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Do as the Romans do – Laser Tag

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in All posts, Italy | 0 comments

To make the most of our stay in lovely Rome, we like to do as the Roman’s do. We met Fabio, a real Italian and this is how we ended up at Laser Tag. Shooting each others asses. I was new to the game, but I guess one is never too old to try out weird stuff. This is how it went. Each player is dressed in a black vest with various illuminating spots at the front and back. Their brochure made it seem that the girls are to dress like this. Somehow I managed to slip through the net. The Laser Tag vests are the blackest black. Attached to the vest is the gun, bigger and badder, than I thought, even if the players are not. There is no creepy muscle-gym clientèle. People, as in the youngsters, smile...

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Japanese food models and kitchen supplies at Kappabashi

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

Every district in Tokyo has its unique charm. Kappabashi is known to be the playground for chefs, restaurant owners and hobby cooks, delivering various kitchen utensils, masses of tableware and cooking apparatus one can only imagine.  Here, you can find many shops with sampuru, the Japanese term for replica display food, actually derived from the English word sample. Some shops feel like a huge supermarket full of fake food. I always thought they were made of plastic but many are actually made of wax!   So many dishes, from tiny soy sauce bowls to huge platters.  A great place for souvenirs, to have a peek at Japanese home cooking gadgets and professional restaurant equipment.   The main Kappabashi street is full of shops with crockery, pots, pans, beautiful tableware, lacquerware, bamboo cooking items, chopsticks, knifes, trays, bowls, bento box...

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Making Japanese food models in Tokyo

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

Japan is known for its amazingly real looking food models. Replicas of dishes and drinks are prominently displayed at Japanese restaurant windows. The mother of food models is Tokyo’s Kappabashi district. With endless kitchen utensils, professional restaurant gadgets and beautiful tableware, it brings about more than exquisite plastic formations. For us, the greatest Kappabashi kick was to make some of those fantastic food samples ourselves. To experience some food model magic, we booked a mini-workshop at Ganso, one of the model producers in Tokyo.   Making lettuce and tempura at Ganso Ganso is the shop in Kappabashi where food models are made by specially trained artisans and: – where you can create your personal piece of fake food and, – buy a DIY fake food model set to make at home or, – where you can simply look at...

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The Flat, Food, Fun, Festival – our Krakow!

Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 in All posts, Poland | 0 comments

We will miss Krakow despite its legendary air pollution (better come in warmer months before inhabitants start working their old chimneys). Life’s amenities have been fully met in this lively city. Wed had found a cosy place to sleep, some great places to dine and the best place to hang out and party. This post is about our apartment rental, our favourite restaurants and the hippest location for eating, shopping, dancing and relaxing. Fun comes first. Which all comes down to the Hotel Forum Despite its name, it is not a hotel anymore. If you haven’t heard of it, you will undoubtedly see it, when walking down the river boulevards. A monstrous, wide and forlorn structure, sitting on Krakow’s riverfront will appear. This massive building was the most modern hotel in Poland in 1989. Designed in the 80s, it...

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Meeting Hello Kitty at Sanrio Puroland

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in All posts, Japan | 1 comment

The 6th of December is a special day. It is the day of Saint Nicholas, where the Santa-like figure leaves little presents in children’s shoes and stockings. This is what we found outside our door in Tokyo that morning. A chance to meet Hello Kitty.     Oh, joy ☆*・゜゚・*\(^O^)/*・゜゚・*☆   。^‿^。 How we ended up at Sanrio Puroland 。^‿^。 On the 6th of December, St. Nicholas left us with Hello Kitty themed gifts, snacks, chocolate lollies, a hair bow and (self made) tickets to Tokyo’s Hello Kitty World, called Sanrio Puroland. I admit the presents were a bit one-sidedly girly but St. Nicholas drew our attention to the fact that on the 6th of December 2013 Puroland was opening its doors for free! It was a one time opportunity to visit and so we did. I might add...

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Koreatown in Tokyo

Posted by on Dec 5, 2013 in All posts, Japan, South Korea | 0 comments

Today we biked down to Koreatown located in Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward, curious to see if it compares to anything Korean we have seen while living in Seoul. It sure does! We were amazed how big it is and how much of it it reminded us of Korea’s capital. Think past the beautiful imperial palaces in Seoul, focus on Korea’s pop culture, fiery food, barbecues, bright cosmetic emporiums and you get a picture of Koreatown in Japan. How to get there: take the Yamanote Line to Shin-Okubo Station, there is only one exit (an amazing thing at Tokyo’s huge stations) which leads onto Okubo Dori. Koreatown runs both east and west along Okubo Dori from the station.   Let’s go and feel some Korean vibe in Tokyo! You can expect to be spoiled with many restaurants, grocery stores, and products from...

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How to do Kawaii in Tokyo

Posted by on Dec 3, 2013 in All posts, Beauty and Fashion, Japan | 2 comments

Thank you Japan for washi tape, origami, sushi and Geisha girls. But most of all, thank you for kawaii. You are the mother of cuteness with a long history of lovely things, (ka meaning acceptable and ai meaning love in Kanji), dating back to the Edo period, which we will omit and dive straight into all the adorable kawaii things in new-ageTokyo that will make any girl say aww and go all mushy. Guys, if you get over yourself and be the male companion in kawaii day, you will be batting at a high on the awesome scale. So, here we go. How TO do KAWAII in TOKYO in 10 STEPS Number 1 ♛♠♣♥♦ SeT a KaWaii miNd FrAmE ♛♠♣♥♦ Make up something dreamy along the lines of… Dasza returns to the magic childhood world of Alice in Wonderland...

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Tokyo’s electric town Akihabara

Posted by on Nov 24, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

After an adventurous archery session, we went to explore another world which simply means another district in Tokyo. Akihabara (秋葉原). Bright like a Christmas tree, the nerdy area showed its festive side with seasonal illuminations these days. If I had to go by the districts probable electricity bill, I would say it is always Christmas at Akihabara. Let me show you the area and some of the main electronics and anime shops, also some tips on overseas shopping. Welcome to Akihabara Station.   Akihabara is computer geek wonderland.   Akihabara is fun to walk.   Akihabara is called Akiba after a former temple. The Kanda Shrine in Akihabara, a 10 min walk from the station, is a pleasant oasis to escape the buzz.   Anime, vending machines, toy coin machines is what Akihabara provides.   Electronics stores, manga figures,...

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The Art of Archery in Tokyo

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

When our friend Alex said “Hey you wanna go to archery?”, beautiful pictures of emancipated women gracefully manipulating bows and arrows came to my mind. Maybe Tomek had the same images in his head as we both said “Yes, we wanna go to archery!” and off we went coming Sunday. Remember that cute girl from the Hunger Games, gorgeous Merida from the Brave movie? All those characters surely had my undivided attention when engaged in the art of archery. One of the most fascinating ancient Greek heroines are Amazons, the female warriors who would cut off their right breast in order to facilitate muscle growth to the right shoulder and arm, as a way to improve their hunting and fighting skills with bows and arrows. Who is the better dressed anyway?   I read that archery is the sport...

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Romantic Tokyo @ Bread Market, Nezu Museum, Eternal Lights

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

To spend a romantic day in Tokyo, we get our bikes out and cycle to events we find interesting. There is always so much to chose from and once we have a goal, we always see more on the way when biking around. The breeze in my hair, the freedom to take any road I want, to be right in the environment and stop to take in anything of interest anytime, makes biking so much more enjoyable than taking the car or metro.   This owner probably thinks otherwise.   But I really love to look at Tokyo’s architecture when riding through Tokyo’s districts. And when I said 70s tile design is hideous, I was proven wrong with this example.   And another lesson to review my aversion to tiles. It is difficult to see, but this building is...

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ABC night in Tokyo

Posted by on Nov 9, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

Just wrote up our recent night out with a friend – starting with A…   A is for Alex. We met Alex through the anime fair 2013 for which he was translating a session with Japanese voice actors for gaijin freshman like us.     B. Boredom antidote that is Tokyo. Even in further districts of Tokyo, like Kameido which is where we started our night out.   C. Cool and crazy. I saw turtles with wings.   D. Danger. Japan is regularly shaken by earthquakes and hit by tsunamis. Just a few days ago we had quite a shaking with a magnitude of 3 which swang our house back and forth. Creepy feeling. This monument here, monitors water levels of a nearby river.   E. Eldorado of retail is the Donki store which we visited again. With the...

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Mitsubishi, Tenmangu, Kamukura, Parco = my Tokyo weekend

Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

This post has nothing to do with cars, although the house we walked through today once belonged to the Mitsubishi magnate Iwasaki Yataro. Big in the automobile business he also owned a big house. Which nowadays can be visited by the less fortunate, for a fee. Although history has been tough on the Iwasakis during WWII. During turbulent war times the family had lost their residence, which is now open to the public. The attraction is called Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens but truthfully, the garden is just a lawn, not at all as elaborate as the house. The real sight is the building itself. Admission: 400 yen per person. Location: 1-3-45 Ike-no-hata, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 3min to Yushima Station (Chiyoda Line), exit #1   Hello readers! Welcome to another Tokyo series of Dasza learning about the world.   This is what I...

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Best of Fukuoka – great sights, good eats, cheap shops

Posted by on Oct 30, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

Fukuoka translates to fun. It is a small city – for Japanese standards – and easy to navigate. The city reminds me a bit of wonderful Budapest, as Fukuoka was also once divided into the west bank dominated by Fukuoka castle and the east part, still known as Hakata. Merged in 1889 it is now modern but has preserved its compact layout. Starting centrally from our apartment located near Tenjin Station, we pretty much walked to all major sights (scroll through post for more info and location): ❤ Fukuoka castle ruins – enjoy a fantastic city panorama ❤ Mandarake – for anime and manga fanatics on a tight budget ❤ Book Off Bazar – rewards bibliophiles and fashionistas on a tight budget ❤ Kihinkan Hall – for its early 20th century European flair ❤ Canal City – family entertainment...

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Biking Tokyo’s Shibuya & Shinjuku at night

Posted by on Oct 22, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

This year our fantastic three storey Tokyo townhouse came with two bikes and we are enjoying the city more than ever. We were provided with new bikes by our hosts who are like genie in a bottle. Quick rant on our gorgeous house in Setagaya Three storeys does sound awfully grand, and in Tokyo terms it is, but it is funny to see different reactions from friends. Japanese: “Wow, you live in a house – that is a big house for you two.” European: “It is a house and only has two rooms?” Hilarious. As for my part, I already got used to Japanese proportions and started to love the compactness of Tokyo and its one family house units. The garage takes up all of ground level, second floor is occupied by the kitchen, dining table, toilet and couches,...

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Traditional Treats: Luang Prabang night market & Lao fashion

Posted by on Oct 10, 2013 in All posts, Laos | 2 comments

Luang Prabang is the fourth biggest city in Laos and a true gem in Asia. No high rises, no shopping malls, not even a cinema, yet a tourist paradise. Luang Prabang is drawing more and more tourists each year, yet it has managed to keep its authenticity without ever becoming tacky. And that is especially true of  unique merchandise. The Night Market of Luang Prabang is said to have the most extensive collection of handicrafts for sale in Laos. It so happened that from our hotel balcony, we could overlook the most popular and colourful shopping distraction in Luang Prabang. A whole street transforms in the city’s centre at around 5 pm, to create one long open air market, with friendly ladies selling their home made products – up until 10 pm when everyone packs up. No hassle, no...

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Tomek Tarzan, me Jane – Ziplining in Laos

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in All posts, Laos | 0 comments

As if life isn’t painful enough. I have entered a new level of risk and fear. And I am not talking about flying China Eastern, nor Southern. Flying is an understatement. I went ziplining. Let me make it clear — I love to stay with both feet on the ground. I am from the ballet and yoga division. I don’t engage in adventure sports. I don’t raft, dive, parachute, bungee jump. Not voluntarily. Ziplining is a verb that does not appear in my repertoire. And yet, in Laos, I was hanging in the jungle, attached to a rope. Call it fear fun of a lifetime! Laos is the place for adventure tours and ziplining is just one option on the activity list. We decided to test our bodies on something new and booked a zipline adventure at and above...

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Free entertainment – Food for 270 Yen – Fukuoka!

Posted by on Sep 29, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

Japan is the country of friendliness and good manners. Even in humble places where you would not expect good service by western standards, Japanese workers will take pride in what they do and show their best. Just as we walked outside our apartment building we were greeted by a construction worker who guided us with his laser stick. Although there was no danger apparent (Japanese construction sites are the safest in the world), it was a nice gesture. I quickly learned to appreciate Japanese cultural advancements and especially not to take it for granted. There is also a lot of free entertainment in Japan. Today, we stumbled upon an open air concert in our district (Tenjin), as part of Fukuoka’s ‘Music City Tenjin‘ program and attended a free rock concert with many performing punk rock artists.   Listen in,...

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Cats & dogs, Hello Kitty Cafe & Korean ice cream at Hongdae

Posted by on Jul 14, 2013 in All posts, South Korea | 0 comments

29th June 2013. This post is sort of about cats and dogs,  linked to food preferences. But also about the colourful area of Hongik University in Seoul, located around Hongdae Street. Just about various impressions I got that day Seoul. About cats and dogs. One is feline icon Hello Kitty, a Japanese (Sanrio) invention, nowadays selling Hello Kitty cakes and coffee in her café in Seoul. Many real cats live in cafés, too. In pet cafés. So that everyone can have a pet for some time and leave it whenever they please. Dogs are liked a lot in Korea as well. Some like them for their meal. Don’t be shocked, it is a fair change to pork and beef, I would think. Because Tomek and I really like those animals, we consequently don’t eat dogs, nor pigs, cows or...

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