I know I'm super late, but Happy New Year everyone! I feel a lot more positive about 2016 and I'm glad I'm finally leaving 2015 behind me. My holiday started on the 23rd of December and ended on the 6th of January. I'm currently working as a waitress in a Korean barbecue restaurant called "Kankokuen", and it gets extremely busy during the big holidays (i.e. Christmas and New Year's), so I spent most of my time working my ass off. I took a few days off my part-time job to watch Beppu's Fantasia Fireworks, which is sponsored by the whole Kyushu island. This big annual event is always crowded and totally romantic. The fireworks are huge and the food stalls on the beach are packed with a bajillion people from all over Kyushu island. I couldn't take a lot of pictures, mainly because I was holding a bag of cotton candy, a packet of takoyaki and one stick of grilled squid, while watching the fireworks.
Aside from watching the beautiful fireworks, my best friend and I also visited Oita city. Oita city is much more of a "city" than Beppu is, which makes it a great place to just hang out with friends. It's the closest city with a cinema, a legit shopping mall and a big arcade, and I love the Winter illumination they put up during the holiday season. The shopping mall is called JR Oita Amusement Plaza, because it's connected to the Oita station. We don't need to walk all that far to the shopping mall from the station and it's got enough shops, like H&M and UNIQLO, to satisfy APU International students, like me! My best friend and I visited H&M, ate at a Korean restaurant called "Usagi to Tora" and had delicious green tea parfait at "Nana's Green Tea". We also managed to find a way to go to the rooftop garden and kept it anti-mainstream (none of my other friends have been there, apparently).
The green tea parfait I ordered was the "Gateau Chocolate Green Tea Parfait" which was around 1,000 yen (or around $10). It was gigantic and it - literally - had every type of dessert in it. A small wafer, whipped cream, ice cream, matcha pudding, matcha gateau, corn flakes, matcha syrup and cream. The calories and the money was definitely well worth it!
This was the rooftop garden. Aside from the shops, which meant to resemble Kyoto, there was a small pagoda and a mini train for children to ride on. I also found a small shrine at the edge of the rooftop garden. For your information, I was wearing an Avail coat, GU sweater, Uniqlo Jeans, Adidas Sneakers and an H&M Bag.