Moshi Moshi Japan! #dctoJapan

As of June 2013, I set out on a goal to visit Japan on a working vacation every 6 months. My stays would consist of no less than 2 weeks and no more than 1 month as I try to touch my dreams of working in Japan (and make them consistent).  In that time, I have started using the tag #dctoJapan to share my adventures with fellow dreamers, family/ friends, and fans alike. So as I sat prepping for this new site on the last day of summer I took time to reminisce over my first trip to Japan and all the magic there. <3 ikb It gives me great pleasure to take a walk down memory lane with you as I launch this into the inter webs for my own personal space to share my musings and inspirations with you … all while I am on trip #6! (2 years, 6 trips and my passport knows no other stamps fufufu) working towards my dreams and goals of having a livelihood in Japan. 12003888_490529817774777_7327634383622601690_n

I think this is where I began falling in love with meditating on ferris wheels huhuhuhuhu

The connection between a season and a trip, you ask?! Well, my first trip to Japan was during the summer (June) 2013, a few days after my 33rd birthday and just a couple of months before turning 9 in tattoo years. Also I ended up on this nostalgic road while organising my digital life for a reboot on my private tattoo shop & kawaii culture hub fundraiser, #supportLIPS fund. Please be on the look out for the official fundraiser launch January 2016 *GO!* Until then, allow me to spam you with photos from my first trip to Japan (& almost 10 years into my career, it was also my first official steps to having working vacays … cuz I’m a workoholiccccc!!!!)
My first few days in Tokyo were adventure filled as I met up with language exchange buddies, turned good friends. We had been chatting for years and two years ago, I was able to meet a great deal of people who’d affectionately started calling me friend. Today most of us still meet up on my travels and practice in our cool fashion of broken Japanese and broken English, usually over drinks and exploring Japan. You can read about most of my first trip’s highlights with language exchange friends at my old blog, HERE!

Masami-chan and friends x Takeshita Dori x Kiddyland

11225344_490515411109551_690191366047897155_n 12010492_490516507776108_3766436246966225480_o 12019789_490516307776128_4306937565912598110_n1 There is way more to share from adventures in Japan with these ladies! From the Ghibli Museum and zoo, days wandering around Kichijoji and Akihabara, to adventures ate the Doraemon Museum. There’s so much to share!!!! 💞 #staytuned~ 💞 12034252_490515561109536_6266409393844675789_o

Dear ramen, I LOVE YOU! #thatisall~

I recently participated in a Sapporo Ramen class at my favorite ramen spot here in DC, Daikaya. I’ll be sure to share that oishii part of life with you guys super soon! =^.^=

12006537_490515974442828_7242715429560038504_o1 12045622_490515994442826_1553826270157487297_o1 12000992_490515734442852_1201433320459117245_o 12038915_490515731109519_8965173597252863178_o1

Passo-kun x Culture x Good times!

12049188_490521644442261_6161368846930457223_n 11217976_490526187775140_7698718438228792367_n I love these guys, always! Any minute, now I’ll have more about my welcome to Japan incidents and adventures. Some include being drunk in an izakaya off of Jack Daniel’s & sake, trying raw liver (my tummy didn’t like me for TWO days! >.<) and “praying to the porcelain god five times” as Passo shared on Facebook fufufu … 12046968_490523277775431_897906149999486314_n 12019935_490523737775385_8179927092039244611_n as well as partaking in Old Japan. I am a lover of Edo Period Japan and a lot of things therein, like daruma, kokeshi, manekineko, ukiyo-e, and shunga. These things truly make my hear happy! The logo here has three things from the ☝︎list. Do you recognise any of them or know their meanings? 12036765_490524487775310_3470746524416477362_n 12036363_490524744441951_3691741990035378767_n 12049324_490525774441848_6199553463483656357_n 12020021_490525851108507_2437835082763306014_n 12039680_490525721108520_5628783169320202648_n

Doraemon Museum x Bento (Yum!)

I absolutely love Doraemon, as well as Chibi Maruko-chan, anything from Osamu Tezuka, Arale-chan, and Pokemon. So you’ll probably see a LOT more in of otaku mode IKB as I babble about my loves. While we’re getting to know each other, I think it’s safe to ask what gets you all geeked out?! Feel free to leave comments and share! 👇👇 12003177_490525331108559_8778359073330045997_n 12036633_490525471108545_6885991347864249566_n2 11915738_490528411108251_5838779853183908453_n I also want to learn to make kawaii bento. My friend makes obento for her boys every morning. She made this Doraemon one to welcome me to Japan. She thought it would be a great midnight snack in case of insomnia or jet lag. 😭😭😭  I cried because it was so thoughtful and nice.

Moshi Moshi Osaka ・’Sup Naoki!

12046704_490529747774784_2672580643462891264_n God bless Osaka! It’s a beautiful city with much kinder people and it feels a lot like the flow of DC. I am in love with Kansai culture, from kansai ben to soul food, and have no one to thank more than my CNH (chicken namba homie), TNS Naoki. 12042953_490529051108187_2341699195354596736_n

During my Hotel Granvia Osaka stay my needs were in one room … #bless!

My main business in Osaka was to meet one of my favorite tattoo artist, Naoki- who’s become far more than a colleague, by the way. He’s family!- a big brother, chicken namba homie, art buddy & long distance mentor rolled into one. haha (Check out our more about my tattoo family HERE.) Even so far away we work together, keep each other focused and inspire each other. I am forever thankful that he wanted to meet me just as much as I him, and thankful for what we have woven into as art buds! 12003261_490529301108162_5529694015083412776_n 12042763_490529484441477_6320845825714736593_n-1 If you enjoyed these and want to see more, the entire album and my photo dump is available on my Facebook page. Stop by~ Also, please feel free to track my official travel tag #DCtoJapan to see more from my Japan adventures! I have to catch some zzz’s (a sistah is jet lagged!) and try to set out some things to do here in Tokyo this go ’round. yoroshiku onegaishimasu~cropped-Untitled-3.gif

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