All posts by Chris Valdez

Starting with video games, Chris' interests have led him to write game reviews, study Japanese and move to Japan to continue his studies. Of course, he has other interests, like cooking and baking, travel, and occasionally updating his blog.


ねぇ、知ってる? – 豆しば’s catchphrase

A few weeks ago I was discussing Japanese “cuteness” with Rachel at a small cafe in Tokyo. While there, the topic of acceptance of cute things in Japanese society came up.

I never thought about it, but it’s something I think I enjoy. And I’m not talking about girls, guys, or things like that. I’m talking about mascots, characters, icons, etc. A perfect example is 豆しば (Mameshiba) seen in the picture above.

Mameshiba is a cute bean (literally a bean) that pops up in the most bizarre times to instill some random knowledge on its listeners. Check the video below for a collection of commercials featuring him.. her… it? Continue reading ねぇ、知ってる?

お花見, or Cherry blossom viewing season

March and April here were cherry blossom viewing season, or as it’s known in Japan, お花見. It’s an excuse for people around the country to relax, go to a nearby park, drink and be merry with friends and family. You don’t really need a reason to do that, but it’s a good reason if you’re always busy. You’re pretty much expected to go to at least one of these parties each year.

The sakura, or cherry blossoms, bloom at different times throughout the country depending on the weather and location. This year they bloomed earlier than had been originally predicted, thanks to some warmer than average weather.

I went to three parties this year:

  • The first was with some classmates. It was a small gathering that also served as someone’s going away party. We ate at a restaurant prior to going, so we ate some snacks and a few people had beer. It was held at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo.
  • The next party was with my host dad’s friend’s company. We were invited to tag along. Food included sushi, wraps, pizza and beer. This was at a park in Yokohama.
  • The third party was party was also held at Yoyogi Park. This one was a gathering of people in Japan who create YouTube videos. This one ended earlier due to rain, so it was moved to the Tobacco and Salt Museum… while we waited for a nearby pub to open up.

It’s always a fun experience, and I recommend everyone try to take part in one of these parties.


In level 4A of my school, I had to write about a strange experience that happened to me… real or made up. This is partly true, but not completely.









Recap of Japanese life from January – April 2013


Here’s a hastily edited video to show you a bit of my life the past few months. From January until about the end of April. There was snow, cherry blossom season, a KFC colonel dressed as Goku from Dragonball Z, a YouTube party, and some other stuff. A bit of 6 minutes long.

In the next post will come pictures! But for now, just this one video. And yes, I realize there’s not much Cherry blossom/花見 stuff in that video. I’ll work on something much better for that soon.

Went on a day trip to Hakone

I went on a trip to Hakone

On Friday, March 1, everyone from my school (I think there were about 300 of us) went on a field trip to 箱根 (はこね, Hakone), Kanagawa-ken, Japan. It was about 1.5 – 2 hours by bus from Shibuya. So why did we go there? I mean, just what is Hakone known for?

Well, it’s probably most known for its 温泉 (おんせん, onsen), or hot springs. We didn’t actually go to any though, which is probably for the best. I didn’t really want to see my male classmates in the buff. However, 混浴 would be OK! ^_~

Hakone is also known for its 黒卵 (くろたまご, kurotamago), or hard-boiled black eggs. The story goes that if you eat one, you’ll have 7 years added to your life. I ate two. Continue reading Went on a day trip to Hakone

Two months, huh? Seems like a good time to post

The Colonel dressed as Goku from Dragonball Z. Part of a promotion for an upcoming DBZ movie.

School is an interesting thing. I get to see classmates and some friends, learn some things, and have an opportunity to get out of my home. Of course, there is always homework to do if I attend class, as well as taking one or two tests every week. All in all though, it’s a good time.

After my first quarter (the year is split into quarters), I thought I would have become accustomed to the workload, which would leave me with a bit more free time right about now. Haha, silly me! If anything, class and homework is more intense. At least I don’t have to worry about having nothing to do and becoming absurdly bored like I was during winter break. Continue reading Two months, huh? Seems like a good time to post