Saturday, 23 May 2015

Missing In Action & Moving

Good Day Everyone,

I've been MIA (missing in action) recently as I've had another arthritic flare which has been really frustrating. Aside from the pain and associated insomnia, a flare up tends to restrict my movements and ability to do simple everyday things from walking to taking a shower. As a result I haven't been able to post any Japan vlogs even though I have a backlog of video footage accumulated. It wasn't until I started my YouTube channel that I realised just how much work goes into producing a 10-15min vlog, esp. when you work at a snail's pace like me courtesy of my arthritic hands!
The good news is that I seem to be over the worst of it and back in the land of the living.... and Instagram :o). Me not posting on Instagram is usually a testament as to how bad my flare up has been!

The other bit of news that I have to share with you is that hubby and I are moving. Our little adventure in Japan is coming to an end soon. We are not yet sure where the next chapter of life is going to take us, but what we do know is that we will be spending a week in Singapore (our previous home) in June, before we head back to our real home, the UK for a bit.
These days we are immersed in bubble wrap and shipping boxes as we pack up our lives for the second time in 12 months, and try to sell furniture that we only just bought a few months ago! We are also trying to make the most of the time we have left in Japan and recently spent two days at Mount Fuji which was a fantastic little trip. I have lots of exciting vlogs to share with you over the coming months but things might be a bit slow. When I'm having a good health day I'll be wanting to spend it outside enjoying the last bit of Japan, rather than sitting in my bed editing vlogs, as I'm sure you'll understand :o).
We are very much looking forward to our stay in Singapore. After the stress of packing and sorting everything out in Japan, we will be in need of some downtime. Also it will be lovely to catch up with our old friends and eat lots and lots of fruit ;o).
On a final note, whilst living with chronic illnesses can be soul destroying at times, it's not without it's perks.... yes perks. Thanks to my pain induced insomnia I was awake at 4.30am to watch this breathtakingly beautiful sunrise - these photos are completely unedited! It almost reduced me to tears and made my heart swell up with so much gratitude for the beauty my eyes see. In that moment, for just a short while, I forgot all about my pain :o).

Love Sheen xxx
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Sunday, 10 May 2015

JVlog #18: Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse & Osanbashi Pier

Good Day Everyone,

A few days ago hubby and I made the most of a national holiday and headed out for a relaxing day by the waterfront at Yokohama Bay. Our first stop was the Red Brick Warehouse for some breakfast. 
Red Brick Warehouse - the larger one
The Red Brick Warehouse is a collection of two warehouses, over 100 years old, that are iconic landmarks of Yokohama. In the olden days Yokohama was a big port city and the Red Brick Warehouses were the customs buildings. Nowadays they are full of retail stores, bars, restaurants and a banquet hall. The larger Red Brick Warehouse has a two storey balcony which is west facing, making it a great place to relax with a drink and watch the sunset :o).
West facing balconies for a sunset view
There is a large outdoor space in between the two buildings that is used for festivals and events. It's where the New Year's Eve fireworks were, if you ever saw my very first vlog ;o). On this particular day there was a German Beer Garden Festival, as well as fun things for children to do. There are often bicycle rickshaws along the main road by the Red Brick Warehouse where you can pay to be driven around the surrounding area. It's a good way of giving your feet a rest whilst still taking in the sights. Many of the rickshaw owners don't speak much English but they have a map with the different routes and prices.
Bicycle Rickshaw
For breakfast we headed to Bills, an insanely popular Australian restaurant by the Chef Bill Granger. Such is it's popularity that it is common to have queues that are 2-3hrs long...I'm not kidding! We arrived for when it opened and still had to queue for 45mins! That's pretty good going when it comes to queuing at Bills.
Green Smoothie for me & Bill's Beets for hubby
My breakfast of scrambled eggs, avocado, halloumi and bread
Hubby's breakfast of sweetcorn & bell pepper fritters with halloumi and avocado salsa
The food is fantastic and very much the kind of food hubby and I enjoy with fresh fruit juices and smoothies, lots of light, healthy, nutritious and tasty food. You can see more in the video below.

After fueling our stomachs, we walked along the water front promenade to Osanbashi Pier as a cruise ship was coming in. Being the engineering geek that he is, my hubby loves watching the cruise ships come in to dock ;o).   
Cruise ship coming into Osanbashi Pier
The views from the roof top garden of Osanbashi Pier are pretty impressive. You can see all of Minato Mirai 21 including iconic buildings such as Landmark Tower, Queens Towers A, B & C and Cosmo World Ferris Wheel, as well as the Red Brick Warehouse, Bay Bridge and Yokohama Marine Tower. You can walk along the water front promenade all the way to Yamashita Park.
Minato Mirai 21 skyline
Bay Bridge
Yokohama Marine Tower & Yamashita Park
On this particular day we spotted Mount Fuji in the distance. We had no idea that we could see Mount Fuji from Osanbashi Pier. As you'll see from the above video, I couldn't pick it up all that well on my vlogging camera, but at least you now know where to look, if you're ever at Osanbashi Pier :o).
Rooftop garden of OsanBashi Pier with cruise ships on either side
Osanbashi Pier & Bay Bridge in the background
The pier building itself has a very unique structure with an underlying nautical theme. Its different decks and layers are designed using floor boards and grass to resemble rolling waves. There are often events taking place at the pier and on this particular day there were several quirky food vans.
Quirky food van
Walking around the pier is free and a great way to relax in the sun. Hubby and I got an ice cream and sat in some chairs, soaking in the sun whilst being kept cool by the gentle bay breeze.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour around some of Yokohama's tourist attractions :o).

Love Sheen xxx
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Monday, 4 May 2015

JVlog #17: The 63rd Yokohama International Costume Parade

Good Day Everyone,

We are currently in the midst of Golden Week here in Japan. Golden Week is when there are four national holidays within the space of a week. It is one of Japan's busiest holidays, as a result tourist attractions as well as public transport are incredibly crowded. If you're ever visiting Japan during Golden Week then it's worth bearing in mind that hotels in major cities get booked up very early and, as expected, prices tend to be higher.
During this national holiday there are lots of festivals and events taking place around the country. Here in Yokohama, we had The 63rd Yokohama International Costume Parade take place yesterday. The weather was truly glorious with bright blue skies, sunshine and a gentle breeze. Hubby and I headed out to Yamashita Park, the starting place of the parade. There were over 40 acts taking part in the parade, walking a route of almost three and a half kilometers.

You can watch the parade and the rest of our day in the video below :o).

We didn't spend too long outside as hubby has been quite unwell recently with severe back problems. In fact, he had to have two steroid injections in his back and hip the day before the parade. Anyone that's had them will know how incredibly painful steroid injections are. However, he was determined not to miss out on the great weather and seeing a Japanese parade ;o). The great thing about our apartment is that it overlooks Yokohama Bay and Rinko Park so whilst we called it a day fairly early, we could still hear the music and watch some of the activities from our balcony.

I hope you enjoyed this little vlog of a relaxed Sunday :o). What did you get up to on your Sunday?

Love Sheen xxx
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