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Ghibli Museum: Don't forget to buy the admission ticket in advance!

10 Jul

I think I’m sometimes too lazy for a little thing. Only this fact that we cannot buy an admission ticket to enter Ghibli Museum at the entrance of the museum on the day has distracted me from trying out the famous Ghibli Museum until the other day with my husband!

I know they want to control the number of people in the museum, which must be the reason they don’t sell the tickets at the door. So now, I’d like to share with you how you can buy a ticket to Ghibli Museum successfully. As I told you, it’s an advance-purchased ticket, which you cannot buy at the door on the day. It seems that there are ways for the people from specific countries to gain the tickets from outside Japan. (Go to the page: How to buy the Ghibli Museum tickets outside Japan.)

Once you are in Japan, just like me, here’s the way to get it.
Visit Lawson convenience store near your area and find the little machine, which is called “Loppi” (Please follow the instructions in this page.) I don’t know what the L-code is, so I think you can simply choose “Person who doesn’t have L-code” on the Loppi screen.

When you finish it, a slip of paper will come out of the Loppi machine. Then bring it to the cashier, pay and get the ticket! Warning: Your ticket is valid within 30 minutes of your booking time. For example mine was booked for 12:00pm, which means I must enter the museum by 12:30pm.

Ghibli Museum
nearest station: Mitaka
(You can access from Kichijoji as well.)
address: 1-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo (inside the Inokashira park.)
phone: 0570-055777
open: 10:00am-6:00pm with only 4 options: entrance option 1: 10:00am, 2: 12:00pm, 3: 2:00pm, 4: 4:00pm
close: Tuesdays and sometimes they close irregularly.

Hmm…the picture is reflecting me in pink T-shirt who is taking the picture. ^ ^;; Well there is Totoro at a ticket vender…no, no place to sell the ticket, as you already have!

The reception is here,
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How to Bento in Japanese way

8 May

Bento is a Japanese word that means a boxed lunch or a packed lunch, but nowadays I know it has become an international term people recognize it as it is. It’s quite common in our culture to bring bento from home for lunch, regardless of kid or adult. Japanese mothers usually take great time and effort to make bento for their kids and sometimes for their husbands as well. Especially these days, people are more into saving due to depressed economy, more and more Japanese people are likely to eat bento from home instead of purchasing it or dining out.

Besides that, April is a start of the year. New fiscal year or school year starts from 1st April. There’s no wonder bento goods catch people’s attention especially during this time of the year.

Bento boxes are so colorful and cheerful. 🙂

What are these small plastic cups for? You may wonder. Japanese bento usually carry several different dishes in small portion each in a small lunch box. These mini cups will prevent 2 different dishes from mixing each other while the bento box is carried. These days, reusable silicon cups are popular, but disposable paper ones are handy and durable as well because they have variety of sizes, shapes, colors. Even though they are disposable, they are coated with plastic so they should not absorb oil.

These are partition sheets used between 2 different dishes. Again same as small cups they are good to avoid any flavors travelling between several different dishes in a small bento box. At the same time, they help bento look more colorful. Colorful bento often stimulates our appetite, don’t you think so? 😉

These are antibacterial sheets especially useful during warm season. Put one sheet over your bento and that will prevent your bento from bacteria. We may also use some refrigerants to keep bento cool and microwave it before we eat it.

Here are some tips on making a Japanese styled bento.

1: Avoid watery ingredients. Water, soup or juice could travel inside the bento box only to ruin your bento completely. It’d be terrible if they seep out of bento box!

2: Season bento dishes little stronger so they can still taste good hours later, even if they are not heated when you eat.

3: Prevent your bento from going bad. Using antibacterial device or refrigerant may be a good idea, but you can use vinegar in some bento dishes such as Umeboshi (pickled plum) to protect your bento from going off. BTW, that’s the reason Japanese bento often has an Umeboshi at the center of steamed rice. 😉

4: Do not make extra space in a bento box. While it’s carried contents can move inside the bento box. In order not to let them move, don’t allow any little room inside the bento box!

5: Make it colorful and cheerful so your bento time can be enjoyable!

Japanese bento examples…

Do you remember these bento for 2 of us (Chika and me) when we had ohanami (viewing cherry blossoms) in Chidorigafuchi? ^_^

FYI, these bento are made by Chika, my friend. She is helping TKE with food posts lately, because she cooks/makes bento for her grandma almost every other day. As for myself, I have always been too lazy to prepare a bento for anyone. ^ ^;; So I’d thank Chika for her beautiful bento pictures and tips for TKE readers!

Do you enjoy your bento?

How to be Moe and attract the guy you like!

10 Feb

Apple wrote about Moe, which is one of the most difficult subjects to me. Great job, Apple!! 😀
===Apple’s post starts from here====

Valentine’s Day is coming really soon!!!

For single girls who are looking to get a boyfriend, I’m here to save you!! Haha! Actually, these 萌え(moe) tips can be used by girls who are attached too.

Before I start, let me slightly explain Moe.

The word 萌え means ‘budding’, ‘blossoming’ literally. This word is usually used to describe girls who are fresh, innocent and cute. Err… I think it’s hard to describe Moe in words. To me, Moe is a feeling you get when you look at such a girl. I checked wiki and it says that it is usually used to describe adorable preadolescent girls. I think girls who are older can be Moe too.

Who is Moe to you?
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Prepaid phone – Softbank mobile

12 Jan

The other day, I helped my foreign friend’s purchasing a prepaid cell phone in Japan. I decided to write a post about that, since this information is useful for those who need it while their stay in Japan.

Basically there are 3 major cell phone companies in Japan: Docomo, Softbank and au.

You may remember Docomo from its kawaii collaborated Q-pot phones and etc. Docomo is a cell phone brand created by NTT, the largest telephone network company in Japan.

If you are interested in iphone or ipad, you can only make a contract with Softbank. In other words, in Japan, Softbank is the only and absolute carrier of Apple’s products that require contract. Softbank has been doing pretty well, especially since they started to deal with iphone.

Au is a cell phone brand created by KDDI, the telephone network company, alternative to NTT.

Most of us will use the service that requires monthly basic fee, and post-payment for telephone bills. Prepaid SIM card phone, free from monthly basic fee, is not very popular in Japan. SIM is basically locked by the major cell phone companies as above mentioned. Nowadays it’s only Softbank that has prepaid phone service because it has frequently been used for crime or fraud in Japan. Prepaid phone market has shrunk in Japan.

Disclaimer: the image is from Softbank premobile

Let me share with you how you can get it in Japan.

step 1: Go to a Softbank shop or Donki (Don Quijote) preferably with a Japanese friend who has a cell phone.
*Softbank shop may run out of stock very soon, while Donki often has more stock.
*You cannot buy normal cell phone (post-paid phone with monthly basic fee) at Donki.

Let’s say you go to Donki.
step 2: Go to the prepaid phone floor and tell them you want to get a prepaid phone.
step 3: You will be asked to choose from a few unit options with different price range. The cheapest one is only for email and phone calls. The expensive ones have additional function, for example you can watch TV on your cell phone.
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How to open your account on Ameba blog

22 Sep

I see foreign people who study Japanese or those who like kawaii blogs will like to start up “Ameblo” or Ameba blog.
Ameba blog has become most popular free blog in Japan, because they successfully involved celebrities, fashion models, and many famous people especially from show business in Japan.

I made some tutorial videos on my Youtube channel. I hope they are helpful for those who have trouble in Japanese.

This is my Ameba blog but I have no intention to update it often. If I update it, it’ll be either when I desperately want to write something in Japanese or when I just want to play with the “paco” as I was playing in the video. lol

It seems running a Tokyo Kawaii, etc. blog itself is just enough for me. I have no power or time left to maintain other blogs, which I know from experience. :p

But if you just want a cute blog for free and easy, take into account Ameba blog. This especially is a good idea if you study Japanese, because you have to read signs and directions in Japanese. You’ll be convinced how cute it is when you see the themes from over 500 designs! Japanese blog gives us everything needed from the beginning, while we have to add things we need by ourselves on WordPress or Blogger. You don’t even have to add analytics tools to check the traffic to the blog, because it’s already available from the dashboard.

I wanted to help my readers who had hard time trying out Ameblo. ^ ^;

===Answers to common questions===
*How to change the theme from the original one?
To change the theme (banner), you can do it this way.

1) Go to your dashboard and click “デザインの変更” at the left side under your blog title in parentheses. It’s accompanied by NEW! mark now, but it may disappear someday, so I’ll say it’s accompanied by 4 squares mark to the left.

2) Choose a new theme from either of the following options.
-新着 (latest themes)
-ピグ (Pigg, themes that have your Ameba pigg, or an avatar)
-おすすめ (recommended themes)
-カスタム可能 (customized themes)

3) You probably wish to customize your theme.
Click カスタム可能 and find out the basic theme from which you will modify. (CSS knowledge required) But as you can see, it’s not 100% at your disposal. You can only change some parts.

10+ ways to make Japanese friends.

5 Aug

I recieved messages from my blog readers and they wonder if there is a good way to make Japanese friends. There are several ways but things are different whether you live in Japan or not.

First, for those who live in Japan and look for Japanese friends, hopefully to exchange language and culture, how about checking out following sites or events? Or you could stay at shared accommodation with Japanese people.
2.Tokyo Notice Board
4.Tokyo International Friendship
5.Tokyo Friends
6.Vibe Tokyo
7.Hiragana Times
8.Military Friends Board
9.Sakura House
10.Borderless House
And there should be several other ways.

Then, how about for those who live outside Japan but want to make friends with Japanese girls or guys living in Japan? There will be limited resorces, compared with above.
1.WorldFriends (as you might know already)
2.Japan Forum
3.Japan Forum dot com
4.English diaries at Blog Mura written by the Japanese
5.Other languages at Blog Mura
6.Multilingual Network
7.My Language Exchange dot com
8.Be a friend of Kirin! 😀 or find other Japanese bloggers who are interested in you, your country or your language.
Do you come up with any other ways?

Let me tell you how Japanese people are basically. We are very shy and most of us cannot even look straight to your eyes when we speak to you. (I’m talking about things in general) We are very shy and that’s why we care too much about making mistakes, which is the main reason why most of Japanese people cannot speak English well in spite of over 10 years of studying it at school. Our culture likes ambiguity and it is regarded good in Japan to be somewhere between yes and no. (I have hard time fitting myself in it, though) Many of us cannot get rid of this Japanese culture even when we communicate with non-Japanese people. It is said Japanese common sense is not the common sense of the world, which is true in a sense. Anyway please remember most of Japanese people are very shy! (No wonder Facebook is not popular!?) If you’ve ever tried to make Japanese friends but didn’t work out, that maybe related to this cultural difference, because many Japanese love to make foreign friends, indeed!