Friday, 31 August 2012

Blog To Japan!

Inside Japan and Virgin Atlantic are holding a competition for bloggers to win a trip to Japan.

Here are my 12 reasons for wanting to visit Japan...!

1. Hyper Japan
Back in February this year I travelled down to London to go to Hyper Japan (you can read my blog post about it here!) The experience itself was fantastic. There was so much going on, so many interesting people and so many incredible things to see...
I loved that people at the event had made such an effort with their outfits especially!
It was a fun event and people were so enthusiastic and happy to pose for pictures. It gave me an even greater interest in all things Japanese!

2. Sakura/Cherry Blossom
Cherry blossom is one of my favourite flowers, it's absolutely beautiful! I would love to be able to witness it in Japan.

3. Food & Drink (& Sushi!)
I love food. There I said it. Every meal time, every snack, every drink, without fail, I whip my iphone out and snap a picture of it to share with everyone...
 Another thing that I also love, is sushi! It would be great to finally try "authentic" Japanese sushi! (And possibly visit the Tsukiji Fish Market too!)
I would like to try other Japanese food and drink. Whilst visiting Hyper Japan in February I partook in a basic sake knowledge workshop. It was really interesting and I'm keen to try more!
I've heard a lot about RockRock in Osaka from my American friends too, so maybe a trip there would be on the cards!

4. Art
Japanese art is something I have a real interest in. From Origami through to Calligraphy, I find it fascinating and beautiful...
I could have spent hours watching the various workshops which took place while I was at Hyper Japan!
The calligraphy looks so striking.
Japanese artwork has also inspired some of my own tattoos! Perhaps I could add to my collection...
5. Mount Fiji
I don't think I really need to explain this but it is one of the most stunning things I have seen!

6. Bullet Train
Another thing that doesn't really need any introduction but looks absolutely breathtaking!

7. Hello Kitty
I think it's safe to say that I am a little bit of a Hello Kitty fan!
I don't think I would be able to visit Japan without experiencing Sanrio Puroland (aka Hello Kitty Land!!)

8. Culture Shock
I think that the thing I enjoy about travelling somewhere new is how different places can be. I don't really like going on holiday to somewhere that is exactly the same as home. I like to go somewhere that is going to be a totally new experience.

From what I have gathered from people I know who have already visited Japan, is that it is a total culture shock to them and I think that is something that draws me to the country!

A few years ago I had a job looking after students who attended the summer language schools held at Sheffield Hallam University. Many of the students attending the courses were from the Meikai University in Japan.
They were some of the friendliest, brightest, most courteous and polite people I have ever met. I would love to have the chance to catch up with some of them that I have kept in contact with!
I feel that although the country could be a culture shock, the Japanese people I have met have all been so friendly that it wouldn't matter!

9. "Crazy" Things...!
I couldn't come up with a better way to describe this reason, but it covers a number of things!

I'd love to experience some of the more "crazy" things that Japan has on offer! From buying oddities from vending machines, getting photos in a fun purikura photobooth, trying the different flavours of Kit Kats available (I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to try the Wasabi variety though!) through to visiting a themed cafe or bar - I'm thinking the ninja restaurant sounds pretty awesome!! :)

10. Toyama Bay
A few months ago I saw in the news an article about the firefly squid which live in Toyama Bay illuminating the beach. I thought this looked absolutely phenomenal!

11. Shopping
I'm not entirely sure how much self control I would have if I was let loose in Japan to go shopping!
I am a lover of all things cute, tiny things, kawaii, things with little faces on, food characters, Pocky Sticks, brightly coloured sweets, stickers, gadgets and little nick knacks! At the moment I am limited to shopping on the Internet (Tofu Cute is a favourite website of mine for goodies!) but would love to have the chance to see what Japan itself has on offer!

12. Kimble Matthews & Masako Nishiguchi
Finally, I would love to take my Mum on the trip with me. I will let her explain why:

"In August 1985 I was planning to make a trip to Japan to attend the wedding of my friend Kim and Mako, his Japanese fiancĂ©e the following year.
They had a party in England just before they left to fly back to Japan and all the talk was about what we were going to do for a ‘party piece’ at the wedding, Kim explained that it was traditional for all the guests to perform in some way, we were all very excited at the prospect of this.
Two days later came the news of a plane crash on the flight from Tokyo to Osaka, they were both aboard that plane and died together on the mountainside.
I never made the trip to Japan, it is something that has always been in the back of my mind that I will do one day and visit the memorial, the opportunity has never arisen until now, maybe."

I think that if I was chosen for the trip, I would use the opportunity to do and see as much as physically possible and share my experience with everyone! :)

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Mini Round Up 28/08/12

I've had a busy couple of weeks again! Here's what I've been up to recently...
 I went down to London to see Blur at the Hyde Park gig. I got quite excited when I was given my own gold medal...!
 Hyde Park was rammed!
 Just before Blur came on there was a live link up to the Olympics closing ceremony...
 This was as near to the front as I was going to get! One of my friends I was with managed to get to the barriers!
 The gig was awesome! I've only seen a bit of a Blur set before at Glastonbury. Hyde Park was a bit crap itself (I think I'll remember it as the day we queued!) but the gig was brilliant.
My token Olympic photo!
 When I got back to Sheffield, my brother and his girlfriend had come to stay for a few days. They'd left this in my room for me!
 I didn't want to open it as it was wrapped so nicely!
 Jack's girlfriend works in Cath Kidston, she got me this and a spotty business card holder! I don't think I'd have any self control if I worked there! I'd want to buy everything!
  I had to restrain myself from eating this in one go. I nearly did and nearly fell into a diabetic coma in the process...!
  I also returned to a lovely package from Motel including this shirt! I had won a twitter competition they held and had chosen this as my prize! I love the shirt - it's very me! :)
 I went to Sheftival a few weeks ago (as mentioned in my previous post here!) - I found a few photos on my proper camera I thought I'd share...
 There were all kinds of activities going on at Don Valley Stadium...
 I liked watching the progress of this over the weekend!
 We managed to get on the buskers barge just before it left. It was a really cool way of watching a band!
 We saw two bands play on the short trip.
 The Noisettes weren't my favourite performers of the weekend but I liked the lead singers outfit!
 I saw Head Automatica at the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham a few weeks ago too (and met Daryl Palumbo afterwards picture here!) I need to get back into going to more gigs!
 I had some rubbish news last week which was a real downer for me so I spent a few days looking at pictures of baby animals to cheer myself up! :)
 I did have some good news however, in the form of an unexpected tax rebate (hoorah!) I've decided what I'm spending it on already... ;) (These are from Firebox btw!) 
 I already own the Diana Mini but I NEED this Diana Baby in my life!! I also love the Fisheye Baby too!
 Mum and I embarked on a flat pack marathon putting together a bed for the spare room. It weighed a tonne (150kg to be precise!) and a total ball ache at the end, but we managed it! Can you spot the typo on the instructions? ;)
 Finally finished!
I picked these up in Tesco's for my Mum. They were reduced to £1.25 so I couldn't resist - how gorgeous are they? (And they lasted for ages too!)
Last weekend I went along to the Leeds Bloggers Meet Up, I'll be writing a separate post about this in the next couple of days! :)

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Mini Round Up 11/08/12

Things what I have been up to...
I've found my new favourite iphone app - Monki Mi!
I went to York a couple of weeks ago to meet my friend Claire and see We Are Scientists in the evening... I lol-ed at this!
We found a place in York that did bubble tea so I couldn't not have one!
Claire and I at the Duchess in York. Me looking a bit sweaty!
I NEED this Lazy Oaf dress in my life...
Caved in to the stud trend and got these from Matalan. I like that they're just studded on the toes...
ROFL-ing at Boris! Have you seen the gif?
Last weekend I went to Sheftival with my Mum. There was a really nice atmosphere. We caught a few bands including The Beat and Toots and the Maytals! We also managed to hop aboard the Busker's Barge and catch a couple of bands (including Ryan Wilson in the picture above) which was a cool experience.
There were lots of activities over the Sheftival weekend. I caught up with a friend who was working with Sheffield Galleries and got to make myself a printed Day of the Dead skull bag. It's actually teeny in real life so I'm going to use it for my packed lunch! :)
There was lots of food stalls (including the awesome Street Food Chef - their burritos rock) I couldn't resist an ice slushie thing...
The event was held at Don Valley stadium in Sheffield, so the crowd got quite excited when it was announced that Jessica Ennis had won gold at the Olympics! I loved this tweet from Our Cow Molly!
I haven't actually been watching the Olympics (but have been keeping an eye on results!) I like that Yorkshire is doing well! :)
I met my friend Alice and her little boy in the week and we went to "Sheffield by the Sea" at the Peace Gardens as it was lovely and warm! They had sand pits, a helter skelter, beach huts and other fun fair games. Her little one loved it and I enjoyed a little paddle in the fountains!
On Tuesday night I went and saw Fat Freddy's Drop at Plug in Sheffield. They played a 2 hour set and were incredible! If you get the chance to see them, go go go!
I also spotted loads of cool graffiti I'd not seen before...
Twitter has been making me giggle...
On Friday night I went over to Nottingham after work to see Head Automatica. They're one of my favourite bands so I was pretty excited! :)
I couldn't believe how teeny the Rescue Rooms is as a venue, but I really liked it! I'd only been in there years ago for a drink. The gig was really good. I'm glad I went along to it! I was a bit worried about going on my tod, but luckily bumped into one of my brothers friends so had some people to hand out with :)
And! I had a total fan girl moment afterwards as I met Daryl Palumbo! I was a bit of a dork and lost the ability to speak but he was very nice! :) :D
I look awful in this picture but I thought it was funny :)

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