Thursday, 28 April 2016

Vegan at Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland is going to be an interesting experience for those well versed in Disney parks as well as Disney newbies like Nick and I. The queueing is unlike any other theme park we've ever attended but if you go in with a plan you're sure to have a fun day. 

The first decision you need to make is which park to visit. There are two Tokyo parks, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Both are conveniently located in the same place right by Maihama station but they're worlds apart when it comes to rides. After watching some helpful videos on the Disney website we ascertained that Tokyo Disney Sea is the park with the scariest rides and therefor wasn't for us! I prefer something more mellow, think Professor Burps Bubbleworks not the Flying Carpet. I can get down with little rollercoasters but I prefer not to go upside down and I don't like that feeling where you plummet towards the ground leaving your stomach a few meters above you and Nick can't deal with things that spin... it was at this point that we wondered whether we should really be going to a theme park at all but we wanted to give it a shot as we were doubtful that we'd ever end up at any of the other Disney parks.

Nick has less patience when it comes to queueing than I do (weird given that he is the more patient one in almost any other situation!) so he did a tonne of research and read a lot of blog posts about how to get the most out of a one day visit to Tokyo Disneyland and I'm going to share what we learnt with you.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Viva Cats!

I left Tokyo exactly two weeks ago yesterday and as is usual for me I took a lil' blogging break whilst I was getting settled in my new space. Inawashiro feels like a different world compared to Tokyo, the pace of life is incredibly different as is the way I'm spending my days. Nick and I are volunteering at Japan Cat Network where we're managing a team of volunteers as well as their social media. On top of that I'm trying to work on fundraising ideas and community outreach but those have taken a back seat as I work on more pressing things; getting to know the cats, learning how to use Facebook and cleaning and tidying a mountain of things. This is the house we're currently sharing with five people, 23 cats and two dogs!

The house has three cat rooms filled with kitties with all sorts of different personalities, foibles, likes and dislikes and bonding with some of them is definitely a challenging process. Most of the cats here were rescued from the exclusion zone in Fukushima so we don't know most of their histories. It's clear that some had homes and families and we suspect that some did not. Nick and I have picked some of the most challenging kitties and are spending a little time each day trying to make friends with them.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Harajuku! Harajuku!

I wasn't kidding when I recently described Harajuku as my spiritual home. I adore everything about spending hours wandering the crowded streets whether I'm shopping with money burning a hole in my pocket or with no cash at all. It's always a joy. Having grown up inspired by the fashions coming out of this area of Tokyo getting to take part in the Harajuku Fashion Walk last weekend felt like a conclusion of a dream! I felt nervous going along to the meeting point, I thought that perhaps my style isn't quite out-there enough for the walk these days. A very white Air B&B bathroom means that my hair is still blonde not mauve and most of my clothes are in storage! Still, I headed to the meeting point and bumped into an Instagram friend and some of her friends who were also visiting Tokyo and we quickly bonded over group photo awkwardness and our shared love of everything Japanese.

I didn't take a single picture during the walk as I was being swept along in the fun of it all but Nick snapped this one in front of MoshiMoshi Box, you can see Harajuku Fashion Walk organiser Junnyan in the foreground! As soon as the walk and subsequent photoshoot were over we hightailed it back to Takeshita Street to get our Purikura on. I love these ridiculous booths and it turns out that six people really is the upper limit if you want all of your faces in the frame!