A lifestyle blog by a London gal who loves plants, metal, bleaching my hair and Osaka

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Kunozan Toshogu, Shizuoka// My travel guide

Kunozan Toshogu Shrine, Shizuoka. This shot shows the detail on the roofs.So there are only a couple of 'touristy' places easily accessible from Shizuoka city, and one of those is Kunozan Toshogu, a gorgeous shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu with a distinct architectural style and definitely a place I'd recommend visiting.

Access// I'd recommend going to Shimizu aand getting the bus from there. Going from Shizuoka city involves a pretty confusing change at Higashi ooya 東大谷 where one bus stop is in the wrong place on google maps. If you're going to take the bus, I'd recommend telling the bus driver you want to go to Kunozan because nothing is in English either. 
So- the easiest way is to go to Shimizu city by train and take the bus from there, take one of the direct buses from Shizuoka city that run a couple of times a day, or go to Nihon Daira and take the ropeway.
Or you could even cycle if you've got the time! 

Kunozan is famous for having over a thousand stone steps up the mountain, but you can avoid this if you take the ropeway from Nihon Daira. Unfortunately that's still not super accessible as there are steps to get to the ropeway.

After you're done, you can go strawberry picking, go to Nihon Daira or just chill on the beach for a bit <3 The area is famous for Ishigaki strawberries, so there are loads of yummy strawberry flavoured omiyage to pick up and snacks to eat!

But Kunozan is really relaxing and pretty and green so it's a great day trip- I'd really recommend it! The first time I went, I went by bus and went on the ropeway to Nihon Daira after. Luckily I could see Mt Fuji and I'd definitely recommend checking Shizuoka Prefecture's Mt Fuji live camera before you pay to go all the way to Nihon Daira because if it's cloudy you aren't going to see anything.

Below are some of my shots of Kunozan and Nihon Daira: 
The entrance to Kunozan Toshogu shrine in Shizuoka prefecture. An imposing gate stands at the top of some stone steps.

Toro stone lantern and barrels of sake at Kunozan Toshogu, Shizuoka

A tree at Kunozan Toshogu. It looks old and sort of fern-like?  I believe it was specially carried up the stone steps a long time ago...

Toro stone lanterns, a torii shrine gate and the main gate of Kunozan Toshogu in Shizuoka

Sakura, stone steps and gorgeous architecture at Kunozan Toshogu, Shizuoka



Omikuji fortunes tied up to dispel bad luck at Kunozan Toshogu, Shizuoka

Lavish gold detailing on the roof of Kunozan Toshogu, Shizuoka

Lavish gold detailing on the roof and walls of Kunozan Toshogu, Shizuoka

omikuji fortunes tied up to prevent bad luck at Kunozan Toshogu, Shizuoka

Ema prayer plaques at Kunozan Toshogu, Shizuoka

View of Kunozan Toshogu, Shizuoka. There is a window framing the photo and you can see torii, toro lanterns and the main gate.

Details of the main shrine building of Kunozan Toshogu, Shizuoka. You can see lanterns hanging from the roofs and lots of ornate gold detailing.

Paintings on the wall of Kunozan Toshogu shrine, Shizuoka. There is a lion-like creature with one eye which is blue with white polka dots on it.

Trees and toro stone lanterns at Kunozan Toshogu, Shizuoka.

Pink camelias frame a stone torii shrine gate at Kunozan Toshogu

Tokugawa Ieyasu's shrine, trees and toro stone lanterns at Kunozan Toshogu, Shizuoka.

Trees and toro stone lanterns at Kunozan Toshogu, Shizuoka.
Ropeway to Nihon Daira// 
The recently opened Yume Terrace there has free entry- there's a cafe and some information about Nihon Daira's geography and- in good weather- a great view of Mount Fuji and the Izu Peninsula

View of the sea near Kunozan Toshogu, Shizuoka

View of Mount Fuji from Nihon Daira, Shizuoka

View of east Shizuoka from Nihon Daira

The satellite mast at Nihon Daira

Modern Japanese garden at Yume Terrace, Nihon Daira

Nihon Daira ropeway
Back to Kunozan where I climbed down and headed back to Shizuoka city// 

A covered stairway at Nihon Daira Ropeway.

Coca cola lanterns and vending machine at Kunozan Toshogu, Shizuoka

View of strawberry farms and houses and the coast at Kunozan, Shizuoka


Some of the 1159 stone steps leading to Kunozan Toshogu

Thanks for reading! I hope this was helpful and that I convinced you to add Kunozan to your Japan bucket list! 

-Amy xoxo




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Sunday, 5 June 2022

Snapshots from Shizuoka city// Shizuoka after dark/ spring 2019

Hi gang, I have sooo many snaps hanging around from my year working in Shizuoka, it's a bit overwhelming so I have just left them for a long while. 

But I'd like them to have a little home so I'm going back to my blogging roots- lo-fi shots of Japanese side streets. These were taken around March/April 2019. Stay tuned for some aesthetic grainy shots of sakura, neon and the lanterns from Shizuoka Festival <3

Sakura, retro neon signs for a glasses shop and a huge skyscraper in Shizuoka city at night in spring 2019

Tenma-cho dori in Shizuoka city after dark. You can see lanterns and shop signs in the distance

Tenma-cho dori in Shizuoka city after dark. You can see a lantern which reads "oden" and shop signs in the distance

A small alley off Tenmacho-dori in Shizuoka city. There is a sign reading tenma kouji

Tenma kouji, a small alley off tenmacho-dori, Shizuoka City

Lanterns line a covered shopping street in Shizuoka city after dark.

Lanterns line a covered shopping street in Shizuoka city after dark.

Lanterns line a covered shopping street in Shizuoka city after dark. There is a sign promoting the upcoming Shizuoka matsuri.

A sign on the pavement with a picture of a pine tree and an arrow pointing right. Text reads "Tokaido". In Shizuoka city

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for some more lo-fi Japanese side street photos from 2019! 
(Eek I'm really nostalgic for Shizuoka now send help)
-Amy xoxo


Snapshots from Shizuoka City: Chanomachi and Shizuoka after dark// 


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Thursday, 2 June 2022

Empties #31 Bleach London, Mary Quant, The Ordinary

Empty beauty products on a zebra print carpet. Brands include Bleach London, The Ordinary, Mary Quant and Etude House. Some of the tubes have been cut open to get every last bit of product out.

Hello gang, I am still behind on these empties posts, let's get into it! 

Haircare// 

Bleach London Reincarnation Mask// I'm on my third one of this mega tub, after going through several smaller tubes in my time. Safe to say I love this (as regular readers know) and I love the XL packaging, I wish the Beer Mask also came in this size. Speaking of, I also had a Beer Mask in my empties. I tend to alternate between the masks and it seems to be agreeing with my hair so I have no plans to change up my routine. 

Bleach Scotch Mist Super Cool Colour// I do like this, it's quite subtle but really pretty misty purple- grey. I forgot to take photos so I'd need to buy another one if I was to do a proper review. 

Plex Bleach// I think I prefer Total Bleach to this? I'm a bit paranoid that my hair will get protein overloaded again. But, it lifted my hair perfectly. I'm just being a bit paranoid I think...

Lavender Grey Toner// I really liked this- again, the colour came out quite subtle for me but really pretty! Debating buying another one so I can do a proper review post as it's gorgeous but I didn't get any pictures that do it justice.
Marie from Bleach did let me know that for my length of hair, (slightly longer than shoulder length) I should be using 2 boxes of toner at once for the best colour application if I'm toning all of my hair and not just the roots. I was stingy and used them one at a time (Sorry Marie!) I will listen to her advice next time. *This lavender grey toner was kindly gifted when I was a hair model for Bleach. They didn't ask me or pay me to post but I was super happy to be able to try it and will definitely buy it myself in the future. 

Skincare// 

No7 Vitamin C cream// This was a nice texture! It didn't disagree with my skin and I wouldn't rule out getting it again although I believe that this format of vitamin c won't stay as effective as long as it's got more chance to be exposed to air?? Don't quote me on that though. My skin did like this though! 

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser// This was... fine. Not bad but it didn't remove my makeup as well as other cream cleansers I've tried, so I am back on my search.

The Ordinary Niacinimide and zinc// I love this! I'm currently using a Mary Quant Call the Shots serum which is also a texture refining pore control serum, so I won't be purchasing this Ordinary one for a bit, but this serum is so affordable and I think my skin really likes it. Will definitely pick it up again in the future. I will let you know how I get on with Call the Shots in a future empties post :)

The Ordinary Buffet// I love this! And so does my skin. As with the niacinimide, I'm currently using my Mary Quant Back to the Prime which fills the same spot in my routine, so I won't pick this up until I need a new serum but I definitely will get it again, this is a cult classic for a reason. 

Clinique Moisture Surge 72hr// I love Moisture Surge- it's one of the only moisturisers that I reliably notice that my skin has improved the next day after using it. I don't use it every day but I definitely appreciate it for when my skin needs a boost! I think I wrote this last time though, but there are so many moisture surge things to choose from right now... and I want *this* one. I bought a jar of 72hr recently and it's more of a creamy texture which is fine but this gel texture is the one that really agrees with my skin. I'll have to keep hunting. 

Garnier Micellar water// I don't know if mine was getting old, but I definitely remember it being better at removing makeup when I had it previously. I will get a smaller bottle if I pick it up again so it doesn't have the chance to go off. For now I'm on the hunt for a different makeup remover that will remove makeup without dragging or irritating my eyes. I've had luck with the Muji Oil Cleansing and also with the No7 Cleansing balm.

SOS SPF 50// This was nice and did its job well but it's quite thick which isn't my preference. I adore the SOS serum though, and the SOS H20 (which has SPF30) is nice too, although I usually do prefer something with SPF 50 (like Kosé Suncut or Mary Quant Block & Block).

Mary Quant Go Deeper// I've already bought another tube because I can't be without this! It's a really nice clay mask with Moroccan lava clay, smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling fresh and soft (obligatory disclaimer: I work at Mary Quant but no one's asked/paid me to post this).

Nivea Moisturising Cream// I liked this fine for actually moisturising my hands and body- it did it's job really well. But the smell was super strong which is not my favourite.

Clinique Smart Defence Serum// Another thing from my 2020 advent calendar, this was nice but I didn't notice any difference in my skin particularly. Was happy to try it though!

Empty beauty products on a zebra print carpet. Brands include Bleach London, The Ordinary, Mary Quant and Etude House. Some of the tubes have been cut open to get every last bit of product out.

Makeup// 

Bleach Lip Pencil in Matte Le Blanc// This has been discontinued for a while, and I was trying to use it up as it's getting on age-wise, but then I sharpened it and the whole thing fell on the floor so it's good bye to this unfortunately. 

Clinique Chubby Stick in Pudgy Peony// I loved this colour, but I think I'd kept this too long (I got it in 2018 I think) as it had a slight crayon scent. Nothing had changed colour wise and I don't think it was unsafe to use or anything?
 

Wah Nail Polish in Mating Surfaces// I loved this, I used most of it up "organically" just because I love the colour, and then it was starting to get thick when there wasn't much left so I made a concerted effort to try and use it up. You can't get these any more, which is a shame. I definitely want to find another lilac nail polish to replace this with.

Etude Play// This nail polish was sooo glittery and cute! It's so full of glitter it was a bit rough to the touch, but worth it for how cute the polish looks on. I got it in Shizuoka and again I used most of it up without trying. Silver glitter nail polish is definitely my go-to. I would definitely pick it up again, not that I need any new nail polish...

That's it for now! I hope you guys are all doing well and staying hydrated ;)

-Amy xoxo

I have seven different shampoos and they're ALL DIFFERENT OK?: My bleached hair care routine in 2021//


Bleach London Champagne Supertoner: Review and Before and After// 


How to keep up language learning after living abroad //

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