Mari Goes Elsewhere · thinking out loud

Book House / Kitazawa Bookstore

Recently I was in Tokyo for the first time in about seven months, and I was shocked to find that one of my favourite bookstores, Book House (which I’ve written about here and here), had closed down. I was checking their site to see if I could make it there before closing, and found out that the site was no longer up. We (me, and my friends Kishiko and Iman) found out that Book House was closed, but because Kitazawa Shoten (another of my favourite bookstores) is on the second floor of Book House, we decided to go anyway. Continue reading “Book House / Kitazawa Bookstore”

Mari Goes Elsewhere · thinking out loud

The April Trip Post, Part Two

On the 18th, we went to Nagoya – my dad asked me if I’ve been before and I said no, other than for transfers and stuff. But then as we walked I realised the streets looked familiar, and near Osu Kannon I remembered that not only I’ve been there before, I actually stayed about 2 minutes away from the temple grounds during my last stay. It had been for an Arashi concert, and so I had forgotten most of the non-Arashi related details. I think Salwa (who had gone to the concert with me) and I didn’t even go to the temple, despite it being one of the main tourist attractions there, which is a shame since on the other side is a shopping street that includes a halal stall, where my family ate in this trip. One of the staff was a Malaysian student doing part-time work.

Osu Kannon
Osu Kannon temple, and the flea market

On every 18th and 28th of the month there’s a flea market at the temple grounds, selling antiques and secondhand goods. Since we chose to go on the 18th, we spent some time browsing through the stalls – I ended up buying a cute wooden antique broach for myself, and a Wedgwood jewelry box for my mother. I was tempted by all the laquerware being sold, and the antique cameras, but those would have been difficult to bring back. Continue reading “The April Trip Post, Part Two”

Mari Goes Elsewhere · thinking out loud

The April Trip Post, Part One

I think going on semi-hiatus was really bad for me. Even though I had posts queued up for the month I had to work to get back into the habit of posting regularly – it’ll be awhile before I feel up to doing any of the weekly memes, for one. But that’s okay. I’m going to concentrate on the DWJ rereads before anything else. My next read? The Skiver’s Guide, which I’ll actually be reading for the first time, so that will be fun. (I hope to finish reading the Kaye Webb biography before that, though.) I won’t be doing a DWJ reread post this weekend, though, because I’m going to Singapore on Friday.

I said that I will be posting more on the reason for my semi-hiatus, and this is one of them – I went on a trip with my parents, sister and her husband Neville. I’ve been going to Japan twice, three times a year for a few years for Arashi concerts and other events, and when my dad, a train enthusiast, heard about my shinkansen trips he decided that he needed to go on one. Last May I took him and my mother to Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka, and Hida Takayama, and when my sister saw the pictures she wanted to go. Hence this year’s trip. Continue reading “The April Trip Post, Part One”

Mari Goes Elsewhere · thinking out loud

In which I went to Penang

My sister asked me sometime last year if I wanted to go to Pulau Pinang (Penang Island) with her at the end of January, and I said yes. Of course, back then I didn’t know that it was going to be my busiest week ever – our Penang trip was supposed to be from January 31st til February 2nd; February 3rd is a public holiday but I have to work because we’re hosting James Frey at our store; February 4th will be my day for the Red Queen blog tour; and February 5th is HARRY POTTER BOOK NIGHT. Thankfully, since I will be working tomorrow, which is Thaipusam, I’ll get a replacement holiday on Friday – giving me enough time to plan for the D&D game I’m DM-ing on Sunday. Will I have enough time for the other reading and blogging I’ve been planning to do this coming week? I don’t know yet. But under the cut are some touristy pictures from Penang. Continue reading “In which I went to Penang”

Mari Goes Elsewhere · thinking out loud

Thinking Out Loud / December 7th

Last week I went on a short trip to Tokyo/Osaka, and spent part of a day in Jimbocho, Tokyo’s “Book Town”. The plan was to explore all of Jimbocho on our first day, but the weather was pretty bad – cloudy and rainy both – and we were all pretty hungry so we went to the Siddique branch there almost straight away. As usual, their curry’s yummy! Kishiko prefers Malaysian curry which is spicier, but I love Siddique’s butter chicken and keema.

huntingsnarkI figured that at the very least I’d like to pay a visit to Book House, by now my favourite children’s bookstore. It’s very near Siddique, so we found it easily. And as usual, went ooh and ahh at all the Moomin washi tapes, Wild Thing plushies, and cheburashka goodies. I got a book from the small corner for non-Japanese books this time (the last time I got a beautiful picture book by Miyazawa Kenji), Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark illustrated by Tove Jannson. Which I’ve never seen before, but after coming back I found a copy at our store, and promptly sold it  🙂

Continue reading “Thinking Out Loud / December 7th”

Mari Goes Elsewhere · thinking out loud

Back from HK!

It’s weird. I just got back and it already feels like years ago. Hmm. I had lots of stuff to talk/write about, some of which are scattered all over my trusty moleskine and in postcards I’ve written and haven’t mailed, but by now I just don’t feel like it anymore. Yeah. I’m lazy that way. All I can say is, while I loved Hong Kong because it’s so messy and unorganized and narrow and claustrophobic and dusty, I will not miss the annoyance that comes with all the cutting of queues and the pushing in trains and the rudeness of the people in general.

Continue reading “Back from HK!”