December 2013 - Vikingess Voyages

Friday, December 27, 2013

Nippon TV: Zoom in Saturday ズームイン!!サタデー 年末SP

9:50:00 PM
Nippon Television's program "ZOOM-IN!! Saturday"'s year-end special with the title 「ズームイン!!サタデー 年末SP外国人&グルメな絶景まつり」features a number of interviews with gaijins living in Tokyo, and apparently the interview they did with me will be included in the show^^
It will be aired from 5:30-10:00 on Saturday. I guess I'll update this post once I've had the chance to see the program..! ;)


Edit: Here is the video! Pretty embarrassing to watch thanks to my 中途半端な Japanese. Anyway, promised to post it so here it is..



Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Nordic Christmas Festival in Tokyo

11:52:00 AM
Prince Hotel and Grand Prince Hotel in Shinagawa are hosting an annual Nordic Festival which gives you the opportunity to experience a Nordic Christmas in the heart of Tokyo. From the end of November until the 25. December you can visit their Nordic Christmas Market, and they also arrange various event such as a St. Lucia day and visits from Santa himself invited all the way from Norway.
I've added som photos of a recent visit to the Nordic Christmas Festival below, and there is more information about the festival here (Japanese only).
























Sunday, December 15, 2013

Japanese New Year Card (年賀状) Sumi-E Workshop

11:03:00 AM
Sumi-e (墨絵) is a traditional ink wash painting style introduced to Japan in the Muromachi-period (1338-1573) through Korea. Although sumi-e originally was developed in China during the Tang-dynasty (618-907) it gained its own characteristic style in Japan by masters like Sesshu Toyo and under the influence of Zen Buddhism.

Sumi-e is still popular in modern Japan, and I've been lucky to meet Mimi Wada who is an contemporary sumi-e artist. She arranges workshops for people interested in learning to make sumi-e paintings, and since the year is coming to an end she gathered a group of interested painters (an amateurs like me) for a New Year card workshop.

Next year we enter the year of the horse, making the animal a natural choice considering the design for this year's New Year cards.
How to make a sumi-e horse
We received handouts from Mimi-san showing how to paint the horse step by step. Still, it was quite hard to make the horse look as natural as Mimi-san's version of the horse. Seemed like the other participants also had a lot more experience than me, so I kinda was the only one making somewhat disproportionate horses with crooked legs.

At least I made some improvement throughout the lesson

Mimi-san demonstrating
Mimi-san and Yuki

This is what it looks like when you're a Sumi-e master. Work by Mimi.
...And this is what is looks like when you're an amateur. Still, not too bad though.
Again, Mimi-san's skills are "slightly" better then mine..
Le saint opera decorated with Mimi-san's sumi-e scroll
All in all it was a great chance to learn more about sumi-e and its painting techniques. And now I also have my own original New Year cards to send of to some friends! Just hope they'll ignore my lack of artistic skills.. Oh well, it's the thought that counts, isn't it?? ^^

Mimi's sumi-e scroll has been exhibited in Le saint opera since mid-November.
For more information about Mimi's Sumi-e art, check out her website Sumiracle

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sightseeing in Tokyo: Ueno Park (上野公園)

10:01:00 PM
One of the great things about Tokyo is that the green lungs of the metropolis never are too far away. Close to where I live there is a park called Ueno Koen (上野公園 - koen means park btw) where I often (or at least once a month or so..) go jogging in the afternoon after work. Right now the autumn season is coming to an end, but Yuma and I visited the park just in time to snap some photos of the park while the leaves still were red.


Ueno Koen is known among other things for its many museums, but we usually go to the area around the Shinobazu pond (不忍池). As you can see it is quite a romantic spot for couples, and if you're interested you can rent a boat here as well.
The Shinobazu pond (不忍池)
At the center of the pond lies the Bentendo (弁天堂) temple. The temple pagoda is always lit up in the evening, and this makes it a very nice place to pass by if you like to go jogging in the evening!

Bentendo's pagoda
The Shinobazu pond consist of three sections, and it is possible to walk right through the middle of the lake thanks to a bridge built in 1907.
The boat rental service on the Shinobazu pond
Birds on the lotus section of the pond
While we were walking on the bridge we saw an ojiisan feeding the birds with rice corns. When we
stopped to watch he asked me if I wanted to feed the birds too, and gave me a handful of rice.
Feeding the birds
One of the birds chased away almost all the other birds..
The Bentendo temple lies in the middle of the pond on Benten island (弁天島). This temple is devoted to the goddess of eloquence called Benzaiten. 


Bentendo
As the temple and the pond attracts many visitors, especially during the weekend, there is also a chance you'll find some small food stalls that sells Japanese food like takoyaki and okonomiyaki (we preferred kebab this time :P)
Japanese food stalls

Ueno Koen is also a nice place if you like doing pull-ups. When Yuma and I go jogging to the park, he always stops up to do some exercise here :)
Ueno Koen is also great for exercising, especially if you like doing pull-ups.
All in all, a nice place to visit for a lazy day..!

About Me

Adventures ofAnette


A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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