Melissa's Guide

Melissa’s Guide to Cherry Blossoms

The days of fluffy rain are slowly coming to an end in the land of sushi, which means one thing, drunken parties in the park. These drunken park parties are more commonly known as Hanami and coincide with the blooming of the second most magical thing in Japan, cherry blossoms. Being a certified Japan expert, and having spent a total of one spring in Japan, I feel I am exceptionally qualified to give you all the insider hints as to the best cherry blossoms spots (how to see them and how to partake in a bit of public drinking). However, I’ve unfortunately only been qualified as a certified expert in the areas of Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Himeji and Takasago. I wasn’t interested in taking the elective of Tokyo, so I only have information for there from google, which I trust you all know how to use. However ,despite from my lack of education in all areas of Japan, I do know about the best areas of Japan, so let’s jump right into Melissa’s Guide to Cherry Blossoms.

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Melissa's Guide

Melissa’s Guide to Mt. Fuji

When it comes to Japan there is no greater symbol than the giant that is Mt. Fuji. Standing at 3776 metres tall, this monolithic volcano even has its own emoji (🗻). Not even Mt. Everest can make this claim to fame. For millions of people, this is a bucket list destination and, as I bought my bucket from the same 100yen store as those other people, it’s a place I’ve also wanted to visit. Well, 2018 is the year to make my dreams a reality, or some stupid resolution like that, so I went to see this mountain for myself. Here is Melissa’s Guide to Mt. Fuji.

Melissa's Guide to Mt. Fuji

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Melissa's Guide

Melissa’s Guide to Japanese Autumn Festivals

A cooling breeze drifts through my open window, bringing with it the scent of the fragrant Kinmokusei trees and the distant strains of repetitive drum beats. This can only mean one thing, autumn has come to the land of the rising sun. Unlike the pictured Japan, autumn does not start with brilliant coloured leaves, but instead starts with something just as interesting, and just as worth seeing, Autumn Festivals (in Japanese – Aki Matsuri). For the first few weeks of October, instead of cars driving down the street, you can see massive Yatai carried by groups of scantily clad men. On certain days, you can watch elaborate religious parades, and if you’re lucky, you can watch a Yatai fight. Thankfully, I live in an area famed for its Autumn Festivals, and I consider them to be one of the best cultural experiences Japan has to offer. Therefore, I’m obviously going to provide you with a Melissa’s Guide to Japanese Autumn Festivals*.

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Melissa's Guide

Melissa’s guide to surviving a Zombie Apocalypse

USJ, which is how cool people say Universal Studios Japan, pulls out all stops to celebrate Halloween in style. There’s themed food, attractions and best of all, a zombie apocalypse after dark. Although this is a simulated apocalypse, I did pick up some handy tips for the day ‘I am Legend’ will occur and we’ll all be faced with flesh eating monsters. Welcome to Melissa’s guide to surviving a Zombie Apocalypse.

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Review

Ninja Trick House in Tokyo

Flashback to last year with my Mum and Dad visiting me in Japan. We’d had a full day strolling about Harajuku, Shibuya and finally found ourselves in Shinjuku. Shinjuku is the home of the world famous ‘Robot Restaurant,’ but all of us took one look at the flashing lights, creepy giant robots and nauseatingly loud, kitschy music and immediately said, “Yeah nah,” to paying a visit. However, we still wanted to do something with our afternoon, rather than go back to our Airbnb and nap, so I pulled out my phone and had a look google maps. Located just a 4 minute walk from the robot restaurant I discovered the ‘Ninja Trick House in Tokyo’.
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Review

Food Samples, Japan – Morino Sample 

Can’t decide what to eat? Not sure what foie gras is, let alone what it looks like? Are you in a foreign country and can’t understand the language enough to read the menu? Well don’t worry, Japan has solved all these problems for you with the concept of food samples. These perfect replicas of menu items on offer appear in most restaurant windows and, with a quick game of ordering charades (pointing, gesturing and generally nodding at these displays), you’re likely to end up with a delicious meal that looks somewhat like advertised.
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