Monday, June 11, 2007

Japan Day 1 (Singapore - Narita - Osaka) 20 Dec 06

We travelled from Narita Airport via the Airport express to Shinjuku where we will be taking the Shinkansen(bullet train) to Osaka. The airport express is comfortable and I like the best is that seats are assigned. So you don't have to worry about not getting seats or even been forced to sit separately.

From Shinjuku station, we walked over to the Shinkansen platform. The lady at the JR pass office at Narita Airport had reserved seats for us at the Shinkansen and we just need to wait at the platform. Do take note of the platform you suppose to wait at :P For different trains, they use different platforms, even if all the trains are going the same direction. It's like catching the correct flight at the correct gates. At the platform, there are few stores selling all kinds of bento. Some of them are special bento store that only sells bento from the area station. For example, this particular store we bought our bento sells their bento only in the tokyo station. My bento cost around 8 sgd while Sk's cost around 10 sgd. Yummy yummy.

We paid bit more to get free car JR pass to travel in the green car cabin. The green car is similar to the business class in airplanes. A bigger and more comfortable seat with better leg space, the configuration is 2-2 in each row. You can even rotate the seats so that you faced each other. We saw a family doing that :P You can select smoking or non-smoking cabins too. The advantage of the green car is that you can make reservations for the seats and they will assign you seats when they issued you the tickets. The ticket will contain the train name, time, platform, and cabin number and seats number. Do take note that your platform can change, so it is important for you to check for the platform when entering the station. You can make reservations for the whole month where the monthly schedules are available. In the normal cabin, you won't be able to reserve seats. Therefore you will have to board the Shinkansen and look for seats. Beside, most Japanese don't travel in green car because its really much more expensive than the normal cabin. We wouldn't have travel in one if we didn't get the JR pass in Singapore. So far our green car cabin is like 10% full only, and mostly businessman. As you can notice from the picture, the green icon in the layout of the Shinkansen represents green car cabin. The ride is very comfortable, though the Shinkansen is travelling at a high speed, you can't feel much. The bottle we put on the side of the window didnt even move. I personally feel that it is more comfortable than plane rides.

We are feeling very lucky when we managed to catch views of the Mt Fuji along the way from Tokyo to Osaka. Managed to take some pictures.

I went exploring the Shinkansen and found this interesting 'Man's only' toilet. Hehe what shocks me is that the door has got a see through window where I saw a man doing his small business and the urinal. I was too shy to take a picture of him while he was standing there. So I took a picture after he left.

After reaching the Osaka station, we need to walk to the local subway to travel to our hotel in Osaka where we will be staying for the rest of the days while we are in Kansai. We passed by this store that is selling the famous Takoyaki!! This store is supposed to be very famous, a branch from a old shop in Dontomburi (famous Osaka food street). I love Takoyaki, but it's really inconvenient to buy food while carrying all the luggages :P So we decide to come back another day. From the Shin Osaka station (local subway station), we took the subway to Nakatsu.

One very bad thing about Japan subway is that sometimes you can't seem to find the lifts!! And even if you find it, the lift may not lead to the exit you want to get out. We have no choice but to drag our luggage through the long stairs to the street level of the subway station. We are so happy to see that the hotel is just across the station, 1 min walk.

The check in process was very fast and the manager led us to the room. This hotel just had a upgrade recently and everything is new! Being the first time to a Japan hotel I have heard much about the toilet. I couldn't stop myself but explored the toilet and snapped a few pictures. As shown in the pictures, each toilet bowl has this cleaning device that you can turn on different water strength and water spray style to help you clean your bottom after doing business. You can even adjust the angle the water sprayed. What is most amazing is that the moment you sit on the toilet bowl, it will auto flow some water for few minutes. I understand that Japanese are conscious people who don’t want the person outside the toilet to know he/she is doing business. So they rather let you just hear water flow. In fact in order to save water in some places, they have this digital sound device that you can press on before you start to do your business to hide all noises that you will be creating. Seem like Shiseido in Japan is really doing quite a huge rank of products, even my hotel toiletries are of Shiseido.

After a quick rest and washup, we left our hotel hunting for dinner. We decide to travel to Umeda by local subway where all the shopping activities are taking place. While trying to buy tickets from the ticketing machine, we took sometime to realise that there is a 'English' button on the machine :P Nakatsu is just one station away from Umeda.

After reaching Umeda, we walked around the place. Most shopping shops are closed by then, while restaurants are usually closed late around 11pm. We walked by Macdonalds and I got to try the highly recommended ebi burger only available in Japan! It is very nice with real prawns inside. Yummy yummy. Sk had a tomato chicken burger when he hates tomato. I think he had problem understanding the menu as everything is in japanese. And he just choose one to order. His burger isn't so bad. In their fast food restaurant, they either have a special drink disposable bin where you put in your unfinished drink or they have a bin for you to pour away your unfinished drink before throwing your paper cup away.

After dinner we went around Umeda exploring. This is a super big overhead bridge that covers 6 main roads with around 12 exits from the bridge. We got super lost on top.

Takoyaki starts from Osaka, therefore its very common to find Takyokai stores in Osaka. Passing another Takoyaki store.

An old volksawagen van turned crepe store. The japanese seem to like crepe alot. You can see crepes in most places and sometimes with queues.

Famous Hep Five shopping mall, selling some really hip fashion. What is so special about this shopping mall is that on top of the mall is a ferris wheel where you can take a ride to view the whole main city of osaka.

Christmas tree infront of Hep Five. Another 5 days to christmas.

After exploring Umeda, we decide to take subway back to our hotel. By then the subway is quite quiet, as it is a working day next day. In fact our cabin only have a few of us. When we getting down the cabin, we realised that beside our cabin is the woman only cabin. This cabin is special for woman during weekday peak hours. This is to ensure woman can travel and feel safe during peak hours without worrying any perverts around you. In fact we do notice that man in Osaka doesn't enter the cabin even during off peak hours, not like in Tokyo when people don't really care once the peak hour is over. And the peak hour in Tokyo is shorter, only the morning time where people travel to work and off work. These cabins are really cute, they got pink stickers inside and outside the cabins. Even the handles inside the cabins are pasted with pink stickers. In another day, we happened to see 2 blur Japanese man went into the woman's cabin and they were extremely shocked to see that only ladies are with them. Within the next stop, looking extremely embarrassed they rushed out of the cabin and were laughing at each other.

On our way back to hotel, we bought some supper from the 24-hour convenience shop just beside our hotel.

Found this interesting hard boiled egg. Its written as half boiled egg. It is really good, the yolk is cremey almost like custard. We ate this egg every night when we stayed in this hotel. We can't find it in Tokyo, maybe because the 24-hour convenience shop beside our Tokyo hotel is a different company. Be careful to look at the logo before buying this egg, one of my friend who went on an earlier trip bought a smilar looking packaging. When she got back to her room and tried to break the egg then she realised the egg is totally raw :P

Friday, March 09, 2007


Yeah~~ I finally went for a long wished long holiday and of course now totally broke after buying and eating like crazy in Japan. ( Eating average 4 meals per day is no joke.) Japan is so so fun and I simply love the food there. My trip was almost gone when I was having some bloody problem with the tour agency here. What the heck, who needs them when I can simply go myself. So we cancelled our original package with them and bought the air tickets ourselves. Because we booked the tickets real late, most airline that is flying straight to Osaka have increased their prices terribly high :( So we decided to take NW and fly to Narita and from there, we will take the Shinkansen to Osaka instead.

You know I been back for like 3 months but I already miss Japan. Simply the food there is good and I guess holiday is always good :P

Will be showing some of the fun and interesting things in Japan :P

Firstly.. Of course its always about food.. the bento there is simply too delicious.. hehe these are the bentos I have during the whole trip :p

Friday, June 23, 2006

Ole ole ole.... Ole ole...

It's finally Friday again!! Hehe it means resting at home, going shopping and also maybe cleaning up my room. I'm so happy that Italy win Czech last night. You guys won't understand how stress and nervous I was. I was cheering for them every second.. But I think the score should have been 3-0 instead of 2-0.. Mr Inzaghi...though I think you are really cute.. but you really need to improve in your scoring skill... I have been keeping a watch on you since last world cup... but somehow you are still missing alot out there. Italy Go go go!!! Waiting for you guys to be on the top 3 :)

Oh yar, there is an idiot who keep cursing Italy will lose.. He keep saying that their match is boring and his wife even fall asleep watching it. I cannot deny that most of the time Italy strategy is to defence and defence. However last night they did proud by taking most of the initiative and had played well. Either he is biased or just not concentrating on the match. He had predicted that the home team will be the winner.. (German fans please please don't be offended) I think German play well for their last few matches. But who to survive till the end still need to wait and see.. As we all know... balls are round.. Anything can also happen...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Public ENEMY No 1!!!!!!!!!!

Finally back to work today.. Been in bed resting for the past 2 days, hit another bad migraine... I am very very irritated at the lizard inside my room!! Feel like killing it, but I damn scare of it man... Hai.. every night it had been making that stupid noise when I trying to sleep.. damn it.. Why didn't it make noise during the day? Instead when I am trying to sleep in the night then it starts to make that irritating noise!!! And I know its just hiding behind the curtain.. Ah!! I have no choice but to make my way to my parents' room in the middle of the night.. Hai.. this weekend when I feeling better, I make sure I clean my whole damn room and asked someone to help me catch it... I hate lizard.. seriously.. If anyone out there knows what are the good ways to trap a lizard. Please please let me know, ok? Think I won't have any good sleep till that idiot is out of my room...

Friday, June 16, 2006

After a long long time...

Wah.. if I never come look at my own blog.. I didn't notice that I haven't been writing since Nov.. which is around half an year...

I been very busy with work and people... life is getting more and more hard nowadays.. work is getting more and more hectic... How I wish I could just take a long break man. But it is always easier to say than do..

Special Day
Just completed something that marks a special chapter in my life. To some, it is from Miss to Mrs. Hehe however I still prefer to be Miss :P So friends out there, don't be shy ok? Please continue to intro me as Miss

I'm very grateful and thankful that I have a lot of good friends that turn up on that special day and share the joy with us. If it wasn't for you guys, the day will never be the same.

For those who didn't receive the invitation, its not that you are not a dear friend, but due to the really small hall we have.. we can't squeeze all in man.. On that, my apologies :P Nevertheless, we should meet up and have a great meal!!

Seriously, I don't feel much difference... maybe just a nice ring on my fourth finger. :P Hmm maybe I will start to feel more once we start to live together.. I do think that some of my friends are more excited than me :P

Work... work... work
Trying to make myself feel better each day as I go for work.. however I just feel so tired... dragging myself to the office... The place where I used to look forward to every morning.. now have become a place I rather not go to.. I don't know what is wrong.. is it the people.. the work or what... I just don't feel the same anymore..

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Touch Wood!!!!

Hai... really my big fat mouth... On last Friday just posted that I hope I can spend the weekend playing my RE4 without any migraine.... Just after I posted that out... I had another migraine attack... $&*Y$)U@_#*_*$_*U$
It started to get really bad just after I'm finished my work and going off(there goes my Friday dinner..Hai...) . I actually knocked out in the office for 2 hours and only managed to get out of office around 8 plus... Hai...

I'm sad that I couldn't go out for a nice dinner especially on Friday night. Worse is that I was in bed for the rest of the weekend... this is really no good... Somehow this incident have made me decide on something :P Shsss... Will tell you guys when its the right time :P

Oh yar, got CS's wedding photo, but been either too busy or sick to do an article on their wedding :P hehe will try it ASAP :)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Curry Favor @ Stamford House

I'm in very very good mood today!!! It is Friday again!! Hehe which means I can laze around the weekend and maybe spend sometime playing my new game :P Haha just got Resident Evil 4 from a friend (thanks!!). I can't wait to start it. Hope that I won't be down with migraine and then can't do anything except rest again :( Hehe my good friend bought me a sunflower today and it really cheer me up. I love the colors and the feel of sunflowers. Thanks girl!!

Hehe okok, this has nothing to do with my header title :P Few days back, I went to this restaurant in Stamford House. They specialized in Japanese curry. Actually I got to know about this restaurant when they just opened back then. The review was not bad. Have always wanted to try this, cos I'm a big fan of Japanese curry (very high requirement too :P). Nearly tried it with my friend shan but the dinner was cancelled then :(

So finally when my BF suggested going there for dinner I was thrilled. The restaurant decor is not bad, comfortable and simple. The ambience is not bad too, with jazz music at the background and dim lights. There is another restaurant beside it (Moon River? Erm hope I got it correct) and these 2 restaurants are connected. Think they are under the same boss cos the menus is a combination of food from Curry Favor and Moon River. We decided to sit at the Moon River instead cos there is a seat by the window.

Looking at the menu, we decided to order Pork Roll, Mushroom Fry, their in house special Seafood curry and combi of fried Katsu(pork) and Ebi (prawn) with curry. We were served Pork Roll first. Wah this is impressive. They sliced the pork very thinly then roll it with asparagus and spring onion inside. It is BBQ done in Yakitori style. When I bite into the pork roll, I can taste the nice fragrant from barbecuing. The asparagus is done just nice too!! It is bit crispy on the outside, yet juicy in the inside. Very nice!! Next they served us the Mushroom Fry. It is nice when eaten hot, but I found it bit bland. They served 3 types of sauces with it; Japanese plum sauce, chilli sauce and mayonnaise. I personally like it with the plum sauce while my BF like it with the mayonnaise.

With these 2 appetisers so nicely done, I'm really looking forward to my curry :P I understand that there are 2 levels of spiciness; regular and extra spicy. In which we ordered both extra spicy. My BF's seafood curry was firstly served. I tasted the curry, hmm not bad. But I think it is not sweet enough as it should be in Japanese curry. His seafood curry contains prawns and scallops. I tried one of the prawn and scallop. They tasted like its been cooked and then added to the curry just before served (I could be wrong) :P The scallop didn't go well with the curry sauce though. Next they served my Katsu and Ebi curry, I tasted the curry sauce. Seem like they are using the same curry sauce for both dishes. The katsu was so so, the salt wasn't well spread so I got one side of my Katsu with more salt. My Ebi was overdone :( When I bite into the prawn, you can see that the prawn have shrunk, leaving a big gap between the crust. The prawn tasted dry and hard *disappointed*. The rice is also cooked with too much water, it tasted almost too soft and sticky (erm like very dried porridge?) I was totally amazed when my BF finish all his curry.... hai...

Overall the service is good with friendly and attentive waiter. However I am just disappointed with the curry though the appetisers is really good. I think I may go back again and hope that the food will be much better :)