28 June 2014 @ 02:09 am
[Japan Life]: Japanese Beauty Products and Teeth Bleaching  
Hey there!

It's been a while since I've last written a public entry. Sorry about that.
But I doubt there are many people still reading my journal who aren't on my f-list anyway.

In one of my previous entries I shortly mentioned that I bought a few Japanese beauty products based on recommendations like this or that.
I promised to write a short follow-up, so here it is.

Japanese Beauty Products

In the photo above you see some products I bought.

The Cure Natural Aqua Gel was recommended by so many. It's a great exfoliation product. Even for sensitive skin it works fine. It mainly consists of water and is very mild. You just rub it softly onto your face and you'll quickly see small pieces of dead skin coming off.
This works really well and I'm not breaking out after using it at all. No blemishes.
However, what I noticed is that some of the stuff is rather stubborn, sticking to my facial fluffy hair especially around the chin, but maybe that's just me.

Read more... )

Whitening Your Teeth

I also tried to whiten my teeth for the first time in my life.
At first, I tried it using natural ingredients such as rubbing strawberries and banana peel onto my teeth, but that didn't help.

I've also started oil pulling with coconut oil. That's supposed to get rid of all bacteria in your mouth, so you should do it first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything. Keep the oil in your mouth and squish it around and through your teeth for about 20 minutes. Spit it out. DO NOT SWALLOW as it contains all the bacteria that were in your mouth.
I don't think it did anything in terms of bleaching, but my teeth feel smoother by doing so.
Apparently you can use other types of oil as well, but coconut oil has this antibacterial characteristics and is not disgusting at all. I can't imaging doing this with any other kind of oil.
Have you tried this yet? :)

Read more... )

How I whiten my teeth )

Hope you enjoyed this entry.
Thanks for reading! ^_____^
[mood]: okay
[music]: João Lucas & Marcelo - Eu Quero Tchu, Eu Quero Tcha
28 April 2014 @ 11:05 pm
[Japan Life]: What A Busy Life!!  
Hey there!

I haven't been able to update in a while.
Jeez, I've been so insanely busy! Not in a bad way, but still!
Sooooooooooo many things happened. It will take ages to update, so today's just a very short review.

I can't even remember the last time I was home where I really spent the whole day in my apartment without going anywhere.

Some time in February I went to the Sapporo Yuki Matsuri. Then I was busy with selling things here on LJ. In March I went to enjoy plum blossoms and was still busy with selling stuff, planning my next few vacations etc.
And since then things got really crazy!

Spring Vacation 2014:

I had 9 days off around the end of March / early April and some of you might remember that I said I didn't plan anything and that I had no idea where to go.
The first day of my vacation was rainy anyways, so I decided to stay at home. I ended up meeting [ profile] asahifirsa who happened to be in Japan and nearby at that time.
I came back in the evening, decided to go somewhere after all. Finished booking hotels, packed, crawled to bed and after only 3 or so hours of sleep I was off to Shizuoka.

more photos under the cut )

And once GW is over there are soooooooooooooooooooooooooo many things to do!
I procrastinated everything until after GW!! I need to restart my sales entries here on LJ and continue selling stuff, I need to prepare to move, I need to work on my blog, reply to e-mails and requests and and and .... phew!!!

Sorry for the very short update.

Hope everyone is doing well!
How was your spring vacation?
[mood]: sick
18 December 2013 @ 11:30 pm
[Life]: Permanent Pain is Ruining My Days  
I'm in permanent pain and it sucks so much!

I already mentioned it in my previous entry, but in the past few days it has become worse and worse.
AND I have no freaking idea what is going on!!

My neck and shoulders are stiff and hurt.
Well, that happens sometimes, right? I had that many times before and usually it gets better again after some time without me doing anything.

This time however it's not just my neck and my shoulders, it's also my back, my hip AND the inner side of my left thigh!!!! o_____O'''
The latter one really doesn't make any sense.

At first I thought I maybe had sore muscles, but it just didn't get better at all. In fact, it has gotten worse. And it's only the upper left thigh!!!

I researched a little and there actually seems to be a connection between pain in the thigh(s) and back pain.
However, if you have pain in only one of thighs on the inner side, then it usually comes from playing soccer. WTF????

I swear I haven't done ANYTHING recently that could have caused it!!
Maybe I'm sleepwalking?

"Luckily" my thigh only hurts when I walk or when I touch the muscle(s) there. It's ok when I sit.
However, the rest of my upper body hurts all the time, especially my shoulders and my back. I can't even tell if it's the bones or the muscles, but I guess it's all the muscles.

The issue is that I CAN'T go to a doctor / clinic anymore before I leave for Germany.
I have 3 more days at work and am also busy before work. Then, I have Sunday off and I'm flying on Monday.

I'm just worried how I can manage to survive in Germany with all that pain. It's not a strong pain, but I'm exhausted, cuz it's a permanent pain, no matter what I'm doing, it's always there.
Even if I could go to a doctor before I have to leave, I'm not sure if they could help me right away. And in the worst case I would be told to stay here and not to go to Germany.

Read more... )

I wonder why this has to happen NOW ....... I haven't been back home in 2.5 years, you know? :( .......
[music]: "Rihanna - Diamonds"
[mood]: crappy
20 November 2013 @ 11:41 pm
[Japan Life]: Teeth Issues - Japan (500.000YEN) vs. Germany (0€)  
I'm so annoyed!!!

I don't know what exactly is going on or how it happened, but it's annoying and it also starts to hurt!!

I'm talking about my teeth.
First of all, one of my teeth in the lower jaw moved quite a bit since I moved to Japan, so it looks like there's a tooth gap now.
This is a beauty problem. It never caused any problems and I didn't even notice it until I went back to Germany 2.5 years ago and my friends and family noticed at once! That "tooth gap" wasn't there before. At least not the last time they had seen me.

No big deal.

However, recently I assume some more teeth in my lower jaw have moved gradually. At least some teeth have moved over the time, but I think it's the front teeth of my lower jaw.
But it wasn't until a few days ago that I actually FELT something has changed. While they still look pretty normal in the mirror, they don't feel normal anymore.
I really can't describe it well, but when I close my mouth / my jaw, then at least one of the upper front teeth and one of the lower ones are rubbing against each other every single time.
One of them is "in the way", because it moved so far that it's "in the way" now.

I'm self-conscious all the time, because it's annoying as hell and all the rubbing has made my teeth more sensitive.

The solution might be a dental brace for my lower jaw.
Read more... )

JESUS, gimme a break please!
Why does that have to happen now? Can it not wait a few more years? T___T ....
[mood]: sore
01 October 2013 @ 12:05 am
[Japan Life]: Changing Things Step By Step ... Or So ...  

I can't believe it's already October! Well, at least in Japan it is. Time's flying so fast.
In 3 months I'll be back in Germany for winter vacation.
And no, there's no update concerning my future or any life-changing decisions that I should have made.

However, I'm trying hard to change a few things step by step and just hope that by that something will come up.
At least I'm feeling better recently. I'm far less stressed since I've given up on my blog (as in I don't take it as seriously anymore).
With the new free time I've gained I try to change things in my life and I hope everything is going into a good new direction (slowly, but steadily).

Steps to a healthier lifestyle:

I'm very slim, at first sight I might look sporty and I'm also not really sick, but my body clearly tells me recently that I NEED to do something.
Furthermore, I'm not getting younger and I need to keep my body fit and tight somehow.

A few things that I want to try are:

Drink at least 2L of water every day:

I already started doing that about 2 years ago and I mainly drink water anyways, but I don't control how much I drink recently.
I want to go back and make sure that I really drink at least 2L a day - which might be a bit tricky now that winter's coming.

Read more... )

Walk 10.000 steps every day:

I'm sure most of you have heard about it and if you've been following my LJ for a few years, you know that I bought a pedometer years ago.
When I'm traveling I get well over 10.000 steps, but when I'm working it's much less (I suppose around 4000 or even less) and on a weekend I stay at home it's just a few hundred steps. NOT HEALTHY AT ALL!!
I'm not sure how I can get up to the 10.000 steps on a daily basis, still trying to work this out (also see the next point).

Thinking of buying a new pedometer (see photo above).

Exercise regularly:

You know that I did well working out regularly before I had this sudden crazy blog idea in early 2011.
Read more... )

Off Topic: Rabbit Island and Kobe:

Last weekend I went to Okunoshima in Hiroshima Prefecture which is also known as "Rabbit Island". A detailed blog post will follow in a few days on my blog, so make sure to check it out! ^__^

There was also an autumn festival in Kobe's China Town, so I went there as well:

Ok, that's all.
Hope you're all doing well and thanks for reading.

P.S.: I finally watched "Nou Otoko" (Brain Man) with Ikuta Toma yesterday. What a dark, but exciting and interesting movie! And Toma has proven once again that he's a great actor! ^__^
[mood]: okay
16 September 2013 @ 01:11 pm
[Life]: How To Deal With An Identity Crisis?!  

So, it's set. I've booked a flight to Germany for this winter vacation. I'll stay there for 2 weeks.
I haven't been home for Christmas for about 7 years or so now. Will be weird, I guess.
But it's a necessary step in order to find out what I really want.

The thing is that it's not as simple as: Stay in Japan or not?!
The real problem is that I have no idea what I want on almost each and every level in my life.

  • I don't know where I want to live in the future.

  • I don't know what kind of job I want to do.

  • I don't know if I want to have children or not.

I just have no idea what I want for my future - other than being happy and healthy.

I think it's an identity crisis or whatever you want to call it. I don't think it's a midlife crisis, because I don't think it has to do with my age - other than the "baby question" where my biological clock is ticking louder and louder.

I still have no idea how to get out of this crisis.

What I studied in university and why that won't help me now. )

I know that nobody here can help me, but I fear I can't help myself either.
It's just a very frustrating situation. Not a new situation at all, but it's getting worse and worse the longer it takes for me to figure things out.

I'm all for living in the moment and not thinking too much about the future. After all we never know if that future is coming or not.
But I also think it's wrong to keep living the exact same way that I've been the past few years - without thinking about the future at all ...
[mood]: crappy
30 August 2013 @ 11:14 pm
Without a goal, how do you know what to do next?  
Thanks for all your great comments, advice and reactions to my last entry!
I was really surprised to see how many people still read my journal and seem to care! ^______^

Even before I left for my summer vacation in Okinawa I started to change a few things in my life. Step by step.
Ever since I came back there is no day when I'm not thinking about my future (really hard), researching and whatnot.
It's very frustrating, but at least I'm finally doing something.

It seems that no matter where I'll go, I won't have the quality of lifestyle I have in Japan right now.
First of all, no matter which country I choose I won't earn as much (after taxes).
I asked around in a German expat forum to hear the experiences and advice from German people who are now living in foreign countries and they just confirmed this.

Read more... )

I hope you kind of get what I mean.
It's not like I'm afraid of going back to Germany. It's more like I really can't imagine living there anymore and as long as I don't know what alternatives I have ... and on top of that have no job lined up (in whatever country), it sounds fu**ing stupid to leave Japan.

I mean, usually you have a new goal, a job offer, you marry, you bought a house .... SOMETHING LIKE THAT .... and then you move on to the next step in your life.
For me it's just that I've been in Japan for 6 years now (that's 5 years longer than planned) and that I don't want to be here forever. At the moment I can't imagine living (and even working) in Germany. And that's all I know.
With that much of a "goal" (namely none), it sounds CRAZY to make the next step.
Or am I wrong?

P.S.: I'm neglecting my blog like WOAH! But I kind of feel burnt out, so I'll only be updating when I feel like it.
I try to use the time right now to relax and to think about my future etc.
[mood]: confused
15 July 2013 @ 01:25 am
Why Fear of Discomfort Might be Ruining my Life!  

Just a quick update today.
First of all I simply want to say I'm really thankful and also surprised how many people still seem to read my LJ.
After all I don't update that often anymore, so I REALLY appreciate that you guys still read it and that you even care and comment!
I can't even express how thankful I am for that! :3

Now some random things:

I just stumbled upon this blog entry a while ago and thought this is exactly about me: Why Fear of Discomfort Might be Ruining Your Life
Of course, it fits for many people, but it fits PERFECTLY for my current situation.
(Not sure if I should call it a "current situation" as it has been going on for a few years now ... *sigh*)
Anyways, it's an interesting read!

*Click to enlarge

A photo of today's thunderstorm.
It's soooo hot this summer! Much hotter than usually. Even hotter than the claimed "hottest summer 2010"! It's crazy! And it's only getting worse from now on!
They already confirmed that it's the hottest summer in a VERY LONG TIME, even hotter than in 2010.

Today's thunderstorm was a few hours long and intense with lots of lightning and frightening loud thunder. It was extreme!
Also, we had a few tornado warnings here in Kansai recently. The last one was yesterday, but as far as I know no tornado came.

Rainy season was pretty short compared to usually.
That might be the reason why the frogs this year aren't so bad. It's absolutely NOTHING compared to last year! And it's not because I got used to the noise!
Others confirmed that it's much more quiet this year (maybe less frogs)!?!

find out where I'm going for summer vacation )

I'm off to drop into my bed now.
Can't believe that I spent a few days and the whole day today on planning (and I'm still not finished!!).
My eyes hurt!

Hopefully I can relax a little tomorrow and then FINALLY write a post for my blog again. That one is slowly dying without me taking care of it.
[mood]: busy
11 July 2013 @ 01:25 am
[Life]: I'm really doing things the wrong way! :(  
Hey there!~

Thanks so much to everybody who replied to my last entry.
I really appreciate your advice!
For now I won't do anything as I'm busy planning my summer vacation which will start in early August (= very soon).

Actually I planned to FINALLY visit the Ogasawara Islands.
They are registered as World Heritage and can only be reached by a 25.5h ferry ride! (T___T) .....
This is ONE reason why I avoided going until now.

I always REALLY wanted to go because the islands are SO BEAUTIFUL and you'll find certain plants and animals you can't find anywhere else.

However, as I have vacation together with all the Japanese it always gets crowded everywhere.
I was shocked to find out that almost no tickets are available for the ferry from Tokyo to the islands anymore.
And when I looked for accommodations I found out that NOTHING is available anymore.

Okinawa in January 2013

I know that it's mostly my own fault for not planning WAY in advance (yet again ...).
This has become quite a bad habit recently.

It's (probably) my last big vacation here in Japan before I leave, so I wanted it to be something special.
I also wanted to visit the islands, because it's so much more difficult to plan such a trip from abroad ... *sigh*

I'm just angry at myself.
I'm always working so hard and I never put things aside to do them tomorrow. I try to finish everything ASAP ... apart from planning my trips.
I'm sure you've noticed that in the recent years.

The past few times I didn't even plan big trips anymore and just did day trips etc. ... basically because I didn't feel like planning and I was too late to set up a "big and awesome journey" anyways.

I don't know how to describe this, but it's something a lot of you have noticed and mentioned in comments already.
I feel like I work soooooooooooooooo hard on things that might not be worth it, but I can't stop!
There are so many other things that would be more important .. like my own life, having a great vacation, exercising or just relaxing.

I'm not sure if it can be compared to being a drug addict, but it surely feels like I'm doing something I shouldn't, but I just can't stop.
The tricky thing is that it's not really something bad what I'm doing. Working on my blog and all these other things are fun and I do them because I want to, but I'm probably exaggerating too much in terms of how much work and effort I put into it / them.

I wonder if that's one reason that I'm feeling the way I do. Not really depressed, but you know what I mean.

I'm just really angry at myself, but I just CAN'T STOP BEING THAT WAY! :( ....

Anyways, concerning the vacation I'm trying to work on a plan B.
I saw that flights and hotels for Okinawa are still available for that time frame, so I plan visiting more islands on Okinawa, e.g. Ishigaki, Iriomote etc. and / or also go to Hokkaido.
Not sure how that'll work out in the end (1 week Hokkaido / 1 week Okinawa or 2 weeks Okinawa or 2 weeks Hokkaido).
I tend to re-visit Okinawa and explore islands I haven't seen.
After all my first experience was quite horrible (with permanent bad weather this winter ...)

That's all.
[mood]: angry
14 April 2013 @ 12:44 am
[Japan Life]: Magnitude 6 Earthquake  
Hi everyone!

I hope you're all doing fine.
Just a quick update. If you follow me on any social network platform you probably already know about this, but I was awakened at 5:30am this morning when everything suddenly started to shake, my smartphone's alarm went off and outside there was also a loud alarm.
I jumped out of bed immediately, but had no idea what I should do!!!
I saw the big shelf next to my bed shaking like crazy and things kept felling down from it. All that shaking plus the two loud alarms just made me really anxious.

I quickly walked under my far too thin door frame.

I can't remember how long the quake actually continued, but when it finally stopped I crawled in front of my laptop to check what was going on.
I wanted to know how strong the quake was, where the epicenter was and if there's a tsunami warning.
As I don't have a TV or radio at home that was my only option.

Once I saw where the epicenter was, I was really shocked. It was almost the same as back in 1995 for the Great Hanshin Earthquake where parts of Kobe were destroyed and over 6000 people died!!!!

The earthquake was a lower magnitude 6, the one that killed many people almost 20 years ago was a bit over 7!!!!!!! (T____T)

Read more... )

Here are some articles about today's earthquake in case you want to know more:

Experts say there will be a big earthquake by 2014 in Japan and that Mt. Fuji will erupt soon.
North Korea is also getting on our nerves.
It's just not very nice recently, is it?

Hope everyone else is safe!
[mood]: blank
03 April 2013 @ 12:57 pm
[Japan Life]: Bad karma anyone?  
I really don't know what's going on recently.

I just need / want to spend a few relaxing days, but bad things keep happening.
Today I wanted to take a short tour on my bicycle to take cherry blossom photos ... but then I noticed it was GONE!!!!
I admit that I don't use my bicycle very often, but it's in the backyard of my apartment together with the bicycles of the other people who live here.
It's the deepest inaka and it was locked.


Now, I've lost my 140$US bicycle.

I guess I have to report it to the police ... not sure what the typical procedure is ....
This will cost me time and nerves again. Why, oh, why?

I don't care so much about the money, but about the time I'll lose.
And the fact that I need a bicycle every now and then.
Certainly won't get another one.

At least one thing less I have to get rid of once I leave Japan.


Can this vacation get any worse? .... (probably yes, but I'm done ...)
[mood]: crappy
31 March 2013 @ 05:23 pm
[Japan Travel]: Drama, baby!  

So, my short spring vacation of 6 days started as of today.
And I'm quite sure I don't have to explain this to you, but usually I'm out of here ASAP!

So far I left with pretty much the first / earliest train on my first day off on EVERY SINGLE VACATION I can think of in the past 5+ years here in Japan!
Sometimes I even extended my vacation so that I came back on the day where I had to be back at work (in the afternoon).

I always tried to use every single second, every single day - to the fullest!

There are / were several reasons for that:

  1. I knew that I'm not going to stay in Japan forever, so I wanted to see as much as possible in my limited time.

  2. In my first 4 years in Japan I only had 3 weeks of vacation per year (1 week in April, 1 in August, 1 in December / Jan), so my travel time was very limited. On top of that I lived so isolated that day trips were almost impossible. Thus I was always very happy to get OUT OF THERE as soon as I could. That's one reason why I eventually decided to move.

  3. I just came to love traveling in Japan. When I first came here that was not my priority .... it just happened! ;)

But this time it's different. It's already my first day of vacation today and as you can see I'm home!
(Well, it was supposed to rain today anyways. In fact it's only cloudy and very windy, but whatever...)

You might have noticed that I was traveling a LOT this past year. It was really crazy! First of all I had much more vacation than before - almost 3 more weeks per year! And then I also have public holidays off, so that I sometimes am blessed with a 3-days' weekend - giving me a great chance to do some minor trips - and I did! A lot!
Because of moving to Kansai, I'm now very central and day trips (even to Kyoto, Osaka or Nara) are not a problem! And I've done a few of those day trips already.

On top of that I got sick before ALL of my previous vacations last year (I'm sure some of you remember). And I was also extremely unlucky with the weather every freaking single time!
Last April I was hit by a typhoon, in May again - followed by horrible weather for many days. And the top of it all was my vacation in Okinawa this winter! TWO WEEKS OF BAD WEATHER!!!!
I was really frustrated.
Of course I still enjoyed traveling, but now that I have achieved one of my goals (visiting all 47 prefectures), maybe it's time to calm down a bit.

This photo is from last week when I met [ profile] amvn in Himeji, but that's a story for another time! ;)

I've not started planning my short vacation until a few days ago. Read more... )

Sorry, I guess I just had to get this off of my soul! :/ ....
[music]: Cherryblossom - Dive to World
[mood]: cranky
01 March 2013 @ 06:29 pm
[Japan]: 5th anniversary!!  

Yes, that's right. Exactly 5 years ago I started my life here in Japan!
My apologies that I can't be enthusiastic about this at all anymore. You can read about my previous Japanniversaries here: 1st / 2nd / 3rd / 4th

It's not only my Japanniversary, but it's also been exactly a year since I moved to another prefecture in Japan and started a new job.
Before we go on, let's have a look at my "goals list" from last year:

  • making it my last year in Japan FAILED!

  • experience something new / a new side of Japan ACCOMPLISHED!

  • don't spend too much time in my apartment / in front of the computer as I can do that once I'm back in Europe again (partly) ACCOMPLISHED!

  • join a Taiko group FAILED!

  • preparing going back to Europe FAILED!

I almost forgot that I originally planned to make this my last year in Japan!
I failed big time here, but I used my time to the fullest and travelled as much as never before this year! Thus I explored a lot of things I haven't seen before!
I even managed to visit all 47 Japanese prefectures in my 5th year!!!

However, I also spent a LOT of time in front of the computer working on my blog night and day .....

Read more... )

And finally:

Top Commenters on [ profile] chochajin's LiveJournal
(Self and anonymous comments excluded from rankings)
1[ profile] hesaki633 633
2[ profile] amvn520 520
3[ profile] asahifirsa458 458
4[ profile] mtassarion361 361
5[ profile] bf_nightingale287 287
6[ profile] andou_266 266
7[ profile] chatiel244 244
8[ profile] mahochan1239 239
9[ profile] angelbott222 222
10[ profile] karro212 212
11-100 )
Total Commenters: 5282 (5182 not shown)
Total Comments: 40643

Report generated 2013/03/01 17:13:26 by [ profile] scrapdog's LJ Comment Stats Wizard 1.7

THANK YOU for always sticking around and supporting me!!!

Even if I'm not around that much anymore because my blog keeps me so busy, I really appreciate that you're still here and give me advice or listen to my whining!
[mood]: calm
[music]: SunSet Swish - マイペース
03 December 2012 @ 07:39 pm
[Japan Life]: Busy life and future plans  

I think some of you have already guessed it, but it doesn't look like I'll leave Japan in just a few months (February / March) as planned.
Well, of course it also depends on whether I'll get my visa renewed or not, but if I do, I guess I'm here for another year or so.

It's really hard to describe.
My life since I moved in March has gotten extremely busy. It's not bad, because I travel so much, it's almost insane!
Just looking at the list of places I've been to in the past year makes me realize just how busy I must have been!

Read more... )

It's like ... the longer I stay here in Japan, the less I feel comfortable with going back to Germany.
I just can't see myself leading a happy life in Germany. Of course, I could be totally wrong ... and of course, I miss my home country and I wish I could go back and spend a few months there!
There are many things that are better in Germany and that will become more and more important the older I get (like the social support system, the health system etc.).

On the other hand, I wouldn't be able to keep my current lifestyle at all! I would have to live with the bare minimum of money.
That is because in Germany you'll only get back about half of your salary after taxes. HALF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I doubt I could live comfortably like that.

Read more... )

It's like .... sense is missing in what I'm doing right now.
I enjoy my trips ... I enjoy posting about them ... I enjoy sorting my photos .... but doing JUST THAT doesn't seem to fulfill me (yes, it keeps me busy and I enjoy doing it, but that's just not the same, right?). On the other hand I don't have the time to put anything new into my life.

And in reality .. Read more... )

[mood]: anxious
12 November 2012 @ 12:24 pm
[Japan Life]: Staying warm in winter  
Hi again!

So, winter is approaching and it's getting colder.
This will be my first winter in my new apartment, so I don't know yet what to expect and how cold it'll really get.
It's already as cold as 16°C inside in the morning when I wake up, so I expect it to be around 8-10°C inside once it's getting really cold.

Luckily I have an A/C with heating function in one room. And that's the room I made my main room (bedroom and working room). It's a bit crowded, but the A/C was the very reason why I decided to do so.
In summer it's easy to keep it cool, in winter it's easy to keep it warm.

I also have a new kotatsu (part of the apartment, not bought by me) that I won't need to use at all. Kind of a pity.
I always enjoyed using my old kotatsu in my previous apartment!

One thing that I noticed, though, is that it gets EXTREMELY dry inside, especially when turning on the A/C heater.
A humidity level of 40% or lower is not considered healthy anymore. It's easy to get dry skin, itchy eyes and a sore throat - and all of that has already happened to me.

In my old apartment I used to have a great humidifier that was also an air-cleaner and a fan heater at the same time.
I knew those thingies were quite expensive so I was happy that the school provided one. As it wasn't mine, I couldn't take it with me when I moved.

Now, I'm struggling every day with the dry air in my apartment and I NEED to get a good humidifier.
However, there are so many to choose from.

Of course, I could go with a very cheap version for about 3000-5000yen. Those are usually quite small, but the size might be enough as my room is pretty small (~ 6 tatami mats -ish ..) and I would only use it in that one room, my main room, after all.

Read more... )

You have to keep in mind that this is probably my last winter in Japan and I won't be able to take the device back with me.
On the other hand I want a good quality product as it's something I'm going to use every single day and night for quite a few months!

Do you have any experience with any of these?
Any suggestions / recommendations?

Thanks a lot in advance!
[mood]: hot
15 July 2012 @ 12:29 am
[Japan Life]: Post Japan?!?  
Hi everyone!

You've probably seen this entry coming, huh?
And yes, we've had posts like that a few times already a la "once every year"?!

It is a difficult topic.
And the more time passes, the more difficult it actually becomes.
You'd think that it gets easier, that I would come up with some awesome ideas or future plans, right?

I still have no freaking idea what to do once I leave Japan.

1. Leaving Japan:

I mean, that's for sure. I already wanted to leave 2 years ago after 3 years of being in Japan, but couldn't bring myself to.
And then, last year, I thought I maybe should try and move to a different city to see how life would be there and hopefully get some new inspiration, ideas and whatnot.
It's been quite obvious for a while now that I need to leave Japan.

I'm done. I can feel it. I can't really describe it well.
At least I need a "Japan hiatus".

About feeling lonley, going back to Germany and possible alternatives and more... )

5. And what do you want to do back home?
I will never be able to answer you this question.
I think it would be perfect if I could do some freelancing stuff that lets me live on the countryside (I'd die in a big city for sure!) and gives me enough money to live comfortably.
I have no idea what this freelance work could be.
And my father keeps asking me if I already found a "real job". I would have to listen to that every single day once back home ... probably until he kicks me out ^-^; ...

Recently so many people told me that my graphic design skills are so awesome. Yet, I've never learned anything about it.
I just started out years ago playing around with icons and Photoshop and stuff ..... I love doing that. I love pretty things and I love creating graphics and designs.
I was wondering if "graphic designer" would be an option. But then again .. I'm over 30 and would have to start from zero ... and I also want to keep using my knowledge about Japan and Japanese somehow.

I guess my dream would be to find a job that lets me live in a small apartment in the countryside with 2 cats (or so), enough money to live comfortably, not too much stress, enough free time and a job that lets me put my experience of living abroad in Japan to use somehow.

There are so many inspiring people, too!
Jenya, Jamie, Ashley, Koichi, Ciaela and so many more!
I know that I need to find my own way .... but I have no idea where I wanna go ... and I'm also not sure if I'll ever make it.
For example, despite having no time I applied for Tofugu's internship this year. I also made it into the second round, but that was that.
I guess my writing skills are just not good enough.
Yes, people do send me e-mails asking for collaboration or online newspapers ask me to write for them (of course without getting any money from them) ... and I once even earned a bit of money with some advertisement, but that's going nowhere I think.
My talent is that I have no specific talent at all that I could utilize, but that I can do a little in many different fields .... unfortunately that doesn't seem to be very useful.


Read more... )

P.S.: Ok, now I'm going back into "lazy mode" and watch some Asian movies and stuff ... not like I have a million other things to do ... *ignore*

Thanks for reading!!
[mood]: blah
12 June 2012 @ 12:08 am
[Japan Life]: Positive vibes  
Hello again!

I think it's time for an update.
The frogs are still at it, every single night from around 7:30pm - 4:30am. Actually they've gotten louder recently!
I decided to just endure it. It's not like you can get used to the noise as in you won't hear it anymore, but as in you just accept it.
My ears now hurt because I put all sorts of things in and around them, but it can't be helped.
It seems like they'll be around until the end of July. That's 7 more weeks to go. Even if they're still around in August, I don't care as I won't be here (hopefully will be traveling!).

Read more... )

I also went shopping and bought a few nice things!

I just couldn't resist this cookie necklace!! Isn't it delicious cute?
And yes, it says "Leibniz"! ^-^

Read more... )

Desert! The yummiest cream puffs ever!

(This reminds me that one of my readers once was surprised to see a photo of me. They thought I must be fat because I always eat so much and sit so much in front of the computer! XD *lol*
I have a lot of issues, but luckily that's not an issue. I love food too much!! ^-^)

I'm planning something, but I'd need to know something before that and I hope you can help me out here:
Is there any way to upload a video (e.g. to Youtube) and make sure that only the people you want to will see it and NOBODY else will have access to it?
I know that you can make it so that only people who get the link will be able to view it, but how safe is that?
If I'm really paranoid, what other ways are there?
As the video is probably going to be quite big (500MB-1GB), I don't want people to have to download it, so I'd prefer to have it on a video host such as Youtube.

Also, anybody knows a good, not too complicated (don't need too many features) video editing software they can recommend?
I have Windows Movie Maker, but I have never really tried it and I think it also reduces the quality of a video too much?!

Quick Blog Newsticker:

Thanks a lot!!
[mood]: lazy
27 March 2012 @ 09:49 pm
[Japan Life]: Internetless Lifestyle Update  
Hello everyone!

How are you all doing? I hope you're all fine!!
Thank you so much for all your nice comments and tweets.

Unfortunately I'm still without internet, almost 1 month after moving!! I never expected it to take THAT long, but it's reality.
To be honest I don't miss the internet so much, but in less than a week I'm going on a short 5-days spring vacation trip and without internet it was almost impossible to plan it out or book hotels!
It won't be a great vacation, but I try to make the best out of it.
Oh, and I'm expecting to get internet in the 2nd week of April - at least I hope so!!

I thought it was time to write an update in case people were worried about me.

Luckily things didn't get any worse since my last entry.
Read more... )

I try to focus on the good things. With the new job I have more holidays!
Just a while ago I had a 3 days "weekend" and took the chance to go to Kobe!!
Kobe is so close now! I literally can leave my apartment and exactly one hour later am already at Sannomiya Station! (^_____^)v

I stayed in a hotel for 2 nights there (although it wasn't necessary as Kobe is really super close). The reason I stayed there was for the internet. I stayed up at night to at least partly plan my spring vacation.
As I've been to Kobe and surroundings many times before already, there wasn't that much for me to do other than shopping. Sightseeingwise I've seen and done almost everything already.

Here are some photos nevertheless:

quite a few photos ...!~ )

At Kobe Harbor with the Kobe Tower in the background. I just love it there, it's really beautiful in its own way. I've been there a couple of times now, but mostly at nighttime so far.

Read more... )

Plum blossoms are already out. Let's see how late the cherry blossoms will be this year!
I hope I won't miss them again! (x__X'') ... ^-^;

The coolest Starbucks ever and more!~ )

I also went to a Takarazuka show!
I'm not sure if you're familiar with it at all. I was aware of it but never really looked into it at all.
The reasons why I watched it was:
a) one of the people I know in Kobe is a huge fan and could easily get me a ticket for the day
b) It was on my way back from a sightseeing spot anyways
c) It's part of Japanese culture and I wanted to at least check it out once!!

I have to admit that it's not really MY world, but the costumes, songs and dances were awesome!!
Living so close to Takarazuka City and knowing somebody who's totally into it might actually get me to go again, though! :)

some photos )

Although I live in a super small city (even smaller than before) I'm so close to bigger cities, it's really NICE!!!

I need to figure out VERY SOON where to go for Golden Week (it will be the first time in FIVE YEARS that I'll have those days off actually).
I'm thinking of going to Tohoku (Fukushima, Aomori etc.).
In summer I have 2 weeks, so I'm thinking of doing 1 week of Okinawa and 1 of Hokkaido.
If I really manage to do that, then by that time I will have been to almost everywhere in Japan!! O_O
That's one of my ultimate goals anyways! :D
Of course there are still smaller towns and stuff left, but I will have done all the areas, almost all prefectures and all major tourist spots!!

For Kansai area I can just do day trips on weekends (not so many things left here anyways, seen almost everything already XD).

Ok, that was a rather long entry, but I think you can clearly see that I'm (almost) back to my normal self now that things are slowly improving!
Expect more once I have a proper internet connection!

Hope to read you again soon! :3333
Thanks for staying tuned! :)
[music]: Hurts - Stay
[mood]: okay
01 March 2012 @ 07:21 am
[Japan]: 4th anniversary!  
Yes, it's been 4 long years and finally it does feel like I've been in Japan for a long time. Maybe long enough.
As you know I've been thinking a lot about leaving Japan this past year.
Instead of leaving I decided to move to another city and job. I'm still not sure if it was a good decision, but my 5th and probably last year will surely show.

It's funny / interesting / destiny?! That my new job and all starts exactly on my anniversary! I move on the very day I arrived in Japan 4 years ago!!

Photo information: Fallen Tsubaki (blooming in winter in Japan!) taken a few days ago.

Alright, so let's have a look at YEAR 4 AMJ (= after moving to Japan ):
I'm not really satisfied with this 4th year.
2011 was probably not a good year for anybody living in Japan considering that soon after I wrote my last anniversary entry we had the earthquake / tsunami disaster!
It was just a very .... strange year! But yet I'm still here in Japan!

Compared to previous years (1st / 2nd / 3rd) I didn't do much, I didn't accomplish anything.
Read more... )

Last, but not least just because I do it every year:

Top Commenters on [ profile] chochajin's LiveJournal
(Self and anonymous comments excluded from rankings)
1[ profile] hesaki624 624
2[ profile] amvn469 469
3[ profile] asahifirsa391 391
4[ profile] mtassarion361 361
5[ profile] bf_nightingale286 286
6[ profile] andou_266 266
7[ profile] chatiel244 244
8[ profile] mahochan1239 239
9[ profile] karro212 212
10[ profile] leviosa8178 178
11-100 )
Total Commenters: 5251 (5151 not shown)
Total Comments: 39021

Report generated 2012/02/27 13:29:58 by [ profile] scrapdog's LJ Comment Stats Wizard 1.7

Congrats to [ profile] asahifirsa who finally made it into the Top 3 this year! Thanks for your great and helpful comments!

Thanks for reading, especially to those who've been with me since Day 1 (March 1st 2008) of my Japan adventure (or even before that)!
Current Location: about to move in a few hours
[mood]: restless
13 January 2012 @ 09:29 pm
[Japan Travel + Life]: I'm back from a long, awesome trip!  
Hello everybody!

How have you been??
First of all: HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012!!!
I hope the year of the dragon will be an awesome one!

I came back from my 11 days winter vacation trip on Sunday and have been busy ever since then which is why I couldn't post earlier.

I guess it's time for a brief update, huh?
Ok, here we go. I have a new job and due to that I'll have to move in 6 weeks!
That is not much time! I'm so busy getting things done, getting packed, sending things, trying to figure out what I have to do etc.
Although it's gonna be my 5th(!! omg!) year in Japan, it's my first time MOVING in Japan!!

If anybody has any experience with moving in Japan, I'd really appreciate some advice.
Currently I'm trying to figure out what the best option to send my stuff is. Kuroneko looks promising.
I also need to get rid of quite a lot of stuff at Hard Off and House Off or whatever they're called.

Shifting money to another bank account that will work outside of my current prefecture.
Doing some last-minute traveling within my prefecture (you know the "oh, I live here I can always go, so I never went there yet" thingie, right? -___-;; ...)

As you can imagine all that leaves me even busier than I usually already am!

I will update you with more details some other time.
I think it's enough if I say that I'll move to Kansai in 6 weeks.

Because I'm so busy, I won't have time to post much in the next few weeks or months. I might even be without internet for a month or two once March comes!

That's why I wanted to give you at least a short review of my awesome winter vacation now!
I hope you'll enjoy it!~

Aoshima in Miyazaki.

Read more... )

(sorry I can't post things twice all the time ...)

Thanks for staying with me!~
[mood]: busy