Anyone who knows me well by now knows that I love Japanese culture. One of my biggest dreams is actually to live in Japan! I would really like to try living there for at least a year. I’ve taken some Japanese classes 2 summers ago. I would have continued but my low-budget won’t allow it. So I practice it with some friends who speak Japanese. I also watch many Japanese films in different film festivals such as Fantasia International Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival and Festival du Nouveau Cinéma. Of course, I need more practice and to be less shy because I always get shy when I speak languages other than French or English. I took a Spanish class this past semester and it was hell. I was so nervous during my oral presentation, I started stumbling. I don’t know why but I sort of freeze and overthink maybe. I think if I was thrown in an environment where I was forced to speak either only Spanish or Japanese to survive, then I would manage without a problem. I just want to be a little fluent in Japanese before I go there. Where would I go and what would I do? Of course, I would love to live in Tokyo but it’s quite expensive so I’ll settle for another area and visit the country during my free time. I would become an English teacher or even better, I’d love to get a job in the journalism field. I’m crossing my fingers! ❤
JAP 101 = I’ve decided to describe in English some Japanese words for those who are not aware. Let’s start with some basics first: matsuri: festival – kimono: traditional Japanese garment (ki: wear/mono: thing) – yukata: casual summer kimono.
Here are the beautiful pictures of delicious food and drinks I had at Matsuri Japan, an annual summer festival in Montreal, which as grown in popularity over the years. Let’s start with 2014!
I was so excited to go, especially since I could speak some Japanese now. I started taking lesson in June 2014 until the month of September. I didn’t continue as mentioned before since I didn’t have enough money too and school was starting. I arrived around 1 or 2 p.m. and joined some friends. As always, we each rented a yukata thanks to my insistence. This time, I rented two different sets of yukata because I wanted to see the different colours on me and take nice pictures. I’m also mentally preparing myself for the future summer festivals I’ll be attending when in Japan! I had to leave around 5 or 6 p.m. for a surprise birthday party of a friend of the family. I was extremely sad but I had no choice.
I love takoyaki (tako: octopus/yaki: fried) and okonomiyaki (okonomi: what you want or like/yaki: fried) so much! They’re the classic snacks that I get because yes, they’re in small portions so I call them snacks. The kimchi (traditional fermented Korean side dish) flavoured J-dog was pretty good. It’s spicy and served with Japanese mayonnaise, a delicious combination!
I really like that you can find such drinks in Japan. I’m going to make sure that I always carry change so I can get drinks from the automatic distributors there. The green tea drink was sweet and light. I’m not a fan of coffee but my friend Sat loved it.
I love red bean because it’s super sweet and filling so I bought lots of anpan (an: red bean paste/pan: bread). I really felt like a high school girl s
There are many things that I love about Matsuri Japan but one of my favourite things is definitely the kakigori (shaved ice dessert)! Different flavours of syrup are added to the kakigori to make it more tasteful. I was sad that we weren’t given the option to add either azuki (sort of red bean) paste or condensed milk. It made the whole taste even more heavenly!
Every year, I play the same game where I fish myself a yoyo ball. An elastic is tied around so I can carry it one of my fingers and bounce it at my leisure. It’s so much fun, I feel like a kid!
Now let’s fast-forward to 2015!
I arrived around noon. It was an extremely hot and humid day. It did rain for a little while, which made it even more humid. This time, I had no engagement after and stayed until the closing ceremony around 9 p.m. It was another wonderful day and yes, I tried two yukata again!
This time, I started by eating desserts. I bought a strawberry-flavoured Caplico, a candy ice cream cone. It was like eating an ice cream but that doesn’t melt. It was sweet and had some chocolate inside. I tried the yuzu lemonade because it was extremely hot and it was a good way to feel refreshed. I tried for the first time, a non-frozen taiyaki (tai: sea bream/yaki: fried), which is a fish-shaped cake. Of course, I ordered the azuki (sort of red bean) flavour one and not chocolate. It was hot, sweet and soft! I think I almost shed tears of joy. Definitely one of my favourite Japanese dessert snacks now! ❤
Yet again, I had some okonomiyaki (okonomi: what you want or like/yaki: fried) and this time, I tried some beef yakiniku (yaki: fried/niku: meat). The yakiniku was very good but the pieces were too small. I had some oolong tea this year, since I had already tried the green tea one. It was good though but less sweet and it quenched my never-ending thirst due to the heat. I also got a J-dog in a smaller version, we were offered the regular size and a smaller one. Of course, we had some kakigori (shaved ice dessert). I mixed blueberry and cherry this time! Also the lines this year were extremely long. It really has become a more popular and well-known festival.
Of course, I got a yoyo ball and this time, I picked my favourite colour: blue. Of course, I took tons of pictures with my friends in our yukata. This time, we were allowed to use awesome props such as samurai swords (fake ones obviously) and summer parasols.
I had even more fun this year than the previous ones! The audience was asked to follow some dance steps and it was pretty hilarious. We were even filmed, I hope that if I am visible, I didn’t screw up the steps. Here are some photos of the stage with some animation and glimpses of a fashion show with different Japanese styles found in Tokyo! The models are cho-kawaii (cute) and kakkoi (cool)! Here are my favourite pictures!
It’s become a tradition with two friends who are always on my pictures. This year’s edition is the 3rd one we hanged out and I pretty much forced them to try one a yukata! :3 Arigato Sato-san & Mickey-san~