Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Eating Japan -Ice cream series 2

1. Haagen Dazs Vanilla & Milk

As I'm not a fan of milk, I was contemplating if I should get this, but I did in the end. The ice cream itself was ok, but I enjoyed the honey swirls in it.

2. Pablo purple yam cheese tart ice cream

Highly recommend this!! Omg, I love this sooo much, you can taste the yam and cheese!!! Then there's that cookie base! Best combination ever!!! <3

3. Chateraise Strawberry milk bar

There is definitely a strong strawberry flavour to this but I prefer icy fruit bars to smooth and creamy ones.

4. Aeon's frozen fruit parfait in mango flavour

This is how it looks like on the inside. Mango flavoured ice with chunks of mango and vanilla ice cream. Super refreshing and the mango chunks were sweet!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Kanazawa Myoryuji Temple & Kaitenzushi Okura

After breakfast, we walked to Myoryuji Temple, as I have made an appointment for us to have a tour.

Myoryuji Temple (妙立寺, Myōryūji)
Address: 1-2-12 Nomachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture 921-8031

Myoryuji Temple, commonly known as Ninjadera, was built by the Maeda lords, rulers over the region during the Edo Period. There is actually no association with ninja. The temple earned its nickname because of its many deceptive defences. 

 The temple's included traps, hidden tunnels, secret rooms, and staircases. A guided tour (reservations required) in Japanese which costs 1 000 yen is available.

While we were not allowed to take any photos, the tour was interesting and I recommend it to whoever could understand japanese. It was definitely interesting to see all the traps, rooms, etc. Even if you do not understand japanese, there are guidebooks in english which you could request for.

Usually in Japan, we don't usually feel discriminated as we are of the same skin colour. But at the temple, we sort of felt discriminated by the staffs there. We were queuing up to enter and after I told the staff my name, she immediately shoved me to the side without even telling me why. I didn't like that as I would like to get a front row seat (as I'm pretty up front in the queue). We later found out that it's because we were both foreigners and might not understand japanese. I assured the staffs that we both can understand japanese and we already have our money ready for goodness sake! 

But I guess, they didn't think we could understand any japanese because after the introduction when we were to be separated into groups, we weren't called for but just ended up in the last group in the hall. Oh well, I guess it can't be helped as they probably get many non-japanese speaking tourists in a day. Doing so would probably help save them the time and hassle.

After that we headed to Omicho market for sushi at this restaurant called Kaitenzushi Okura (かいてん寿し 大倉), that was again highly recommended by Mish.

As the queue was long, I explored the market while Mish queued. Arigatou~

I like how close the seats were to the sushi chefs.

I ordered the asari miso soup which was supposed to be super delicious and it was!!! It's the best miso soup I've ever had! There was a prawn head in it, seaweed and lots of asari!

I really ate a lot for lunch here~

My order of salmon sushi


Salmon belly


A plate reccommended by Mish


Ikura hahaa, there wasn't enough space on the counter, so I had to put them together on the same plate.

8 dishes in total and the damage was.......2,808 yen!!! Definitely the most expensive kaiten sushi I've had in Japan~!!!! But it was super delicious~ so no regrets!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Electronics and furniture shopping in Tokyo

Before moving to Japan, I've checked out a few websites to check out the price of electronics and furniture in Japan.

At first I was thinking if I should but second-hand stuffs from recycle shops or "sayonara sales" from Craiglist.

However, I eventually decided that I would like to buy my own because I like new things.

As Ikea is a popular brand for furniture even back home, it was only natural that I check out Ikea's website (http://www.ikea.com/jp/). While I really liked some of the furniture there, I decided not to purchase my furniture from Ikea because of the steep delivery fees which differs depending on where you stay. The closer you stay to Ikea, the cheaper the fees.

While Nitori (https://www.nitori-net.jp) is famous for their furniture, they sell electronics too and I had initially wanted to buy their oven microwave because of the cheap price!!! Unfortunately for me, at the time of my purchase as it would take almost 3 weeks before I could get it, I decided not to get it from there. While a bit on the high side, they offer free delivery of purchases above 7000yen. This number is easily achievable if you order all your main furniture from them.

Other shops like Sofmap (http://www.sofmap.com/) and Yodobashi (http://www.yodobashi.com/) also offers free delivery for purchases above 3000yen. Before arriving in Japan, I had initially plan to get my major electronics form Sofmap because their prices was one of the lowest at the time of my survey. However, as I didn't had the opportunity to physically visit the shop myself, I decided not to purchase from them.

Yup, just like what the picture promised.

Then lastly, there's K's Denki (http://www.ksdenki.com/) which I have never heard of before going to Japan. I ended buying my major electronics from K's Denki because they offered competitive price, free delivery, free installation and extended warranty when required. So I bought my fridge, washing machine, oven microwave and hair dryer from them. Once, I have decided to get my electronics from them, I decided that I will stop comparing the prices to other electronic stores just so that I don't get any heart break! hahaha....but overall, I'm happy as the items were delivered 3 days after I paid for them. They installed all of my electronics and made sure that they did not damage any of my things while doing so. 

At first I had only decided to get my fridge and washing machine from K's Denki. And plus, since I'm such a worry-wart, I wanted a friend to be there when I made my order. So S went there with me and while discussing about the electronics with the staff, I decided to get the oven microwave there too since they could offer me a good price and most important of all deliver in 3 days! Then my hair dryer....I thought, why not....I didn't want to have to purposely travel to another electronic shop just to get it!

Snapped this picture right after they had installed my electronics.

It's been 2 months now and I'm loving all my purchases! I love how functional everything is and hopefully, they will continue to be for many years to come~!!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Golden week trip to Kanazawa

My Golden week trip to Kanazawa with Mish. Mish told me that she was going to Kanazawa to catch a concert during the Golden week and I decided to tag along.

First, a shot before we boarded the bus at Tokyo station. We took the Orion bus which departed at 11.30pm. Our tickets cost 7,000 yen each.

The bus was comfortable as they had the heater turned on. The chair could be inclined. Room slippers, blanket and pillow were provided. You could even charge your phone as there was a socket at the side. The bus stopped at designated stops several times throughout the night. Overall, the ride was comfy and I managed to get some sleep.

My late night snack at Tokyo station - Hokkaido Milk pie. I was feeling hungry and there's not many option left as it was already late at night. Hence, I decided to head to McDonald's instead.

It was the first time I tasted the milk pie and surprisingly, it was good. I enjoyed the pic crust with the slightly custard-textured milk centre. Plus the warm pie made a great late night snack on a cold night.

We arrived at Kanazawa station at 8.30am in the morning, headed to Khaosan to drop off our bags and went to grab breakfast.

Highly recommended by Mish was this shop with a highly unusual name "世界で2番目においしい焼きたてメロンパンアイス"/"Sekai de Nibanme ni Oishii Yakitate Meron Pan Aisu no Omise", translates as “The World’s Second-Most Delicious Melon Bread, with Ice Cream, Bakery,” with the surprisingly specific humility being out of respect to the baker the owner did his apprenticeship under.

We went to their shop in Tatemachi which opens at 10am.

They're known for their vanilla ice melon pan. We opted for the Ham Salada Melon Pan as we were both hungry and needed breakfast! This item came highly recommended by Mish~

Look at the number of celebrities who have tried it!

Lol~ Mish delivering the melon pan to me~

Look at this beauty~!!!! <3

It was definitely the best melon pan I've ever had. No doubt about it! I want more~!!!

The melon pan's crust was crunchy and the inside super fluffy. The sauces that they use for the ham and salad was amazing as well and that cheese on top!!! <3

Would definitely revisit and also check out their franchise here in Shibuya (TOKYO渋谷公園通り店(渋谷区) 〒150-0041 東京都渋谷区神南1-15-9岩瀬ビル 営業時間 11時~22時).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Eating Japan -Bento series 1

1. Pumpkin croquette + vegetable & chicken on rice from Daiei for lunch one day at work

While I had them cold, they still tasted really good. I might get this bento again on busy days.

2. A pork don for dinner one night after a tiring day at work~

Really thinly sliced pork, sauteed with onions....yummy~ :D

3. Sushi from Aeon for dinner as I was craving for sushi~

Even though it was sushi from a supermarket, it was really good!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The cheap "expensive" fruits

Spotted these fruits while grocery shopping the other day and decided to get them because I thought that the price were a lot cheaper than usual.

I got the 2 mini melons for 680 yen, 2 mangoes for 398 yen and the honeydew for 398 yen.

I absolutely love the melons! The centre was super sweet! While the mangoes were good too, I pretty sweet mangoes over those that have a sour taste to them. As for the honeydew, there's not much sweetness to the flesh. I guess the level of sweetness of the fruit corresponds to the price of the fruit! hahaha......

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Harbs Ikebukuro

Had lunch at Harbs in Lumine Ikebukuro.

Address: 1F, Lumine Ikebukuro, 1-11-1 Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo.

For 1,500 yen, you get a sandwich that came with a drink and a slice of cake.

This is my sandwich order. The picture was blur because there was water vapour on my camera and I didn't realise it. I like that the bacon slices were thick. However, I felt that they were a bit on the fatty side.....but overall, the taste was good.

My order of orange juice.

We had the choice of 2 different cakes on that day. This was the one chosen by Mish and YH.

This is my pick of maron cake. I absolutely love the chestnut flavour in this cake.

Would definitely love to try other branches of Harbs and try other cakes.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Eating Japan -Snack series 1

1. Almonds

Love the taste of unsalted roasted almonds. I would always buy some when I spot them in the supermarket but they're always soooo expensive!

2. AEON assorted fruits candy

This was surprisingly really good hard candy! The different fruit flavours are pretty distinct and you can easily tell them apart.

3. Bourbon Alfort

This makes a great snack for when I'm hungry and in need of energy. The chocolate is really smooth and goes well with the biscuit.

4. Bourbon Mini Green tea cakes

The chocolate coating helps to keep the cake moist and again, another convenient snack to bring around.

5. Matsuya Cider

Was curious about this carbonated drink and it turned out to be pretty good. There was a hint of plum flavour in it and this makes really good sherbet.

6. Morinaga Milk

I never drink milk. I only bought this to make pancakes but because there's leftover and I didn't want to waste anything, I decided to give it a try. Took a sip of it and was surprised to find that there wasn't any of that stinky milk scent which I hate and no weird taste that you usually get in milk. So I'm now convinced that I can drink milk sold in Japan!

7. Tarami peach jelly

Always enjoy fruit jelly from this brand. Perfect for an after dinner snack. 

Look at all the fruit pieces!

8. Healthy club blueberry plus anthocyanin wafers

I gotta admit that the brand was what attracted me first. Who doesn't like a healthy snack? hahaha....plus it's really delicious.

9. Healthy club high cacao plus calcium and iron wafers

I bought this thinking that it was dark chocolate wafers. It was only until I opened the package did I realise that it was coffee. Oh well....at least I still get some calcium and iron from this.

heehee....highly recommend their products!

10. Kasugai throat candy

Wanted some throat candy and spotted this herbed candy! While the taste was good, I didn't like the fact that it wasn't a hard candy.

11. AEON Plum flavoured potato chips

Bought this to try because I've never tried plum flavoured chips before and it was definitely interesting as there's a hint of sourness to the chips. Can't wait to try more interesting flavours.

12. Itoen vegetable drink

Itoen is very famous for their health drinks and I've always enjoyed them. Bought this one day when I felt like I wasn't eating healthily for the past few days. There was a very strong tomato taste to this drink. I definitely prefer their fruit juices more.

13. Kirin Sparkling Honey Lemon

Love this drink. Other than the fact that it comes in a super cute bottle. The drink was super refreshing and I like that it is carbonated! Would definitely buy this again~