A cinnamon roll with caramel sauce drizzled on top

this cinnamon roll from a lil place called JO MAMA slapped.

February 26

Bicycle parked in front of Yamato River

February 25

A Bridgestone TB1-e e-bicycle, in ocean blue.

my sick new wheels have arrived! this is the Bridgestone TB1-e.

unfortunately the weather is pretty garbo today, so its proper maiden voyage will have to wait.

February 24

Entrance to a bar called “Call me, tell me” disguised as a phone booth.

February 23

so, I made a (tiny, very incomplete, super jank) video game last week! it's available to try out here, although I highly recommend using Windows even for the browser version (some weird technical issues that are out of my control.)

this netted me an A in my final (for now) Uni paper, so I'm pretty stoked with it! definitely hoping to build more stuff in the near future.

February 22

lately I've been super sluggish with updates, because I've been wanting to build some new functionality (like multi-image posts) prior to posting. not gonna let that get in the way anymore, so will aim for one post a day. (the game jam went pretty well - I'll post about that tomorrow.)

this is what you'll find after an hour's walk in Minoh! the 滝 (waterfall) itself isn't especially spectacular, but the journey is nice and there are a ton of vendors (I got an iced yuzu drink.) apparently this is a very popular destination in the warmer months, as the whole walk is very sheltered.

filed under "quintessential japanese aesthetic"

the craft beer place also somehow serves my favourite incarnation of apple pie so far? ¯_(ツ)_/¯

found a sick lil craft beer place at Minoh Station. this was a cider! specifically, a black cider - using apple juice and dark malt. very unique flavour.

Glorious fresh rolled egg sando cut into quarters, with a glass of cola on the side

this is one of the cheapest, simplest yet tastiest and most satisfying meals I’ve had since I arrived here. tiny little café near a tram station, hardly any indication it was even open, but a lil obachan greeted me and recommended this dish. freshly cooked tamagoyaki (rolled egg) in fluffy buttered bread with cucumber to cut through the oil. solid portion too. glorious.

February 16

1823steps walked today

February 13

2979steps walked today

An ice cream… sundae, I guess? With frozen fruit on top. In a plastic tub. From 7/11.

nearing the end of the game jam! this ice cream with frozen fruit is my favourite dessert atm. it slaps.

February 12

8590steps walked today

February 11

5717steps walked today

February 10

6175steps walked today

A Japanese beer with chips and a chilli hot dog
The Nagai branch of McDonalds

my local maccas kinda looks like it was made using the shell of a typical NZ house.

February 9

2280steps walked today

A set meal including fried pork and onions, rice, potato salad, pickled vegetables, miso soup and green tea.

what ~$12 NZD gets you for lunch at a local mom & pop izakaya. a small thing I appreciate about Japan is that beverage prices are generally sane - getting a soft drink with my meal is a couple of dollars tops.

February 8

6857steps walked today

February 7

8379steps walked today

A surprisingly decent selfie with the classic pink M2 tee

on Wednesdays we start game jams! if it goes well, I’ll share something here. if it doesn’t, just forget I mentioned it 🤫

February 6

6901steps walked today

A dilapidated building covered in power ranger figurines

February 5

4759steps walked today

An empty bowl and some sake.

pretty sure this is gonna be my local yakitori place. better photos next time.

A massive meal with crab & egg main, gyoza, karāge, and bonito soup.


February 4

2323steps walked today

A… dog? Honestly my bad on this one team idk how to convey this

February 3

11490steps walked today

As-yet-uncooked tray of sukiyaki meat

this was sukiyaki meat with candy floss on top 🤔 kinda gimmicky but still tasted pretty good.

A boat of steaming hot takoyaki

finally tried the local takoyaki place! very gooey, mouth-destroyingly hot, and most importantly, delicious.

February 2

6430steps walked today

February 1

5223steps walked today

January 31

8353steps walked today

Two bowls of glorious food that I am struggling to recall the names of.

accidentally ordered double again 😅

Garion’s first (and hopefully last) feet pic, clad in pink socks.

on Wednesdays, we go fridge hunting.

January 30

11359steps walked today

January 29

14492steps walked today

View of Tokyo Tower from its base

January 28

8166steps walked today

January 27

7399steps walked today

January 26

18951steps walked today

Bowl of matcha tea with mochi treat beside it
Wide shot of Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo

back in Tokyo for the weekend. today’s destination was Hamarikyu Park. very serene, will look even cooler during sakura season.

January 25

5973steps walked today

January 24

5747steps walked today

January 23

8544steps walked today

January 22

9531steps walked today

Okonomiyaki cooking on a grill

yesterday I had my first proper sit down meal in a week. progress!

January 21

12802steps walked today

January 20

5633steps walked today

Sneak preview of apartment showcasing hallway and shoes by the door

made it back to Osaka in one piece, and got gas / power / internet up and running at the new apartment! tomorrow I find something to sleep on.

January 19

spent today resting in preparation for the trip back to Osaka tomorrow. will need to somehow furnish my new apartment sufficiently to live in it within 48 hours, which seemed much more achievable before I got disastrously ill 🥲 wish me luck!

January 18

467steps walked today

back into pretty rough shape today, think I overdid it with that bridge tour 🫠 if I didn’t have the entire rest of the year here, I’d be absolutely gutted to lose a whole week, but I’m trying to look on the bright side.

January 17

6765steps walked today

View from a bridge in Tokyo

still not feeling 100%, but made it outside for a solid walk today at least. (you can’t see it, but I promise I was wearing pink.)

January 16

676steps walked today

January 15

0steps walked today

today’s destination was… my hotel room. got some kinda flu. hoping it’ll bake out over the next day or two. shout out to Jenn for the medkit she meticulously crafted for exactly this scenario.

January 14

15719steps walked today

Main building hosting Tokyo Car Salon 2024

today’s destination is Tokyo Auto Salon.

January 13

11200steps walked today

January 12

19077steps walked today

tons of life admin today - (hopefully) organised an apartment in Osaka, registered for national health insurance and pension fund, opened a Japanese bank account, and made it to Tokyo for dinner. tomorrow my travel buddy goes on a major spending spree, and then on Sunday I’m alone again! next few weeks will be a bit haphazard but hopefully at the end of it i’ll have a stable base of operations 🙏 thanks for following along so far!

January 11

11599steps walked today

A massive fugu set meal at a restaurant in Hiroshima

today we ate fugu. very subtle flavour profile. regulation and practice is incredibly tight in Japan, so i suggest giving it a go if you ever get the chance.

January 10

14963steps walked today

A full bowl of shouyu ramen next to a mostly consumed one in Onomichi

finally had my first ramen since landing! overcompensated by accidentally ordering (and somehow finishing) two bowls. this is the specialty of Onomichi - shōyu broth with diced pork lard. tons of umami. highly recommended.

Gaz’s Apple Watch displaying the time in hot pink

on Wednesdays…

January 9

19620steps walked today

View of Hiroshima from Mt. Misen
The Gaz standing at the top of Mt. Misen

Mt. Misen, on Miyajima Island.

January 8

6830steps walked today

Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki
Sunset overlooking riverway near Hiroshima Peace Park, with a ferry travelling towards the camera

made it to Hiroshima. very bittersweet view after visiting the museum.

January 7

12428steps walked today

A penguin plush at a sake bar
My rental bicycle in front of an abandoned house

rode a bicycle for 3 hours today. less fit than I ever could have imagined 🫠

January 6

12279steps walked today

View of Sakurajima Island from Kagoshima Aquarium
View from Ferris wheel overlooking Kagoshima City

heading to Kagoshima today! it’s about as far south as you can go in Japan without getting on a boat.

January 5

10139steps walked today

Tuna slices sizzling on a lil burner

quick stop in Fukuoka tonight. definitely want to come back here for a longer visit at some stage. this izakaya was amazing.

January 4

9221steps walked today

Cooked Kobe beef at a Teppanyaki restaurant in Kobe

yep. peak beef.

Various cuts of uncooked Wagyu beef at a Teppanyaki restaurant in Kobe

hitting peak beef in Kobe.

January 3

14990steps walked today

A pretty garbage photo of Garion’s pink M2 shirt and also his chin

on Wednesdays, we… could really do with a shave.

A pot of crab and assorted vegetables cooking in a light broth at a king crab restaurant in Osaka

crab hotpot last night. glorious.

A small figure of Baby Behemoth from Final Fantasy XIV

met this lil unit at the Eorzea Cafe in Osaka.

January 2

14858steps walked today

A snowy landscape under the stars in Joetsu

a snap from my midnight waltz through rural Joetsu a couple of days back.

A warning sign on the wall of a subway in Osaka, next to the remnants of another sign that was removed at some point in the last 50 years

quite curious about what the other sign was, and when it was removed.

January 1

17868steps walked today

knew it would be a “when” not an “if”, but wasn’t expecting an earthquake this early on in the trip 😅

December 31

12641steps walked today

Signage at Universal Studios Japan

happy new year, y’all.

An incredibly steep staircase that may be the death of me

the stairs in our Osaka accommodation are…… cute. if i slip and die here, i leave my TV to jasper, and everything else to that guy that punched me outside a gas station in Auckland a couple weeks back 🫡

Overlooking the train platforms in Osaka Station

made it to Osaka! slightly less chaotic than Tokyo Station. off to Universal Studios tonight for the countdown.

View of graveyard in Kanazawa from the third floor of our accommodation

my view from the AirBnB in Kanazawa. definitely want to spend a bit more time in this city at some point.

December 30

16418steps walked today

Gyokuseninmaru Park

today’s stop is in Kanazawa. this is Gyokuseninmaru Park, which roughly translates as “picturesque af”.

December 29

10922steps walked today

Snowbank, with river and forest in background

first snow encounter! the weather has been really warm so I was worried I wouldn’t see any, but it’s still hanging around in today’s destination, Joetsu.

December 28

17189steps walked today

accidentally getting plastered in the middle of the day is a new(ish) experience 🫠 a “small” serving of sake is still designed to be SHARED, team

December 27

13450steps walked today

A mince pie and a mocha from Flat White Coffee Factory in Sendai

was recommended an “NZ-style café” called Flat White Coffee Factory in Sendai. the mince & cheese pie was a tad fancy compared to standard kiwi fare, but the mocha was legit!

December 26

21883steps walked today

Gyutan meal at a restaurant in Sendai

to be super clear we are mostly eating AMAZING food, like this gyutan banquet. feast ur eyes.

December 25

15396steps walked today

Top of KFC Christmas Meal bucket

we did it: KFC for Christmas. overall, i give it about a 6/10. original recipe chicken is less greasy in Japan, but I could still only get through a couple of pieces. shrimp gratin was shockingly decent. chocolate pudding was decidedly average. onwards and upwards.

Garden at Etsuin Temple

visited Matsushima today. extremely peaceful and scenic. highly recommended.

December 24

11921steps walked today

View of main road in Sendai from overpass
Pork cutlet sando and ticket to Sendai

next stop: Christmas in Sendai ⛄️

December 23

hot Japan travel tip: if you go to Uniqlo and end up in self-checkout, there's no barcode scanner. simply drop your items in the bin and magical math will be conducted. learn from my embarrassment 🥲


15892steps walked today

December 22

An airsoft rifle pointed at a target

randomly encountered an airsoft rifle centre yesterday!

16303steps walked today

December 21

19094steps walked today

View from overpass in Ginza, Tokyo

December 20

24615steps walked today

gaz wearing the pink

on Wednesdays we wear pink! (eventually, once our luggage arrives at the hotel and we overcome the jet lag a lil)

December 19

Meal and beverage at a Japanese Izakaya

first (tiny) meal at a bar in Shinjuku. was ace.

23consecutive hours awake on December 19th, 2023*

made it. more to share tomorrow.

made it. more to share tomorrow.