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Crazydeath
Crazydeath

I´m a german girl living in the center of Tokyo. I love traveling (especially hiking), taking photos and handcraft.

Area of Residence
Koto-ku, Tokyo
Area of Interest
Hokkaido
Blog Title
Auf großen Füßen durch die Welt
Blog URL
https://www.city-cost.com/blogs/Crazydeath
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The Art of Disney - The Magic of Animation Exhibition

What to do on a rainy Sunday if you dont want to sit all the time at home? Just go out and visit one of the many museums or exhibitions around Tokyo. We decided to visit the Disney exhibition "The Art of Disney - The Magic of Animation Exhibition" at the science museum in Odaiba. The exhibition runs from 8 April to 24 September. I hoped that already many visiters saw the  exhibition since it has already been running for a few months, but unfortunately because of the rain, many people had the same idea like me. The exhibition starts with 6 large screens on which projections of Disney figures can be seen. These are line drawings that are moving. For me it is the best part of the exhibition because it was very impressive. In the next rooms all the old works of Disney were presented and some informations about the history of the studio. Afterwards you could go on a little time trip through the film world. A large part of the Disney animation films were presented with pictures and drawings. Especially Disneys newest film Moana had an own big area.Unfortunately not all Disney films were at the exhibition. For example, there was nothing about Aladin or Merinda. The entrance fee of 1800 yen is kind of high but if you really love Disney you should visit that exhibition. They also have a small shop with many disney goods especially from the very old movies.Those goods you can buy only during the time of the exhibition.

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Top 5 shopping streets in Japan

There are so many nice shopping streets and markets in Japan that it is hard to decide where to go. Depending on what you are looking for, you will have many choices especially in big cities like Tokyo. Here are my 5 favorite shopping places in Japan: 1. Nishiki Market in KyotoDuring my first trip to Kyoto in 2010 I visited the Nishiki Market for the first time and I really loved it. Walking around the narrow streets of the market, which has around 100 small stores and restaurants is really fun. The shops and restaurants are selling mostly food and kitchenware. You can find many Kyoto specialties like sweets and pickles at the market. My favorite store is a very tiny store where you can buy raw fish dipped in a delicious sauce on a small wood stick. Every time when I visit Kyoto it is a must go place for me. Especially, the staff at that store are very nice to foreigners.2. Higashiyama District Also in Kyoto is the very old Higashiyama district on the slopes of the mountains in east Kyoto. The most beautiful part is around the popular Kiyomizudera. There are many old wooden houses and you can find many traditional handcraft and sweet stores. It gives you a good feeling of walking around the old capital of Japan. During spring time many lanterns will be lit up in the evening along the street. It is such beautiful scenery to walk around in in the evening, especially if you are wearing a yukata or kimono.3. Yanaka GinzaIn the northern part of Tokyo you can still feel the atmosphere of old Edo. North of Nippori station is the small Yanaka district. You can find small restaurants, grocery, clothes and toy stores and many others in that district. The streets are like an small, independent city. You can find everything you need for your daily life, but never forget everything comes with a charming, old style. If you look up to the roofs of the buildings you will find many beautiful plates decorated with scenes from old times. Sometimes you will also see some small residents walking around the roofs. The street is very popular for its cats! There are also some stores which just sell cat products.4. Nippori Fabric TownAlso close to Nippori station but on the south side is Nippori Fabric Town. The 'fabric town' has many different stores for fabrics, leather, accessories and even dresses. It is really a paradise for people who love sewing and handcraft stuff.5. Tokyo Station Character StreetTokyo station is a small shopping paradise, especially if you forgot to buy something, you will find it for sure in one of the stores there. My favorite area is the Character Street on the B1 floor. There are many stores for all the famous Japanese characters like Hello Kitty, Sailor Moon, Totoro or Pokemon. TV Channels also have small stores there, where you can buy merchandise from their TV shows and dramas.If you are a fan of those character products you should really take a look. 

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  • Tokyo
  • Kyoto

Challenges of Japanese food culture

Living in Japan can be a big challenge for a foreigner. There is a different culture, language and many other challenges like finding a job or an apartment. I´ve been living now a for few years in Japan and know the above challenges very well. But there are still a few things which make me crazy, that are hard to adjust to. One of the big topics is the food culture. Japanese people love their food. They talk about food, restaurants or food omiyage the whole day and really enjoy that topic. If they go sightseeing there is nothing more important than finding the best dish to eat. For me this culture is very weird. It was never important for me what I´m eating during the day as long my stomach will be filled. Especially when traveling around I´m trying to see as many sightseeing spots as I can and searching for a specific restaurant is just tiring.Nowadays when I´m going on a journey, me and my husband found a good solution to deal with that topic. I´m checking out the sightseeing spots and he is looking for food specialties around that spot. In this way both of us are satisfied.Another problem about food in Japan is when we are going out to eat some ramen, soba or udon. When sitting in a restaurant and suddenly 10 people around me start slurping. That sound makes me really crazy and I often leave the restaurant because I can not stand it. The next topic is about food sharing. In Japan it is typical that you share all the food on the table with everybody. In that case everybody can try many kinds of food. The negative side of this culture is that you can enjoy always only small pieces from each dish. If you are very picky about food or vegetarian/vegan, your choices of what you can eat are very limited. For this reason I prefer just to order a plate only for myself, then I don´t have to worry about getting food which I don´t like. Also, you have to pay for all the food if you share the dishes together (sharing the price also) which is very depressing when you don´t eat most of the food.Another big problem when meeting with Japanese friends is that they have big problems deciding on something. It doesn´t matter if they have to decide what to do or where to go. It is kind of impossible because they don´t want to disappoint somebody or give a bad impression. Those situations can be very stressful when nobody makes a decision.My last point is a typical summer topic. Barbeques are very popular around Japan. Especially during summer when you can smell grilled meat and seafood everywhere. But those BBQs are mostly held during lunchtime, which is the hottest time during the day in summer. The result is that you will be grilled together with your meat in the sun. In my country we always grill in the evening, when it´s getting cooler outside. Even when it´s getting dark, just light up some lanterns and you will have a romantic and relaxing atmosphere.There are just a few things I still struggle with in Japan, but I try my best to adjust to them.

  • Living
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  • Tokyo

Top 5 spots around Tokyo to enjoy water

Japan is a huge island completely surrounded by water. Especially during the summertime everybody likes to go to the beach and enjoy the ocean. Living in the center of Tokyo makes it difficult to go to a nice beach. The beaches in Tokyo are mostly very dirty and not that beautiful. That´s why I recommend going to the neighboring prefectures. Here are my top 5 places for swimming around Tokyo:1.    TateyamaSouth of Chiba is the small city of Tateyama with many beautiful, nice sand beaches. The easiest way to go there is by car but it is also possible to use the train but it takes around 2 hours from Tokyo station. If you like water sports you should use the chance to rent a surfboard and do a ride on the waves. The area is very popular as a surfing paradise. 2.    KatsuuraAlso south of Chiba in the Katsuura area close to Seaworld in Kamogawa are beautiful sand beaches and great surfing spots. Especially the Moriya and Uhara beaches are very popular for surfing. You can go there by train from Chiba city by the Sotobo Line. From Tokyo station it takes around 2 hours by local train. If you like it more calm and just want to enjoy the beach, I would recommend the small creek very close to Kazusa-Okitsu Station. It is also a nice place if you want to explore the area around the cliffs. Around the big beaches are many small surfing houses where you can stay for a night and enjoy a barbeque in the evening.3. Kisami Ohara Beach in IzuA little bit further away from Tokyo is the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture. The Izu has many beautiful beaches and is easy to access from Tokyo by train. If you are renting a car you can go to some less crowded beaches which you can only visit by car. I recommend the Kisami Ohara Beach, south Izu, in Shimoda. The beach is a very beautiful sand beach surrounded by mountains.4.    Tokyo SummerlandIf you prefer to stay in Tokyo you can enjoy some outdoor pools like Tokyo Summerland in Hachioji. It is a huge outdoor waterpark where you can enjoy different water activities like many sliders or floating down a river in a tire. They have indoor and outdoor pools for every age. Tokyo Summerland is very popular among the young generations, that´s why it can be very crowded during summer break and on the weekends. Also note that tattoos are forbidden there.5.    Local water playgroundsMy last recommendation is for the younger generation. You can find many small water playgrounds in most of the areas in Tokyo. Those small playgrounds are mostly for little kids who like to play in the water. The water is usually very shallow and there are often small sliders or other toys for playing in those pools. Unfortunately those pools are mostly open only in August and at special times during the days. You should check out the times of your playground before going there.The Japanese summer is always very hot and long. So please stay cool and get refreshed at one of the nice beaches. Please note that there are often operating seasons for the beaches (mostly end of July to the end of August). Only during that season will lifeguards be working at the beach in the case of any accidents.

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  • Chiba
  • Shizuoka

Kameido Tenjin Shrine Wisteria Festival

Today I´ve visited the wisteria festival at the Kameido Tenjin Shrine at the eastside of Tokyo. The shrine is very popular for it´s wisteria and also for the plum festival. I really love that little shrine area with small japanese bridges and the big pond.But today was totally crazy. Of course it is golden week and many people are in Tokyo, but my feeling was that they all visited that shrine. It was really big heavy traffic and if took me very long to walk around the whole shrinearea.,It was worthit to spend the time there. The flowers are very beautiful and the smell is amazing. Soon the blooming will end. So please hurry if you wanna see then.

  • Living
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  • Tokyo

Magnolia festival in Fujieda (Shizuoka)

It is the beginning of spring and you can find everywhere plum blossom and cherry blossom. But there is another very beautiful flower you can find around whole Japan. The very beautiful magnolia in white or pink. During my trip to Shizuoka I used the good weather to visit a magnolia festival. Southwest of Fujieda (Shizuoka) you can find the Jurinji shrine, which is a very small cute shrine. But the main attraction is the small hill next to the shrine. You can find many beautiful magnolia in white in pink there. It is like an ocean of white flowers. I´ve never seen so many white magnolia before. So I was very happy and enjoyed it very much.There is a small way around the hill where you can enjoy the flowers and also you will have a beautiful view over the city. If you are close to Shizuoka, I recommend to take a small stop there!

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Tulipfields around Sakura City

Every year at the beginning of march the tulip season starts in japan. In Sakura City (Chiba prefecture) you can find a huge field full of different tulips from around the world. In the middle of the field is a beautiful windmill from the Netherlands which has a small museum inside. If you going at the end of march to the fields, you might be lucky to see most of the tulips fully bloomed. But every tulip is different and has different blooming time.  I love to walk around the fields and see the big variety of flowers. Also for around 500 Yen you can collect 10 tulips from the fields and bring them back to home. The good thing about tulips is that they come back every year again. For your entertainment you can listen to a school choir or dress up in a typical Netherlands dress with wood shoes. Also you can have lunch at the nearby restaurant and food stands.I visit that place every year because I like the nice atmosphere of the fields in the countryside and it gives me a little feeling of being back to Europe.

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How to make japanese strawberry shortcake

Japanese loves their strawberry shortcake. I guess it is the number one cake ever in Japan. You can buy it really everywhere. Also my husband really loves that cake, so I promised to bake one for his birthday. For everybody who like to try out to bake the most popular cake in Japan, I will teach you how to make it!Ingredient list:-    6 eggs-    250 g flour-    250 g sugar-    15 g backing powder-    10 g vanilla sugar-    1 kg strawberries-    400 ml sweet creamFirst we will start with the biscuit base: Put the eggs, sugar and vanilla sugar in a bowl and stir it very well. After it put the flour and the backing powder and stir it till you have a good dough. Put the dough in a cake tin (26 cm).Put it in a preheated oven (180 °C for 40 minutes). After 40 minutes take it out and let it cool down. During the waiting time you can cut the strawberries and whipped up the sweet cream.After the base cooled down cut it horizontal. Put the top part on the side and put the whipped cream on the other half. Also put all full with half cut strawberries. After that put the top part on it and put whipped cream and strawberries on top. When you finished all, it is better to put the cake a little bit in the fridge before eating it.Please enjoy!

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Top 10 Japanese dishes

Before I came to Japan I didn´t care much about food, just filling my stomach every day with some junk food was totally fine. Since I´m living in Japan, I realized how much the people here love their food and how much time they spend talking about food, recipes and which is the best restaurant. Especially on TV you will find millions of shows where people just try food and of course there are also many cooking shows. In my hometown, the food is usually very heavy and greasy, not really healthy. In Japan the food is often very light and healthy (of course there are exceptions). That is one of the reasons why the people here live way longer than in other countries of the world.As a big fish lover, Japan is really a paradise for me. You can get reasonable and good quality fish at every corner in the city.  Also meat got very popular especially around the young generation. But let´s have a look at my favorite Japanese dishes:1.    Sashimi/Sushi (刺身/寿司)Always when my husband ask me about what I want to eat, my answer is always Sushi or Sashimi. I really love raw fish! Especially I´m a big fan of salmon sushi and all kind of shells. The very good fish quality even if you are going to a cheap chain restaurant is really great. I really like to try new Sushi or Sashimi variation. There are so many different kinds of fish and shells that I guess I will never make it to try all kinds.  2.    Tempura (天麩羅)If you don´t like meat or seafood, tempura might be a good alternative for you. Tempura is made from crust of flour and egg fried in oil. You can use all kind of vegetable and of course fish/meat if you like. The typical tempura set at restaurant is a mix of vegetables (mushroom, pumpkin, aubergine…) and fish like shrimps. I like to order the only vegetable tempura set, which comes often with many different kinds of mushrooms. Often restaurants serve tempura together with soba noodles or on top of a big bowl of rice. The typical source for dipping in the tempura is Tensuyu (a mix of rice wine and soy sauce), also comes with ginger and radish. Some places just offer a small plate of salt for dipping. 3.    YubaMy favorite Japanese food is yuba. Yuba is made from tofu skin and can be eaten in many different ways, like in a soup, natural way, fried and so on. The texture and tastes is a little bit like fresh mozzarella cheese, but also like cheese the taste depends on the good quality of the yuba. Nikko is well known for their good yuba restaurants, but you can also find it in other areas of Japan. I ate the most creamy and delicious yuba in a small store in Kimitsu (Chiba). So whenever you find a restaurant who offers yuba as a dish, just give it a try!4.    Mochi soup/Ozoni (雑煮)Every year on 1 st January Japanese family usually eat osechi and mochi soup for the first breakfast of the year. I´m a big fan of the mocha soup, which comes with a big piece of mochi in a very simple clear broth and some vegetable. But you should watch out to just make small bites. Every year many people die from eating that soup. Especially older people can have problems to chew the very sticky mochi.5.    Tonkatsu (豚カツ)Tonkatsu is the typical japanese pork cutlet, which is usually cut in small strips and served with white cabbage. The taste is very similar to “Wiener Schnitzel”, but there are also some variations with different kind of meat (like more greasy part, or softer meat).6.    Tamagodon (卵丼)Tamagodon is one of my favorite dishes for cooking it at home. It is very easy to make. Just put some slices of pork and onion in a frying pan with a spoon of dashi and fry it a little bit. At the end put some scramble eggs and green onions and mix it with the meat. Served with a big bowl of rice, you will have a big good simple dish for the day.7.    Oden (おでん)Oden is a typical dish for the winter season in Japan. Oden is a light soup made from soy sauce/dashi and several ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon and processed fishcakes. You can buy it at every convenience store or just at the supermarket.8.    Chicken Teriyaki (鶏の照り焼き)Chicken Teriyaki usually served on a bowl of rice with small chicken pieces with teriyaki sauce. It is also a typical easy food for cooking it at home. 9.    Kakifry (かき揚げ)Every autumn it is oyster season in Japan. You can eat oyster raw, boiled or fried. Kakifry (fried oyster) is very typical oyster dish in Japan. I´m not a big fan of raw oyster, but fried one is very delicious and I can eat mountains of it. 10.    Yaki DangoThe end of my list will be a typical dessert. You can find Dangos in many different kinds and tastes (Goma dango, Anko dango, Hanami dango..) . But I prefer the grilled one covered with a syrup made from soy sauce, sugar and starch. The best way of trying out most of the dishes from my list is to eat a Teishoku set at a restaurants. A typical meal set includes rice, miso soup, a main dish, a side dish, and pickled vegetables. They variety depends on the restaurant and price. I like to try many different kinds of food, that´s why I prefer to eat those Teishoku sets. How about you? Do you like Teishoku?

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Tobu Zoo in Saitama

Yesterday I´ve visited the Tobu Zoo which is close to the Station „Tobudobutsukoen“ in Saitama. There is also a small waterpark (but only open in summer), a small amusement park and a big place for professional horse riding.I really love that zoo. The size is perfect even for small kids and the areas for each animal are very big and clean. For me it is the best zoo around Tokyo because of the big space for the animals. Also it is never crowded even at the weekend. But the highlight for me, are always to visit the big white tigers, who were born there in 2015. I´ve never seen white tigers before especially not so close. It is really a great experience.There are also some special events like pony ridding, small animal petting (Rabbit, birds, guinea pig). As a big rabbit lover like me, I always use the chance to pet small rabbits there. Also they have some shows with elephants, hippo and sea lion.If you love firefly or just want to have a romantic date you can join the firefly show (only for a few people). The show is inside a small dark building, where you can see millions of fireflies flying around. It is really amazing to see so many fireflies.

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  • Isehiro Kyobashi Honten

    Great Yakitori at Isehiro Kyobashi Honten

    The Isehiro Kyobashi Honten restaurant is a nice place to try some yakitori. The restaurant has many diffrent yakitorichoises and the sticks are really amazing big and very delicious. For lunch they have good reasonable Lunchsets like a Yakitori rice bowl, or diffrent kinds of Yakitoristicks (including rice and pickles). The restaurant itself has the typical old japanese house style. They have seats at the counter at the first floor and tatami seats at the second floor.English menu is available but the staff can not really speak english.

  • Chiba Zoological Garden

    Chiba Zoological Garden

    The Chiba Zoological Garden is in the City of Chiba close to the station dobutsukoen. The park is surrounded by water and hills. You really feel like you are deep in the mountain when you see the nature. The zoo itself is quiet big and there are many animals to see. One of the mainattraction are the red pandas. They have around 10 of those very cute pandas. Also there is a big adventure playground for kids and you can enjoy lunch in some of their nice restaurants.If you are going there with kids, I recommend not to use a babycar or one which is good for hills, because you have to go often up and down the hills in the zoo.

  • Ricco gelato

    Great gelato Ice cream at Rocco from Okinawa

    Ice cream from Okinawa in Tokyo? Yes that is possible. The Ricco gelato ice cream store just opend at the east side of Tokyo a few minuts away from Monzen Nakacho station. It is a small store but you can sit outside on a small wooden bench and enjoy the flair of the area.Their ice cream is really good and fruity. They have many diffrent kind of ice cream especially from okinawa. They chance their variety depending on the season. Also their corn/waffle is selfmade. My recommendation is blood orange it is very sour and bitter at the same time. You really feel like eating a really blood orange. The price for around 500 Yen is a little bit high but you will really love it if you try it one time.

  • Dal Pirata Italien Restaurant

    Dal Pirata Italien Restaurant in an old warehouse

    If you ever wanted to see an old japanese warehouse from the inside, you should visit the Dal Pirata Italien restaurant in Izu. Japaneses warehouses are very small, that´s why the restaurant is also tiny and only a few people can fit inside. The inside is very beautiful and especially in summer it is very cool inside the restaurant without using an air conditioner. You have to make a reservation and already choose your menu before, but it is absoluty worthily experience.The food is authentic italien style and very delicious. Unfortunately there is no english service available.

  • Ghibli Clock Shiodome Station

    Ghibli Clock Shiodome Station

    If you are a big fan of the animation studio ghibli you should visit Shiodome Station in the center of Tokyo. Outside of the station in front of Nittere Plaza  you will find a huge clock desgined by the Studio Ghibli. The clock is really amazing big and have many cute details.At 3pm, 6pm and 8pm you can also enjoy a litle show of the clock.

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