I am currently living and working in Japan. I live on Shikoku island, a beautiful and traditional area located in the southern part of the country. It’s my first time living in the countryside, and I love being surrounded by mountains, beaches, and temples.
What are you currently…
These days, all my reading material is about learning Japanese! I’m still struggling with a few kana characters I constantly mix up, and I’m trying to memorize new Kanji on a daily basis. Japanese is a challenging yet fascinating language to learn, and knowing the basics definitely makes my life easier.
Thievery Corporation for lounging around at cafés. MGMT and Shout Out Louds for running. Charlotte Gainsbourg when I bake. Handsome Furs when I miss Montreal. Neutral Milk Hotel for long train rides. Sonic Youth… just all the time.
I still watch and re-watch every single episode of Friends. It’s such a comforting series, and it makes me feel better when I get lonely. In fact, I cannot fall asleep without an episode in the background.
I’m actually baking a lot, and getting pretty creative in my little toaster oven: vanilla cupcakes, banana muffins, scones and brownies.
Cold udon noodles! Udon is famous in my prefecture, and it’s very filling, cheap, and refreshing on hot summer days. I love the lemon slice and green onion toppings.
Iced Royal milk tea. I got addicted to milk tea upon my arrival in Japan. It’s very popular here, although it’s basically just tea mixed with milk, with a hint of cinnamon.
Floral mini skirt and a simple tank. Right now I’m loving florals and stripes paired together.
A weekend of fun in Osaka. Osaka is pretty close to me, and my friends and I frequently hop on the bus for a much needed escape… a few days filled with shopping, nightlife and great foods.
Sofia Coppola. I just saw the trailer for her latest film “Somewhere”, and I cannot wait to see it. And as always, her style, sophistication and creativity never cease to amaze me and inspire me to do more.
As much as I love Japanese food, I would have to say Mexican cuisine is my favourite. It’s also the most difficult to find in Japan, so every time I go to the import food store I make sure to stock up on spices to cook it at home. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I will travel as far as Osaka for a Mexican meal!
Favourite travel destinations?
Lately I’ve been focusing on exploring all of Japan, and it’s been so exciting. I love the traditional places like Kyoto and Nara, full of history and temples. Tokyo and Osaka are great for getting lost in translation. I fell in love with Hiroshima, so sad yet wonderful and peaceful. Fukuoka is a beautiful coastal city, and I enjoy all of Shikoku for its wild and rugged natural beauty.
Next trip planned?
Korea this summer. I actually really miss living in Seoul, as it was such an exciting, big metropolis, and I miss my friends dearly. It will be lovely to revisit my old stomping grounds, and catch up with friends.
If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where and why?
Living in Tokyo is still one of my dreams. I think it would be amazing to experience living in one of the biggest cities in the world, and Tokyo is pretty crazy and hectic, yet livable. It would be some kind of achievement for me!
Who or what inspires you?
Anyone who pursue their dreams. Many people tell me about how lucky I am to be able to live abroad and such. I don’t think it’s luck at all – it’s a choice I made. I admire people who make things happen, even though it’s on a small scale.
3 of your must-read blogs?
Sending Postcards – Alex and Mina’s around-the-world travel diaries, filled with fantastic pictures.
A Girl in Asia – Makes me dream about visiting Vietnam, and I love the pictures of beautiful little cafés. [AGIA: I should have specified ‘except mine!’ but thank you!]
Style Scrapbook – I think Andy is gorgeous and stylish, and everything she wears is delightful and inspires me so much.
I hope you enjoyed this little window into Vivian’s world as much as I did!