The Picnic at Shinjuku Gyoen

Ever since I got my hands on this fabulous picnic blanket, I’ve been a picnic addict!
So last Saturday, my bff and I had a picnic at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. The great thing is that she just moved into my neighborhood (whoop whoop!) so we just met up at the corner of the street and walked to the park together. I love that we can do that now!
We stopped by Freshness Burger to grab lunch for our picnic. Have you tried their vegetable burgers? They are so good. They have a bean burger and a mushroom burger and I am SO happy they are back on the menu. I think they are popular among non-vegetarians, too. This time I went with the mushroom burger set. 
We spent the whole afternoon just laying around and relaxing. There were a lot of families with children also doing the same thing and we ended up chatting with a few of the little people. So cute. All in all it was a great afternoon, especially since the typhoon came and it was all rain the following two days.
Do you have a favorite picnic spot? x

The Three-Day Weekend Flowers

Who else is loving the three-day weekend?
Japan is on its second three-day weekend in a row. We had Respect for the Aged Day last Monday and this Monday is the Autumn Equinox, which is a public holiday here in Japan.
I am rarely inside my apartment, unless it’s to sleep. So I don’t often buy flowers, especially in the summer because my apartment gets really hot in the afternoon while I’m gone and it pretty much boils the flowers. So sad.
But three-day weekends mean more lazy mornings. So when I saw this small flower bouquet, I couldn’t help myself! Aren’t the pretty?
Well, whether yours is a three-day weekend or not, I hope you’re enjoying it! x

The Family of Fourteen

It all started when I thought I was being clever when I thought to give Japanese children picture books translated into English as a gift to my friend’s children who live in the US.
Then I realized I didn’t know what books had been translated. Or where to buy them.
So I, of course, asked the internet via twitter and the lovely Ru helped me out by pushing me in the right direction. And I suddenly realized that there were actually a lot of Japanese children books that have been translated. It was fun rediscovering my childhood favorites like Guri and Gura, The Gigantic Turnip, and Swimmy (which is technically not from Japan, but it was still one of my favorites!).
Then I stumbled across The Family of Fourteen Series. It’s a picture book written by Kazuo Iwamura about a family of mice and their various outings and everyday lives in the forest. Ever since his first book came out in 1983, it’s been very popular in Japan and also internationally. I actually found the series translated into 8 different languages.
We had a couple of these pictures books when we were little and I absolutely LOVED them! The illustrations are works of art and there is always so much too see each of it’s pages. I knew this was the perfect children’s book that both my friends and their children could enjoy together so I ordered a couple of these books. But I am seriously thinking about getting myself one for my library, too!
Aren’t the illustrations beautiful? x 

*All illustrations from Doshinsha’s The Family of Fourteen series webite.

The Rainbow After The Storm

Typhoon number 18 pass through Japan this morning.
I have a bad habit of getting excited over natural phenomenons and I always feel guilty about it because people actually get hurt or even pass away. But even when I was younger in Michigan, every time there was a tornado warning, I’d get excited and run outside to watch the sky turn all green and eerie. Little pebbles would start to fly around and the air would be would of energy. It was always the most amazing feeling watching mother nature express herself.
I ended up sleeping through most of this typhoon. But when I went outside to go grocery shopping, the whole sky was lit up in bright pinks and oranges. It was so bright that not just the sky but even the air seemed to be pink. Isn’t it a gorgeous way to end our three-day weekend?
Hope you all had a great long weekend, too! x

The 30th Anniversary at Disneyland

Did you know that it’s Tokyo Disneyland’s 30th anniversary this year?
Tokyo Disneyland (which is technically in the neighboring prefecture of Chiba) opened on April 15th, 1983. I had no idea but it was apparently the first Disney park outside of the United States. And what a fabulous park it is. Despite the long lines and more long lines (and did I mention the long lines?), it’s still one of my favorite places to go to and have fun!
We had the after-5pm passport, which is plenty of time to enjoy the magical land of Disney. We went on rides like Pirates of the Caribbean, Castle Carrousel, Pooh’s Honey Hunt, and Space Mountain. We also ate various flavors of popcorn and even pizza while waiting in line. Which we did a lot of. But it’s fun when you’re with your bff because if you always end up in a cafe and chatting your heads off, why not just do it at Disneyland while waiting in line? 😀
Our time there was the perfect mix of Disney magic, fun rides, and girl talk. And of course, it’s always fun to scream my head off non-stop on Space Mountain. It’s not that I’m scared, but I just like to scream on rides no matter what. I mean, where else can you scream at the top of your lungs? x
Here are some photos:

I love all the popcorn flavors! My favorites are curry, honey, and now soy sauce & butter!

The other flavors are salt, caramel, and corn potage this season.

Happy Anniversary Tokyo Disneyland! We’ll be back soon! x

The Sky Above Tokyo

That moment when the sky above Tokyo is so gorgeous, everything is right in the world.

And that moment you realize that thousands of mosquitos had been attacking you all the while you were taking photos of the gorgeous sky (okay, so only 9 bites…but it felt like thousands!)

But then that moment you notice that one of the mosquito bites is shaped like a heart.

Well…life is really a roller coaster full of ups and downs, isn’t it? x

The Afternoon with the Kiddos

My heart is still melting!
My former boss had baby L just a day after the Royal baby was born and is currently on parental leave. So last weekend a couple of us finally went to visit and spent the afternoon with the new big brother status R and baby L! My coworker also brought her 3rd grade twins so it was quite a lively affair!
Baby L was so tiny. It’s amazing how newborns are so small at first. She would make these big eyes while drinking milk that had all of us cracking up. What a sweetheart.
Big brother R was such a smart kid and fun to play with. He’s started talking so he would show us all his toys and what color they were. He’d run around screaming like kids his age do. He requested that my friend read him the Nemo book and when she finished, he turned to her and said Moh ikkai! which means Again! 😀
Spending time with these kiddos was so much fun. I loved every minute of it!