Jun 30, 2009

San-X rhinestone goods

Have you checked out all the cute new rhinestone items from San-X? Deco is big in Japan now, and I guess San-X would be silly if they didn't cash in! Haha. I think the deco computer mouse with rilakkuma is extremely cute, but a bit steep for me at 3990Y.

I could afford this Cat with white socks deco seal, I think it would look awfully cute on my DS which is also black and red.

Sorry that after this long break from posting that I only have this short post to offer. But I am going to try and get back into the swing of things slowly.

May 19, 2009

The Hikawa maru in Yokohama

Back when I was living in Yokohama, I often passed by the Hikawa maru, and I didn't know a thing about the ship until I decided to do a bit of research today.

The Hikawa maru was built by the Yokohama Dock company and was launched in 1929. Her first voyage was 5/13/1930 to Seattle, US from Kobe Japan as a cruise ship. Because of her lavish art deco interior she was referred to as the "Queen of the Pacific" and various celebrities of the day were among her passengers. All in all the Hikawa maru crossed the pacific about 254 times. During the war she was repainted and used at as a hospital ship, and used by the US army after.


She was returned to Japan in 1947 and was refitted to once again carry passengers across the Pacific. However the convinience of the airplane cause the Hikawa maru to loose a large amount of travelers and service was terminated in 1960. In 1961 she was permanently berthed at Yokohama and became a floating youth hostel and meusem. The hostel closed in 1973, and the mesuem followed in 2006, despite being declared a "cultural asset" of Yokohama in 2003.

A few years of uncertainty followed, but ultimately Hikawa maru was refurbished and the museum re-opened to the public in the spring of 2008.

I wasn't able to visit the museum in the Hikawa maru because it was being restored during the time I was there, but the outside is very grand so I can only imagine how interesting it is on the inside. Please check her out if you get the chance!

Access: The Hikawa maru is berthed in the harbor along Yamashita Park and can be accessed by taking the Minato Mirai line and getting off at Motomachi Chuka-gai station.

May 15, 2009

Snack Review: Meiji Meltyblend

Today I am snacking on Meiji's Meltyblend Fruity Strawberry メルテイーブレンドフルーテイーいちご flavor. I had heard about this chocolate on various Japan related blogs, and decided to try it out when I saw it on the shelves at Mitsuwa. This is a seasonal item, for the winter as evidenced by the snowflakes adorning the package. I got this awhile back so I can't say for sure if it's around anywhere now.

There was a just chocolate version, but I love strawberry and I think it's a little more fun to have some flavor combination going on. As promised by the package, this chocolate is a melty chocolate. It dissolves slowly on your tongue if you're not greedy and chomp into it right off the bat like me. But it does maintain it's petite cube shape well when handled, and is cover with bitter chocolate powder.

The strawberry inside melts just as well as the chocolate shell, but it's true charm point is it's bright bold, fruity flavor! The strawberry is not much more sweet than it is when in berry form, so it's a great balance for the creamy chocolate. This sweet is not cloying like American sweets, but it's got enough sugar to keep you satisfied. And it's small size will not ruin your diet or next meal!
Review Quick Facts
Name: Meltyblend fruit strawberry flavor
Source: Mitsuwa Market

Apr 26, 2009

Snack Review: G Fresh cola flavor

For this next (long over-due) snack I have decided to introduce G Fresh gummis in cola flavor. Cola flavor gummis were a favorite of me and my ex-bf, and actually there's a couple different varieties to choose from in Japan. This type is covered with a slightly sour sugar coating.

The inside is very mildly sweet, and once the initial sourness of the coating subsides, it becomes sweet and works well with the gummi center. The really wouldn't be anything but a less sweet version of Haribo cola gummis if it were for that nice coating. There's not too many in the zip top package, but it's the perfect little candy snack.

I always grab these up whenever I find them. While I brought these home from my last Tokyo vacation, I believe they are available at Mitsuwa market

Review Quick Facts
Name: G Fresh (cola flavor)
Source: Lawson
Amount: 1 packet

Feb 1, 2009

Snack Review: コーヒービート

I first tried Coffee Beat last month while I was in San Diego, I picked it from the Japanese market Mitsuwa. In the past I never really like coffee or coffee flavored foods, but since my last trip to Japan when I ate some coffee flavored caked (to be reviewed later) I acquired the taste haha. I bought a mix bag of Coffee Beat, Apollo, and Choco Babies and bought a small tube of the Coffee Beat just before I left SD.

The outside of the individual candies is crispy like Reese's Pieces and really gives you that feeling of eating a chocolate covered coffee bean. The crispy outside coating is also where all the coffee flavor is, so you get a nice firm burst of it as you take the first bite. In the middle is some medium grade chocolate which becomes a little melty and creamy as you eat it. The chocolate and coffee flavors combined and tastes similar to a mocha.

Coffee Beat is a perfect candy for anyone who enjoys candies, people who are real coffee enthusiasts might think the coffee flavor is not strong enough. The small package is also nice as it's really easy to over eat on these little candies pieces!

Review Quick Facts
Name: コーヒービート (Coffee Beat)
Source: Mitsuwa super-market
Amount: 1 tube

Nov 22, 2008

Snack Review: まるでバナナパン

This bread has the "real taste" of banana, and it's almost like eating a banana only much better and less healthy! ^^ The outide is very smooth, as if it is coating with something the way melon bread is coated. Besides being smooth, the outside is very cute and cleaver with it's banana spots! And as you can see by the picture the inside is very soft, and formed in soft little layer. The texture is very pleasant, almost like you are eating a dessert of some kind. In the middle is the best part, cream! A very banana flavored cream lies in the center and adds more sweetness to the bread.
I am a big fan of anything banana flavored so I made a bee-line right to this when I saw it on the shelf at the conbini. I was definitely not disappointed by this bread (it's one of the best I've ever had), and I'm sure you will feel the same! Please try it if you can.

= Quick Facts =
Name: まるでバナナパン (banana pan)
Source: Lawson?
Amount: 1

Sep 12, 2008

Day 10 - Yokohama


Today we went to Yokohama, I was pretty excited to go back to Yokohama since that's where I live last year and as such it holds a special place in my heart despite the bad memories. We took the train from Shimbashi and it's about a 25 minute ride. It gets quite packed at peak hours so avoid them if you can, or grab a seat. When we arrived we quickly left the station via the west exit (I think), Yokohama station is the most busy, hectic station I have seen even during off hours. It's kinda a long hike from the station to Minato Mirai but we did it!

On the way to Minato Mirai we walked past stores and fields. Sadly we kinda took a long way around and we were both sweating in the heat and strong sun. We stopped at Sun Kus and I got a grape and calpis drink, it didn't help too much. We went the rest of the way to the Landmark Tower and Queen's Square, and stopped for a bit of looking around. I visited Passport and FrancFranc in the Landmark tower but didn't get anything, the shopping in the Landmark Tower is kinda richy. They had a pokemon store but I didn't feel confident enough to go in.
Arcade at Cosmoworld

We then made our way to World Porter's, passing on Queen's square this time. We walked through Cosmo World, it was fun seeing the rides and shops that hadn't changed. Of course I took a bunch of pics of the ferris wheel but me and Shouma didn't get on because I guess that's only for couples.



World Porter's just just across the bridge from Cosmoworld and the shopping is more middle to low end, thus my kind of shopping. I got a lucky bag from 3COiNs there, and it had some cute stuff in it. There were tons of cute girls clothing, but not any really cute bags. Shouma got a bracelet like the kind he lost with an ex at a love hotel. And then he looked around a sporting good shop until he got hungry. We were finally going to eat at the cake buffet today so we had to head back to the station and downtown Yokohama.

Ultraman overlooking visitors
The walk back to the station was kinda miserable as we were both tired of walking, sweaty and hungry. We stopped at the Queen's Square but since the ladie's room had a long line we kept going. Then we stopped at a bookstore with a Starbucks in it, ladie's room for me and coffee for Shouma. We decided to avoid the station so we walked around it, taking more time, but way less people. The Sweets Paradise cake buffet is in the Vivre building if you happen to be near by.
Inside Sweets Paradise
I heard of people having to wait 30 minutes or so to get in, but we got there around 2:40 and there wasn't a line, there were plenty of spare seats. We bought the tickets and had 60 minutes to eat all we could. Shouma didn't want to eat cake so he could eat salad, pasta, sandwiches, rice and curry. But really the cake is number one. There's a lot of different kinds of shortcakes, but also some chocolate cakes and cheese cakes. I ate as much as I could, way more then the Japanese ladies, but not as much as I though my American stomach could handle. One time when I was getting cake I knocked a pair of tongs onto another cake and there was much bowing as the staff handed the soiled tongs back to the kitchen. Such a small thing became a big embarrassment in Japan haha.
The cake line up.
Walking past Donki
I waited a bit for Shouma to smoke outside the Vivre building, having to eat at such a girly place full of girly food was a huge stress to him I guess. We were both still tired, and now bloated so we decided to head back to the hotel. I wish I could have spent some time in downtown Yokohama, it's pretty lively, but I spent the rest of my night being sick in the hotel haha.