My right; My duty.
My favorite spa, Hollywood May’s Garden Spa, is decorated in spring and CLOUDY colour : YELLOW.
CLOUDY or DOYA INC acts as African Apparel Brand and NPO Doooooooo to provides education and school meals to children and creates employment for disabled people and women in Africa: Ghana and Kenya.
I thought I can contribute to it by purchasing a bag.
I can add new colour to my collection of bags and it has a bright African design to cheer me up.
Or am I making a good excuse for shopping!?
Nonetheless, I can conclude that this is a good buy.
It’s a nice bag and 10% of sales will become a donation to conduct the above mentioned activities which I’m willing to support.
First I went to Utsunomiya, Tochigi.
This town is known for Gyoza (fried Chinese dumpling).
In fact, this is my first time to try Utsunomiya Gyoza at Utsunomiya.
There is Gyoza Dori (Gyoza Street).
There are many Gyoza specialized shops and Ramen (Japanized Chinese style noodle) and Gyoza restaurants.
The lamp is also in shape of Gyoza.
I queued and had my Gyoza at Goku, Gyoza Dori, Utsunomiya, Tochigi.
Then proceeded to Nikko, Tochigi.
In Nikko, visited Kegon no Taki (Kegon Fall).
Today, there is a lift to go down to watch Kegon no Taki in front of it.
It’s very cold there and we can still see some snow.
We drove by Chuzenji-ko (Chuzenji Lake) and enjoyed the view from window.
Recently, we enjoyed warm temperature and suddenly its temperature dropped; therefore, we could see some steam from lake which makes lake look more scenic and mysterious.
We drove through woods on the way to Oku-Nikko, also very scenic.
We drove farther and reached Sengokugahara (wetland) where believed God of Mountain conducted battles.
There is another lake, Yuko (Yu Lake) at the entrance of Oku-Nikko area.
We finally reached Oku-Nikko Kogen Hotel.
We can stay this nice Washitsu (Japanese style room) together with Choco.
I went to dip in onsen (hot spring) before dinner.
There are two sections: Lower (bigger) and Upper (smaller).
Both equipped with indoor and outdoor/open-air bath.
It’s cold there; so that dipping in Onsen felt really nice.
I became thirsty after dipping in onsen so I enjoyed drinking cold Wakimizu (spring water).
After getting some rest, we had dinner with local sake made for Oki-Nikko Kogen Hotel.
I went to futon (Japanese style bed) early.
Next morning, I woke up with a surprise.
According to weather forecast, it predicted snow in Kanto region.
However, in few days, we will welcome April – Spring.
There could be some snow but I didn’t expect it to be thick.
Well, I was wrong….
It continued snowing and no sign of weakening.
I became panic because I came with normal tyres, not snow tyres.
To calm myself down, I went for morning dip.
It was still early and there were no one.
I supposed not to take any photos at the bath, but it was so romantic.
Quickly got ready and went to breakfast.
There are many varieties of food and there is an egg and bacons in the pot.
Continued monitoring snow and consulted hotel staffs who are local; well, I had to make a hard decision – abundant my car.
I think we made a wise decision because snow is thick and we surely could not drive through these windy roads: Irohazaka.
Reached Tobu Nikko Eki (Station) by hotel free shuttle bus.
Then Took train, Spacia, back to Asakusa, Tokyo.
Choco behaved his best on train.
I had a rich vanilla ice cream on the train while looking at these sceneries.
It’s scary but breath taking sceneries.
We cannot underestimate nature; I safely returned home.
I was absent from Word Press but there are so many things that I wanted to post.
Sorry, I was too tired. hahaha
I took days off from 31 January – 5 February 2020 to go to Palau for diving.
I haven’t dived for a while so surely I was excited.
Unfortunately, the direct flight between Narita and Palau by Delta is no longer in service.
We took United to Guam and change flight.
I didn’t know it was preferred to obtain ESTA (electric VISA for the US) for transit at Guam.
We need to go through immigration to exit and re-enter at Guam.
I busily registered myself but I received a notice that it will take two days to process it.
I needed the internet access and rushed to the gate.
Hoping application would be processed by the time we reached to Guam.
I continued to register for others till losing internet connection before departure.
My seat was facing back so I could have a clear view of airplanes heading for runway
And taking off.
I purchased inflight internet access for an hour to complete registration for ESTA for friends.
I’ve done what we could do at that time.
I had Loco Moco for inflight lunch.
I thought the way serving lemon tea is cute.
Now landing to Guam.
Unfortunately, ESTA wasn’t approved by the time we landed.
However, we were informed by a flight attendant that we could queue at the line for ESTA holder for transit.
We exited and re-entered.
We had good four hours to connecting flight.
We chatted over drinks and light snacks.
United’s flight video is collaborated with Star Wars!!!
This might be showing at previous flight but I was too busy registering ESTA so I’m might have missed it. hahaha
I had sandwich for inflight meal.
It looks simple yet nice.
The person next to me placed her arm on my inflight monitor controller so I could not view anything.
When I managed to press it while she moved her arm but later she placed her arm to change the channel. Sigh
She was watching Japanese movie with English subtitle so I watched her screen.
It was less than 2 hour flight but I felt it longer…
I didn’t know that Palau is stop over for this flight and this continued to Manila.
I had to walk over two passengers to exit. Ahhhhh
Finally, we arrived at Palau and the Penthouse Hotel in Koror.
The internet connection is superb and WCTC shopping center is nicely located in few minutes walk away.
The hotel provides blue beach towel at the counter.
The next day we had a breakfast at the hotel restaurant.
For the next day, we bought breakfast at the supermarket at WCTC such as anpan (red bean bread), yogurt and orange juice for breakfast.
We departed for diving shop, Cruse Control.
Nice staffs looked after us.
I decided to take a license for NITROX this time.
We came to Palau in early February, especially new moon for spawning season for Tsunodashiuo (Moorish Idols).
If we are lucky we could see over few hundreds even thousand Moorish Idols in a group.
We dived mainly at Blue Corner where we can expect many various fish and of course Moorish Idols.
To my surprise there are many sharks swimming under a group of Moorish Idols.
I didn’t know sharks are not good at hunting.
Therefore, a shark targets Moorish Idols when they become weak at the spawning season.
Unfortunately; they swim deeper than us and light won’t reach them so it’s not clear on the photo.
However, these shadows indicate sharks and you would know there are MANY.
We were lucky that we managed to watch Moorish Idols at most of our dives.
We also watched other fish.
Can you find a fish?
And at the German Channel, we also caught Mantas!
I even watched Manta Train!
However, I noticed there is limited capacity for one post.
I will post the movie of Manta Train on the different post.
Sayonara Koror, Sayonara Moorish Idols!
These are lunch that I had on the boat.
And at the shop.
After 14 dives over 3.5 days, I joined a half day trip to Shell Island and Jelly Fish Park for snorkeling which is operated by Antelope.
Shell Island and also called Inoki Island.
Japanese retired Professional wrestler, Inoki has a property here.
It’s Shell Island because there are Shakogai (Giant Clams).
And some fish
The next is the major destination… heading for Jelly Fish Park!!!!
When I visited Palau in 2017, Jelly Fish Park was closed because of death of Jelly Fish due to global warming.
It was so much fun!
There are so many of jelly fish and these are harmless to touch!
Every night, we had nice food such as Thai, Indian and Sushi for supper.
On the last night, we and staffs of diving shop gathered to have a party at Italian restaurant.
Our departure flight was at 3:35 am, I slept through the returned flights.
I remember having breakfast only. hahaha
There is a movement to reduce use of plastics globally.
I listened to the announcement of Starbucks stating to stop use of plastic straws by 2020 in shock.
Plastic products cannot be biodegraded; instead, it produces a harmful substance to the environment, especially for the ocean: micro plastics.
Today. I attended a small reception at the Good Design Marunouchi.
I enjoyed having a nice chat on importance of design to improve products and even society with a designer and jury for the Good Design Award.
Then I spotted a paper tong there.
I have heard and seen paper straws at Daiso (100 yen shop), but not a tong.
I was excited to see these paper tongs.
In addition to the design, we also talked about food waste.
I understand restaurants and hotels don’t want us to take away left over food.
In fact, they strictly prohibit us to do so.
The industry might have experienced customers suing them for a food poisoning.
Perhaps, dining industry can take some action by asking customers to sign on agreement before they take away food.
It is sad to know that left over food has been destroyed at the back.
Nonetheless, today, I was excited to know there is a paper tong!
It is the day to hand over my apartment keys back to the agent.
I lived here for 9 years and 4 months.
I was very sentimental when I returned keys because there are so many memories.
There were goods and bads – I was happy.
I closed one chapter and moved on to another.
I celebrated my new start at Italian Restaurant Osteria Dieci, Azabu-Junan, Tokyo that night.
I had nice Italian wine: Monte Del Fra, and
Nice Italian food.
Choco also celebrated with me.
He had an appetizer (dried lean chicken) and main dish (chicken and vegetables).
We are adding this restaurant on our favorites.
On Monday, I had a full day back-to-back business meetings because all meetings became 2 hours meeting.
I even missed my lunch.
When we finished at 5 pm, we rushed to Tokyo Station to catch a Shinkansen (bullet train) to go to Kyoto.
I was invited to Ohana (private time with Geisha) to have fun with Geisha!
I had an important meeting next day at 9:30 am at Kawasaki, Kanazawa.
It’s a crazy plan but it was manageable if I take the first Shinkansen back to Tokyo…hopped on the next available Shinkansen for Kyoto.
Quickly checked in at Kyoto Century Hotel which is conveniently located next to Kyoto Station.
The room is modern, clean and cozy.
Then rushed to Ochaya-san (Geisha Tea House).
Others waited for us to arrive to start the evening.
We had nice tori-nabe (chicken pot) for dinner; chicken are so fresh that it requires a few tens of seconds of cooking in boiling soup.
Followed by dance.
We also played Ozashiki Asobi (games).
It was magically fun!!!
The next day, I managed to wake up 5 am to catch 6:17 am Shinkansen back to Tokyo to attend meetings.
After meetings, I attended a business dinner.
Since I had to arrange the dinner, I decided to organize it at my favorite Tempura restaurant Mikaku, Roppongi.
This restaurant is my favorite because tempura are so crispy; chef cooks in front of us!
I had nice Haze Hire Zake (grilled goby fish fin sake) to enjoy these tempura.
Grilled fish fin adds nice roasty smell and flavor to sake.
I had Ten-don (tempura rice bowl) for my rice.
We had nice home made strawberry sorbet to refresh our mouth.
Chef grows vegetables and even these strawberries.
The following morning, my friend left Tokyo for Hong Kong to continue her business trip.
Nothing was planned in advance, but these three days became memorable.
Yes, this time I took many crazy actions; but I think crazy actions add spice to our life. hahaha
A while ago, I was frustrated, building negative emotion, because of co-workers.
I knew exercise will release stress.
However, in the evening, I have other things to settle.
These could be simple as visiting dentist, having dinner with friends, etc.
Once I reach home, I get lazy to go out for exercise.
One day, my physical therapist suggested to go to gym for simple exercise, riding on bicycle for 20 mins, in the morning before I go to office.
My nearest gym opens at 7:00 am.
It’s rushing and need to move quickly to save every minutes; but based on my calculation, I could manage.
I tried it the other day and it worked.
I’ve been coming to gym for two weeks.
Today, I simply feel good (no stress), being at the quiet gym and gaining more ENERGY for a day!
Nowadays I can easily find the word, mindfulness, on Japanese women’s magazines.
There are many magazines at my beauty salon and I read about it briefly the other day.
Today, I was standing in a train on the way to my dermatologist.
I needed to hold a rail because a train was packed.
Since I was holding a rail, I cannot play with my mobile.
I looked outside, but I couldn’t see anything because windows were all fogged up due to a cold rain.
I remembered MINDFULNESS.
I didn’t close my eyes, but my surrounding created a perfect situation to listen to my feeling.
I have frustration.
While waiting for my turn at the dermatologist, I browsed on internet to learn more about MINDFULNESS.
Now it’s time to listen to my feelings to love myself more.
Perhaps, I can practice while I’m taking a bath because I sit in a bathtub for 10 – 15 mins in nice aroma and I’m relaxed.