The Difference Between Korean Kimbap and Japanese Sushi

Korean kimbap and Japanese sushi look the same, but are they really the same thing? The answer is yes and no.

Japanese sushi consists of vinegared rice, which is combined with other ingredients like raw seafood and vegetables. Japanese sushi has various types. Some of these include:

makizushi, also known as norimaki (rolled sushi)              makizushi

nigirizushi (hand-pressed sushi)                                                      nigirizushi

chirashizushi (scattered sushi)                                        chirashizushi

inarisushi (pouch sushi) -fried tofu pouch filled with cooked vinegared riceinarizushi

oshizushi (box sushi)                                                   oshizushi

Korean kimbap is like a variant of Japanese norimaki. In kimbap, however, the rice is usually mixed with sesame oil. Kimbap usually contains rice, vegetables (carrots, kimchi, pickled radish, etc.), meat (beef, ham, crab, etc), and fried egg.




Top Anime Words You Should Know

If you’re an anime fan, but don’t know any Japanese-here is a list of anime words you should know:

  1. anime Japanese animation/cartoon
  2. baka – stupid, fool
  3. chibi– small, short (characters)                                                          chibi
  4. gijinka – personification of animals or characters gijinka
  5. kawaii – cute
  6. manga – Japanese comic book
  7. neko – cat
  8. oishii – delicious
  9. onee-san/chan – older sister (-san is more formal as -chan is more affectionate)
  10. onii-san/chan – older brother (-san is more formal as -chang is more affectionate)
  11. otaku – someone who has an obsessive interest (anime, video games,  manga), usually a derogatory term
  12. sugoi – amazing, awesome
  13. sensei – teacher
  14. senpai – a person’s senior in occupation/school/etc.


Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector

ねこあつめ (Neko Atsume) is a cat collecting game for Android and IOS , which I became kind of obsessed with playing. In the game, you buy food, toys, and furniture for your yard in order to attract different types of cats. You can simply watch the cats, take pictures of them, and receive gifts from the them once they leave. Once the cats leave, they often leave you a reward of silver/gold sardines (which you use to buy the cats food, toys, and furniture). The more they visit you and become friendly with you, they will leave a memento for you to keep.

In the game, there are 53 cats total. 19 in which are considered rare. Different toys and food attract different/rare cats. If you want more cats to come and visit, you can also expand your yard. There are six different styles for the extension: original, modern, western, sugary, zen, and rustic.

If you love cats, this is definitely a game for you!🐾


For a little while now, photography was something I was interested in doing. I always loved taking photos whenever I travel or experience something new. Taking a picture is saving a memory.

Even though I always loved taking photos, I never really pursued photography or tried to advance myself as a photography. Well that is about to change! I’ve finally decided to take the next step. I recently bought myself a DSLR camera, and in the summer I’m planning on taking a photography course to help further myself.

Right now I’m still in the process of learning about ISO, aperture, and all that good stuff. If you’re interested in following me along the way, I’ll post a link below where you can see my favorite photos from the past and in the near future:



Last Saturday on February 27, 2016-Pokemon celebrated their 20th year! Since I loved Pokemon my entire life and it is Pokemon’s 20th anniversary, let me tell you more about it.

pokemon 20 - Copy

History of Pokemon:

Pokemon first came out with Pokemon Red & Green (otherwise known as Blue) on February 27, 1996 for Game Boy Color. Since then, Pokemon has flourished into one of the world’s most loved animes & games.

After the debut of Pokemon Red & Green in 1996, the anime series is introduced in Japan in 1997. The U.S. was introduced to Pokemon in 1998 in Los Angeles at Electronic Entertainment.

In the span of 20 years, Pokemon has come out with numerous video games, trading cards, movies, plushies, and so much more.


There are currently six generations of Pokemon with a seventh (apparently) on the way. These are:

Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow for Gameboy (Kanto)

pokemon red blue yellow

Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Crystal for Gameboy (Johto)

pokemon gold silver - Copy

Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald for Gameboy Advance (Hoenn)

pokemon ruby sapphire - Copy

Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum for Nintendo DS (Sinnoh)

pokemon diamond pearl - Copy

Pokemon Black and White for Nintendo DS (Unova)

pokemon black white - Copy

Pokemon X, Y, and Z for Nintendo 3DS (Kalos)

pokemon x y

Coming out: Pokemon Sun and Moon

pokemon sun and moon

Other Pokemon games include Pokemon trading card game, Pokemon puzzle challenge, Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, Pokemon Dash, Pokemon Trozei, Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Pokemon Ranger, Pokemon Rumble World, Pokemon Shuffle, Pokemon Stadium, Pokemon Snap, PokePark, and Pokemon Colosseum.

Some Pokemon games that are in the making besides Pokemon Sun and Moon are Pokemon Go and Pokken Tournament (which is coming out in about two weeks).

I haven’t played all of the games, but I have played most of them. My favorite games that I’ve played are Pokemon Snap, Pokemon X and Y, and Pokemon Shuffle (which is extremely addicting and can download on your phone). I’m really excited for Pokken Tournament to come out, because I love fighting games and Pokemon which makes it perfect for me.

After 20 years, there are over 700 Pokemon species. 721 to be exact. My all-time favorite has recently changed. Most of my life, my favorite Pokemon has been Espeon. When Pokemon X and Y came out, I found my new favorite. Probably the most cutest and effective (for me) Pokemon: Sylveon.

After all these years, I’m glad the Pokemon Company is still coming up with new ideas and allowing Pokemon to continue. Pokemon has always been there for me, as a child and as an adult. So happy 20 years Pokemon, I can’t wait to see what else you come up with in the upcoming years.

Nabana no Sato: Japan’s Winter Wonderland of Lights

Enjoy winter without being in the snow! Located outside the city of Nagoya in Mie Prefecture, Nabana no Sato is a botanical garden that has been transformed from flowers to thousands of LED lights to create a winter wonderland. The beautiful landscapes the lights and flowers create make it great for couples and families to visit.

Nabana no sato tree

From November to March, you can walk through the illuminated gardens and tunnels once it gets dark. You first begin with the gardens. Once you walk through the illuminated garden, “The Sea of Clouds”, and crystal white archways, you feel like you have been teleported into your own fairytale.

nabana no sato garden

After the gardens, you will reach the tunnels. The glittering tunnels will seem like they are never-ending. Both tunnels are about 100 meters long and filled with millions of LED lights. The tunnels are most popular with young couples to stroll under the stars and take pictures.

nabana no sato tunnel

While walking to and from the gardens and tunnels, you can walk along the Kiso river and enjoy Japan’s biggest water illumination display. It is about 120 meters long that is outlined with interchangeable lights. The combination of the waterfall and lights create such a breathtaking site. Watch the rainbow flow with you as you go!

Nabana no sato river lights

The most popular attraction during the winter season at Nabana no Sato is the light show. Each year is a different theme. This year’s theme is Heidi. Previous themes included Mt. Fuji and Niagara Falls. You can watch the screen come to life as the show and music play right before you!

nabana no sato heidi

The light show attracts about a million visitors every year. The light show was created, because they wanted to have an attraction in winter as beautiful as their flowers in the spring. Visitors are usually local Japanese since Nabana no Sato is not a well-known attraction to people outside of Japan.

When I visited there about a month ago, Nabana no Sato really took my breath away. This was definitely one of my favorite places I visited and I recommend for anyone that will be in the Nagoya area to visit and experience this winter beauty.

Groundhog Day

Today, February 2, is Groundhog Day. A custom and national holiday that’s been adopted in 1887. The largest Groundhog Day is celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. It is said that if the groundhog does not see his shadow on this day, then spring will come early. If the groundhog does see his shadow, however, then there will be six more weeks of winter.

This year Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog from Punxsutawney, did not see his shadow this year. Which means spring will come early this year!

Punxsutawney Phil

Adventures to Nagoya and Kyoto

It’s been about a few weeks since I’ve came back from my trip to Japan and since school is canceled again because of the recent snowstorm, I decided to write about my trip.

Before even going to Japan, I had a layover in Beijing, China for 2 hours. Well that was a trip itself…While I was on my flight to Beijing, they decided to cancel my flight from Beijing to Nagoya due to the lack of people. So you can pretty much understand how worried and confused I was when I arrived to Japan. First off, you are not even allowed to stay in China for more than 3 days without a visa. Second off, I had to explain my situation to customs and the ticketing officers with the basic Chinese
I know which still led to confusion from the language barrier. And third off, trying to figure how and when I would be able to get to Japan while trying to find my suitcase.

All in all, after a few hours everything worked out. I found my suitcase, the airplane carrier I was traveling on was able to book me a (free) ticket and hotel room, and the next day I was able to fly to Nagoya.

*Note: when traveling, expect the unexpected. You’ll never know what will happen. Make sure you have enough money, a way to contact someone from home, and keep track of your belongings at all times.

When I finally made it to Japan and my friend picked me up, I felt like I was in a whole new world. Everything was in Japanese, smaller, and the very best-cuter. You could see mascots and pictures of famous anime characters from e.g. Pokemon or Love Live!


We were around Nagoya for about a week and then spent about 2 days in Kyoto. Even though I was only there for about a week and a half, we were still able to see and plenty of things.

The first day we went to the aquarium in Nagoya. There I was able to see not only fish but seals, turtles, penguins, whales, dolphins, and some really ugly fish (and I mean ugly).



Throughout the days in Nagoya, we did a lot of shopping, went to Nagoya castle, Nabana no Sato (a winter wonderland of lights, a science museum, and one of my all time favorites-the Pokemon Center.





Before New Years, we visited Kyoto for about 2 days. Each day we went to about 3 different sites. This included Kiyomizu temple, Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kinkakuji temple, and Sanjusangendo (Buddhist temple with 1000 statues). On the way to all the places, there were vendors and souvenir shops all over the place. One of my favorite things I saw at most of the shops were the amount of kokeshi dolls. If you’re not sure what kokeshi dolls are then you can read about them in my blog post here:





Visiting all the places was definitely a lot of fun. Another thing I enjoyed about being in Japan was the food. I was able to try so many different foods and desserts while I was there. And there’s so many I already miss eating. I tried tonkatsu (pork cutlet), okonomiyaki (vegetable pancake with meat and sauce), fried shrimp, loco moco (even though it’s technically Hawaiian), kishimen noodles with miso, different types of soups, real ramen with dumplings and rice, melon bread ice cream, cakes, strawberry cheesecake kit kat, and so much more!


All in all you can say I had a great trip. I’m so lucky and thankful to have such a good friend (who’s like my twin) to allow me to stay with her and her family and show me around like she did.

Japan is definitely a great place to visit and I highly recommend to go if you ever get the chance!

How Do You Say ‘Ghoti’?

The English language is definitely a complex language to learn. For us native speakers, it may not seem so since we’ve been learning it since we were born. However if you look more closely at English words and even pronunciations, you’ll understand why English is so difficult to learn for non native speakers.

If I gave you the word ‘ghoti’, how would you pronounce it? Perhaps like [go-tee] or [guo-tee].

What if I told you ghoti was pronounced like fish? You might be thinking, how do you get fish? It doesn’t look it would be pronounced as fish. But there’s where you’re wrong. If you look closer into the English language and into pronunciations, you’ll see exactly how this word could be pronounced as fish.

Take the gh in ghoti. What words do you know with gh sound like f?
Enough – f

Now take the o.
Women – I

Lastly take the ti.
Nation – sh


And there you have it. This is one of the things I learned in my Linguistics class, which I find absolutely fascinating. It’s so interesting to learn about the background of language and everything that goes into language like phonetics, phonology and so on. Even though I just started learning about linguistics, it’s already helped me understand more about not only foreign language but even my own language. If you, too, are serious about learning languages, I would highly recommend studying at least some about linguistics. It will definitely make learning languages a little easier and everything will start to make more sense to you.

The Land of the Rising Sun

In less than  one week, I will be going on my next adventure to-if you didn’t get it from the title-Japan!

Japan is also known as the Land of the Rising Sun since the Kanji (Chinese characters) for Japan-日本 (Nihon/Nippon)– literally means  “the sun’s origin. Then from “the sun’s origin” translates to “The Land of the Rising Sun. Also in the national flag of Japan, officially known as 日章旗 (Nisshoki), has a red circle representing the sun in the center of a white background.

Japanese flag

Anyways, I’ll be going to Japan for about a week and a half to visit a friend of mine I met in college. I’m really excited now, since the closest I’ve came to actually being in Japan was being in the Narita airport 3 years ago. This time I’ll actually be exploring in the cities of Nagoya and Kyoto-the food, the culture, and the language. The language part will be interesting since I decided to start learning Japanese this semester, so let’s see how that works out…