reach up and grab the sky
spring, summer, fall & winter; just you and me together
14th-Apr-2010 10:37 pm - Sakuras and Sunshine
tokidoki [makeup girl]

Last month I made a last-minute trip to Vancouver to meet up with my dear friend from Japan (and the friends he also brought with him, Kana-san and Y-san)! I rarely travel so last minute (I booked the trip about 2 weeks before I left) since usually I have to book my vacation months in advance, but luckily fate was on my side - the dates that my friend (we'll call him K-san, since Yumeko kindly thought of a name for me) was going to be in Canada I had somehow already requested vacation for!

I don't actually have a lot of photos from this trip (other than my pictures with my friends) because I go to Vancouver so often... everything looks the same. However the cool thing THIS time was that the Paralympic games were still continuing in the city so many of the outdoor Olympic events were still open. Except those pictures aren't on my camera. XD;


The first day I was on my own I browsed the 'Asian' part of Vancouver which is Richmond, where I spent most of my time at the only DAISO in Canada (and bought a lot of little tiny cosmetic jars to decant stuff into). Vancouver is normally pretty rainy but by afternoon the sky had cleared up so I decided to make my way to the bay.... I want to find the Olympic torch! This is one side of Canada place. North Vancouver is across the bay, and public transit actually includes a sea-shuttle that goes across the bay so you don't have to take the bus or train all the way around :)



Success! Luckily for me (and for K-san, Y-san, and Kana-san the next day) the torch was still lit for the Paralympic games. And I was especially patriotic since my Canada hoodie was the only one I'd brought with me! The platform designed for a better view of the torch was actually very well done - and the lines by the time I'd made it there were short and generally fast moving. I got to meet Paralympic Team Russia and Team USA while I made my trip the torch but I forgot to ask for pictures!


Day 2 with K-san and company we went to UBC which is probably the most gorgeous campus I've ever seen. This was in Nitobe Memorial Garden which is a beautiful Japanese garden... surrrounded by pine trees! If it weren't for the giant pine trees in the skyline I'd mistake it for a garden in Japan, which is probably the point. It was cherry blossom season in Vancouver while we were there, but because winter had JUST ended nothing else was green. Still pretty though :). We ran through this garden in 3 minutes as it was closing just as we walked up but the gatekeeper was kind enough to let us through. Don't let the serenity of this picture fool you ;)



This was taken on the Sea Bus which is probably the best value for 2.50$ transportation wise I have ever found in Canada. K-san and Kana-san were really excited to get to take a ferry across the bay... and pay 2.50$. The last day of my trip in Vancouver was INCREDIBLY busy as we had to cram in everything 'Canadian' we could before they left for Calgary (to visit me at home!). I don't think I have ever walked so much before - including my trip to Tokyo!



The last part of K-san's trip we actually spent in my hometown (Calgary) since apparently I talk about it so much he really wanted to see it! K-san and Kana-san asked me to take them out for 'something Canadian' and since Canada is such a jumble of different cultures this was actually quite difficult for me... until I remembered steak. Alberta is famous for its beef, after all :). This is my dish which was a flat-iron medium rare steak with bacon and mushroom gravy (yummy).

Afterwards we went for bubble tea since neither of them had had it (is it not popular in Japan? They had no idea what it was).



Love Forever, a Papaya and Mango bubble tea with jelly on the side, which is my new favourite drink. Haha.


I feel like nothing else has been really exciting in my life, though I am going to San Francisco and possibly Orlando this summer so that should be at least… 2 more posts here, right? XD;

28th-Feb-2010 04:41 pm - HELL. YES.
[hockey] 2010 GOLD


What an AMAZING Olympics!! After a less-than-ideal start I think we went on to ROCK these games!! 14 golds, a new record both for Canada AND for most gold medals won by a single country in a Winter Games AND at home.

I have the stupidest grin on my face right now and I am SO PROUD of the athletes right now!!

And my Team Iginla T-shirt lasted me all the games! Every time I wore it we WON!! (I was at work, in scrubs, when we lost the USA game in preliminaries).

So sad the games are over, but WOO CANADA!! VANOC did fantastic!!
22nd-Feb-2010 11:27 pm - 亀梨和也 ♥ ♥ ♥
KAT-TUN [kame - *_*]


Happy Birthday to my favourite :)


I’m so happy I got to see you live, that your hair has been fantastic, and that you finally look like a MAN and no longer pass for a super-convincing girl.


Thank you for bringing me to, and keeping me in fandom :)


I can’t wait to see what you do next ♥ ♥ ♥


(Kame is 24 today and I feel OLD!!!)

KAT-TUN [kame - *_*]

I will finish these Japan posts… sometime. Actually as the last 1/3 of our trip consisted of KAT-TUN, KAT-TUN, and more KAT-TUN (4 concerts in 5 days) I haven’t actually got a TONNE left to post about… as I didn’t take pictures while we were shopping, really. Oops. XD;


I’d been looking forward to Kyoto the most out of everything we’d planned prior to actually being in Tokyo; due to unfortunate circumstances we only ended up spending a day there, but I know now that I will definitely go back for 2-3 days the next time I am in Japan.


Actually the reason I REALLY wanted to go to Kyoto was in part due to KAT-TUN… Jin posted about Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavilion) in a J-Web a couple of years ago and it must have made a really big impression because once we knew we were going to Japan for SURE, it was on my ‘MUST DO’ list.


Just pictures this time, because everyone should go to Kyoto for themselves. Our one day was amazing :D


Japan 213

Japan 298

30th-Jun-2009 03:41 am - Atsui
KAT-TUN [kame - *_*]

Or: in which Justine is asked several times what the Japanese word for “hot” is.


I’ve been neglecting documenting my trip, and while I am fully aware of it, I’m still going to blame work. I am finally done paying back my trades, which is AMAZING, as working six 12-hour shifts in eight days several times in the last month was not fun at ALL, and I am ready to not think about going to work for at least two or three days. Thank goodness I am off until Sunday!


I have a lot of other things to post about (makeup, birthday parties, etc) but I am still (somewhat) determined to post about my trip in fairly deep detail, so …




Second busiest day of the trip... after the first day we met up with Kazumi and Tomo!Collapse )

Finally, week one done! Next… Kyoto, Yokohama, and a week of KAT-TUN concerts :D

6th-Jun-2009 12:29 pm - Real Time Interruptions
KAT-TUN [kame - *_*]


There is SNOW on my roof (this is the view of the townhouses from my room) and it is JUNE.


At least we didn’t get a few INCHES like some of the city, but STILL.





KAT-TUN [kame - *_*]

At least on the blogging/scrapbooking front. I mean I’d much rather be outside right now as it has been absolutely gorgeous since I got back than blogging or scrapbooking, frankly. XD; Which is probably good as I tend to act like a computer-hermit, but it’s not very good for my grand resolutions to keep better track of my life (and my Tokyo trip, even).


That being said, while I am slowly accumulating a lot of other things to talk about, I AM determined to at least blog about the trip in its entirety because it was so awesome and this way if I don’t end up scrapbooking for a year I’ll be able to look at my blog and go RIGHT THAT’S WHERE THOSE PICTURES ARE FROM.




Anyway so prior to the actual vacation, Kelsie, Edith and I had had several discussions with each other and various friends who had been to Japan about places we ‘needed’ to go see. Mostly, I wanted to know exactly how long we should be planning on spending in cities other than Tokyo, especially since we’d rented an apartment for the whole trip rather than for specific spans of time. From my girlfriends who had experienced Japan (or lived there) most recommended a day or two (depending on how much food I was planning on eating) and from all the guys… they really liked Osaka so they thought more like 4-5 days! We ended up only going for one day due to scheduling concerns (looming KAT-TUN concerts) and Kat’s whole seeing-a-dead-body-her-first-day-there story. But Osaka was so awesome, and we met such lovely nurses, that when we go back to Japan we’ll definitely spend at least a couple of days there.


Kaiyukan! And Minoru


What Kelsie and I both decided we HAD to see related to water; Kelsie really wanted to see the ocean and I wanted to go to the aquarium, to the point that I’d spammed her with website links until she agreed that yes, the aquarium did look pretty awesome and we should go. Minoru, Rika and Setsuko (and us) had one day transit passes that also included aquarium admission (these were adorable) so after lunch and Osaka castle we made our way towards the aquarium, which involved 3 different trains AND the subway… so I’m extra grateful for them because I don’t know that we would have been able to find it on our own.


The bay was lovely (and by the aquarium) and the aquarium was AWESOME. The water tunnel was not as long as I thought it was (apparently this aquarium is in Yokohama?) but still cool to stand underneath it and see fish swim over you (but this does not translate into pictures very well).


Obligatory picture of 'Kame'. There are a lot of these on my camera. 


I did take picture of things OTHER than turtles, but for anyone that knows my fandom interests, I love turtles and take pictures of them, though I would never have one as a pet (the emotional trauma I would experience if it got hurt would not be worth it).


Iconic whale shark... it's on all the merchandise


I didn’t get a picture, but there were these creepy almost 2-Dimensional fish, and Rika, Minoru, Setsuko and I spent almost 5 minutes staring at them waiting for them to blink (not sure why) and when they did it was really gross… like not an eyelid closing more like a vacuum sucking the eye back into the socket… makes me shiver thinking about it. This is probably why I don’t have a picture. Kelsie was confused at the time because she heard all 4 of us go ‘EHHHHH’ really loud when the fish blinked, LOL.


After the aquarium we went for fancy desserts, although this was actually really close to Kaiyukan. Like everything we’d gone to, the attraction was very helpfully surrounded by a mall, LOL. And they were running a sweets festival.



That’s a snow ice sundae! Not even ice cream. Pretty and delicious <3. Ours was mango chocolate with mochi :D. Rika and Minoru and Setsuko had a green tea mochi snow ice, which was also delicious (and gigantic). In our battle to try to pay for ourselves we lost AGAIN even though Kelsie managed to hand money to the poor cashier first, Rika yelled at the cashier and made her give the money back so they could pay >_>;; Someday they will come to Canada and we will pay for them!


After the aquarium we went to Osaka tower for drinks and dinner and this weird type of gambling that I was half-decent at, but if we’d realized we could have redeemed all the little balls for candy we’d have done that instead of playing all of them >_>. Oops! Rika and Minoru seemed to think it was really funny to keep putting 100Y coins in the machine to prevent us from leaving. For dinner we had kuchikatsu and cocktails (or beer, for the truly Japanese) XD; which was delicious and deep-fried though at some point our guides stopped telling us what we were eating… and waited to see our expressions. Needless to say I *DID* eat everything… and so did Kelsie. But if she couldn’t finish something because it was gross I did, LOL.


Beef.... 'challenge'. This was not very comforting, and it tasted very odd.


And that was pretty much Osaka! So awesome! Oh, one more thing because we did end up talking about it for the rest of the trip. We had so much fun with Setsuko, Rika and Minoru that we ALL lost track of time and had to run for the subway in an effort to make our Shinkansen… we cut it very close, made it to the station with about 4 minutes to spare and then started sprinting for the gates… didn’t make it though as Kelsie nearly twisted her ankle from running in flip-flops and I was not going without her! So we ran up 2 flights of stairs, through Osaka station (which is big), through the gates (the security guard told us we could make it), up an escalator and arrived on the platform right at the ticket time… just to see the doors close. Because everything in Japan leaves RIGHT ON TIME. Breathing heavy from hauling ass, we went back down to exchange our tickets and saw our guides waiting for us! Rika and Setsuko almost cried because we missed the train, but we assured them it was OK, as we could book tickets on the train in 40 minutes and we weren’t paying for the individual ticket.


Needless to say we were VERY early for the the train the next time we took the Shinkansen, LOL.

KAT-TUN [kame - *_*]

Just got the first half (!) of my pictures developed for hopeful scrapbooking this week (if I can keep myself motivated) and I am now struck with the urge to post about the trip although at this point it has already been over for 3 days. :(


Kelsie and I made it home safely, but not without like 3 hours of turbulence on the Tokyo – LA flight, and then frustration in LAX (again). But more on that later. As I’m sure most of my f-list knows, we spent the whole last week (just about) at the KAT-TUN concerts, and as we spent a LOT of time at Tokyodome we didn’t take nearly as many pictures… I mean other than the first day and then when all the KAT-TUN posters went up, but otherwise the amount of picture taking drastically decreased. But I haven’t really posted since before we went to Kyoto (and I don’t think I posted about Osaka at all) so … well let’s start with Osaka. XD;


Bento breakfast!


First off, this is PROBABLY when Kelsie and I started eating too much katsu-don, for the record. In any case, it was a very good thing that we had the JR Rail Pass which allows you pretty much unlimited non-NOZOMI Shinkansen use as we went to Osaka on a Saturday, forgot the rapid line didn’t run on weekends, and ended up missing our morning Shinkansen by about 10 minutes. Major oops. Luckily the nice officer at the ticket counter re-booked our tickets and reserved seats for the train immediately after so we had time to grab bentos (the lovely katsu you see there) and sit on the train waiting for it to leave.


Let me say, I LOVED the Shinkansen. Looked like a plane, almost as fast as one, and enough leg room. Plus, the trays didn’t move when someone leaned their seat backwards. Why can’t plane seats do that? I hate getting hit after meals when they haven’t cleared trays yet. Anyway, experienced the odd sensation of ear popping due to the speed I think… and then after the first hour I fell asleep. So totally missed Maihama and a few other stops in between after Shin-Yokohama. Oops.


Going so fast my ears popped... didn't get a good view of Mt. Fuji though, sadly!


Thanks to Kazumi, we were lucky enough to meet our guides in Osaka, Rika, her boyfriend Minoru, and Setsuko who Rika had described as her ‘English-speaking friend’. This turned out to be a GODSEND and the Public Health Department had been trying to call Kelsie and I to make sure we didn’t have any swine flu symptoms as Japan had just confirmed their first case… and of course it was someone who had travelled to Alberta. Setsuko was able to tell the agency for us (in Japanese) that we were feeling fine, and no, nothing ‘suspicious’ appeared to be happening (ways swine flu had at this point sidetracked my trip somewhat = 3).


Minoru, Kelsie, Me, & Rika @ Osaka Castle


Our tour guides were absolutely amazing ♥ ♥ ♥. We hiked to Osaka castle, opted out of actually going all the way up as it was about 35C and ridiculously sunny at this point, and then walked through the park before getting lunch as Kelsie and I had asked for something that was ‘really good in Osaka’. I would like to point out that it was VERY gratifying to see Minoru, Rika, and Setsuko take out maps. Kelsie and I no longer felt like losers for needing to pull ours out every 10 minutes in Tokyo. XD;




I liked Okonomiyaki which is weird as I normally hate cabbage and won’t eat it, but this was delicious and a lot of fun! Very odd to have beer with lunch but Setsuko reassured me that this was ‘very normal for the Japanese’ and I liked Japanese beer a lot more than Western stuff. Not that I’m a fan of beer. Okonomiyaki was very fun to cook and I managed to flip my pancake over with no splatters! Kelsie accidentally hit Minoru with a flying bit of cabbage but we all thought it was funny, and there were no stains, so it was okay. :)


I have a lot more to talk about / squee about but this entry is getting kind of long so it will have to wait until later. I’m still a teeny bit jet-lagged so I think I am going to take a nap! And then maybe go for a walk. :D

15th-May-2009 07:39 am - Best 3 Hours of My Life
KAT-TUN [kame - *_*]

KAT-TUN concert was AMAZING. Did not feel like 3 hours had gone by at all. Can’t even process what we just watched, but my brain is just like &hearts; &hearts; &hearts;

Memorable Highlights:

  • Opening with RESCUE and ONE DROP = EPIC
  • Kame free falling from the top of Tokyodome = heart stopping
  • Jin joining Junno for Junno’s solo
  • Ueda playing the piano – really well – and hitting all his high notes
  • My Angel, You Are Angel &hearts;

Didn’t like Jin’s solo – too distracting, wanted CARE, and/or a live Crystal Kay. Actually, we met the female back dancers after buying con goods in the morning strangely enough… Kelsie and I were sitting at the station and they wanted to look through the book. Very strange.

THEY ARE SO MUCH HOTTER LIVE. I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow!!!

14th-May-2009 06:39 pm - Where does the time go? @_@
KAT-TUN [kame - *_*]

It’s already the 15th!! I’ve been uploading and posting pictures, but no blogging as despite coming home earlier (between 9-11ish as opposed to 10-1AMish…) I think Kelsie and I are still mostly tired and exhausted though this trip has been SO worth it. It’s been a busy last 5 days, at times frustrating. We had a wonderful day with Kazumi and Tomo again on the 10th, and then on the 11th Kelsie got tonsillitis and we spent 5 hours at a clinic… neither of us were in very good moods that day and we ended up spending most of the day apart (though she got to see Junno, and I went shopping so maybe we both needed the break). Found Tokyodome on the 12th, FINALLY went to see Kyoto on the 13th, and spent yesterday wandering around freaking out about getting KAT-TUN tickets (which ended up falling through but I got another set of tickets anyway :D).


So pictures only for now, as I have to get ready. First con tonight!!




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