The Weekly Bulletin: Week 8, 2015

It’s been rather chilly this past week, with strong gusts of wind that had me literally shaking the whole time outside. That is, with the exception of sunny lunchtimes which lured me into a false sense of security thinking it was warming up. Ha. Nope.

weekly bulletin kitties

Kitty cat support team. (Think the Japanese version of cheerleaders, but with more clothes and more shouting)


  • The weather/temperature in Sweden isn’t much better than Tokyoーin fact it’s most definitely worseーbut there we’d have the deliciously fattening semla to tide us over the worst of it. A cafe in Osaka called Fågel Blå is apparently selling them, but I’ve not found any in Tokyo… woe! What’s the big deal about this weirdo semla thing you ask? Imagine a sweet bread bun with almond paste, freshly whipped cream and sprinkled lightly with powdered sugar… simply delicious. If you can’t imagine it, or want to try a hand at making one of your own, take a peek at this!

Sanna’s Semla from Homegrown Swedes on Vimeo.

  • “Faster than a speeding bullet train!”ーthe sell out rate for tickets on the new Tokyo-Kanazawa Shinkansen line. Seriously though, sold out in 25 seconds. This is why slow people like me can’t have nice things in Japan. That and because I refuse to stand in line. ^^;
  • I think a lot of people have, like me, dreamt of a non-stop traveling lifestyle. Benny from Fluent in 3 Months does it, but he does share some of the unglamorous aspects of always being on the road.
  • For those looking at traveling to Japan this year, Notes of Nomads has a short guide on how to connect to the free Wi-Fi at Starbucks if you can bear the awful coffee. Free wi-fi is notoriously tricky for travelers wherever you go, and Japan is no exception. There are often deals to be found for wifi rental at the airport when you arrive, but they change often so it’s best to check what promotions are available just before or upon your arrival.
  • Since I’ve designated February as Valentine’s month, lovey-dovey posts will still be posted until the 28th! But love isn’t just for Februaryーand it’s certainly not just about Japanーthis post shares cute pet names people have for each other in languages across the world. I remember the first time I encountered one of the French ones, “mon petit chou” (my little cabbage), and was surprised at how unsexy and unromantic calling your partner a cabbage was. Then again, everything sounds better in French, n’est pas?
  • Texan in Tokyo just released a new comic book, “My Japanese Husband (Still) Thinks I’m Crazy”ーthe comics are cute, funny and full of cultural insights into Japan, definitely worth a read!
  • Popular tennis player Kei Nishikori traded in his tennis racquet for a Nissin noodle commercial recently:

  • As commercials go, I think the next one from Saga city (in Kyushu) is one of the best! Japan is known for its sometimes weird seafood options, and Saga is happy to promote one of the weirdest of them all: the warasubo! With a horror/suspense movie-like setting it’s a pretty fun watch! (Not sure it makes me want to try it though…)

Our Stuff

  • Red pandas playing in the snow, because red pandas:

  • YJ and I wandered around Kiddy Land last week. Well, by “wandered”, I mean we went straight to the 4th floor. And by “around”, I mean YJ spent a full 20 minutes watching a Gudetama DVD that was on repeat when we got there… Here’s one of the clips:

  • YJ’s heavy work schedule mentioned last week has finally calmed down a bit, and there will hopefully be some changes and developments over the next couple of months! More news on that soon, I hope!
  • Waiting for the cold to go away and the warmth and flowers to arrive!  Until then, I will take a leaf from Rilakkuma’s book of wisdom:
rilakkuma relaxing

“I hate moving around (a lot) so I’m always chillin’ and relaxin'” (And balancing stuff on his head?)


  Do you prefer hot or cold climates? (And if the latter, would you hibernate if you could?)

11 responses to “The Weekly Bulletin: Week 8, 2015”

  1. Mabel Kwong says:

    For me, it has to be hot, hot, hot all the way. I just find it so much easier to keep cool. If it’s a hot day in Melbourne, I’ll just wander around an air-conditioned shopping centre or if I don’t feel like walking, I’ll find a spot in the State Library and use the free wi-fi 😀 Also, I find eating ice-cream much more enjoyable in the summer – my tongue doesn’t feel like it wants to drop off.

    25 seconds and all the train tickets were gone? Now, that is quick :/ And not fun too if you were planning to buy it as soon as the tickets were released. If it was a concert that I really wanted to go to, I’d be sooo mad!

    You and YJ wandering around Kiddy Land and watching videos there? That is so cute. I love going to toy shops for the toys, though. Never gets boring, especially when I see a stuffed plushie twice my size and I can’t carry it 😀
    Mabel Kwong recently posted…Just What Is Australia’s National Dish? There Isn’t Really One

    • Ri says:

      I also find it easier to try to stay cool instead of warm. And as much as being too hot feels uncomfortable, I find feeling cold almost unbearable! ^^;

      It happens a lot with concert tickets too, here. That’s why you’re better off joining the fan club (priority release tickets are available) or signing up for ticket websites’ lotteriesーyou may or may not get advanced tickets that way, but they’re usually not good seats or numbers.

      Big plushies are the best! 😀 There was a giant Totoro one, but was probably not *thaaat* big. His big round belly makes up for it though, hehe!!

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        Yesterday and today in Melbourne it was 36’C. Not, that is hot and it’s cloudy at night. So that means it will be warm at night too :/ It’s a bit too hot but I am coping quite well with cool water 😀

        Oh yes. The fan clubs and pre-sales. I always join those if I’m intending in going to a concert. No ticket, no show, a miss out. I’ve actually never been to a concert in Asia, so I don’t know if it, you know, gets aggressive. Here in Australia, people seem very civiliesd about it – the queuing up and the moshing is pretty tame. So far from my experience.

        I have a small Totoro plushie at home, you will love it. Aside from that, there are two big monkey plushies in my house. They sit on the bed and don’t do too much. Life of a soft toy 🙂
        Mabel Kwong recently posted…Just What Is Australia’s National Dish? There Isn’t Really One

        • Ri says:

          It’s mooostly tame in Japan, but it really depends on the band and which live house you’re in. Pays to do some research beforehand, or just stay towards the back, I find. ^^; I’ve come home with a fair number of scrapes and bruises, but nothing too seriousーhave developed super senses over the years (I hope!)

  2. Do I prefer hot or cold climates? Well, I am lovin’ the weather in Taiwan right now – 21 degrees and it has that way during the winter months. However, I don’t think I could live here without air conditioning in the summer.

    25 seconds to sell out the seats on a train? That is pretty amazing and fast. I am sure that people want to say they were the first. When the high speed train opened in Taiwan, my boss’ wife [my boss at that time] took the train from Taichung to Taipei and back. And she walked back and forth on the train asking people to take pics of her.

    And as you wait for the flowers to arrive, another flower festival is starting today. But, I don’t think I will be going today. My husband played mah-jong ’til 7 (!!) this morning. He was going to bed and I was getting up! 🙂
    Constance – Foreign Sanctuary recently posted…A Typical Chinese New Year’s Eve at Our Home in Taiwan

    • Ri says:

      Mmm yes, we’ve had some nice sunny days lately, which definitely make it feel a little bit more like spring. I don’t like the extreme heat and humidity either, but I still prefer it over feeling cold all of the time. T-T (Temperature drama queen?? Maybe so!)

      Haha, your old boss’s wife definitely made the most of the experience! 🙂 I think it was a combination of those that want to be first and people who really, really love trains. There’s a fair few of those. (One was on TV last night. He travels every weekend from Tokyo where he lives, to far north Aomori because of a special train type that still runs there…)

      Ooh, is this the annual mah-jong allnighter? Did he bring in any winnings again this year? 😉

  3. Marta says:

    I definitely prefer cold! But only if there is heating inside houses 😀 Does that count as cheating? Haha!
    Marta recently posted…Chinese New Year decorations in Shanghai

    • Ri says:

      No, I’m definitely with you as longas there’s proper heating inside! I actually don’t mind swedish winters for the cold… I don’t like them because it’s so dark. But in Japan I feel cold all the time… D:

  4. Ah it has been so windy, hasn’t it? It just stopped and now it’s snowing. February really has the harshest weather.

    As an Alaskan, many people will say to me, “Oh you are from Alaska? The cold must not bother you!”

    This is kind of true. I am a skirts in winter kind of girl. But in Alaska, we have central heating. The never ending cold, you know that moment you walk into your apartment, and it feels warmer outside? It’s hard to deal with.

    It makes me long for the warm summer heat, but then I remember the stickiness, the never ending fuzz of humidity, and how I never feel clean enough. Then I like winter again.

    I prefer summer in non humid environments! And winter in well heated buildings.
    Miyagi Mermaid recently posted…Sailor Moon and Valentine’s Chocolate

    • Ri says:

      I have no eloquent answer, only “SAAAAME!” to all of the above! XD There never seems to be that perfect balance. Or wait, there is! For about 2 weeks during spring and autumn, haha! ^^

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