日光 Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture. {Day 1/2}

Despite the rest of the week feeling like it had dragged on forever, I woke up at around 5 a.m. on September 19th, altogether way too early for a Saturday (or any other day for that matter).

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3 Things I Love About Autumn in Japan… and 3 Things I Don’t (#Blogtober)

By the time this post comes out, we’ll be nearing the end of October, meaning we’ll be most of the way through the autumn season. This is one of my favourite times of year here, as not only is it super nostalgic (I lived in Fukuoka in October 2016 and moved to Japan properly in November 2017), it’s also one of the best times to experience Japan. And here’s why…

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What I Eat in Japan on a Lazy Autumn Sunday (#Blogtober)

After my last Blogtober installment, I realised just how long it had been since my last food post. Before my challenge to eat like a Brit in Japan for 24 hours, I hadn’t published any since March, which makes no sense considering that a.) I was stuck at home for quite a while and b.) I love food.

With the weather getting colder and my favourite foods becoming seasonal again, I figured it was time to do another “what I eat” style post – this time focusing on incorporating autumn foods back into my diet.


BREAKFAST

I don’t know if it’s just me, but over the last few months I’ve noticed porridge (or oatmeal, whatever you want to call it) becoming a bit more popular in Japan. You can find oats in supermarkets but because I am very lazy, I prefer to buy ‘quick cook’ ones. This was the Odlums Quick Cooking Irish Oatmeal from Kaldi, and while it’s about twice the price of your bog standard Ready Brek back in the UK, I don’t care. I love porridge on cold mornings and one box does go a long way. I usually mix some cinnamon sugar into mine to make it taste better, and I sometimes add a teaspoon of chia seeds for some extra nutrition. I managed to get a large bag of them while they were on sale at Kaldi.

Topping my breakfast with stewed fruit is an easy and delicious way to get one of my five a day in early. If this was during the week, I’d prepare the fruit in advance but because this was a Sunday, I had extra time to stew my fruit at the same time as microwaving my porridge. These berries came from the frozen section of my local supermarket, cutting down on cost and waste (I usually don’t finish fresh fruit before it goes bad).

Breakfast was finished off with a nice hot cup of Yorkshire Tea, as is only proper.


LUNCH

I am a sucker for avocado toast. I just can’t help it. While avocados are not in season right now, and neither are tomatoes, this is one meal I don’t give up depending on what time of year it is. I start off with rye bread because it’s just better than white bread for this kind of thing, then top it with avocado and tomato (with an optional soft-boiled/fried egg). Finishing it off with salt, pepper, and a sprinkling of some kind of seed – I like both chia and sesame seeds but I usually opt for sesame in this case – it’s done in about five minutes.

I needed a source of protein so I included some baby cheese. These are the cheddar version of Hokkaido Tokachi Smart Cheese, and compared to other baby cheese in Japan, this is much nicer due to its sharp flavour. It’s not as good as proper Cheddar but it’s a decent substitute.

Now, this is an autumn ‘what I eat in a day’, so I also had one of my favourite fruits of all time: persimmon. Persimmon, or kaki (柿) in Japanese, have just come back into season and right now they cost just under 100 yen. I’d never tried it before moving here but after having it for school lunch one time, I cannot get enough of it.


DINNER

Sometime over the past year or so, it became a tradition to have curry on a Sunday. While it’s a tradition that doesn’t quite match up to the old Wednesday curry nights with my dad, it’s still good. If I’m at my English conversation club I’ll usually have some curry instant noodles, but because I was home all day I was able to take a bit more time.

I’d bought a packet of beef curry at the supermarket and some microwave rice, but even though I know there are already some vegetables in the sauce, it’s not really enough for me. I do love my vegetables. I had some carrot and half a sweet potato lying in the fridge and a bag of frozen spinach in the freezer, so those were added to make my curry more substantial. Thanks to the carrot and sweet potato it was a little sweeter than usual, but I didn’t mind that. It was hearty and warming and it really felt like autumn.


DESSERT

I always try to stop eating before bed, but it never works. However, I could make it a little healthier than usual. Instead of grabbing a cake or something, I had half an apple left over so I cut that up instead. With fruit being on the expensive side in Japan, I usually have half an apple at a time, but I find that Japanese apples are also bigger than most UK ones. Because of that, I’m still getting a good amount of fruit. Apples are also in season now, so the price has fallen quite a bit (Yay!).

There were also a few Country Ma’am cookies left and because they’re only tiny, I had those too.

The tea I chose that evening is one of my absolute favourites: Yogi Tea’s Chai Rooibos. With it having a rooibos base instead of black tea, it’s completely caffeine free so perfect for before going to sleep. Also, chai is one of my favourite drinks anyway, so being able to enjoy a cup of warm spiced tea at home is more than welcome. I always add milk and a little bit of sweetener to finish it off.


So, that’s what I ate in a day! I’m definitely not saying I have perfect balance and nutrition but I’m trying and that’s what counts, right?

Are there any meals you’d have from this list? What’s your favourite autumn food?

Eating Like a Brit for 24 Hours in Japan (#Blogtober)

In my last Blogtober post, I talked about my experience with homesickness, and after recently hitting a very rough patch in that regard, I am so glad to be in a better state of mind now.

I know for a fact it’s going to get worse again in a few weeks’ time, so I’m definitely not taking this for granted. Instead of wishing I was back home, I’ve decided to focus on what British stuff I can enjoy here (before it becomes a painful reminder again, at least!)

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20 Books in 2020 (Part III) Japanese Literature

We’re almost three quarters of the way there!

Continuing my challenge to read 20 books of Japanese Literature this year, once again, I’ve tried to mix things up a bit. Not only have I kept up the even gender split from the last installment, but I’ve also tailored my reading list so it perfectly matched this year’s travel schedule.

Check out what I’ve read down below…

Continue reading “20 Books in 2020 (Part III) Japanese Literature”