Posted in Feelings, Food, Friends, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Surprise, Travel

Delivery of Fresh Tuna

I received fresh tuna directly from a fisherfamily’s boat!

Recently, we became friends in Kushimoto, Wakayama.

They are fisherfamily (not only men, family) and catch Kihada Maguro (Yellowfin Tuna).

It’s so nice of them to send me fresh tuna!

I had Sashimi tonight and I could say it’s fresher than Tsukiji!

Arigatogozaimasu, Aiko san & Family!

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

Trip to Nara & Kyoto (Day 3)

I started my day with a breakfast @ Minokichi, Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto, Kyoto.


First, I stopped by at Kami Kamo Jinja (Kami Kamo Shrine).

First Torii (Shrine Gate)


Noh Butai (Noh Dance Stage)


Second Torii (Second Shrine Gate)


Main Area


There are two mountains of sands to purify the place.

We can find two mountains of salts at the entrance of restaurants and stores; this place is the origin for the ritual.


Unfortunately, exterior of the main hall is under renovation.


I prayed at the Main Building of Shrine and the shrine is beautiful; this shrine is registered as the World Heritage in 1994.


Then, I took Eizan Densha (Eiden: Eizan Railway) from Demachiyanagi Station to Kifuneguchi Station.




Some seats are facing windows to admire scenery.


Kifune is famous for Kifune Jinja (Kifune Shrine) and Kawadoko Lunch.

I look forward for this Kawadoko Lunch; literally it means river floor.

It’s hot during the Summer; therefore, people built a lunch place on the river to cool down.

I took an image photo.


I had this Kawadoko Lunch at Kifune-So, Kifune, Kyoto.


It’s naturally cooling!

Water is so close!

I ate my lunch in splash of water and I enjoyed it!

I love it!!!





After enjoying nice local Kyoto Cuisine, I visited Kifune Jinja.




We took a train back to Takaragaike Station.



Next is my last stop in Kyoto: Kyotsukemono Nishiri (Kyoto Pickles Shop Nishiri).



Free pickles sampling with white wine!


I arrived Kyoto Station.

While waiting for my Shinkansen, I was busy enjoying KYOTO.

First, I stopped by Gion Tsujiri (green tea speciality shop) to enjoy Green Tea and Matcha Soft Cream.



I still had more than a half hour; I also stopped by Kyoto’s local coffee shop: Inoda’s Coffee.


I had a traditional Cream Soda (melon soda with a scoop of vanilla ice cream).


Time’s up… Sayonara Kyoto.


My Shinkansen arrived, but Oops, I missed a nose of Shinkansen.


I’m going to miss this scenery.


I listened to special Disney songs by keying access code which is labeled on Sokenbicha (non-caffeine blended tea) bottles while eating dinner on Shinkansen.


I enjoyed this trip to Nara and Kyoto; I would love to visit these places again.

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

Trip to Nara & Kyoto (Day 2)

I had a Japanese breakfast at Minokichi, the Hotel New Hanshin Kyoto, Kyoto.


We departed Hotel for Kameoka Station to catch a Sagano Romantic Train (trolley train).




At Sagano, we have choice of ride: hours coach, Hozugawa (Hozu River) boat ride and trolley train.



This time, I choose trolley train.



The train has come.

But isn’t it back of train…?

The view from window is nice.




This is the front of train.

Looks cool!

We arrived at the last station.


After a train ride, we went to Shigetsu Restaurant at Tenryuji (Tenryu Temple).

This is Zen Vegetarian Cuisine.

Don’t worry, we can request a chair and it is very very VERY delicious!

Highly recommended!


Tenryuji is known for a beautiful Japanese  garden.



I also walked inside of Tenryuji’s main hall: Daihojo.


The drawing on the sliding doors is beautiful as if a dragon is alive.


Then visited Rokuonji (Rokuon Temple), famously known Kinkajuji (Kinkaku Temple).

It’s beautifully in gold.

I returned to hotel for the night event.

After freshing up, I watched Maiko’s dance on the roof of the hotel.

Maikos are trainees of Geisha; therefore, they are less than 20 years old.


Hotel turned off the lift for the main event: Gozan no Okuribi.

This event will be held on 16 August annually.

This is Buddhist ceremony to send spirit back to heaven.

Five letters or symbols will be lighted by fire on five mountains.

大 (Dai, meaning Large)

This is famous Daimonjiyaki (Dai letter in fire).

Unfortunately, the letter didn’t face in my way.


Funa Gata (Shape of Ship) on the right and Hidari Daimonji (Left Dai Letter) on the left.


Torii (Shape of Shrine Gate)


During day time, we drove by where Hidari Daimonji will be lighted.

This is how it’s prepared.


After enjoying the evening, I had late dinner.

It was nice Kyoto local food.


I spent another memorable day today.

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

Trip to Nara & Kyoto (Day 1)

It is Obon season, Buddhist ceremony season.

I decided to spend my Obon in traditional way this year.

I met my parents at the Tourist Information Center Tokyo, Tokyo Station Nihonbashi Exit.

We can get information on sightseeing places.


We took a Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto.

I had brunch on Shinkansen.


The scenery from window is nice; rice field is so green!


We arrived Kyoto Station…


But early for hotel check-in.

We took a break at Cafe Koto and I shared a strawberry shave ice with Mom.


Our hotel, the Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto, is nicely located in front of Kyoto Station.


And they served us a welcome peach shave ice – another shave ice for a day! hahaha


The famous Kyoto Tower is just few buildings away.

All of us have been to Kyoto many times, but none of us went up to the observation floor.


It’s 131 m high; it’s not tall, but we can see a whole Kyoto.

Shinkansen left for Osaka; and Shinkansen is long because there are 16 coaches!


We can spot the famous Sanjusangendo and  Kiyomizu Dera.


We can overlook the Higashi Honganji (East Honganji)


Nishi Honganji (West Honganji: there is West so there should be East)


Toji (To Temple: East Temple)


At the bottom of Kyoto Tower, we had Sushi for snacks.


After adventuring in the area, we departed Hotel for Nara.

On the way to Nara, I continued sightseeing.

This is Fushimi Momoyama Jo (Fushimi Momoyama Castle) which was built in 1592.


This tea field is Uji Cha (Uji Tea) field: Kyoto specialized tea field.

I took a photo from a moving bus so image is not clear.

We can tell this tea field is for Uji Tea because farmers cover it with black plastic sheet to produce Uji Tea.


We entered Nara and passed the original Todaiji Uramon (Todai Temple’s back gate) which is old as early 8th century.


First, we had dinner at Tenpyo Club in Nara before the night event.


After dinner, we quickly stopped by at Kikuichi Cutlery to buy souvenirs.

This shop is famous for Japanese knives and swords, but also sells local confectioneries and local specialties.



Local deers know this shop is nice!


This place is full of deers and they act like they are LOCALs! hahaha


Then we walked to Kasuga Taisha (Kasuga Main Shrine) for Mandoe (Buddhist Lantern Festival): one of our tonight’s events.





We went to Tobihino (field) to watch Daimonjiyaki, fired letter 大 (dai) which means Large.


It started to rain again; don’t erase the letter!


Then, we walked to Todaiji (Todai Temple); the last event of the day.

This is Nandai Mon (Nandai Gate) of Todaiji, guarded by A-Un (A & Un).


Todaiji looks mysterious in rain.



Look closely; the window is opened tonight.

We can see Buddha’s face.


This is Japan’s largest Buddha.


I feel calm by looking at him and I won’t get board looking at him…


At Todaiji, I tried to bring more luck by getting through a pillar.

I managed it so I’m blessed! Yeah!!!


It was so romantic to spend late evening at Todaiji and pray!


Posted in Beauty, Feelings, Food, Friends, Health, Japanese Food, Place, Restaurants, Tokyo

Sunday @ Roppongi, Tokyo

Today, my friends from Malaysia visited me in Roppongi, Tokyo.

I took them to Toraya Cafe, Tokyo Midtown, Roppongi, Tokyo.

I also wanted to try Toraya’s shave ice.

I heard about it, but haven’t tried because I always see a long queue for the restaurant.

This time, I stayed on the queue.

I tried Uji Mizore (greentea shave ice with white sweet azuki beans).

I added three shiratama (rice-flour balls).

So delicious!


There is a big electric panel for entertainment.

There is an event collaborating with the electric board and 300 fireworks; but we didn’t have time to wait for it for another hour.

We missed the fireworks.


We also stopped by to catch Doraemons at Roppongi Hills.

There are many Doraemons!


My friend is so sweet. 

She carried bath salts what my other friend asked her to bring them for me.

These are heavy…

It’s so sweet of my friend to thought of me because she knows I take bath every night.

And another friend who brought all the way from Malaysia and carried for a day till she she sees me today.

No joke, these are heavy!

I’m happy to have thoughful friends!

Yes, I soaked in the bath and feel refreshing!

Posted in Diving, Experience, Feelings, Food, Japanese Food, Nature, Travel

Hammer Gettttttttt!

There was a concern about Typhoon 5.

It was 50:50 to dive today.

Nonetheless, I departed Tokyo by Shinkansen (Kodama 631) at 6:33 am and arrived Izukyu Shimoda Station by Ito line at 8:48 am.



The wave was high, but we could dive today.

And……

Finally, I saw a Hammer…

He was alone…

There was a distance between us, but I saw him…

A photo might not clear enough, but I think you can still see his figure.


Now I’m a certificate diver to see a Hammerhead Shark.

After finally have seen one, now I want to see a group of them… many Hammers!!!!

This is never ending adventures…


Today, I went to Mimatsu-Zushi Shimoda Station Branch to celebrate catching a Hammer!

I enjoyed every bite of sushi!

Bono Bono!

This Sushi restaurant serves many fresh local sushi that I highly recommend to visit!


Now let’s sleep to dream of meeting many Hammers….zzzzzz

Posted in Feelings, Food, Friends, Japanese Food, Tokyo

Foodie Report: Gathering @ Restaurant Kern, Toranomon, Tokyo

Seven of us get together to enjoy Japanese style western food and drinks.

Of course, we chat on many issues: trips, hobbies, self improvement, politics, memories, etc.

A group of us get together at every season (quarter). 

I look forward for this gathering because we are all from different companies, industries and age group; interesting.

And we all love to enjoy good food and drinks! 

A party set, 7 dishes and all you can drink for 2 hours, is JPY 5,200.

This restaurant opened in 1962.

If you want to try Japanese style western food; this is the place.