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Welcome to my blog!

If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
For sponsorship, collaborations and engagements: arisa1443@gmail.com

LIFE IN KYOTO | 3rd Month

I recalled reminding myself to always make sure this post is drafted out and scheduled for every 4th of the month but yet it still seems to have slipped my mind and here i am now trying to cram in another 2000 words blogpost in like 3 hours or lesser, god bless my poor fingers and brain.
But this round i'm definitely testing out a new writing technique to see if it can improve my writing speed without compromising all the juicy bits of July's updates. Let's see if it works lol

It's already August, and just like that I've been staying in Japan for exactly 3 months already and this would be my 4th right now, where have all those days gone by?
So close to unloading #lilpenguin that i'm panicking all over right now, i didn't get a honeymoon year with the danna yet before the upcoming chaos that's soon to be unleashed, please be a good girl lil penguin, don't cry so much okay! Now i'm having trouble sleeping because of all the body discomforts i'm experiencing from such a heavy belly, kinda envy the danna for sleeping so soundly everytime his head hits the pillow while i'll be up all night yawning but can't get a shut eye because it's so hard to breathe right now. I'm really tired, like dead tired all i want to do is sleep but when i lie down somehow i can never sleep. WHYYYYYYY!!!

I read that insomnia is normal, part of the pregnancy woes that every mom will eventually forget about because soon after it would be their baby keeping them up at night lol.
You know..i have a theory about my bad luck-ness, in Malaysia i get people asking me why am i so unlucky always bad things that hardly happens to other people confirm will happen to me. As much as i would like to answer that question myself, till today i'm still wondering about it what did i do to deserve such crappy luck ah..Didi upset some ghost by accident or something? *choi touchwood*

Even the danna jokes right now that i brought the bad luck along to Japan, first strong earthquake, the typhoon, followed by floods and now extreme heat waves (all these things which had not happened for quite some time until i came). Kns sia. It wasn't me okay! 
So happened to be a coincidence =_=

Flood Season

Though Kyoto didn't have it as bad as our neighbors in Okayama and Hiroshima but still seeing Kamogawa currents that strong and high is enough to sweep any human away on sight, a very rare occurrence in fact. It was almost a week of having to stay indoors most of the time due to heavy downpours and warnings to stay away from the riverbed/ bridges as much as possible. 

Hottest Heat Wave in Japan ever recorded

Malaysia's heat seriously can't be used to compare with Japan's summer heat probably the closest to it would be the dessert or middle east. I used to complain so much about Malaysia being so hot, why don't we have 4 seasons, blah blah blah... until i'm currently staying in a country that has actual 4 seasons. I take back all those complaints. People here don't have it easy as well as their weather changes can be quite drastic, one minute the weather is perfect the next thing you know a storm or insane heat hits town. 

Super hot until dry lol

There are cases all over the news of people dying of heat stroke, fainting and being hospitalized as the temperature is an average of 38-40 degrees daily that you can feel your face flesh burning off your skull every single time you walk out of the house, not exaggerating here you gotta experience it for yourself really. Even the emergency water bucket outside our house (in case of fire) has to be refilled every 2 days as it dries up to the very last drop. 

And if you were to go out with no sunblock = sunburn immediately, the danna himself looks like a burnt thanksgiving turkey already just from walking outside daily despite me reminding him to USE THE DAMN SUNBLOCK!  I know locals might be used to it but we definitely want to minimized the risk of skin cancer here :-/ 
Why can't guys understand that?

I also think i might need to revamp my last year's summer essential list like adding on arm covers, lip balm, ice packs, cool wipes/ sprays and cold water.

Gion Matsuri

Missed the main event this year though we went for the mini festival a couple days before we left for Yamaguchi prefecture, Gion Matsuri is one of the biggest festivals throughout Japan that lasts throughout the month of July and it gets super crowded that locals like my father in law only attended less than twice in the span of 66 years of his life lol that's how badly a local would want to avoid the crowd. 

Thought we could catch the 2nd parade (July 24th) but it was cancelled, could be due to the extreme heat wave at least we managed to catch them transporting back their floats instead.

Mini Honeymoon to Yamaguchi & Fukuoka

If it wasn't because of the newest Hello kitty shinkansen that recently replaced the previous Evangelion model which have served for the past 2 years now retired for this new pink themed sanrio bullet train. I was abit sad that i missed riding on the EVA shinkansen because it has limited timing same as the new Hello Kitty one but i told myself this round no more excuses and just ride it before i regret it again lol that's how we ended up in Yamaguchi prefecture. Also it's one of the places in my bucketlist to visit (now ticked off dy, yay!) ever since i read about their torii gates near the seaside-Motonosumi Inari Shrine

It was also my first time driving in Japan, renting a car is easy since everything can be done online and also better to book like a week in advance because we did it last minute most of the cars has already been taken, ended up with a lightly more bigger and expensive car but at least driving it is smooth on the highway! Will share more about car rental and international car license procedure in my next blogpost. 

Thank you to the kind soul who found my penguin plushie!!
Would have cried the whole day knowing if i lost it due to my clumsiness.

breakfast at the Ryokan

Stayed in a ryokan, surprisingly affordable as it includes breakfast & dinner and a great mountain  view.  This round i hiked alot (cave and cliffs) which i didn't expect because coming here itself was an impromptu decision lol . 
Went to the beach and it's the danna's first time swimming in the sea, XX years of his life i'm wondering what has he been doing with it lol, how can you not go to the beach??

My hat from @designertravelmy

We also got lost in the woods while driving back to the hotel in Yamaguchi, when a wild deer jumped over our car, we got a shocked of our lives because how the heck did that deer jumped so high from a downhill slope to the top? Have you seen the deers in Nara? Hopeless as heck, only bite you if you don't give them food, this deer we saw was like freaking bambi's dad or something lol.

Luckily it didn't damage the car and i was driving super slow on that narrow forest road, seriously felt like those horror forest movies where car dies halfway and it gets dark with no cellular signal. Probably i should cut back on those kind of shows since my imagination always runs wild. 

Not sure if i should be proud of this new found "resourceful" trick but desperate times calls for desperate measures, after we failed to find an adapter from the local convenience stores around our hotel, which was like 6-7km away. Yamaguchi prefecture is seriously very ulu area. 
I found a way to charge my camera battery since i didn't bring my adapter (malaysian plug that's why), If you noticed at the back of your TV there are 2 kinds of plugs on it  one is a cable (thin type) and the other is a AC Power Cord Cable Plug (please google an image of it, don't be lazy lol). This AC Power cord is exactly the same kind of head as my Canon EOSM10 charger except my tail is a 3 pin head. So all i had to do was unplug it from the TV and attached it to my camera charger, could easily charge my camera battery full!

The silver AC Power Cord Cable Plug is from the TV 

Not sure about the current and all those technical stuff but compared to Malaysia Japan's power current is lower so the risk of getting your stuff fried is low. But like i said only do this if you are really desperate for a battery charger! Don't be forgetful like me please lol.
The hotel we stayed in don't have foreign plug adapters because they hardly get foreigners, more to local people staying instead. 

Super fresh grilled squid, caught in front of us and grilled on the spot

At the end of the shinkansen line was Hakata station, Fukuoka which we stopped by for a day just for fun ate tons of squid, both raw & grilled, mentaiko of course (the danna's fav) before heading back to Kyoto! These 2 places we visited are x10 times hotter than Kyoto to be honest, and everything costs more including their taxis and vending machine drinks.

Pregnancy Discrimination 

Being pregnant in Japan doesn't mean you'll get special treatment from public spaces like public transport , in fact people usually ignore making eye contact with you despite your belly poking right in front of their faces in a train or bus. This is a real problem here, despite the goverment making efforts like handing out free keychains to state out our pregnancy in case some mothers with smaller bellies don't get noticed this keychains are rather useless because everyone is too busy looking at their phones or sleeping to avoid interaction with other people.

Also you guys remembered me ranting about getting turned down by an old uncle taxi driver because my destination was within 1km though i told him i'm pregnant and have alot of groceries with me, he still told me to go walk instead. People think that taxi drivers in Japan don't refuse customers but just like every country there are always bad apples in the lot. Experiencing first hand definitely left me baffled, even the danna couldn't believe it. 

It's safe to conclude that people here in general find elderly and pregnant people a nuisance to society because we are too slow for such a fast paced community and why should we be given priority treatment for a choice we made (like getting pregnant), it's not their problem so we should wait in line like the rest of them. 
Probably the only place you'll be treated nicely is at the hospital of at the restaurant where they offer cushion and blanket for your comfort 

Kamishichiken Beer Garden

One of the oldest Geisha districts in Kyoto, locals can always drop by the Beer garden to mingle among Maikos/ Geikos in a casual manner, get to know them while enjoying drinks and some have light food like Yakitori, Karaage, Yakisoba, etc.

No alcoholic drinks don't taste too bad lol, just like soda drinks

Mana-chan receiving her first "senjafuda" (Maiko/ Geiko's namecard)
It's said to bring wealth if you keep it in your wallet lol, an old saying.

Managed to catch up with old and new friends, and our table turned out to be almost no alcohol table because some of us had to drive (drink & drive law in Japan is very strict), myself was pregnant and Anna-san still has to take care of her baby. Woes of adulthood our drinking days turn to other responsibilities as we age lol, this is also my 1st time inside the place though i've passed by once before last year. 

Unagi season

One thing i love about summer is the Unagi dishes that's serving abundantly right now, not exactly the most cheapest meal around but it's a real treat to have once in awhile and the danna so far has never failed to impress me with this choices of restaurants to eat at like this awesome hitsumabushi served at Ganko Takase River Nijo!

Though it's Nagoya's famous dish, you can also find awesome tasting ones in Kyoto, Ganko has a few branches but according to the danna their branch at Takase River Nijo has the best food and service. 

800 yen sashimi platter

Sashimi platter here is also cheap and fresh (less than 800yen), they have a garden outside called Takase-gawa Nijo-en garden which was built by a billionaire merchant named Ryoui Suminokura during early Edo period. Till today the garden is well preserved and customers can stroll around the garden before/ after their meals.

Takase-gawa Nijo-en gardenTakase-gawa Nijo-en garden

Ganko Takase River Nijo

So it can be considered a restaurant with a peaceful view.

Momo (Peach) Overdose

One can (not) overdose from having too much peaches, was abit upset that we couldn't go for momogari (peach picking) as initially planned because the recent floods earlier last month has caused various train lines in Okayama to close down for maintenance but we still could enjoy freshly picked ones from Yamanashi prefecture that's currently being sold in Kyoto.

The parfait at Sanjo-dori branch

Parfait at Karasuma branch, has more cake below than peaches.

Apparently one of the best fruit parfaits in Kyoto can be found at ArrowTree Fruit stall & cafe they have 2 branches in Kyoto but i would highly recommend going to the one at Sanjo-dori because their parfait there is 90% fruits with very minimal cream and the usual parfait fillings. 

Peach frap, too sweet and kinda cheated my feelings lol Where's the real peach?

I remember 2 years ago when i was pregnant with Mariko i craved for Japanese peaches so badly, it must be from Japan because those are super fragrant, juicy and sweet but it costed me an arm and leg each time, right now i'm pregnant again (with a girl), the peach craving is back lol just that this round i can get them at half the cost and more fresher. 


Been getting lots of DMs about people asking me if it's "safe" to eat raw fish while being pregnant since i have them like once a week. Yes it's fine, as long in moderation no one is asking you to eat raw fish everyday and food poisoning is the least of everyone's problems here in Japan as they have quite strict rules on food preparations. 

Only typical old fashion people would tell you that you'll die from eating raw fish or bathing in cold water, if doctor say it's fine then follow their advice over an old saying, no disrespect here but i rather trust a person with medical knowledge any day. 
The only thing i won't eat is probably half cooked meats because i'm more scared of salmonella and because of my morning sickness episode previously i'm officially swearing off beef for now. 

Homemade steamboat

Cooking skills and hacks upgraded abit but it's always a challenge on what to cook daily, how do some people get new ideas to cook everyday? Because at this rate think i'm just gonna recycle my current dishes weekly lol, can share some simple recipes with me?

Learning to control my temper is one of the hardest things i have to deal with daily, can't always blame my hormones for my crankiness, just got to be mindful of my actions and words because it can cause serious harm unintentionally. We humans are not perfect but the least we can do is try to work on improving ourselves daily, thanks guys for talking to me on Instagram each time.  I really appreciate these conversations as they are meaningful. 

Lil Penguin

One of my dreams of blood came true (i'm a soothsayer sia), panicked so badly that i had to call the danna while he's in office and my father in law had to speed him to the hospital. This was also my first time going to the hospital alone so i had to tell the doctor what's wrong, answer questions and it's really scary because i wasn't familiar with some of the terms. 
This wasn't just a small spot of blood, it was like a large patch of bright red blood and any pregnant mother would panic because blood during pregnancy is never a good sign, it's always better to be safe than sorry as excessive bleeding may indicate a miscarriage and yes in any of the trimesters a miscarriage is possible, not just the 1st. Never had any problems with my first but every pregnancy is different.

This week's scan show that she is fine, just in breached position again.
i beg you stop kicking my poor bladder *cries*

Luckily it stopped and after some scans it showed lil penguin is fine, they couldn't find a reason for the bleeding but the doctor suspected that there could be too much pressure (from over exerting myself by walking alot during our last trip) on my cervix may caused the lining to shed abit. And the braxton hicks got a little too intense so i was put on bed rest for a couple of days and some meds to stop the contractions. 
Most important that she's safe that's all i ask for. 

Not much updates on July because i've been trying to take things slow and the heat definitely lower my productivity level even more now. Gonna end this post here before i hit the bed, also i'm glad to announce that i finally gotten my spouse's visa approved after waiting long 3 months!
For those asking why it's so difficult, though i don't have a criminal record but i do have a police and death record here since Mariko passed away last February due to SIDS and they needed to investigate that. I had explain about the whole situation, about my ex and the whole shebang, troublesome indeed, just glad that's over finally. Onwards with August!!


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