Posted in Action, Art, Experience, Feelings, Food, Friends, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Music, Place, Restaurants, Tokyo, Travel

Crazy Action

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

Posted in Experience, Feelings, Food, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Travel

Trip to Hokkaido (Day 3)

I woke early to go for Onsen (hot spring).

It’s quiet; air is crispy but Onsen keeps me warm.

I love this moment in open air onsen.

I took a quick breakfast.

I picked all bad combination: carbohydrates…but these are nice…

I want to try Wakasagi Tsuri (pond smelt fishing) on the frozen pond.

Today, Wakasagi Tsuri is available only at Kairaku Koen (Kairaku Park), Tsukigata Town, Hokkaido.

We set the car navigation to Tsukigata Onsen.

It’s about one hour from Sapporo and two hours from Jozankei Onsen.

Yes, there are many beautiful sceneries.

Arrived at Kairaku Koen.

We got ready at Mizube no Ie (Water Front House).

Wore a rubber boots then walk on the lake.

There are tents on the lake.

There is a stove in the tent; therefore, it’s very warm inside.

Place a bait (warm) on hooks.

Then start fishing.

Obviously, I’m not good at fishing.

I caught a total of three Wakasagi only.

The weather is nice so we tried to fish at outside.

We drilled our own hole.

I tried for a while, but I caught none. Boo Hoo.

Time’s up.

The shop cooked Wakasagi Tempura for us.

There are only eight (8) and enjoyed each bites because they are very very very fresh.

After fishing, enjoyed Tsukigata Onsen.

I really enjoyed my short stay in Hokkaido.

I’ll plan to come back again.

Posted in Experience, Feelings, Food, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Restaurants, Travel

Trip to Hokkaido (Day 2)

I forgot to post the view from my room last night.

It was snowing so looked romantic like this.

When I woke up, the view is this.

This hotel has a nice view overlooking Onsen-gai (Hot Spring Town).

Of course, I went for morning Onsen (Hot Spring) before breakfast.

The breakfast is buffet style.

After breakfast, departed hotel for Otaru.

On the way to Otaru, there are few cars parked on the street.

We stopped to see what’s there.

There are tents…they are doing Wakasagi Tsuri (pond smelt fishing) in nature! Wow!

Reached Otaru.

Otaru is known as port city and famous for canal and glass!

I tried making a tumbler by blowing glass at Taisho Glass Kan (Taisho Glass House).

Hon-kan (Main Shop)

Blow Glass Studio

Sensei (teacher) helped me greatly so I could make a tumbler.

After making a tumbler, also made a marble bead at Taisho Glass Beads Kan (Taisho Glass Beads House).

After making crafts, went for lunch.

Walked on Otaru Sushiya-dori (Otaru Sushi Restaurant Street).

There are many Sushi Restaurants on both sides of this street.

Picked and went in Asahi Zushi Honten (Asahi Zushi Main Store) among sushi restaurants on the street.

And ordered Special Sushi.

We continued for Foodie Hunting in Otaru.

Hokkaido is famous for Ramen; looked for a nice ramen in Otaru.

The chef of Tokai-Ya is former French chef.

According to the web, Ramen tastes sensitive and sophisticated and comments are right.

Ordered a bowl of Shoyu (soy sauce) ramen, Ninniku (garlic) Chasiu Miso Ramen and Katsuo-meshi (bonito rice).

After walking in Otaru, stopped for coffee at Cafe Deco, Otaru Roman-Kan (Romance House).

Otaru is nice town to walk.

Now time to go back to our hotel: Sankeien, Jozankei Onsen.

One hour drive back to hotel is breath taking.

Snow is thick and heavy; I won’t see these sceneries in Tokyo.

Its cold out; therefore, it’s very nice to dip in Onsen.

I love to dip in open air bath in cold.

Ate dinner and relaxing on Futon.

Plan to wake up early tomorrow for Wakasagi Tsuri (Pond Smelt Fishing). hehehe

Posted in Experience, Family, Feelings, Food, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Place, Restaurants, Shrine and Temple, Travel

Weekend in Kyoto (Day 3)

I took Kintetsu Line to go to Tojo (East Temple) Station.


Toji Station is one stop away from Kyoto Station.


This is the main gate of Toji (East Temple). 

Toji was established by Kanmu Tennoh (Emperor Kanmu) in 796.

Saga Tennoh (Emperor Saga) bestowed Toji to Kukai (Japanese Buddhist) in 823.

There was Saiji (West Temple) then.

Saiji was managed by the government (emperor); but the government couldn’t afford to maintain the temple at the time.

On the other hand, believers of Shingon Sect keeps good care of Toji.


Toji is equally important as Headquarters of Shingon Sect: Koyasan (Mt. Koya).



This temple was originally established by Emperor so we can find the Emperor’s Emblem: Kikuno Gomon (Chrysanthemum).


Kodo (Auditorium)

There is a Dainichi Nyorai (Sun of Buddha) and many more Buddha statues. 

I sat in front of Dainichi Nyorai to enjoy quiet and peaceful moment.


Kondo (Golden Hall/Main Hall)

This temple’s principal Buddha is Yakushinyorai (Healing Buddha).

I also sat in front of Yakushinyorai to be healed.

Toji is famous for Gojyu no To (Five-Stories Pagoda).


It’s autumn so trees start changing colour.





I found a nice bamboo art.

It makes nice sound when rain drops hit them.


There is Yashimaden (Shrine) in the Toji.

This Shrine was established before Toji; therefore, this Shrine remained at the original place as a part of Toji.


It continues raining heavily so went back to Kyoto Station for lunch.

I had Kyoto cuisine at Restaurant Kurama, Kyoto Station.


At last, I enjoyed a Hojicha (roasted tea) parfait at my favorite Tsuruya Yoshinobu Cafe, Irodori, Kyoto Station.



Now I’m on the way back to Kyoto by Shinkansen (bullet train).



But now Shinkansen stopped and parked before Nagoya Station due to heavy rain in Shizuoka.

Typhoon 22 is approaching Japan.

This is my first experience to be stacked in Shinkansen.

I’m fine because Shinkansen is equipped with an outlet to charge my mobile at my seat and toilets!

Posted in Experience, Family, Feelings, Food, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Restaurants, Shop, Shopping, Travel

Weekend in Kyoto (Day 2)

I left hotel early to attend the Buddhist ceremony.


Hotel is conveniently near to Subway Karasuma Line Karasuma Station.



It’s only two stations away from JR Kyoto Station to catch JR Biwako Line for Ishiyama Station.




This is my first experience to attend Gomataki (Special Buddhist Ceremony for Prayer).

I’m honored and blessed to be invited to the event.

I suffered during the ceremony because I sat Seiza (Japanese traditional way to sit by folding leds).

My legs became numb…but it was worth it.

After returned to hotel, checked in again.

Kyoto is a popular place for Japanese and foreign tourists; therefore, we couldn’t stay in the same room due to hotel reservation status.

But it’s fine with us because we could enjoy two types of room during my Kyoto stay.

Tonight, we are staying at Japanese style room.




We had Kyoto cuisine at Irifune, Karasuma Kyoto Hotel, Kyoto.

Mom and I enjoyed chatting over Kyoto Japanese Sake, Kagura.

I was full and I like window shopping; we went out for walk.

Kyoto is a nice city for walk, just simply for walking.