Monthly Archives: January 2011

Omake Bonus!

So Omake (O oh – ma Ma – ke cay) pretty much translates as Bonus. And here in Japan, you’ll see a lot of omake in the convenience store or in the supermarket.

And who wouldn’t want this cute little penguin? This penguin is the symbol of Suica (Su sew – i e – ca kah) which is an electric money system used for food, drink or train tickets (can also be used at some vending machines and stores).

For about ~$1.05 (I’m using a straight exchange rate) you’ll get your water, and a little friend to sit on your desk, or window sill, or wherever you want. The bonus item is normally something cute but it can be from a licensed anime or movie, such as One Piece characters (anime) or bears looking like characters from various movies (Shrek bear or Planet of the Apes bear) .

I’ve gotten cell phone straps, small washcloths, a knitted cozy, rubber stamps, magnets and I’m probably missing some things. Mostly small stuff.  And some of it is actually useful 🙂

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Posted by on 31/01/2011 in Fun Things!


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The Uniform of Tomorrow…Today!

As you can see, here are the Spring middle school uniforms for the Maebashi area. Anything with a skirt is for girls, pants are for boys 😀 …honestly though, the boys wear the Prussian uniforms and the girls wear the sailor scout uniforms.

Most schools have the same colors, whether it’s plaid pants and plaid skirts, or simply blue and blue. Girls can also have a symbol / ribbon and boys can have a necktie.

Of my high schools, one of them has a black uniform and the other has a blue one. The blue one, only for the girls, has what looks like  a liter mark on the left shoulder. ALL my students, from both schools, wear pins with either the symbol of their school (blue uniform girls and black uniform school) or pins with the name of the school (boys at the blue uniform school).

Best part of uniforms?

I can tell immediately which school they’re from!

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Posted by on 30/01/2011 in School


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The Art of Flower Arranging

This beautiful flower arrangement was done by the flower arranging  master (expert) that comes to my school every Friday. She teaches the students where to place them according to  certain rules and traditions. Not only are the color and flower bud taken into account, but a lot of attention is put on the stem, leaves and lines of the plant.

This has been around for about 500 years, and as you can guess, there are a lot of different paths (ways) to arrange the flowers. I’m not sure which school this is, but it looks like fun!

My school has other  club activities like ping-pong, calligraphy and manga / art / illustration.

And my technological school has a word processing club?

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Posted by on 29/01/2011 in School


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Lunch Special: Maple and Margarine Sandwich

How do you make a sandwich? Normally, a person takes things that taste good apart, and together, and makes a sandwich. Peanut butter and jelly. Cheese and tomato. Stuff like that.

Maple and margarine….I mean sure, they taste great, and who does’t love maple? But as a sandwich?

Out of curiosity, I tried it. Yes, I actually ate it. The maple part tastes great, delicious. Being able to literally taste the thick slab of butter made my stomach a little nauseous.  Maybe it’s a texture thing?

Or maybe it’s a ‘too much butter on a sandwich that’s not been grilled’ thing.

If I remember correctly, another one of their lunch pack sandwiches is Blueberry Whip. Bread filled with blueberries inserted into whipped cream.

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Posted by on 28/01/2011 in Foods


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Best Named Hair Salon

Just in my city of Isesaki, I have found some wonderfully named hair salons. Those would be Halloween, themed for that holiday all year, and Cum’z Hair, which has an adultish humor about it (or puerile, I’m not sure which).

Anyway, I think that Maebashi has won for now, with the best name for a hair salon…

Pretentious /priˈtenCHəs/

An adjective: Attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed (thanks given to the online dictionary).
Would this be the attitude of the workers? The customers? What your new hair style should be doing?
I will say this…the cost of getting your hair cut here, trim or anything else, is 5,000 yen / $59.56. Maybe I’ll go to Halloween instead. Can’t be worse, right?
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Posted by on 27/01/2011 in Places


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Hello Kitty and Pikachu Taste Delicious

Japan is a nation filled with loads of cute things. This is the country where Hello Kitty is the ambassador, where you can buy a Pokemon shaped lunch box, where special cute things can only be found during certain times in certain places.

Check out the photo below.


These are baby castela…in the shape of Hello Kitty and Pikachu (from Pokemon)! My husband and I found them at a local festival (the Daruma Festival of Isesaki, which I wrote about earlier) and had to buy them. And then eat them. 🙂

Anything that can be make cuter has been done, and there is a trend toward Kimo-kawaii, a portmanteau of Kimoi (ugly, disgusting) and kawaii (cute). A great example would be a cell phone strap that was a toilet made out of a skeleton, or the squeezable poop capsule toys!

I think I’ll stick to my cute things….like Nyanpire, the vampire cat!

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Posted by on 26/01/2011 in Festival, Foods, Fun Things!


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Bitter Chocolate Oreo Bar!

The perfect companion to the Sparkling Chocolate!

AS I mentioned before, with the chocolate drink…Japan is great for interesting new flavors. Now, honestly, I haven’t gone back to the Sates for almost four years, so I’m not sure if this has also appeared there as well, but….the Bitter Chocolate Oreo bar is awesome!

And it’s not just Oreos. A lot of different Kit-Kat flavors can be found over here; lemonade (disgusting), caramel, strawberry shortcake, orange and more.

But remember, just because it’s a new flavor doesn’t mean it’s delicious…would you like to try the Aloe Kit Kat? How about a Soy Sauce Kit Kat? Wasabi?

Oreos do come in other flavors (strawberry and banana come to mind) but Kit-Kats have them beat!

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Posted by on 25/01/2011 in Foods


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