Wind Chimes & Edo-style Starbucks at Kawagoe, Saitama 🎐

Hi all!

How are you guys? 元気? I hope you’re all genki (good)! ^^

Yesterday, me and my friend Kiko met up at Kawagoe to visit the insta-famous Starbucks branch & to finally experience the Wind Chimes festival at Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine.

And oh btw, you can watch the early viewing video on my patreon~ heehee! 🎐

Video will be released within the week! Please stay tuned!

I really missed exploring Kawagoe. I went here alone and with my friends before in multiple occasions. We also had some work-related photoshoots here before. Going back with a friend really felt nostalgic for me!

For many years, I would always miss the Wind Chimes event at Hikawa shrine. Not anymore this time, yay!

Kawagoe’s ~aesthetic~

Continue reading


Ichigo Daifuku Class by MCK Studio + My Gambatteru Family in Japan✨

Hello everyone~!

I just want to share these photos taken by Justin during our Japanese wagashi (Ichigo Daifuku) class last week! Finally found an opportunity to blog about Mimiclaire’s Kitchen Studio by Claire Ocampo.

To those who do not know yet, my talented sister-in-law Claire currently teaches at her own kitchen studio here in Saitama . Last year, she won first place in a national cooking contest organized by Japan Soysauce Association with her very own Adobo creation (read: Japan Times feature). My good friend Justin (who also works for JLM Store like me, Gil and Anne) is also collaborating with her as her kitchen partner / co-instructor. They work together as Chef – Food Photographer tandem. Justin got featured in Entrepreneur Philippines website last year and you can read about his passion for photography here.

I just realized that I haven’t really shared about this other business that we have on my blog (always sukajan / souvenir jacket, haha).. so here you go! 🙂

I’m just really proud that everyone in the family is “gambatteru” (always doing his/her best) & we are all achievers in life & work.

Whenever I mention “family” here in Japan, I don’t only mean about my older brother, his family & my cousin. I’m also pertaining to my friends turned family here (hi Anne & Justin!)

We all work together with different skills / talents but we all have the same & respective goals and dreams. ^_^

facebook page | instagram | twitter

With the ever-growing popularity of the Japanese Cuisine all over the world, many visitors to Japan have become eager to try out Japanese Cooking classes as one of the best ways to enjoy the local culture and experience the wonders of Japan’s food culture first-hand. Apart from the usual routine of visiting stereotype tourist spots and famous places around Tokyo, another way of getting deeper insights into Japan’s fascinating culture is to foster some local camaraderie with people who also share this Japan love. Mimiclaire’s Kitchen Studio is born out of this passion to share the love towards Japan’s food culture – carefully mixed with some Asian and Filipino food cultural perspectives and approach to cooking and making great food. Read more.

Daifukumochi (大福餅), or Daifuku (大福) (literally “great luck”), is a Japanese confection consisting of a small round mochi (glutinous rice cake) stuffed with sweet filling, most commonly anko, sweetened red bean paste made from azuki beans. (source)

It was my first time to make ichigo daifuku and it was so much fun! It was also Anne‘s first time! 😉

Continue reading


Skulls, Angels, Cherry Blossoms and Dragons

Hi all!

Here’s the last of the photoset series that Ashley and I collaborated on. I miss her creative spirit a lot and how I wish I could do more shoots like this in the future with her too! :”) Universe, please let it happen!!

Japan Souvenir Jacket Sukajan JLM STORE6

Japan Souvenir Jacket Sukajan JLM STORE69

Japan Souvenir Jacket Sukajan JLM STORE24

Enjoy!

Japan Souvenir Jacket Sukajan JLM STORE34

Japan Souvenir Jacket Sukajan JLM STORE70

Japan Souvenir Jacket Sukajan JLM STORE18

Japan Souvenir Jacket Sukajan JLM STORE7

Japan Souvenir Jacket Sukajan JLM STORE31

Japan Souvenir Jacket Sukajan JLM STORE50

Japan Souvenir Jacket Sukajan JLM STORE8

Japan Souvenir Jacket Sukajan JLM STORE9

Japan Souvenir Jacket Sukajan JLM STORE38

Vintage Japanese SATORI Cherry Blossoms Sakura Skull Skeleton Hokusai Wave Embroidered Sukajan Souvenir Jacket

Continue reading


Visiting Kurosuke’s House at Totoro’s Forest (トトロの森)

Hi everyone!

Yesterday, Yumi-san (a.k.a. my fairy godmother here in Japan haha) and I went on a mini hiking trip at Tokorozawa, Saitama! It’s amazing how there are SOOO many things to do, explore and discover here in Saitama Prefecture!

Been wanting to hike ever since my Poppy trip to Chichibu and coincidentally, Yumi nee-san wanted to visit Kurosuke’s house. I think that I did read about this news before (maybe from rocketnews JP? lol haha) and I also thought of visiting Totoro and Kurosuke.. but I had forgotten about it. Many thanks to Yumi nee-san for inviting me and for arranging everything! Her adventurous spirit and youthful energy are really inspiring and contagious.

Anywaaay, let’s get started! Here are the highlights of the trip! ^^

DSCF7082 totoro forest saitama

Totoro-san contemplating about the meaning of life.

totoro hobonichi

Do watch out for the special Totoro Forest x #HobonichiWithMe video!

DSCF7033 totoro forest saitama

Luckily, for a Saturday, it wasn’t too crowded!

DSCF7141 totoro forest saitama

Seeing greens and trees just makes me feel more alive!

DSCF7197 totoro forest saitama

Look how lush the trees are! They look like broccoli (and Yumi-san thinks so as well haha)~

DSCF7043 totoro forest saitama

Many years ago, the local community started a fund for the preservation of the forests in Sayama Hills / Tokorozawa, Saitama. They called it “Totoro Fund / Totoro no Furasato Foundation”. Tourists are welcome to stay at Kurosuke’s house and you can donate by purchasing the special edition Totoro fund merch / or you can just leave any amount in their donation boxes. Up to this day, because of the pooled money, the organization has bought and acquired enough land to sustain and preserve the forests.

DSCF6959 totoro forest saitama

Printed the maps / guides from their website. 

DSCF7013 totoro forest saitama

totoro forest totoro no mori 24

Yumi-san woke up at 4:30AM to prepare our kawaii Totoro bento! OMG! *_*

Continue reading