Category Archives: Happiness

2016 was not that bad after all.

Hi guys, this year is getting close to the end…thank you for all the fun time we had! How was 2016 for you? Looking at Social media (especially English posts), it seems there are lots of negative voices such as “2016 was a terrible year” “I want it finish now” or “2017 will get worse…” but I don’t know…for me it was “going up” year.

Sure, there was a lot of terrorism. But it was just because they happened in the “developed” countries hence the media reported a lot, there has been lots of terrible incidents worldwide in recent years. They say “we lost lots of celebrities”, but for me, 2012 ~ 2015 when we lost lots of famous Kabuki actors looked worse. Brexit? Trump? It hasn’t happened yet, he hasn’t become the president yet, we don’t know the outcome of them in long term…

…thinking in that way, I think 2016 was the year of “transition”. One flow ends, and we have to plant new seeds for the next change. How you view this “end” depends on the person I guess. However, I believe whether you see this situation as “hopeless” or “chance” will determine what kinds of flower you will see in the future…thinking about my flowers, I’m preparing for the next year.

Right, I will look back 2016 by talking about the products/service I used a lot.


As same as the last year, I flied a lot! The first half of the year, I went to Sweden monthly. This was phisically tough but the people there welcomed me warmly. Also I learnt a lot by experiencing the life and work in Sweden, this was amazing considering that living/working in London is already special as Japanese. By the way I was so in love with scandinavian design…when I get a new flat in Japan I will get inspiration from them!


Throughout this tough year, again it was the mindfulness which helped me a lot. Everyday is a bit difficult but I still continue Headspace. Another thing I begun this year is Five Minutes Journal. This is a simple journal which you can write every morning and night, but the key is to keep it short and simple like 5mins. Does that short journal mean anything? Definitely yes – they ask you very important questions so that simple answers do help. I tend to give up these rituals but now it’s my 143th day!

The Five Minute Journal

Also while moving between locations, Barlcays’s mobile app and Paypal were incredibly useful. I knew Barclays app good before, but Paypal was rather unexpected, I like its overall experience and service. Actually, I was hoping financial sector’s UX and transaction in Japan becoming better. Maybe I should write another post about comparison…

Another thing I strongly felt was that, I want to involve in designing UX around airline/flight experience! Comparing some apps, I thought BA was ok but overall experience still seems fragmented. At the moment it feels like the best UX to view travel schedule is Google’s inbox, so it would be great if we had more seamless experience including physical experience. Does anyone know someone in airline industry?

I love Japanese contents…

After July, I went to Japan several times. Since last year, I had even more chances to work with the designers in Japan which made me really happy. In my personal life, our family had two celebration; my counsin’s wedding in July and my brother’s in November, and I enjoyed staying in Japan by doing a lot such as… played PokeGo, listening/watching Arashi, watched TeamLab and Ghibli’s exhibition, went to Osaka, Nikko, enjoyed the PM being Mario, watched Shin-godzilla, Kimi-no-na-wa, Sanada-maru, Daradara and Kabuki! Wow, it was a really good year.

Only a bit of 2016.

So. What would you enjoy a lot in Japan? …food! This is not anything new but I enjoyed usingTabelog a lot. My colleagues were using Foursquare but I’m afraid that’s useless in Japan…The experience of these two are quite different and I guess it also comes from cultural difference. Maybe I should write about it too…(setting a high hurdle for myself). By the way, another thing I used a lot in Europe while not in Jaa pan was Vivino. I love being able to view rates of wines easily by taking picture of a label, since I know nothing about wines!

Vivino | Price comparison, ratings and reviews for any wine Does anyone want to make Japanese sake version of this app?

Next year: Focus and share

Right, the next step of my life is to focus on Japan. At the moment I’m doing final “danshari” – it’s a concept of not to have attachment to things, to clean up unneccessary things, to keep the life simple and minimal – by using eBay and Mercari (Oh, the experience of these two services are different and interesting, hopefully I will write about it too..) In this year, too many things happened and I tended to get distracted, but next year I will have more focus. Hoping this will help, I bought this big journal (Ok, this is no 5mins anymore, and maybe too expensive as a journal…) so I will do my best on this as one commitnent. (Below is a discount link if you’re interested)

Dailygreatness UK – Friend Offer

Right, I just commited to write three (!) blog post so I would like to try writing something about UX soon. I will. Try. Next year.

Right, happy new year everyone!

Some thoughts around introverts

Since I often come across articles about introverts and extroverts recently, I also want to write a bit about my thoughts around it.

I don’t think it’s binary thing, but I think I’m closer to introvert. This word is often misused, but they say it’s not really about being shy or quiet. For example this article talks about what real introverts are, or this oneillustrates what’s going on in introvert’s head.

Personally those two below made sense the most to me.

Why so many people don’t understand introverts | Ideapod

People usually think introvert means shy, and that’s not the case. The truth is…

Accepting Yourself as an Introvert and Loving Your Inner Tortoise

“We can’t underestimate the value of silence. We need to create ourselves, need to spend time alone…

So, introverted doesn’t mean shy or quiet. I don’t hate meeting people, or going for drinks when I’m invited. However, while extroverts gain energy by receiving stimulation from external world, introverts need quiet time, can charge energy by facing inner world. We need to have a rest by shutting out external interference.

Both good things and bad things start and come back inwards. I think that’s introvert’s trait. Communication consumes, so it needs to be selective, let’s avoid unnecessary ones…so don’t take it personally when I say no to invitations or ignore you on trains.

To be honest, I’ve been suffering about this for long time. I’ve been believing that being introverted was bad thing. “Am I not normal not being able to enjoy social?” or “Am I miserable person wanting to be alone at home?” And since everything tends to go towards inwards, self-hate level was quite high too! It was such a bad cycle of “wanting to be alone” > “blaming myself to be alone”. There was literally no rest inside me.

However, reading articles about introverts…I noticed. Perhaps, because of its traits, maybe “visible” things in this world tend to be extrovert’s standard. Extroverts have louder voices. And by receiving reaction, it gets louder. On the other hand, introverts tend to stay quiet…so we can’t see it, hear it. I guess there are lots of people like me, who believe the standard is “extroverts” and “introverted me” is broken and something I have to fix.

Reading the articles by other introverts, now I know at least it’s not just me feeling in this way. I don’t need to worry. I’m not broken. Interestingly by stopping pressure towards myself, I enjoy social situation a bit more. (although I still want to go home early.)

Now….if you understand this kind of things,you’re probably an introvert too 😉

Right, here is an article about how to charge happiness for you then…

4 Ways Introverts Can Super-Charge Their Happiness

“Solitude matters, and for some people, it’s the air they breathe.” ~Susan Cain…

Lavender Harvest

My friend told me about this, I went to the Lavender Harvest. It smelled so nice even outside the place. They were selling lavender oil and creams etc. It was so fun. I had rice balls and Japanese tea for lunch. (OK, it’s not British style, but…) And we went to pick lavender. I realised it was the heaven for bees… They looked so huge…so scared. Everyone said, “Don’t worry, they wouldn’t hurt you”. But still scary! Well, but they looked so busy flying around lavenders.


Although it rained a bit, it was so nice to have been away from London and surrounded by lavender. It still smells so nice in my room now, I’m feeling so happy!


New Year, etc.

When can I move to a story about Francis Bacon? Anyway, I’m going to write about after Xmas to now… So, after Xmas, I went to see Ms N. to be given reflexology. As I used to go to massage at least once a month in Japan, I was so happy to be relaxed. Thanks, N! By the way, it revived my interests for aromatherapy, so I bought lavender oil and a stuff for foot bath. For a few days before new year, we sometimes invited guests and I cooked Japanese meals, and enjoyed it very much. On the new year’s eve, my boyfriend cooked British meal and I cooked Japanese (well, only soba which is necessary for new year). We invited some friends, and one of them gave me a lovely korean jewelry box, and another gave me calender, so I felt like I was doing Xmas again! It was so fun. The new year’s day this year came very quietly. I didn’t go to London, and stayed at home, but we don’t have the temple bells, and even when I turn the TV on, everyone looks normal. (Usually you can see lots of talents wearing kimono in Japan.) I didn’t feel like it was a new year… But my Korean friend invited us for lunch, so I could enjoy Korean new year’s day this year! I was so surprised they eat rice cake for new year as same as Japan. After that, I went shopping sometimes, and today was the enrollment for part-time course which starts this month. I met my classmates again, and felt the new term is going to start. I’d like to write a bit more about that course again soon. Now, here is my objectives for this year. – Needless to say, complete MA! – Study some things which I’m not good at. (Business, self-promotion) – Make a network with Japanese living in the UK. – Wake up early in the morning and not to stay up late at night! – Go to see at least one exhibition/film/theatre a week. All people I meet here are so active. I’d like to try harder this year!