Events at Yoyogi Park: Laos Festival, Thai Festival, and Reggae Festival

If there’s something I wish I knew about a bit earlier, it would be attending events t Yoyogi Park. You can actually find out about these events through the Google search engine. But usually every weekend, at least that’s what it seemed like haha, they have an event there and from my experience, it was during May-June, there were cultural events. For instance, the events I attended were the Laos Festival, Thai Festival, and Reggae Festival.

Why Laos? Well I’m half Lao and I was really craving some delicious Lao food lol. They had a celeb from  Laos there and lots of Laotian food. But as many of you may know, Laos, Thai, Cambodian, and Vietnamese food are very similar, thus there were many popular Southeast Asian dishes there. For example, I had some delicious Pho and enjoyed a nice coconut drink and mango durian ice cream.

The difference from the Laos festival and Thai was there were more people at the Thai festival lol, but is understandable. Thai is a bit more on the map thanks to popular media like The Hangover 2. Oh and better food selection.

Now the reggae festival, titled, “One Love,” was off the chain!! Excuse my jump back into the 90s, but furrealz I had a great time at this one. Reggae culture is part of my childhood. I woke up every Sunday morning to my father blasting Bob Marley on the speakers. And thank God I caught this one on video. Well, hahaha I caught them all on video!! But yah, I bought a skirt and bracelet from this one and also ate some delicious Ghanaian food ya’ll!! Also if you’re black, not gonna, you feel a bit at home at this one haha. Oh and people were even doing cornrolls for 500 yen (6-7 US dollars) LMAO. But for realz guys I totally recommend this festival; it’s a great mix of many cultures, not only the Africans lol, but many Japanese and all the other ethnicities residing in Tokyo. Did I mention you get to see so many cute mixed kids??!!

Where you’re in Tokyo, look up the events at Yoyogi Park. There should be something going on lol. Oh and keep in mind this isn’t the Yoyogi Park “Park”, but the event space you pass on your way to the NHK building as you’re heading to Shibuya. There should be directions on the website you use :]

 

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Drinking in Japan: The HUB

ImageI never really drank before I went to Japan because I just never really thought it was something I would do, but living in a foreign country can change that for a person!! I wanted to recommend one of my favorite drinking spots for you guys. It’s called, “The HUB”.

The Hub, from 4-7pm (weekdays), has something very amazing called, “Happy Hour”.  Drinks during that time cost from $3-$5 and even more I believe. But that only depends on what you’re getting. The price is higher for drinks, but it all depends on what you buy.

The style of the HUB is like a pub. It really does have a foreign feel to it. There’s sports on the teli, the whole place is covered in dark wood, flags of different counties, flags and posters of sport teams, and the music is usually varied in different genres. It’s a really chill vibe you get from this place and it’s a great place to hang with friends on a Friday after a test, on the weekend, and with coworkers.

I love the HUB and I totally recommend it. It’s like everywhere, especially in Tokyo: Shibuya, Shinjuku, you name it!! Oh and they have delicious food!!! 

Tips on how to save money while in Japan

I said most of what I needed to say about my cousin’s stay in Japan I believe. Now on to little things here and there about her stay that I feel I need to tell you about.

TIPS# 1

Tips about trying to say money whiling traveling Japan: FOOD!!!!

So when you’re in Japan, other than the fact that EVERYTHING is expensive, depending on the country you’re from, there is a way to save money during your time there.

The first step is food. Food is one of the best ways to learn about a country’s culture and one of the greatest ways to feel happy. I mean it’s true right?? You get depressed, you eat. You’re boyfriend/ girlfriend cooks you this amazing breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you eat. You’re hungry, you eat. And comes after the first bite?? This burst of Happiness from eating something sooo delicious!! Yes, now to save money on food. You’re going to have to choose at what time of day did you want to eat out at a restaurant: breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Alternating? Well once you decide that, you have two times of day where you’re to have to eat elsewhere.

Places I recommend:

#1 100 Yen Shop

The “hyaku en shappu” (Japanese pronunciation for the store) you can find breakfast food, lunch food, and diner food and other random things for only 105 yen. This is equivalent to 1.34 US dollars. Yah I know, the price changes once you enter inside lol. I guess you can compare this to the 99 Cents Store within the states. It’s very convenient prices for when you’re traveling or when you are living in Japan, doing study abroad, teaching and stuff. The 100 yen shop was the go to store when I was at the International Christian Univerisity. It was right down the street. I also continuously used this store when I was traveling Kansai and staying in Asakusa.

#2 Conbini (Convenience store)

Conbini’s in Japan range from 7 Eleven to Family Mart to Sunkus to DailyMart to other shops, but these are the main ones. It’s there that you can pick up cheap food, and not just warm-up sh*t. My cousin and I always stopped by 7 eleven to pick up an onigiri, rice ball, for breakfast. It’s quick to eat and filling-ish lol. Also onigiri’s usually have some sort of surprise in the middle, for example, tuna. We always got the tuna onigiri. The prices range from 105- less than 300 yen. It really all depends on what’s inside. ^^

#3 Fast Food

Fast food may not be the healthiest choice, but it does save money. I can’t really speak for many places for being low [rices, but I will mention the places I have gone that had a menu similar to the states “1 Dollar Menu”. First off is McDonalds. This do have a 10o yen menu, but I think the 120 yen menu is way better. The breakfast menu for those two prices are good too. Second is Lotteria. I LOVE Lotteria. I usually got some sort of pie, or the ebi (shrimp) burger. It was sooo delicious. My absolute fav!!

#4 Side shops/ restaurants that don’t look too fancy

Let me tell you, I didn’t have to go to some top notch restaurant to get some authentic Japanese food. There are splenty of not-so-top-notch looking restaurants that see amazing Japanese food like udon, ramen, katsudon, and many more. You just have to look around. I prmise you will find something good, filling, and cheap to eat!!

PLACES TO CHECK OUT: These are chain restaurants (SUPER CHEAP) throughout Tokyo, and probably Japan that I recommend.

Matsuya, Sukiya, Yoshinoya: These are two different chains, but they sell practically the same types of foods. (i.e.beef bowls)

Gusto: This restaurant is a 24hr restaurant. They have something called, “drink bar,” where you can have access to all non-alcohalic drinks, limitless time, for like 4 bucks. It’s a good place to study!! The also have pretty cheap meals too. Check it out!!