Today's Treat2019/10/08

slightly icy

     Bottomless coffee and chocolate cake: 480 yen


Found a hidden gem! This café offers self-service soft drink with unlimited refills at 100 yen. I enjoyed double espresso (just press the “espresso” button twice).

The cake was apparently defrosted frozen cake, but with a touch of decoration. The cost of 380 yen might feel a bit costly compared to the coffee.

The best part of this place is that it is not busy at all. When I visited late morning on a weekday, I was the only guest. I relaxed for quite a while without getting disturbed by other idlers. The lady behind the counter was nicely indifferent about her guests. 

The drawback is that this place is hidden in the deep corner of a local furniture store (I guess this store follows IXXA’s example). So it is difficult to drop in at unless you live nearby or you are a (middle-to-lower priced) furniture enthusiast.  

I hope place will survive and offer coffee at this price when I visit next time. 

Back to Paper2019/10/07

Recently I started buying (not borrowing or subscripting—this is the point!) printed magazines again for the first time in these nearly two decades.

I used to be a magazine enthusiast in my 20-30s. I would buy a magazine and get on the commuting bus every morning.


Even while I lived in a foreign country, I still read magazines in the local language, which now I think beyond my linguistic proficiency. But I just loved flipping through them like a local.

For the past several years, however, I have been consumed with someone’s blog, Yahoo! News and online magazines, not paying anything for what I read.  

Then one day this year, I bought a magazine on food using a discount coupon at a local supermarket’s magazine stand and spellbound by its sophisticated graphics and well-curated contents. It is worth what have paid, I thought.

Since then I have tended to drop in at the magazine section when I go to bookstores and found myself buying an increasing number of magazines every month. 

Objectively looking at my recent buy (picture above), I realized I am no longer a 20-something. The magazines I used to buy in the 20th century featured clothing, gossips and how to improve my looks. Whereas what I have recently bought introduce how to get along with an aging body, eat beans and find a good over the counter drugs and good chemist…the contents I would never even dream of 30 years ago...

Today's Cat2019/10/05

Survivors of the previous typhoon in September.

People's Cinema2019/10/02

Welcome to a public cinema!

Our local library has a vast collection of Japanese and Asian films and two screening rooms. 

You can see rare and good films here at the cost of 600 yen (per an adult per program). If you are careful, you might find some discount options.


In my opinion, this cinema is one of the most lavish theatres in Fukuoka. 

Being almost 30 years old, It is by no means equipped with state-of-the-art (in fact each seat has this mysterious equipment

mysterious equipment

that you might have encountered on board an aircraft 20 years ago). But designed with plenty of space and built with less cheap-looking materials.

The entire space is very well maintained so it looks almost spick and span. 

I particularly like this lounge-ish space

beautifully maintained

and this stairwell decorated with chandleries.

Great Gatsby...

What’s wonderful in this space is, probably every original detail has been preserved until today unlike the city’s other aging facilities covered with rust and cracks.


In September I saw a few older Japanese films. The space was packed with grey-haired audience. So grey that I felt I might be the youngest viewer in the room. And I like that they clap their hands when the film is finished. I enjoyed the films of course, but I must say I was more impressed with the space itself. 

A Half-Day Scandinavian Trip2019/09/30

Let's go!

To make the most of my three-month bus pass due to expire soon, the other day I launched a half-day excursion to taste the Scandinavia as much as I could.


Ikea is the first place I think of when I hear the word “Scandinavia”. For me it is simply impossible to go there by bike or on foot. But this bus pass allowed me to visit there for the first time in my entire life.  I took a two-hour bus ride to there.


On my way, I came across a couple of exotic place names.

night mortar?

how is this pronounced?

I felt being outside of my territory, and get more excited.

On arrival, as I do at every airport I step on, I had a snack before exploring.

Scandinavian style?

This is my first Scandinavian meal. The meatballs were colder than I expected—probably because Sweden is so cold that food can get cold quickly!! 

Regarding the Scandinavian shopping, it was a bit tricky for me to find anything useful for my everyday life…I guess you need a special talent to make your room stylish and quality-looking with these things…Sadly, I don’t seem to have such a gift myself… To be honest, it should be easier for me to shop these kind of things at Sakoda or Nitori or even GooDay.

For what did I spend two hours on bus? To have a reheated frozen food (which was cold)? 

Little disappointments are one of those things when you travel abroad, yeah?

Having enjoyed a full of Scandinavian air (without having to speak any foreign language), I headed to my next destination, H&M.


Again, having bought nothing, I just enjoyed the air of Sweden and some fluff getting into my nostrils. 

Strange… I certainly enjoyed shopping at H&M 10++ years ago. 

Is it time to admit that I can not get along with Scandinavia?  Or am I just too old to appreciate Scandinavianess on this aspect? 

Only in Japan?2019/08/29

useful in many ways

           Anti odour waste bags: 1,400 JPY/90 bags at           

Originally designed to contain odour of used adult nappies, these bags are also useful to keep food waste from smelling between waste collection days. In a flat in a housing complex, which means there is nearly no pace between neighbours, for me, odour from rubbish bin has been a big concern in summer.


I knew these bags were around but did not think I could bear the cost: over 1,000 yen for just keeping rubbish—outrageous! Am I an astronaut in a spaceship? However, having reviewed my shopping habits and actual spending, I somehow squeezed out the money to try them...


In conclusion, the bags worth the price. Now I don’t have to hold my breath when I open my rubbish bin (I don’t put guts and heads of fish in the bag though. They are kept in the freezer and often left forgotten on bin days). And pleasantly surprisingly, there were much less annoying flies coming up from the bin in this summer.


Actually, it has been rather cooler than usual, but I guess the bags have contributed to some extent to reducing the unpleasant summer phenomenon.


By the way, I guess this particular product is very “Japan” in many ways. Firstly, this bag is designed for “adult” nappies, which represents this aging society without enough number of carers. Secondly, if you live in a bigger country with bigger houses with a plenty of space between a rubbish bin and your neighbours houses, you wouldn’t have to think about the smell in the first place. And last but not least, I think we are very much care about how other people perceive you even though we don’t even exchange greeting with our neighbours. 

Praliva Is Back!2019/08/28

New drop-in spot

After four years of absence, our local shopping centre has come back in a smaller scale but with a much more attractive and down-to-earth store selection.

If you are a snacker, like me, this place is simply irresistible.

           Kinako and Anko bagle and Iced Coffee: around 450yen (if my memory was right...)

Sadly Horaku Mandju has gone, but another confectioner started selling similar item. Also, there are a plenty of choices of where you can have a quick bite (most of them offer relatively reasonably priced, I mean, not Tenjin price, coffee). Eve if you have an iron will to resist the snack, there are some space to have a quick break during shopping (and there is KALDI offering miniature cups of free coffee). 

As for shopping, again sadly Uniqlo has gone to Mark Is (my husband has found Mark Is can be a very good “mall walking” course, though), Muji has come back with seemingly a bigger retail space. And the grocery store has been replaced with Foodway, which I think is very good at perishables. As I have been disappointed by local fishmongers, this store may be a candidate of my fish-shopping choice.

Lotus 20192019/08/25

slightly unkempt
A bit bushy...
with a bird