Not every plan works out perfectly in Japan. On our nengajo day, we had a plan to go to the post office, to the Kitte mall, and to the Tokyo Station Traveler’s Store. While we were at Tokyo Station, we planned to eat at a pretty famous ramen shop in the train station. By the time we were ready for lunch, we were starving and didn’t realize the level of popularity of the ramen shop…the line was so long, it was wrapped around several other shops at the station and we would have had to wait probably upwards of three hours…I wish we’d gotten a picture because it was insanity.
So, it was lunch time at one of the busiest train stations in the city and we had no other plan. So we wandered around the station, trying to find someplace, anyplace that didn’t have a long line. We ended up at a German restaurant. At first I was really disappointed…I felt like we were wasting one of our few meals in Japan at a place we’d settled on. Buuuut…they had omurice, which is Naoto’s favorite Japanese comfort food. He even sang a song about it.
The omurice was a little bit different at the German place. Usually it’s more ketchup based, but here it was more of a brown sauce. But Naoto really enjoyed this spin on his favorite dish. I had the Salisbury steak (hamburg,) which is also a common Japanese comfort food. (Usually, if you can order omurice at a restaurant, you can also order Salisbury steak.) Mine came with fries and really great carrots.
So, an unexpected lunch ended up being a hit…it would have been nice to have tried the amazing ramen shop, but I think we did all right for the circumstances…plus I got to have a melon soda which is always a treat.
Here it is! (Was it worth the wait?) After much deliberation, (You can ask Naoto how many times I picked up something and put it back, only to end up with something really basic!) I decided to go with a red leather cover and I stuck with the peacock blue book cloth for the back. I didn’t think the yellow and white book cloth would hold up well over time. Plus, I love red and I love blue, and the yellow doesn’t really fit my vibe…I couldn’t see myself really loving it once I got it home. Plus, I really wanted gold accents and that didn’t seem to fit with the yellow pattern vibe. I forgot to mention yesterday that you can also choose your binding colors and other accents for your book. We didn’t get a good picture of those options, but you can see them here. I didn’t add a pen loop or an elastic because I like a simple notebook, but seriously, you can have so much fun adding all the accouterments you like! If everything in my life could be these two colors, I would be happy. I ended up going with Fool’s Paper for my insides. It’s also a fountain pen friendly paper and when I tested it at the store, I loved how it worked with a 2B pencil, a fountain pen, and a regular thin gel pen. It’s so smooth! Because I could, I got a mix of lined, dot grid, plain, and grid papers. I also added an envelope to the back, because why not? In addition to my notebook, I bought a Kakimori postcard and this notepad.
The notepad has ten different kinds of black paper inside, with all sorts of textures. I sampled it in the store and thought it was fun, and I’m looking forward to using it in my Travelers Notebook and for little notes here and there. And I couldn’t pass up these cute birthday postcards that came with a tiny pencil so you can draw in flames for the number of candles the recipient is celebrating. Genius, right?
If you’re in Tokyo, I highly recommend Kakimori for stationery lovers. I made a small (A4 size) notebook, but they also offer A5 which would be an amazing size for a scrapbook if you filled it with one of the heavier paper options. It’s just such a neat experience to make something just for yourself…now to see if I can get into the habit of using it! I’ll report back!
Happy New Year! Naoto and I are in Japan right now–we’ve been here since 10:45pm local time on December 31, 2019. We rang in 2020 on a train to our hotel. It wasn’t planned that way, but our flight was delayed by two hours so…Here we are on the train, looking a mess from the thirteen hour flight. It’s been a really great trip so far and I’m looking forward to sharing about it soon! (I say this fully aware that I’ve never shared alllll the things from some of our previous trips! Argh!) If you want to follow along (somewhat) live, I’m sharing over on Instagram. (@adamihasegawa over there!)
In the meantime, I hope your 2020 is full of peace and happiness (with a heavy emphasis on the peace…)
Merry Christmas (if you celebrate) and happy holidays! I’ll be back later this week with a Christmas update. Until then, I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season! ❤️💚
Our Christmas tree has been up for a week and I think it’s looking fine. I dialed back on some of the decorations this year–we’ll call this a minimalist Christmas–but I made sure to include all of my favorites. I think this year’s tree is a little skinnier than year’s past, but it’s full of charm and it’s perfect.
It was the first time Naoto picked out a tree by himself. Usually I go with him, but I wanted to get the Christmas stuff out and start decorating since Christmas is coming faster than a flying reindeer this year. I told him to make sure the tree was straight, didn’t have any big holes, and didn’t have any dry brown needles. He picked a winner! And, as you can tell from the video, it was so fun to be surprised with his pick. Now I just need to buy some gifts to wrap and put under the tree…
How is your holiday coming along?
I sent out my Thanksgiving invitation yesterday, finally! I swear I start thinking of ideas for invitations on November 1st and I still wait til the last minute to execute any plans. I should know by now how quickly the end of the year flies. I can’t believe I haven’t used this quote from JFK before. I like it a lot. I layered the white invitation onto a fig colored card and picked a colorful envelope liner from my Galaxie Safari encyclopedia stash.
Now that the invitation is done, we need to clean the apartment and decide on the menu this weekend. We’re trying to find a new salad or lighter green vegetable to balance out the menu.
Have a good weekend and Godspeed at the grocery stores!
I know it’s been spring for awhile, but it’s just starting to feel like it around here. Today I’m going to brunch with some friends and maybe eating Easter dinner at home, depending on what Chef Naoto decides. And hopefully, I can catch up on some blog posts because it’s almost the end of National Card & Letter Writing Month and I still have mail things to share! Hoping it’s a lovely day where you’re at and cheers to a relaxing Sunday!
My first incoming letter for National Card & Letter Writing Month was from my dad! We’re sharing these basil seeds to try this spring.
I am catching up on my own writing tonight after being sick the past few days. I have felt miserable and I’ve missed election parties, work, and meetings and I didn’t even feel well enough to write any letters until tonight so hopefully the tides are turning and I’ll be able to enjoy the warm weekend ahead.
Have a good weekend and I’ll see you next week!