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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!
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Life in Kyoto | 5th Month

I forgot how cold river waters are..kinda regretted dipping my feet into one lol

Not going to start singing Green day's "Wake me up when September Ends" song lol, too overused liao. Almost half a year since I moved here and I barely even felt it because my brain was too occupied with lil penguin, wondering when will she come out, despite the initial EDD early October, I was told by my gynae to prepare myself anytime now. So far she has been pretty patient (her mom isn’t!) and still refuses to come out unlike her older sister who came out a week earlier to ruin my work schedule lol (was making 12 garments for a fashion show 2 years ago). This year I’m very chill, the only thing I’ve been doing so far is scheduling my blogpostings way ahead so that no one thinks I’m dead for the next 1-2 months while I’m resting lol. So it’s tons of writing, photo editing, reading until my brain feels fried daily. You know hopefully this writing habit will pass on to lil penguin, it would be fun seeing her absorb in books and all rather than watching TV aimlessly.

It’s already October, another couple more months we will bid 2018 goodbye and it’s another round of recapping what we have actually achieved this entire year. Did we managed to achieve our initial goals, or it’s another vicious cycle of putting it off till next year? Lol.

To be honest I felt that I’ve not done my best so far, maybe I’m being too hard on myself, last year I managed to study and pass for my JLPT exam by cramming in 3 months, this year I thought I could proceed to a higher level (N3) by December 2018 but from the looks of it I wasn’t as discipline as I was last year to study 12 hours a day for 90 days straight lol. I know myself very well, when I put my mind into something I am able to do it except I need to be very cautious on distractions around me (yes, I’m easily distracted like a goldfish).

Many would say that I’m already doing my best by growing a human inside my belly for the past 9 months (that’s almost 80% of the year gone), but somehow feel that doesn’t justify my lack of productivity much. 2 years ago despite being pregnant I was still running all around getting things done, working on projects and overall still energetic while 2 years later my body feels like a beaten up punching bag who’s stuffings is gonna burst out any second. Does this have to do with not having proper confinement right after giving birth?

A mystery indeed, or it’s just age catching up after all.

For those who don’t know I was back working & on mom duties (feeding/ hospital check ups) for the first 2 weeks after leaving the hospital before checking into a confinement home to finally rest for the remaining 2 weeks. Basically I only rested for 14 days in total while an average mom would usually rest for 30-40 days. 

Summer = Typhoon Season

Prior to staying here in Japan, never did I expect summer period in Japan to be Typhoon season because it was so blardyyyy hot this year and every drop of rain to me was a blessing until we get warning alerts to stay indoors as precaution measures from strong winds, heavy rains, landslides and floods. One of the things one needs to consider before moving to Japan I guess lel, maybe by next year I would be able to compile and entire list of things you should know before moving to Japan.

Not exactly the land of your dreams once reality slaps you in the face.

This year alone mother nature hasn’t been very kind to us, it was nonstop natural disaster occurring one after another and even locals here were caught off guard.
  • June: Earthquake 
  • July: Typhoon & Flooding 
  • August: Heat wave (hottest in 13 years) 
  • September: Typhoon Jebi 
  • October: Typhoon Trami 

The danna often says “I’m lucky” to be able to experience all these natural disasters because it’s really rare for them to pop up within the same year let alone consecutively =_= Inside my head I’m thinking “Malaysia is 100% so much safer right now!!” I somehow can’t help feeling I brought my bad luck along to Japan or something. Probably need to go temple for some cleansing ritual liao. At least Typhoon Trami didn’t hit Kansai region as badly as Jebi, but I can’t say the same to our fellow neighbours in Okinawa and Tokyo who are being battered by the storm and we can only pray for their safety. Hopefully the storm passes without leaving much damages, Japan has suffered enough of Mother Nature’s wrath this year already :’(

Goodbye Summer

A season I wasn’t particularly fond off and I was more than eager to bid it goodbye lol, can never understand how can people “love summer” when it’s scorching hot until your skin and flesh can melt of your bones, the air gets too dry/ heavy till the point you feel like suffocating everytime you go out. I can’t believe I actually survived my first summer in Japan, think I deserve a first timer medal for this lol and it’s also the last time we get to enjoy “Kawadoko style” dining in Kyoto.

It’s basically restaurants setting up balconies for customers to dine by the cold running river, and their menu consists of summer foods like cold soumen (noodles) and unagi (eel), this service is ONLY AVAILABLE IN SUMMER. It’s really very cooling to have our meals here and the air is also so refreshing since it’s located midway up the mountains. In the city you can also enjoy Kawadoko style dining by Kamogawa but most people would prefer to go up to Kibune instead. But due to Typhoon Jebi there was tons of damages (lots of trees were uprooted) in the area causing the direct train line to Kibune (Kurama station) is on halt till further notice (heard probably till late Oct), so the best way for us to go was by driving up.

Dining by the river reminded me of those family picnics I used to go as a kid with other church family members, we would hike up near the waterfall, swim and have our potluck there. The only thing I wasn’t fond of was were the leeches lol but for Kawadoko style there wasn’t any (phew!).

The time we went (you guys saw on my insta stories) was the last month they were accepting customers, so for those who would like to experience Kawadoko style dining in Kyoto, Kibune I would highly recommend this restaurant- Hirobun” 

Hirobun (ひろ文)

It’s located slightly higher up the hill compared to other kawadoko restaurants but the nabe (hot pot) here is to die for! I know, who in the right mind would eat hot pot during such a hot summer right? By the riverbed it can get quite cold, and definitely it’s cooling enough to get you wanting for some hot soup. They serve the best Unagi nabe I’ve ever eaten, vegetables are so fresh and the broth is very flavorful! 

Large pot filled with Fried Unagi and tons of vegetables!

Fried Unagi, my first time having it because the usual unagi we eat has already been coated with sweet sauce


Silken tofu

The soup that has been boiling and absorbing all the flavors of the ingredients earlier makes a great water base to make Okayu. 

Okayu (porridge) made on the spot with eggs and rice, boiled together with the leftover soup from the hot pot and served with Tsukemono (pickled vegetables). 

Refreshing Jelly dessert

It’s a full course meal and it’s slightly cheaper (8,000 yen+ per person for lunch time) compared to what we paid in the city (about 10,000 yen+ per person). Think I don’t mind making this kind of visit up to Kibune a yearly thing every summer with friends because the food and environment experience is just too good! 

My first kawadoko experience in the city by Kamogawa, June 2018. 
During this period it isn't too hot to dine outside

Also goodbye my fragrant juicy peaches, shall we meet again next year *dramatic sobs*

Mental Prep

Part of me can never be ready for what’s to come, I know it’s going to be long sleepless nights for the next couple of months when lil penguin gets here and here I am praying/ hoping she’ll be an easy baby to handle lol. Not to mention that I can’t get an epidural unless my labour is induced, makes me really scared now because I thought this round I could skip the pain and get on with the pushing instead but guess in Japan everything has to be as natural as possible L

As for my hospital bag, it’s being prepared since week 37 because you’ll never know when to grab and go, for first time moms who aren’t too sure of what to pack you may refer to MY LIST as a basic guide! You may tweak it according to your own preference like adding on tablet for Netflix, earphones, etc but mind you that during your hospital stay all you want to do is sleep and cry for your sore nipples lol. 

Can never seem to get around accepting cervix checks weekly since week 37 though it’s quick but highly uncomfortable for my liking having something cold shoved up there just to scan. In Malaysia they don’t do this that frequently if my memory serves me well and out of 39 weeks probably only twice? But in Japan I lost count at how many times I had to go through it.

Also I’m wondering when will lil penguin finally come out because my entire back, lower abdomen and ribcage is hurting like mad from her weight (3.1kg) and positioning. Imagining having a baby who loves kicking your rib cage from inside, it’s hard for me to sit up anymore without wanting to just lie down so that I can breathe normally. It’s also my first time hitting 60.5kg lol, the heaviest I’ve ever been last pregnancy I’ve only gained 8kg max, this round 10.5kg..definitely all the ice creams I had throughout summer. 

Attention dear lil penguin, your stay inside is overdue kindly evacuate the premises immediately, sincerely mom.

Sewing Again (Yay!)

I know I bought my sewing machine back in June and I didn’t get around to playing with it properly till last month lol, that’s when I needed to make a penguin suit for lil penguin, I quite like the fabric selections they have here in Japan compared to Malaysia as they have more variety, but the only thing painful was the price tag, the cheapest per meter after currency conversion would be around RM25+ per meter (this is so called “cheapest” ya!) while back home the cheapest fabric is RM5 per meter T_T 

Cant wait for lil penguin to put on her penguin suit!

My wallet hurts each time I visit the fabric and haberdashery store. Even buying a zip and getting them to adjust the length costs me 300 yen (RM10) extra while in KL this service is given free. Lots of pros and cons when it comes to sewing in Japan, think at this rate buying readymade seems like a more sensible decision compared to sewing liao. 

Can spend hours here drooling all at the fabrics lol

If you wondering where I usually get my supplies, can check out NOMURA TAILOR at Kawaramachi street, they have 3 floors filled with all sorts of fabrics and haberdashery supplies! Sorry to say that there isn’t such thing as cheap fabric store in Kyoto lol, if I do come across any I’ll most definitely share but for now the only “cheap” alternative is getting clothes from second hand store and cutting them up for fabric.

Really proud of my furry creation, after so long I might have gone abit rusty but definitely still remember how to work a machine and cut patterns. Now all I need to do is stop finding excuses, get my butt up to start sewing the designs I’ve made on breastfeeding friendly clothes!

That’s pretty much my update for September, I basically spent most of my days sleeping and crying from the pain, literally a helpless beached whale. Would like to write a nice letter for lil penguin like how I did for her older sister before she was born, but I’ll need to find myself in the right mood first lol, can’t write anything meaningful when one is not in the mood.

Now let me cry at the fact that I’m going to miss half my beautiful Autumn being locked up at home during confinement period *sobs*. So not looking forward to winter because in Kyoto it’s freaking cold even without snow pilling around, not sure what sorcery this is!? 

When I was up in Shirakawago everything was knee deep in snow but I could walk around without my heavy winter coat, just normal heat teach and a wool sweater will do but in Kyoto you gotta wrap yourself up like a burrito before stepping out. Let’s hope this winter we won’t be greeted with massive snow storm lol *choi! touch wood* 


Just found out that the Danna has NEVER been to Dontobori before this, so i dragged him out here to meet Glicoman and have some Takoyaki like a typical "gaijin" (foreigner) since we were already at Osaka station for a meeting lol. 

Yours Truly,

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