Top 10 Things to do for Tokyo First-Timers

It’s been a very long time since my last post. I am sorry! I have been busy working but also enjoying the city during the weekends. Still have some stuff to sort, but I’m getting there. Since it would have been impossible to blog every day, and also a little bit boring, I decided to write a Top 10 post about visiting Tokyo for the first time. Some of them are touristy, some maybe not so much. And here they are:

 

1) Eat ALL the Ramen!

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Ramen at Ippudo, Ginza

You have never tried real Ramen if it wasn’t in Japan! After eating Ramen in Japan, you will understand the purpose of everything. You will feel accomplished. You will understand why you exist: We all exist, so we can enjoy the beautiful taste of Ramen <3

Enough said! Convince yourself!

 

2) Play!

Whether it’s  UFO Catchers or Gatcha Pon Machines (the surprise egg machines where you put in a few 100 yen, turn the knob and wait for a kind of surprise egg coming out which has a figure inside. You can see me play them here and here), your visit in Japan is not complete if you skip playing these colourful machines.

3) Shibuya Crossing

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Actually, when I was standing in front of the Shibuya crossing, I didn’t immediately recognise it. Then I asked myself if this was really the crossing and I looked around: There was the Hachiko statue behind me, the Tsutaya Starbucks in front of me and the Shibuya 109 on my left side, and only then did I realise that this was the crossing indeed. Crossing it was an exciting experience. It felt like I now really belonged to Tokyo. Crossing it without bumping into someone is a real skill that I can now proudly claim to have managed. After crossing it, you have to go up the Starbucks to take a time-lapse and several zoomed-in photos. I could never get bored of this view.

4) The Konbini Experience

7/11, Family Mart, Lawson, just to name a few of the most important life-savers in Japan, a.k.a. Konbinis (Konbini <– Convenient Store). You WILL go there, and you WON’T regret it. They will be your go-to places as soon as you start living here. But even for tourists they have everything you want at any hour. Be it tissues, water, hot drinks, warm foods, alcohol, masks, toiletries, ATMs, anything! And who knows, you might catch yourself in front of one of the shelves, deciding what to get because they all seem so intriguing, and ending up buying nothing because the struggle was just too hard :’D You can have a little review of a 7/11 here. 

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The bread section at 7/11
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One of many Bento Box options
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Sakura snacks you can get at 7/11

5) Harajuku Bucket List

From the Rainbow Cotton Candy, to Purikura to Harajuku Crepes to aaaalll the shopping (Daiso, Wego,…), you can spend all your money and all your time in just this little street called Takeshita Dori. It’s probably the only street in the world that will get your Yens out of your pocket before you even reach the end of the street.

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Totti Candy Factory
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Line Friends Store
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Harajuku Crepes
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Sailor Moon Store at La Forget Omotesando

 

6) Get lost in random alleyways

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Shibuya
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Harajuku
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Nakano
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Asakusa
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Asakusa
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Asakusa

No matter where in Tokyo you go, you will most definitely stumble upon some picturesque alleyways, that look like straight out of a movie or even an anime. Some of these alleyways I found were so beautiful to me, they almost made me cry. Most of them were in Asakusa.

7) Go to an onsen

Since you can’t take photos at an onsen, this point is going to be without visuals. Still, it’s one of the most impressive and interesting experiences you will have in Japan: being naked and relaxing in some hot springs with random, equally naked strangers (don’t worry, everything is gender-separated). The first onsen I went to was an indoor one in Asakusa. It was quite nice. But the outdoor onsen by the Fuji mountain was an unforgettable experience.

8) Visit a temple/shrine

Tokyo is bursting to the brim with temples and shrines. You will have a big choice of all the different types of temples and shrines. Still, there are some especially beautiful ones that you wouldn’t want to miss. One of them is the Senso-ji temple in Asakusa which I also like to call little Kyoto of Tokyo.

 

9) See Tokyo from Above

There are many different ways to see Tokyo from above. You can either pay a lot of money and go up one of the iconic towers that are The Tokyo Tower or the Skytree. If you do this, you won’t be able to see the tower, you are standing on, itself. Or you can visit the Mori Art Museum and finish it off with the observation deck on the top. But if you don’t want to wait in a long line, nor pay a lot of money, then the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku is the best option. It didn’t even take me half an hour from the entrance of the building to the top.

 

10) Go to a Themed Cafe

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Hedgehog Cafe Harry in Harajuku

 

And this was the end of the post. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to leave a comment and like.

What about you guys? Have you ever been to Tokyo? What are the must-do things in your opinion? Let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading!

Merveile.

 

 

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Arriving in Tokyo – How I almost got hit by the trains!

December 7th was the day of my flight from Frankfurt to Paris to Tokyo. I was already so excited when I had to say goodbye to my parents and my best friend at the airport. And when I boarded the tiny jet to Paris I remembered that it was getting real.

The plane was so tine, it was the smallest plane I ever flew in. But it was comfy, no turbulences, and they even gave snacks.

In Paris, I actually had to rush to my gate since I had to take a bus to my gate area. When I arrived at my gate, people were already queueing to board. This was it! That should be my flight to Tokyo! I still couldn’t believe it.

My excitement disappeared very quickly though after realising that my seat neighbours – two french guys- were acting a bit awkward. That made me feel awkward. I can’t really explain it, but sometimes, people act in a rather awkward, distant way that makes you feel stupid and awkward yourself. I don’t know if you know what I mean. I also couldn’t sleep properly because the guy next to me (I had an aisle seat) turned to his right side, facing my direction and his knees were bordering to my area. So if I wanted to sleep I also had to turn to the right, the aisle side, which meant that many people heading to the toilet were bumping into my knees and shoulders. That was extremely annoying! I just hated this flight so much! I think it was one of the most uncomfortable flights I ever had. At least, the japanese school class heightened my mood a little bit with all of them wearing their school uniforms… on a long haul flight. That’s what I call discipline! :’D

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When I arrived in Tokyo, finally, I picked up my suitcase and went to look for a sim card. I found one for 7 seven days and I bought it. It was without a telephone number, only internet. But I would get a proper Sim Card in the city anyway.

First, I had to go to the office of my share house to sign some papers, read about the house rules and pick up my key. Actually, it wasn’t really that far away from my share house, but it was just annoying carrying around a big ass suitcase with you everywhere. It really sucked the energy out of my body and by the time I was done at the office, I could feel how tired I was getting. Luckily it was still bright outside. When I took the train back to the metro stop I had to get out at, I missed it and had to get out at one stop after. Luckily, the trains here in Tokyo come in 5-10 minutes and I also didn’t have to change the platform.

When I finally arrived at my metro stop, I struggled to find out how I was supposed to walk. I thought I had to cross the train tracks. The barrier was still down, and as soon as it opened, I slowly walked and stumbled across the tracks with my suitcase that is almost as big as me. I haven’t even crossed 1/3 of the tracks when the sound was ringing again. The barriers were coming down and I was still in the middle of the tracks. Actually, I wasn’t really standing on a track, but like a pathway between the tracks. Still, it seemed like I was in danger.

Luckily, a police man saw me and came for my rescue! He put the barrier up with his hands and took my suitcase, running, and me running behind him. When we were finally safe and sound I had enough! I spotted a taxi right in front of me, another streak of luck for me. Thank you for your prayers, dad! I think they actually helped :)

So I entered the taxi and showed the driver the address. He started driving but after a few minutes he stopped and searched on his gps again. Then after around 5 minutes he stopped and told me that I should better pay the 800 yen first before he drives around without knowing exactly where it is which would make it more expensive to me in the end. That was really nice of him to say that. So I paid and after that he tried everything to find my share house. He also asked a little boy on the street if he knew where it was. I was getting stressed and desperate. It was past 3pm at that time. The only meal I had was on the plane at 7 or 8am. I was starving, at the same time I was tired as hell and I just escaped death. And now it seemed like my share house was impossible to find. I was already imagining myself sleeping on the streets and was about to cry. I decided to look up the directions on Google Maps myself.

And then a miracle happened. We actually found it!!! I was so happy! And the taxi driver was really happy as well. When I asked how much I had to pay he said “daijobu” (it’s alright). I was even more touched and felt my eyes water. He was sooo sooo nice!

Still, the struggle was not over yet. When I entered the share house, no one seemed to be at home. I was on the second floor so I had to carry my stupid suitcase up the tiny stairs. And then it happened. I hit 23kg on my tiny toe and it was one of the worst pains ever! I had to scream and felt the tears in my eyes again. I was cursing this suitcase and the effed up tiny stairs. I quickly went into my room and what do I see between my fridge and my bed?!! A FREAKING DEAD COCKROACH!!! I sat down on my bed and cried. It was all just too much! It was the worst arrival of my life. I couldn’t believe that this was reality! In my imagination I was full of energy, easily finding my share house and then quickly leaving to explore Tokyo, see the busy Shibuya crossing, the loud streets, the colourful neon signs, eating Ramen on my first evening. None of them happened. The worst things that could ever happen happened to me. Murphy’s Law! I was hungry, tired, almost died, spent half an hour finding my share house, hit my f*cking suitcase on my toe, and now this disgusting cockroach was in my room. Although it was dead, I just couldn’t take it anymore. After crying my eyes out I tried to calm down. I heard someone outside so I looked and it was the cleaning man. I asked him if he could please remove the dead cockroach in my room. He laughed and said sorry and took it away in a tissue.

It seemed like as soon as the cockroach was gone, my thoughts were getting a bit more positive as well. I took off my clothes, and put on my pyjamas that I luckily put into my hand luggage.

I was tired, thirsty, as well as hungry, but I could surprise the hunger and the thirst. But my body just couldn’t stay awake any longer. I fell asleep right away, at around 4pm and woke up at 10pm. I slept 6 hours through. When I woke up my throat was dry and hot. I needed water! It was rainy outside but I really needed water. I knew there was a 7/11 around the corner so I prepared to go outside. After I just left my house, I saw 3 vending machines right next to our share house. I didn’t feel like walking in the rain so I just took a bottle of water out the machine. So convenient, seriously! Things were slowly starting to get more positive and easier now. I think sometimes, one just needs a good rest, and then everything just turns to the better.

In general I was still very lucky and thankful. Although I had a difficult start (Maybe that’s a bit of an understatement here), I had the chance to experience the kindness of japanese people right away. Everyone was extremely kind and helpful. More than I have seen in any other country. And after all, it was my suitcase’s fault that all of those bad things happened to me.

So this was my adventurous arrival in Tokyo. I hope it wasn’t too much or too boring for you guys. I just wanted to describe all my experiences coming to this city. And when I have negative experiences and write about it, you guys can be prepared if you ever plan to come here.

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To sum it all up, here are some Do’s and Don’ts when arriving in Japan:

Do’s:

  • Eat something small at the airport, or take some food and drinks with you to eat on the way. The commute from the airport to the city can take a bit longer than you expect.
  • Buy yourself a Suica or Passmo Card. It’s a rechargeable metro card. So much more convenient when using the metro on a daily basis. You can also pay with that at conbinis (7/11, Family Mart & Co.) or use it to buy drinks at vending machines (not all of them though).
  • Use Google Maps to navigate the metro system. The metro system in Tokyo is the biggest I have ever used (I have already used the ones in Beijing, Shanghai, London, Paris and Barcelona), and if I didn’t have Google Maps, I would have lost my way even more often. Either check the directions at the airport and screenshot everything. Or get yourself a sim card or pocket wifi for your stay. It’s gonna be extremely helpful! Trust me.

 

Don’ts:

  • If you can, try to take a middle sized suitcase with you and maybe a bigger backpack to carry on your back. The streets in Tokyo are not really suitcase friendly.
  • Take care at the tracks! Don’t walk slowly! Some people even run to cross it, because not even after 1 minute the bell rings again and the barriers close. The safest option to cross to the other side is actually by using the metro passages. They also have elevators, so that’s better for suitcases.
  • Make sure to sleep on the plane. I know, sometimes it is not possible, but if you can, definitely do it, please! You will be more wake and energised and positive when you have to navigate through the city to find you accommodation.
  • Don’t force yourself to walk to your destination. If you seriously are exhausted and can’t take it no more, just take the taxi. No money is more important than your wellbeing. And who knows, maybe you will encounter such a nice taxi driver as I did as well :)

 

This was everything about my arrival. I am sorry that you guys had to wait for such a long time until my first post. I was quite busy with all the bureaucratic stuff and editing photos and videos.

You can watch my first video about my arrival here:

 

Thank you for reading and watching!

Merveille.

Huge announcement!

Yesterday evening/this night was a great night! I did something amazing! The first step into a bigger plan I have been thinking about since April!

Last night, I was browsing through skyscanner and I came across cheap flights to Tokyo! Then, on Airfrance, I found an amazing flight, from Frankfurt to Tokyo! For 527 € two ways! This was like a sign sent from heaven (okay, I’m exaggerrating! :’D) But this was the first time that I found a flight from a good airline, with the perfect flying times, short layover that also had a great price! I couldn’t believe it! Usually, I was seeing flights for around 700€. There were also cheaper ones for around 400 with AirChina, Aeroflot and Allitalia and I have heard not so good things about them, or not many reviews.

So last night, I was surprised to see that perfect flight from Airfrance, with only a 1.30h layover in Paris <3

I knew I had to book it! I KNEW IT! Everything was going perfectly! I was even able to pay with paypal! Everything happened so smoothly that I soon found myself clicking on the ‘pay’ button and there it was: “Airfrance wishes you a pleasant flight!” And on the right side there was my booking code staring at me! And my itinerary sent to my e-mail!

It’s official now:

I AM FLYING TO TOKYO!!!!

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On December 7th, at 10:25 am I will be boarding my plane from Frankfurt to Paris! And then, at 1.55 pm I will be boarding my plane from Paris to Tokyo! I can’t believe it! I will be landing in Tokyo at a perfect time! 9.30 am! My plan is to sleep well so that I can explore the city a little bit when I arrive! Even if I don’t sleep, I think I will be too pumped to not go out exploring!

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I am soooo excited already, that I still can’t believe what I did! My heart beats up to my throat when I think about it!

And again, this is proof that nothing is impossible! You JUST have to DO IT! Like our dear Shia taught us! :D

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Of course, there is still quite a long way for me to get my work and travel visa. Here are the things I need to hand in:

√ Have a valid passport

Ο A fully filled out application form (found on the website of the designated embassy)

√ ID Photo not older than 6 months

√ Flight tickets (two ways)

Ο Financial Verification of at least 2000€

Ο Travel insurance

√ Travel plan (layout found on the website of the embassy)

√ CV

√ Motivational letter

= 6/9 done!

Filling out the form is actually the easiest step in the list, but strangely, I haven’t done it yet :D The next thing I will do is getting the travel insurance together with my father since he has a membership at a company and he gets a huge discount there.

Saving up the 2000€ will be the hardest part I guess, but I am positive that at the end of October, I should have the money together!

There are 3 more things that I have to do which are not asked for the visa but things that I have to do to survive in Japan:

  • Find an accomodation
  • Register in Tokyo as a citizen (including opening a bank account and getting a SIM card)
  • Find a job!

 

Of course, I will have to organize the accomodation in advance which I will do tomorrow and I am intending to finish as well!

The following two points are mostly just possbile as soon as I get there.

Also, at the weekend, my friend will bring back my japanese textbook, so my future weekends will be all about studying :D I’m kind of looking forward to that :)

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I hope I didn’t bore you with this blog post! For me, it’s just super exciting, I had to share it here! Even if it’s only for me to track my achievements :)

I hope you enjoyed this!

If you have any recommendations about work and travel (a.k.a. working holiday) or Tokyo or both, please let me know in the comments :)

Thanks for reading!

ABC – Travel List: J – Japan, Johannesburg, Jeju Volcanic Island and lava tubes

It’s quite remarkable how fast I managed to finish choosing the J-letter destinations. The country was 100% clear already, and I only had to decide upon the last two options which was done quite quickly as well, due to the fact that there actually are not so any places starting with J. Here is my choice.

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1. Country: Japan

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Japan has been on my must-travel list since my childhood already. I think I have even wanted to visit this country even before I wanted to visit the USA. I have actually given up on visiting America, but my interest for Japan as been growing even more ever since I have lived in China for 10 months. I can tell you right now that this post is gonna be enormous with all the places and cities I wanna see in Japan. Maybe, I can even make all of this come true :D

Tokyo

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Tokyo cityscape with Mount Fuji in the background is a classic sight. I wouldn’t want to climb up Mount Fuji, but anything that has the mountain in the background is an amazing place to see. More about that later.

-Shinjuku

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Shinjuku Gyoen is THE place to be during Sakura Season. Just Shinjuku in general is a must-see I guess.

-Shibuya

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The most iconic sight of Tokyo must probably be the Shibuya Crossing. Seeing this always amazes me. It makes me feel so small thinking about all these people walking in the same or opposite direction as me. I had a similar experience in Shanghai, when crossing the street in front of the Bund with SO many people it made me feel kind of excited and small at the same time.

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Another must-see: The Hachiko statue at Shibuya Station. If you have seen the movie, you know why I wanna see it. I just hope I won’t start crying :'( If you haven’t seen the movie, what are you doing? Leave everything, and go watch it!

-Meiji Shrine

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-Kiyomizu Dera

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-Sensoji

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-Takeshita Dori in Harajuku

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Takeshita Dori is this huge, crowded street in Harajuku where you can find anything from cosplay shops to cotton candy cafes and several pet cafes (cat, dog, owl, hedgehog,…). I would probably spend half of my money here if I’ll ever get to Tokyo, but who cares, right? :D

-Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree

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Source: travel.gaijinpot.com

The Tokyo Tower, being the Eiffel Tower of Japan, is the iconic modern landmark of Tokyo. It serves as a radio station, but I think you can also climb up the tower to get a view, but I heard it to be quite expensive and the view should not be that amazing. I guess it would be better to get somewhere higher, where you can actually see the Tokyo Tower included in the skyline, such as…

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.. the Tokyo Skytree of course! I heard the lines are extremely long, but it should be worth the wait. I would definitely do it :)

-Akihabara

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THIS must be paradies on earth for all the geeks, nerds, otakus and gamers, tourists and locals alike. I’d definitely be able to spend my whole day in this area, with all the gaming arcades, merch shops and maid cafes awaiting me :’D

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-Yoyogi Park

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Another famous park for Hanami, but this being more popular amongst young people and cosplayers.

-Izakaya: Bakawarai Junsui

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Youtubers EatYourKimchi have already considered this Izakaya bar as the most amazing bar not only in Japan, but in the whole wide world. This has to mean something, so that’s why this location will be very high on my dinner plans in Tokyo. Just any izakaya in general should be on everyone’s Japan List if you really wanna try authentic japanese food that is not too expensive.

Kyoto

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Reds and oranges must be the general colours that pop up in our minds when we hear Kyoto. The photo above was taken at the Daigoji temple in Kyoto, and it looks divine. I think I can’t imagine a more beautiful and serene garden as this.

-Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

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It’s a wish of mine to wear a traditional kimono in red and walk through this bamboo forest…

-Fushimi Inari Taisha

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Another dream destination! Again, I’d just walk around in a kimono all day in this place, trying to shoot photo over photo. It’s just a wonderful, impressive place.

-Kinkaku Ji

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The golden temple of Kyoto, probably looks best when the trees are turning red and gold in autumn as well.

-Himeji Castle

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Okinawa

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I seriously didn’t expect Okinawa to be THAT tropical! It looks amazing! I’d seriously love to live here!

Hiroshima

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I think visiting Hiroshima leaves everyone heartbroken, reminiscing of the horrible atom bombs caused by the US. I have seen some videos about the museum and how the people who visited it were starting to cry, and they weren’t even japanese people, they were foreigners.

-Itsukushima shrine, Miyajima Island

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Doesn’t this look magical? Just like out of a fantasy movie.

Hokkaido

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Hokkaido seriously looks tropical as well, althoug it’s usually quite freezing :’D Japan has some seriously beautiful beaches, I am heavily impressed.

This is the Cape Kamui, Shakotan.

Here is a link with even more things to see and do in Hokkaido, since I can’t include all of them. Especially the Lake Biei and the Shibazakura speak to me a lot.

Nara

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Aren’t they just beautiful and cute at the same time? I’d love to spend my whole day with these lovelies <3

Osaka

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I think Osaka is a cheaper and less crowded alternative to Tokyo, so I’d actually like visiting this city. And I feel like it’s more relaxed with less touristy spots and sights and more every-day life of locals.

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This is Osaka Castle and it looks royal! Worth seeing in Osaka I’d say.

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This is the famous glico running man of Osaka. Everyone takes photos here. Why, you ask? Because glico is probably one of the most famous candy brands in Japan (they produce the Pocky sweets), and the logo is world-famous.

Fukuoka

-Beppu Onsen

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The Beppu Onsen is actually not directly located in Fukuoka, but it is easy to get a connection from there, so that’s why I mentioned it here. Visiting an onsen is a must-do when in Japan, so here I just looked up the best Onsen places in Japan, and Beppu was one of them.

Miyagi Zao Fox Village in Shiroishi

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Japan is seriously famous for anything animal-themed: There are not only pet cafes, but also areas of wild animals roaming about (deer park in Nara, cat island in Thashirojima, and also a rabbit island in Okunoshima)

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Oh my, what a wonderful, dream-like country Japan is. I am quite afraid that if I will finally get there, I might not come back :’D although that’s actually something exciting rather than frightening.

Well, the post is already too long, and I haven’t even finished yet.

2. City: Johannesburg

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I have already heard so many amazing things about this city in Africa, that it really makes me wanna visit.

Here are some things you can do:

-Lay on the beach

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I actually didn’t expect the beach to look like this. It kinda reminds me of the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro.

-Apartheid Museum

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Source: apartheidmuseum.org

Didn’t know there was a museum like this in Johannesburg. Definitely sounds super intersting and I think it would be worth a visit.

-Krüger National Park

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Of course, a safari tour should not be missed out when you are in Africa, no matter which city. But if you even have a nationalpark as an option, one should definitely visit it.

-Mandela House

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In general I think that there are not as many touristy sights in Johannesurg as in other places. It seems to be more of a relaxed city with beaches, cafes and nice music to explore while you go.

3. UNESCO World Heritage Site: Jeju Volcanic Island and lava tubes

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I have heard many great things about the South Korean island Jeju, but I didn’t know that it was famous for its volcanic tubes.

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Source: nps.gov

It actually is quite a picture-worthy place that should be on anyones South-Korea travel list.

With this, I will finally end this extremely long post. I am really sorry that it got so long, especially the part about Japan, but I hope I could give you some nice and new ideas about places to go and things to see.

Tell me about your J-letter destinations at the top of your travel list. I’d be happy to find out about more places to add on my list.

Until next time!

Thanks for reading and travelling with me.

Merveille.Bildergebnis für jeju volcanic island and lava tubes

 

 

World Cup 2014

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Tomorrow, it is finally the time for a month full of football! You might not know, but I really enjoy watching football (soccer). I know that many people, especially girls think that football is quite boring, and sometimes, it can really be quite a boring match. But the exciting thing about football is that it is very difficult to make a goal. It demands concentration, good teamwork, and a little bit of luck. In basketball, things are quite different. There are points made almost every minute, and everything is going much faster than with football. It is more exciting to be honest, and quite nerve-wrecking sometimes, especially when you don’t watch it too often, and then the scores just change minute after minute :’D

Yes, I can say that I like watching sports, especially big, worldwide events like World Cups or Olympics. Now back to the topic. Tomorrow I can begin cheering for my favorite teams. Unfortunately, Turkey is not participating, they were too bad. But I am number 1 non-dutch fan of the Netherlands :’D And I am also cheering for Japan because they have Pikachu as a mascot. How awesome ist that!

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I am so happy to watch the games of Japan. I hope Pikachu will be seen as well :D

I also don’t want to miss any Netherlands match. Now you probably wonder why I am so obsessed with that team. Well, in 2006 when the World Cup was in Germany, I discovered some dutch players such as Nistelrooy, van der Vaart, and Sneijder, the latter being my all time favorite player. He is also playing in my favorite club at the moment, the turkish team Galatasaray.

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Another football player I am quite interested in now is Neymar, the Brazilian player. I haven’t seen him play this far yet, but I have seen some videos from him, and he is so talented o.O

Now, if I should predict any winner, I would say Brazil obviously. With a new talent, and the World Cup taking place in their country (despite of all the protests), I think it would be time for them again. When it comes to Spain, I don’t think that they will be in the final game.

Here is the game plan:

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And now, here are my predictions:

Group A (Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon):

Winner: Brazil

Runner-Up: Mexico

Group B (Spain, Holland, Chile, Australia):

Winner: Holland

Runner-Up: Spain

Group C (Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan):

Winner: Ivory Coast

Runner-Up: Japan

Group D (Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy):

Winner: Uruguay

Runner – Up: Italy

Group E (Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras):

Winner: France

Runner – Up: Switzerland

Group F (Argentinia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria):

Winner: Argentinia

Runner – Up: Nigeria

Group G (Germany, Portugal, USA, Ghana):

Winner: Portugal

Runner – Up: Germany

Group H (Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea):

Winner: South Korea

Runner – Up: Russia

 

Knockout Rounds:

1. (Winner Group A) BrazilSpain (Runner-Up Group B)

2. (Winner Group C) Ivory Coast Italy (Runner-Up Group D)

3. (Winner Group B) HollandMexico (Runner-Up Group A)

4. (Winner Group D) UruguayJapan (Runner-Up Group C)

5. (Winner Group E) FranceNigeria (Runner-Up Group F)

6. (Winner Group G) PortugalRussia (Runner-Up Group H)

7. (Winner Group F) ArgentiniaSwitzerland (Runner- Up Group E)

8. (Winner Group H) South KoreaGermany (Runner-Up Group G)

Quarter-Finals:

A: (Winner Match 1) Brazil Ivory Coast (Winner Match 2)

B: (Winner Match 5) FrancePortugal (Winner Match 6)

C: (Winner Match 3) HollandJapan (Winner Match 4)

D: (Winner Match 7) ArgentiniaGermany (Winner Match 8)

Semi-Finals:

1. (Winner Match A) BrazilPortugal (Winner Match B)

2. (Winner Match C) HollandArgentinia (Winner Match D)

3rd – 4th Playoff:

(Looser Semi 1) PortugalHolland (Looser Semi 2) –> I hope that Holland will be 3rd here

The Final:

BRAZIL – ARGENTINIA

So, these are my predictions. I think I will be quite right with them. Well, at least I hope that Japan and Holland will come as far as possible. With Germany, it will take a sad turn I guess. I am not sure how far they would come if they were Group Winner, but although I also cheer for Germany, I don’t think that they have a chance against Portugal. Something tells me that Portugal will come quite far. I still wish that Germany will do best, but something inside me tells something different. But what ever should happen, I am so excited for the matches and can’t wait for tomorrow already!

I hope you enjoyed this post.

Thanks for reading.

19.02.2014: Drake Live in concert in Frankfurt Germany

On the 19th of February, we prepared to go to Frankfurt for the Drake Concert. Wednesday morning, we set off to the big bus station from where our bus drove off to Frankfurt train station. However, the day started awful. I found out that I didn’t get into Erasmus that day. I was dazzled. We had to wait 20 minutes at the bus station, and then I started to waste my time with crying silently. My sister was confused and sad, too and told me to stop. After a few minutes I somehow calmed down, but  was still gloomy. On the bus I read a few pages but got tired very fast so I slept. On the bus, there were many other young on the bus who were on the way to the Drake Concert.

When we finally arrived in Frankfurt, we tried to waste some time by shopping, walking through the city, and eating something until our friend Pelin came. She had to work, and that’s why she came a bit later. But we fortunately didn’t have much luggage, since we only stayed for one day. After looking in some shops, we decided to go to eat at Vapiano, an Italian restaurant, until our friend Pelin came. 

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It was very delicious but over too soon. At about 3.30 pm our friend came. We went to her car to put our things inside. Then we shortly looked at H&M because she wanted to buy some clothes she had seen a while ago. After that, we slowly set off to the concert. I decided to forget about Erasmus at first.

It was easy to find our way to that place. We left our jackets in the car, because we didn’t want to spend time with garderobe. We arrived in front of the doors at about 5 pm. At 7 pm they should let us inside, 1 hour before the concert. Fortunately, it wasn’t cold at all. There were already many other people standing in front of the doors. There was no possibility of trying to get to the front, at all. But the time passed fast, and we were finally able to get inside, at about 6 pm. There was a lot of squeezing. When we were let inside, we began to run of course. We had a quite good place. It was the 7th row on the right side of the stage. But we still had almost 2 hours until the concert began. The hall began to fill up more and more, also the tribunes. The disadvantage was that it got hotter, stuffier, and everyone moved closer together. It was harder to breathe now, and I often had Pelin’s thick hair in my face. It was really very uncomfortable. And while we raged about some adolescenting guys, and stinking people, it wasn’t long until 8 pm. 

And then, he came first, THE WEEKND! I was a fan of him first, before I began listening to Drake. His voice is so beautiful, and his songs have a distinctive style. I love every song of him. The new album is also great, especially Kiss Land, Professional, and Belong to the World are my favorite songs:

Kiss Land (official video) 

Live For (feat. Drake)

Belong to the World: 

http://vimeo.com/70508427

Yes, he is on a Japan trip it seems :) Unfortunately,  he didn’t sing kiss land or live for. But he sang professional, belong to the world, and wanderlust from the new album. And of course a lot of his older songs. 

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I have to apologize for the bad quality of the photos. But the Weeknd was so amazing, I totally freaked out. He made us hot with words like “I will be sexy for you tonight, Frankfurt! I will make you come three time s tonight, Frankfurt!” :’D I would go again 1000 times to see him live, and Drake of course, because he just nailed it! I will come to that later.

After 45 minutes of seductive tunes, he shortly goodbye for a short time, because he already told us that he would come back on stage with Drake later. So, we waited 45 minutes, until 9.30pm. Pelin has already gone out, because it was too hot for her. There was also no chance for her to come inside again. And my sister was some rows in front of me. I have no clue how she managed to get so far. However, when Drake hit the stage at 9.30, everyone freaked out. He began with Tuscon Leather. Everything was shining in bright colors except for Drake himself. He could only be seen as a dark shadow, but then he went closer to the audience, and we could see him better. It really was a good start. And after that song, The weeknd already came on stage again for Crew Love. At first I didn’t notice him, although there was clearly his voice singing. I noticed him only after the half of the song was already over.

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It was sooooo awesome how they performed together! I can’t belive I saw them both on stage. At the end of the song, we could see how much they like and respect each other as friends. 

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They are so cute! How Drake smiles! My heart jumped :D I already liked the concert after only the opening act and two songs. 

Drake went on with some new songs. He often enough mixed some of his old songs, or his featuring songs with other stars. When he sang a part of From Time, my favorite song on the album, I hoped that Jhene Aiko would appear, but she didn’t :( Instead, he held the microphone to the crowd, so that we could sing her part. I was a bit disappointed, but the show went on. He played every song I can think of, and not think of. I think there was no song he didn’t sing. This was really great. Not everyone can do this. 

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He also brought a fan, a woman, on stage and sang for her, touched her hair, and then hugged and kissed her. That really was cute from him.

Towards the end of the concert, a big, round catwalk was lowered from the ceiling above us. Drake walked on it and went round the whole catwalk, pointing at people on the tribunes and the crowd, and telling them that he sees them, like this for example: “I see you there with the 95’s sweater”, and so on. This lasted about 30-45 minutes or so. This showed how much he cares for his fans.

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Then he went back on stage and rocked with us the last 30 minutes, until 11.30 pm. During the whole concert, especially at the last song which was Started from the Buttom, he didn’t save with explosions and fire shows. 

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Drake is one of the most fan-friendly stars I know, and experienced myself. His show was truly amazing. He gave everything and more. I can say that this was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. I even have to admit that I actually wasn’t that big of a fan of him. I knew and liked him but I didn’t know many songs from him, yet I have always heard ofmhis concerts being amazing and wondered how they were. So this was a good possibility to go and see for myself. And now I can call myself a real fan after seeing him live. I would go to his  oncerts again and again. I can’t even wait for the next time. And then I want to go to Berlin, because last week, at night, in bed, while I tried to sleep, but looked through instagram instead, I came across some pictures from the Drake Concert in Berlin. And then I read the comments and was shocked: Kanye West appeared as surprise act. Jhene Aiko and Juicy J also appeared. I almost cried. I couldnt belive it. Why did he bring everyone to Berlin? Why couldn’t he bring Jhene Aiko for us, and Kanye West to Berlin, I am not that interested in him. So unfair. But well, for the next time we will keep that in mind. Still, it was a good concert. Something I will never forget in my life. 

However, after standing 6 and a half hours, my whole body was a wreck. I could barely walk to the car. And I was so happy when we finally made it home to sleep. 

The next day, we had to run to our bus through Frankfurt city :’D but in the end, we made it. There were almost the same people on the bus back as there were on the bus on Wednesday. 

I am really sorry that I am so late for posting about it, but I was a bit busy then, with looking for other possibilities than Erasmus, although I am getting a bit lazy and hopeless by now… I will try my best to apply, but I am very hopeless by now. I don’t believe to get to study in an english-speaking country anymore.

A very hopeless end to such a great post. I didn’t mean it. So here is something to look forward to, namely some yummy Cooking posts. They are also quite a while ago, but I still have to post about them. So you can look forward for it. 

Thanks for reading :)

 

Crystal Castles – Knights

Since this song has no lyrics, because it is electronic, I will just short write down my opinion about this song and video.
I have discovered this band after watching the british series “Skins”. After listening to their song ‘Alice Practice’, I immediately searched for more songs. They surprisingly had a lot of original videos on youtube (since many videos are put down from youtube in Germany here). When it comes to their songs, I can’t really decide which is my favorite, but this video is my favorite one. It is set in Japan, Tokyo (the huge crossway hints to Shibuya), one of the dream cities I want to travel to. Furthermore, I like the idea of a bunch of young people (not too young, in their 20s probably) taking some pills together and playing around in the fountain, through the city and ending up in a club.
I also have the imagination that Tokyo is a futuristic city, fond of new technology, and that’s why I love it as a setting for an electronic song. Everything fits perfectly.