We did say that we love games, whether it’s handy game consoles or video games, board games, and even mind games. That love for games extends to merchandise, movies and TV shows, and of course, the language those movies and shows are in: Japanese. To say it short, we love everything Japanese: be it the language, food, klumpert, anime, manga, and their culture.
So we’re really grateful when friends gift us with mementos, goodies, and what-have-you Japanese stuff when they visit or sent through the post.
We were also able to go to Aninite, a meeting point for the fans and those interested about Japanese stuff and pop culture in Vienna and abroad, more like a Comic con of sorts. Truth be told, we weren’t aware that there are such events happening in Vienna. Add to that, that we didin’t know that the event will be held two bus stations away from where we live. We saw a lot of fans in costumes and we asked what the event would be. So we didn’t go well-prepared, we could have made costumes for the kids if we knew.
Here’s a Pinky St doll, Asuka Soryu ( Neon Genesis Evangelion) that we bought from one of the booths. And here are other stuff we got from the past half year that shows how much we love everything Japanese.
While these will be considered junk by some, to us and many fans, they are collectibles. We just love trinkets and anything related to the games we enjoy playing.
We found cute Wii controller and old Nintendo family computer candy tins, toad candy tins, some comics, egg surprise, and Pinky St Doll.
There were a lot of booths and they are selling shirts, games, among other merch. If we stayed longer, we would have spend too much. We also ate some Japanese treats they are selling around.
We took photos of cosplayers, and basically anyone in costume who allowed us to take their photo, and videos too.
Sweets and Treats
A visiting friend brought us wagashi, traditional Japanese confections that are often served with green tea. First, these different mochi flavors that were brought straight from Osaka. Mochi is a kind of rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice combined with at times water, sugar, and cornstarch. The ingredients are pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape, it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki.
The daughter loves mochi and we just buy them from the asian shops around the city, these ones are new flavors we haven’t tried before and she was ecstatic. She loved the cherry ones best, and as always I love matcha. ^_^
Then there’s this set of Manju, another type of Wagashi, steamed cakes of a flour mixture filled with Anko (sweet red bean paste) and other flavoring and we tried each of the five variations.
1. Kurimanju – baked Manju with a chestnut-flavored Anko
2. Momoyama Wagashi – filled with a mix of red and white bean pastes
3. Nyuka milk – baked Manju cake with a milk-flavored
4. Soba Manju – steamed Manju filled with a sweet bean paste combined with buckwheat flour
5. Matcha – steamed Manju with matcha (green tea) flavored sweet bean paste
Kitkat in Japan has the most extensive flavors and variety and they’re still adding more and more everyday. Even manju flavors were introduced, you’d be surprised at what they came up with. While we have not tried every single flavor, we do enjoy them when we get our hands on new ones.
We watch animes more than we watch cartoons (yes, there’s a big difference). Cartoons tend to be more comical while animes’ plots are more complicated and deals about life and subjects that are not very usual or if not taboo.
Long running animes that hubby and I watched include DragonballZ, Ghostfighter, VoltesV, FushigiYuugi, Inuyasha, the Gundam series, Trigun and more.
Those that the kids watch with us or knew about starts with OnePiece, Bleach, Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist (both versions), and many others.
Books and Comics
Since we watch a lot of animes, we also have manga, Japanese books, and a Japanese dictionary.
We enjoy learning a word or two, but learning to write hiragana or katakana is a different matter. It’s not easy. We hope someday we’d be able to learn Japanese and confidently speak or write it too.
Comic book conventions are quite expensive to attend, especially if held outside of Austria. We hope we can attend the ones near Vienna or Austria, and that we’d somehow be ready with costumes, should the kids want to.
But since Aninite is more focused to Japanese anime and culture, we think this is something we would enjoy attending.
Japanese cuisine is our favorite, if not the top on our list of best food.
When eating out, we would certainly choose a Japanese restaurant over others. It’s really a good thing that there are a lot of Japanese joints around the city.
At home, we have cooked a lot of Japanese dishes, probably more than other cuisines. Here are some: Katsudon, Chirashizushi, and Unagi no Kabayaki. From time to time, we have ramen, the instant kind, and we just spice it up with a lot of other ingredients like naruto kamaboko, boiled eggs, and thinly sliced pork.