The most well-known dish of Japan

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Sushi, being one of the most popular dish of Japanese cuisine inside and outside the country, was started as a way for preserving fish in fermented rice. This beautifully decorated sushi contains rice prepared with sushi vinegar. Most popular fish for inside sushi are salmon, red tuna, and medium fatty tuna. However, there are many other types of sushi that differ based on their ingredients and thickness, most of which are named below.

About Japanese foods, what I like the most is that they decorate it very creatively and delicately. All the sushi pictures below will strongly support what I said. Sounds funny, but I sometimes think why spoil such a lovely design by eating them.   



Wowww it is more than cute! These cute inarizushi are rice filled in aburaaage ( deep fried tofu) bags. I really must try these.

2. Gunkan

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Small cups made of sushi rice and dried seaweed filled with seafood, sea urchin and different types of fish eggs.

3. Nigiri

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Small rice balls with tuna, shrimp, eel, squid, octopus and fried egg. They all look yummy, but since I am not good with raw meat or fish I will go for fried egg on the top.

4. Temaki 


Sushi cones are made of nori seaweed and filled with sushi rice, seafood and vegetables.

5. Oshizushi


It is pressed sushi, in which the fish is pressed onto the sushi rice in a wooden box.

6. Norimaki


Another variety of sushi containing sushi rice and seafood, etc. rolled in dries seaweed sheets.

7. Chirashi


Another creativity shown in a bowl of chirashizushi which consists of seafood, mushroom and vegetables spread over sushi rice.

Luckily, sushi is found easily in Japan even in your nearest convenient store and it is really worthy of trying once at least.

By: Ateffa Jalali

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8 Tips to improve memory

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Do you see someone you met just few days ago and can’t recall their name?

Have you started using your notes for the smallest information like grocery lists?

Do you wish you had a better memory?

According to Dr. Mercola, unlike the common conception your brain’s hippocampus, i.e. the memory center, is known to regenerate throughout your entire lifetime, if you follow the appropriate life style mentioned below.

1. Eat right

Eating fresh vegetables and healthy fats like coconut oil are crucial for better memory. Avoid sugar and grain carbohydrates.

2. Exercise

Based on studies of 2010 regular exercise improves blood flow to the brain and enhances learning abilities

 3. Play brain games

Like the body brain also needs exercise and if you don’t challenge your brain it will eventually become worse.

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4. Get a good night’s sleep

Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a day. Having enough sleep enhances your memory.  Indeed, a mid-day nap was found to dramatically improve and restore brainpower.  

5. Stop multi tasking

It slows you down and makes you forgetful. If you do many tasks together, you may forget one of them

6. Master a new skill

Engage in purposeful and meaningful activities

Engage in tasks that are interesting, meaningful and important to you. Like gardening, crafting or anything that holds your attention.


7. Try Mnemonic Devices

They are memory tools that help you remember words, information or concept through acronym, rhyme, image or a phrase.

Example 1:

The order of the Great Lakes from west to east:

Super Man Helps Every One.

(Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario)

Example 2:FANBOYS for the seven coordinating conjunctions

(For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So)

8. Intermittent Fasting

Unlike the common belief, glucose is not the ideal fuel to your brain. It is ketones, which is the fat body mobilizes when you stop feeding it carbs.

Fasting one day or restricting your eating to a 6-8 hours, will cause your body to “reset” itself and start burning fat instead of sugar.

By: Ateffa Jalali


Mercola.J,(2014, April). 7 Tricks to improve your memory. Retrieved from:


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10 easy tips to overcome stress


We live in a world where day to day life is full of stress and anxiety, while the reason may differ for everyone. It can be job stress, difficult relationships, economy problems, family problems, safety problem, and fear of terrorism, etc.

Fortunately, there are ways to fight those stress. I am going to share the ones that has worked for me.

1. Prioritize


This tip works best when its school or work stress. Being overloaded by tasks to do and not having plenty of time for them can be very stressing, whereas prioritizing what is more important and starting with that can actually work.

2. Go to beach, walk bare feet, watch sunrise

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I combined these three tips as I do go to beach, walk bare feet, and even tried to watch sunrise. Once I woke up at 4:00 a.m. with my husband and went to beach to watch sunrise. Guess what, it was rainy, we didn’t check the weather!! I am surely going to try it some other time.

3. Eat well-balanced meals:

It has been a month I have changed my eating lifestyle. I don’t skip any meal, but at night I only eat fruits or vegetables and do exercise. By the way, weekend nights are still pizza night can’t skip that. ;)

4. Exercise daily and recruit an exercise buddy


I exercise almost 5 days a week for 30 to 45 minutes. It is more fun than exercise as I have my husband as my exercise buddy. We encourage and motivate eachother to stick to exercise routine.

5. Say a prayer

Being a Muslim, I pray five times a day. It definitely helps me in dealing with stress.

6. Limit alcohol and caffeine:


Oh alcohol I never drank and never will, but I usually drank coffee staying up late for my exams or just, because I liked it. However I rarely drink it nowadays.

7. Take a nap


This is my second favorite thing. I love sleeping as I don’t usually get enough sleep in weekdays. Taking a nap actually helps, because I am not stressed when I am asleep.

8. Keep a Journal

I have been writing diary since I was 14 years old. I usually write when I am too happy or too sad and some special events. However, my writing is more thoughtful and touching when I write out of stress.

9. Eat a snack


Some people can’t eat when stressed. I am the opposite one because eating has always made me happy specially an ice cream.

10. Talk to some one

Well, this is my favorite tip as I talk more than a lot and it actually makes me feel a lot better.

By: Ateffa Jalali


Anxiety and Depression Association of America.(n.d). Tips to Manage Anxiety and Stress. Retrieved from: http://www.adaa.org/tips-manage-anxiety-and-stress

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International restaurants in Tokyo

Tokyo seems like a city with a big heart, which has embraced people from all over the world. It has Asian, European, African, and American restaurants. As a result in our trip to Tokyo, we could try different countries’ cuisines.


We went to Indian, Italian, and Turkish restaurants.

Indian Curry dinning Cobara-Hetta

Indian restaurant:


The day we were visiting Odaiba Seaside Park http://michikusan.seesaa.net/article/432290218.html , we tried Indian cuisine. It has always been one of my favorite cuisines, because it’s spicy and rich.

I never miss drinking Mango Lassi in Indian restaurants, as I am in love with it.

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We all ordered different foods, in order to taste most of the foods it offered.

My husband and his friend ordered curry over rice and I and his wife tried women set. Seems like they have discovered what women want, at least in case of food.  All the foods were awesome, peppery, and simply delicious.

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 Italian Restaurant

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This restaurant was near JICA (Tokyo International Center), where we were staying during the trip, so it was a very convenient place for us. We went there twice, once for lunch and once for dinner. The hot, soft, and chewy cheese pizza and fries were my favorite in this restaurant. It was very yummy!!

Turkish restaurants

We tried three Turkish restaurants.

1. Qader Kebab

  Turkish Restaurant

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It was the first Turkish restaurant that we tried in Tokyo. Obviously, we all liked the food, however it became more competitive as we tried other Turkish restaurants. Here we ordered Shorma Kebab, and Shorma over rice.

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2. Deniz Kebab

Turkish Restaurant

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The restaurant was small, but it was beautifully decorated with Turkish Cultural designs. What surprised us was, the Japanese waitress dressed in Turkish clothes which gave us a strong guess she was married to a Turkish man, or maybe she just wore it, because she was working there. I wish I had asked. Anyways she was looking very cute and her appearance was an attraction to the place.

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3. Istanbul Restaurant

Our last dinner in Tokyo!

All Turkish restaurants mentioned above, served delicious food, but when I talk about Turkish cuisine Kebab flavors of Istanbul restaurant fills my mouth. It was a small place with very hospitable service as the waitress was a kind Turkish woman. I think the conversations we had in there made the restaurant unforgettable place, but of course it won’t decrease the specialty of the food it served.




By now you probably must have got hungry!! I can totally understand as I got hungry too talking about such delicacies!!

By: Ateffa Jalali

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Odaiba Seaside Park

Tokyo’s most popular tourist attraction and date spot

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Odaiba is a large artificial island in Tokyo, popular among locals and tourists with a wide selection of shopping, dining and leisure options.

I visited Odaiba twice with my husband. Once in detail in day time and once on New Year’s Eve to enjoy the shinning and romantic night scenery of the Tokyo tower and Rainbow Bridge, that connects Odaiba to the rest of Tokyo and is highly attractive with night illuminations.

If I hadn’t been there at night I wouldn’t know why it is a famous date spot. Now that I have been there I can say it is due to the long quite walk at sandy beach will easily bring out the special words of a heart. And feeling sea breezes in the poetic and magical environment would make it hard for the person to reject. ;)

It was such a relaxing and peaceful place that I wanted to make a tent, light a fire and sit there until dawn, but we had to rush and reach to Tokyo Tower for the count down.


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It would have been injustice to the beauty of this man –made Seaside Park, if we hadn’t visited it in detail for a longer time.

Next day, we came back and spent the whole day in the center of Odaiba called Aqua city Odaiba. It includes a shopping mall with a 300-meter-long boutique street, a multi-flex cinema, and a gourmet zone that stretches over 15,000 square meters, which is the largest of its kind in Japan.

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yet, I haven’t jumped into talking about Statue of Liberty in New York. Actually, it is a replica of the statue that was made in Odaiba to celebrate Japan’s ties with France. And it is a recommended photo spot for having Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge in background.

There are so many things to do in Odaiba like staring at the stunning lake, skyline, bridge and garden. That’s what makes visiting it a great life time memory.

By: Ateffa Jalali 

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Tokyo Dome

 A day full of thrilling, delightful and delirious experiences 
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Tokyo Dome City Attractions is an amusement park located next to the Tokyo Dome in Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan and it is one of the most popular amusement parks in Tokyo.

We planned going to this theme park at the third day of our trip.

Trust me, we didn’t look like two married couples but some teenage friends who weren’t thinking about anything else but doing fun and crazy things!!

By the moment we entered this theme park, our heart beats increased to max and we had butterflies inside.

Thunder Dolphine

The 10th tallest roller coaster in the world

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We started our amusing night with Thunder dolphin, the exciting hyper-roller-coaster jetting through the Big-O Ferris Wheel. It is 80 meters (260 ft.) tall with 66 m drop, and 130 km/h (81 mph) speed!!

Safety controllers were quite strict and that gave us a feeling it is going to be breath taking. Of course it was! By the time the ride started, I was thinking when will it end??? I was yelling for few seconds and quiet in the next, gasping for breath and shouting again!!!  

Honestly, I cant tell you about its wonderful view cause I had closed my eyes out of fear. :p

Sky flower

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Next we tried the Sky flower that floated like a parachute. It was all fun and not scary. I am a brave girl except for the thunder dolphin. ;)

Super Viking Sorabune

A huge pirate ship swings widely

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This one was my favorite and we rode three times on three different seats and enjoyed a lot.

Wonder Drop

A falling 13-meter-high dive!

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Well yes it was winter and extremely cold, but as I said we wanted to try crazy things and was focusing on having fun rather than the weather. That's why we tried it twice and was shaking with wet clothes in windy and extremlly cold weather.

The Big-O

World’s first hub less Ferris wheel

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I don’t regret closing my eyes in Thunder Dolphin, as I got a magnificent and impressive view while sitting in the Big-O.

To sum up, Tokyo Dome was a great place for entertainment and made our trip to Tokyo more special. We took countless pictures that won’t let us forget all the amazing things we experienced.

By: Ateffa Jalali 

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Tokyo Tower

New Year’s Eve 2015  in Tokyo

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This New Year was one of the most colorful and exciting new years of my life.

I spent the last minutes of 2015 in front of Tokyo Tower, which

is 333 meter tall radio tower that was built in 1958.

It has two observation platforms at 150 and 250 meters.

Also, in the bottom part of the tower, it has a wax museum, an aquarium, souvenir shops and restaurants.


While we were walking through shiba Koen and Minto areas to find Tokyo Tower, it was quite and two ideas crossed my mind either we have lost the right way or not many people are interested in celebrating New Year in Tokyo. I was surprised to see the remarkable crowd as we got at the Tower.

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It looked like a garden with different types of flowers, as people from many different countries were cherishing together .

The fun part is that, there wasn’t a real count down. The local and foreign visitors were so excited that they were yelling and counting the last minutes of the year by themselves and celebrated New Year by releasing balloons. The crowd was remarkably amazing. 

By: Ateffa Jalali

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My trip to Tokyo

World’s most populous and bustling metropolis

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Japan’s capital, Tokyo is a city where nights are as energetic and noisy as its days. The city offers unlimited options for entertainment, shopping, culture and dinning.

My New Year trip plan to Tokyo became more enjoyable, because I had fun companions. This time it was a group trip I was with my husband and our friends (another couple).

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Winter illuminations had decorated the whole city like a bride. In fact, Tokyo is a conveniently accessible city, thus it was easy to visit many places in just few days. We visited Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observations, Odaiba seaside Park, Wald 9 cinema, and many restaurants and shopping malls. I will write specifically about the interesting parts in my next posts.

It was a short yet extremely memorable trip, as  my husband met his collage friend and I made new friends as I met his wife for the first time. We made a lot of fun memories and enjoyed every minute we spent in Tokyo.

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By: Ateffa Jalali

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Funny and interesting facts

1: Camels have three eyelids to protect themselves from blowing sand.
(If she used mascara like us she would have bought it every week or even more frequently lols)
2: Like finger prints everyone’s tong print is different.
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3: Hot water is heavier than cold.
4: Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying!
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5: Human birth control pills work on gorillas.
(Does that mean they can start family planning???) :p
6: You can tell the sex of a horse by its teeth. Most males have 40, females have 36.
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7: Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
8: Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails.
9: The porpoise is second to man as the most intelligent animal on the planet.
10: Banging your head in the wall uses 150 calories a hour.
You wanna lose wait? Start banging your head. ;)

The facts are retrieved from: http://bootstrike.com/LaughterHell/Misc/miscs13.php

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Are you an optimist?

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Well most of us will probably say yes! But are you sure??
Being optimist does no harm, but has a lot of benefits. It makes life stress free and less painful. Likewise, it helps you perform better and promotes success.
Being honest, I am sometimes optimist and sometimes not. At least that’s what optimism tests say about me. :p
Every morning, when I open my eyes for five minutes I go to flash back of what happened yesterday and what plans I have for today or this week. If I am lucky enough to have something good in either of them, I am positive during the day. However, if I had nothing exciting in any of them, I start looking at the half empty part of glass and I get mad at why the bus came two minutes late, I mean that is a long time right? ;) Now that’s not good enough. We should be thinking positively all the time, thus I am working on myself to be more optimist, are you? I know how it feels when I am positive and I want to have that golden feeling all the time. There is something good in everything and every situation and when we can only observe them after wearing rose-colored glasses.
Now put on those glasses and look around yourself, you will find happiness, success, and love every where.

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By: Ateffa Jalali
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