Rilakkuma: The Relax Bear.

Have you seen this bear before?

Or are you familiar with Rilakkuma?

If you have been to Japan, you must have seen them because they are everywhere. You can see them at any convenience store, souvenir shops, restaurants and even at the stations. I’m already seeing these cute bear  (there’s a white one, korilakkuma) but I only started noticing them when Iza got addicted to them. She started collecting things with Rilakkuma on it, her utensils, her chopsticks, her bag, her phone case and so on. I also found out that it is really popular here.

Rilakkuma’s name is a combination of リラックス rirakkusu, a Japanese transliteration of the English word “relax”, and クマ(熊)kuma, the Japanese word for “bear“. Rilakkuma’s origin story is that he mysteriously appears in the office lady Kaoru’s apartment one day. He is a soft toy bear who has apparently decided to take up residence there. On his back there is a zipper which when opened reveals a light blue polka dot patterned material. The reason for the zipper on his back is unknown.

He was first seen in a series of picture books called Rilakkuma Seikatsu produced by San-X but since has become equally popular as a soft-toy character. In the picture books, he is often seen dressed up in a variety of costumes such as a kappa costume. In addition, it is implied that even in his usual appearance, his entire lower body is a costume, which he will often replace when it gets old or dirty (Rilakkuma is frequently seen sitting around waiting for suits that look exactly like him to dry on the clothes line). However, it is not clear whether his head is also part of his costume.

When Iza went to Osaka, she gave me this cute keychain as omeyage (souvenir), and guess what – it’s a Rilakkuma and it’s holding a takoyaki which will always reminds me of her and our favorite food. TAKOYAKI!!!!

It’s really cute and small, it’s as big as my apartment’s key. Yep. That’s my key.

Before she leaves Japan, I will give this cute pair of slippers to her and a small pillow so she can hug it when she misses me, because it would be weird if she’s hugging a pair of slippers lol.

Do you think she’ll like it? I was thinking of a bear or a big pillow like my monster alien but I was thinking how she would bring them to Germany. I don’t wanna think of her leaving soon but I guess that’s how life is, but I am more grateful that I’ve met her and we became friends. I want to take her to Philippines because she loves beaches. She’s also inviting me to Germany but I can’t right now because I wanna go Korea first (oppa is life yah know).

Anyways, I’m sharing this small thing because I am very sentimental and I do appreciate everything, even a piece of pen (I was talking to boyfriend today and I was excitedly telling him how happy I am because of the pen I bought yesterday).

Bored Sensei -stress but happy 🙂

-リラックマ ラバーサンダル ブラウン系 レディースフリー 61696177 rilakkuma
¥ 907 🙂

 

Philippine’s Kaldereta Recipe.

March 13, 2018

Hey everyone! I am really happy today because it’s my day off from work. Yay! And since I woke up early today (early from my usual holiday sched), I decided to cook a Filipino dish which I was craving for months now, Kaldereta. I went to a grocery store near my house and bought the ingredients I needed, and did some ‘necessities’ shopping a bit too.

Kaldereta is a dish from the Philippines (brought by the Spaniards during their ‘stay’) and its name derives from Spanish word caldera meaning cauldron. It’s a meat stew from tomato paste (but it differ in every provinces, some uses atsuete), liver past and some vegetables like carrots, potatoes, bell pepper and olives.

So here’s a recipe I got from my favorite website when I’m in the mood for some decent cooking, Panlasang Pinoy.


Pork Kaldereta Recipe
Author: Vanjo Merano
Recipe type: Pork
Cuisine: Filipino
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. Pork, cubed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • ¾ cup green olives
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 medium baking potatoes, cut into large cubes
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 32 oz. beef broth
  • ½ cup liver spread
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a cooking pot.
  2. Once the oil is hot, saute the garlic and onion.
  3. Add the pork. Stir and cook for for 5 minutes or until the color turns light to medium brown.
  4. Pour-in the tomato sauce and beef broth. Let boil. Cover and simmer for 60 minutes.
  5. Add the liver spread. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Put-in the carrots and potatoes. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
  7. Add the olives and bell peppers. Cook covered for 8 minutes.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Turn-off the heat. Transfer to a serving plate.
  10. Serve. Share and enjoy!
Serving size: 5

But, a big BUT, when I cook, I usually add twist on it and not follow the ingredients lol. So here’s how I ‘followed’ the recipe.

I prepared the meat, oil and onion first while heating the pan. I cut the meat (which I didn’t even know what kind of meat was, pork or beef, but it do taste like beef so) according to MY bitesize and cut everything according to my preference.

I saute the garlic first then add the onion, wait a bit and added the meat.

I finally added the meat and waited for it to turn brown. I added to cups of water, nah, I used my wine glass to measure hehe.

While I was waiting for the meat to boil and get tender, I prepared the carrots and potatoes to save time. I usually do this because I hate waiting. I did a it of online surfing and dancing too.

When the meat was tender, I poured a pack of this Mama Sita’s Caldereta spicy sauce mix I brought from the Ph, so I no longer needed to put tomato paste and liver paste. It also has instruction and recipe at the back to keep you guided.

This is how it looked like after putting the mix, I added the vegetables and simmered.

I also sent pictures on my group chats because I was too proud of myself cooking something I have never imagined before, in fact it was my first Kaldereta, and one of them thought it was a Japanese curry! But nah, I was too happy to be upset, I sent another picture to my boyfriend and he asked me if I was cooking Menudo!

I told myself “stay positive!”.

I put olives and bell peppers too. I kinda regret I put too much olives though, I should’ve put a little.

Wait, wait, wait., dance, dance, dance and voila!!! Here’s my Kaldereta!

I didn’t add salt nor pepper because it taste perfect already, for me. But no kidding aside, it’s really good and I’ll probably share some at school.

When did the last time you cook for yourself?

When did the last time you cooked something and shared because you’re too proud of it?

 

Yumeno Tsuribashi “Dream” Suspension Bridge.

Part 1

March 04, 2018
As we planned to celebrate Jun’s birthday in advance, the guys chose a place to go to and they said we’re going to a dream bridge, they did sent a photo of it but I didn’t expect it to be this magical. Traveling alone is already exciting, I was expecting that it’s only near Hamamatsu since we left at 12 noon, but ’twas already two hours of unending driving and we haven’t reached our destination yet. The road reminds me of Baguio, and the place according to Iza reminds her of her hometown in Germany.

Hajime and Jun picked us up at started travelling, I didn’t enjoy the road trip as I easily get sick when traveling and I am sitting at the back seat, I prefer the front seat plus the road made me dizzy.

The place looks calm and it was totally different from the cities we’ve visited here in Japan, there’s something in the houses and restaurants that made me feel nostalgic and a bit sad, it was quiet and empty. The place gave me so much emotion, as to why I edited my pictures into black and white to express how I felt that time. If I came there alone, I have this feeling that I would cry and just stop walking.

The entrance gate to the bridge seems like it would close anytime and will not let you escape and just keep you there forever. Nah, I’m just being paranoid. This is one of the reasons why I’m too scared to travel alone and travel late, I don’t want that rush feeling and thoughts of being stuck in one place (don’t get me wrong I have experienced it once here in a place I don’t even know and I couldn’t do anything at that time but to wait for the stations to start working the next day, terrible).

Even their toilets are creepy, I didn’t dare to enter.

Before your reach the bridge, you’ll have to pass this long tunnel and it was really dark. An old man cleaning the tunnel even talked to us while holding his broom made of bamboo sticks, he kept on talking but I couldn’t understand a word. The guys didn’t explain what he said so we kept walking.

As I mentioned that the place seems empty, I was surprised when we reached the bridge because there were lot of people, mostly couples and family with a small kid. There were lots of couples in the area because the bridge is known for granting a couple’s wish if they cross the bridge together. I should have known these things before coming, but I don’t have my special one here so *sigh.

We also had to fall in line and waited for our turn because the bridge can only take 10 people at the same time, and I am really amazed how Japanese respect everything, the rules, to people, the environment and everything around them. They walk quietly, you can’t see any litters, no loud chatting and everyone waits patiently (all the time).

This isn’t the suspension bridge of dream, it was the second bridge you would see on the other side of the mountain, on your way the other suspension bridge but it would take 300 steps for you to get there. We stopped in the middle because it was getting dark already and I find the place a little bit creepy, we sat down a table to breath before turning back and a young couple passed us, I highly respect the girl because she’s wearing high heels (though I am wearing one but it’s a closed shoes and hers was really high) and she didn’t seem tired. Going back the first bridge we saw a couple sitting on a blanket and having tea and bread, they have big bags and they looked ready for an overnight hiking.

It was getting dark already when we left, we took some photos and enjoyed recording some videos on our way to the car. We also saw a hammock restaurant, if I wasn’t tired, I would love to try it.

I felt like we were travelling in a never ending road, I felt like I fell asleep for a long time already and we’re sill travelling. I was begging and ranting how hangry (hungry and angry) I was when I woke up but we couldn’t find a place to eat.

It was around 8:00 o’clock when we found an Indian restaurant, I was hesistant to say yes at first because I haven’t tried eating in such restaurant, I do love curry and stuff but I wasn’t sure about the others but I ended up loving all the food.

So I’m planning to write another blog about this place but it’ll be more of a guide how to get there and things you can because this post is just simply how I viewed things that day. It was actually a great experience, and I was really happy to be with the people I consider my special friends, these people will always be in my heart, it’s just sad that Iza will be leaving for Germany in three weeks time now but I am glad that I have been a part of his memories here in Japan and she as well to mine.

I am attaching a video clip from youtube here so you have a colorful idea about the place, don’t fall in love because it is more magical in person.

Here are some information:

Name: Yume no Tsuribashi (Dream Suspension Bridge)
Address: Senzu, Kawanehon-machi,  Haibaragun Kawanehoncho, Shizuoka 428-0411 Japan

View in Google Maps

Access: Take the bus going to “Sumatakyo onsen” from Senzu station on Oigawa railway (40 min) Get off at “Sumata-kyo onsen” stop and walk to the valley (30 min)
Time required (excluding the travel time) 120 minutes
Admission fee: Free
Official website: http://www.okuooi.gr.jp/

http://www.okuooi.gr.jp/wordpress/category/t-view/

Japanese Sweets: Puccho Soda.

On my blog post, click here, I have mentioned that every Wednesday I teach outside school and that I have to travel by bullet train for 30 minutes and 40 minutes by bus which I really find stressful, because I don’t like traveling. So every time I go there, I always make sure I have candies or something to chew while traveling, I usually buy mentos or any chewing gum, but last Wednesday I grabbed this Puccho Soda and I thought it was a chewing gum. I was surprised because it tastes really good and it slowly melts in my mouth. It tastes soda, of course, and you can really feel that fizz effect you get when you drink soda. I love the fizzling sensation every time I bite and it also has this small gummies inside that added flavor to it.

I asked my Japanese friends and they said it’s really popular here and they all love it.

If you’re familiar with Starbust, it looks a lot like this. The only thing I hate about it is that it is so good that I can finish the whole pack in one sitting, I love binge eating puccho! I highly recommend that you try this when you visit Japan.

Puccho (ぷっちょ Puccho) is a chewy Japanese confectionery made and sold by UHA Mikakutō Co. Ltd. (味覚糖株式会社UHA Mikakutō Kabushiki Gaisha, UHA – Unique Human Adventure). There are two types of Pucchos: stick type (Puru Puccho, Shuwa Puccho, and Suppa Puccho) and puccho gumi. Both types come in many different flavors. There are also ten flavors that are unique to certain regions in Japan, which is common among Japanese candy.

There are many flavors of puccho, including: cola, grape, orange, lemon, yoghurt, blue cream soda, blueberry, cherry, peach, mango, melon soda, and pineapple.

The gummi puccho squares are a unique consistency similar to a combination of gummy bears and taffy. They often contain gummy “balls” of flavor that are more chewy than the rest of the square. In addition to these balls, there are also “fizz” balls that mimic the carbonation of their soda derivatives.

Ingredients Millet jelly, sugar, soy bean oil, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, milk protein, xylitol, cellulose, gum arabic, sodium bicarbonate, flavor, calcium

-Wikipedia

Bored Sensei.

TOHO Cinema Hamamatsu

Do you love watching in a movie theater or a cinema (or whatever you call it in your country)?

Yeah I do.

But I’ve been living in Japan for 15 months now and I have never been to any of their cinemas, not even once because aside from there were no great movies to watch, I find it quite expensive for one movie. My boyfriend and I usually watch movies at least once a month in the Ph because it’s way cheaper than Japan. However, last Saturday, Iza and the guys wanted to watch Black Panther and me being a cheapo asked my friends who watched it already to make sure that the movie is gonna be worth it. This isn’t going to be a review but I’ll rate the movie later *wink.

After convincing myself to try, I finally decided to give it a try it but before that I did some research. HAHA. The only cinema available near my place is TOHO CINEMA, it is located just infront of my workplace, usually TOHO cinemas are located within a shopping mall and in my city it’s located in ZAZA City, on the 3rd floor.

thc1.jpg

So here are the prices just incase you want to experience watching movie in Japan.

For the regular price:


  • ¥ 1,800


  • ¥ 1,500

    (Bring your student ID card)


  • ¥ 1,000


  • ¥ 1,000


  • ¥ 1,000

They also offer discount service, just like what we did last Saturday, we bought the late show and it only cost us 1,300 JPY each, we saved 500 JPY.


  • ¥ 1,100


  • Cine MILEAGE Day (Tuesdays)

    ¥ 1,400

    (If you’re a member, you’ll only have to pay 1,400 JPY on Tuesdays)


  • ¥ 1,100

    (On the 1st of every month, the movie is only 1,100 yen.)


  • ¥ 1,100

    (You can treat your sister or mother and only pay 1,100 JPY each).


  • General · Undergraduate ¥ 1,100

    High school student or less ¥ 900(for AU smartpass, AU smartpass premium and videopass members only)


  • ¥ 1,300

    (Admission fee after 8 p.m. is 1,300 yen.)


  • ¥ 1,100


  • ¥ 1,000

    (One accompanying adult can also get a discount same as the PWD).


  • Senior Couple Discount (One person over 50 years old)

    Two people \ 2,200

    (If you’re a senior couple over 50 year old, you can get ticket for only 2,200 JPY for two).

You can visit their website here.

You can purchase tickets in advance online, they have English translation, or just get it at the ticket booth.

 

Ticket booth. You can choose your seat and there’s an English translation.

img_6385.jpg

You just have to attach this to your armchair so no worries of spilling your food.
If you’re a couple or you have a companion and you don’t mind sharing a popcorn, it’s better to get the combo one, and split the price. For a single popcorn with one drink, it’s 670 JPY while the combo one is 1,030 with two drinks and a large bucket of popcorn, you can choose two flavors, I love the caramel.
Things I noticed:
1. Japanese watch and enjoy movie silently, during the entire time we’re watching the movie, we didn’t hear laughters or even gasps during the peak or even during the funniest part of the movie. Iza and I were laughing silently and pinching each other because everyone was really quite. I am not used to this.
2. Just like in restaurants or coffee shop, you have to clean your place and carry your trash and throw them in their proper place.
3. You have to be courteous and refrain from talking even if you’re already going out the cinema.
4. I love how they serve our popcorn, everything is so convenient.
5. You can’t see people chatting and laughing out loud even outside the cinema. Everyone walks out silently.
We finished watching around 11:20 and I can say that the experience was great. I enjoyed the movie and the popcorn too! If I’m gonna rate Black Panther, I’ll give it 7 out of 10. It was interesting and it did touched some important topics, it has some fun parts too and I love the outfits, the cinematography and the acting.
Have you watched Black Panther?
How do you find it?
Bored Sensei.

One Lovely Blog Award

Hey!

 This is going to be my first post for this month and my first tag/award post ever! Y’all know that I’m new to this community and I have never tried any tag post or award blog post ever, so I’m really glad to be nominated 🙂

So here’s to my One Lovely Blog Award!

lovelyblogaward.png

One of my favorite friends here on WordPress, Hunida (Huh-Nee-Duh) nominated me for this one, really, lovely blog award. Domo arigatou gozaimasu! I really lover her blog because she’s honest and she shares everything about her life, EVERYTHING. It is always fun reading her journals, her adventures, her love life and my most favorite, her job. She’s an exotic dancer which I really find cool and interesting. If you’re curious about her, visit her blog and it’ll answer all of the questions you’ll have in mind. She writes daily and she even posts recipes too! Ooh, and we’re both gemini 🙂

Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog in your post.
  • You must include the rules and the blog award image in your post.
  • You must add 7 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 people to this award.

7 Miscellaneous Facts About Me:

  1. I don’t like people who typ lyk dis and it makes me uncomfortable seeing words with incorrect usage of uppercases and lowercases. But I am not a grammar nazi, it’s just that when I reply to messages, I always make sure I capitalize “I” and “I’m” not “i’m” or “im” even though I have to stop walking just to make it or just type the message when I can use both of my hands.
  2. I love coffee but I don’t drink much, I love the smell of it and I love it when people are drinking around me. I do drink but just once or twice a month, if I really need to be perky. It’s just that I can’t drink a lot or drink once a week because I’ll have really really bad palpitation and I hate it, plus I easily get heartburn.
  3. I love going out, partying or just simply chilling with friends BUT I am not a good drinker. I easily get drunk and I always have hangover the next day and I need one whole week to regain my energy. So when I drink, I always make sure that it’s my holiday the next day because I literally sleep the whole day, without any food just Gatorade or Pocari Sweat.
  4. I dunno, but when I drink, I always go home with bruises, scratches or even an injury. The last time I went out for a drink with friends, I went home with bruises on my right hand (the scratch from last time hasn’t healed yet) and an injury on the right side of my face. I got it when I tried to help my friend inside the toilet, she’s really drunk and I wasn’t, I lift her up and she fell down while hugging me so we both fell and I hit my head on the trash can. It was really bad.
  5. I love cats. Who wouldn’t love them????? I have four and we named them after condiments, Princess Rosemary, Garlic, Oyster and Olive. Princess is the bitch one, she’s a tricolor cat and she’s always moody, Oyster is a bluish cat (like a Russian blue color but he’s Persian) and he’s the smartest and the most clingy baby of mine, Garlic is the fluffiest, he’s pure white (most if the time dirty white) and he has blue eyes, I love dressing him as a girl and we used to go modeling together when I was in Ph and Olive is a calico cat I adopted from a friend who’s gonna move in a condo that only allows 2 cats and she has 4. She is skinny and very vocal.
  6. I can’t sleep without any pillows surrounding me, or a teddy bear. I normally have four pillows and a teddy bear (since I was a kid) because when we were young, we do believe that if you sleep and there’s a space on the bed, a spirit will sleep with you so we (my sis and brother) always put pillows in every corner of the bed. We also grew up thinking that if you don’t do your bed in the morning or fold your mosquito net properly, the spirits will live there and they will be with you forever. HAHA.
  7. I don’t know how to be properly angry, my friends will always ask me if I’m already angry because my voice is so consistent from happy to angry to being excited, you can’t recognize which is which. My happy voice is the same as my normal voice, one time our manager at school asked me “Are you even excited to go back to Ph?” and I answered “Yes, of course I am” with my happy-as-I-see-it voice but they find it same as my normal voice. There’s also one time my college best friend (after living together for 4 years) asked my brother “Is she already angry?” when me and my brother were fighting one afternoon, and she laughed hard at me, she still hasn’t seen me super angry.

I’m going to nominate 15 lovely people to do the One Lovely Blog Award post. These blogs are my most recently favorites and enjoyed reading so far, and I’d love to hear more about them:

  1. Love, Amielle …
  2. RheaAngeline…
  3. Kat…
  4. Kittypop…
  5. Astroboyisagirl…
  6. Adventure of a cupcake girl…
  7. aysabaw…
  8. Chasing Potatoes…
  9. Life of an Introvert…
  10. Write And Shoot 2018…
  11. The Flying TOfu…
  12. be quiet Kate…
  13. fatmoments…
  14. Space Ko to…
  15. ourlittleredhouse…

Note to the owners of the blogs nominated above, I won’t be sad nor upset if you can’t or simply don’t want to do the tag, promise 🙂 

Unique Valentine’s Chocolate Japan.

I know, it has been five days since ‘the’ day but let me share with you these unique sweets I’ve seen last Valentine’s day. I enjoyed just looking at them and I want to eat them all so I’m dying to share the feeling with you haha, gommenne.

Don’t just promise to give your special one the universe, give it!

img_5881.jpg

Did you enjoy? Which one is your fave? I love the universe themed one, if Imma give it to my special one I’m gonna write “My love for you is like the universe. It always grows, but it never ends”. Naks.

Bonus:

Here’s a picture from Costco Hamamatsu, I love how they arranged the apples into heart shape last heart day. (Photo not mine but from a friend, a teacher from a JET program).

27750142_10156534560820579_8267068551153201197_n

 

Bored Sensei.

30DWC Day 30: Valentine’s Day In Japan.

3:32 p.m (in our school lobby)

I am writing this early today (I usually write after work) because I will be drinking going out with Yurina tonight. She’ll leave to Finland on the 24th and this is the only time I’m available for the month. My friends usually ask me out a month before because they know my schedule. And today is also the 30th of my writing challenge! Yay! As much as I wanted to tell you about my experience, I will focus on Valentine’s Day today.

So how’s my heart day so far? It’s an ordinary day for me as you know my boyfriend is in the Philippines and just like last year we celebrated it virtually, I wasn’t nor am sad because I know we can celebrate hearts day anytime, love is all that matters anyways charaught. 

Anyways, it wasn’t new to us that Japanese has a different kind of celebration when it comes the 14th of February, same as South Korea (I used to teach Koreans for a year too) they have Valentines Day and White Day. So basically, Vday is for men, women gives chocolate to them. But not only that, I also found out that there are several types of gift-giving on Valentines’s day here after our manager gave us chocolate, she said it’s tomo-choco (friend chocolates) and when I asked our counselor (we saw her buying chocolate last Monday) what kind of chocolate she bought, she was laughing and said it’s a jibun-choco (chocolate for yourself). So I then asked google and he gave me this blog that explains them all.


Giri-choco

Loosely meaning ‘obligation chocolate’, this gift is given to friends, bosses, family members, work colleagues or other men who the giver isn’t romantically involved with. It’s an obligation, for sure, but there’s more to it than that.

Giri is a very complicated concept in Japanese culture, and doesn’t translate easily into Western culture. We might see giri as an obligation, but it’s also close to ‘a debt of gratitude’, or the pursuit of the other person’s happiness. Receiving giri-choco from a girl or woman in your life won’t be a statement of romance, but it also shouldn’t be thought of as a forced habit. Instead, that’s reserved for cho-giri-choco (ultra-obligation-chocolate).

So, why do women give giri-choco to men on Valentine’s day? We’ll get to that, but first, let’s find out what Japanese ladies do for that special someone in their lives.

Honmei-choco

In Japan, Honmei chocolate is reserved for a boyfriend, husband or lover – that special someone in your life that you want to shower with affection in the form of chocolate, cookies and other sweet treats.

To separate the gift of honmei (meaning loosely ‘real objective’) from others made out of giri (obligation), many women in Japan choose to make the chocolate themselves. By handcrafting their gift, they hope to demonstrate how valuable this person is in their life.

Thanks to this love of handmade honmei, stores will not only sell chocolates on Valentine’s Day, but also many of the ingredients for making chocolates. So, if you want to show true affection for someone, Japanese-style, it might be time to break out the recipe book.

Jibun-choco

Let’s face it, we all love chocolate. Jibun-choco is the chocolate you buy and enjoy for yourself. Depending on who you ask, jibun-choco is actually the most important to many women (and men) on Valentine’s Day. So, when it comes to choosing your Valentine’s day gifts this year, don’t forget to do as the Japanese do and spoil yourself a little… Or a lot!

Tomo-choco

Tomo-choco is ‘friend chocolates’ and is given by women to other female friends on Valentine’s Day – so no one is left out of the gifts!

Tomo-choco is usually quite ornate, expensive and decorative. Typically, Japanese ladies will not only gift their friends tomo-choco, but get together and eat it all at the same time. It’s a time for girls to get together and enjoy their own special Valentine’s Day moments.

Gyaku-choco

Gyaku-choco means ‘reverse chocolate’ and is given by a man to a woman. Because it’s not ‘traditional’ for men to give chocolate on Valentine’s Day, gyaku is not particularly common. To understand why it’s not traditional, you have to know about Japan’s complementary holiday to Valentine’s Day, called White Day.

White Day

Falling exactly one month after Valentine’s Day, White Day is a Japanese romantic holiday where men return the favour… times three!

Come the 14th of March, men of all ages are expected to give gifts worth at least three times the amount of the gift received, to any woman from whom they received giri-choco from the month before.

Men aren’t expected to only give chocolate either. Instead they can give gifts like handbags, lingerie, flowers and clothes. So if you want to be showered with gifts on White Day, give generously to your friends and loved ones on Valentine’s Day.

Source: Kobe Jones


In my opinion, this day isn’t only a day for couples but for all hearts out there. To single people out there, try not to be sad and enjoy the day with friends, your family and people who are special to you, or try greeting everyone around you, the security guard who always greets you good morning or the crew in your favorite convenient store or restaurant, the taxi/uber driver or even the jeepney driver, the person next to you or the person you secretly like (malay mo may pagtingin din haha) this simple things will brighten up their day and you’ll never know they’ll be sharing the vibes to other people too.

And to those lovely couple out there, I know it’s our day naks, show your love one how much you love them (too much love already lol!), you don’t need to spend money on expensive things like flowers and chocolates, remember, it’s the thought that counts.

To our married couples, it might be an ordinary day for you but isn’t it sweet to celebrate it? Your other half would be happy with simple things, a candlelight dinner tonight at home, or a pair of socks you know he would love, or write a poem if you can, we can do a lot of simple things to make someone smile and feel loved without spending a lot. Try noticing how lovely your wife lipstick or new haircut, or that nail polish, it means a lot. Try asking your spouse about his day at work, a massage, a good dinner or a movie he likes.

The day hasn’t finished yet but I will finish this post by wishing everyone a lovely day, shine and spread love. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I love you all!

*hugs and kisses

XOXO

Bored Sensei.

P.S the featured image is a photo of the chocolate my co-worker gave me. Isn’t it cute???

30DWC Day 28: Village Vanguard Japan.

When I first visited Village Vanguard in Aeon Mall, I never thought it’s a bookstore. Why? Because I saw weird stuff, food and a lot of kawaii things inside, who would’ve thought it’s a bookstore? But when I searched what really is Village Vanguard, I found out that it’s a vintage bookstore, hideout for geeks, nerds, and other otaku. 


Village Vanguard is a break from the constant nightlife that tends to surrounds each branch; away from all the flashing neon lights, pachinko machines and AKB48 songs, the so-called “exciting bookstore” offers an escape into a retro, random universe. Pop culture abounds, including The Simpsons, Star Wars, Akira, Chibi Maruko, and that one old Japanese anime you can’t remember the name of but know was all the rage back in the 70s.

Teetering columns of candy-colored comics and toothy bobbleheads form a maze of sorts; be careful, though, because a single twist can lead you to an even more bizarre corner. At the store I visited, a right turn from life-sized Beatles’ inflatable dolls led to a “vintage” corner full of creaky fountain pens and fake British East India Company charters, which connected to a series of rainbow afros and maid costumes. Then there was that corner dedicated to the Gothic, stacked with skulls and handcuffs ….


Let me tour you around, then you tell me it’s a bookstore.

These are chocolates, not a fish.
A plapen case, nope not playpen. Do not google playpen.

Yakult gummy?! They also have a BIG one, like really big.
And a lot of cat stuff. *sigh

Toothpaste, to make it simple. BUT they have 30 flavors to choose from like kiwi, banana, mocha, etc.
and curry, yep. CURRY. Ukh.

Finally, I found the book station!
You can by Happy bags during New Year, I guess these are leftovers, basically the items inside are secret and you will only find out when you buy the item.

These are pens, don’t get fooled.

They also sell posters, at first I thought they sell it like that, I mean the frames included but nope they aren’t.

Those pictures only show a bit of what’s inside Village Vanguard, we spent over an hour just looking at at random stuff. The store is really amazing and just looking at them is really enjoyable. If you’re a collector, you can find stuff here you can add to your collection, if you like weird things you’re in the right place and if ou just simply like kawaii things, well, you can find them here. If you visit Japan and looking for omeyage, this is also a good place, the items are not that cheap but some are, so I recommend dropping by. Hehe. This isn’t a sponsored post. Just hoping. Lol.

Btw they have a website, just incase you’re curious 😀

Bored Sensei.

30DWC Day 26: Giving Pocket Tissue Ads In Japan.

February 10, 2018

Today we’re supposed to have our open house at school, it’s a strategy to get more students. It’s like a free class but in a more fun way and we give souvenirs to kids and today’s theme was Winter Sports but unfortunately no one booked the said event. Maybe because we’re lack of advertisement. So, since no one booked the event, we have nothing to do at school, no regular classes and only two classes on Sunday.

After the meeting, our manager asked us if we wanted to give out tissue ads, she’s not obliging us though but wouldn’t you feel awkward doing nothing at school? And beside we’ve already done it before plus I already have experience giving out flyers in the Philippines (I used to work as a real estate agent) so we said yes.

I actually feel excited whenever we go out of school during working hours and observe people (isn’t that weird?) but I was worrying about J, she doesn’t like giving out tissues. We both have a hundred of tissues to give out and went infront of the station to give them out. I finished my task within 30 minutes and when I looked at she seems really awkward giving out tissues so I helped her. I finished fast again, what I do is look into their eyes and smile while saying “sumimasen, ABC School desu, thank you”(that’s not my real company name) and I’d talk a bit if they stop and read the info inside the tissue.

It wasn’t really hard but I do admit that I also find it really hard when I tried it for the first time, I went to a group of people doing the same job and observed them, their spills, movements and everything and copied them. I also wasn’t able to finish my first hundred flyers, but I was happy when I went back to school thinking I did a good job but when I found out that our manager finished her task within 20 minutes, I was disappointed haha. Going back, I took a rest a bit while waiting for J to finish her second bag and reminded her we only had fifteen minutes left ( we were given an hour to five out 100 flyers), I decided to help her again while we’re on our way to school.

When we reached the school, our manager asked us things like “How was it”, “Where did you go”, “How did you give out the tissue”, etc. J explained that I helped her and our manager asked me to give J tips on how to do it. We had ur break and finished decorating the lobby and waited for the time.

Wondering why Japanese give out tissue with advertisements? Why not just a simple flyer or card? Pocket tissue advertisements is an effective form of advertising in Japan and it has been existing for over 40 years now. If you’ve been to Japan especially Tokyo, you must have experienced accepting free tissue with papers inside, I was in Tokyo when I first experienced it and really find it weird lol, but I was thankful because tissue is really helpful (especially during winter or summer) and very useful.

What does this experience taught me? To be on someone else’s shoes. I wasn’t accepting tissues nor flyers before after I had a terrible experience about it. It happened in Eastwood City (PH) while I was on my way to work which happened to be just three minutes walk away from our condo unit when a girl handed me a flyer and as I happily accepted it but she followed me and asked me if I have a car or credit card, and I told her I have none then her smile faded and said “Ah ganun po ba, bawiin ko na lang po yan” and I was really shocked and I felt like na-judge ako dun ng bongga. Anyways, going back lol, after experiencing it (tissue job) here in Japan I realized that this kind of job wasn’t that easy; being ignored by people, some people even run away like you have some kind of disease, the strong wind, the deadly kiss of winter and harmful hug of summer, and I always feel sad whenever people ignore me or when people run away from me. So now whenever people give me ads, I always smile before accepting, even if I won’t be needing the paper, tissue or fan they’re giving. 🙂


Fun facts about pocket tissue advertisements

— The first appearance of pocket tissue advertising was in 1969. This form of advertising is almost exclusively seen in Japan.

— The majority of pocket tissue advertising is for loans and consumer credit.

Unlike advertisement flyers, which are immediately thrown away, pocket tissue advertisements are usually kept until all tissues are used up. Since consumers keep pocket tissue advertisements for a long time, studies have shown that they have a deep psychological impact on the brain, influencing shoppers to choose the familiar brand or company advertised on the packages.

— Some businesses choose to attach free drink or discount coupons to the tissues as well.

— For companies who use pocket tissue advertising, using tissues of higher quality is said to create a better company image.

Why do companies use this type of advertising?

— Inexpensive – Pocket tissue advertising is relatively inexpensive. Companies only have to pay for the costs associated with purchasing tissues and pay one person to stand in a busy area and pass them out.

— Efficient – It is an efficient way to advertise to a target market. A beauty salon might only choose to hand out pocket tissue advertisements to women, realtors to families who have children, etc.

— Effective – Recent data suggests that pocket tissue advertising is 100 times more effective than advertising in the newspaper.

If pocket tissue advertising is so effective, why is this form of advertising decreasing?

— Decreased advertising budget – Due to the economic recession, corporations and small businesses have less money for sales promotions.

— Fewer opportunities to use tissues – Many companies are creating products that replace the use of tissues, such as makeup removal cloths and soft cloths for eyeglasses. This reduces the utility of tissues and has prompted companies to think of other more useful products to place advertisements on.

Are tissues outdated?

In recent years, companies are choosing to hand out advertisements printed on products other than tissues. Plastic uchiwa fans in the summer, hot pads in the winter, ballpoint pens, bags, and other practical goods that are more useful to consumers and can be used longer than tissues are starting to be handed out on the street.

What do you think about this form of advertising? Do you get annoyed by people constantly thrusting tissues with gaudy advertisements in your hands or do you appreciate the freebies?

Source: Matome Naver/Japan Today


Bored Sensei.