Taipei: Pet city?

I know whenever anyone hears  “Taipei” they automatically think about pets, right?? No? Well, you should. Because Taipei is Pet City in my book.  Everywhere I looked there were cozy kitties lounging or carefree pups strolling. (And these pictures don’t even come close to covering the amount of cats and dogs I actually saw.) The…

In a world of my own…

I couldn’t help but hum this song to myself while Faye and I wandered through Shibazakura Hill at Hitsujiyama Park in Chichibu. Click here to see more lovely flowers!

Hong Kong Revisited

I first traveled to Hong Kong when I was about 13, about 15 years ago now! It was a really meaningful experience for me, because it was my first time leaving the country (besides Canada). Truthfully, it was a life changing experience. After that first trip abroad, I knew I wanted to travel as much…

They did it again

Ok, so I’ve posted about student art before (here and here), the latter being the same art project as this post, just last year’s version.  So this might be overkill and I am sure a lot of people don’t care about papier-mâché animals. If that’s you then…don’t read this post! Basically, I am constantly impressed by…

The cutest monkeys you’ve ever seen

I’m a big fan of animals. I also think monkeys are pretty awesome. So when I heard about Jigokudani Yaen-Koen years ago, I knew I would have to go there whenever I made it to Japan. I finally made it there a few weekends ago. It was pretty much everything I had hoped it would…

Musings

I really got lethargic about my blog there for a while. I ran out of space, and then just sort of gave up on the whole thing. But lately I’ve been thinking about how important it is for me to keep a record of all my experiences. When I lived in Switzerland, I kept a…

Maneki Neko

It’s no secret that I love Maneki Neko, better known in the States as the “good luck cat.” I once dressed as a Maneki Neko for Halloween! One important point to understand is that the Maneki Neko is not Chinese. I think that’s a common misunderstanding. It is actually originally Japanese, although its popularity can…

A Gatsby Halloween

A month delayed (of course!) but here is my post about Halloween this year. I went as Daisy from The Great Gatsby movie. I love the book too (it’s one of my favorites) but I specifically modeled my costume after a dress Daisy wore in the most recent film adaptation directed by Baz Luhrmann. I…

Gotochi Kitty

Gotochi Kitty are little Hello Kitty charms that can be bought all over Japan. The special catch is that each region of Japan has Kitty charms that are particular to their area (which is what gotochi means). So for example, the Gotochi Kitty charm that represents Tokyo Tower can (ideally) only be bought within Tokyo,…

The Daruma doll

One of my favorite pieces of Japanese culture  is the Daruma doll. I don’t know that it’s made its way to Western culture yet, although I think I have seen a Daruma doll here and there at various Japanese restaurants. The more popular Japanese talisman seen in the US at least is the Maneki Neko…