Christmas Eve in Shibuya + Youkame No Semi WAKUWAKU JAPAN Movie Review

One of the happiest moments during my last trip to Tokyo is this! Having my Kurisumasu Ibu or Christmas Eve in Shibuya~~~~~ (ノˆヮˆ)ノ.:*・°☆.。

Celestine Hotel – had lovely experience staying here!
24/12/2013: This pic marks our first morning noon during our last trip to Tokyo. Eeh?? Why did I woke up so late during a holiday trip!!? *and then forgiving myself very quickly* *the main reason I’m tardy* *I hate myself!* *not*
Woke up so late means skipping breakfast and lunch. So we hopped on to this ramen shop near our hotel first to devour our late brunch!

 

Hungry, mom? Me too. But first things first, okay? #selfie #mom #me #happy #asian

Mom’s attempt at being a food blogger lol. We asked her what she would do with the pictures and she said, “Of course I’m gonna share these… in WhatsApp’s family group.” Hahahaha. Our WhatsApp’s family group is quite active, though, filled with my uncles, aunts and cousins talking and sharing random stuffs. ;D
The Tempura Ramen (taken by my camera, not mom’s haha)! I think the noodle is Ramen’s (thin), but the soup is Udon’s (clear)? I might ordered it that way, but nevermind. Anyway, Japanese ramen always tastes fresh and fulfilling, yet not bloating you up. 🙂

 

Itadakimasu!
The humble ramen shop
How could I not love Japan??? Even the street signs are so CUTE!!!!! Go, go, firefighters, go!
‘Japan is expensive’ myth buster! Starting from as low as ¥200 (around Rp 20.000,-), you can eat any of these fulfilling Udons! (ˆヮˆ)づ♡
(secretly) freezing
Touch down Shibuya!!
Tiramisu Latte – Excelsior Caffé, Shibuya
Now, bear in mind that my travel buddies are avid culinary addicts (read: must refuel at every stop). So the minute we reached Shibuya, fatty #02 (mom) saw this Tiramisu Latte ad in front of a coffee shop…

…and she gleefully asked us to try it out together. Being a food lover myself, I couldn’t resist. (˘̩̩ᴗ˘̩̩ƪ)
My hot Tiramisu Latte!

 

Brrrrr. It was really cold out there (windy 8°C, was it? I forgot) so I refused to take off my heat equipments even though they had heaters in Shibuya 109. ^^;

 

Mom: “These are SNSD, right? I read some comments on your Instagram saying that you look one of these girls… Now which one izzit…” Up-to-date mom even discussed it in the WhatsApp’s family group lolol.
Escalator selfie
So I guess Shibuya 109 was having this promotion during Christmas that allowed customers to draw lottery after shopping. I was excited…

 

…for nothing! Boo hoo, got toothbrushes only. :'(
It’s okay lah, still has plenty of fun to look forward to!

 

Like THIS!!!
Santa motorcycle riders celebrating Christmas Eve in Shibuya streets
We were so surprised to see these guys right after we stepped out of Shibuya 109!! We didn’t know whether they’re hired to do that or if they’re a bunch of cosplayers trying to spread the xmas joy, which really worked, btw, because everyone was equally surprised and excited like us and we *of course* took pictures, greeted and waved happily to the Moto-Santas! (≧▽≦)づ♡~~~
Have I told you that Japanese LOVE celebrating something anything? Take this event, for example. Most Japanese are Shintos or Buddhists, so they’re not supposed to celebrate Christmas like Christians or Catholics do, but they DO! And with such passion, too! So, it’s no wonder that whenever a popular event is coming, most streets, public facilities and stores will be decorated according to the theme and inevitably, a lot of those stores will take advantage of this Japlovents™ (Japanese love events) thingy by creating (or decorating) their products to match the event. Do you know that in Japan, KFC (yes, Kentucky Fried Chicken) is very popular during Christmas? Sales for the three days (23, 24, 25 December) are equal to half normal monthly sales, the company says. Amazing, huh?
Last October, Baskin Robins had their share of Japlovents™ benefits, too, by launching these super kawaii Halloween themed ice creams:
And last Christmas, as depicted in those mangas (remember the scene of Miiko’s mom running late on Christmas Eve, pushing herself to buy the children a Christmas Cake from Kenta’s bakery before it sold out? XD), they sold these Disney themed Christmas Cakes~~~
Kawaiiiiiiiiiiii~~~~~

 

Anyway, we went to Fujiya Restaurant after this for dinner (fatties got hungry again lah, alot of walk already lol), but I’ll save it for another post OK. 😉 After Fujiya, we were going back to the hotel when we met these guys dressed as the elf(?) and THE REINDEER!!

 

..And these Horsey Santas lol! A marriage of two events: Christmas and New Year. XD
Happy belated Christmas and Merry belated New Year, guys!! Ok just remembered that we blogged the New Year post already here. Such happy memories~~ I love!
*fast forward to today, March 12th 2014*
So, Elle and I recently watched this Japanese movie “Rebirth” / Youkame No Semi (八日目の蝉).
It’s a drama film about a woman who kidnapped her ex-boyfriend’s newborn daughter (yes, the bf is married already and he had an affair with her) and raised the child as her own for four years before she finally got caught by the authorities and got separated from the child whom she deeply in love already.
The movie’s plot flows back and forth naturally; during Erina (the ex-boyfriend’s daughter)’s happy childhood even though she was being kidnapped by Kiwako and when Erina’s all grown up seeking for ways to comfort her soul that has been tainted by the past. Although the pace is a bit slow (2,5 hours), Youkame no Semi doesn’t ‘try too hard’ to create a dramatic effect or such, but it did moved us with its gentleness. I got teary during some ending scenes. T_T
The actresses’ acting were very natural and raw. Hiromi Nagasaku (Kiwako the kidnapper)’s act, in particular, was outstanding. She portrayed her cast’s emotional journey very well and she successfully metamorphosed from the antagonist into this loving, sincere, striving yet clueless mother form to little Erina.
Based on Mitsuyo Kakuta’s novel and directed by Izuru Narushima, this beautiful movie dominated the 35th Annual Japan Academy Awards by winning 11 awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Starring Actress, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Script.
You guys should really watch it when you get the chance!! Stay tuned to WAKUWAKU JAPAN channel at Indovision / Okevision for more awesome Japanese movies ahead! 😀

 

Okay then, thank you so much for reading and don’t forget to leave some comments and see you guys on my next post~ (ˆヮˆ)づ♡
XOXO
Jessica Yamada
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