Friday, 29 January 2016

Gotokuji Temple

I'm rubbish with directions. If you're better at it, at the station, if you say 'gotokuji tela wa doko desu ka?' 豪徳寺てらはどこですか? Wait. what? 豪徳寺寺  urgh my Japanese is so bad xD if... tera (they pronounce r's more like l's) is 寺 and kuji is 寺... I'm missing something. Never mind. Well, the station worker somehow understood what I wanted.
They'll probably give you a map like they did with me (say 'a-li-ga-to-go-zai-mas' thank you!... *teaching my bad Japanese xD use at your own discretion*) The first time I went, I gave up and thought it was shut (it was 5pm) but it actually closes at 6pm and I shouldn't have given up.
Anyway, this was my second attempt and by this time, I had lost the map but felt guilty about using more paper so I winged it using google maps (still got lost and had to ask for directions again).

Anyhow, in case you're as incompetent with directions as I am, here are mine xD

Oh, I went to Gotokuji Temple, which has loads of maneki nekos. Maneki means to beckon. So beckoning cats. Lucky cats. Usually when you start up a business like a restaurant, you pop one of these things somewhere to bring good fortune.

So when you exit, turn left.

Walk straight. 

Aw the artwork is lovely. It's the year of the monkey.

The cute kitties say, Gotokuji ->
we're going the right way ; )

Basically walk straight until you see a Lawson 100 to the left and train tracks to the right. You want to turn left (not right and have to ask for directions like me).

Turn right when you see... they have Bridgestone in Japan? Oh, a google search reveals it's a Japanese company. Oh.... *coughs*

Walk until the end, turn left. Part of me wanted to try and find a short cut. But I was getting hungry (I went to Hanada Rosso afterwards)

Turn right. There's another map. Basically we have to do a big circle.

Continue on, past the cat chair. 

Turn right

Reach the end and turn right again.

Turn right again... a lot of rights, aren't there? You could probably just follow the outer gates until you get there like I did xD

When you see these gates, bingo.

Pa. Go. Da.

To get to the important part :P ... you want to aim for the tree in the middle of this picture: 

Some abandoned fortunes. You can get a fortune for 100 yen, and if you don't like it, you can leave it at the temple and that should lessen or make your (bad) luck obsolete. I think they look pretty though, on the tree xD

Creepy or freaking awesome? Awesome yeah?

Thank you thank you. ありがとうありがとう

*I cannot move, I have a cat on me. It's an unwritten law, even deities have to obey*

Purikura, Ebina, and Veganism

After work, I stopped by at Ebina. There's still a light display/ illumination. The moon was massive! *in love with the moon* Again, the photo doesn't do it justice.  

On Monday night, I visited my former roommates. We did Snow White 白雪姫プリクラ and then went to Karaoke.
I have no idea how to pose xD

I got this portable battery for my phone, which constantly dies. It charges really slow though xD like, 2% in 40 minutes =/ ... but I love the sticker I got for it.  

I don't want to be turned into Tonkatsu! Ain't that right? Honest sock is honest.

Hanada Rosso

To get to Hanada Rosso, I exited Meiji-Jingumae station, exit 7. I turned right and walked straight for about 5 minutes until I saw a billboard for it on the right.

 Then I entered the little passageway and there you are.
I paid 1,780¥ for the burger set, and 870¥ for the chocolate cake. It's not like I'm going to go all the time. It's expensive, but it's worth it. I really enjoyed the burger!

Kuumba Du Falafel

Either find exit 3a or find the 109 building. 

You shall see this:

(I took the pictures from Kuumba Du Falafel to Shibuya station and from the other side of the street, but hopefully you can still follow). It's about a 15 minute walk (or a 3 minute walk from Shinsen station).

Go straight until you see Donki Hote

And you'll pass Tully's Coffee

(I'm on the other side of the road) keep going...

Past the Liquor Shop Matsumoto

When you see these pretty buildings, you're nearly there.

When you see Cafe Cafe, you want to cross the street so that you're past the overhead. It's around the first building to the right, but on the left hand side. 

(We were on the other side of the road so I saw this giraffe)

A souvlaki, well, it's called a sand here, costs about 1200 yen for a regular one. 

Was so excited!! It was pretty good! I demolished it xD and was super full after.  

What do you eat/ What do you use 9

• Went to Kuumba du falafel in Shibuya. Yay! I’m going to be one of those people that natters on about Kuumba du Falafel because I really enjoyed it. This is a regular falafel sandwich.
• Also from Kuumba du Falafel, hummus and lentil soup
• Some nice cream. I probably woke my neighbour up using the blender… and my blender isn’t strong so… =/ … you use frozen bananas (which had been chopped before freezing) however much you want, some peanut butter (I like Justin’s almond nut butter from iherb, which is expensive, but I ran out so I just used ordinary peanut butter which is terrible for the environment because of the palm oil and I shouldn’t have got it. I’m sorry Orang-utans, it won’t happen again and I feel bad now) anyway, blend it to the consistency you want and add what you want. I added broken up pecans and some dark chocolate bits (didn’t have cacao chips but would have used them).
• Spaghetti. I’ve written how I usually make it but I’ve changed the recipe. I used a larger jar of pasta sauce instead of a jar of pasta sauce and a can of chopped tomatoes. I love garlic and onion, so I cooked them together then added some overnight soaked lentils which I had drained before adding them in. Put as much as you see fit. I cooked them for a while. Then I added two bunches of chopped spinach, 3 eggplants/aubergines, a handful of mushrooms…. I did cook some pasta but half of what I usually do. I also grated half a carrot and half a cucumber with a julienne peeler (had no idea about them until I moved and one was in my cupboard! They’re amazing) so the pasta is a mix of pasta, carrots, and cucumber. It works… well, for me anyway xD
• Pumpkin curry. Here is the recipe (I alter stuff so it doesn’t look like the picture. I didn’t have coconut milk and used almond milk instead. Next time, I’ll try it with coconut milk. I also didn’t have pumpkin puree so I diy-ed that part) Chickpea Pumpkin Coconut Curry Recipe
• My co-worker gave me some snacks she found at a temple. She assured me they were vegan and they’re pretty good. I think they’re wafer with beans. One had red bean paste, another had a different kind of beans.

Monday, 25 January 2016

I recommend 'The True Cost'

I highly recommend this film. I knew a bit about it because of ‘Last Week Tonight Fashion’ which in itself was eye opening, as well as that youtube video ‘How To Make Money In The Fashion Industry’.
Only thing I must say seeing as I’m recommending it is that as far as I know and from the evidence I have seen, animal agriculture is actually the leading cause of pollution, and then there’s oil and then fashion. It’s at least right up there, but it's not mentioned as being so. it’s also available on Netflix.  

‘The eyes of the world are opening, and I believe history is giving us this moment to choose a better path. Human progress moves forward when those who have a voice use it on behalf of those who do not. It moves forward when a moment is seized rather than ignored. And it most certainly moves when we decide that the profit of some must never come from the exploitation of others. I hope with all my heart that this film serves as a needed step in that progress.– Andrew Morgan’

And 'People Tree' started in Japan??? That's amazing : D There's one in Jiyugaoka... and three other places.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016


• I don’t normally try (and then fail) to rearrange my food to look artistic… but seeing as it was going on social media… I attempted to do so! Right, I made a lot of food to last daaaays because I’m pretty lazy and I don’t cook daily. I made taco rice because I felt like it.
I made a mixture of brown rice and quinoa (just because I had some quinoa and quinoa is pretty nutritious. Add it if you have it), I made 3 cups all together, I think. I’m not sure (I put some aside for lunches so it was probably 4 but about 3 is enough for this). About that amount anyway.
Separately, I cooked red kidney beans (which were soaked overnight and then rinsed, I prefer them and they’re cheaper than canned beans too) with a tin of canned tomatoes, a punnet of mushrooms and some other mushrooms I had lying around. Once the beans were soft-ish, I added the rice and put in two packets of taco mix powder into the recipe. Alternatively, this recipe looks legit too . Just double it. Add as much powder as you want, taste test, whatever. Add chilli if you like. I didn’t know what else to do so I just left it as is.
You can put whatever else. I put avocados because they’re amazing with the rice or basically in everything. Lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, grated carrots. Choice xD … after the photo was taken, I mixed it all up.
• I love smoothies. I’ve been going for more berries lately (a banana, a handful or more of frozen berries, half an avocado, and some unsweetened almond milk. Been eye-balling my smoothies lately. You can add chia seeds to up the nutrients).
• I love junk food. Because it was the new year, I had some strawberries with tempered dairy-free chocolate which I got off iherb.
• Lay’s classic potato chips. Not healthy, possibly not entirely ethical either. I’m not really meant to buy them as a result. But they’re accidentally vegan, vegans have junk food too. So I pigged out on that with hummus.
• >.> I love junk food, all right? Popcorn. Even has the ‘suitable for vegans’ logo : D

It’s pretty difficult in Japan to be cruelty free. Pretty much everything is tested on animals, and people just don’t think about it. I tell my students about animal testing and they have no idea. Anyhow, so I do use stuff that was tested on animals. Half my stuff has been -___- I think it’ll be easier when I go back to New Zealand. Veganism isn’t about purity, it’s about mitigating the suffering you cause and I think going on a plant-based diet is the best anyone can do for that. ‘Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything.’
The surface and floor cleaner is a recipe I got off a friend (fill a bottle of water, add half a teaspoon of tea tree oil, optional: a few drops of eucalyptus oil and/or peppermint oil).
I went to ‘Lush’ which we have in Japan. It’s bloody expensive though. So in the future, I might make my own shampoo and conditioner, at least while I’m in Japan. I have some shampoo (violet scented) and I use a bit of coconut oil in my hair (just comb it through) when it’s damp. And there’s some Snow Fairy scented body wash just because it was Christmas when I got it and it smells like candy floss xD  

So, I moved to Yokohama at the end of last year… well, over the last few days anyway. I managed to get my own place. It’s so good. I mean, I love Mayumyum and Bina. But it’s also nice to take over the fridge (and space) without feeling guilty about it xD (and also not to see animal flesh) the only thing I share with others is the washing machines. There’s a common room where you can mingle but I never go to because I’m anti-social and shy. It’s about a 20 minute walk from the station and costs 67000 yen a month but includes expenses. It’s a pretty good deal in my opinion.  
As for the Star Wars merchandise… I have no idea how it happened. I re-watched all the films at the start of last year and it made me obsessed. To be fair, a couple of things were given to me (you probably can't see the Star Wars chopsticks and bowls...)