Taste Tokyo: Shirokuma Cafe

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Panda-kun no Hayashi Rice at Shirokuma Cafe, Takadanobaba

I’m not sure how many of you have seen the anime Shirokuma Cafe, but apparently there’s an actual cafe open in Takadanobaba! To be honest, before visiting this restaurant, I had never actually seen or heard of the show myself, but I have a friend that really wanted to go and I decided to tag along. Luckily for me, the food was adorable and delicious! I had the hayashi rice; a dish similar to American beef stew. The cafe features all sorts of cute food and drinks with an animal theme, haha! They also feature memorablia from the show you can purchase. Here’s a link to the cafe menu if you’d like to see more ♥︎

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Taste Tokyo: Teuchi Udon Kanouya

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Hand-made Udon at Kanouya, Asakusa 

Today’s lunch! One of my favorite dishes to eat during the summer in Japan is cold noodles. It’s so refreshing and rejuvenating on a hot, muggy days. Soba, soumen, udon, hiyashi chuuka, tsukemen… chilled noodles with some ice-cold barley tea is my idea of a perfect summer lunch!

Capture Hawaii: Ala Moana Beach

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Dusk at Ala Moana Beach, Honolulu

I’m currently taking some time off from my busy work schedule to come back and relax for little in Hawaii ☀︎ Honestly, Hawaii has some of the best beaches, haha! I often come and picnic/BBQ at Ala Moana Beach with my family and friends. I wouldn’t say it’s the most beautiful beach in Hawaii, but it has its perks…such as the lovely city view pictured above. Parking can be horrendous though, so try to arrive early if you’re going on the weekend or any major holiday! They occasionally put on beautiful firework shows as well!

 

Capture Hawaii: Eat the Street

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Eat the Street, Kaka’ako Honolulu

One of the aspects I love most about Hawaii is the local community… and the food! Hawaii definitely has one of the most unique and delicious cuisines around (although I know I’m incredibly bias, haha)! Just to be clear though, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Hawaii, there is a difference between local food and Hawaiian food. Traditional Hawaiian food are dishes like poi, lomilomi salmon, haupia, etc., while local food is more of a blend of Hawaiian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, American, and Portuguese cuisines (i.e. loco moco, mochiko chicken, saimin, spam musubi, etc.), which is reflective of local Hawaii culture as well. Hawaii is often referred to as a “cultural melting pot,” and local food is a great representation of that! Anyway, in Hawaii we also have this great event called Eat the Street, which is usually held a couple times per month. There is usually a set theme for the event and local food vendors will set up dozens food trucks where people can go and enjoy the various dishes. The last time I went the theme was garlic, haha! Anyway, it’s a great little event to check out if you’re ever in Hawaii to get a small taste of the delicious local cuisine!

Capture Tokyo: It’s a Small World

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It’s a Small World, Tokyo Disneyland

Disneyland will always one of my happiest places (on earth!) to visit ever since I was little! Luckily for me, there is a Tokyo Disneyland not too far from my house (less than hour or so from Tokyo station). I was a little disappointed when I first went and realized California Disneyland has more attractions than its Japanese counterpart. The Tokyo Disneyland in comparison is much smaller and the atmosphere is a little different compared to California Disneyland or Florida Disney World. However, I will say I find it amazing how the park is geared truly geared all ages from families to middle schoolers to university students to couples. Disney Japan does a great job providing entertainment for people of all ages. Disneysea even serves beer and alcohol to go with the romantic fireworks show over the late at night or the smooth gondola ride in the river! Lastly, I just want to warn you that the matchy-matchyness we occasionally see in Asian fashion (i.e. couples wearing the same clothes or friends wearing the same shirt), drastically multiplies in Tokyo Disneyland. In Japan, it’s apparently quite popular among the younger crowd to wear matching outfits in the park. I’ve even seen couples on a double date wearing all identical outfits. All four of them had the exact same clothes! In any case, Tokyo Disneyland is a great place to spend the day and forget about your worries. Try to make good use of your fast passes though as the crowds can be horrendous!

Capture Tokyo: Ueno Park

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Lazy Day in Ueno Park

Ueno Park is probably one of my top 5 favorite parks in Tokyo. It has a beautiful lake and wooden path where people can relax and take leisurely walk. There are also pink and white paddle swan boats available, so you can take a romantic ride on across the lake. When I was in university, I heard a rumor that any couple who took a ride on the boats at Ueno would be doomed to break up… so please ride at your own risk, haha! The park is also famous for hanami or cherry-blossom viewing in the Spring, and it’s almost impossible to get a spot if you don’t go early in the day. Ueno Park also houses a small temple which occasionally hosts delicious food booths filled with roasted corn, takoyaki, yakisoba, and more! In any case, I would definitely recommend taking a nice stroll in Ueno Park if you have time ☆