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January 3, 2014

Christmas eve, Christmas Day and Boxing day in Fukuoka

It's our third Christmas since living in Japan, but 2013 was the first time to spend Christmas away from family. Overcoming the creeping homesickness of the holiday season was helped by the visit of a lovely dolly girl from Australia, Isabel and her boyfriend Dan.

Izzy and I met in the first week of university in Perth and became instant friends, bonding over our love of op-shopping, ditching uni lectures to go on mini road trips, working together at a Japanese restaurant, laughing endlessly about The Mighty Boosh, Teen Girl Squad etc., dressing up and dancing at Amplifier, The Court, running an ebay vintage store briefly and a few rather successful vintage market stalls. You know how it is when you have a best friend. Fun times all the time.

When I moved to Japan 2.5 years ago, Izzy moved to Melbourne too. She's doing really well there and I'm loving Japan, but of course I miss her, so it was a bit of a dream come true when she said she would come to Fukuoka for Christmas with her guy Dan. They stayed with us for a week, and we crammed as much sightseeing in as possible.

The next time we meet Izzy will be a bridesmaid at our wedding! Until then, here are the first few days of memories from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day in Fukuoka. I have five more photo-heavy posts coming, so stay tuned ; )

Christmas Eve Party
It has become a little tradition within our group of friends in Japan to have a Christmas party at our apartment every year around Christmas Eve. Everyone brings food, I try and replicate some of the dishes my Mum serves in Australia (with the obstacle of not having an oven!!) and we put presents under the tree for each other. Eating and drinking and sharing my love of Christmas festivities with our Japanese friends is always really special and this year it was enhanced by Izzy and Dan's arrival. They came straight from the airport to the party and everyone was ready to welcome them with Christmas cheer.

Christmas Day
On the 25th we all woke up, opened presents under our tiny Christmas tree, skyped my parents and had a breakfast of party leftovers before heading out for some sightseeing. We rode bikes to Ohori Park where we showed Izzy and Dan the Japanese Garden, stopped for some hot tea and maccha in Daimyo before riding to see the Christmas lights (or "illuminations") at Hakata Station. 

Boxing Day
On the 26th I took our lovely guests to the famous cat cafe in Daimyo where we chilled out with a bunch of sweet neko. Izzy is a cat-lover so this place was a treat to show her. Afterwards we had a Fukuoka standard for dinner: Ichiran ramen.

More, more, more to come soon

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