Posted in Choco-chan, Family, Feelings, Hotel, Shop, Shopping, Tokyo

Sunday For Choco

When I show him his carrying bag, he gets so excited to go in; it makes my preparation easy.

We went to the clinic to get his shot for rabies at Green Dog Tokyo Midtown Roppongi.

Yes, this my regular shop to buy his products.

It’s conveniently located near my apartment and it has facilities of shop, clinic, pet hotel and grooming (beauty salon).

I bought a treat pouch and foldable cup here.

I’m using this treat pouch for basic training at home now.

I can clip it on my clothes so I can treat him any time; it is washable because it’s made by silicon; and it can close automatically because there is a magnet.

He is smart, but I learned I need to be patient not to confuse him.

Posted in Art, Experience, Family, Feelings, Food, Friends, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Restaurants, Shop, Shopping, Shrine and Temple, Tokyo, Travel

Trip to Northern Japan’s Three Greatest Summer Festivals (Day 3)

Unfortunately, it is raining today, but I already watched all three festivals so rain doesn’t affect my day or mood.

I went for the morning dip; the bath was switched with men’s over night.

I had a buffet breakfast and I enjoyed their croissant waffles very much.

It’s dangerously delicious!

I didn’t have much time to use their facilities, but hotel prepares many activities for guests to enjoy during their stay.

We departed for Hiraizumi, Iwate.

We reached to Hiraizumi, Iwate where the town is recognized as UNESCO World Heritage.

We visited Chusonji (Chuson Temple) and the temple is famous for Konjikido (Golden Hall).

Today, Konjikido stands inside of a building to be protected.

Everything including the hall structure is made by gold.

We cannot take any photos inside so you need to visit to see how golden it is!

At the premise, there are many places to visit and to pray.

I had limited time so I could not visit all; nonetheless, I visited here before and I explained in details in my previous blog.

Hopefully, you would enjoy reading other days of my blog.

Shakado

Benzaiten

Amidado

Sankozo (Museum)

Dainichido

Mine Yakushido Hall

Hondo (Main Hall)

Benkeido

Tsukimizaka (Tsukimi Slope)

The rain was hard so my pants and shoes are wet.

But again, I didn’t mind because I watched and enjoyed all festivals in okay conditions.

These festivals continues for few days and many people planned to visit today.

Due to the weather (heavy rain), some festivals might get cancelled and there is no replacement day.

So I consider myself very lucky.

I had lunch at Sake Brewer: Seki no Ichi, Ichinoseki, Iwate.

Today, factory moved to a new place; original Kura (Storage) became a restaurant and shop.

Under the paper, there are many flavors of mochi (glutenous rice cakes).

Mochi is served to Gods and local people eat Mochi on important days for goods (celebration) and bads (sad).

From top left, zunda (edamame: young soy bean), goma (sesame), daikon oroshi for refreshment (ground white radish), anko (red bean) and kawaebi (river shrimp).

The pot dish is called Oshu Hatto.

This is made by flour and water; same ingredients with Udon (flour noodle).

It’s in a piece before cut.

We break it in pieces by our hands to put them in the pot.

We put them in a boiling pot together with all vegetables.

The restaurant offered a lucky draw by mochi (oh, no! More mochi! These are basically rice so very filling) ; I lost.

The winner get a sake bottle, how lucky!

This Sake Brewer also brew beer: Kura Beer.

I like their beer which has unique bitterness similar to dark beer though it’s in gold.

I bought Sake bottles for the next home party to enjoy them with friends. hahaha

We arrived Sendai Station to catch our Shinkansen (bullet train) back to Tokyo.

Sendai Station is already decorated for Sendai Tanabata which will start tomorrow.

Sendai Tanabata is also known as one of greatest festivals in Northern Japan.

These represents various wishes: health, wisdom, wealth, etc.

We took Shinkansen Yamabiko 152 back to Tokyo.

This was a fun trip!

Posted in Art, Beauty, Experience, Family, Feelings, Food, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Travel

Trip to Northern Japan’s Three Greatest Summer Festival (Day 2)

It’s cloudy today.

I went for morning Onsen (hot spring).

There is a Rotenburo (open-air bath) to overlook ocean.

I had Japanese breakfast.

These look old fashioned but food is very delicious.

I enjoy their food very much; very local and very fresh.

Their Onsen is nice and food is delicious.

It sands in front of ocean to enjoy ocean view from a room.

I departed Aomori for Morioka, Iwate.

Yes, the station that I arrived by Shinkansen yesterday.

I look at Iwate-yama (Mt. Iwate) again, the same mountain that I was looking yesterday.

We returned to Aomori Station, Iwate to watch Sansa Odori (Sansa Dance).

Sansa Odori is a combination of odori (dance), taiko (Japanese drum) and flute (Japanese flute).

This dance is dancing for appreciation and celebration of Kamisama (Gods) defeating Oni (evils).

There is a rock with Oni no Te (Evil’s Hand Print).

Evils promised not to return again by making a hand print.

This myth is the origin of name of Iwate Prefecture: Stone Hand Prefecture.

There are many groups and style of Sansa Odori.

The actual performance will be at night, however, to increase the awareness of Sansa Odori, many groups performance during day time at few places such as in front of Morioka Station, Malios, etc.

We went up to the observation room of Malios to overlook Morioka City, Iwate.

We departed for Akita for the last Summer Festival of the tour: Akita Kanto Matsuri (direct translation is Akita Lantern Bamboo Festival).

We reached Akita City.

This road named Akita Kanto Odori will be the street for the performance.

Again, we took early dinner, this time at Akita Castle Hotel.

Hotel banquet rooms became huge buffet dinner place for tourists.

It was like a zoo. hahaha

After dinner, I took a photo with a famous guy in Akita: Namahage.

He looks fierce, but a nice guy.

He scares away evils to being good lucks!

We went to the street to watch the performance.

This is again originated from Lantern Festival; many of us are Buddhist.

It’s an amazing festival with sound of taiko, fue and Kanto (Lanterns on Bamboos).

A person to hold Kanto extends bamboo and it bents greatly with weight of lanterns, making difficult to hold it.

Furthermore, they balance it on their palm, forehead, shoulder and hip.

They start from small.

They are small, but already a great performer!

I enjoy it very much.

About at 9 pm, we left Akita for Oshuku Onsen (Oshuku Hot Spring).

We reached Hotel Mori no Kaze Oshuku at 11 pm.

I found our supper, onigiri (rice balls) in our room; however, I’m still full from dinner.

We quickly went to take a bath because a public bath, Onsen, will close at 25 o’clock.

It was nice.

There is a Rotenburo (open-air bath) and special lemon bath to remove our tiredness.

Oyasuminasai (Good Night)

Posted in Art, Experience, Family, Feelings, Food, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Mt. Fuji, Nature, Place, Sunrise and Sunset, Tokyo, Travel

Trip to Northern Japan’s Three Greatest Summer Festival (Day 1)

I took a Tohoku Shinkansen, Yamabiko 43, operated by JR Higashi Nihon (JR East Japan) for Morioka this morning.

There is a train map.

It is common that two Shinkansen runs till Sendai Station then disconnected to become two Shinkansen lines.

Shinkansen is heading north; the place for Japan’s major rice production.

I had a lunch box on the Shinkansen.

Ta-dah

More rice field.

We arrived Morioka Station and look!

There are many buses for tourists!

We headed for Aomori by bus.

We stopped at Tsugaru Service Area for a break.

We can take a good view of Iwaki-san (Mt. Iwaki) that is also called: Tsugaru (Tsugaru is old name of this area) Fuji.

Isn’t it look beautiful as Mt. Fuji!

First, we checked in at Ryokan (Japanese Inn), Asamushi Sakura Kanko Hotel because Nebuta Matsui (Nabuta Festival) starts 7 pm so that we have to have an early dinner at 4 pm.

The room is in old fashioned.

There is a Fusuma (Sliding Door), I opened then…

A view from a room is also nice.

We relaxed at the room, then had a dinner at 4 pm so that we could leave at 4:50 pm.

I also had a Wakame Men (seaweed noodle)

And dessert: coffee jelly.

Dinner was very delicious.

These food are made of fresh ingredients!

Then we left Ryokan for Aomori: Nebuta Matsuri.

There are bankers for Nebuta at ASPM (Aomori Sightseeing Products Mansion).

Then we moved to our seats for watching the Nebuta Matsuri.

The parade started.

The origin of Nebuta is the lantern festival.

The decoration became unique so craftspeople started to present.

That’s how this Summer Festival began.

They will turn it, spin it and bow it!

There is a group of Hayashi (musicians), making rhythm.

Haneto (Jumpers) – anybody can rent a formal wear to join jumping.

There are cute ones.

Chocobo…? Final Fantasy…?

Even from small, they turn Nebuta.

There are so many people to enjoy the moment together.

After enjoying it for about an hour and half to returned to Ryokan.

Futon is ready.

And I found a supper on the table…?

Onigiri (rice balls) for supper.

After satisfying my stomach, then I took Onsen (hot Spring) for my relaxation.

We are staying at Asamushi Onsen (Asamushi Hot Spring).

Water is cleared and nice.

My skin is smooth and moist!

Posted in Daily Life, Exercise, Family, Feelings, Food, Friends, Gadget, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Place, Restaurants, Shop, Shopping, Tokyo, Travel

Weekend Trip to Kyoto (Day 2)

I had obento (packed food. Actually, I bought sandwich this time) for breakfast last night.

I had Amanoya Tamago Sando (Amanoya egg sandwich), Azabu Juban, Tokyo and Jiichiro’s Baumkuchen – a souvenir from Mom’s friend.

For Amanoya Tamago Sando, I recommend to eat this as soon as possible because it surely taste better when it’s fresh and fresher the better.

Oh, I should introduce one of services that this hotel provides to hotel guests during our stay.

The hotel provides a free mobile to call, access internet and to obtain sightseeing information.

Foreign tourists surely appreciate this service.

Today, I visited a friend; I had nice lunch while we chatted.

I returned to Kyoto and enjoyed shopping at JR Kyoto Isetan, Kyoto Station.

Why shopping in Kyoto?

In Tokyo, I have things to do — mainly house keeping — and there are too many people at a store that would make me feel tired to do shopping.

Here, I could take time to pick clothes. hahaha

I had a dinner at Kyoto Cuisine, Kyo Yasai Ryori Sepporai (Kyoto Vegetable Cuisine Sepporai), Kyoto Station.

I enjoyed Kyoto local vegetables very much!!!

After dinner, I went for a walk: window shopping at Porta, shopping area at underground of Kyoto Station.

Window shopping is my favorite way of exercise!

I walked for an hour easily.

Posted in Experience, Feelings, Food, Friends, Hotel, Place, Restaurants, River, Tokyo

Disney Saturday

I am posting back dated event because it crashed so I was demotivated to upload last week.

This page is next day of Disney Friday.

I spent over night at the Hotel Dream Gate Maihama to enjoy both Disney Sea and Disneyland.

This hotel is literally gate to the Dream Land: Disney Resort.

Rooms are efficiently functional.

Space is not big, but comfortable enough.

We didn’t feel tight though we are three of us in a room.

We had a breakfast at Becker’s Coffee shop.

I bought two days pass (it’s cheaper than buying two one day passes).

Two of my friends needed to buy a ticket; therefore, they skipped the breakfast to get a ticket at the gate.

They called to inform us that the gate will open 30 mins earlier than opening hour at 7:30 am because too many people are already waiting at the gate under strong sunshine (there is no shade to protect us from strong sunshine).

No wonder there are many people at JR Maihama Station at 7:00 am.

I think they knew Disneyland might open earlier.

We rushed to get there and …. wow so many people!

The gate opened at 7:30 am.

We started with It’s a Small World.

It opened recently after renovation.

Let’s Go!

Many Disney characters joined to receive us there!

Star Tours also reopened recently and it’s AMAZING!

I don’t get board riding it again and again because there are 6 gates, meaning 6 different episodes!

I enjoyed 3 episodes🎶

Next, Stitch Encounter.

We, audience, can interact with Stitch if we are lucky.

Now time to get wet at Sansui Summer Beat!

We’ve been enjoying Disneyland since early morning so we decided to take a break by taking an early lunch.

We ate at Alice’s Wonderland!

Indeed, we are at Dream Land…

After lunch, we continued with our Happiest Celebration, the classic Haunted Mansion.

we also went for a fun ride: Splash Mountain.

It’s so hot so we took a break again to enjoy Nashi Ice Kakigori (Pear Ice Shaved with Ice Cream).

We cooled down and rested at the Country Bear Theatre.

Jungle Cruise…

Every captain has different story; I never get board riding it.

After cruising, it was nicely time for Dreaming Up Parade.

After a party, we are pumped for fast ride: Big Thunder Mountain!

One of us are not good at fast ride so we decided to take it slow by catching Mark Twain Riverboat.

This is my first time trying this ship.

Lastly, we went to get a spot to watch Celebrate Tokyo Disneyland Show!

This show collaborates with Cinderella Castle, projection mapping, fire works, smoke and fire!

This is MUST to watch!

I would love to come back again!