December 2010 - Vikingess Voyages

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Calendar: December 21th

9:39:00 AM

On the 21st it was time for another nabe-party, this time to celebrate Mika´s birthday!
Pay attention to the table; it is a so called kotatsu (炬燵) which is special for Japan. There is a small electric oven built into the table itself, and with a blanket covering the sides of the table you can warm your feet under the table.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Calendar: December 20th

10:31:00 PM

There is a so-called Kaitensushi-restaurant near Ritsumeikan University where the normal plates only costs around 100 yen each. Me and Ericka went there today and ate sushi for dinner!
For those who aren´t acquainted with Kaitensushi restaurants, the special feature of this kind of restaurant is that they have conveyor belts running through the restaurant so that the customers can pick the plates they want themselves. So either you can sit there and wait for the right plate to pass by, or you can order via a touchscreen at the table and the plate will be delivered to your table by the conveyor belt. Easy, cheap and oishii!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Calendar: December 15th

2:58:00 PM
This is the so-called "Randen" that runs between Kita no hakubaichou (北野白梅町) and Arashiyama (嵐山).
As you can see it is still not too cold here in Kyoto. But the last couple of days the temperature has dropped drastically, so I guess the last flowers won´t be there for that much longer..

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Calendar: December 11th

9:00:00 AM
Close to our dorm there is a shop that is called Book Off, where they among others sell used books. It´s really cheap, for instance they have a big section in the store where they sell manga for 105 yen each. Besides mangas they also have a wide selection of novels and so on too, and this picture is taken from the section with books written by foreign authors.
For those who can´t read the title, this is the book Sophie´s World by Jostein Gaarder, one of my favorite norwegian authors.
So now I just have to finish the 2-3 other books I´m reading at the moment, so that I can go back to Book Off and by some more..! Haha..

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Calendar: December 9th

4:34:00 PM
On the 9th of December it was Silke´s birthday, and we decided to throw a surprise birthday party for her. The only problem was that she was on a day trip to Osaka, and we didn´t know when she would get back home.
She sent me a message saying she would be back at latest around 24:00, but around one o'clock she was still not at home and we didn´t get any contact with her. In the end we decided to start the party without her, but we only got the chance to take some sips of the wine before somebody suddenly knocked at the door. I´m not sure who was most surprised; us or Silke.. Haha..
Surprise birthday party @ I-House

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Calendar: December 8th

12:55:00 AM

The local dance studio where me, Erica and Adaora goes for samba-classes on Wednesdays! It is a nice place, and I think they like having us foreigners in their classes. I guess we are an interesting group:p..
Anyway, the place is situated between I-House 1 and the local supermarket, so it is quite easy to get there.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Calendar: December 7th

12:22:00 AM
Today I went with Yuma to Kobe after class for the so-called Luminaire Festival, which actually is an annual memorial to the losses due to the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995.
Every year the arches has a new design, and I´m pretty sure there must be a lot of work involved in making and putting up these gates every year.. Really impressive:)!
There was a lot of people there, so I´m glad we didn´t go in the weekend.
This year the event last from the second till the thirteenth of December, so for those who are in the area I really recommend stoping by Kyoto to see this.
Luminaire 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Calendar: December 6th

12:27:00 AM
Today´s picture is taken in a restaurant called Sweets Paradise, where you after paying 1480 yen can eat as much cake as you want for around 70-80 minutes depending on the day. This restaurant is located in the 6th floor of the Koto Cross Hankyu Kawaramachi building, which makes it quite easy to find. Me and Eki went there today, and I´m pretty certain I´ll go there again..! The price is a bit high perhaps, but then again cakes are expensive in Japan. :P
Besides cakes they also have normal food, so if you want a break from the sweet stuff thats fine; they have pizza, salad, pasta and so on as well.

Sweets Paradise! Yumm...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Calendar: December 5th

12:27:00 AM
For some reason it seems that todays picture also ended up showing a fish. Isn´t it cute? Haha..
This is a hashioki (箸置き), which is used to put your chopsticks on when you´re finished eating (or whenever it´s not in use). The picture is taken in a restaurant close to Fushimi Inari Taisha, where we had dinner (ramen!) today.
A hashioki shaped as a fish

Sunday, December 5, 2010

JLPT and Sightseeing at the Fushimi Inari Jinja (伏見稲荷大社)

11:06:00 PM
Today me and some of the other exchange students from Ritsumeikan went to Fushimi, right outside of Kyoto, to take the JLPT 2 (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) there.
Though it lasted until nearly 16:30, some of us decided to go sightseeing after the test, since the place called Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) is right next to the Fushimi train station. 
It took only about 30 minutes to get there from Nijyou station, but somehow it really felt like being in the countryside.

Inari Jinja is known for its many gates, or torii

The red gates
At first glance the gates seems to be all red, but if you turn around you'll see that all of them has got Japanese inscriptions.
A lamp lighting up the kanjis on one of the gates
Inari Jinja is devoted to the fox-kami, and therefore you can see a lot of fox statues here. Besides this, people who want to worship for wealth and so on also has the opportunity to draw their own image of the fox and then write their wishes on the backside.
Cute foxes with wishes written on the backside
In front of one of the gateways
These gateways goes all the way up the mountain side. But since we came there a bit late, it was already starting to get dark so we decided not go that far. Then again, that is a good reason to go there on another occasion:)

One of the Inari-foxes.

Shadows of the torii

After our visit to Inari Jinja, we went to have dinner together in a small restaurant we found along the way. Even though we all were tired after the long day, it was nice to spend the afternoon together doing sightseeing together in Kyoto.
Kathleen ready for dinner!
Part of the dinner menu..

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Calendar: December 4th

7:45:00 PM
Today on my way home from my last ceramic class I stopped by a store called Fresco to buy some groceries, and I happened to find this package of fish.. I thought it was kinda funny that that it had the "Kingdom of Norway" label on it, while advertisements like this usually just tells you that the fish comes from a Nordic country.
So in the end this ended up as the pic of the day. A bit random perhaps, but.. Haha.. :)

Christmas Calendar: December 3rd

3:16:00 AM
Kyoto is a really nice place for sightseeing. No matter where you go you can always find some interesting temples, houses and so on.
On my way home from a club near Kamogawa this evening I passed by this place, and thought it looked really nice with the lights and so on..! So without further redo, here is todays picture.

Well, it is late now so I should get to bed fast. I´ve got class tomorrow (which actually is today now..). Oyasumi!
A shrine I passed by on my way home from Kamogawa

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Calendar: December 2nd

11:10:00 PM
Today´s picture shows the so-called "gaikokujinbenchi" (外国人ベンチ). This place is usually shortened to "gaiben" (外ベン), and as the name indicates it is the place where the international students usually spend their lunch or in general hang out when at school.
The last couple of weeks it was so cold that almost nobody spent their lunch-break there, but today we had 16 degrees and sun.! Can´t really believe it is December.. xD
Ritsumeikan's Gaiben

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Calendar: 1st of Desember

11:47:00 PM
So, it´s December again..! This will be my first Christmas being celebrated without my family, and I guess that will be a bit strange for me.
The Japanese christmas is quite different from the one being celebrated in western countries; it´s more like a valentines day than a family day really. That´s not that strange though, while Christmas isn´t a tradition in Japan and the large majority of people in Japan has no interest in christianity.
Anyway, since I don´t have any Christmas calendar this year I´ve decided to post a picture on my blog everyday, hopefully something that can show both the beauty of Kyoto and also perhaps some interesting moments of my days here.
Todays picture is taken by the entrance to iHouse, the dorm I´m living in. Our dorm manager has already made the dorm ready for Christmas, as you can see. A bit early perhaps, but on the other hand they put up the christmas-tree at Kyoto Station a couple of weeks ago..

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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