Posted in Choco-chan, Family, Feelings, Flower, Food, Hotel, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Shop, Shopping, Tokyo, Travel

Short Trip to Hokuto, Yamanashi

I don’t have any social life for past three weeks.

The weather is getting better in Tokyo, reaching over 20C.

Sakura starts blooming.

I decided to plan a short trip with Choco for refreshment.

Well, Mom followed us.

I thought it would be nice to take Choco for a walk in fresh air in woods.

I still need to avoid contacting people so I decided staying at cottage, Pension Gin No Michi, Hokuto-City, Yamanashi.

The Pension serves dinner and breakfast at cottage so we can avoid people and be with Choco.

Choco doesn’t like to be left alone.

It’s 160 km away from Tokyo and it should take 2.5 hours to reach there.

However, traffic was so heavy….. to go out Tokyo, it took more than 2 hours.

I took a break at highway Hatsukari service area.

I bought Shingen-Mochi and Premium Shingen-mochi Ice Cream and Matcha (Green Tea) Shingen-mochi Ice Cream.

Shingen-Mochi is Kofu (Yamanashi) local confectionery combination of glutinous rice flour mochi, soybean powder and brown sugar syrup.

There are many more products developed by this original Shingen-mochi.

After taking a break, I continued my journey and it took me 4.5 hrs to reach the pension.

We finally reached the Pension.

There are flooring living room connected to a small tatami room (tatami mat room).

Living room is equipped with kitchen.

Then wash room

Bath room

And toilet.

As mentioned, I wanted to take Choco for a walk in woods; however, it was too cold.

In Tokyo, it’s over 20C, so I only brought leather jacket.

It’s only 4C here…

I decided to stay in.

Choco had so many to experience and learn.

I enjoyed home cooked dinner at the room.

The next morning, it was a nice sunny day.

Hopefully, Choco enjoyed fresh air.

I enjoyed home cooked breakfast.

They also baked these breads.

It was a brief stay but very refreshing.

We headed back home.

On the way back, I stopped by at service area for one last glance of Minami (South) Alps and shopping.

The local flower farmer is selling flower bouquet for JPY 1,200 (USD 12) – very reasonable!

Currently, Japanese government encourages people to buy flower because flower business is affected by corona virus.

March supposed to be high demand period for flower for graduation ceremony; however, now almost all schools cancel the graduation ceremony.

I love flowers so I bought one.

I also looked for souvenirs.

There are many Shingen-mochi products.

I bought Shingen-mochi Pudding, Monaka (Wafer and Shingen-mochi (glutinous rice powdered mochi)) and Kit Kat.

I love the original and these are all nice, especially pudding.

It took only 2.5 hours to reach home, meaning there are so many cars on the road yesterday.

I think many of us got board. ahaha

It was very relaxing trip for me.

Posted in Beauty, Choco-chan, Feelings

Cheering Me Up

Japanese government requested to cancel events till 25 March, close school till new academic year and encourage office workers to work-at-home/telecommuting.

Therefore, I don’t have any plan for socializing or fun at this moment.

I try to cheer me up by doing self nail, going to spa,

curled my hair

And wearing springy coloured make up to cheer me up.

Choco also had his spa and hair cut today.

However, I doubt he enjoyed it by looking at him. hahaha

Posted in Choco-chan, Family, Feelings, Food, Friends, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Shopping

Hinamatsuri (Dolls Festival)

It’s 3rd March.

The day for girls.

Once a girl, always a girl.

My house is decorated with Hina Ningyo (Emperor and Emperess/ King and Queen).

These are collection of Mom and I.

Actually, there are more.

Perhaps, next year, we decorate all.

I bought Hinakamaboko (Dolls Surimi/Fish Cake) manufactured by Kagosei because I thought it is cute.

I’ve been hearing bad news but at least it is a nice springy day today on my birthday.

I cannot ask my friends to go out to celebrate my birthday due to COVID-19; but Yes, I’m having my red wine and cakes and Choco is celebrating with me. Yeah!

Posted in Art, Choco-chan, Family, Feelings, Food, Japan Technology, Japanese Culture

Oshogatsu (New Year)

On 3rd January, I visited my uncle.

We had afternoon tea and Domino Pizza for dinner.

He is a mint collector and showed me his new collection: Previous Emperor’s 30th Anniversary Memorial Coin.

And New Emperor’s Coronation Memorial Coin.

He promised to give me a coin when I visit him.

This time, he gave me Tokyo Olympics Badminton coin.

On 4th and 5th January, I was like this…my brother transferred his flue and I feel sickly tired.

My Oshogatsu holiday is ending. Boo hoo.

I’ll go back to office tomorrow for the first working day in 2020.

Let’s enjoy 2020!

Posted in Choco-chan, Experience, Feelings, Food, Friends, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Travel

Short Trip to Unohama Onsen, Niigata

I didn’t have a proper weekend for for rest for months so I took Monday and Tuesday off.

I also needed time to clean dirty dishes and clear garbage from gathering.

It was before noon, Choco and I packed up and left house.

It’s his first stay over.

We stopped every two hours for Choco’s toilet; nonetheless, it’s good to take a break for a driver as well.

We took a quick bite for lunch at the parking area.

It was a nice clear day.

I expected to see Autumn leaves changing in colours.

We drove to mountainous area and the scenery became more scenic.

There is snow….

Kanetsu Tunnel

Enjoying looking at the rice field after harvest.

We stopped at the Parking Area for toilet break.

There is some snow and I wanted Choco to experience his first snow.

I thought he would enjoy it but he didn’t; he angrily asked me to pick him up.

We continued driving country side.

We finally arrived Unohama Onsen (Unohama Hot Spring) Wan Yado, Niigata.

Our room is typical traditional Japanese style Tatami room.

Choco looked happy.

The inn had a problem with boiler so we couldn’t use shower.

Therefore, we went to the inn across the street – Mikaku – to use their bath.

There is a bath inside

And outside (this style is called Goemon Buro, bath tub is in the shape of bowl).

The beauty part of our inn is there is a room for Choco.

Incan freely take and use basic necessities for Choco such as treats, food bowls, toilet sheets, etc.

I can ask to look after Choco as well (charged service).

We had a private room for our dinner.

Choco could join us and he had his plate as well.

We ordered crab menu; there are various way of cooking crabs.

Boiled

Nabe (Pot Dish)

Osashimi no Funamori (raw fish on boat)

Grilled

Other fish dish and Chawanmushi (steam egg)

Tenpura

Rice and Soup

Oops I forgot to take a photo of dessert Matcha (Green Tea) Pudding.

We are all tired so we went to bed early.

Next morning, we started with a morning bath by visiting Mikaku.

I didn’t notice a manager was quietly sitting at reception.

So cute!

I got ready and went down for breakfast.

We cook fish on our own plate.

It’s a long way back home, about 4 hours to return Tokyo.

We left the place after our breakfast.

People visit Onahama for beach.

It’s Autumn/Winter; therefore beach is quiet.

We took a different road back to Tokyo.

We admired different mountains such as Myoko.

Choco looked excited during the trip; however, once we reached home…. he suddenly looks exhausted.

I hope Choco enjoyed his first stay over.