Mar 23, 2015

Where am I from? Tokyo? Toronto?

I was born in Ontario
I lived in Toronto for 5 years.
I live in Tokyo for almost 4 years now.

So where am I from? When people ask me where I am from I used to proudly say Toronto, but recently I have started to question the way I answer to these types of questions.

I plan on immigrating, becoming Japanese and living here till the day my heart stops beating. This is my new home. I am no longer a resident of Canada, legally recognised as such according to the Canadian government.

When I visit Canada, I have to enter in the "visitors to Canada" line, where I have to tell them how long I plan on staying in the country and where I will be visiting.

When I come back home in Japan, I have a Canadian passport so I go through the Foreign passport section which is divided into two, residents and non residents, when I show them my passport they point me to the residents second and say "okaeri nasai" which means welcome home.

All my family has accepted that I live in Japan, this is my home. Often they refer to me as their Japanese daughter, or daughter from Japan.   When I visited Toronto, I couldn't say "I am from Toronto" so instead I said I am from Tokyo.
So when I am abroad I can refer to myself as a Tokyoite.

but when I am in Tokyo....what do I say?

I am not going to lie, there has been some times where people have asked where I am from and I had said Tokyo. It depends on the case what I say.  Often people ask where I am from because they guess I am a tourist and If I say Canada and they later find out I have been living here for almost 4 years they were like OH, I didn't know you lived here. or Oh I you are from here!

I mean, Where I am from and where I am born are two different things.
I just don't know when the appropriate time would be when I can start saying I am from Tokyo.

Saying I am from Toronto is like a lie to myself now, I realize that when I went to Toronto for more than 10 mins (like last summers Canada trip).   Everything is different. Stores are gone, stores appeared. Buildings changed. Transportation names have changed. I had to ask for directions and people gave me "common" landmarks I have no idea what they are.

I kept raising my hand up in a restaurant trying to say "sumimasen!!" when ordering food. Everything felt out of place and like I totally didn't belong there.  And yes, I even found myself taking pictures of stuff I never even though I would take pictures of.  I had lots of fun, I got to shop for stuff I wanted and I ate every food I missed on my list of food to eat. But I didn't feel like I have the right to say "I am from Toronto" anymore.

Jan 11, 2015

So you want to be a YouTuber?

I get emails all the time from people who are interested in being a YouTuber. It is the most talked about job recently, with more and more people quitting their regular 9-5 job to hit the streets (or their bedrooms for some) and start making some google old ad sense gold ^^.   

With all the success stories who wouldn't want to jump on the band wagon?

1. Don't do it for the money.  Greed and wanting to get rich is no reason to start a YouTube, and chances are you wont even get anywhere with this type of attitude. People are attracted to truly passionate people. If you are not interested in making videos because you think its fun, how to you expect people to be interested in watching? 

2. Don't just do it to do it.  I have met so many people who say they want to become a YouTuber, yet don't even have any idea what they want to make videos about. This is a big flag that you are not even meant to be a YouTuber. Us YouTubers become YouTubers because we already have something we want to share with the world. If you don't have any ideas, theres no reason to attempt to do the impossible. It is as silly as opening a store and having no idea what you will sell in it.

3. Don't spam promote yourself. One thing people hate is "hey look at me, check me out" crap. The people whos videos you are commenting on will look down on you, the people who see your comment will look low of you and in the end you will be flagged as spam and your comments wont show up anywhere.  Getting viewers is not something that will happen over night, heck it took me over a year to get 5000 subs. Growing isn't something that you should be worried about, its good content and having fun. Remember, if you are making YouTube videos because you have some dream plan to be famous, you are doing it for the wrong reasons.

4. Don't be a leach.  Lots of people do it, some channels make a living off it. Putting bigger YouTubers names or even celebrities names in their video titles to attract tons of views. This trade is very poor, tacky and these types of people who do it are the ones I despise the most. There are two types of people in the YouTube world, those who make videos. And those who make responses to those videos and put the YouTubers name in the title so search engines pick up on it and they get some extra views. Sure you could take this road, if you are in it for the money, and in the end steal some subs. But what you lose is moral respect from those YouTubers and don't gain any value at all.  In all honesty, I have more respect for people who sell their bodies on YouTube for views, at least they are not selling someone elses.

5. Prepare for hate comments. Everyone gets them. The more you get, the more people love you. It is important to not waste your time with the hate comments. Normal people know people spend their time focusing on someone they dislike, because they are jealous and have no life. Normal people who dislike something ignore it and don't pay any mind to it. Haters will follow your every move just like fans do, except they complain. Theres a button for them, its called the block and delete button. Just ignore them and keep moving on your day. They wont go away, but just because they wont go away doesn't mean you have to waste your time on them.

6. Invest your time. If you don't invest your own time into replying to comments, making thumbnail pictures, properly editing your videos, re-recording, making sure the quality is good, getting a good camera, fixing your audio etc. Don't expect people to take the time to watch your videos or stick around. The more you invest in this and the more passionate you are about it. The more people will respect you and in the end it will pay off.

Nov 18, 2014

The hard stuff about making friends in Japan

Sorry ladies and gents. I have been busy out with my friends, traveling, busy editing so many videos that I have not made a blog in a long long time.

I would like to talk about making friends in Japan.

Starting off with how to make friends in Japan. It is almost like making friends in another country really, you go out, talk to people and get their social network contact info to keep in touch. Pretty straight forward.

The big thing you will have a problem with in Japan is 

A. keeping those friends
B. having to say goodbye to friends who leave the country.

The first one is surprisingly more tricky than at least Canada. In Japan, you will find a lot of people just stop contacting you due to busy with work, they get married and become busy, or they were never really that close to you from the start and slowly "stop knowing you".

This is a feeling I never noticed in Canada so much. Its not that it doesn't happen, its just that in Japan you will notice this much more than you would in your home land. This problem can only be avoided to an extent. No matter how much contact you keep with someone, the effort you make on your side, how available you are it will always be in the hands of the other person as well right.

Having friends leave the country is one of the most painful feelings. It has been described as other foreigners as having a funeral to your friends. Making friends with other foreigners is fun. I have no discrimination between the place you were born and the status of your residence here, so I will become friends with anyone who is a cool person. The sad thing is knowing that a lot of people don't stay in Japan... and I have made friends with a lot of people who are currently about to leave. It is the worst feeling I have ever felt.

The only way to avoid this is not become friends with people who are not staying forever. But then you are missing out on the wonderful relationships that you can develop with them. I don't see it as a waste of time that I got to know so many people who will split off and part from here. Heck, gives me a chance to travel and an excuse. 

Just prepare yourself when making friends in Japan that these are two problems that you might come across. Make sure you have a little extra money saved to visit your extended families across the globe. 

Jun 16, 2014


I wanted to make a blog about purikura.

Purikura is very popular in Japan. These are not even 10% of all the pictures I have ever taken but I would like to share these purikura with you. If you don't know what purikura is then take a look at the pictures and then at the very bottom I will explain more :)

Please note. I have photo-shopped my friends faces out to protect their identities.

Purikura is a activity. It is where you take a picture in a special huge photo machine. It is like a big walk in photobooth where you can fully stand up in and jump around if you wanted to. Purikura picture machines are very high tech and have many different features. They don't just take pictures but they edit them for you.

They usually change your skin automatically to make it more smooth and beautiful. Is it even possible to look bad in a purikura picture?

After you are done taking pictures you can change the backgrounds of the pictures, brightness and the size of your eyes.

The best part is drawing on the pictures and putting stickers on them. 

The only thing that sucks about purikura is you have to give your cell phone email address to these companies, and every once in a while they send you spam mail.

If you don't give out your address, you will only get the printed out version of the sticker pictures it makes. If you do give them your address you can have two pictures sent to your cell phone for free ^^

May 26, 2014

10 tips on learning Japanese

1. Make notes - Notes will help you not only remember words but get used to writing them down. If you don't work your hand, you wont learn to remember how to write the words and it is easy to forget. Notes can always be re-written over and over again if you feel the notes are too messy, or for re-practicing. You should be writing down important points that you want to look back on later.

2. Use what skills you have - A lot of people worry about looking up stuff in the dictionary right away when they don't know how to say something, or they spend too much time trying to explain something they just can't. Use what vocabulary you already know so that you can get your point across, and worry about learning the more harder words at a later time.

3. Be patient - Japanese takes years to be fluent in, and it isn't something you can just master in only 10 mins. There will be times where you just don't understand anything, and that is ok. You will get there.

4. Talk to yourself - Nothing is wrong with talking to yourself when you have nooone to practice with. It is better than no chance at all to use your mouth mussels, Without practice you wont get any better. 

5. Studying is not work  - If you think of studying as a chore or something not fun, you wont ever learn. Think of studying as something fun and something you love. Find a way to incorporate studying into your hobbies. 

6. Look up unknown words - When you see a word you don't know, do your best to find out what it means. Especially if it is the only word you don't understand.

7. Skip unknown words - Sometimes there are too many words you don't know, that you will be spending too much time looking them up. In this case, skip over them and try to understand the sentence without them.

8. Don't be shy - Being afraid to use your skills will only give you less chances to practice and get better.

9. Use multiple resources - One website or book wont teach you it all, you need to use as much resources as you can. More resources will give you different ways to study.

10. Don't be discouraged - Making mistakes is a good thing. It helps you learn so you don't do it again. Don't be upset that people are better than you, you can be just as good as anyone, it just takes time. Don't feel upset if people laugh at your errors, they are just a-holes. ;)

May 20, 2014

Random shopping in Japan

Since a lot of you guys like my shopping blogs I decided to take pictures of what I bought yesterday.

The store LUSH is a natural, vegan friendly beauty products store. It is in a lot of countries and if you are used to it, then you will be happy to know it exists in Japan.

Till last year, the names on the packages were written in Japanese but for some reason they changed it all to English. This made it confusing for me because I forgot what the names of the products I liked in English were, and had to go re-smelling around to find it.

I will let you know right away, since the lush products are made here in Japan their smells vary slightly.

For example, in Canada I used to LOVE leaf lettuce, but the one in Japan doesn't smell anything like it so I can't buy it :(. However I found OATIFIX which is SOOO GOOD I just want to eat it.  In the picture there is a sticker that says "you can't eat this" in Japanese.

I don't know if you have the products above in your country, some of the products are actually only available in Japan at the Japanese lush.

Another one of my addictions is buying organic products. I don't like lots of sugar or all these fake flavored stuff so I prefer to buy organic.

These kabocha waffle cookies are so good. I also bought coconut water which tastes really good, but it has 20g of sugar....thats a lot. I didn't realize that it had so much sugar on it when I look at it.

I am the kinda person who doesn't need to add sugar to anything at all.

The fruit that is seen in this picture is BIWA, figs and plums. Biwa is a type of Japanese fruit that is hard to explain the taste for those who never had it sorry.

I mentioned this before but I hate when people say fruit is expensive in Japan. Sure sometimes it can be, especially when it is off season or high quality brand name. But other times it is really cheap.

Japan also isn't a country that focuses on mass production and low cost production of things. Japan is about quality. Fruit also isn't a major staple for the people of Japan, except for me the girl who eats a whole watermelon per day.

This is something new I came across "Ice plant". I tried searching how to eat it in English but hardly anything came up, which leads me to believe that its not available in English speaking countries. In Japanese there was plenty of articles on it, though this is not a common thing to eat at all.

It looks like a alien, like there are small dew like drops on it but they are hard like rubbery.

If anyone had a starfruit, it tastes like that but without the sweet taste. It was kinda good.

May 13, 2014

Getting ass massage in Japan

So yesterday 2 of my friends invited me to get a massage with them. They wanted to have a nice relaxing week so our choices were either massage or onsen.  I am too shy to be naked around people so I though massage would be much better.

I have never went to a professional massage shop before. I have heard many terrible stories of people going to a massage place and it hurting so much. Some people believe that pushing extra hard will hurt at first, but after feel good.  I am not one to believe such a thing.

I searched online for nice massage shop to go to and came across one in Shinjuku. So we all went there.

It wasn't a fancy store, it didn't have sensational music or coconut tree decorations or anything interesting. Just massage beds and curtians to cover the room.

This place you could rent shorts and a T-shirt if you were to shy to show your body, so I thought that meant it was ok to go naked if you wanted to.  I put the shorts on, but at first I didn't put my shirt on and just laid down on the table. I figured I was only going to be laying on my back so nobody would see anything. 

The guy walked in to give me a massage and shyly and embarrassingly said "maybe you should put your shirt on because you will be turned over and I will see you". So we both laughed and said oh ok, and then I put the shirt on they provided me.

This store also doesn't massage directly on the body, but over a towel.... Which is kinda strange since usually I see massage store adds with people rubbing oil all over someone. 

Anyways the massage started, felt good till he got to the lower back which hurt like a bitch and I thought my back was gonna rip in half. I was too shy to say anything and just grinned and bared it. He kept getting lower and lower and I was thinking the whole time "is he gonna touch my ass?".

After all it was a "full body" massage, I didn't know what to expect. I have seen all the strange videos and heard all the stories of the "happy endings" and started to wonder if something was going to happen.

Well little did I know, next was the ass massage.

Yup, thats right. The ass massage.

Not gonna lie, it actually was the best part of the massage. Go on, get your bf or gf to give it a try on you.  Its hard to explain but basically press the hands hard on your ass cheeks, move around ass massage....well in simple non technical and slightly ghetto erotic terms. 

Then he turned me over to do the front of my body, and this is where I started to worry a bit.  Was he going to go and touch my......there?   I started to wonder if my friends were having the same experience. I started to wonder so many strange things.

Thankfully, the front massage was just a face massage and shoulder and neck.  Then it was over. Fewf.

Well, turns out my friends all got the ass massage too. 1 of them even got a boob massage. I am kinda glad the boob massage didn't happen to me. I would have thought "is this going to lead to sex?" "is this what is supposed to happen?" "what did I pay for?".  

Well, I guess massages are just not the place for me.