Category Archive: Travel

Visit to Japan: Part 2 – Japanese Yarn Shop (& Cats)

I love visiting different yarn shop wherever I go. This time, since our schedule was just too busy, I was only able to go to one shop (actually there were 2 shops next to each other).

My only visit to central Tokyo - Shibuya....According to Wesley, this Starbucks is the busiest shop in the world.

My only visit to central Tokyo - Shibuya....According to Wesley, this Starbucks is the busiest shop in the world.

Even before you reach your yarn destination, you see lots of unusual things in Tokyo. This one is an instant cup noodle restaurant. For Tokyoers speed and economy is very important (?)

Even before you reach your yarn destination, you see lots of unusual things in Tokyo. This one is an instant cup noodle restaurant. For Tokyoers speed and economy is very important (?)

The nearest Japanese yarn store from where we were staying was in Shibuya Seibu department store.

My first ever visit to la droguerie. This is a French store but extremely popular in Japan.

My first ever visit to la droguerie. This is a French store but extremely popular in Japan.

I was only allowed to take photos outside of the store but there were loads of nice yarn, buttons, ribbons etc. Patterns were generally quite simple I thought but they all had a particular “style” which was nice.

Next door was another Japanese craft shop.

Next door was another Japanese craft shop.

I asked the shop person if I could take a photo and she kindly told me that it was OK.

So many Japanese yarn here. This is just a display but they were so pretty!

This is just a display but they were so pretty!

I really wanted to explore more Japanese knitting while I was there but the time was so limited. Next time I will make sure to spend all day visiting various shops there.

Another thing about Japan was that there were so many stray cats everywhere! The weather is warm, there is not many animal welfare organisations like Cat Protection and pet insurance is relatively new thing in Japan. All these things, I think, results in high number of un-neutered cats – and it just becomes a snowball effect.

3-4 kittens with a very timid mum cat living in the bush right in front of a hotel.

3-4 kittens with a very timid mum cat living in the bush right in front of a hotel.

My sister’s neighbour was planning to rescue the whole family of cat above but she said that it’s just a tip of the iceberg. The worst one was when Wesley and I went for a 5 minutes walk and we found 4 kittens high up in different trees. The local people were saying that they have been there for 2 days and reckons that the mum cat was attacked by a wild animal (a stray dot (another problem) or a racoon) and kittens climb up the tree as high as possible.

Can you see a tiny yellow dot? That is a month-old kitten high up in the tree.

Can you see a tiny yellow dot? That is a month-old kitten high up in the tree.

… so what did we do? We rescued them! (took several hours to rescue all 4 of them and we ended up calling fire brigade with the local residents). Kindly my eldest sister looked after them while looking for a new owner. My sister took one of them, 2 found new owners. We have one left…

He was the healthiest one rescued but is the last to find a good owner.

He was the healthiest one rescued but is the last to find a good owner.

He has been vaccinated and clear from any infections and parasites. He is really good with other cats and is very playful. I am so praying that he will find the kindest owner that would love him to bits…

Visit to Japan: Part 1

Some of you might have wondered where I have gone! Thank you so much for e-mailing me to ask if I was OK. I just came back from visiting my family in Japan. :D It was a hard schedule which was made even worse by me being really ill for a week – but I am OK now!

This visit was mainly for my husband to meet my family (specifically my mum) for the first time. The meeting went very well and all my family including my nephews and nieces loved him (phew!).

It was also nice to go back to Japan after the horrific Tsunami. Everwhere we went, people were collecting money for charity to donate to those who suffering in the region. All building had minimal air conditioning (actually that was fine by me because I am a forever-cold person anyway). We left Japan really happy but at the same time praying that all will go back to normal soon for those in northern part of the country.

So here are some happy photos.

flight

A view from the plane - lots of clouds.

My nephew specially asked someone to do a Union Jack to welcome our visit.

My nephew specially asked someone to do a Union Jack to welcome our visit.

My husband and my nephew really got on. I think my nephew thought Wesley was amazing because he could speak a different language.

My husband and my nephew really got on. I think my nephew thought Wesley was amazing because he could speak a different language.

Some random funky Japanese stuff. This was at the window of a Japanese restaurant. I thought it was cute.

Some random funky Japanese stuff. This was at the window of a Japanese restaurant. I thought it was cute.

My sisters. We kind of all look alike...

My sisters (me on the right). We kind of all look alike...

Coming back to the UK, I am feeling refreshed and energised. One thing I was sad about was that while our visit to Japan, my friend who I got to know through knitting had gone back to Australia and I wasn’t able to see her just before she left the UK.. Although we are far away, I hope that we can be in touch through online.

I will do a part 2 of my Japan visit. Next one will be the knitting-related stuff (and some kitty issues) to prepare you for Knit Nation event this Saturday.

Until then, cherrio!

Reflecting

How are you all? I have been back in the UK for about a week now. Sorry for the scarce posts. I have actually been feeling a little blue. I miss my nieces and nephews so much!! Speaking on Skype is not enough and I am already thinking when I would be free next time (which is not until next year really…).

I played origami with my niece and nephew. From the top left, my niec's creation, my nephew's creation (a ship). From the bottom left, a space ship (I made it), a beetle (I made it) and a ghost (my sister made it).

I played origami with my niece and nephew. From the top left, my niec's creation, my nephew's creation (a ship). From the bottom left, a space ship (I made it), a beetle (I made it) and a ghost (my sister made it).

I think kids in general are super inspirational. Right now I am creating lots of swatches and design samples to submit to several publishers. When I think of my nieces and nephews, I can think of loads of great ideas.

A visit to a park was really fun. Kids are so energetic!

A visit to a park was really fun. Kids are so energetic!

I am nearly done with two designs which I am praying that they would be accepted…

Super naughty niece. What she does really makes me smile (afterwards).

Super naughty niece. What she does really makes me smile (afterwards).

It’s a grea incentive for me to create more good knitting patterns so that I can save up money to fly to Japan again!

There is nothing special like a new born baby. I miss cuddling her the most!

There is nothing special like a new born baby. I miss cuddling her the most!

Hope you have a great week ahead! :D

Japan: Iced Tea and Sushi

It’s 36 ℃ (96.8℉) here. I went out once today but since it was so hot, I decided not to go too far. Wouldn’t it be better if Japan started having afternoon off and open shops in the evenings and nights like Sardegna?

Local man fishing and cockel picking at the lake Hamanako.

Local man fishing and cockel picking at the lake Hamanako.

My knitting is going slow because of the heat. Also between the time when kids come back home to when they sleep is absolutely no rest for the adults. Sometimes it’s just better to take them out and let them run around in the mall…

They took ages chossing the ice cream...

They took ages chossing the ice cream... Of course they want the biggest and the most colourful ones.

I get so thirsty chasing around the kids so I go and buy a nice cool iced tea with tapioca inside.

I get so thirsty chasing around the kids so I go and buy a nice cool iced tea with tapioca inside.

The iced tea with tapioca (above pic) had colourful tapiocas inside. So I asked the shop person to give me the black ones so that kids won’t want to drink my stuff. But of course, when they see me gulping and quenching my thirst with this iced tea, they want it. Within a few seconds, my precious iced tea was in the kids stomach…sign.

They run around the mall and find Sanrio shop... (OMG!)

They run around the mall and find Sanrio shop... (OMG!)

When they are tired of running around, they are hungry. So we decided to go to a giant sushi bar.

I have never been to this huge sushi bar before.

I have never been to this huge sushi bar before.

It’s huge and everything is automated. There is a TV touch-screen where you order food. You sit in a room with tatami floor. The main belt conveyer that bring the sushi has branches that leads to individual tables.

When your sushi is ready, our table data is scanned in the barcode. The plate is then delivered to our table.

When your sushi is ready, our table data is scanned in the barcode. The plate is then delivered to our table.

The food is amazing. ;)

Touching Ground

Hello! I am married and back from my honeymoon! It was so lovely and I want to share some of the images with you today :D

Small but very heart-warming wedding. I enjoyed every minutes of it.

Small but very heart-warming wedding. I enjoyed every minutes of it.

Sardinia was beautiful. I was so impressed how much art and craft scene there was even in a little town of Pula.

When the sun falls, the town become alive.

When the sun falls, the town become alive.

The sleepy town during the day time becomes almost like a Leicester Square in London. This lady above embroiders on baby bibs and aprons etc. She does it all freehands. I just want to live there and teach people knitting. :D

Yes, I did knit on a beach. It was an amazing feeling.

Yes, I did knit on a beach. It was an amazing feeling.

Listening to the sounds of waves and knitting at the same time is ultra soothing. In order to recreate this (well, without the Sun and all the environment), I am thinking of getting this… (LOL)!

And of course I had to check out the traditional bread in Sardegna.

And of course I had to check out the traditional bread in Sardegna.

Bread in Sardegna is very important apparently. The three kinds of bread above (from the left: carasau, civraxiu and coccoi). Coccoi bread is very hard, almost like a light biscuits. During the festival season, they make this bread with a whole egg inside it. So facinating!

One more news. My sister had her baby girl! I am off to Japan next week to help my sister (good thing I am going because she actually had a complicated labour and has to stay in the hospital longer than anticipated).

I hope you are well. Can’t wait to catch up with you all on the blogland. I think the next post will be me in Japan :D See you all soon!

Back from Japan

A big HELLO to you! I am finally back from Japan. It was amazing and I had a fantastic time.

After almost 3 weeks of break, I have so much to blog about, but today is for me to show you some photos from Japan :) It was such a long-waited holiday because I had to renew my passport in Feb when I was supposed to have gone. The thing was that it was really complicated as I am still Japanese and hold a British residency. Anyway, because I waited for this holiday for so long, it made it even more special. Enjoy the photos!

Cherry blossom - It was full bloom on the day I left!!! (this pic is 80% bloom)

Cherry blossom - It was full bloom on the day I left!!! (this pic is 80% bloom)

The world famous bullet train. It was sooooooo fast!!

The world famous bullet train. It was sooooooo fast!!

Check out this super eco bins! Everything has to be thrown away separately and you can see the inside so that people can see what you are throwing!!! :D hehe!
One of the craft shops I visited called Hobbyra Hobbyre. I fell in love with all the yarn and designs there.

One of the craft shops I visited called Hobbyra Hobbyre. I fell in love with all the yarn and designs there.

Not sure why these white raddish are growing out of the ground... Is this the normal way they grow? I thought it was quite sweet.

Not sure why these white raddish are growing out of the ground... Is this the normal way they grow? I thought it was quite sweet.

There are so many types of tofu in any super market. I want to live in Japan!

There are so many types of tofu in any super market. I want to live in Japan!

THE real bento box. This is a two-layered bento box (there is one like this with rice below). Super amazing stuff.

THE real bento box. This is a two-layered bento box (there is one like this with rice below). Super amazing stuff.

Yep. This is THE real Japanese food. Check them out, they are like toys!

Yep. This is THE real Japanese food. Check them out, they are like toys!

This is the ground of my junior school (age 6-12). So many fond memories!

This is the ground of my junior school (age 6-12). So many fond memories!

Visiting a farm with family. My nephew was too scared to be so close to a goat... I miss my niece and nephews already!

Visiting a farm with family. My nephew was too scared to be so close to a goat... I miss my niece and nephews already!

I realised that one should really see the family at least once a year. My mum got much older and my nephews and niece are growing so fast. I just don’t want to miss them change. May be in winter…? who knows!

A Week in Cornwall

Back from holiday! Wesley and I went to Cornwall for a week. It was really a last minute plan but now I think that it was definitely worth it. The placed we stayed was pet friendly so we took Kumo and Wata with us. The long drive to (6 hours) and from (9 hours!) was tiring but the boys did really well and Wesley has been absolutely wonderful.

Every day except one, we had the most beautiful sunset from our hotel room window…

We visited St. Michael’s Mount
Minack Theathre… absolutely stunning.
and the beach just below the theatre. There was a wild seal swimming with the people in the sea..
We also visited Lizard Point. The most southern part of England. It was a little spooky though.
On the last day we visited the National Seal Sanctuary.
Oh and we saw this beautiful house so we took a photo. You wouldn’t be able to see a house like that in London!

Now that we are in London, we are totally missing the beautiful view. Lots of crafts bits and pieces waiting for me to finish off. I feel like I am well charged!