Posted in Family, Feelings, Food, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Place, Travel

Trip to Izu (Day 2)

I woke up and looked outside.

Sun was about to rise.


I quickly went to an open-air bath to wait for sunrise.


Today, it’s our lazy day because we don’t have a car to go out.

This isn’t my first trip to Izu during Year-End and New Year holidays.

The traffic in this area is terrible during holidays because there are many visitors/cars from Tokyo, but a road is narrow and there is only one lane!


Usually, it takes only 2.5 hrs for 160 km, but it will become 8 hr journey during holidays.

I tried three times/years and I gave up; it’s so tiring to drive 8 hrs alone! Sob sob.

This is why we don’t have a car.

There aren’t any places that we can go by foot in the area. Hummmm

Ate brunch at 8:30 am. 

This is actually breakfast, but needed to eat for lunch as well because we cannot go out. hahaha

Our accommodation plan includes a complementary himono (local specialities, dried seafood) and a can of beer from Koshien (a store in front of Atagawa Station).

After breakfast, we made a brief trip to Atagawa Station by a hotel shuttle bus.

A shuttle bus meant to send off their hotel guests to a station, but simultaneously, a bus can send us to the station and take us back!


Yes, we managed to get aji no himono (dried horse mackerels) and beers.


That was the most active thing that we did today.

Other hours, dipped in onsen (hot springs: there are five different baths),


Free Massage,


Foot Bath,

Dinner,

It is a custom to eat soba noodle on New Year’s Eve to wish for long (as soba) life. 


After dinner, we have no choice, but to spend New Year’s Eve in very traditional way.

I’m watching Kohaku Utagassen (Red and White Singing Battle) on NHK.

Red Team (women singers) and White Team (men singers) compete their performances.

Every year, it starts at 7:15 pm and ends at 11:45 pm.


Then I plan to watch Yukutoshi Kurutoshi (Year Going, Year Coming) from 11:45 pm till midnight.

Temples gong a bell for 108 times to purify our 108 sins by midnight to welcome New Year.

We watch lives or listen to gongs throughout the nation for 15 mins.

These sounds are actually the countdown to welcome New Year.

The sound of gongs calm us to welcome New Year peacefully.

Another one hour to welcome 2017…

Posted in Beauty, Cooking, Feelings, Food, Health, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Place, Travel

Trip to Izu (Day 1)

I’ll be away for few days so needed to clear my refrigerator.

I don’t want to waste vegetables; therefore, I made a power vegetable juice.

I think the recipe is good: a lots of spinach, celery, parsley and lemon.

And I think this is good because it was BITTER…


I took Marine Express Odoriko Go.

I was surprised because the coach is Narita Express (an express train for Narita Airport).

Is it recycled…? Reused…?



A seat is dressed for Marine/Izu Peninsular to stimulate our holiday spirit.


After 2.5 hour journey, I arrived at Izu Atagawa Station.



I didn’t know there is a hotel shuttle bus waiting for us; I was about to miss it.

Luckily, I spotted it and waved to stop the bus.

According to Google Map, it’s only 6 mins walk from station to hotel; but Nooooo, it’s much farther.

Once again, luckily, I managed to catch a hotel shuttle bus. Fuuuuu

Our room is spacious.

Left door leads us to a toilet, washroom and bathroom.

Right door is a storage.

And fusuma (the main sliding door)…



We went to get a Welcome Drink (Hot Yuzu citrus Honey) at a hotel coffee shop.


Then changed into yukata (I could pick yukata design) to take a bath.


It was nice to dip into an open-air bath overlooking Sagami Wan (Sagami Bay).

Okay, burned few calories and refreshed by taking a bath; READY TO EAT!

I had a glass of Sapporo draft beer produced at nearby Shizuoka Factory.

Beer must be fresh; it was clear and smooth!!


And…


After dinner, I became so full; my body is still warm from dipping in hot spring…ready to sleep…

Oyasuminasai 

Posted in Feelings, Food, Place, Travel

Short Trip to Canada (Day 5)

Last breakfast in Canada.

Took a ferry (BC Ferries) to Vancouver.

Time to return for Tokyo. Boo hoo

On the plane, I enjoyed food and movies (Absolutely Fabulous, Eye in the Sky and War Dogs).

Refreshment: Tomato Juice


Lunch: smoked salmon, salad, grilled AAA beef tenderloin, fresh fruit, chocolate cake and ice cream.


Light Meal Before Landing: Ravioli


I’m back in Tokyo…

I wish I could stay longer.

Posted in Feelings, Food, Place, Surprise, Travel

Short Trip to Canada (Day 4)

I woke up and found a card…

I opened a door as it says…

Yeah! Thank you Santa!

Stocking can always make us happy.

It’s time to leave Banff; but, finally I had a nice clear day.

I could clearly see Canadian Rockies.

I didn’t know that I had this view from my room till now…departure…

On the way to the Calgary airport, I could observe numerous mountains clearly.

Cascade Mountain 

Overlooking Banff

Rundle Mountain

Due to the angle, it looks like a caterpillar…?

Ha Ling Peak

The pointy mountain on the right.

Three mountains at far left are Three Sisters.

Three Sisters


Rohido Mountain 

It’s trapezoid/trapezium topped mountain.


Mt. Yamnuska
The end of Canadian Rockies.

It looks like a Gyoza (dumpling).

It was fun to hunt for mountains.


I became thirsty after hunting for mountans.

At the Calgary Airport, I enjoyed detox cold press juice, Jugo Juice Max Vege.

It looks vege, but it is easy to drink and delicious.


Time to head for Victoria.


Sayonara Banff!


I thought I can take a nap on the plane.

However, I enjoyed watching Canadian Rockies. 
I could clearly see them from plane!

Aren’t they gorgeous?




Started decending.


Konnichiwa Victoria.



First, went to the Butchart Gardens for afternoon tea (lunch).




After afternoon tea, visited few gardens.

Sunken Garden

Japanese Garden


Italian Garden


Then left for the Parliament Building.

The Parliament Building is nicely decorated for Christmas.

Tonight’s’ hotel, the Grand Pacific Hotel is just next to the Parliament Building.

Hotel room is cozy.


And their hospitality is sweet.

A hotel staff visited my room to extend me a warm Merry Christmas, a greeting card and Christmas cookies!

So sweet!


After freshen up, went out for a seafood dinner.


Salmon was cooked on a board of cedar (perhaps, to get smoked aroma…?) and vegetables were hiding under a board.


I’m glad that I came during Christmas because a town itself dresses up for Christmas and everybody is in a good spirit wishing for everybody’s happiness. 

Merry Christmas!

Posted in Exercise, Experience, Feelings, Food, Place, Shopping, Travel

Short Trip to Canada (Day 3)

Today is the day for Canadian Rockies hunting.

Eat well, prepare well.


First, went to the Banff National Park to see the Bow Fall.

However, it’s cold and snowing; it’s difficult to find a fall itself in the photo. 

It’s at left side of photo.


Then, visited the Surprise Corner where we could take a nice photo of our hotel, Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.


Today I also enjoyed a nice walk in snow at Johnston Canyon.

I walked for 1.3 km to lower falls.


I admired nature in many ways.

Water is frozen; and it’s in nice blue.


 


Limestone


This is lower falls; it’s just amazing.


Water is so blue…


This is a good photo spot for Morant’s Curve if I manage to catch a train.

We had lunch at Fairmont Chateau Louise.

This hotel is located just in front of Lake Louise. 


Lake Loise is overlooked by Victoria Glaicer. 

During the winter, Lake Loise become a skate link.


I had lunch at LAGO..


After lunch, it was time for exercise.

I wear snowshoes to go to Paint Lake.


It was a long way to the lake.


Peyto Lake.

I manage to see Rockies as well.

It was worth walking there.


Bow Lake
It’s covered by snow; I cannot tell it’s a lake or great plain.


Crowfoot Glacier

The glaicier is in a shape of crowfoot.



Castle Mountain

The shape of mountains are in shape of castle…?


Vermilion Lake

This lake will turn into red with sunset.

Today, it remained in WHITE.


The last spot is observation point overlooking Banff.

There is a group of Big Horn Sheep and the Sulfur Mountain.


There is a natural hot spring at the Sulfur Mountain.

Unfortunately, I don’t have time to try it this time; therefore, I bought a packet of this to try the Banff Hot Spring at home.


It is Christmas Eve.

I had turkey and Christmas desserts for dinner.



By the way, Marilyn Monroe stayed in this hotel and this is the proof.

She took a film of “A River of No Return” here in Banff.


I’m glad that I’m spending my Christmas here.

I wish you Merry Christmas!