Thursday, March 31, 2016

Late lunch at Yayoiken

Late lunch at Yayoiken with S after we went to make my hanko.

My first time at Yayoiken and it was not bad as I felt that the food has a homey feel to it.

Chicken nanban teishoku 740yen

Love the sauce on this. The rice is refillable if 1 bowl is not enough for you.

Mixed Fried Foods Topped with Egg Teishoku 780yen

This was good too but it was slightly salty for me. This dish consisted of fried pork cutlet, ebi furai and beef. 

For this outlet, ordering was easy as you just order it through a machine that has both japanese and english menu. Buy your ticket and then pass it to the staff there.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Lunch at Nakau (なか卯)

Walked past Nakau while shopping and spotted this! Was super tempted to get one as I was really craving for a salmon and ikura don!

Then I remembered the reason why I was looking for a restaurant in the first place, to hide from the cold. It was near the end of February and freezing cold!

So nope, I'd save that salmon don for another time and go for a hot dish this time.

I'm so glad that they serve hot green tea which is pretty rare as most places serve ice water even during winter.

I ordered the mini kitsune udon for 220yen as I wasn't very hungry.

Very good hot soup which really warmed up my body. Plus I really liked the udon noodles.

And, as it was 2pm (after lunch hour), the restaurant was I got to enjoy my udon slowly in peace. Otherwise, the restaurant would be packed with customers who are there for a quick lunch.


不思議だね。。。one of my favourite series - Fushigi Yuugi, from N years ago made an appearance in today's discussion.

It's interesting how the name of 4 Gods that protect the universe could bring back so many memories for me. Really wished I could be in Suzaku for good times sake. I've been a fan of the original series for soooo many years. Plus, my favourite -Tamahome (鬼宿), is a celestial warrior of Suzaku.

While I'm in team Genbu, unfortunately I'm no priestess of Genbu. If I was, the charming Uruki would be by my side now, wouldn't he?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

McDonald's Sakura menu

I've been wanting to try McDonald's Sakura menu ever since I saw it online years ago.

I ordered the sakura teritama burger set with sakura fizz (720 yen). I thought that the set automatically comes with the ume fries but I was mistaken. Guess I'll just have to return another day to try the ume fries.

The burger was good, a chicken burger topped with egg and lettuce.

The best part of the meal is this sakura fizz! The best drink I've ever had in McDonald's!!! Super refreshing! If only they offer this all year long...

Can't wait to try more sakura goodies~!!! <3

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Scouting for an apartment

There are many websites that one can use to scout for a place in Japan depending on the type of accommodation that you are looking for.

Here are some websites that I have personally used:
They offer share house, apartment and dormitory type of accommodations. Their website is really easy to navigate and everything is easy to understand. While share houses are usually well furnished, their apartments are also furnished! This is really helpful for foreigners like me because most apartments are unfurnished and one would have to fork out extra money to buy furniture or electrical appliances.

They offer share house, apartment and social residences. As with Sakura House, their website is also easy navigate thanks to the English language option tab.

Social Residence is an interesting concept for me. In Malaysia, we're used to share houses but social residence is like a super share house!

Social Residence emphasizes on community. Some have gyms, movie room, study room or music room. So there's really a lot of space for use to cultivate your hobbies. Plus because many people will be sharing common areas such as the living room or the kitchen, it reminds me of a back packer's place where you get to mingle and make friends with many different people.

This website was introduced to me by my real estate agent. Unlike, the first two, this is a Japanese only website. At Home's, you can not only rent, but buy, sell and build!

I used Home's the most while searching for an apartment. While there are some that are furnished, many come unfurnished.

I like the map function the best because I get to zoom in into the area that I'm interested in and check if there are any accommodations nearby for rent.

There are both the Japanese and English version to the website. This website is easy to use thanks to the refine search section on the top right which is very extensive. You can use it to pin point to the exact requirements that you want.

5. Suumo (
This is a Japanese website and like Home's, you can not only rent, but buy and build too! Again, very easy to use. I usually select the nearest train station that I am interested in and start from there.

Of course there are many other English websites that one can easily google online, but I have not much experience with them so I can't comment on it.

Anyways, in my case, I got into contact with my real estate agent through a friend's friend late last year. As the date of my departure to Japan got closer, she shared with me links of some of the rooms which she felt matches my requirements, and I also showed her some of those that I was interested in. However, many of those that I was interested in do not rent to foreigners. Plus because I started scouting for apartments few weeks before, some of the apartments were already rented by the time I arrive in Japan. My agent said that during the time when I was seeking for a place was the time where many people were also moving.

So we set up a date where she brought me to view several different apartments. From there I picked one that I liked best and proceeded with it. She explained to me the fees that I would incur and submitted my documents.

Not having a phone line is really an inconvenient thing in Japan. Without it, the guarantor company couldn't contact me but we eventually sorted that out. I had to talk with both the guarantor and management company before they evaluate to rent the place to me or not. When all that got sorted out, I had to bank in the payment to them as well as my agent before getting my keys. 

Other than the problem with the phone, banking in was also a problem because I didn't have a bank my address registered yet. I tried to register it in the morning but the lady said that since I have not move into the apartment yet, I couldn't register it. I was pretty flustered at that moment because banks close at 3pm and I needed to bank in the money on that day. Thank goodness, S happened to be in Tokyo when I contacted him for help. So we headed to the main branch and made the payment using his identity instead. I sent the receipt to my agent and yes, it's done!!!

The procedure was ok I guess. I went to view the apartments, decided on an apartment the next day, spoke to the companies 2 days later, submitted the payment another 2 days later and went to collect my keys 4 days later.

Friday, March 25, 2016

My own inkan

Prior to getting my own hanko, I have deliberated for quite some time if I truly need one, where to get one and which one to get!

I've surveyed online and there are many useful websites on hanko. I highly recommend these:

Thank goodness for their posts, if not I would've been super lost! So if anyone wants to know more about hanko, do check out the blog links above!

Well, despite all that reading, I could not purchase one online as I didn't have a credit card. Plus, I also didn't have a phone line or internet on my first night....I was extremely lost. But luckily S brought me to a はんこ屋さん21 ( near the place where I was living and we managed to get a 13mm inkan there. 

As my name will me in katakana, 12mm might be a bit small for official papers so the man at the shop suggested that I get a 13mm one instead. A slightly bigger one would be better as the only time I'd be using my inkan would be in the bank.

At first, I was thinking of using kanji, thinking that it might look pretty grand. But after S' help with checking with the banks, perhaps it is better to not sure kanji as it is not on my passport.

It's really convenient to go and get an inkan. I can collect mine the next day. For mine, it costs 5637yen. Felt that it was a bit pricey as I've never had to use anything like it before, we normally just sign our names and that's free of charge! Lol~

Nevertheless, I was really glad to get something on my list done!

As I was too much of a cheapo to buy a proper casing for my inkan at the store, I went to Daiso to get myself one. But I carelessly went and bought the 12mm case. I only reslised my mistake when the case wouldn't close! So that means that I would have to make another trip to Daiso to get a proper case.

Days after, I found out that I needed an inkan to sign my rental contract too! So yea, I couldn't be happier that I got that done!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

First lunch MOS burger

If you're wondering what's my first meal in Tokyo after I was MOS burger!

I had just arrived and was walking around town trying to get some wifi while waiting for the time to move into my apartment.

A friend mentioned that I could wifi at MOS and so I went without even checking.

Immediately ordered the first thing on the menu that catches my attention and that's the ebi (prawn) burger!!!!  I absolutely love this! I had it before in Taipei and it was delicious!!!

I ordered the set with came with small fries and a cup of hot tea

I really like how piping hot their fries were even in the cold weather! Plus I like the fact that even though it was a thick cut, it was perfectly crunchy!

So while I didn't get any wifi, I still had a great lunch!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

First day in Tokyo

First day in Tokyo and it was snowing. 

Right before we land, the pilot announced that out was 0 degrees and that there was koyuki outside. I was thinking you've got to be kidding me! Snow on the day that I arrive. Not that I hate the sight of snow, having no experience with snow....but I just don't like the coldness. It didn't help that the guy who was supposed to pick me up was no where to be seen and I'm standing out on the cold  pushing around my huge luggages. After about 15 mins, I couldn't take it anymore and just walked back into the airport to email the school and wait in the slightly warmer inside. 

Arrived at school with plenty of time to spare at 9.15am. I'm not allowed to enter my apartment before 3pm hence I decided to walk around the area of funabori eki to get myself familiar with it. The thing about Japan is that despite being a country with very advanced technologies, it's very difficult to get wifi!

No wifi, no map, no means of communication!

The only saviour is that I manage to get wifi at convenient stores such as 711 or Lawson or Family mart and family mart. But the thing is, I can't just stand in the convenient store for a long time without buying anything right? Hence, not very useful. Usually I just stand outside to use wifi for a minute or two before making a move.  I seriously need go get my own plan soon. In today's world, one cannot survive without the Internet! 

So in hopes to get wifi during lunch, I headed to MOS and nope no wifi. But that's ok, at least I had an amazing ebi (shrimp) burger! if I couldn't get enough burger when I just had one filet-o-fish at Mcd in KLIA after checking in my luggages. After that, I headed back to the school to rest and then headed to the part of the school where I'll be teaching. After meeting with the principal, I finally got to move into my temp apartment!

Unfortunately for me, the apartment wasn't as clean as I had hoped it would be, but at least it was properly furnished. While it did come with a router, it didn't come with a lan cable for the connection to the laptop so that means no internet for me too.

Then it hit me....the homesick feeling! 

Told myself to suck it up and grow up because it is something that many people go through, it was your own decision, you just gotta learn to make everything work by yourself and don't expect anything from anyone!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Packing and flying to Tokyo

From Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, there are several airlines that one can pick from to travel to Tokyo, Japan.

Below are 4 airlines that offer direct flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Haneda or Narita Airport:

1) Air Asia (AA)

I find that most of the time Air Asia offers the cheapest fares. The plus point with Air Asia is that they fly to Haneda Airport which is closer to central Tokyo and therefore more convenient for those who wants to travel and explore Tokyo. However, they depart at 2.40pm from KLIA and arrive at Haneda airport at 10.30pm. If you are unlucky, you might miss the last train out from Haneda Airport. I have flown with Air Asia to Tokyo before, the plane was on time and we managed to pass through immigration with ample time left.

As I know that I have many things to settle at the airport that night, I did not want to risk it.

2) Malaysia Airlines (MAS)

I have flow MAS to both Tokyo and Osaka before and it is always good to fly with MAS. The seats are comfortable and the food served was good. The good thing about MAS flights are that they have night flights, which I like. So you get to sleep on the plane and arrive early the next morning! Another plus point about flying with MAS is the 2 free check-in baggage.

Here are the 2 direct flight that MAS offer to Narita Airport:

1. Departs at 10.50am and arrives at 6.30pm
2. Departs at 11.35pm and arrives at 7.15am

3) All Nippon Airways (ANA)

I have never traveled with ANA before but I hope to fly with them one day. I find that the fares from MAS and ANA to be pretty close. Depending on who is having promotions, you might find one having cheaper fares than the other. Like MAS, ANA also have night flights! Based on pictures that I've seen on other websites, ANA's airline food looks food too! ANA also offers 2 free check-in baggage of not more than 23kg for economy seat tickets. ANA offers several different flights to either Haneda and Narita airport.

The one I preferred the most was their day flight which departs at 8.10am and arrives at Narita airport at 3.50pm.

4) Japan Airlines (JAL)

Among the 4, JAL's fares are the most expensive. However, JAL does have a good record of being on time ( Plus many people have commented that JAL's crew is one of the best in the world and their in-flight food are delicious. JAL also offers 2 free check-in baggage of not more than 23kg for economy seat tickets. Like ANA, JAL also offer different flights between the two cities but the one that caught my attention most was the night flight which departs at 10.50pm from KLIA and arrives at Narita Airport at 6.40am.

In general, AA does offer the cheapest return flight tickets. However, when the other airlines are having promotions, one can get very good deals from them too. Before buying any tickets, one should consider which airport do they prefer to fly into, timing of the flights, level of comfort and how much you are willing to pay.

I bought my tickets pretty late and among those that offered night flights, JAL had the best price. So that was the one that I went with. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Whup whup

Last dinner with my dance mates before I leave~

With Amanda, my dance instructor for like.....the past 6/7 years.

With the pretty ladies from my class, plus David, who was the cameraman for this picture!

We went for dinner at Whup whup in Subang Jaya.

A beautiful place for dinner~

We ordered several different dishes to be shared among us.

Mohawk Salmon with pineapple salsa, mash (RM28). Very good salmon......definitely one of the best!

Glazed lamb shank with ratatouille and rosemary taters (RM38). This is hands down my favourite main of the night! That lamb was super tender and it went perfectly with the sauce!

Duck 3 Ways (RM28). Didn't try this so couldn't comment on it.

Gramps apple pie (RM10). My favourite dessert of the night! Omg....that warm apples with the lovely pie crust and vanilla ice cream!!! :D

Babyface (RM13). A very good dark chocolate tart. Coffee lovers will definitely love this.

A group picture~

Thank you guys for the lovely gifts~!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2016


It felt as if I have waited for the longest time for my COE to be processed. I remembered feeling very worried on whether it would get processed in time or not. This was because I have signed a work contract and on my contract was the date that I'm supposed to start work. As the date gets closer and closer, I become more and more anxious. But at the same time, I told myself that as it was something that I could not control, I just need to learn how to not worry too much about it and focus on the things I need to get done back home.

My COE application was submitted on 22nd Dec and approved on 4th Feb. Since they had to deliver the original COE to me, I only managed to get me hands on it on 18th Feb.

When I got it, it was like....FINALLY!!! YES~!!!

I can now finally have a clear plan of when to visit the Japan Embassy in my country to apply for my visa, when to fly to Japan, when to set up appointments with my real estate agent to view some apartments and an actual date to tell my friends and relatives on when I'll actually be leaving. Otherwise, it's just like, "Yea, I guess I'll be flying at the end of Feb.....but I don't really know when yet. I'm still waiting for some documents for visa application."

Truth to be told, I was initially worried about when I'll be getting my COE because when I googled online, some people were saying that it takes a really long time....probably 3 months or more even. But, really, I'm thankful that mine got processed in slightly more than a month.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Last japanese class

My japanese teachers are always so nice and supportive of the things that I do. 

I'm really grateful to them for organising this for me.

Probably my last group picture with these group of classmates who have been with me for the past year. Plus the teachers who have been with me the past 5 years!

I really enjoyed the beautiful tart~ sensei-tachi are all super nice! They buy birthday cakes for their students on their birthdays and organise farewells like these! :)

The past 5 years had been amazing, picking up japanese again, winning a speech contest, getting my first interpretation job, first experience as MC and later my translation work.

Thank you all, especially the teachers for my wonderful journey with japanese language! Hopefully, I will be able to improve while in Japan even though I will no longer be attending classes.

Heart warming messages from everyone~

A gift from my sensei of 4 years!

A pen that I will treasure for sure!

Plus this key chain from my last sensei. A key chain from the no longer running Cassiopeia!


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Moving to Japan

Since high school, I have always been interested in Japanese language and culture. At that time, I was into the 90s shoujo anime. Thanks to anime, I became interested in Japan. I wanted to learn the language to be able to watch the anime without sub and was very much interested to live in Japan as I wanted to experience things that I've seen in the anime. I think I watched the most anime in 1999, thanks to the influence of my group of anime loving friends.

After A levels, I thought of applying for the 2006 MEXT scholarship to further my studies in Japan. However, at that time, I didn't have any confidence in my Japanese language skills and I just couldn't imagine myself studying science or mathematics in Japanese. Plus I was worried that due to bad language skills, I would not be able to keep up in class. In the end, I gave up. Every single time I think back about it, I felt like kicking myself! I was young and have nothing to lose! It was really the best time to go to Japan! Even so, I did not regret my decision to pursue my degree locally as I was awarded full scholarship from my institution and led me to discover my passion in scientific research.

But my dream was not dead, 3 years after graduation and 1 year into my masters research, I decided to apply for the 2012 MEXT scholarship again, but this time for my PhD studies in Japan. Submitted my application forms, sat for 2 papers, went for an interview and was awarded the scholarship. However, due to various things that happened soon after, I wasn't able to continue with my masters research. In the end, I had to forego the scholarship.

Fast forward to 2015, I have finished my PhD research work and was writing up. While I was writing and especially after my submission, I really gave it a lot of thought. I want to live and work in Japan! At the same time, the thought of taking a gap year really starting growing in my head. After my PhD, I had about 2 months before my graduation and that was when I really began to applying for jobs in Japan. While I did get close to getting hired, the truth was that I didn't get hired in the end and it frustrates me that it was difficult for me to actually apply for jobs and compete with local candidates because I'm so far away. But I didn't give up. I have send out many applications and also received many rejections.

Back home, things were starting to work out for me in terms of career as I was being offered jobs. 

When you are an adult seeking for a job to make a living, it is tempting to pick the safer option. However, I've told myself before in 2015 that 2016 is the right time for me to move to Japan! 

Just when I was almost giving up hope, my job offer came! Without hesitation, I accepted it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Just like back in the days

Met up with the girls last month for dinner and a discussion session for Jas' assignment.

Dinner was at Fong Lye.

I wasn't feeling well and on the verge of fainting. Unfortunately, when asked for a glass of warm water, the waiter told us that they don't provide hot/cold water, just mineral water. So I thought can't be helped since they don't serve warm water.

But Jas very nicely sneaked out to Coffee Bean and got me a cup of hot green tea! My life saver!!! *sniff* which led to the notion that I must find a bf like Jas. Lol....

We always order this sweet potato balls every time we're here. 

Jas' steamed fish dish

My sweet and sour pork

Up front is sea witch's 3 cups chicken

All the dishes came with 3 side dishes, rice and soup

I think that out of all the time I've visited this place, I enjoyed these 3 side dishes the most as it was the only time I actually finished all 3 dishes. 

After dinner, we went to Coffee Bean for our scientific discussion. While Jas' topic was specialised, it was interesting to me as it was something new and very educational. It really brought us back to our uni days when we would study together with Tham. was funny when I saw the girls' handwriting and thought to myself, "oh, how nostalgic!". 

Plus it was inspiring to see Jas work so hard on her assignment. It made me wanna push myself harder too as I've been really quite relaxed since my graduation. It's time to push myself to not to be stagnant and to take in various opportunities to learn something new e.g. new knowledge or a new skill or get a new certification.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

old dance vids

Gosh, it was so many years ago when we danced in this studio......

I didn't attend much dance class at this studio after they moved here as I was at a point in my life where I was super busy with research. Moreover, the roads to this studio were always jammed!!!

At least I still have these 2 videos here to remind me of my time there. 

Street Jazz Pound the Alarm  

Waacking Choreo

Friday, March 11, 2016

Fei Bo Snow Beer, Ipoh Garden East

Visited Ipoh this CNY and we went for supper together with some of the extended family at Fei Bo Snow Beer at Ipoh Garden East.

They're famous for snow beer and it was the first time I tried one. Definitely new and interesting for me. They pour the beer into an ice cold beer glass and this is what you get~

We also ordered a few dishes to go along with the beers....

So happy when this dish arrived! Didn't really had the opportunity to have much veges during CNY.

Fried noodles which were spicy despite its looks but delicious.

My favourite dish of the night- fried squid~!!! Super good!

Salted egg bitter gourd! read that right! A first for me and while I hate bitter gourd, I actually enjoyed this.

Squid anyone? lol....the squid which arrived last minute and I guess every one already took a piece before cousin for the chance to grab a picture. 

The food there is pretty good. 
Hence, even if you are not a fan of beers, you can go there for their food.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Last meet up with Moon & Nick before leaving for Japan!

We went to Sri Nirwana Maju at Bangsar.

3 different types of rice here.....the chicken briyani, mutton briyani and the normal white rice which is not visible in this frame hahaha...

That plate of fried squid in the middle costs RM20! hahaa....never knew it was that expensive before! But luckily they were good. I particularly enjoyed the fried bitter gourd and papadum, which went very well with my curry drenched rice. :D

After that, it was desserts time at Nutmeg at Bangsar Village II. They had a lot of interesting cake flavours. If you like fruit cakes, do drop by Nutmeg as they have very interesting flavours. 

Since we were obviously still very full from lunch, we decided to share a cake.

Chocolate flourless cake with hazelnut meringue. I enjoyed the hazelnut meringue with the cake.....if only the vanilla ice cream had a bit more depth to it! It's lacking the creamy texture that I like in ice cream.

After forgetting to take a group pic the last time we met up, we remembered this time!

And we had 2 this time! hahaha......even though I was the only who changed pose. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Muar otak-otak

Muar is famous for otak-otak and this is our favourite! Octhavia Sdn. Bhd.

We always buy from this stall every time we are in Muar, We usually get the frozen ones.

While waiting for them to pack our orders, we ordered some of these BBQ otak-otak to snack on~

Sorry for the blur pic, but this is how it looks like inside.

I highly recommend you guys to try otak if you have the chance to visit Muar.