Art – Forever

Check out my other photography here → Etsy ❤


[While waiting for green light…. Tokyo, Japan]

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Travel – Korea (Summer) 2

kor002


And well, now that I`m married to a Korean, I do fly more often to this country than expected. [other posts here, here and here] This time we went due to 2 weddings of a university friend of my husband as well as a relative of ours. I got a bitter-sweet taste of what those “weddings” actually mean and how they are culturally implemented in everybody’s hearts.

Honestly it would be a less positive post if I kept rumbling on how heartless and cold those assembly-line wedding “procedures are (people didn’t even shut up while ceremony already started) Where the only purpose is to “get your money back from all those married ones” (as you too, invested in their weddings as a guest)  This being actually the main point – and a reason why we have our “ceremony” 1.5 years AFTER our actual wedding. [Anyway, I hope it’s over soon and we somehow manage to keep debt as low as possible.]


Fun part: Korea – yeay – I love summer in Korea…..well, I did. Last year. But this year was hell. Air pollution was on its peak during our 2 weeks stay, and (being allergic to dust) I went all the way: sore throat, pimples, itchiness, swollen eyes, cough, runny nose, asthma……Korea would be a great country regarding nature. But pollution (which is not Chinas fault alone) reminds me what a gem other countries are (Canada, Germany etc. )

» As for the wedding, there is this “being forced to treat friends for cafe/dinner to hand them invitation over”- kinda thing…….so we ended up having dinner or lunch with a lot of people. The best (only?) day I really enjoyed was date-day on a pollution-free (thanks wind!) day. Going to the recently inaugurated Seoul towerA beautiful lake, some cold drink, my husband, and fresh air to breath. These are the things that make me happy, and I`m glad my husbands opinion coincides.


Some other day we went all the way down to Busan again, for his cousins wedding. Family chaos all over again (I even don’t have names for those 5th line-cousin on mothers side (guess in Korea it’s a “Family tree”  “Family Tumor” ….add korean names and you know the mess I felt I was in.)  In Busan we successfully escaped family and checked in in my fav. Yellow Hostel at Yongdo Beach (see this post) and had a nice walk at the beach; and the next day a rainy train-ride home.

This time was more a “real lifeexperience. And yes, it’s not all happy-go-lucky lovey-dovey family. It’s “real” it’s “life”. But one should not forget you marry only one person (not the whole family)  → I’m glad I made this choice, I love my husband. That’s enough.

Health – Mt. Tsukuba

tsukuba007


Yes, another mountain post. We went to Takaosan (see post) last year during a national holiday…and have learned a big lesson. Which made us go on a weekday this time.

Mt. Tsukuba(筑波山) is located a nice 1 day-trip (drive) north of Tokyo. Even you are not the hiking type of person you might wanna go there as you have not only the option to ride a rope-way up to the top. But beautiful forest/flower parks and a really old impressive temple (筑波山神社) at the foot of the mountain are worth the visit anyway. (We decided to climb as far as we could, but gave up halfway. No pictures of mountain top, unfortunately.)

• To make your day perfect you can grab some snacks at a convenient store and walk around “Lake Kasumigaura¹, which is located on your way to/back from Mt. Tsukuba. It’s Japans 2. largest lake ! Check out the pictures ↓ for a preview and start packing 😉

We had best weather and pics turned out as wonderful as the scenery felt. Totally a secret “must go” for you (if you wanna escape Tokyo prefecture as a whole and check out ‘Ibaraki‘ a little)

P.s. There is a quite funny story about why Tsukuba is so green and full of life, while Fujisan is cold and deserted. Check it out – history can be fun.


Tsukubasan[筑波山, Ibaraki]
¹Tsuchiura [ 霞ヶ浦, “Kasumigaura Bay”]^

Health – Hitachi Seaside Park

I feel like my trip-posts have become less and less. And it is definitely true.
We do travel less due to some big changes in our life. Decisions had to be made, planes had to be flown. But still I insist on some longer trips at least once a month. So here we go »


hanas007


There is this famous ‘flower park‘ which tends to be (believe it ore not) more crowded than Tomorrowland¹ on a weekend [golden week being the ultimate long holiday-thing in japan + blooming spring season] Anyway, we managed to go on a Thursday noon instead, the weather a bit rainy too made us have the park for us (and some 10 other people) alone.

• What the park is most famous for are those blue/violet hills – some 5 hectare of “Nemophila². Though, weather was a bit rough, I could take some nice shots But the blue eyes are not the only thing the park has to offer.

I saw poppy in all kind of colors (up to now I only knew about red one, in Germany) enjoyed huge areas of plain grass »« trees »« forests »« bridges »« hidden theme-park and roller-coaster …..PURE NATURE (which is so rare, especially when you live in Tokyo)

The park itself is quite far from Tokyo (speaking less about distance; more about the time you need to get there) but having the sea on one side and costco/outlets/coffee shops on the other side makes it worth the trip.


国営ひたち海公園 [Hitachi Seasidepark, Ibaraki]

¹Tomorrowland
²[Nemophila in german is called “Hainblume” (grove-flower)]^
Actually Hain has its origins dated back hundreds of years ago, so it’s a very old word we don’t use anymore.

Random – Birthday Bargain

Time to share my
Secret Birthday Bargains


Free stuff to get during your birthday “month” in Tokyo. »To-Do« Download the respective apps and/or register your email address for the newsletter (it`s some work but quite worth it, especially when you live on the budget side of life here)

  • Royal host: 20% voucher + 10% voucher (max. 8 people)
  • Denny’s: Free birthday desert (see picture) + 10% voucher
  • Jonathans etc.: 20% voucher & 99 yen drink bar
  • Gusto: 20% voucher & 99 yen cheesecake
  • 31 Baskin Robbins: 1 free scoop (no additional order required)
  • Sizzlers: 20% voucher (max 8 people)
  • Domino Pizza: free 1.5L bottle of coke (ordering a pizza)
  • KFC: 2 pieces of chicken free (ordering 6 you get 8)

Random – Gokiburi(tale)

So, as you might have read in my other post I’m quite a -souji- (cleaning) lover.
Due to asthma and dust allergy – I already wrote about how to keep those things out of your house (which is quite tricky in Japan; especially on laundry days.)
I got rid of cockroaches, so I thought, but after a nice crispy cold winter they were back again.


Gokiburi-season starts around march/april when the first sun rays warm up your apartment over 20C. I kept thinking and reading and following advice from more experienced japanese people. Here is what I did [»yes, we actually caught a handful huge beasts and made sure they will never enter our apartment again.]

Lavender
the basic advice is “smell”. But it is primarily to prevent “re-appearance
(keep garbage outside, no water-access, use lavender-based air freshener/soaps/oil, clean regularly…)

Poisoned Baits(ホウ酸 ダンゴ)¹
You know beasts are there, but cant find them? Lay out (very affordable) poisoned baits. They work! [» Jump to: Experience]
One important point is those beasts take the poision home, die and as they feed on each other a whole nest will be destroyed (if any) – baits are small and last 6-8 months. Some key-areas where you mostly forget to put them:

  • under/behind kitchen. Japanese basic kitchens are like a set box. Imagine there are holes (sink pipes) where they enter and leave as they please.
    ⇒ open the sink-pipe cover, put a bait and also seal all holes with THIS
  • ‘inside’ (under) your bathtub. Japanese bathtubs are kinda covered with a square-sized frame.
    ⇒ there is one area to access the pipes. Open it, put a bait in and your done.
  • breaker box! Yes, this little plastic thing is connected to all wires which directly leave the wall through a huge hole
    ⇒ ours was big enough to put a bait. If not, keep at least the breaker box hole sealed so they will never be able to leave.
  • kitchen ‘exhaust/range’ hood. In japan unfortunately its simply a hole in the wall covered by a fan.
    ⇒ clean it thoroughly (especially after moving you might find 10 years of pre-owner cooking fat pasted there) and lay a bait on the “outer” area too

Seal, Seal, Seal
Seal holes (after!) putting baits. If you’re the DIY kind of wife, like I am, all you have to do is order “these 3 things². If you’re not, there is this “easy-seal³ – very simple and good for the work you wanna do. [ –removing old seal– part is a bit tricky, but these handy thing will help you (or your husband/boyfriend/person you bribed effectively)]


›REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE‹^
As for our home – I haven’t seen any gokiburi for over a month now. I laid out baits, practically turned over all our kitchen while cleaning with this great “renji cleaner” spray that melts old fat and all you have to do is wipe –brown sauce- off (basically) anything [my kitchen sparkles again *woot woot*]

• Regarding baits, they DO WORK

⋅→ first night. They apparently ate from the baits, as there was fresh poo (black long stains) everywhere in the kitchen (maybe those baits kinda made them not hold it any longer *gross*)
⋅→ second night. I caught a huge beast drinking water, that I didn’t wipe off our sink – but the poison made it less fast (easy catch …for my husband though)
⋅→ third night. we were happily watching our TV show in the living room, when another huge beast walked in kinda bored….as if it wanted to say…(totally high) “yo, folks…kitchen is so dark and silent…wanted to check you guys out here” (another easy catch ….for my hero-husband)
⋅→ forth morning. I check the baits and saw one sitting under our oven in the kitchen…not moving, but still alive (this one had definitely an overdose ….Mr. Cucaracha could just take and dump it with eyes half-closed)
⋅→ the fifth night. was a bit gross as two mega-monster drowned themselves? One in our shower drain (which is covered by a net to prevent hair from plugging the pipes…still a mystery how it got there.) whereas another one was going for a swim in the toilet but too high to leave? (my –now I know why I married you for– husband was pleased about less work)

… hopefully this will be the end of our La Cucaracha- Fairytale.

P.s. as my husband wasn’t aware of the fact:
La Cucaracha is spanish for cockroach.
Yes, it’s not a love song for a girl named cucaracha (korean version!)
↑ that one actually made my day *LOL*


¹[Housan-Dango]^
²[Silicon Remover] [Silicon] [Silicon-Gun] ^
³[Easy-Seal]^