Bowing Deer in Nara Japan.

This video was taken when my mum came to visit me in Japan. I decided to take her to a place called Nara which is famous for its bowing deer!

 

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Abu Chan In Japan- Living Costs/Expenses as a student in Japan APU Video

Let me guess you want to go to APU in Japan and want to know all about the costs of living ! The video below will inform you on some costs/expenses you will incur as a student in Japan/APU. Have a look at this video I hope it helps. If you have any questions just post a comment and I will do my best to get back to you.

Part 2 :

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7 Surprising Benefits Of Japanese Matcha Green Tea

Japanese Matcha Tea? What is Japanese Match Tea? Well Matcha Tea is electric green in colour and basically is the best quality powdered green tea you can get. You won’t believe the benefits of Japanese Matcha Tea on your body!

Japanese Green Matcha Tea

Japanese Green Matcha Tea

1. High in Cancer Fighting Antioxidants

What are antioxidants? Antioxidants are nutritional enzymes that fight UV radiation which in turn helps our skin look younger, it also helps prevents many life threatening illnesses such as cancer. Let’s put it this way antioxidants are good for you the more you can consume  through Japanese Matcha Tea the better…. Well obviously don’t overdo it. I have heard stories of people’s urine turning green as funny as it sounds!

Amazing Fact: One amazing fact to know is that in just one cup of Japanese Matcha tea there is 5 times the amount of antioxidants then any other food.

 

2. Enhances Calm

Since the past in ancient Japanese history Zen Buddhist monks have been drinking Japanese Matcha Tea as a way to relax, unwind and meditate while still remaining attentive. This is because Match Green Tea contains an amino acid named L-Theanine, L-Theanine assistances in the production of alpha waves in the bran, this gives you the effect of relaxation without any side effects such as sluggishness.

Amazing Fact: Relaxation gives the heart a rest as it slows down the rate of beats per minute this in turn reduces blood pressure and slows down the rate of breathing. It also increases the blood flow to musles around the body which decreases muscle tension

 

3.Increases memory and concentration

In addition to relaxing the body one other effect of L-Theanine is the production of dopamine and serotonin. These naturally occurring chemicals increase mood and improve memory, in addition to this is also helps increase better concentration. No wonder the Japanese are so technologically advanced! Joke! I think we all need a bit more concentration sometimes! Oh My God! The benefits of Japanese Matcha Tea!

Amazing Fact: Exercise leaves you in a good mood as well as with a higher level of concentration as when you exercise “Mood chemicals “are released into the body creating this effect.

4.Increases Energy and Endurance

It is know that the Samurai used to drink Japanese Match Tea before engaging in there fierce battles due to the Tea’s energising effect. Japanese Matcha Tea contains naturally occurring caffeine but this is not what gives the energising effect but rather because of the amazing mix of nutrients it contains. It is said that a cup of Japanese Matcha Tea can increase endurance can last for up to 6 hours, but not forgetting it has no side effects such as the likes of energy drinks.

Amazing Fact: Increases in energy means you feel you are able to do more thing thus becoming more productive. Matcha Tea provides that energy of course with a balanced diet! 

5. Burns Calories

Anybody need to lose weight? Well drinking Japanese Matcha Tea has proven itself as a promoter of fat burning as it increases you metabolism and can help your body burn fat 4 times faster than normal. But guess what Japanese Matcha Tea has none of the side effects! This Tea is really something special. Let’s lose some weight!

Amazing Fact:  To many calories make you fat! Obvious but cant be stressed enough!

6. Detoxifies the Body

Yep! Another great benefit of Japanese Matcha Tea, it helps detoxify the body, this means Matcha Tea has the capability of eradicating  heavy metals and chemical toxins from your body!

Amazing Fact: Your liver cleans your blood on a 24/7 basis! What a machine!

7. Strengthens the Immune System

It is known that Japanese Matcha Tea contains catecins which have an antibiotic effect in turn it promotes the general health of a person. Its amazing to know that just one cup of Japanese Matcha Tea gives you a great amount of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A & C, Iron, Potassium, Protein, and Calcium.

Amazing Fact: Some studies show that Matcha Tea as the ability to constrain the HIV attacks on the T-cells.

 

Along with all these benefits it tastes great, in Japan everything is flavoured with Matcha such as ice cream and even Kit Kat chocolate!

Interested in buying some Japanese Matcha Tea? have a look at the products below :) .

 

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My Holiday in Okinawa. Iyasssa!

Yasassa!!!Okinawa!!!! O Okinawa! how I miss you, how I miss your beautiful beaches how I miss your warm embrace and your beautiful culture. Okinawa you gave me one of the best holidays of my life, Okinawa I will not and can not forget you….. It kind of sounds like a love letter doesn’t it. Well yea I guess it is because I certainly did fall in love with this island and if God gives me life I plan to visit again in the near future. There is to much to talk about when reflecting back on Okinawa but to mention a few things and a few activities I did….

Clear sea- Okinawa

Clear sea- Okinawa

 

First of all one of the most memorable things I did there was scuba diving.. yep it was also my first time. Seeing the tropical fish surround you was a sight to behold and a sight to remember and treasure plus I was with my best friends which made the experience even more memorable :) . I remember at one point the instructor gave us some food to feed the fish as I was feeding one of the fish it bit me! Yep…no it wasn’t a shark but it still hurt! Did I bleed? No but like I said it hurt! I want to go again! The people of Okinawa are even more amazing than the beauty of the island, they are as the Japanese are known for polite and humble, the food was amazing, the music had a distinctive Japanese style Yasassa oooo it brings a tear to my eye just remembering the great times we had . The whole point of this is not to make you jealous but is to tell you of my experiences honestly and hopefully motivate you to take action and go!

fer

I advise renting a car as we did because you need a car in Okinawa other wise you are going to be paying an arm and a leg for the taxi fares.

Okinawa- in the car

Okinawa- in the car

Okinawa- in the car

Okinawa- in the car

view of Okinawa s beach

view of Okinawa s beach

There are of course downsides to Okinawa but its nothing to do with the people or the beauty of the island. The only issue I had is knowing and seeing an american base , it was very sad to know that the USA was dominating this island,  I felt like saying get out of here to the USA and don’t come back?! leave Okinawa alone! Aggggggg. But as we know the USA loves to medal in the affairs of others but I could tell after speaking to Japanese people that they are not too happy about the base and didn’t really like it  even though apparently it helps with security issues…. anyway forget that mumbo jumbo lets get back to Okinawa’s sheer beauty. There are many smaller islands off the main island which get even more beautiful, I managed to go to one sub island and what an island it was. I swear writing all this makes me feel like crying because I realise that life is amazing and humans are made to explore not just to sit in the same place achieving nothing. With travel comes experience and the gaining of knowledge and insight…. I would even say it awakens you spiritually as you begin to see the beauty of God’s creation staring you in the face and testifying to the greatness and majesty of the creator. It may sound cheesy but Japan changed me! In a good way I can not stress that enough.

cliff beach

cliff beach

Split rock on beach

Split rock on beach

 

The stalactite cave in Okinawa was also an amazing place I recall it was like walking into the past with all the old minerals surrounding me!

Okinawa cave- stalactites

Okinawa cave- stalactites

Cave waterfall

Cave waterfall

Under water coral reef. O yea did you hear Nemo was lost and I found him in Okinawa!

I found Nemo

I found Nemo

Nice view

Nice view

 

I remember going to a traditional Okinawaian performance, it really was interesting to see how Okinawa had a different style to the rest of Japan. I think the style is very interesting as you get a different feel when compared to mainland Japan.

Performer in Okinawa

Performer in Okinawa

 

I also  visited the castle in Okinawa, it took me back to old Japan were all the men had beards like me ! well longer… anyway it was a nice thing to see how Okinawa was in the past.

Okinawa  castle

Okinawa castle

Castle Guard

Castle Guard

 

Okinawa  castle - King's throne

Okinawa castle – King’s throne

King's crown

King’s crown

The food was also amazing I still remember this was one of the best restaurants I have been to in Japan. In simple terms it was Oishi!!!!

Best food ever in Okinawa

Best food ever in Okinawa

Overall the whole holiday was one life memory I can always treasure, it was somewhere I truly was able to unwind and feel free of any of the city troubles…. just peace… relaxation and enjoyment…it made me think how paradise would be…. If you can go then go! Let me know how your experience of Okinawa was! Comment below :) .


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Beppu’s Onsen’s – Hot springs

The good old Beppu onsen! Haha ooo have I got some stories for you…. First of all for those of you who don’t know what onsens are they are Natural hot springs that are good for the skin and very relaxing. Beppu is famous for hot springs and the whole town is literally covered with them. The funny thing is… well the funny thing to me is that you have to get naked to enter the hot spring! Yep! The first time I entered an Onsen I saw a bunch of naked men… I really didn’t know where to look if you know what I mean. It was so normal in Japan to be naked in front of each other (same sex of course) but it was embarrassing and I was constantly covering myself even when leaving the onsen… I just felt that there are some parts of the Human body that must be kept private… well I guess that’s a culture thing… I guess for me it’s instinctive to cover up the privates. Anyhow I have been to many Onsens mostly private because I didn’t like to get naked in front of men :) sometimes the water is way too hot so I was in and out trying to cling to dear life and take in some air!

Beppu town Onsen steam

Beppu town Onsen steam


 

Beppu is one of the most famous places in Japan for onsens. The city is full of so many different hot springs, there are 8 different types in Beppu alone called Beppu, Kannawa, Myoban, Kankaiji, Hamawaki, Kamegawa, Horita and Shibaseki. Not only is Beppu filled with Onsens but also sand onsens or sand baths. This is where people are buried in hot sand naturally heated via onsen steam. I have also taken a sand onsen and I must say it is a very good experience. I started to sweat heavily and after I had finished my skin felt amazingly fresh… yep and I also felt fresh. I kind of wish I had one here in my house in London so I can take a sand bath everyday… well that’s just a wish but any way if you’re in Beppu I really recommend you give it a try, it’s really worthwhile.


Beppu Onsen

Beppu Onsen

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APU One’s 1 fair trade Circle

Making trade fair, making people care, hearing people prayers. wooooo  ones 1 fair trade circle :) .  Joining to the fair trade circle at APU University was one of the best choices I could have ever made while staying in Japan. It was a time I learnt so much about how trade is not fair around the world and that children are being exploited doing hard labour and not being paid hardly anything.

 

Anyway about the circle… it was also a great way of making some lifelong friends and a good way of getting to know the Japanese public as we held events. It allowed me to get a feel of how it is to interact with the Japanese society as a whole and not just as a foreign student. The only two international students were me and my friend Nana Chan.

Me and Nana chan with a water melon

Me and Nana chan with a water melon

Selling people tree fair trade chocolate outside the train station:

Selling People Tree chocolate out side Beppu train station. .

Selling People Tree chocolate out side Beppu train station. .

The fashion show:

Fair Trade Fashion Show

Fair Trade Fashion Show

The team:

The fair trade team

The fair trade team

We did so many great activates such as selling fair trade products at the earth day :

Earth day fair trade

Earth day fair trade

I remember this day very well, It was a memorable time for me as I had great day interacting with Japanese people trying to sell in Japanese. Yep I was selling in Japanese and it worked! This circle and all its members are from my experience very hard working and passionate.

I still remember on my last meeting the surprise they held for me and Nana chan and the good bye card. To be honest it was quiet emotional to say good bye to all the members, but I am sure I will see them again some time in the future. I think the members were glad to finally have some international students join them and help out, but they didn’t realise  that I was more glad to join then they were to have me join :) .

 

Farewell photo:

Me and Nana chan farewell

Me and Nana chan farewell

 

 

What a time I had with ones one fair trade circle, what an amazing experience and what an eye opener. I would like to take this opportunity to thanks all the fair trade members for this time. ありがとう! All I can say is keep up the good work and eventually you will make a difference! I’m sure APU will be the first fair trade university in ASIA very soon. If you are going to APU soon I would recommend joining this circle, its for a good cause and its also so much fun!


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Negative point of Japan- Host clubs

Now for the down side to Japanese society, one thing that I really didn’t like was the culture of hosts and hostesses although mostly hostesses. It felt like it was acceptable to sell young girls and let them go drinking with strange old men or business men or any man for that matter. This did not sit right with my heart and I felt this was a major problem in Japanese society, it seems like if you do something wrong for long enough you start to become desensitised to the feeling of its wrongness and then you start to believe it’s ok. To be honest this really bothers me because I had some friends who were working as hostesses and you could see they didn’t like the job as they had to drink too much too often, they knew it was a very unsatisfying  job, but the problem was they needed a job and it paid well, better than any other part time job.  I used to always tell my hostess friends DO NOT GET DRUNK! Because you will be vulnerable to do stupid things… well being honest again I disapprove of alcohol all in all it simply dumb’s down people and numbs their brains plus it causes people to do the most stupid things ever imaginable. As I say “Alcohol is evil and bad so stay away from it! It is made to look like something good and fun but in reality it is destroying us! It causes people to cheat on each other, drunk sex, cancer, vomiting, headache, people acting like animals, you can have no trust with your partner, and still you say it’s fun? Check your head and your heart! I don’t like to see people I love hurt themselves and make mistakes anyway my words have no effect it is you who should realise what I say is correct.“ I really hope one day this culture will be phased out even though its highly unlikely because it seems to be routed in the past of Japan as well known as the Gesha.


 

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Positive side of Japan – The people

The people in Japan are one of a kind and I really mean that, I’m not saying they are perfect… no far from it there are still many ills in there society as well…. Well let me be clearer by dividing it into the pros and cons of the society and people in general in this blog. Some posts ‘will mention the positive side of Japan and some the negative. I will be compiling them on a static web page as I will be adding many points in time.  Not many people post about the negative points but I will :) . Don’t get me wrong I really love Japan but the Japanese are human thus they are not perfect. I plan to show you these imperfections so you can get a balanced idea of what Japan really is! First off the people are unbelievably helpful and kind. How I hear you say? An example is when you stop a stranger on the street to ask for directions, they will do their best to help you the “foreigner” or Gaijin to find their way, be that by taking out there smartphone and helping you find the way or in my own experience actually walking you there! Amazing. Secondly the people in Japan hardly break any laws! Yep the crime rate is rock bottom although I hear it is increasing, this is possibly due to influences from foreign countries. Just saying that normally Japanese society have very little crime so naturally it will take influence from others to change that.


 

Old lady being helped at Japanese wedding
Old lady being helped at Japanese wedding

 

 

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Sushi In Japan

Sushiiiiii!!!! My Favourite subject my favourite Japanese food and my addiction. Yep, Japan was sushi heaven. Great tasting and fresh and ……. wait for it….. cheap! unlike London prices, I could eat and eat till my hearts content and not worry about paying an arm and a leg for the sushi. I used to mainly go to kappa sushi its only 100 yen per plate plus 5 yen tax that’s equivalent to about 65p or 70p and each plate had two pieces of mouth watering aromatic sushi. So I’m sure you can guess how much of the stuff I was eating. I used to make it a routine at one point to eat sushi at least one a week aaaa those were the days…. you know its rare to find food that’s enjoyable and yet nutritionally beneficial and healthy for your body, but yep the Japanese made something that satisfies the taste buds as well as the eyes and body. It seems so strange, its just rice with some flavouring and a piece of raw fish but you know it tastes really good! I’m not joking right now, just writing about sushi at this exact moment in time is making my mouth water … oooo that soya sauce and wasabi covered sushi what a delight to the taste buds. I have had many sushi experiences, as I said the normal conveyor belt type know as Kappa’s 100 yen sushi, but also the expensive sushi in Japan is even more amazing it uses better quality ingredients and I believe more care is taken to prepare it, it costs about 1600 yen for 8 pieces which is still good compared to London prices. The experience feels much more traditional and old as it is served in a traditional Japanese looking restaurant and you can see the chief preparing other order as you walk in. Finally there’s the stand up sushi places, I really like these places well the place I went which was in Fukuoka was amazingly tasty I mean some of the best sushi I have ever had, the cost is less than 100 yen but only for one piece and the price range also varys depending on what sushi you want. You know what? I think I am going to get some sushi tomorrow! Hope you enjoyed this post and look out for more information on Japan.

 

Empty stack of sushi

Empty stack of sushi

With friends at Kappa sushi

With friends at Kappa sushi

Home made sushi in shiga

Home made sushi in shiga

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APU University campus tour

While I was still at APU university I decided to make an APU tour to show you around the campus and hopefully give you a feel of how it is to be on campus, its about 13 minutes long so watch it if your thinking of coming to APU university. Hope you enjoy!

Let me guess your a student and you need a cheap flight to get to Japan or to APU. Click on cheap flights for the best deals. Hope it helps :)

 


 

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