Living in Tokyo, Japan – Part 6

December 7th, 2010

Wow! I have missed a lot of days in my journal! I will try my best to sum up the last few weeks.

School is pretty fun. The only thing that is a little difficult is the two hour block of math! Other than that I love all of my classes! I have made many friends. After school on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have been taking after school Japanese to help me learn more. I have learned how to write my name in katakana which is a form of Japanese writing. I am not very good at writing Japanese sentences, but I am quite good at reading them and translating them into English.

Now I will sum up the last few weeks. My aunt came to visit in late September. Just like we do with everyone who comes to visit, we took her to Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea. We went on Splash Mountain and we just had to buy the picture! My aunt looks calm, Sophie looks terrified, mom looks like she does in every Splash Mountain picture, terrified.

On dad’s birthday, October 31st, we went to Disneyland and Disney Sea for the 20th time since moving!

Two weeks ago, gramma and papa came to visit. Of course we went to Disney Sea! Gramma isn’t a roller coaster gal so Taylor and I took her to the small rides. We took her to Flounders Flying Fish Coaster. It is a fairly small coaster but gramma got mad at me because I told her it is not fast but to her it was.

6th Grade Trip to Hiroshima
Photo Credit – Lauren Hill

I almost forgot! About 1 month ago all of 6th grade went to Hiroshima for a week long field trip! We took a 4 hour Shinkansen ride to Hiroshima. For 2 nights we stayed at the Hotel Unizo. I stayed in a small room with my friend. We had a traditional Japanese dinner at the hotel. The last 2 nights we stayed in a cabin and made homemade pizzas for dinner.

We visited a World War 2 museum that had history around the Hiroshima bombing. There were diagrams and maps, clothing, footage and so much more. At night we went on night walks around the hotels. The first night we went on a walk with 4 teachers, and the second night we went out with just our English teacher. We ended up getting lost for about two hours but we stumbled across some cool places!

When we stayed at the cabin, we had no choice but to go to go to the onsen every night to bathe. An onsen is like a community bath/shower room. All of the girls go in the girls room at the same time and shower in the same room. I did not care for it very much…

February 1st, 2011

Ski trip! All of 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade went on a ski trip to Nagano for 4 days. We took a 6 hour bus ride from the school. We stopped a handful of times on the way for bathroom breaks, snacks or a drink. When we arrived at the hotel, we found out who we were rooming with.

February 2nd, 2011

We spent the day skiing. We all woke up and got dressed, then went downstairs for breakfast. We then spent the whole day skiing. We practiced putting out ski’s on and did some side steps all day! I got really tired. We stopped for lunch and went back out a while later.

To read more about my journey living in Tokyo, click here!

Living in Tokyo, Japan – Part 4

July 28th, 2010

Today was such a fun day! It was Taylor’s birthday so we went to Disneyland and Disney Sea! First, we left the house at about 9:30 am and got to Disneyland at about 11:00 am. we did not go on many rides at Disneyland. Maybe 2-4 rides in 2 hours. We got a fastpass for Splash Mountain at 8:45 pm so we decided to go to Disney Sea. We have not been to Disney Sea yet so we were excited to see what it was like.

Tokyo Disney Sea is the most amazing theme park I have been to in my entire life. Be prepared for a long post at a later time.

Photo credit, RJ Hill, rjhill_santokyo

August 7th, 2010

Yesterday we finally received all of our rental furniture. Couches, lamps, dining room table and chairs, etc. I got super bored while they were delivering the furniture so I decided to go explore the area around the hotel next to our apartment building. The ANA Intercontinental and Ark Hills. I found a Subway, a sushi restaurant, and a few other places.

That night we decided to eat at a restaurant I found in this area called Plates. It was an Italian restaurant with pizza, pasta, scallops and more. We ordered a margarita pizza and it was amazing! It was fresh out of the pizza oven with fresh tomato’s and basil.

Today was full of activities as well. We hopped on the train to Bic Camera which is like the Japanese version of Best Buy to see what they have and buy a TV.

After shopping we went to a summer festival with food, games, prizes, entertainment and so much more! I cannot wait for dinner tomorrow because we will be going to Shakey’s again!

August 8th, 2010

Today was pretty fun! Dad and Taylor went back to Bic Camera, so Sophie and I went shopping. We went to the supermarket a few blocks from our apartment and bought cereal and popcorn, then we went to a convenience store for so many things! We bought instant noodles, ice cream, bread, coke, paper towels and more. We went home, put it all away and then ate lunch.

August 14th, 2010

Wow! What a week!? On the 10th, gramma Shirley arrived! She brought us cookies, peanut butter, bread to make, sunflower seeds, movies and more.

On the 11th we went to the Ueno Zoo! We only saw maybe half of the zoo because it was so big. When lunch rolled around we decided to eat before leaving the zoo. I had yakisoba noodles that were yummy! After the zoo we went to a natural history museum that was right next to the zoo.

On the 12th we decided to go to Tokyo Sea Life Park. It is an aquarium near Disneyland. Once you buy your tickets, you get on an escalator that takes you down below sea level getting darker and darker until you open up and sea large glass walls all around you. There is a large crowd of people gathered around the glass. I look up and see a baby Great White and a baby Hammerhead shark! There were large Blue Fin and Yellow Tail Tuna! It was taller than mom and dad combined!

Yesterday, mom and dad went to Ikea and Costco to get groceries and missing furniture like a desk lamp and a nightstand for me. Gramma, Sophie, Taylor and I stayed home all day. We went out to show gramma the shops across the street. We stopped by a bakery that had a cute cake that looked like it had a clear jello glaze on top. It was a pink leopard print cake. We went home and relaxed for the rest of the day.

To read more about my journey living in Tokyo, click here!

Living in Tokyo, Japan – Part 1

Tokyo, Japan was a place that I was able to call my home for two years. This is a multiple part post as there is too much to write in one blog post about my life in Tokyo, Japan. I kept a journal while living in Japan so each post will be a journal entry or two.

At the age of 11, my sisters and I were sitting on the couch when mom and dad told us they had something to tell us. We would be moving to Tokyo, Japan. The company my dad works for reached out with the opportunity to be a GM for all factory stores across Japan.

As an 11 year old it is hard to process and conceptualize what moving means, let alone to a foreign country where they speak a different language. It never hit me that we would be moving away from our entire family and the only life I knew in Vancouver, Washington.

Leaving Portland, Oregon to Move to Tokyo

July 14th, 2010

Last night when we arrived at Tokyo’s Narita Airport, we had to get dinner because it was 5:30 pm and we were so hungry so we had McDonalds. I loved how the fries weren’t greasy at all. When dad was getting tickets for the airport limousine bus to the hotel, we found out that the next bus was not until 8:15 pm.

At about 7:50 pm we went outside to wait for the bus. At exactly 8:15 pm, the bus arrives. We hopped on the bus and we were on our way. It took about an hour and a half to get to the hotel. We finally arrived at the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in the heart of Shibuya. checked in, and went to our rooms. 11 pm is a late night for an 11, 8 and 4 year old.

city people lights walking
Photo by Negative Space on

Today we explored the area around our hotel in Shibuya in Tokyo. While exploring we found a fish and meat market, cute little anime shops, and so much more. After exploring we grabbed some Starbucks, and headed back to the hotel to meet with the realtor to finalize the rental of the apartment.

After finalizing the rental of the apartment, we went to the find some furniture for the apartment! Sophie, Taylor and I all sat in a massage chair and it felt so good! I decided to grab some free green tea. I don’t even like green tea though, but we found out that Taylor likes green tea!

We went to another leasing company and Sophie, Taylor and I were so bored! I decided to go next door to a 7-Eleven where I made my first purchase in Tokyo! I bought a bottled water for 100 yen! After I went back to the furniture store, I went back to 7-Eleven with Sophie and Taylor to buy them another water, and I bought a rice bowl thing with a spicy sauce for 400 yen.

7-Eleven Across the Street from Our Apartment.

Once we got back to the hotel, Sophie, Taylor and I exchanged our American dollars for Japanese yen.

For dinner we went to a restaurant called Lacasa di Nao. I had fettuccine alfredo. The appetizer was bread with olive oil instead of butter. It tasted delicious! When we were done eating we went to the hotel, went upstairs, and climbed into bed. When we wake up tomorrow, we get to go to Tokyo Disneyland!

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Swedish Pancakes

Swedish pancakes are a perfect way to change up your average Saturday morning breakfast! Easy gluten free and dairy free Swedish pancakes are perfect for a weekend morning breakfast!

I am not allergic to gluten or dairy, but I prefer to cook without gluten and dairy if possible for health reasons. Some dishes are very easy to cut gluten or dairy out of. When baking or making a pastry like dish like pancakes, you can easily swap regular milk for unsweetened coconut milk.

I prefer unsweetened coconut milk over almond milk because of the nutty flavor that almond milk has. Some people may like this taste, but I prefer the coconut milk which usually has little to no flavor to change the dynamic of the dish.

You are going to see butter in the photo below, but I use that for my family and keep the good stuff for myself! πŸ™‚

Photo of all ingredients placed together to easily see the ingredients you need.
Photo by Lauren Hill, Colorado Sisters

Quick Swedish Pancake Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth and it has no chunks of flour. I would recommend using an immersion blender which you can find here on eBay to make it a quick and easy process.
  • Pour batter into a heated pan, spread to cover the bottom of the pan.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes over medium-low heat until browned, flip and repeat.
  • Serve with fresh fruits and enjoy!
crepes on plate
Photo by Elly Fairytale on


  • Gluten Free Flour – I personally like to use gluten free flour so you do not feel full and bloated after eating. Especially in the morning while starting off the day.
  • Unsweetened Coconut Milk – I use unsweetened coconut milk when I make foods that already contain sugar to make sure my morning is not loaded with sugar.

Tips for Swedish Pancakes

  • You cannot just pour the batter in the pan and leave it. You have to swirl the pan around to spread the batter evenly to cover the bottom of the pan.
  • I prefer smaller pancakes and more pancakes. You can use a pan that is smaller than 9″ that is mentioned in the recipe. I use a 3 1/2″ pan for my Swedish Pancakes.

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Swedish Pancakes

Easy, gluten free pancakes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Swedish
Servings 6 people


  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup and 2 tbsp gluten free flour
  • Cooking oil greasing the pan


  • Combine eggs, sugar, milk, salt, vanilla extract and gluten free flour in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. For a quick, easy mixing process, use an immersion blender.
  • Heat a 9" pan on the stove over medium-low heat and add cooking spray. Make sure the cooking spray covers the entire base of the pan to help brown the pancake slightly, and help it from sticking.
  • Pour roughly 1/4 cup of pancake batter into the pan and tilt the pan in a circular motion to spread the batter evenly around the whole pan.
  • Cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side until browned.
  • Serve warm with your choice of toppings. Jam, preserves, fresh fruit, etc.


  • Common gluten free and dairy free toppings for Swedish pancakes are fresh berries such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, powdered sugar or cinnamon and sugar.Β 
Keyword breakfast, gluten free, pancakes, swedish

How Long Are Leftovers Good For?

My little sister saves any kind of pancakes, waffles, etc. for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Microwave for roughly 30 seconds to warm the leftover pancake.

What To Eat With Swedish Pancakes

Swedish Pancakes are generally served with fresh berries such as raspberries, strawberries or blueberries. I personally add a dash of cinnamon to my pancake. Dairy free Reddi Whip is another perfect topping!

If you would like a Swedish pancake as a side or a dessert for your breakfast, try having them along with a gluten free ham and cheese quiche! A blueberry oatmeal bake is another great breakfast idea!