Day 7 in Japan: Bye Ryokan & Kyoto

Posted on 14-05-2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Short post because I didn’t take a heap of photos on this day :)  I swear I took some of Honganji Temple but I guess not.

Today we woke up early for our 8am Ryokan brekky!  It was a Japanese style breakfast with a few little bits and pieces – very yummy!  Then we checked out and received some free hankerchiefs from the Ryokan as souvenirs.

IMG_6349

Across from our Ryokan, like literally right outside our door — there was a huge temple called Honganji, which we found out was the largest wooden structure in the world!

We walked all the way to Shijo and to Nishiki market for sushi train and snacks.  As you guys probably know, I love Japanese Lucky Bags (fukubukuro) so we grabbed one of the sweet shop bags for $10.  It had so many random Japanese snacks – they were all decent tasting, most were very peculiar but none really stood out that much to me.  I should have taken a photo!  But I’m dumb and didn’t and now they’re all gone.

We should have walked to Gion after, but I was so dead I just wanted to go “home” (aka back to Shinsaibashi).  After dropping our stuff back at the apartment and reconvening with Isaac, it was time to have dinner in Shinsaibashi (the shopping street).

Lobster

We ate LOBSTER ROLLS!  They were delicious!  So much lobster, although they were quite pricey at 15 bucks per small roll.  And obviously, this wasn’t a Japanese meal LOL.  I don’t regret buying them at all though, they were delicious and who doesn’t love lobster?!

We had more dinner at some random yakitori place because Bryan was still hungry, but to my dismay it was a full smoking-allowed restaurant and I was dying the whole time because I don’t do well with smoke.

Afterwards we met up with Michael, Kathy & Nelson and went to the arcade!  No one won anything (LOL sadface).  Everyone wasted a lot of money, but it was pretty ~worth it~ anyway because arcades are all about having fun with friends.

We also had sushi for dinner at some fancy sushi place in Dotonburi.  It was really yummy, I finally tried otoro and fell in love with it.  FML why is it so expensive to get in Australia?!

Anyway, that’s all for now!  Thanks for reading c:


Back to Top

Day 1 in Japan: Arriving in Japan & Eating Yakitori!

Posted on 11-01-2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

We’re in Japan!  Landing in the airport felt so surreal, like 9hrs of flying time finally resulted in something!  I slept a lot on the trip, but not as well as I did on the way to Korea which was at night.  It felt a bit wrong to sleep during the day for this trip but I was exhausted anyway from waking up so early to get to the airport.

Unfortunately Bryan and I couldn’t get a wifi dongle online prior to the trip — and we didn’t want to spend like $90 each for a wifi dongle at Japan airport, so we decided to go without portable wifi for the first few days.  So far we have survived!  I was recommended a free wifi app, which occasionally works, but it’s the offline maps (maps.me in the App Store) that really impress me as you just DL them and the gps will still help you determine a route even without Internet.

We are staying at Hotel Horidome, so we had to take the Kesei Skyliner to Ueno, then walk to the Ueno station on the Hibiya line.  It’s important to know which line you are on or planning to go to, because not all of them are the same.  The Skyliner is very comfy, lots of leg room and a place to put luggage.

At Ueno, we took the train to Kodemmacho station.  Luckily, the time we arrived was not busy, and there was space on the train to put our bags :D  We got a bit confused about where to exit the station and get to the hotel though— it was a short walk away but we had no idea which direction.  Bryan asked one of the station officers where to go, it is actually not that hard to get through what you want in English, as long as you can point to a map or something.  They are so helpful here!  Even with the officer’s help, we got a bit lost and had to ask a random on the street for help.  She even went as far as to knock on the door of some restaurant to ask for directions for us!  So kind.

(To get to Hotel Horidome: At Kodemmacho station, take Exit 1 and walk up the stairs.  Turn left, then turn left again when you reach the lights/corner where there is a restaurant with cats on the window!  Hotel Horidome will be on your right after a few mins of walking.)

They led us in the right direction and we made it to the hotel, which is clean but absolutely tiny. It’s not so hard to stay here though because everything is ~just~ big enough.  Like the absolute bare minimum of what you could consider liveable.  But it is also a great price for a nice, clean place with a good location (I think it was around $50 a night for 2 ppl).

These aren't my photos of Hotel Horidome but this is basically how our room looked except ours was even more cramped than this!

These aren’t my photos of Hotel Horidome but this is basically how our room looked except ours was even smaller than this!

Despite the size of the Hotel, it is a really good location imo, especially for a few days of exploring around the Tokyo area!  The Hibiya line connects to both Akihabara (1 stop away) and Ginza, which is great, and it isn’t far to Tokyo station from Ginza either.  It is also right next door to a Family Mart convenience store.

After getting settled, we headed out to look around the nearby restaurants for dinner.  It is a business district, so it is quite quiet compared to the rest of Tokyo.  We stumbled upon a yakitori (chicken skewer) place with little booths.

01

day1-02

day1-03

They had an English menu and I liked the atmosphere!  Bryan ordered a bunch of weird skewers, including chicken liver – I tried being adventurous and took a bite of it, but it almost made me throw up because of the texture (the ones on the top right) LOL.

day1-04

Highlights were the tea rice soup thing (not pictured, too hungry – ate it before I took out the camera) and the karaage (on the left).  Yum.


Back to Top

Queensland 2014

Posted on 24-02-2014 | Tags: , , , , , ,

So this is an incredibly belated post, but Bryan and I went to the Gold Coast about 2 weeks ago!  It was such a yolo kind of trip, because the tickets were cheap and we got really nice accommodation on “early bird special” so yeah.  We went to the airport at like 4am, for our 6am flight to QLD.  By the time we arrived it was like 8am Melbourne, or 7am QLD, but then the shuttle bus took about an hour to get to the hotel so we checked in at about 8am.

The room wasn’t ready yet, so we had to leave our bags with reception and head off to Movie World, since we booked the shuttle bus to take us there anyway.  Both Bryan and I have been to Movie World/Wet n Wild/Sea World before, so we had a pretty good idea of the rides and stuff.  Of course we went on the Superman Escape, tried out the Green Lantern which was pretty lame, Scooby-doo, etc.  Luckily for us the lines weren’t even that long!  We got to skip the queue like 3 times because we’re only a pair, instead of a big group heheh.

20140224-234240.jpg

Nachos for lunch.

20140224-234305.jpgBryan carrying my handbag at the “Chamber of Commerce” LOL, I forced him to take this picture, can you tell?

Oh my gosh guys, I highly DON’T recommend booking a shuttle bus for your travels- they’re great for airport transfer/pick up but they are so limiting in terms of themepark pick up.  Firstly, the bus only comes at limited times per day (the earliest pick up time was like 4pm… so late wtf).

The worst part was that the bus was late. When it FINALLY came, there was a lot of confusion. The lady driver was nice but she was so confused and disorganised… she tried to be kind by giving people lifts to their hotels even though their booking was unlisted, but she had no route planned out and people kept getting off at the wrong places so it look literally 2 hours to get home.  Bryan and I were just quiet…. people on the bus were being pretty rude to her after a while, just adding to her confusion- she was clearly very flustered.  They all illegally got off at Surfers Paradise when the bus was at the traffic lights… Idk we felt really sorry for her… but also annoyed because our time was wasted LOL

The roads in QLD are tiny, and there are so many bends.  There was also a lot of construction going on for the light rail network, so she kept driving into ridiculously tight spaces, having to reverse (and nearly like ran over some pedestrians WTF) and then, at one of the hotels, the bus like…scraped against the curb. -.-‘

We finally got back to the hotel, and I was so impressed with it!  LOL i didn’t include pictures though because they really don’t do it justice.  Oops, my bad.  Should have taken more photos :P  But here’s the foyer:

20140224-234418.jpg

The hotel was really nice- everything was new, it had a sauna, steam room, spa, swimming pool and gym.  Our room had it’s own kitchen with everything we needed (but we only really ate out so we didn’t use it much LOL) and the TV had Foxtel!  I really like this hotel, probably the best I’ve ever been at especially for the price, but then I hardly stay at hotels anyway.  We had dinner at some place in Surfers’ Paradise, and had Ben & Jerry’s for dessert.  I’m obsessed with the Clusterfluff flavour… well pretty much any peanut butter flavour LOL.  Bryan hadn’t had Ben & Jerry’s before, but he really liked the Cookie Dough one

The next day we decided that after that scarring bus experience, Bryan and I couldn’t be bothered with theme parks any more.  Actually I only really wanted to go to Movie World anyway, because last time I went to QLD I desperately wanted more time at the beach.  So that’s what we did!  But first, we decided to have lunch at this place called Longboard near our hotel.  Apparently they have the best burgers around and are famous for this one MASSIVE burger called the Phat Bastard.

20140224-234331.jpg

We decided to share the burger since it sounded so goooood.  Omg.  I don’t know how people can eat it under 30mins, the both of us could barely even get through half of it.  You can’t really tell from these photos tbh because the chips are chunky too LMFAO (why aren’t I good at taking photos sjfkfhds) but anyway in the pic below, you can see Bryan’s hand in the corner, and the glasses of drink in the background.  It’s a ridiculously huge- 1.8kg burger.  The patty alone was 800g.

20140224-234315.jpg

This is a photo after we had eaten AS MUCH as we could, and the burger is still almost as big as his head LOL

20140224-234325.jpg

20140224-234339.jpg

So tasty but so muchhhhh.  Anyway, after that we went to Surfers Paradise!  The weather wasn’t that great, so we went to this huge arcade inside Surfer’s, where we spent quite a lot of time.  Bryan booked a surprise Teppanyaki dinner for me, since it was our 3 year anniversary :D  It was really nice and the chef made some smiley faces on the hot plate haha.

It’s kind of a blur now in terms of which days we did what.  I think on the last day we walked by this sand sculpture event they had going on.  There was a tent with sand sculpting tools so we decided to make something: it was supposed to be a donkey, but ended up being a wombat LOL.

20140224-234356.jpg

20140224-234401.jpg

After lunch at some pub thingy, we went to the beach of course, jumped around in the waves and had fun there.  We were half looking out for Running Man but not really.  The good thing about our hotel was that it was only a few metres down from the beach, so after the beach we went to the spa and steam room!  I like steam rooms much more than saunas, I hate the feeling of a sauna drying out my face.

Finally for dinner we went to Hogs Breath Cafe, which I hadn’t been to before.  It was so yummy!!!  I got the special, which had like.. steak, pork ribs and chicken!  LOL.  So good.  And we shared a strawberry daiquiri mocktail. Afterwards we took a walk down Surfer’s Night Markets which was nice.  There were a lot of interesting little stalls set up and we got couple bracelets hahah.

Annnd then we went home the next day :c  I want to go back, it was definitely one of the most relaxing holidays I have been on


Back to Top

Food Adventures!

Posted on 22-12-2013 | Tags: , , ,

So I cbs another camping post for now.. I guess I’ll talk about the food I’ve had recently! No watermarks, cause I’m lazy and forgot to put one on LOL.

Polish Food with my Aunty, Uncle and Brother for his birthday! I’ve never had it before, so it was really interesting and delicious hehe. Ever since I watched Simon and Martina from EYK go to Poland, I’ve wanted to try Pierogi so bad. But my expectations of it were perhaps too high. They were nice, but not amazing. I loved all the potato dishes and the beef roll thingies though!

My fave dish overall was the potato pancakes- S…something. They were sooo good. But potato dishes all tend to look pretty plain so no pics.

The potato cakes were so weird, in a good way. It was sort of like glutinous rice, but potato version. Then there’s beef inside (since we chose beef haha). Really nice! I thought it was just like, mashed potato but it was a unique texture and delicious.

Not pictured- Polish Dumplings (Pierogi), Polish Potato Cakes and potato pancakes. Cannot remember the real names for most of these.

20131223-011455.jpg
Bigos – Official Dish of Poland

20131223-011501.jpg

20131223-011507.jpg

The dessert- Polish Jam Donuts, were really tasty. They were similar to Krispy Kremes but somewhat lighter and less sweet- the jam was a tiny bit sour which made it really nice~
There was also poppyseed cake, which wasn’t that good… I’m not a fan of poppyseeds.

Anyway it was a real culinary treat for me on Saturday because not only did I have Polish food, but I even had French for dinner, for Bryan and my monthversary. He actually pointed out to me at dinner that it was the first time we have had a dinner date! Before he got his license, it was very difficult for us to have dinner together because he’d have to go home via public transport which I thought would be unsafe since he would be alone and the area he lives can be somewhat dangerous. Anyway, he has eaten dinner with me at my house, at his house and with our friends before but this is the first “dinner date” at a restaurant. I didn’t realise at all actually.

It was tasty, as expected. I love french onion soup. Perhaps we should have gotten escargot but I’ve had it before and I wasn’t too much in the mood for it, and neither was he. So we ended up having the soup, mains– eye fillet steaks with bacon and wine sauce, and for me “Canard aux Noix”: a duck dish with orange sauce and almond crisp.

Must admit, I liked his dish a lot more than my own. Last time I went to a French restaurant and had Duck L’Orange, it was delicious. But this dish was a bit weird… It was okay. I liked his steak a lot. So nicely cooked and tender and yummy.

20131223-013317.jpg

Dessert though. French desserts are the BEST. Definitely the highlight of the meal– we got two, one Crepe Suzette because I wanted to show Bryan something quintessentially French, and a Cerise…something. It was super good. Both were good, but Bryan enjoyed the Crepes more due to the alcohol. I liked the Cerise thing cause I have a sweet tooth.

The Crepe Suzette is a normal crepe, pretty much. Doused in alcohol and set alight.

20131223-013627.jpg

The Cherry thing (Cerises…something) was a goblet with iduno… Some pudding with cherries that have been drowned in alcohol with ice cream and chocolate fudge. So gooooooood. Drools. The cherries tasted amazing. I expected sour but they were so sweet.

20131223-013820.jpg

The picture doesn’t do it enough justice… It was so gooood. Anyway, that’s all for now, soz for the photo edit inconsistency, I took some with pudding cam and some with normal iPhone cam.


Back to Top

(Korea) Day 3, Part 2: Lotte World Adventures

After visiting the Hello Kitty Cafe, we took the subway down to Jamsil station to visit Lotte World!  It’s the biggest indoor themepark or something like that, so easy to get to because it’s attached to the subway station; the station also has a lot of shops and a mall kind of thing.  It even had this massive fountain inside, ide.  Click/hover the images for descriptions, at the bottom.  And maybe a surprise story.

Oh yeah, all this time I forgot to mention how much of a freaking coupon queen I was during this trip, LOL.  Before the trip, I compiled a booklet of makeup, travel and activity coupons that I found on various places on the internet because I’m cray.  I’ll do a post on that really soon, and let you guys download the booklet in case you’re going to Korea any time soon, hahah.  But yeah, I had a Lotte World voucher inside, so we got a discount yay!

Anyway, to be honest I was a bit disappointed that the theme park was indoors because it was the first beautifully sunny day we had seen in Korea.  It was  pretty, but I didn’t think the indoor place was amazing.
Read the rest of this entry »


Back to Top