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Beautiful Japan

Hi, everyone! 2017 has already been a year full of constant traveling for me for work which has been keeping me quite busy, but I thought I'd share some of my new favorite spots I discovered in Japan in this post!


A place called "Kamakura" in Japan is about 40 minutes from Tokyo by train, but it was my first time ever going there. The photo above is the Meigetsu-in temple in Kita-Kamakura, and I was appalled by the beauty of this place. The peak-through window to the garden has a different "face" for each season because you can see the foliage in the Fall, bright greens and ajisai flowers in the Summer, snow in the Winter, and sakura in the Spring! I recommend visiting early in the morning because there won't be as many people and you'll get to enjoy the calm and quiet environment.


Hokokuji was one of the most relaxing and refreshing places I've ever been to. It was a serene area full of bamboo trees reaching towards the sky that never seemed to end. I've seen this place numerous times in photos and have always wanted to go, so being there in person (especially when the weather and temperature was great!) was such a surreal experience. You can enjoy authentic matcha and wagashi (Japanese confectionery) here as well, so it's a perfect place to come with friends, family, or your significant other. I was told that this place is terrific for photos and it's known also known to be a popular "healing spot." To be honest, I did get a bit emotional inside because it was so beautiful and brought back many wonderful memories. :) I literally have hundreds of photos I took in Kita-Kamakura and Kamakura, but here are a few more!


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I hope you enjoyed the photos, and thank you for reading! :)

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April 5, 2017 8:34 AM

March Events in NY & LA!

Times fliesーMarch is here! New York City has gotten a lot warmer, and I'm so glad the freezing days of snow are (hopefully) finally over. In today's TV episode, I'll be sharing with you various events held in New York City and LA in March. Some of them are completely new while some of them may be familiar to you. I don't want to spoil everything, so I will share two of my faves here. :)





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One of them is called a "Cat Camp" which is going to be held for the first time in New York City! Here, you'll get to listen to guest speakers and panelists about how to take care of adopted cats as well as tips on how to create a comfortable and happy home for these furry friends. There will also be a place for you to interact and play with the cats that are available for adoption, so it will be a wonderful way to meet a new family member.<3


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Another one I would totally attend if I lived still lived in LA would be "Art Night Pasedena." You can begin your own journey at any of the 18 participating cultural institutions, and what's awesome is that there are free shuttles that will directly take you there. :D You can celebrate and welcome Spring in an outdoor garden-like setting, and at night, you'll be able to enjoy fabric and light installations! Others include anime art, Far Eastern music, and eclectic treats that would be wonderful to experience with friends and family!

日が起きてから行われる"Art Night Pasedena"というアートイベント。



Feel free to check out the episode HERE if you missed the TV airing,
and I hope you'll have a wonderful beginning of Spring!


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February 28, 2017 8:00 AM

Visiting Japan and Fuji Television!

During the month of January, I flew to Japan for work! I was able to meet with various business-related individuals and old friends + enjoyed my own time by visiting places I've always wanted to go to in Japan. I also was able to visit Fuji Television once again and reunited with ex-members of the FCI New York family who now work there! :)



Outside Fuji Television! This massive building looks incredible in real life. I have to say I was freezing though because it's right by the beach and the wind was crazy this day!
(The temperature in Japan was insanely low during my stay in Japan but apparently bounced back up right after I left... T_T smh)




I had the wonderful opportunity of exploring various studios and control rooms to learn how everything comes to be. It's definitely a completely different experience seeing a broadcast go "live" from the creators' point of view. It's certainly a huge team effort that involves hundreds, and literally every second counts in the TV industry.



This is the view outside the Fuji TV dining area! You can see the beautiful city landscape, beautiful Rainbow Bridge, and even the Statue of Liberty replica towards the bottom of the photo! It was a very nostalgic lunch with the Fujisankei family, and of course the Japanese cuisine was delicious!



Here is none other than the lovely Ms. Chiyo Abe who I had the honor of working with at FCI NY! :) She has taught me so much during our time together and is a wonderful role model in so many ways. Everyone misses her tremendously back in NY including me. Her sweet personality always shines through her smile!

そして数年前までFCI NYに勤務しておられた阿部知代さんにも再会する事ができました!!


I would like to thank every single person I got to meet at Fuji Television! Seeing the immense amount of time, effort, and work that goes on behind the scenes to create spectacular TV programs was a very valuable and memorable experience.
Thank you all so much!!


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February 2, 2017 4:12 PM

Rediscovering my "Roots" in Hawaii

Happy New Year!! I hope everyone's 2017 is off to a fabulous start. :)

As I shared on my social media, I recently visited Hawaii to film for a New Year's Special TV documentary that was focused on my upbringing and "roots." The last time I went to Hawaii was when I just turned three years old with my mother, father, brother, and grandmother. (Never did I think I would revisit for TV filming!) When you think of Hawaii, the first thing that comes to mind would probably be the beach, delicious food, etc. (which I was looking forward to very much), however, that wasn't the main reason why I visited. I flew to the island to rediscover my "roots" by interacting with Japanese Americans living in Hawaii.


If you missed the TV airing, you can watch the full episode ➡︎ HERE!



First off, getting to Hawaii was quite a journey. My original flight had aircraft issues they couldn't solve after boarding us all, so I ended up having to take off 15 hours later than planned. I was worried this entire filming wasn't going to happen, but thankfully, I was able to get to Hawaii in the end. *phew* Everything we had planned had to be entirely rescheduled, but I was very thankful that everyone I encountered during this journey and the crew was incredibly understanding and kind enough to make last minute adjustments in order to film for this. My body was extremely exhausted after the long delay/flight + jetlag, but once I landed, I got ready and went straight into filming at Waikiki Beach. Luckily, the sun was shining bright this day (even though the forecast said it was going to rain all week!), and I instantly felt energized. I felt very grateful to be welcomed by wonderful people and weather, and today, I'd like to share my experiences through this blog post.

でも実は、今回ハワイへたどり着くまでが大変で、飛行機が15時間以上遅れて出発するなど。。。この企画自体ができなくなってしまうのではないかと心配になりました(;_;) その為スケジュールも大幅に変更し、取材先の皆様、スタッフの方々の敏速な対応と優しさで、どうにか無事撮影を終えることができました。今回の取材は取材の内容だけでなく、ハワイの方々の誠実さと優しさに包まれた忘れられないものとなりました。そのハワイのエピソードをご紹介します。

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I was expecting Hawaii to be very warm, but it was quite cold and VERY windy!!
ハワイは一年中とっても暑いイメージがあったのですが、この日のビーチはすご〜く風が強くて意外と寒かったです!! でもやっぱり景色はため息が出るほど美しく、海を眺めているだけで癒されました。

I had the wonderful opportunity of learning hula from Kumu Blaine Kamalani Kia and the Women of Halau Ka Waikahe Lani Malie! It was my very first time doing hula, so they showed me the moves and taught me the meaning behind each movement. I strongly felt that dance (in all forms and genres) is truly a language of its own with no words necessary. After this, I continued filming by visiting several shops (such as International Marketplace and ABC Stores) to find the perfect souvenirs and a beauty mask that you can only get in Hawaii. :D

続いて、はじめてのフラを体験!! フラとバレエは全く別のジャンルですが、言葉なしで、一つ一つの動きを通して表現する事は同じ。歴史あるフラをプロの先生に教えていただき、もう一つのハワイの魅力を体験できました。

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The next day, I met Mr. Lloyd Kawakami of the famous (and oldest) family-owned Hawaiian aloha wear, 'IOLANI. Lloyd-san's grandfather immigrated to Hawaii back in the day as an issei (first generation Japanese), and Lloyd-san's father began the 'IOLANI brand. I was so surprised to find out that the famous aloha shirt was first created from a Japanese kimono and that it was created by Japanese people! The photo above was taken on day two when we returned to Waikiki Beach to film around sunset hour. I never get to really experience the calming sound of waves and relaxation in New York City, so I instantly felt my mind and body feel so refreshed.



Living in a very busy, fast-paced environment in NYC doesn't really allow me enough time to sit down and think about my identity and roots... However, I got to visit the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii for the first time. I must say I was in absolute shock when I read the heartbreaking words and saw countless photos of Hawaii's history. (I will refrain from posting too many photos here because I would truly like every person who visits Hawaii to experience it themselves in person.) It was an extremely eye-opening experience to discover the unimaginable hardships the isseis and niseis went through (first and second generation Japanese), and they are the reason why the people of Hawaii and Japanese Americans can live proudly today.


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After having the tour with Lloyd-san, we sat down and spoke for nearly an entire hour regarding the history of Japanese Americans and our dreams. Hearing Lloyd-san's heartfelt words really made me realize that we cannot take it for granted and must never forget the true heroes that fought for our generation and on.



I also met the most adorable local girls in Hawaii. They mentioned that they have never been to Japan but cherish Japan and the culture very much. I was so touched by how pure their hearts were and how connected they were with their own culture despite being so far away.


On my last day in Hawaii, I woke up at 3:00am so we could go see the sunrise at the beach in Hawaii. (It is a Japanese tradition to see the sunrise for New Year's, so it was perfect for this.) Unfortunately, the forecast said it was going to rain, so it was very dark, gloomy, and windy as ever when we were heading there. I was unable to see the beautiful sunrise in Hawaii, however, after I finished speaking about my feelings looking back on this journey, the sunshine miraculously peaked through the clouds! It was only for a short moment, but I felt like the sun came out to show me the beauty of Hawaii one last time. I could not be more thankful to each and every person I encountered in Hawaii, and for treating me like we have been friends since long ago. Although it was a very short and sweet trip, it was one I'll never forget. I was gifted with lots of love, kindness, and inspiration.... and the glimpse of sunshine I saw on the very last morning was the perfect way to end this journey in Hawaii. :)


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Thank you so much for reading, and I hope that your 2017 will be the best year yet!


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January 3, 2017 11:53 AM

Christmas in New York! 2016

The jolly holiday season is here!
New York City is most well-known for places like Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall during this time of the year. Apparently this year's tree (pictured below) is the 2nd highest one in history! :)



Since you may be familiar with these spots already, I'd like to share with you a very festive and unique place you may have never heard of before!


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This shop opened this July and is actually open throughout the year!
What makes this place special are the ornaments and objects they carry.


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Here are some of the special ornaments they have! As you can see, there are Christmas ornaments of all kinds of people and jobs including policemen, firefighters, nurses, dentists... the list goes on! This is only a tiny selection, so you can certainly find something for everyone.


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I got to personalize my own family ornament as well! :)
They have a wide variety of options and designs, so you can select your fave according to how many people you have in your family, gender, age, etc.



and this isn't it... there's something even more incredible downstairs!


When you go downstairs and walk down the aisle, you are greeted with tons of singing
(and dancing!) Santas + adorable Christmas scenery.



White polar bears living in the Arctic!
All the life-size dolls and polar bears were moving as well!


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Here are adorable Santas gathered together enjoying their time!
If you look really closely, the Christmas tree is pizza ornaments on it.
They're drinking coke, and it reminds you of a scene in a nostalgic storybook. :)

コーラを飲んだり、ピザを食べたり... どこか懐かしい風景。


If you're in the NYC area, I highly recommend you to go check it out in real life because everything's phenomenal! You'll certainly be able to find some awesome gifts and get great photos here. In case you missed the TV airing, you can watch the full episode online to see everything in action. Please have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!! :) xoxo

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

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December 13, 2016 6:52 PM


Melodee Melodee

TV Reporter & Director, Bilingual MC, YouTube Artist, Professional Ballet Dancer.
ロサンゼルス育ち、ニューヨークを拠点に活動しているテレビリポーター&ディレクター、MC(日英両語)、バレエダンサー。全て一人で作成しているYouTubeチャンネル(合計登録者数 30万人以上)では、英語と日本語で世界に向けて様々なジャンルの動画を配信!

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in English & Japanese!



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