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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 | 9th Month

9 months already? Soon it will be a year since I've moved to Japan and for those of you wondering if Japan's life has started to be mundane already or "lost its spark". In all honesty the spark has been long gone since the 6th month mark lol because living here & traveling here is 2 different experience, those who live abroad would know this feeling. We go about our daily life just like the one back home, except in a different country, language doesn't necessarily get any easier as well. I've been telling myself that by 1 year of living here my Japanese would improve but unfortunately that's not the case lol. Been telling myself to cram in whatever studies I can but I still get super frustrated with myself that I can't read tons of Kanji.

No point living in regrets that I never learned mandarin earlier which would have made my life with Kanji a whole lot easier. And with a baby around, I just don't have the energy and mental capacity (time as well) to sit down and focus on studies. But maybe that's just my excuse for running away from studies as I've never been the studious kind to begin with and I'll find every reason to procrastinate.

I know I should be doing something about it instead of just wishing, sometimes it's just hard. Want to give myself a big slap on the face at times like these. Any motivational tips guys?

With that aside and back to the life topic, living in Japan one has to be realistic. When you travel you get to feel the "thrill" of being abroad, you wished that you didn't have to go back because things are much better here than home. But once you have moved here and reality sinks in, subconsciously your mind starts to take things for granted. This got me thinking because I was just having a conversation with mama cheesie the other day about her plans on moving to Japan since she practically lives here already by coming back so often lol. 

That is why it's so important for me to take a step back so I don't get drown into the routine and be thankful for the little things in life. Even if it may seem insignificant to others like being thankful that lil penguin's poop didn't leak lol. When you are a mom the poop situation is major deal yo.

Japanese New year

We celebrated our first new year as husband & wife, parents & a family. Learned a lot about Japanese style new year, it is pretty much similar to how we celebrate Chinese New year back in Malaysia with family members gathered together and tons of food however what makes Japan's super unique is that they have a specific dish served called Osechi Ryori. Packed and served in a tier like bento box, each tray contains an assortment of dishes with its own significance; from what I've heard from the Danna these usually can take up a whole day to make but often devoured within a second lol. The only time you can try Osechi Ryori is during new years, other times of the year it's not available unless you make it yourself.

Osechi Ryori

My goal next year is to try making it since my grandmother in law's age is getting to her, not advisable for her to strain herself preparing for the whole family. Kinda reminded me of my own grandmother, previously every CNY She'll prepare her delicious cheesecake & curry puff that I crave for everyday but since last year she stopped making it, I really need to learn how to make it from her!
Like our Chinese New Year, Japanese new year is also celebrated with tons of food so not surprised if you gained a little belly after a whole week of eating so much of good food lol.

Our first day was spent at the in law's place before heading to Kamigamo jinja for prayers. Despite the cold, tons of people flock the shrine grounds praying for a good year ahead, that dedication! I'm more motivated to stay under the warm futon covers haha, winter in Kyoto is seriously colder than Shirakawago.

New year edition 

Feeding the white horse for a lucky year ahead, just did it for fun so lil penguin could see the horse upclose lol

Our Japanese new year countdown includes eating soba!

Oh, and there isn't any firework countdown parties unlike back in Malaysia, well could be just my area in Kyoto; not sure about the rest. The only thing I dread about new year back in Malaysia is the fireworks going on non stop for hours, imagine if you have a baby and was startled by the loud sounds.. definitely hell will break loose. Really enjoyed the peaceful quiet evening, all of us slept in and missed the 1st sunrise of 2019.


It has started to have taken its toll on me, yes a routine has been somewhat established but juggling work, wife & mom duties is no joke. And whenever we can get a sitter I'm like playing "hallelujah" full blast on the boom speakers. I totally feel like a failure on most days for not being able to handle her cries from morning till evening. When night comes & the Danna gets home she's usually exhausted by then, so she'll fall asleep. He gets the easiest & shortest shift really, half the time he falls asleep on the job too #sml 

Trying to not lose my cool gets harder because i started to feel like I'm being taken for granted. Like I have to be the one responsible for everybody's things, washing & putting it away. It's already stressful enough having to deal with the baby's things and I have to add on another load. I really wonder how my mom is able to handle such situations for the past 3 decades, I feel like flipping the table every time (fantoi), if there was a fantoi contest confirm I'll win liao.

Oh and something i've learned is that during winter clothes don't dry that well outside nor in the laundry room even after 4-5 days so the most effective way to dry your laundry is the hang them inside any room you are using with the heater on, your clothes with dry in a jiffy!
One of those things no one teaches you until you figured it out on your own lol.

The Danna's birthday

Managed to plan a surprise birthday party for the Danna, first time doing so as I'm never a birthday party planner kind of person (told you I'm terrible with people) as I have problems coordinating & executing parties. So I came out of my comfort zone just to organise a small lunch gathering among some friends, and I finally made my first restaurant booking!!!

In Japan is everything has to be reserved, walk-in culture isn't exactly that Popular because most establishments don't like to be caught off guard; tardiness & FFK culture will not be tolerated (Malaysians sure GG lah) It's one of the things I've learned after living here almost a year, it's usually the Danna who makes the calls but since this was a surprise gathering I managed to trick him into introducing me a non verbal method of reservation making lol! Through this website (link), so if you are looking to make a reservation at a restaurant/cafe next time, just use this website: https://restaurant.ikyu.com/

 It's very simple & straightforward, even if you can't read Japanese you can always set your browser to translate the page and sometimes can get meals on discount rate too!

Hope this tip helps!

Glad the danna enjoyed his small birthday celebration, it isn't much for now but i hope this will be a good memory for him despite me mixing up the age on his candles lol.
It's also his 1st birthday as a father and his birthday gift (which was also Christmas gift *ahem*) was given to him last October already haha, think i'm gonna use the baby as a gift excuse as long it doesn't get old. Really, what can you get someone who already has what he wants??

Mana chan finally met #lilpenguin!

House viewing

We were actually thinking of downsizing into a slightly smaller place since our current one is too big & we hardly use the 2nd floor except to store clothes and rent of course would be cheaper. Went to view a house near our workplace (like 2mins walking distance) which has a nursery school opposite as well, the location seems perfect but the condition of the house looks like we have just walked into "Dark water" set, landed houses in Japan tend to look old compared to their "mansions" (apartment) due to its traditional design & materials used. Dim lighting, dark creaking wooden flooring & facing an abandoned house filled with stuff pressing against the window, everything as expected of a jump scare movie lol. As much as I love the traditional style of Japanese houses, I still prefer light colored walls & flooring for a more cheerful atmosphere.

Also come to think about moving, it's gonna be another hassle having to go down to the local ward office to get our entire address updated in the system so that our important bills gets sent to the correct place. Feels funny because all my life of living alone and moving around so frequently in Malaysia; never once i've updated my addresses because everything important gets sent to my mom's place since they bought the house so doubt they'll be moving anytime soon unless they decided to sell the place lol. I half a**ed my adult responsibilities & now i can't escape from it!

This month one of my projects brought me to Osaka (again) and I've finally visited Shinsekai (which translates to "New World")!

Most people would have visited the famous Tsukenkaku Tower, landmark of Shinsekai during their trip to Osaka but it took me almost 2 years lol it's actually rather out of the way and my trip from Kyoto took me almost an hour when to central Osaka is usually 30mins.
Surprisingly it's not as crowded as Dotonbori, the lights here are so colorful which gives out a lingering shadow of its past. For those of you who don't know this place used to be a theme park before it became what it is today and i'm not even sure what are the right words to describe it lol, would very much love to see it in its former glory as I was told things were much different.

Also tried my first time with Japanese style gambling which prizes doesn't include any cash on the spot because gambling is illegal here anyway lol,. Confused?
I'm pretty sure most of you have seen those "pachinko" shops everywhere, and the only money involved is you spending rather than receiving as your prize will be given as a form of a cert which can be sold elsewhere at a high value (as i was told back in the days, not sure now still the same or not) and the one i tried is more for kids because we can redeem snacks with our winnings!

paid 100 yen and got full score for the snack shelf lol
Beginner's luck i guess.

Yay, my probably 300-400 yen custard cakes lol
You guys should try it out for fun, i don't condone gambling as it's unhealthy but a small game of pinball that earns you snacks, why not?

Winter Blues

Overall life has been busy, and winter is really getting to me because daylight is so short and by the time its dark at 5; i fell as if i've just wasted another day just changing diapers and breastfeeding. Sometimes i do question myself "where is my maternal instinct?" because i don't get to excited with breastfeeding & long hours of cuddling especially when its "expected" of a mother. Probably i'm too career minded or winter blues are REAL.

Could be both, can't tell but i'm leaning more towards winter blues because the gloomy weather really makes me feel so unproductive and sluggish overall; no matter how much work gets done around the house i still feel as if nothing has budged. Can finally understand why people who live in countries with 4 seasons isn't very fond of winter, not only it affects your mood; it isn't very pleasant to be greeted with ICE COLD water every time you want to wash your butt or hands (heater takes awhile to kick in) and that's why i'll try to use the toilet after the danna so at least i know the water would be warm by then haha!
Imagine brushing your teeth with cold toothpaste, you can actually get brain freeze or painful gums from it and having to wear cold clothes that's sitting in your closet, seriously getting goosebumps everyday from it.

Caught in a blizzard (the start of it at least)

And i've finally see actual snow piled up around my area which is rather rare because it isn't as cold as the northern area of Kyoto. The danna told me that the snowfall is usually an indicator that his birthday is near lolwut, sounds more like a coincidence to me haha. Was really looking forward for it to pile up more so i can build a snowman but unfortunately everything melted away the next morning. So sad!!

Just in 5 mins the ground is coated white & slippery

Now i can't wait for spring, please come soon because the electric bill from using the heater daily is really expensive T_T
Seriously summer and winter is the most expensive period because we need to use the aircond and heater while during spring and autumn we'll just on it when needed.
Would also like to thank you guys for following me on my monthly updates, not as interesting as my travels but i'm taking one step at the time to embrace the time here :)

Her first time seeing snow upclose lol, she tried touching it through her stroller cover

Lil penguin's poor penguin got frozen under her stroller while we were walking home haha!
Poor fella.

What about you guys? Hope you had a great start of the year as well!

Yours Truly,

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