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My name is Sandra, but you can call me Soyeon. And one of my "internet/social media names" is Yoosanchu. I live in a small place in Finland (but my first language is Swedish cuz I'm awesome). I'm studying in the third year of fashion/clothing design. In the future I hope I'll move to a bigger city. My blog is partly about my daily life as a 19 year old, but since I find that too boring, I mostly write about fashion, kpop, cute and creative things and everything that inspires me. My style and inspiration comes mostly from East Asia. As you see, I'm very interested in South Korea and Japan's fashion and culture, and their popculture such as kpop, k-dramas and anime.
I hope you'll enjoy my blog!

CONTACT: sanolieb@gmail.com


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.:~What I liked & disliked about Japan~:.

Hiiii I am back! I'm so sorry I haven't blogged for so long. Since I came home from Tokyo last week, I wanna write a list of things I noticed were a little different from Finland, things that I didn't know before etc. And what I liked and disliked.  Keep in mind that this is based on my experience and point of view, and I've been in Tokyo for only two weeks so of course I'm not an expert and some points may be incorrect.

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Conbini stores

Aka 7Eleven, Lawson, Family Mart etc. Fresh sushi rolls and onigiris for example are so cheap! I just loved buying sushi rolls and similar stuff for breakfast or dinner. Ah I miss that so much. They were only 100-200 yen. (around 1€). Buying fresh sushi from grocery stores in Finland (or at least where I live) is hella expensive. Then again, fruit is kinda rare in Japan and way more expensive than in Finland. I bought a kiwi once lmao.


Japanese snacks

I love the cute and small snacks you can buy at combinis, Don Quijote etc. Like jellies, dango (mochi) are some of my favorites. I also bought bubble tea, milk tea, strawberry milk, peach drinks, warm coffee. And calpis!!! My favorite drink. I really wish we had calpis in Finland. To be honest I think Pocky for example is way too overrated, there are many other Japanese snacks that are better than Pocky. But that's just my opinion. And Ramune, I mean they sell Ramune and Pocky at every anime convention here in the west. But I didn't see any Ramune anywhere in Tokyo, not that I was searching anyway but yeah.

 


Gashapons and claw machines

I swear I've wasted so much money on gashapons and claw machines. They are near most subway stations. Akihabara is definitely the best place for both gashapons and game centers where they have claw machines, out of all the parts of Tokyo we visited.


People are so friendly and polite.

Almost too polite sometimes haha. Japanese people show respect for each other. When on the train or subway, you're supposed to be quiet and not talk loudly. They also say in the speakers that you should refrain from talking on the phone. I noticed t hey also have a really good system for when it gets super crowded on the subway stations. At every "gate", you stand in lines waiting for the trains to arrive. And then there's a space to let people out of the trains without everyone being smashed together. Then the first people in line walk inside and you wait for your turn. I think that's a really good system. Especially during rush hours when it can get really crowded.


The kawaii & otaku culture.

If you're into "kawaii" things, Japanese fashion, anime, manga then Japan is probably your dream destination. I guarantee there are SO many shops selling almost anything you could think of. It's literally like heaven to us! Cute decorations and items everywhere! If you have an alternative fashion style, it's not weird to dress up in the fashion you like here, but you might get a lot of stares. So many people wanted to take photos of or WITH me when I dressed up all cute, pastel-y and fairy kei. Maybe because of my style, or cuz I'm tall.

 


The aesthetic

ESPECIALLY pastel aesthetics in Harajuku and Shibuya. Pastels are so popular right now haha. It was even better than I had imagined. Ohmygod I felt like home when I saw how cute everything was. Going to my favorite shops in real life felt so unreal. Some shops have even set up these "photoshoot sets" where customers can take their photos and probably upload on Instagram afterwards. Just guess if I wanted to take a lot of photos at those places?! And everyone dress so nice and stylish!

 


Sushi is not the only Japanese food.

When people think of Japanese food, the first thought is probably sushi and sea food. Me included! But I'm glad that we tried other foods too. Okonomiyaki, takoyaki, omurice, curry, ramen, onigiri, character bentos etc... I wanted to try shabu shabu too but somehow we never ended up going to any shabu shabu restaurant.

 

Japanese toilets

I mean, how awesome are Japanese toilets?! For example, some public toilets have a "privacy" button. Basically it plays a sound to diffuse the noise when you're peeing or pooping. And you can change the volume of the sound. Some toilets flush automatically when you're done. Not that I use all the other options such as bidet, front and back water spraying options. I tried it once and it was a strange feeling haha. Still, they're kinda cool even tho I don't understand all of the functions.


Customer service

Another interesting thing I have to mention is that you take off your shoes ~before~ entering fitting rooms, and leaving them outside, if you wanna try on something in a store. I mean I mostly do that anyway depending on what I'm trying on. But I'm used to just taking them off inside the fitting room. The staff in every store I went to in Tokyo were SO polite and very sales oriented (if that's the right word for it), they talk to you and often show you their products, how things work or ask if you wanna try it on etc. That's good, but sometimes I feel like they're a little too much, when I just wanna look by myself and not talk to anyone. Mostly I just nod and smile if I don't understand what they're saying. But i've worked in retail, so of course it's important to be friendly to customers.



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"Cash only"

Japan is pretty much a "cash only" community. So beware of that if you're traveling to Japan. Most local restaurants or smaller stores will only take cash and no cards. Even if they do take cards, like food chains or bigger shops, many Japanese people still pay by cash! I think it's a little weird, because here we are converting more and more to "card only".
I don't like paying by cash, it's so hard to keep track on how much money I'm wasting. I'm so used to paying everything by card, and I can easily check my balance and everything on my bank app. so having to withdraw money from the ATM almost every day (cause I was shopping so damn much) was a little annoying. International ATM's were not too hard to find tho. If you go to 7Eleven or Family Mart they will most likely have an ATM that accept cards like Visa, MasterCard etc. BUT you have to withdraw at least 10 000 yen. = ~75 euro. That's the lowest amount.


Finding vegetarian/vegan food can be difficult.

If you're not good at Japanese and can read the labels or explain to the waiters that you'd like vegetarian food. So when going to restaurants, I sometimes had to choose dishes including fish or meat if there were no vegetarian options. In some cases the meat or seafood is hidden, like inside takoyakis, sushi, ramen dishes or onigiris for example. So I kind of "cheated" and ate it anyway.
I actually tried natto gunkan (fermented soybeans) at Genki sushi (I just HAD TO since everyone says it tastes horrible). I was just like "It can't taste that bad, right??" but ew, it was really gross. Never again. Now I understand why natto sushi is always the last option people never choose at conbinis lmao.


Smoking is not allowed on main/big streets.

You have to go to back streets if you wanna smoke lol. I think I've heard that the fines for smoking on these main streets are pretty high... So I didn't wanna risk anything. I barely smoked at all when I was in Tokyo. Then again some restaurants, hotels, apartments still allow smoking inside. Why??!


Their bread options

I'm comparing this to Finland, okay, and the bread we have here. During these two weeks I saw mostly only white bread/toasts that literally looks and feels almost like foam?? Kinda "fake" looking and really soft. I don't like white bread anyway haha. I only saw a few breads that were darker and had something to actually bite in. Coming from Finland where we're used to our beloved rye bread.


Trash cans

Where are all the trash cans on the streets? The distance between each trash can is large, you really have to look hard to find them. But apparently it's a thing in Japan, and people throw their trash at home or something instead I think?? The streets are very clean.


The weather

This is mostly because we were pretty unlucky and got rain most of our time in Tokyo. Except the first day when we arrived at Narita airport and it was 27 degrees and sunny. The weather can change really much from day to day. Some of the last days, there were a typhoon over Japan. I only noticed it was more windy than usual. Like whaat, when do we ever get typhoons in Finland? They don't even exist here.



The legal drinking age is 20 years old.

Damn it, I'm only 19. If only I could've bought alcohol I definitely would've wanna try some Japanese ones. I have read online tho that you can get away with it at many bars, izakayas etc but I didn't wanna risk it and possibly end up in awkward situations if they would've asked for my ID card.


Calories on some foods are stated very clear.

And it's not only per 100g, it's often stated exactly how much a specific product has, so you don't have to count it yourself. For me, that triggered my ed hella much and made choosing food much harder. I got so much anxiety when buying food I just wanna run out of the store. But I survived, I tried my best not to think of the numbers too much.



Overall, I had an AMAZING trip.  I got so many great memories from Tokyo and definitely wanna go back and visit other cities in Japan as well.

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11/02/2017 10:47:00 PM


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