Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mid-Week Holiday Week

September is great, mostly due to those random holidays, and the comfortable weather. It's still a tad too early for tights and sweaters, but that did not stop me from stocking up on warmer clothes. I literally bought every single item from the [Helmut Lang] Alexandre Plokhov x Uniqlo collection, I love those designer collaborations and they're so affordable. If you're in Japan or NYC, I highly recommend checking it out, although it's only available in select Uniqlo shops.

Besides wanting to just wear sweat pants and stay home, I ventured out to IKEA, which was the best way to spend a mid-week holiday. To be honest, I only go for the meatballs, but I picked up a few kitchen accessories and brightened up my tiny little apartment.

I haven't slept much at all this past week, lots of late nights and early mornings and lots lots going on. I just wish I could get myself in bed early, but when it's bedtime, I see it as free time (which I don't get much of during the week) so I just want to stay up, read magazines and watch TV re-runs. I found some reasonably priced international magazines at National Azabu supermarket in Hiroo, on the second floor. They have a pretty decent selection, along with books, and the magazines are much, much cheaper than at Tsutaya or Kinokuniya.

This is so much better than my French press!

Alexandre Plokhov x Uniqlo

Love that sweater dress, in black

IKEA feast

Friday, September 19, 2014

Train Posters + Friday


In celebration of ending yet another hectic week, check out those Odakyu line manner posters. They are by far my favourites:

don't rock out on the train

check out those pants

I successfully made it to the gym this week, and worked out so hard I couldn't walk or sit properly today- in a good way, of course. I also noticed I have actual arm muscles, which motivates me to keep up with it.

I had a long week with lots of deadlines but I treated myself to a latte- and a Daikanyama bookstore visit to wind down on Friday evening- that's how wild I get lately. I did some window shopping in Roppongi Hills and on Omotesando and I want so many things for autumn and winter, and trying to decide what is the best investment piece- a bag, shoes or a coat? Or all three…?

This sums up my week perfectly

First time i get a heart at sbux

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September Long Weekends

In September there is a holiday known as Silver Week, which covers a few different holidays over the span of a week. It's pretty much only two actual days off from work, but I welcome them with open arms, especially after summer ended- any extra holiday is good.

I was re-reading old entries about my first Silver Week in Japan, and I was oh-so-bored. Somehow the list I posted on my blog sounds quite fun, but I felt so lonely, isolated and trapped in Marugame at that time. Yet it's endearing to look back, it always seems better from a distance. You can read it here. I'm so thankful those days are over, but then again, I wouldn't be where I am today if it hadn't been for that part of my life. I easily get nostalgic!

This time around, my long weekend was filled with looming deadlines, picnics in the park, bubbly, cheese, a walk in Kichijoji and a surprise autumn festival, late summer fireworks and the gorgeous kimono gifted by Sophia's grandma. I also read another Amélie Nothomb, "Ni d'Ève ni d'Adam" (I believe the English title is "Tokyo Fiancee"). Loved the book so much, just like "Stupeur et Tremblements", her most famous novel. I was surprised to see a film trailer for "Tokyo Fiancee", and looking forward to watching it to see how it compares to the book. I can relate to a lot of Nothomb's writing and her experience living and working in Japan, and she has the ability of putting many of my feelings into words, but I also don't agree with many things the character (the author) does. I guess she was very young at the time and even though she had a great understanding of Japanese culture, many of her actions were quite odious.

Picnic essentials: lots of cheese and sparkling wine
The thought of the cost of the cheese makes me want to cry.

Fruit sandwiches, not sure how I feel about them

Festival in Kichijoji, with bus in the backdrop

Carrot cake from Rose Bakery, YUM

Fireworks and yukata

This sky.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My Tokyo Routine

Unlike last week, this week was so disciplined, pretty much every day looked the same and it wasn't so bad after all. Wake up at 6:00, fold my futon, have a shower, long breakfast, pack my lunch, clean my room, go to work, go to the gym, come home, cook, tidy up, write, read, bed by 22:30. Zzzzzzz.

My eating habits are so much healthier when I'm disciplined and pack my own lunch and cook dinner, and I really should do this every single day even if I have all those events to attend. I mean, I could never pass up some free finger foods, but I could do without the in-between appointments conbini sandwich. Lately I've been snacking on edamame and tofu, as usual. I wonder if I eat too much tofu, I eat it almost daily. I should google that.

In other news, I joined a suicide prevention walk on Wednesday, which is World Suicide Prevention Day. It's a big topic in Japan (and everywhere else in the world for that matter) which holds a lot of stigma, but I think it's important to raise awareness. I think a lot of non-Japanese people living in Japan cannot easily find the help they need, or don't know where to turn. I witnessed a lot of people around me experiencing distress during our time in Japan, and unfortunately I wasn't aware of all the resources available, but they do exist, like the TELL Lifeline, which is a number everyone should program in their phones.

On a brighter note, this weekend is a long one (Respect for the Elderly holiday) and I'm so thankful I'll get to sleep in three mornings in a row. I just hope it stops raining, it's been so wet and grey all week.

I've already picked up my 2015 diary

Soba is my absolute favourite

Conbini lunch, not bad at all = ¥400

This selfie app is so much fun (and annoying for others)
It's called B612

Friday, September 5, 2014

September, Week One

I had one of those weeks with an event every single evening, which means glasses of Champagne, late bedtimes, rushed deadlines and skipped gym workouts. I wish I could do it all, but I did manage one introduction to boxing class, which was the best workout I've ever had. Why did I not know that before?? It's a fun way to do cardio, too.

I went to a hair product launch party with MTV, and left with a month's worth supply of hair products, which is kind of a nice perk, not to mention the event was sponsored by Moët & Chandon. I usually never use Japanese brands on my hair as it's not the right fit for my hair type, but this brand was actually fine, it's called XY9 and the striped pink and white packaging is quite nice. The best part of the event was the location, right next to L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele, some of my favourite in Tokyo. After the event, we shared a marinara pizza complete with enough garlic and olive oil to make Italy proud, along with a green salad and potato cake (gateau di patate sounds so much more appetizing). Although the reviews from that place are lukewarm, I think you can't find much better in Tokyo, although the very best pizza in Japan, Dottore, is actually located in Sendai.

I also went to the Canadian Embassy, which is always a happy place to go. I'm lucky I get to go often for work-related purposes and events, and I like how friendly everyone is, and how stepping in feels like being in Canada momentarily. I never miss a chance to take a photo of the Mountie cardboard cutout, who greets guests at the entrance.

This week was not all work and 6am starts- last night, one of my friends hosted a mani/pedi party at her place (which included two fluffy kitties, a spectacular view of Tokyo Tower, her manicurist and lots of wine and cheese) for four of us girls, and it was the best way to end the week. I picked vamp red on my fingers, and went old-school on my toes with the infamous Lincoln Park After Dark OPI shade, almost black deep purple. I also left with a gorgeous, brand new Vince navy dress, which made me realize I never owned an iron in Japan. So I've spent five years not ironing my clothes, and using the good ol' steamy-hot-water-in-the-shower trick to smooth out my clothes. On my shopping list this weekend: iron.

Anyone going to Vogue Fashion's Night Out tonight? Have a great weekend!

Shibuya, 6:20am

Hello there, pink bubbles.

Sides dishes at da Michele

Bonjour, Canada

The view from the bathroom (!) is pretty hot.

Many mirrors= obligatory selfie

This kitty!
Red nails

This face!

Monday, September 1, 2014

End of Summer

The change of seasons in Japan goes according to the date, and not the actual weather. Now that September arrived, decorations have changed to autumn leaves-themed displays, limited edition autumn beverages and shops are presenting clothes I cannot even dream of wearing just yet. The weather is still warm and the air filled with humidity, for another month at least.

Yet I can tell it's the end of summer, the light is different and the cicadas aren't as loud. I had the best summer I've had in several years, mostly because I went back to Canada, but also because I had a proper holiday. For almost a month, I did not work at all, something I never did in the five years I was in Japan. It was so refreshing, and as I came back to Japan, suddenly everything changed and exciting things are happening all over the place. Or maybe it's me who has changed?

Things I've been into lately: Gia Coppola (I love everything Coppola, whether it's wine or movies), Yves Saint Laurent movie (the early collections and runway shows were exquisite, and a young Karl Lagerfeld), my summer playlist, Gambit (the 1966 film), red nails, pencil skirts, greek yoghurt with berries, sparkling water and eringi mushroom sautéed with butter, best discovery of the summer.

September Metro Manner Poster:
Move your fur away from the priority seats?

Latte at Le Coutume, never get tired of it

How tiny are they?!
Definitely NOT trainer-approved