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A celebration of Japanese culture.

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  • 12/13/11--14:00: Christmas Cards in Japan
  • It’s J-Festa time again, and this month’s theme is Christmas in Japan. Christmas in Japan is a curious thing. December 25th is not a holiday in Japan, and most of the action takes place on December 24th, which is a big date night. By the end of December 25th, most traces of Christmas have completely gone [...]

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    Japanese Christmas cardJapanese Christmas card

    Japanese Christmas cardJapanese Christmas card

    Japanese Christmas cardJapanese Christmas card

    Japanese Christmas cardJapanese Christmas card

    Japanese Christmas cardJapanese Christmas card

    Japanese Christmas cardJapanese Christmas card

    Japanese Christmas cardJapanese Christmas card

    Japanese Christmas cardJapanese Christmas card

    Japanese Christmas cardJapanese Christmas card

    Japanese Christmas cardJapanese Christmas card

    Japanese Christmas cardJapanese Christmas card

    Japanese Christmas cardJapanese Christmas card

    Japanese Christmas cardJapanese Christmas card

    Christmas card from KazueChristmas card from Kazue

    j-festaj-festa

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  • 12/19/11--23:00: 30 Things I Love About Japan
  • It’s my birthday today, so I’ve decided to write a very self-indulgent post featuring some of the things I love about Japan. I’ve picked 30 random topics off the top of my head, in no particular order – one for every candle on my virtual birthday cake. 1. Takoyaki Osaka’s favourite octopus balls! 2. Daibutsu [...]

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    Takoyaki, OsakaTakoyaki, Osaka

    Large Buddha (Daibutsu)Large Buddha (Daibutsu)

    Ghibli MuseumGhibli Museum

    MochiMochi

    SakuraSakura

    Omamori at Meiji JinguOmamori at Meiji Jingu

    Hitsumabushi at Shirakawa, Sakae, NagoyaHitsumabushi at Shirakawa, Sakae, Nagoya

    Birthday RilakkumaBirthday Rilakkuma

    Hello KittyHello Kitty

    Leaving party, 2nd April 2011Leaving party, 2nd April 2011

    Hokkaido omiyage from Ishiya's Shiroi Koibito ParkHokkaido omiyage from Ishiya's Shiroi Koibito Park

    Fuji-sanFuji-san

    Matcha latteMatcha latte

    Harajuku & Yoyogi ParkHarajuku & Yoyogi Park

    MaikoMaiko

    Nagoya-style breakfast: ogura toastNagoya-style breakfast: ogura toast

    Kimonos, Nara, 2nd January 2009Kimonos, Nara, 2nd January 2009

    Here comes the sushiHere comes the sushi

    ラムネ (Ramune) Kit Kat - it's blue, and it's fizzy!ラムネ (Ramune) Kit Kat - it's blue, and it's fizzy!

    KaraokeKaraoke

    Jizo at ZojyojiJizo at Zojyoji

    EmaEma

    Beer in Za-Watami (Izakaya)Beer in Za-Watami (Izakaya)

    Shimogamo ShrineShimogamo Shrine

    Kiyomizu-deraKiyomizu-dera

    Harajuku & Yoyogi ParkHarajuku & Yoyogi Park

    TaikoTaiko

    Haiku...Haiku...

    Fukagawa Hachiman FestivalFukagawa Hachiman Festival

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  • 12/25/11--00:00: Let’s Merry Xmas!
  • Merry Christmas everyone!  メリークリスマス! Thank you for reading all year and sticking with me even though I left Japan. Please keep reading in the New Year, as I will strive to keep up my promise of weekly posts about Japan, Japanese culture, and Japanese-related happenings in the UK. If you’ve never experienced Christmas in Japan, [...]

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    Christmas Hello KittyChristmas Hello Kitty

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    Christmas Day had a little burst of Japanese fun this year – Hello Kitty Christmas Crackers! I was really excited to see that my mum had found Kitty-chan crackers in Tesco. Hello Kitty seems to be really popular in the UK at the moment, which is good news for me. The crackers contained some pretty [...]

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    Hello Kitty CrackersHello Kitty Crackers

    Hello Kitty CrackersHello Kitty Crackers

    Hello Kitty CrackersHello Kitty Crackers

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  • 12/31/11--12:32: Matcha & Azuki Roll Cake
  • As a special post-Christmas treat, my mum surprised me by preparing all the ingredients to make the matcha and azuki roll cake I had recently drooled over on the Japan Centre website. I’ll admit that both of us thought it might be a bit of a challenge, but it was a challenge we were willing [...]

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    photo_matcha_role_cakephoto_matcha_role_cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

    Making matcha & azuki roll cakeMaking matcha & azuki roll cake

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    Back in January I accepted WordPress’s Post A Week challenge, although I was worried that I might not be able to keep it up. (There was a Post A Day challenge too, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that!) Now, WordPress has invited us challengers to reflect on our accomplishments with eleven [...]

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    Me & Kitty chanMe & Kitty chan

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    Happy New Year! あけましておめでとうございます! Wishing all the readers of Haikugirl’s Japan a very Happy New Year! 2012 is the year of the dragon. According to Amy Chavez, “Japanese dragons are said to be benevolent but don’t be fooled. They can still be very wrathful.” But Amy also goes on to say that dragons are the [...]

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    New Year Card 2012New Year Card 2012

    Seimei ShrineSeimei Shrine

    A Chunichi DragonA Chunichi Dragon

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    The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for Haikugirl’s Japan. (From: Kanzanji: A big Buddha, a beautiful lake, and a lot of walking!) Here are some excerpts from my annual report: The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 120,000 times in 2011. If it were an [...]

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    Kanzanji BuddhaKanzanji Buddha

    March 11March 11

    Japanese shoesJapanese shoes

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  • 01/02/12--10:56: Totoro slippers!
  • Totoro slippers. So, so, so cute. I caught up with a friend today and received these as a belated birthday present. I was so excited that I had to share them with you all. Not only will my feet be cozy this winter, they will be ridiculously cute!

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    Totoro SlippersTotoro Slippers

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  • 01/05/12--11:55: Weekly Shiritori #1
  • Shiritori? What’s that then? Shiritori (しりとり) is a fun Japanese word game which I learnt while waiting for a train one day in Japan. You can play the game with two or more players, and it’s a great way to practice your Japanese vocabulary. The game is played like this: The first player says a Japanese [...]

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    ShiritoriShiritori

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    With only seven weeks to go, I’m starting to get excited about the return of the UK’s biggest J-culture event: Hyper Japan! Hyper Japan 2012 Spring will take place from Friday 24th – Sunday 26th February at Brompton Hall at Earls Court (London). Check out the official website: hyperjapan.co.uk. More details about the events at Hyper [...]

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    ttl_hyperjapan2012ttl_hyperjapan2012

    img_mainimg_main

    asonatsuko_webjpgasonatsuko_webjpg

    img_SushiAwardsimg_SushiAwards

    img_SakeAwardsimg_SakeAwards

    img_MikiSatoshiimg_MikiSatoshi

    img_cosplay_topimg_cosplay_top

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  • 01/07/12--15:55: Japan in NYC
  • Just before Christmas I went on a little holiday to New York and while I was there I made sure to keep my eyes open for Japanese-related stuff. I wasn’t disappointed! On my first night I visited Starbucks and was delighted to discover that the rumours I had heard were true – Matcha (Green Tea) [...]

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    Matcha Frappuccino & the Empire State BuildingMatcha Frappuccino & the Empire State Building

    St Paul's ChapelSt Paul's Chapel

    Hello KittyHello Kitty

    Hello Kitty Red Cross nurseHello Kitty Red Cross nurse

    Hello Kitty StoreHello Kitty Store

    Me & Hello Kitty at Radio CityMe & Hello Kitty at Radio City

    Hello TittyHello Titty

    Super MarioSuper Mario

    Sumo cushionSumo cushion

    Lychee ラムネ (Lychee Ramune)Lychee ラムネ (Lychee Ramune)

    Kimono chocolatesKimono chocolates

    Kimono chocolatesKimono chocolates

    7 Eleven7 Eleven

    Strand BookstoreStrand Bookstore

    Str本ndStr本nd

    KinokuniyaKinokuniya

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  • 01/07/12--16:21: Reasons to visit Japan #1
  • It’s no secret that I would happily book a holiday to Japan today if I had the money, and I’m always on the look out for more reasons to add to my list of “why it’s ok to consider getting into debt to visit the country I love”. So, throughout the year I will sometimes [...]

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    starbucksstarbucks

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    While visiting the Manga at the British Museum - Drawings by Hoshino Yukinobu exhibition at the British Museum yesterday I frequently heard people asking each other “what’s manga?”, and so I will begin this post by answering that question. In the words of Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere, “Manga, which we might translate playfully as ‘pictures run riot’ is [...]

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    Professor Munakata's British Museum AdventureProfessor Munakata's British Museum Adventure

    Professor Munakata's British Museum AdventureProfessor Munakata's British Museum Adventure

    Professor Munakata's British Museum AdventureProfessor Munakata's British Museum Adventure

    munakata st paulsmunakata st pauls

    munakatamunakata

    Professor Munakata's British Museum AdventureProfessor Munakata's British Museum Adventure

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  • 01/09/12--00:00: My Girlfriend is a Cyborg
  • Cyborg She or 僕の彼女はサイボーグ (Boku no Kanojo wa Saibōgu) – literally, My Girlfriend is a Cyborg – is a bit of a mind-bending movie. This 2008 Japanese film by South Korean director & writer Kwak Jae-yong stars Haruka Ayase and Keisuke Koide, and is about a geeky boy’s relationship with a cyborg from the future. I [...]

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    IMG_5705IMG_5705

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  • 01/12/12--14:44: Weekly Shiritori #2
  • Last week I started my new weekly series: Weekly Shiritori. The first word was “shiritori” (the name of the game!) – click here if you missed that! So, “shiritori” is written しりとり, which means that this week’s word has to begin with り (ri). I had one topic suggestion from a fellow blogger, Alyse of [...]

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    sumosumo

    Sumo on TVSumo on TV

    Sumo, Nagoya, 20th July 2008Sumo, Nagoya, 20th July 2008

    Sumo, Nagoya, 20th July 2008Sumo, Nagoya, 20th July 2008

    Sumo, Nagoya, 20th July 2008Sumo, Nagoya, 20th July 2008

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  • 01/15/12--11:46: A night at the opera
  • This is a long overdue post. So long overdue, in fact, that I considered not bothering. However, I’ve never had the chance to write about opera before, so here goes… On November 26th I went to see a production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Theatre Royal in Brighton. This was my first time to [...]

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    madama butterflymadama butterfly

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    Heike Ghost, 2007, gelatine silver print © Akiko Takizawa As I gaze at the photographs behind the glass, I feel a sense of loss, a deep sadness, and a hint of mystery. I don’t pretend to be able to understand or interpret the work of Akiko Takizawa, a Japanese artist based in London, but I [...]

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    4.Heike Ghost4.Heike Ghost

    11_Headland No 1_200711_Headland No 1_2007

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  • 01/19/12--16:19: Winter in Japan
  • This month’s J-Festa is all about “Winter in Japan“. Since the announcement of the theme, I’ve been trying to decide what to write about. I lived in the Chubu region of Japan, so I haven’t experienced harsh winters. It snowed a couple of times, but it was light snow that didn’t last long. It was [...]

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    Seafood nabeSeafood nabe

    around-the-heated-tablearound-the-heated-table

    Rilakkuma Yutanpo (hot water bottle)Rilakkuma Yutanpo (hot water bottle)

    Vending machine with TV screenVending machine with TV screen

    Osechi, 1st January 2009Osechi, 1st January 2009

    j-festaj-festa

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  • 01/20/12--16:06: Weekly Shiritori #3
  • Last week’s Weekly Shiritori post was about rikishi (りきし / 力士) so, this week, I need to start with  し (shi). A big thank you to everyone who left comments and made suggestions. I really liked Sarah’s suggestion of “shogi” /  しょうぎ(将棋), Japanese chess, but I don’t know anything about it and wouldn’t be able to write [...]

    HaikugirlHaikugirl

    Japan_shikoku_map_smallJapan_shikoku_map_small

    Ehime-ShikokuEhime-Shikoku

    shikokushikoku

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