Spring Peonies

Earlier this month I had a friend come from Hiroshima and stay with me for Golden Week. Golden week is a week in the Spring where Japan has many celebrations and holidays such as ‘Boy’s Day’ and the Emperor’s Birthday.

For the spring the island next to me had a wonderful display of flowers. On the island of Daikonjima there is a Japanese garden named Yuushien Garden it is a traditional Japanese garden and they’re well known for ginger and peonies.


During the spring peony festival they have over two million peonies of two-hundred and fifty different types bloom, of those the ‘Chinsen Peony’ early blooms get chosen and they are then put in the pond for display.  Apparently Daikonjima is so well equipped to grow peonies because of the volcanic ash on the island since it is still an active volcanic island. So the gardeners use that and in turn cultivate millions of peonies.


They were so beautiful and vibrant floating in the pond. When there were wilted ones you could see many of the garden keeps out there with baskets picking them up and replacing them with new ones. It was so magical almost to see so many flowers just floating in the pond.


During this festival I also discovered that the peony is the Prefectural flower of Shimane! This was such a beautiful event, yet another reason why Spring is the best season.

jaaaa ~~~~~


Old Vacation Updates and Sakura photos

In March it was  a long break for me, school ended and then my friend came from America to come and see me for almost 3 weeks. I have so many pictures from Tokyo that I will end up making blog post about, so don’t worry!

But when  I came back home from all of that Tokyo exploring  I have been to the castle almost twice a week checking on the cherry blossoms or sakura to see if they had bloomed already. But every time I went they were still naked trees. Still a beautiful castle just no blossoms in sight!


But a friend and I went and even though it drizzled a little we persisted and  still had a wonderful Hanami. My friend and I sat under a cherry blossom tree with my favorite snack genmai dango, which I found out is made with brown rice, and just relaxed.


There were a few people who actually had Hanami parties and bought loads of food and were talking and drinking on the castle grounds. It was so fun to see everyone finally taking a break and relaxing.


And there was even a ninja!


Breakfast Pringles?

So today I went to the local Family Mart with my friend who went to buy a ticket for the Beerfest happening next month and I was walking up and down the isles just looking and I happened upon these bad boys!

           These are ‘Eggs Benedict’ pringles. 

They honestly taste exactly like egg yolks it’s so strange how that taste can translate into a potato chip. It’s got the salt and pepper taste and everything. 

Hands down this is the most interesting chip flavor that I’ve ever had. 


Beach daaaaayyy!! 

So the weather is finally turning into summer weather!! It’s finally breaking from that spring chill allowing for a BEACH DAY!! 

We found the most majestic beach near Saikaminato. It’s between mountains and was absolutely beautiful. Photos don’t do this beach justice. 

It was so nice to finally get some sun after being shut in with all that dumb snow. I am already ready to go back and swim some more. 


Move over Unicorn Frappuccino! 

So while Starbucks in America has the Unicorn Frappe that is causing a huge social media stir Japan has a new frappe too!! 

I bring to you the American Cherry Pie Frappe!!

So after the light cherry flavor of the Sakura Frappe this time the cherry is in full force for this “American” inspired drink. 

It taste like cherry pie filling with vanilla ice cream and it even comes with a pie crust dome. 

I’m not the biggest fan of cherry pie, but if you love it you would love this it tasted practically like eating a pie!!


Student Journals 

So when I don’t have classes to teach I sit and correct my JHS student’s English  journals. So the ones I usually correct  are from my 2nd and 3rd graders. Which in America are 8th and 9th graders. And they tend to write the funniest things, well at least I think they’re funny. I take pictures of all of my favorites.

So this will just be a post of ones that I have collected so far. I hope you laugh as much as I laughed when reading them.

Sakura Canned Cocktail

So Japan is no stranger to canned cocktails. Here they call them Chu-his! And that is a mix of two words, since they are made from “Souchu” a type of rice liquor and “Hi” for Highball or cocktail. Here they usually range from 3-7% They are the Japanese equivalent to Smirnoff Ice, Mixxtails and Flipflop cocktails. I am sure there are more American canned cocktails but these are all I can think of.

Many of the Chu-his are made by Suntory or  Kirin. 

They come in all kinds of flavors, and they even have special seasonal ones. And for that season that means…..(insert drum-roll here) SAKURA! I waned you earlier I will have many more Sakura post and I was not lying.

112¥ is $.97

So Suntory has this new Sakura Chu-hi called Sakura Sakuranbo. It actually has two cherry flavors with real Cherries and Sakura liquor. As soon as I opened it all I smelled were cherries.

But after drinking it I will say that I am not a huge fan. It taste like a cherry Slurpee or some cherry drink with alcohol, I was really excited but I think I will pass on this again.I am excited to see the next seasonal Chu-hi come out.


Best Japanese TV Channel!


So my TV at home is a google TV and I am very thankful. Living with Leo Palace you get a TV included in your apartment and the newer apartments like mine have bigger TVs and its a Google TV.  And I can be the first one to tell you that it is THE BEST THING ever. 

If I only had the basic Japanese TV channels……I would not have survived this long. I know in America we tend to think that the shows on TV are the same. Everything now has become reality TV or remakes of old shows. But here its everyone reacting in the same over dramatic way. Or the same type of show just different people. But I will say there are some gems on the TV like the real Ninja Warrior and other athletic shows. But most of the time I am watching shows that are on YouTube.

So my TV restarted the other week and I realized a new app was on it! 

Something called AbemaTV was added…and I usually don’t click on the apps that are automatically included on my TV because they are in Japanese, and I either cant understand the interface or can’t get subtitles on the programs so its a waste of time and to YouTube I go. But I decided to check it out and it is awesome it gives me a nice break from YouTube. Because with YouTube you are kinda stuck watching the same show often since YouTube isn’t like a real TV platform. So I tend to watch Good Mythical Morning, Buzzfeed, Ghost Adventures ect. And sometimes you can get so tired of watching the same thing even if it is really funny.

 So this AbemaTV has about 24 channels you can choose from such as 3 different Anime channels, a drama channel…but most of those shows are Japanese dubbed, like I once saw X-files on the drama channel and it was all in Japanese. They also have Full House in Japanese dub which is insane to watch.

They also have an MTV channel which plays music videos from America and that is fun to watch! It has videos from all eras I saw ‘Material Girl’ by Madonna play after Katy Perry ‘Roar’ so it’s a good mix of music.

They also have VICE, a documentary channel that’s sometimes in English,K-Pop channel, K-Drama channel and the Pet channel. And the Pet channel is the Holy Grail of all channels. At first I was really harsh on it saying it was dumb and boring but now I understand….I get it. Why I didn’t like it at first was because I thought it was going to be like the Animal Planet channel back home. So with shows like Blue Planet, Too Cute or some shows like that. But this channel is just dedicated to peoples pets. And there is no talking just music in the background and your watching cats play, nap, and eat. Or you are watching dogs or bunnies. And they have the same animals every week so its like a series of this animals life. One Shiba Inu had an hour long program for his 9th birthday party!!! He even had a friend over!


It’s a good channel to have when you miss having interactions with animals. Hardly anyone who lives in a city has a dog because either most apartments wont allow them or no one has the time to take care of them. Also from what I have seen dogs are really expensive. Like in America we tend to find animals, go to the shelters or some one we knows dog or cat had babies. Here that doesn’t seem to exist so they have many animals that cost a lot of money. And aside from going to all the crazy and wonderful animal cafes your pet interactions are super low. So this was a nice channel to watch.

I do know in Tokyo you can rent a dog for like a day……I wish you could do that here in Matsue.



My Leo Palace is finally looking like I live in it!

So when I first moved into my apartment I took a TON of pictures showing you guys what it looked like….

But I realized that I have been here for a while now and it has had a massive makeover. It’s finally getting to what I want it to look like. I am pretty content with everything I have bought decoration wise for my house. Even with that being said I am working on replacing the cheap stuff I bought when I was here.

I know, I know I should have bought quality stuff so I wouldn’t have to replace anything, but when you have to get here in August and don’t get paid until November you just buy what you can afford. And I needed a bed and pillows and ect. But those will be replaced!!! I got my sleeping pillows from the Daiso or the $1 store and while they cost $4, but they are still dollar store quality. I have been sleeping on a stuffed animal I won from a UFO catcher because it has more support than these pillows do.

So my next replacement buy is a mattress and NOT another futon, and new quality pillows!!! My upper back has been hurting and I think its from sleeping on super flat pillows.

But here are some updated photos of my apartment, I am sure I will add more to it but for now I am quite happy with how it is coming out.

And yes, in the sink on top of my toilet those are rocks. I saw that at a bar in Hiroshima and thought it looked fancy!!