::: JK Fun ::: Annual Light Up Event of The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go! 2017 Event Schedule Released!!

30th Annual Shirakawa-go Illumination Display Event 2017

A must-see night view once in your life

Located in the remote part of Gifu Prefecture, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for their traditional triangular thatched rooftop houses. Since the village has become a hot spot for visitors, most of the houses are used as shops, restaurants and hotels now. However, it is still a good place to visit if you want to see some Japanese traditional farmhouses.

Shirakawa Village
Address: Shirakawago, Ohno District, Gifu Prefecture

30th Annual Shirakawa-go Illumination Display Event 2017

Every year, the Shirakawa-go Illumination Display Organizing Committee decorates the village with lights. The night view of this traditional village is spectacular!

Picture credited to tour.club-t.com
The Committee announced that dates for the 2017 light up event as follows:

01. Jan 22, 2017 (Sun.)
02. Jan 23, 2017 (Mon.)
03. Jan 29, 2017 (Sun.)
04. Jan 30, 2017 (Mon.)
05. Feb 05, 2017 (Sun.)
06. Feb 06, 2017 (Mon.)

Light up time: 18:00-19:30

Note: Please be aware that the road and parking are expected to get very crowded during the event.

Don't miss the chance to see such beautiful night view in your life!

Other blogs on interesting light up events in Japan:

::: Special ::: 2016 Christmas In Tokyo - Episode 3!! Christmas Lights in Ebisu and Meguro!!

Wanna get more and share your Japanese stories with us? Please join us on Google+ !!
See you there! :)


::: Special ::: Tokyo Cafe ~ In Collaboration With The Movie "Kimi No Na Wa" (Your Name) ~ Part III

~ In Collaboration With The Movie "Kimi No Na Wa" (Your Name) ~ Part III

THE GUEST Cafe and Diner in Ikebukuro
2017.01.07 - 2017.02.07

If you are also a big fan of the movie "Kimi No Na Wa" (Your Name), I bet you have already seen our previous blogs on the Tokyo winter event that collaborates with this popular movie.

You have already seen them all?? Don't worry, we have a new event for you today!!

One month limited Cafe x Kimi No Na Wa

From 7 Jan 2017 (Sat) to 7 Feb 2017 (Tue), at Ikebukuro Parco Main Building, THE GUEST cafe&diner is going to present a "Kimi No Na Wa" themed menu for a limited time.

Before we get to the food, what is interesting about this limited time cafe?

First, the famous stairs where the two main characters meet each other is replicated in front of the cafe. So you can also become Mitsuha or Taki and take some pictures on the stairs!

Other than the specially designed table paper mat, when you order a drink, you can get one of the six types of coasters (above)!

Alright, let's check out the menu!!

Cafe Menu

Food that you see in the movie is recreated by THE GUEST. Just like this Deep-fried potato cake sandwich which Taki's friends shared with him!!

Korokke Sandwich: 1,080 yen

Do you still remember where did Taki have this ramen? In Tokyo or .......

You can try the same ramen now!

Ramen: 1,180 yen

Sweets Menu

Wait! Let me take a picture first and share on SNS! Why does Taki act like a girl today??

Pancake with Strawberry Sauce: 1,480 yen

Isn't this the mountain where..........

Yes, and it is also a Matcha Parfait! How interesting is that!

Matcha Parfait: 1,080 yen
Other than main dish and sweets, you can also find side dish and drinks all with Kimi No Na Wa's themed!! You can refer to their homepage (link at the bottom of this blog) for more details on their menu.

Goods and Souvenirs

You can find products like stationery, smart phone accessories, key chains etc at the cafe too. So it is a great place for all the fans right!!

If you will come to Tokyo during that period, why don't you go and visit this limited time cafe!

THE GUEST cafe&diner
"Kimi No Na Wa" Limited Cafe
Period: 2017.01.07 - 2017.02.07
Location: 7F Ikebukuro Parco Main Building
Address: 1-28-2 South Ikebukuro, Toshima-Ku, Tokyo
Hours: 10:00 - 22:00 (Food L.O. 21:00, Drink L.O. 21:30)

(All pictures credited to THE GUEST cafe&diner)

Other two events in Tokyo that collaborates with "Kimi No Na Wa"

Wanna get more and share your Japanese stories with us? Please join us on Google+ !!
See you there! :)



Seated at my editing desk, I am looking back at how quickly 2016 had just whizzed by. While, I revel in the peace and quiet with just one more day to the end of 2016!! Quite frankly, feeling peace at ease.

Going deeper into what I truly enjoy doing, this year. If you have no clue, that is creating content for YouTube got me remembering.The irregular work hours and everything that came with it, I was not happy then.

Four years into my new role of a Stay Home Mum, having a child and witnessing her everyday quirks and growth, although it's physically tiring and mentally draining!! I can assure you that this tough job has it's perks too, it really does!!

I had learnt to utilize my free time to plan out my videos for my YouTube Channel TheLeiaV, and for my Blog. We have come a long way since the beginning of 2016! 

Watch this video and you'll get what I am saying!

This content originally appeared on YouTube

2016 was a roller coaster of all sorts, a crazy year in fact. It made me face many of my new fears, laugh, cry, hear my truth and most importantly, being able to figure out that I CAN be the boss of my life.

Thank you for being a part of this crazy ride, wouldn't have been same without you. I'm inspired daily by people like you, who are taking time to invest in yourselves and working towards your dreams.

With one more day to the end of 2016, I can't thank you enough for being a part of my small internet fam bam #squadgoals. I feel we have built something incredibly special together and can't wait to discover what we can conquer in the coming 2017.

Let's take a quick minute, to take a deep breath and give ourselves a pat on our back. Have a great New Year ahead!!

I will see you very soon.


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MAC Retro Matte Full Collection Swatched!

MAC sent me the entire collection because I am such a pronounced beauty blogger they said, "Send that talented girl the whole lot and fast!  We must know what she thinks of our new liquid lipsticks collection..."

Zzzzz....snort* What?  Oh was I daydreaming again?  
Well they didn't send me the entire collection but I did still get my hands on it!
I am working at a counter in North Seattle and had a chance to swipe a couple samples and by a couple I mean all of them.  I sampled one of each of the earthy tones not only so I can have them on when I show up to work but so I can make this video.  It really is a win win in my opinion.

These colors are SO beautiful and SO up my alley.  I am all about the neutral tones, browns, mauves, etc.  Or really any whacky color you typically don't see.  I love to slap on some blue lipstick and hit the grocery. LOL

I did mention in my "Naughty Nice Beauty Products" video that I did not like the formula of the Retro Matte "Dance With Me" liquid lipstick that I had.  You really can't build on them.  A thin layer is all you can do before it flakes and chips away, yickkk.  But these seem different!  I don't know if they changed it or it's just the pigmentation makes the formula different but all I know is, I don't have that problem thus far.  I do recommend using a lip primer or chapstick in the beginning of your makeup routine as all liquid lipsticks are drying.  So when you add the lipstick as the final step wipe away any extra moisture and then apply as normal.  I even prep my lips the night before by wearing a balm before bed if I know it's going to be a liquid lip kind of day, like for a Holiday Party, Wedding, or some kind of special occasion.

So here is the video I made, trying on each one so you can see what they look like, enjoy!

Seanna Miriah

::: JK Fun ::: Delicious and interesting local food in Sugamo! An area that is famous for "red underwear"!!

Picture credited to Japan Guide

Sugamo is famous for the "Red Underwear"!!?

Your local food guide in this interesting area

Picture credited to iStock by Getty Images
Just two stations away from Ikebukuro, on the same Yamanote Line, you can find this interesting area "Sugamo" who is famous for the population of older Japanese and.....shops selling red underwear!!

Picture credited to Guide To Tokyo
It is believed that wearing red color, like underwear and clothes, can give you good luck and prosperity! Don't be surprised when you see many shops selling these red items in Sugamo!! You may even get some for your friends too!

Other than shops, you can find famous temples in Sugamo too. For example the "Kogan-Ji Temple"where it is famous for the "Arai Kannon". People line up and pour water on and wash the Kannon statue to the same parts that they are ill. It is said that in doing so, your illness will go away! 

(Above) Just not too far from "Kogan-ji Temple", there is another temple you can see a big "Jizo" statue sitting in front of the temple.

Local Food Guide in Sugamo

There are over 200 shops and restaurants on the Jizo-dori (Jizo Street) in Sugamo. There are shops selling souvenirs, desserts, snacks etc. Today, I will show you a few delicious local food here!

01. Sweet Potato Shop

This sweet potato shop was founded 140 years ago. Their famous candied sweet potato and other desserts like sweet potato cakes and ice cream are hot items for both locals and visitors.

This time, I tried their ice cream and candied sweet potato set. It is so yummy!!

Oimoyasan Koshin
Address: 3-38-1 Sugamo, Toshima-Ku, Tokyo
Tel.: 03-3916-2839
Hours: 10:00-19:00
Homepage (Jap): http://www.oimoyasan.com/

02. Special Fried Japanese Dumplings 

You may not be able to guess what it is!! Actually it is a famous gyoza (Japanese dumplings) shop in Tokyo! Even many Japanese come to Sugamo and try this special gyoza. It is very crispy on the outside, but it is juicy and soft inside! It is said that the shop sells more than 5000 gyoza everyday. So you better visit the shop earlier in case the gyoza is sold out!!

ファイト餃子 (Fight Gyoza)
Address: 4-23-6 Sugamo, Toshima-Ku, Tokyo
Tel.: 03-3917-6261
Hours: 11:30-14:00 and 17:00-20:00 (Mon to Fri)
11:30-20:00 (Sat, Sun and Holidays)
Homepage (Jap): http://white-gyouza.co.jp/branch/sugamo.html
Google Map

03. First Michelin 1-Star ranked Ramen Shop

Ramen Tsuta is located on the other side of Sugamo Station. Just 2 minutes walk, you can find this first Michelin ranked raman shop. Since it is famous, you may expect to get a long waiting time here. 

The waiting system of Ramen Tsuta is a little bit different. First you line up for the pass "整理券 seiriken" and make a 1000 yen deposit to the shop (It will be returned to you when you enter the shop), then the staff will tell you what time to come back. Just come back at the specific time, then buy your preferred ramen from the ticket machine. Then you are all set.

They have Shoyu (Soy sauce) and Shio (Salt) soup for you to choose. You can add extra toppings like flavored egg, meats etc too!

This time I ordered the Shoyu ramen. Comparing to other shoyu ramen, their soup is not that salty, and I like the mushroom taste in the soup. The meat is soft and nice too. Overall I think this ramen is good and I think foreign visitors will like it too. 

Japanese Soba Noodles Tsuta
Address: 1F Plateau-Saka, 1-14-1 Sugamo, Toshima-Ku, Tokyo
Tel.: 03-3943-1007
Hours: 11:00-16:00 (Seiriken is distributed from 07:00)
18:00-21:00 (Seiriken is distributed from 17:00)
Google Map

Next time when you come to Tokyo, you may want to visit the interesting Sugamo and taste the local food here! You will be surprised by this small town!!

Just next to Sugamo, there is another small town "Otsuka" you may interest in visiting too. Check out our earlier sharing here:

# Shopping ♪ 24th - 26th June 2016 "Ikebukuro Pawnshop Festival in Sunshine City Ikebukuro"

Wanna get more and share your Japanese stories with us? Please join us on Google+ !!
See you there! :)


::: Special ::: The Best Lunchbox (Bento) Contest 2016 ran by JR East Japan!!

JR East Japan brings you "The Best Lunchbox (Bento) Contest 2016"

I bet you must have seen all kinds of lunch boxes in stations and on platforms. Actually for long distance travel, it is common for Japanese to get a nice lunch box and eat on the train later. This kind of lunch box culture is very special, right? 

Lunch boxes made with local ingredients and designs can be found in different places. Check out shops that sell lunch boxes next time. You may find something really special!

Picture credited to East Japan Railway Company
Every year, JR East Japan runs the Best Bento Contest for voters to choose the most delicious bento that is sold at the stations. This is the 5th time they are running this contest, and more than 9,300 votes were received this year!!

Interested in looking at all the 61 candidates? Click here.

Alright! Let's see which are the top 3 bento for 2016!!

03. Second Runner-Up

Picture credited to East Japan Railway Company
"Kami No Omotenashi Bento Naruko Hot Spring Version" from Miyagi Prefecture
(1,150 yen)

Comments about the variety of ingredients used explain why people selected it as one of the best bento of the year!

02. First Runner-Up

Picture credited to East Japan Railway Company
"Tsugaru Strait Meat and Fish Bento" from Aomori Prefecture
(1300 yen)

One of the voters said that this bento can really show the greatness of local food of Aomori Prefecture. From the main dish fish to the side dishes, ingredients used are amazing.

01. Champion

Picture credited to East Japan Railway Company
"Minced Hinai Chicken on Rice" from Akita Prefecture
(1200 yen)

A well balance of price, taste and ingredients are the main reason why people chose it as the best bento of the year!! From the chicken to the rice, everything is perfect!!

Contest official homepage (Jap.): http://www.ekiben-ajinojin.com/

After looking at the delicious Japanese bento above, I guess you should try to get one or two next time when you visit Japan too!

In Shinjuku, you can get Japanese bento at Odaykyu Department Store! Check out our earlier sharing here:

# Shopping ♪ Odakyu Department Store's Gourmet Guide and Enoshima Essential Travel Guide!! Starts from Shinjuku Tokyo!!

Wanna get more and share your Japanese stories with us? Please join us on Google+ !!
See you there! :)


::: Special ::: New Theme Park in Japan - The World's Eighth Legoland is scheduled to open on April 1, 2017 in Nagoya!!

A New Theme Park in Nagoya Japan
The world's eighth Legoland opens on April 1, 2017

With the theme "Family", Japan's first Legoland is scheduled to open in April 2017. This is the eighth Legoland in the world after parks in Denmark, UK, Germany, U.S.(California and Florida), Malaysia, and UAE.

This new theme park is especially designed for children aged between 2 and 12 and their families! In the Lego block world, the whole family can get some fun on the rides and interactive attractions.

Where is Legoland located in Nagoya?

Legoland in Nagoya is located near the Kinjofuto Station which is about 24 minutes away from Nagoya Station by Aonami Line.

Speaking of Nagoya, you may recall their favorite Nagoya Castle!

Picture credited to Wikipedia
At the new Legoland, a replica of the Nagoya Castle made from more than 200,000 Lego bricks will be built.

In the next phase, Legoland Nagoya will open a hotel with 250 guestrooms. Of course the hotel will have the same Lego bricks theme!

About the park

There are more than 40 attractions and shows for kids to explore and play with their families. Rides are all family-friendly, including roller coaster, boat rides, interactive shooting ride etc.

Other than rides, your kids can use their imagination and try to build something with the Lego bricks at the park. At the Bricktopia zone, children can build and race Lego cars with each other!

How much is the ticket?

1 Day Pass:
6,900 yen (Adults, ages 13 and up), 5,300 yen (Ages 3 to 12)

Annual Pass:
17,300 yen (Adults, ages 13 and up), 13,300 yen (Ages 3 to 12)

Annual Pass with Priority Tickets:

18,300 yen (Adults, ages 13 and up), 14,300 yen (Ages 3 to 12)

(All prices include tax)

Tickets details: https://www.legoland.jp/en/tickets/buy-tickets/

If you are planning to visit Nagoya next year with your children and family, or you are a big fan of LEGO, then this new theme park is a great place for you to go!!

Legoland Nagoya Homepage: https://www.legoland.jp/en/
(All legoland pictures are credited to The LEGO Group)

Other sharing on theme parks in Japan:

::: Special ::: Become Super Mario and take your own adventures in Super Nintendo World in Osaka!!

::: Special ::: A new theme park in Japan! First Moomin Theme Park in Japan opening in 2018 and 2019!

# Theme Park ♪ Meet the white tiger! Ride on a roller coaster! Any new discovery!!! Come here to Tobu Zoo!!

#Traveling ♪ Let's go and go to Osaka! Universal Studio in Japan yeah!!! Coooby the Run!!!

Wanna get more and share your Japanese stories with us? Please join us on Google+ !!
See you there! :)



I jumped at the chance of a 20% discount when NYX Singapore announced it on their social media, a few days before Christmas!!

I marked this important date on my calendar, not wanting to miss out on a good deal! On the morning of 26th Dec, I woke up summoning the remaining energy after the busy festive weekend to head down to Bugis Junction. Eager to see what I could get my hands on plus I had a few items on my mind already!!

I've made plenty of pit stops at the NYX outlet in Plaza Singapura and swatch-ed their new arrivals and other products to get a feel and to assess their quality and wear (first impression sort) With this time saving tip, I knew exactly what to reach for and what I would like to get during this Sale!

NYX pigments have been calling out to me since my search to experiment more with glitter makeup looks. I had previously swatch-ed a few shades to assess my need to have them.

Two shades that kept coming back to me were Constellation (midnight blue) and Kryptonite (deep forest green), I decided to bring them home with me.

I badly wanted the NYX Lingerie Eye Tint in the Rose Gold shade but it was sold out:( The closest second was this other shade in Sweet Cloud. It has a beautiful metallic like sheen and feels cool when applied on the eyelid (almost like a wet finish). 

This would be great for everyday, single shadow eye color for office wear.

I don't experiment much with colored eyeliners much, I stick to the classic matte black (all year round) and the occasional bright cobalt blue liner (for Spring/Summer time)

This NYX Glam Liner in Glam Nude maybe, just what I need to experiment with bolder eye looks. 

For an everyday lip color to top off my lip balm with, earthy warm tones are my first choice. These type of shades are my go to when I get lazy but still want to add a lip color.

This haul may not be big or massive for some, this is how my hauls are mostly like modest. I try not to get too ahead of myself when I shop as I hate hoarding and clutter.

I hope you enjoyed my small NYX Haul, if you had shopped during NYX 20% Sale, what did you end up picking up?

I will see you very soon, in my next blog post.


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