is already starting to fall (;_:).
Sakura has such a short life. It only started to bloom on March 21st.
I remember it since it was the day I felt chilly and got cold, haha f(^^;.

This is the photo I took on Saturday March 30th which was on its peak.

DSC_0429
This one below is the one I took today.

DSC_0431

As you can probably see there are the green leaves between flowers.
That comes out after the flower fall, so the flowers are already falling.
We call Sakura with green leaf “Hazakura” meaning leaf sakura.
It is pretty too, but start seeing those meaning the flower is just going to go to fall until everything is gone, so kind of sad……