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

Golden Week Holiday in Kyoto (Day 4)

Took the train down to Akashi, Hyogo today.

Today, we plan to visit Akashi Tenmondai (Akashi Municipal Planetarium).

Could it be this building that I could see from the train and platform of Akashi Station?

I saw a big clock and letters, SEIKO – the company name of Japanese famous watch/clock manufacturer.

Another interesting structure that I found from the station platform is …. is that the castle….?

Later, Mom’s friend explained to us that that is the ruin of Akashi Castle; the actual castle does not exist today.

I had donuts for breakfast at Japanese brand donuts shop, Mister Donut.

I picked a matcha donuts collaborating with Kyoto’s famous Matcha (green tea) shop, Tsujiri.

I had to have this since I’m in the area. hahaha

After catching up on each other for over one hour, we departed for Akashi Tenmondai.

Akashi is Japan’s Standard Time Meridian where 135th Meridian East is located.

I was fortunate to listen to the music to indicate 12 o’clock noon.

If it’s noon in Japan, it’s 3 am in London.

From the observatory floor, we can enjoy the great view of Akashi Ohashi (Akashi Big Bridge).

After enjoying the great view of Akashi city at the observatory floor, we went down to the planetarium.

Reminded me of my childhood…I enjoyed the show very much.

I even stopped by at the exhibition area.

Now it’s time to enjoy Akashi local food!

Akashi is famous for Akashi Yaki (Akashi Balls) which is family of Tako Yaki (Octopus Balls), but it’s actually omelet balls dunking in dashi (soup).

The taxi driver highly recommended us to go to Akashi Yaki Shop Funamachi.

We see the queue, but I persuaded Mom and her friend to queue as well.

I know they want to continue talking; I thought it’s no harm for them to talk while we are queuing.

Then after some time we found a cone says, “it will take two hours from this point”.

We mentioned it loudly, but we managed only people behind us to leave.

The queue remained long.

The signboard was right; we waited for nearly 2 hours.

We finally get a table!!!

Akashi Yaki!

Yes, waited these for 2 hours!

First, I enjoyed these Akashi Yaki (omelette balls) simply dunking in dashi (soup).

Then for half of them, I added toppings: sauce, katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and aonori (seaweeds), then dunked in dashi.

These are yammy!!!

It’s worth waiting for 2 hours!!!

It was nice Lundi (I made it up the word for lunch and dinner. hahaha).

We started queuing around 3 pm; we ate at 4:30 pm.

After satisfying our stomachs, we walked down to Uo no Tana (Akashi’s Fish Market).

We reached to Akashi Station, but we went to Wa Cafe Conana (Japanese Cafe Conana).

I had Japanese style Warabi Parfait set (bracken-starch cakes parfait with Hoji-cha (Japanese roasted tea).

It was fun sightseeing Akashi♪

Posted in Family, Feelings, Flower, Food, Friends, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Restaurants, Shrine and Temple, Travel, Waterfalls

Golden Week Holiday in Kyoto (Day 3)

I had these for breakfast.

I, again, visited Ishiyama, Shiga this morning

to visit Ishiyama Dera (Ishiyama Temple).

It’s guarded by Nioh (guardians).

It’s Spring so Temple is so green.

Walked through old aged stone for fun.

On the way to Hondo (the main temple), there are many temples to visit and pray.

Daishi Do (Kobo Great Buddhist Priest Temple)

When I look up from here…I see…

At Hondo (the Main Temple), I prayed to Nyoirin Kannon (Goddess).

After visiting Hondo, there are still many places to visit.

And the path are beautifully decorated by azalea.

This is the map of Ishiyama Temple.

You can see that there are many places to visit in the premises.

We are half way now.

We continued walking down the path.

Then we reached Kodo (Light Temple)

The door for this temple is opened specially from 28 April – 20 May 2018, allowing us to meet three special Buddha.

We are so lucky to be here today.

The first Japanese lady love story writer, Murasaki Shikibu used to visit this temple to get inspirations to write Genji Monogatari (Mr. Genji’s Story).

There is Kanro Daki (Kanro Fall).

And nice Shobu En (iris garden).

I cannot enter, but there is a path to the sacred place looking mysterious.

There is a holy stone.

According to the signage, it says Ooyuya, meaning a big bath…?

I also prayed to the very important God: Daikokuten (God of Wealth).

At last I prayed to Kinryu Ryuoh (Golden Dragon King) for preventing bad luck and bringing good luck.

After visiting Ishiyama Temple, we took a breath at tea room, Kanou Shojuan, to enjoy Ishimochi (stone rice cakes).

Ishimochi presents strong stone foundation of this temple, wishing for prevention of bad luck and establishment of strong tie.

These are delicious.

I had dinner appointment with my old Kyoto friend.

She took me to a nice Japanese restaurant Izama at Mitsui Garden Hotel Shinmachi Bettei, Kyoto.

I absolutely enjoyed food, drink and chatting!

Kyoto Local Beer (Dark Beer)

Three Types of Kyoto Local Sake

After dinner, I went to Bar Islay Mojito with her to continue girl’s talk without Mom. hehehe

Posted in Beauty, Experience, Family, Feelings, Food, Hotel, Japan Technology, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Restaurants, Shop, Shopping, Shrine and Temple, Travel

Golden Week Holiday in Kyoto (Day 2)

Took a train to Ishiyama Eki (Ishiyama Station) to participate in a special Buddhist ceremony at the temple in Shiga.

I love listening to Buddhist sutra reciting; and also participating to recite it.

The peaceful moment brings me clam and peace.

After participation in a special prayer, visited Iwamadera (Iwama Temple), Ishiyama, Shiga.

First, I hit the bell.

Please take note that you cannot hit it on the way back; you will bring bad luck instead.

If you forget to do it, it’s okay.

This is not the must.

There is Bokefuji Kannon (Goodness for senile dementia prevention) at this temple.

There is also Shirahime Ryujin (White Princess Dragon Goddess) for beauty.

The temple is located on the mountain.

Then I proceeded to Hondo (main temple).

Hondo (Main Temple)

There is a small beautiful pond next to the Hondo.

The famous Japanese poet, Matsuo Basho, composed a poet.

Furuikeya Kawazu Tobikomu Mizuno Oto

(Old Pond, a Flog Jumped, Sound of Splash)

Then there is also Fudo Do (Fudo Temple).

Fudomyoo is God of Fire.

He can burn all bad luck!

There is also Inazuma Ryuo Sha (Shrine for Lightning Dragon).

This God will prevent us from lightening and fire.

And there is also Taishi Do, Temple for Kobo Daishi (Kobo Buddhist Priest).

There is a resting room; you should take a rest here to meet more Gods and Eight Great Priests.

After dropping souvenirs at the hotel room, went out to buy tomorrow’s breakfast.

On the way to the bakery shop, stopped by at the Yojiya cosmetics shop located inside of hotel.

Yojiya was the specialized cosmetics manufacturer for Geisha.

Today, Yojiya also produces cosmetics for general consumers like me.

I bought UV protection loose powder in white.

I have sensitive skin so I want to avoid wearing UV protection cream by wearing a hat and THIS!

Then walked down to LAQUE to buy breads and cut pineapple for breakfast.

We arrived late last night and were active today.

We decided to have dinner at Japanese Restaurant Irifune at the hotel.

I enjoyed nice Kyoto food and Kyoto Sake Heiangu with Mom.

Posted in Beauty, Family, Feelings, Food, Friends, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Shop, Shopping, Tokyo, Travel, Work

Golden Week Holiday in Kyoto (Day 1)

In Japan, there is unrecorded holiday season named Golden Week.

There are many Japanese National Holiday starting on 29 April – 5 May.

These are

29 April – Showa Day

3 May – Constitution Day

4 May – Greenery Day

5 May – Children’s (Boys’) Day

Therefore, many factories close during this period to save operational cost.

In my case, my office has our own calendar; the office close from 28 April – 1 May 2018 (Labour Day) and from 4 – 6 May 2018.

I decided to spend my earlier Golden Week Holiday in Kyoto.

I planned to take 6:30 pm Shinkansen (bullet train);therefore, I tried to finish my works by yesterday, then packed at night.

I didn’t expect any visitors today so I even polished my nails for holiday last night.

Luckily, we didn’t receive any urgent tasks from HQ today.

I could leave office at 5 pm. Yeah

I arrived busy Tokyo Station; there are many people heading for home and holiday.

I queued to buy a souvenir: Tokyo Banana’s Tokyo Banana Panda with Banana Yogurt Cream for my old friend whom I plan to meet in Kyoto.

These are cuuuuuteeeeee in Panda.

I also bought an obento (packed food) for dinner on the train.

After shopping these, we proceeded to the Shinkansen platform.

There are many people busily walking…

Shinkansen was parking at the platform.

On the train, I enjoyed seafood obento/dinner: uni (sea urchin), ikura (salmon roe) and kani (crab).

Then I enjoyed Tokyo Banana Panda for dessert.

Yes, I bought them for myself, too,

I arrived Kyoto at 9 pm.

We took a subway (Karasuma Line) to Shijo Station for checking in at Kyoto Karasuma Hotel.

This is my second time to stay at this hotel.

This hotel is nice and cozy.

Time to hit the futon.

Oyasuminasai (Good Night).

Posted in Family, Feelings, Food, Restaurants, Tokyo

Le Pain Quotidien

I took Mom to Le Pain Quotidien, Tokyo Midtown Roppongi.

I always enjoy breakfast there.

I’m glad that Le Pain Quotidien opened in Roppongi recently on 1 June 2017.

I love their Belgium style healthy breakfast and brunch.

I shared omelette and French toast with Mom.

Delicious!