Blue skies and blossom

Spring is here and Oxford is in full bloom. We’ve had ridiculously blue skies for the past few days. I thought I’d post some shots which I took around the city, and in particular, of Magdalen College when I went there last weekend.

St Michaels 1

It’s the Easter holidays and revision for Finals is underway. Studying is definitely easier when every street is beautifully washed with golden sunshine and blossom in bloom. The pastel colours and sandstone of the buildings are glowing in the sun. This photo was captured along St Michael’s Street. Continue reading “Blue skies and blossom”

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An Autumnal Casserole

chicken-casserole

Before Autumn is officially over, I thought that I had better post this! A couple of weeks ago, I made a casserole for me and my friends which turned out to be delicious. It really warmed us up on a chilly evening. It was very simple and included potatoes, carrots, onion, and chicken breasts. I wanted the natural juices of the veggies and chicken to flavour the casserole really, so I only added vegetable stock and ‘mixed herbs’. I sweated the onions slightly so that they were a little caramelised, which added a subtle, sweet flavour to the dish. I could have thickened the soupy sauce with some cornflower, but instead I decided that a richer, thinner juice was more appropriate for an autumn evening.

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Taro’s Nostalgic Walk – The Walk to the Station

In truth my relationship with Japan, above all else, is defined by nostalgia. However stimulated I may be by ponderings on the psychological and philosophical connotations of our British-Japanese biculturalism – as Naomi and I like to explore on Thinking Japlish – my emotional interaction with Japan is nostalgic; it is why I love it, it is why it’s the only place I ever really want to go.

Nostalgia, though it is perhaps the most enigmatic emotion of all, is also one of the most distinctive and compelling. Whilst it can never be consciously summoned and only an external trigger can bring it out from your subconscious, no one could mistake that cocktail of joy, yearning and regret it evokes. It is a particularly apt emotion to explore in the context of Japan when so much of Japanese art is pre-occupied with it – just think of any Hayao Miyazaki film; and consider how much more common a word ‘natsukashii’ is than ‘nostalgic’.

Continue reading “Taro’s Nostalgic Walk – The Walk to the Station”

Halfie Hour: Alexandra Luo

Konnichiwa, Thinking Japlish readers. Today I have an exciting gem of a blog post: an interview with another fellow Eurasian and dear friend of mine who is half Chinese, half British. I hope that you enjoy the interview below, when we asked our guest all about her experiences of biculturalism.

Alexandra Luo Continue reading “Halfie Hour: Alexandra Luo”

Free Apps for Learning Nihongo

Welcome to my friend Rosa who is helping me to review these fun and useful iPhone apps which are great for learning Japanese. Rosa is also from Oxford, but she’s currently on her year abroad studying Japanese and Literature at Kobe University. She has plenty of experience of studying Japanese, so it’s super to have her to help! Continue reading “Free Apps for Learning Nihongo”

Shopping Haul: Kiddy Land and Daiso

Kiddy Land is one of my favourite places in Tokyo so I thought that I would share it with you today – but do not let the name fool you – it is not just for kids! Kiddy Land in Omotesando is filled to the brim with toys, stationery and everything from tissues to cooking equipment. They are all related to your favourite Disney, Snoopy Town or Studio Ghibli characters, and more! I was showing my friend Rosa around Tokyo (who is on a year abroad, studying in Japan) and here is what we got up to. Continue reading “Shopping Haul: Kiddy Land and Daiso”

What to See at Skytree

Hello! As you may have read last week, I had a great time at the Star Wars exhibition at the top of Tokyo Skytree. You can read more about that on last week’s post, but today I must tell you about Skytree itself because there is plenty more to say! I would thoroughly recommend it as a day out or place to meet friends because there is plenty to see and do. The complex is huge – it has a large food court, hundreds of food stalls (like in department stores such as Matsuzakaya), an ice-skating rink, many yummy restaurants, aaaaand shops after shops after shops. I was with lots of family members of three generations and there is certainly something for everyone. Continue reading “What to See at Skytree”

Star Wars: Tokyo Sky Walk

Calling all Star Wars fans! Tokyo Sky Walk is an exhibition in the top galleria of Tokyo Skytree, and it is well worth a visit. In fact, this is my top pick for a day out in Tokyo at the moment! It’s there till 11th February, 2016.

Skytree pulls out all the stops here: surrounded by the spectacular view of Tokyo, 450m in the air, you can see interesting Star Wars collectables, including a set of “Japan Originals”. You can also pose with Stormtroopers or queue up for professional photos of you with a lightsaber!

Continue reading “Star Wars: Tokyo Sky Walk”