OSAKA 大阪

My personal choice in Japan.

My second destination is already well-known to me and, if you read my blog notes before, majority of my previous articles were written here, based on Osaka knowledge. 

So, it is clearly cheating from me to write a blog now. Doesn’t matter – I believe you can always discover something new if you really looking for it.

The reason why I called Osaka my personal choice is it is the place where you can experience everything you need in Japan if you really looking for it. 

First of all, looking at the city from gorgeous and unique architecture design of the Umeda Sky Garden, you will clearly see that the city is very modern and reminds you a bit of a Tokyo. When you walk down from the view point and start looking around the city centre, you realise how many international places around – another similarity with Tokyo. There is one huge difference, I would say one advantage over Tokyo, the Osaka city was not built crowded and touristic. The city obviously attracts millions of tourists a year, however, it is not trying to attract them with its touristic look like Tokyo does. This is what makes this place unique to me and my experience.

Throwing back to those long 7 years ago when I arrived to Osaka for a couple of months of summer holidays. That time I didn’t enter to Japanese school so was by myself and I needed to make some friends. 

I went to Starbucks (yes, before Australia I thought it was really cool place to be lol) and found a brochure with international meet ups. My English was weak but good enough to understand what’s written there regarding type of events, dates, locations and other important details. I carried that brochure everywhere like my passport. 

My International meet up journey started when I walked it to meet and greet at one Irish pub in Shinsaibashi. No-one checked my ID when I came to the bar and ordered Asahi. I sat down next to the international group – Canadian and American guys and one Japanese girl. They started talk to me. Found may first friends! 

Interesting to say that Ai (that amazing Japanese girl is in Melbourne now doing her own business in massage and beauty industry). We managed to catch in Melbourne last year – amazing that we both ended up in Australia. 

Those international friends took me on board and introduced me to meet up organisers. They took me to bike tours to Kobe and Kyoto. They got me to volunteer to international parties where I was given wristbands at the entrance. Then they were sneaking a VIP wristband to me so I could enter a party being 17 year old. Considering over age is 20 in Japan, I wouldn’t clearly experience incredible parties walking out the venue at sunrise time!

Anyways, the bottom line, Osaka was, is and will always be international hub in Japan but more inclusive than gigantic Tokyo. Going to Irish, English or international cafes pubs to find out where they meet up – I still believe that trip was my very best one because of that. 

Osaka is a bit cleaner – again, due to its size. It is easier to navigate around the city, the metro lines are more structured. Due to the fact that I have been there so many times, I can easily give you an overview of some of the areas to visit in Osaka. I went for a run the other morning and can say that outdoor walk/run is the best way to discover hidden shops and fascinating areas. Many beautiful stores are literally condensed in the city to fit more. 

FASHION – I have already mentioned Shinsaibashi. This area of Osaka is famous for its shopping lines (“leave all your money in Shinsaibashi”), great dining and places for parties and night life. 

Shinsaibashi never sleeps. You can shop there from 10-11:00am until late night. I could see how some people were buying new party dresses, got changed in them and went straight to night clubs and pubs to keep going. 

Shinsaibashi has everything from Japanese local brands to world famous outlets; from modern styles to luxury brands. There is a big shopping mall in the heart of Shinsaibashi called Daimaru. Daimaru is like Bondi Junction Westfield – this is how good it is!

Another thing to mention is better not to plan a day trip to Osaka if you plan to see some of the Osaka’s attractions. You need to spend the whole decent day to appreciate the fashion and go through stylish outlets in Shinsaibashi. If you are aiming for fashionista title, it is a big lie to say you will get enough fashion inspiration for a couple of hours in Shinsaibashi. You need at least one full day. Then head to an Irish pub at the end of the day to share your fashion knowledge with other Internationals. If you discuss it with Japanese, it might be even more different though as they have different vision in fashion.

FITNESS – Osaka has encouraged me to use the stairs over elevators or escalators. There are a lot of walks and transfers from one metro line to another. Go for stairs! Also, due to lesser crowds, it is much nicer and better to run outdoor in Osaka. My only recommendation is try to do it before 7:20am – 1) the sun goes up and it is super humid at this time of the year (summer is even worse); 2) people are start heading to work. You may notice that many people have to travel intercity so all the metros and shinkansens are packed from early mornings. 

 Just given a small overview of the 1-day Osaka itinerary so you can cover “different aspects of Japan”.

  • Start with the Umeda Sky Garden. This place is open at 9:30am. Normally, nothing is open in Japan till 10-11:00am – they are not morning people at all (what a shame!). It will also give you nice natural morning light to overlook the whole city and start the day right. If you are into history, there is the illustrated museum inside the Sky Garden;
  • Head to the Osaka Castle – this is one of my favourite castles in Japan (still consider Akita has better ones but anyways). I love it because there are a lot of small gardens and temples around the castle to explore. When you get to the Castle, head up to the 8th Floor and start exploring from top to the bottom;
  • Head to Dotonbori river area taking Namba station 16th exit. It is very nice and beautiful there. You can also take the tour of the river cruising around crabs and octopuses on surrounded buildings;
  • After the river, time for get decent lunch – sushi is the go for me (Japanese Diet by Angie). There is an amazing sushi restaurant with English menu with freshest raw fish. You don’t need even worry to order anything, the plates are passing through you with whatever you like! The restaurant is located on that big crab street opposite direction to Dotonbori gates on the Starbucks side (right).
  • Also, try their popular Takoyaki that are everywhere on that street. They are very filling and made with true Japanese traditions;
  • Then jump to Shinsaibashi shops and get lost there!
  • End of at a nice Irish pub to relax as you might burn your legs after Shinsaibashi walks. Get some refreshments (I would still suggest NOT to order food in pubs and eat before – all these fish and chips and burgers you can eat everywhere; real Japanese food only made by Japanese).

Ange xx

TOKYO 東京

I guess I can do some decent summary of Tokyo based on last 2 days. It is a bit of a cheating from me to write for the first time about the country where I have been about 9 times already, however, considering I have never had an idea to write up a blog before, would be nice to write what I got out from this particular trip.

I tried to look at the trip with fresh eyes – taking just minor knowledge I picked from my Japanese trips in the past.

Currently in the speed train called Shinkansen – travelling between destinations within the country is best by Shinkansen. With the speed up to 234 km/h you can easily get from Tokyo to Kyoto crossing 456.43 km within few hours.

Shinkansen can be at a speed maximum 320 km/h. TIP: pre-book rail pass for the duration of your trip – it will save up a lot of time, energy and money.

Anyways, Tokyo – what can I say? 

To start with, it is a well-known international capital. If you have never been in Japan, the cultural differences can slightly shock you so better to start with Tokyo. There are some international places where you can meet a lot of Germans, English, Irish, Canadians, Russians, etc. International pubs are everywhere in inner Tokyo. We went to the English pub called ‘The Mermaid” to watch a rugby game – felt like somewhere in Europe. 

Get ready to struggle with Tokyo metro. It is complicated to start with as they have a lot of lines and separated train links. Spend some time at a station to figure out the algorithm and it will be easy going forward. 

The best areas to your “touristic” journey would be Ginza (considered to be one of the most luxury shopping areas in the world), Shibuya, Tokyo station – they are designed for internationals – you will find a lot of places with English explanations there. That was our destinations for the day 1.

Arriving at 6:15am, we had to wait a little bit and the shuttle delivered us straight to the Hotel in the amazing DisneyLand. Sheraton provided with an amazing service. I have to mention the fantastic Japanese hospitality below.

We all humans and we all can make mistakes. Japanese people are pretty accurate but also humans (as much as they implemented thousands of robots!). The check in didn’t happen until 3:00pm so we had to leave the bags at lobby and we were promised they would be taken to our rooms as a part of the service. Great – heading to Tokyo Station to explore the area. 

When we got back, we realised the bags were unattended for the whole day. The service staff had some miscommunication. They were extremely apologetic and offered Marriott Bonvoy members benefits i.e. VIP lounge access, complimentary breakfasts, extended check outs and many others. The service was exceptional after that. 

The best thing about Tokyo is the fact that it contains a little bit of everything. If you want some Japanese culture touch, go to Asakusa. Asakusa (浅草) is a district in Taitō, Tokyo, Japan, famous for the Sensō-ji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon. There are several other temples in Asakusa, as well as various festivals, such as the Sanja Matsuri. You can also experience Nakamise shopping street there – something similar to Manly or Bondi markets. Many stalls will offer you handmade Japanese souvenirs and treats. Walking all way down the street, you will get to the tea shop where you can watch Japanese special brewing technique and taste some real stuff 🙂 

As to temples, since you are there, you must go to Asakusa’s main attraction is Sensoji, a very popular Buddhist temple, built in the 7th century. The temple is approached via the Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries. Pretty much all temples we visited are free of charge.

Being first time in Japan, you will be amazed by their accuracy. If your train is at 12:58pm, it will come and leave strictly at 12:58pm – no early or late. If there is a delay, it will be communicated to you at their earliest convenience. 

FASHION – amazed with the contract. Walking in Ginza and Shibuya, you are walking through posh shopping stores and centers. However, Japanese people are dressing up very modest and reserved. I expected more dressed up people including tourists on the streets – I felt how people were sometimes looking at me because of my “dressing up attire”. Realising that I didn’t use much of the make up – didn’t help – I was still in the centre of attention. I remember when I came to Japan first time and was a teenager, Japanese loved to take pictures of me. I believe they would do it now again but considering I am adult now (lol), they might be hesitant to ask. In general, being a white European with, ideally, blond hair will make you a celebrity there.

I started to capture my adventure in my Instagram stories and was happy to realise I was re-posted by Fashion World Tokyo – feeling I have just gotten unofficial reward of being fashionista in the country of sunrises!

Due to the fact that Japan doesn’t have much of the land, they build the whole new world underground. I would suggest, get out of the stations and take some time to walk on streets from station to station – this is where you will see the country at its fullest and can find interesting places to see and visit. Also, you will be able to experience fascinating architecture contract – huge modern skyscraper will stand behind oldest 6th century temple – it is breathtaking experience if you appreciate excellence and beauty around yourself. 

FITNESS – On the last last day before check out (extended!), I went for a run and managed to run around the whole DisneyLand – incredible destination to do outdoor cardio. I had to head back around 7:40ish am due to humid heat and Japanese starring at the white European running around. Considering Japanese are running in very enclosed clothing, I was not SO dressed (wearing shorts and sports bra) so it could be embarrassing for them. Oh well, had to head back 🙂 

Outdoor running (especially in the morning) is a great way to explore the area next to you. We haven’t gotten to the actual DisneyLand or DisneySea (age problems 🙂 ) but I appreciated the beauty around just exploring the area on my two feet. 

At the end of the trip there will be some time to spend last day in Tokyo and I am aiming for Legendary Kill Bill cafe , Kawasaki suburb to pick up goodies for my Ninja Baby back home and Rainbow bridge. 

Now off to Kyoto!

Ange xx

Japanese Diet by Angie

I am after easy and enjoable diets as I believe in a few things that I follow.

1) Life is too short – enjoy it! Food is an essitial part of it;

2) I used to limit myself with food – felt horrible, got sick often. You need a proper nutrition in life;

3) Anti-social behaviour – when you are on diet, you are trying to avoid going out with friends as they all eat what you have restricted yourslef.

There are more reasons – just a few in the top of my mind.

Since I had started my Japanese trip yesterday (yes, I am here again!), I would like to share my Japanese Diet that I had already unintentionally followed already. When I weight myself after Japan trip(s) for around 10 days, I am normally 2-3 kgs lighter and this all without much effort.

I am here for 14 days tis time so the result should be even better.

THREE MAIN INGREDIENTS TO INCLUDE:

  • Sushi (or preferably sashimi)
  • Green Tea (heaps – 2 litres a day is great)
  • Greens

FEW MINOR WARNINGS:

  • If you are a female, be careful eat TOO MUCH fish IF you are 1) pregnant or 2) about to get pregnant 0r 3) breastfeeding. Many sorts of fish contains mercury that can damage brain development of a baby. Not my words – check this dietitian out – Leslie Beck;
  • Avoid too much soy sauce. It goes together with sushi/sushimi – true story. But the less you can have it, the better for you. One of my next healthy article to be is about consumption salt over sugar (still in production). Long story short here, avoid sodium that is overpacked in soy sauce. From weight perspective, sodium will hold your body weight; from health prospective, it increases your blood pressure. If you have had some, follow up with green tea as it reduces sodium greatly;
  • Fish is great, but mix it up with other Japanese proteins – tofu is yummy, Japanese BBQ worth a million.

Raw fish gives you a lot of required nutrition for protein intake. Having rice in your diet, will give you enough carb energy boost without any saturated fats. Strive for brown rice though, it is healthier, more nutritious and clearly has a lower glycemic index. Finally, greens, go for special Japanese greens that has A LOT OF good items for your metabolic rate – seaweed salad, edamine beans. And sip green tea everywhere. That’s about it !

Of course, you need to try amazing dishes such as tempura, okonominoyaki, udon, ramen, etc. while you are in Japan. The dining here is outstanding and you definitely didn’t try this in any European restaurants that serves Japanese food. Moreover, they have much lesser preservatives that stops your metabolism. Treat yourself with it.

The whole idea of the diet is to eat clean, stay active (don’t be a boring tourist – get out of bus and explore on your feet) and consume solid amount of green tea that is everywhere in Japan (see my previous blog article about coffee and tea in Japan).

I will be back here for some overview of my first Japanese destination – Tokyo shortly xx

Script Writer – Life Creator

It is impressive how you can swim against the tides but still end up where you haven’t planned to be.
I believe that there are things that meant to happen regardless your will.
I believe that it still doesn’t let you to ignore the responsibility for your own life.
Imagine you are a script writer for a Hollywood film 🎞 – would you carelessly let a new movie script to be another fiction rubbish?
What if you are a film director of that rubbish – do you really want to sign your name off for that?
What if you are a producer of that film – you don’t want to invest your money in rubbish, do you?
Imagine you are writing ✍️ a script 📝 for your life – you don’t want this to be a rubbish.
When you have a pen and a paper to write up a script – go after your dreams there, not people.
Right sketch of your script will do its job for you and will cast the right people in your life.
Do not forget that you still hold that pen and paper – you can re-write it when needed. Also, keep in mind that some casts might want to leave your new creation as it’s not part of their plan. But it is the plan for your dreams – well, then you know what you do.
Get in and out – part of your life. Natural flow – the real beauty of life.
Blog is like a mini version of that script – you can create whatever you want and it will attract likes from right people.
I’ll finish this post to start writing my script.

~Loud Thoughts By Me

Make a Magic..with the Water Bottle

Being fitness and healthy lifestyle advocate and ambassador helps me to discover amazing things that support my fitness journey. I have already shared the importance of water consumption in my blog. I have been sent a fantastic gift from one German company called John Hancock – Smart Drinking Flask. My everyday item that I take with me in my hand bag – this magical water bottle.

The button of the bottle cup mainly contains a natural ore called Alps. It is a rare mineral that can react instantaneously when exposed to water and has strong activity, which can help promote blood circulation accelerating metabolism.

Secondly, it might electrolyze water into H + and OH-, OH- Can combine with water molecules to form negative ions, which have strong reducibility. It can help reduce free radicals, weakening alkaline fluids providing an anti-oxidant effect.

Thirdly, it might help water turn into smaller molecular groups allegedly from 5-6. This small molecular group is a good carrier of nutrients with stronger penetration and 30% higher solubility than normal water. It can help dissolve fat, metabolize bowel stool and toxic or harmful substances.

This new German invention is always with me

Finally, Alps ore contain Mg ions that can be absorbed by the human body. Magnesium ions can activate more than 300 enzymes to participate in metabolism, and can be widely involved in the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

So based on the above findings, you can clearly understand why this is my every day choice wherever I am: gym, work, walk, meeting, home. Check out this article too – https://www.abc-7.com/story/40768215/a-new-german-invention-drinking-water-may-have-a-new-effect-on-the-human-body

My everyday fitness plan at the 38X Fitness Manly

Winter ❄️ Fashion down under

Never given a credit to my recent trip to Melbourne yet. I am glad that the brand company visit and a couple of fashion shoots there happened at the moment when I had low inspiration in fashion and style. 

Melbourne is the Australian hub of fashion. Let’s face it – the weather is not great there, it is bloody freezing. It gives, though, a fantastic platform for fashion: scarfs, hats, caps, fur coats, shoes, etc, etc, etc. It is so cold there so people use “layers” of clothing to keep themselves warm enough (sounds like my Motherland haha). You can play around with it so much: and this is what Melbourne does. I walked on Collins street, sometimes did short cuts through graffiti lines and just had the best fashion inspiration.

I love to live by the beach and don’t want to change it. However, the fashion can be boring by the beach. Melbourne is now my Fashion Gallery to scoop creativity, get inspired, feel style. 

In general, Australian winter gives a plenty of opportunities for fashion. I was doing some observations and picked few “common trends”.

The difference between the Australian Fashion Hub (Melbourne) and Sydney is that Melbourne adds more bright colours into appearance and accessories. There is also a big tendency in one-colour outfits that is primarily bright again.

I love fur add-ons to my outfits and Melbourne is perfect for it: I could wear fur hat, coat and feel like home! Sydney is much more modest and dominant with “Teddy bear” type of coats. Also, haven’t really seen anyone wearing many stylish hats around Sydney which is upsetting.

Deep Emerald green was starring the whole season – which is good and bad at the same time. I love that type of green – it does suit my eyes and face features and I tried to stick to green palette in wardrobe until I realised it is too much green around. Walking around Sydney Westfield and David Jones, I could pick how many brands pulled out their best new arrival deep green outfits. I have seen many women attending high profile events in different shapes of dresses but similar colours. I had to stop wearing green (as much as I love it) for half of the season. 

It has been sad to see how a fantastic high fashion trend has been destroyed by the Australian retailers…another reason to shop overseas…

Sydney has found its own niche in winter trends this time. Being less fashionable (sorry, Sydney, still love you more than Melbourne!) than Melbourne, I found that mixing grey (one-shaded grey, checked, silver-grey) with an intense bright colour. 

And, finally happy to see that many Australian women moved away from long boots and cat eye look (yes, stylish and look sexy but I call it “the laziest version of out of dated style”). I have noticed more appearances with short boots that are mostly one-coloured zipped ones. Looks awesome and can work well with the idea of one-colour outfit with bright colour accessories.

One more month of winter before we can take it easy and put on lighter clothes!

Life can be good when you are disliked

or how to deal with “those favourites”

New Loud Thoughts – been a while

I know people have different opinions of me. Some of them are negative. 

In the past it could hurt. In the past there was a desire to hide or run away. In the past it could cause tears. People seemed rude. In the past there was a temptation to be liked by everyone..

In the present I damn love it. I can feel that I am a better version of myself when I cannot please a crowd – makes me feel I am growing faster than that crowd. I like when not everyone likes me – it makes me feel that I have different points of view, unique style, interesting life that makes people talk of me. It is addictive. I don’t like people who are liked by everyone – they sound too fake to me…please, argue in return if I am wrong but, honestly, there is something wrong with those “everyone’s favourites”..

The only thing I know in this game is I always need to be fair with myself: do what I love to do; do what I won’t be ashamed in the future; do what makes people who love me proud of me.

Time for more opportunities for self-development, growth..and time to annoy “those everyone’s favourites” with my life successes. 

Just wanted to expand on what to do when that society judgement tries to impact on you.

When you fly to Melbourne to get this shot ❤

Make those judgemental people confused. When you hear a “story” about yourself, first of all, congratulate yourself – you are an interesting person, you are talked about. You have something that turns other people’s attention from their boring lives to you amazing and colourful one.

Second of all, do nothing. 

Seriously, just be spontaneously quiet (it is easy for me to be “spontaneously quiet” because I am normally not the quietest one).

Never confirm what they say about you – not because it is no ones business or you want to keep it quiet. It just doesn’t worth your attention – please, value your time, do not be like them.

Never decline what they say about you – not because they would think you just protect yourself or you are a lier. JUST VALUE what they don’t – your own time.

To conclude, finish it on a high note – smile. Give them something that they don’t have – positivity and smile. 

Be generous with it – they won’t use it anyways because it has come from you and people normally make this simple mistake of measuring others based on themselves. 

Or

You can bomb it – be honest , make them meet brutal facts (remember if you choose to be harsh, go to the end; otherwise, it’s useless) but keep that smile…to annoy them again. 

Then observe – develop the skill of reading others. You will get all the cards ♦️ in your hands then. How to use these cards ♥️ – will be decided by your angel or demon.

Life is your own theatre