Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Festive December

December can be somewhat difficult- the temperatures are dropping, it's hard to get out of bed when it's still dark outside, and hibernating seems a better idea than spending time out. It can also be a less-than-cheerful season, as Christmas in Japan is just not quite Christmas. No matter how many decorations, illuminations, holiday jingles and Christmas-themed lattes I consume, there's always something missing (not only snow!).

Yet, December is a festive time regardless, and this month is filled with special events such as bonenkai (end-of-the-year parties, beware of those last trains....), Christmas markets and art exhibits, and well, I do love illuminations and gingerbread lattes. The cold weather is the perfect excuse to stay home and curl up with a cup of hot cocoa (thanks to Christine for the delicious flavours from home!!!) and watch Christmas movies (I'm not embarrassed to admit that National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is at the top of my list).

My new living situation is also allowing me more fun stuff, such as having the girls over for copious amounts of wine and a plethora of snacks, or having a little Japanese cooking session with a pro, complete with gingerbread cookies hailing from Sweden, organic carrot juice and lots of tea. This time, we made kimchi nabe, which is a regular hot pot of pork, tofu and heaps of veggies spruced up with some kimchi- spicy!!

The nabe doesn't photograph so well, so here are some photos of the past few weeks that make me so happy, because I had the chance to do so many cultural things. I'm also serious again about studying Japanese to pass the JLPT, so help me please.... resources, tips, any suggestion is welcome. Immersion time!

Photos by Maaserhit Honda

Learning about a traditional heating system at the museum
(pretending I fully understand...)

Captured before all those leaves began to fall.

Getting kimono styled- this is the undergarment

This made me feel like a princess. I want to wear a kimono every day!


Christine loves to Travel said...

You are sooo pretty!!! Love the kimono :)

Wishing you the best holiday in Japan!!

Maria said...

Hey Vivian, I've been reading your blog for some time and it's one of my favourite ones ! I was an exchange student in the Japanese countryside four years ago with high school (for a year), and I just applied for another exchange next year with University, in Tokyo this time - I hope that if they accept me, my life there will be as fun as yours seems to be !

Which JLPT level do you want to take? I took N3 a week ago, I studied with the Nihongo So-Matome books which are really good in my opinion...

Vivian said...

Christine- Thanks!!! I'm loving the hot cocoa!! So yummy!!!!!!

Maria, thank you!! I'm studying for Level 3 as well, so I'll go look for those books, thanks! Hope you come to Tokyo soon, it's such a great place to be... keep me posted! xo

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