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 Feelings, Food, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Sunrise and Sunset, Travel

Trip to Hokkaido (Day 1)

Depart Haneda International Airport (Tokyo) for Chitose International Airport (Sapporo, Hokkaido).

There are many buildings and houses in Tokyo.

After 1.5 hours journey; it’s snowing in Sapporo, Hokkaido.

Hokkaido is huge; we need to rely on cars.

We didn’t make a reservation, but there are many counters for rent a car service providers at the arrival hall of Chitose Airport.

I just picked Nippon Rent a Car.

The number of rent a car is large in Hokkaido; these cars are all rent a car service cars.

The counter is also huge.

While waiting for a car, I found Hokkaido Exclusive Drink: Hokkaido Tokibi-cha (Corn Tea).

This is nice roasted taste.

There is a departure gate as well.

My Hokkaido Car is cute Toyota Vitz.

First, we went to Shokotsu-Ko (Shikotsu Lake) for lunch or snacks.

These snacks are nice.

Yaki Tokibi (Grilled Corn)

Imomochi (Potato Mochi (potato mixed with pounded rice))

The scenery is beautiful with snow and sun setting.

Driving in snow is also beautiful.

Finally, arrived at Jozankei Onsen (Hot Spring) Sankeien (Hotel Sankeien).

Hotel room is washitsu (Japanese style).

Before dinner, went to Onsen to fresh up and warm up.

Then dinner.

Now I’m watching TV from Futon. fufufu

Posted in Feelings, Food, Hotel, Japan Technology, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Place, Travel

Trip to Nikko (Day 3)

I picked more western food this morning.

After breakfast, we left hotel for Tobu World Square.

There is a station named Tobu World Square.

The park is located across the street from the Station.

The entrance of Tobu World Square.

It’s a miniature of the world.

New York

Egypt

Paris

Greece

Spain

Many More Places

And Japan

When we returned to hotel, hotel served mochi (pounded rice).

This is traditional way of making mochi.

There are three flavors: anko (red bean), kinako (soy bean powder) and daikon (white radish with soy sauce).

These are fresh, soft and delicious.

After the snack, I took a bath then had dinner.

We had dinner with desert, but went to desert again: double desert. hahaha

I will watch what I eat starting tomorrow.

Posted in Exercise, Feelings, Food, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Shop, Shopping, Shrine and Temple, Travel

Trip to Nikko (Day 2)

Akemashite Omedetogozaimasu (Happy New Year)

This is the view from a room.

I had a buffet breakfast; hotel serves New Year dishes, too.

It’s New Year so decide to go to Nikko Toshogu (Shrine) for prayer.

At Kinugawa Onsen (Hot Spring) Station, Station staffs and local people are serving sake and Amazake (sweet non-alcohol sake).

SL train stops this Station.

Then I see the real SL train: Taiju. Yeah!

Today, I took this train to reach Tobu Nikko Station.

Two trains were connected; it has double faces.

The road was crowded with cars to visit the shrine.

We took a bus till Shinkyo (God’s Bridge) then walked to Nikko Toshogu.

Shinkyo (God’s Bridge) is beautiful.

Nikko Toshogu is the World Heritage.

We walked to the entrance of Nikko Toshogu.

This is the first gate, need to show a ticket to enter the premises.

Toshogu is in the process of repairing.

Some buildings are reborn in bright colours.

This place is famous for THREE WISE MONKEYS: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.

Yomeimon (Yomei Gate)

This gate is so colourful.

This dragon is drawn at the ceiling of this gate, beautiful and powerful.

This Nemuri Neko (Sleeping Cat) is also famous.

This cat looks as if she can wake up anytime.

The main building of shrine is still under the repair.

We managed to pray and visit places before the place gets crowded with more visitors to arrive.

We catch a bus back to Tobu Nikko Station.

We went to collect our free souvenirs, Castella (cakes) and Yuba (tofu), at Nikko Castella Honpo (Main Store).

Then we changed a train to return to Kinugawa Onsen Station to hotel before it gets dark.

We enjoyed dinner after a good exercise, walking at Shrine.

We had a voucher to get another dessert after dinner.

We did dessert hopping tonight. fufufu

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

Trip to Nikko (Day 1)

Depart Asakusa Station for Kinugawa Onsen (hot spring) Station by Spacia, Tobu Line.

I enjoyed privacy for two hours train ride at Compartment 2.

Sky Tree and peaceful scenery from window

I see snow at Kinugawa Onsen Station; yes, it’s cold here.

It’s a hot spring town.

The station gate looks like as if we are going to enter a hot bath.

Kinugawa Onsen

I took a shuttle bus to Kinugawa Plaza Hotel.

Opened a door and there is a fusuma (sliding door) to lead us to a main room and small sun (living) room to over look a river.

There is a public hot spring bath; therefore, there is a shower booth only at the room.

We had dinner at room and dinner was nice.

After dinner, went to Onsen.

There are free ice candy bars: Gari Gari Kun Onsen Manju (black sugar flavor).

I watched Kohaku Uta Gassen (Red/Women Team vs White/Men Tram Song Battle) on TV.

Watching this TV programme is a typical way to spend New Year’s Eve in Japan.

Namie Amuro who is celebrating her 25th career anniversary decides to retire next September.

This year would be her last performance at Kohaku.

Singers who are selected to perform on this programme is based on the performance and popularity in the year; therefore, Japanese singers are honor to participate in this programme.

After Kohaku, watching Iku Toshi Kuru Toshi (Year to Go, Year to Come).

Listened to Temple’s Bell to purify the spirit to receive a New Year.

Happy New Year!

Posted in Exercise, Feelings, Food, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Place, Restaurants, Shop, Shopping, Travel

Foodie Trip (Day 3)

I started my day with Japanese breakfast at Toraya, the Sunroute Hotel Wadayama, Hyogo.

We are near to the Ruins of Takeda Castle, Asagoshi city, Hyogo.

The only thing I didn’t know is I need to walk 2.2 km to reach the summit and the ruins of castle.

It was a nice walk to the summit.

We are greeted by the rainbow; that’s encouraging.

We finally reached the ruins of Takeda Castle.

Today, there are only castle’s stone foundation is available to visit.

The view is nice from the summit.

This is the ruin of Tenshukaku (the main building of the castle).

This ruins of Takeda Castle is famous and also called, Tenku no Shiro (the Castle above the Sky).

It is not the season now, but when the time is right, I can see a magnificent view like in a photo.

I would like to come back again for this scenery.

After a good excessive, I had Miso Nabe Udon (Miso Claypot Udon), together with snacks, Himeji Oden (Himeji Style is to eat oden with ginger sauce) and Oinari san (vinegared rice with tofu) at Wataya, Himeji, Hyogo.

Now left for a dessert.

This is Himeji’s casual dessert: Gozasoro.

It has two flavors: Koshian (red beans) and shiroan (white beans).

This would be my last Foodie Report for this trip.

This wasn’t a typical way of celebrating Christmas with turkey and cakes, but I enjoyed it greatly!

Merry Christmas!

Posted in Feelings, Food, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Place, Restaurants, Shopping, Travel

Foodie Trip (Day 2)

I started my day with taking a hot spring.

Then enjoyed a Japanese breakfast.

We decided to visit Tachikui Sue no Sato (Tachikui Pottery Town).

Tachikui Sue no Sato Area

I tried to make a pottery for first time at Yume Kobo (Dream Factory).

Sensei (teacher) is very kind and knows how to lead students.

Tachikui-Yaki is one of six greatest pottery in Japan.

If you want to try making pottery for the first time, Yume-Kobo is highly recommended!

It was fun.

It requires discipline and it brought me peace in my mind.

I now consider learning pottery.

Sensei taught me the process.

I made four things: beer cup, Japanese tea cup, Matcha green tea bowl for tea ceremony and rice bowl (from left).

Sensei helped me greatly with beer cup and Japanese tea cup.

I made by myself rice bowl (first thing that I made) and Matcha green tea bowl (the last thing I made).

To make tall glass/cup shape is difficult compared with a bowl.

I want to make a beer cup and green tea cup alone one day.

With happy feeling, I had a happy ramen at Ohashi Ramen, Nishiwaki, Hyogo.

Then proceeded to next destination: Wadayama.

We plan to stay at normal business hotel; therefore, we stopped by at hot spring spa, Ouka no Yu, before reaching to a hotel.

There are so many different baths to try here.

I enjoyed staying here greatly.

This is a sign for women bath.

I enjoyed watching the Year-End horse race, Arima Kinen at the bath because there is a big screen TV at open air bath and sauna.

I watched the race at open air spa.

This is the replay at the lobby of spa.

I bought two bottles of Tajima Tennensui (Tajima Natural Spring Water).

I love to try local products to get energy from local area.

Hotel is located nearby this spa: Hotel Sunroute Wadayama

Again, this is Foodie Trip; Hotel is simple and comfortable.

Tonight’s main event is crab dinner at Kutaro, Wadayama, Hyogo.

Yeahhhh

Every crab dish was niceeeee: sashimi (raw), grilled, pot and last dish is porridge with crab stock.

And drink is also nice.

This is Asahi Super Dry Beer bottle with crab on the label.

And this Kani Zake (grilled crab with Japanese sake) is nice and smoky!!!

This is my Christmas 2017.

Merry Christmas!