While I'd already thought about planting some Chinese lanterns, I had yet to actually find them. I've had pretty good luck with plants since moving to Mongolia, but green thumb or black, it's too late in the year. Apparently Asakusa hosts a festival centered around them in early July, but that's still a long way off. Instead I bought Christmas lights and used washi paper to make the bulb part of the plant. I used a lantern and yet more washi paper to make my own goldfish plant. These "flowers" are another part of Hozuki no Reitetsu, and although they don't (obviously) grow IRL, a crafty girl like me laughs at the constraints of so-called "reality." I had paper lotus petals I got the last time I visited Jogyesa in Korea that I knew would be perfect for scales, but I was going to need something to build the body on. I thought a paper lantern would do the trick, but it was challenging finding a plain, white round one. In the end Daiso saved the day - their round, white lantern wasn't as sturdy as I would have liked, but I managed it, since I wasn't willing to wait around to find a better one. When I had it finished, it turned out to be the perfect size to balance on the top of my floor lamp, once I'd taken the lampshade off.
My bath is separate from the toilet, and it's fancy, too. I put the plug in and press a button, and it beeps at me when it's full. It's awesome. One thing that is a pain, though, is that it doesn't dry out very well, especially in the winter. I had just been leaving the fan on, but I was getting mildewy areas, so I've started squeegeeing the whole thing, then using my "mop" (an IKEA find - something like a Swiffer but with a reusable pad) to wipe up the water afterwards. My laundry facilities are in the same closet, which is a little too convenient as most of the time I don't bother to put away my underwear.
So anyways, there's your grand tour. Although there are things I miss about my place in Mongolia (aka, the radiators and the fact that I was never too cold), I feel like I got really lucky with my new apartment. The only thing I could really wish for is being closer to a train station, or at least a bus stop, but since there's a vending machine that has cans of coke just two blocks away in each direction, I can live with that.