Insanely Sized Japanese Fruit

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Whilst shopping at my favorite local farmers market Megumi no Sato 恵みの郷 (meaning Blessed Village) last night I came across these insanely sized nashi 梨 (Japanese Pears).
The smaller ones pictured were already what I would consider large but the monsters were what really caught my attention.
These things were the size of rockmelons and at 650円 (about $8) a piece I presume they are meant to be shared.
And no they aren’t giant irradiated mutated fruit from Fukushima 福島県, infact they came from Kagoshima Prefecture 鹿児島県 in Kyushu.

Oh Japan you never cease to amaze and entertain me everywhere I look.

Daniels Australian Cookbook

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This Saturday is the Bunkasai 文化祭 (Cultural Festival) at my Chuugakko 中学校 (Junior Highschool) and returning from a week of leave I found myself being asked to plan an Australian culture table with in my free time over the next few days.

Here is today’s creation, Australian cookbooks!!! Featuring the recipes to make Anzac Biscuits, Lamingtons, Sausage Rolls, Australian Toffee and Fairy Bread!
I have printed enough to make 300booklets……… Sigh 50 down, a plethora of folding to go.

Sometimes I have deeply regret seemingly ‘amazing ideas’ without considering the work required to bring them to fruition….
(−_−;)

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A Night In A Shibuya Internet Cafè

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Saturday evening I found myself in Shibuya without a room for the night. The last night of my trip I had foolishly not got round to booking a hotel, hoping to simply walk up to one on the day. My presumption that there would be rooms available in one of the most densely populated areas in the world was far from accurate.

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And so midnight rolled around, defeated I looked to the next best thing…. A mangakiss (Japanese internet cafe).
These establishments typically offer customers a small room with a comfortable chair, computer with Internet connection, gaming devices, movies and access to a vast manga library.
Alongside this other amenities include a communal shower, luggage storage and free all you can drink vending machines.

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I decided upon one of the larger venues Gran Cyber Cafe B@gus, even checking in at the wee hours of the morning they had space at a fairly reasonable rate of 2000円 for a 9 hour stay.

To be honest it wasn’t what I would consider the most comfortable night sleep as the chair doesn’t exactly go all the way back. Not exactly sure if I would be up for it again, but for a desperate lad on the streets of Shibuya it did just fine!

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This is the entrance to Gran Cyber Cafe B@gus.

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Free vending machines

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Part of the manga library

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Tokyo Skytree Adventures!

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Today I’m at Tokyo Skytree, freaking epic!!!
Although similarly so were the lines, arriving at 10:30am we were given passes that would allow us to join the queue at 1:00pm, after returning from a brief trip to Asakusa it was another hour before we could buy tickets to go up!

That said the view from 450m was well worth the wait, I’v been up Kobe’s Port Tower, Kyoto Tower and Tokyo Tower but nothing compared to Tokyo Sky Tree!

At 2000¥ for the 350m viewing platform it was a little pricy compared to visiting viewing platforms at many other towers.

We decided to also head up to the 450m viewing platform, although hesitant at first in my opinion the extra 1000¥ was a fair price to scale the worlds second tallest structure!

All in all a fantastic experience!
(^∇^)

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Please Wait a Moment しょうしょう おまちください

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皆ーさん しょうしょう おまちください
Gomen (Presumably) loyal readers, I apologize for the lack of updates recently.

Parentals are in town and we headed to the capital leaving me little time to blog, so hang tight whist Nihonomnom takes a short break this week.

I shall update on my adventures soon
(^◇^)

Chairlift – I Belong In Your Arms (Japanese Version)

Recently I obtained a copy of the Japanese release of the new Chairlift album ‘Something’, for which the band recorded a number of bonus tracks one of which is a Japanese language version of the single ‘I Belong In Your Arms’.

Coming across video for it on YouTube I instantly fell in love with the  dodgy karaoke inspired green screen clip, complete with Japanese sing along subtitles, which for some reason seems to feature a plethora of ladders…….

Check it out below!

Mintia ミンティア Reviews

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Mintia ミンティア are a sugarfree Japanese candy that I recently discovered (having previously overlooked much of the candy isle) and subsequently became infatuated with.
If your the type to count calories these are fantastic as not only do they pack quite the punch, but each 0.14 gram pastel only has half a calorie or 2kj!

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Mintia – Juicy Grape
ジューシーグレープ
I bought these ones just because the name of the flavor made me laugh.
Quite comically it says 果汁 20% UP in the bottom left corner, which basically means 20% more fruit juice….. so compared to what exactly???? Really how much fruit can you really fit into a 7g pack of mints anyway, perhaps that what the little purple dots in the pastels are XD
That said there fairly tasty.
3.5/5

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Mintia – Lemon & Lime Mint
レモンライムミント
This flavor being a mint kind has overpowering mint tones to it and only the most subtle citrus notes.
Texture wise the are a lot smoother than the fruity pastels and feel a bit more artificial in the mouth (if that’s at all possible), they also have a light lime setting them apart from the usual white.
The redeeming trait the Lemon & Lime flavor brings to the table, is that they contain tiny tiny little yellow crystals in them that slowly break away from the pastel as you eat them and when bitten release a pleasant citrus burst.
3.5/5

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Mintia – Aqua Sparking
アクアスパーク
This is definitely my favorite flavor! I get a real Ramune ラムネ vibe from these, very sweet and candy like, really feel like your eating something naughty and sugar filled as opposed to a tiny mint. One of the winning points of Mintia is their ability to fill your whole mouth with flavor and the Aqua Sparking captures this perfectly!
おすすめ 4.5/5

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Mintia – Rich Mix
リッチミックス
This is one of the more tasty Mintia varieties, since it is apparently pineapple, lime and mango flavored. You can definitely taste tones of fruit punch in this one and it will certainly get 2 thumbs up from me.
おすすめ 4/5

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Mintia – Jasmine Tea Mint
ジャスミンティーミント
Certainly very different from the usual fruit or straight up mint Mintia’s, Jasmine Tea Mint really does have an authentic albite subtle tea flavor. However I fell as though it is all but overpowered by a strong minty overtone, I would have much preferred this flavor minus the mint. Still not bad.
3.5/5

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Mintia – Juicy Navel
ジューシーネーブル
Ok so the name of this one is a bit retarded, basically what they mean by ネーブル (navel) is ネーブルオレンジ (navel oranges).
Looking past the name there really isn’t all that much to these orange flavored pastels, I really consider them to be incredibly bland and lacking the punch of some of the other Mintia’s.
I guess that 果汁20% UP that the Grape Minita brought to the table must have really been worth something =p
At the end of the day just OK, but I wouldn’t buy them again.
2.5/5

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Mintia – SHARP EVER

Not being a huge fan of anything mint in general I went I trying this flavor with reservations, however I was quite pleasantly surprised.
Sporting a lime green colour, they are not incredibly overpowering. Yet are also filled with similar little beads as the Lemon & Lime Mint flavor which is nice addition. Still I prefer the fruit flavors any day!
3.5/5

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Mintia – Rich Grapefruit
リッチグレープフルーツ
Being quite the fan of grapefruit in general these were sure to be a hit.
Although only being only mildly sour, they really do have a taste that most closely resembles the fruit that they are apparently imitating much better than other mintia flavours.
Could it be that the little yellow chips in each pastel are actually real grapefruit….. Well I this I doubt but they did a good job anyhow!
4/5

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Mintia – Salty Ume (Umeboshi 梅干し)
塩ウメ
This one took a while to grow on me, not widely available, I have only occasional seen it at the odd conbini.
Umeboshi 梅干し (Dried Japanese apricots) are perhaps not my favourite Japanese food, they are renowned for being an acquired taste and extremely salty.
When I first accidentally bought an umeboshi onigiri I spat it out horrified, however slowly slowly I have grown accustomed and now I can even stomach eating a few straight up.
Now quite surprisingly for an umeboshi flavored candy the initial taste was in a word is at first ‘underwhelming’, however the deliciousness finds its way through as you suck on it. Slightly puckering and sour I found them quite delightful after a few, however unlike the other Mintia these guys will burn a hole in your tongue if you eat too many.
おすすめ 4/5.

Shougakko Japanese Class Doodles

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Clearly I learnt an awful lot of Japanese attending a 2年生 (2nd grade) Japanese class my shougakko this morning (≧∇≦)

Aspiring JET Program Applicants

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I recently found this in my notes folder on my iPhone, it was a list of aspirations I wrote exactly on this day 12 months ago.
This perfectly sums up the kind of ambition one must have when applying for the JET Program as it certainly is no easy road and one by one I ticked all those things off my ‘to do’ list!
Having now been working as an ALT in Kobe for over 4 months I can certainly say, although getting in was by far the hardest thing I have worked for in my entire life, it by far was worth every moment!

Moving to Japan and participating in JET has been the best decision I have ever made. Sure moving to a whole new country is never going be an easy transition and my experience thus far has certainly had its up’s and downs, however at the end of the day I am much happier here than I ever was living in Australia.

Did I get my placement? Yes absolutely, I don’t want to imply that your chances of reviving your placement request is huge. But at the end if the day I asked for Kobe and 12 months down the road here I am, loving life.

Also I urge you to tick that little box that says your willing to leave early, if I hadn’t I would never be here.
If you would like any advice or have any questions, leave me a comment.

So please if your just putting together your application for 2013-14 now let this inspire you, as nothing is impossible if you have the ambition and put in the hard yards!

-Daniel

Midnight Cooking Misshaps

Sliced my palm up something fierce last night whilst embarking on magical midnight cooking adventures, he ain’t awful thrilled bout it.

That said based upon just how delicious the tane sautéed konyaaku balls i had for lunch were……….. today it was totally worth it!!

Anyhow thank god his mouth ain’t open and gushin no more, got the school nurse to patch him up this morning >_<