Posted in Tokyo, Feelings, Daily Life, Place, Japanese Culture, Art, Nature

Tokyo Midtown Treat Garden 2020

Due to the COVID, many events have been cancelled to avoid creating clusters.

Time past without realizing seasons.

Usually there are events for Sakura viewing in Spring, summer festivals in summer so that we can actually witness seasons.

Today, seasons have changed without notable events.

It’s been over six months living with COVID by paying special cautions.

I cannot say we are managing it well towards COVID but I could say that we took every measures to prevent infections.

Today, I witnessed some events are getting ready.

Tokyo Midtown Retreat Garden Project @ Tokyo Midtown Roppongi.

Feeling Sky and Moon
Feeling Trees
Feeling Breeze

Finally, we can live in closer to normal life or past life. Yeah!

Posted in Exercise, Feelings, Hotel, Japan Technology, Japanese Culture, Place, Sunrise and Sunset, Tokyo, Travel, Work

Mini Tokyo Sightseeing

I had a meeting with Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo.

I had a tour of hotel rooms and banquet rooms for future events (if any).

Standard Room
Ball Room

I like their mask case, LIMAX which is simple yet stylish.

It’s made of eco friendly material yet antibacterial: limestone.

I will keep it and use it for sure.

It’s nice weather, therefore, I decided to walk back home after the meeting – another mini sightseeing in Tokyo.

There is a clock to count down to Olympic day at the Tokyo Station.

Looking at the current situation, honestly, I wonder we would be able to host such a large event in 2021.

I hope I am wrong about it.

Nonetheless, I felt good walking on the street to the Imperial Palace because there are less people!

Usually there would be many local and foreign travelers covering this street.

Sakashita Mon (Sakashita Gate)

Nijubashi (Double Bridge) or officially called Seimon Tetsuhashi (Steel Bridge of the Main Gate).

This steel bridge was originally made by wood, then, reinforced by wooden beams.

This is why this bridge is called Nijubashi or Double Bridge.

Sakurada Mon (Sakurada Gate)

The other side (outside) of Sakurada Mon

Sun is setting and peaceful scenery.

I continued walking towards Kasumigaseki area where Japanese government buildings are.

The Diet Building

I’ve been enjoying Mini Tokyo Sightseeing.

Posted in Art, Feelings, Food, Friends, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Place, Restaurants, Tokyo

Toranomon Hills, Toranomon, Tokyo

The first Toranomon Hills (Tower) was opened on 11 June 2014.

This is my first visit to Toranomon Hills.

Therefore, this is my first to meet Toranomon.

The second tower, Toranomon Hills Business Tower, was recently opened on 11 June 2020 and there would be additional two Toranomon Hills tower for residential and station by 2022.

I went to Toranomon Yokocho where 26 restaurants are located in a block or one floor.

We hopped restraints to enjoy few dishes.

We had pork skewers at Torishige.

Torishige

There is a distiller for gin: Sake Shokudo Toranomon Joryusho (Liquor Restaurant Toranomon Distiller.

I had Mojito, and

Gifu Lavender Gin

If you want to have varieties of bites; this would be a place.

She is a great guide!

She also took me to one of iconic public arts: 10 m high sculpture “Roots” by Jaume Plensa.

Arigato!

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

Local Instant Noodle: Maneki no Ekisoba (Maneki’s Station Soba Noodle), Himeji – City, Hyogo

Nissin is known as a major player of instant noodle maker and its product, Nissin Cup Noodle, is globally loved.

This Nissin produces locally famous and sold instant noodles.

These two are good examples, Maneki no Ekisoba: Kitsune (Fried Tofu) and Tempura (Tempura Waste – Deep Fried Tempura Batter).

Since after the WWII (year 1949), the noodle shop, Manekino innovated and started serving a noodle dish at the Himeji Station that people can enjoy quickly and deliciously by using Chinese style noodle – ramen and Japanese traditional dashi soup.

As same as other instant noodles, take out soup powder and toppings.

Open and put those back in the bowl.

Add water and wait for four minutes for this.

Tempura
Kitaune

Next time, I should try the actual Maneki no Ekisoba at the Himeji Station.

Posted in Art, Daily Life, Feelings, Japanese Culture, Place, Restaurants, Tokyo

New Normal: Reservation for Admission

This is a poster for museum at 21_21 Design Sight, Roppongi, Tokyo.

The exhibition date is extended because the museum was closed for two months.

Furthermore, we need to make a reservation for admission to enter the museum.

Even dining at the restaurant, it’s recommended to make a reservation to secure a seat.

Making a reservation is one of NEW NORMALs.

Posted in Cooking, Family, Feelings, Food, Friends, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Place, Shop, Shopping

Furusato Nozei (Home Town Tax Payment Programme)

In 2014, Japanese government introduced new tax incentive system to support local areas: Furusato Nozei (Home Town Tax Payment Programme).

We can purchase local products and services (hotel stay, experience such as diving, etc) to support the area.

We pay for products and services and the government provides incentives for income tax deduction.

There are few Furusato Nozei service providers such as Satofuru, Furunabi, Department Stores, etc.

This time, I purchase Nama Katsuo no Tataki (lightly roasted bonito) from Katsuura-city, Chiba via Satofuru,

My mother side are originally from Katauura; therefore, YES, I would like to support the city and this has sentimental value for me.

I will purchase more products and services from the areas that I would like to support.

This was my first purchase and I’m glad that I was strongly recommended to use this system to enjoy products and services AND tax deduction.

Posted in Experience, Feelings, Food, Gadget, Place, Restaurants, Shop, Shopping, Tokyo, Work

My First Uber Eats

Boss wanted to treat us McDonald for lunch.

It’s hot outside so he asked me to order delivery.

Well, I want to eat my food when it’s freshly made so I’m not a delivery person.

I rather cook during the Stay Home Period though I crossed many delivery persons then and even now.

I needed to start with downloading the app.

McDonald engages two delivery services: Mc Delivery and Uber Eats.

Since it’s Mc, first, I registered on McDelivery.

When I tried to request for a delivery, I found that our office area is not covered by McDelivery which is understandable because many offices are located in our area, Ginza.

Then I continued registering on Uber Eats.

I received few errors on payment because I wanted to pay by cash but the system only allows payment by credit card which is also understandable because the Uber Eats delivery person might have faced issues on change (small coins).

Finally, I managed to order our food by Uber Eats.

After installing apps and understanding the system, I’m ready to order delivery via apps.

I understand the convenience of service; however, I still want to dine at restaurants or shops, or cooking at home after experiencing it.

Am I an old fashioned person? hahaha

Posted in Feelings, Japanese Culture, Place, Tokyo

Renewing Driver’s License

I supposed to renew my driver’s license this year and I should do it between prior and after one month of my birthday, meaning by 4 April 2020.

At that time, the number of new cases was increasing and I thought going to driver’s license centre where we could expect a large number of visitors is dangerous.

I processed to get an extension for three months for renewing driver’s license.

My deadline became 3 July 2020 after the process.

I thought the three months period would manage the COVID situation, not creating a crowd.

However, I learned that the Samezu Driver’s License Centre (Ota-ku, Tokyo) and other premises were closed till 31 May 2020.

Well, instead of the time solving a problem, it created desperate people to renew the license because of closure of the center!

I waited till very last minutes and asked for a day off to go on weekday on 2 July 2020; hoping there would be less people.

And YES, there were less people at the Samezu Driver’s License Centre and the process went smoothly.

However, I had to sit in two hours lecture due to my record.

My driver’s license became blue and need to come back for renewal in three years.

If you are an excellent driver with no record (which I was for last time), the lecture would be 30 mins and you get a Gold Driver’s License which you don’t need to renew for 5 years – the privilege given to an excellent driver.

I hope I will become an excellent driver (GOLD) again so that I don’t need to sit in 2 hours lecture and I don’t need to come back for 5 years. haaaaa

Posted in Choco-chan, Exercise, Feelings, Food, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Restaurants, Surprise, Tokyo, Travel

Trip to Moto-Hakone

The State of Emergency was lifted; weather is getting nice so decided to go to Moto-Hakone for Onsen (Hot Spring).

Choco found his stay over goods at the entrance so he got excited.

On the way to Moto-Hakone, we stopped to get our lunch and I had my BigMac and Ramune Shake.

Ramune shake (Japanese traditional soda flavored shake) is seasonal and limited menu.

It finishes serving either finishing the ingredients or serving duration.

We arrived Moto-Hakone early so that we stopped at Ashinoko (Ashino Lake).

Some people are enjoying fishing.

I could see a fish, very peaceful.

We checked in at Caro Foresta Moto-Hakone Lucia at 3 pm.

This time, I have chosen a western style room.

There are welcome Onsen Tamago (Hot Spring Boiled Eggs) and cookies for Choco.

These Onsen Tamago were boiled at Ohwakudani: the origin of natural Onsen.

These eggs are also known as good luck because we believe one egg can bring us longer life, 9 years, by eating it.

The air is fresh there.

This hotel is dog friendly and I was busy using facilities for Choco.

First, he exercised at the Dog Run (Dog Playground) at the entrance.

Hakone is famous for Onsen (Hot Spring).

The hotel is equipped with Onsen facility for Choco as well!

He had his first Onsen of his life and it was Iou Onsen (Sulfur based Onsen).

I also dipped myself at Onsen.

After refreshing, I had a nice French for dinner.

All dishes are delicious.

I got so excited when I received the dessert plate!

There is Choco!

After dinner, I took Choco for Indoor Dog Run.

This Indoor Dog Run is opened for 24 hours.

Both of us got tired and slept well.

First thing I did on the next day was dipping in the Onsen.

In the morning, I found a dog greeting me from outside!

I had a nice Japanese breakfast.

After breakfast, I took Choco to the Wood Dog Run.

Again, I took him to the Dog Run at the entrance and Indoor.

The check out time is 11 am; therefore, we rest in the room before checking out.

Choco must have so much fun because he slept in the car on the way back to Tokyo.

I had a big breakfast so I had a late lunch at Misoichi, Nakameguro Shop.

I had a basic Miso Ramen with toppings of corns and butter.

I like it!

After unpacking and resting, went for late quick bite to say hello and congratulate reopening after Stay Home Request to our friend, Sushiya no Goto (Goto’s Sushi Shop), Roppongi.

It’s nice to see smiling face of Taisho (Master) and Mama san (Madam).

I enjoyed Sushi very much after two months!?

It was memorable two days.

Posted in Daily Life, Exercise, Feelings, Health, Japanese Culture, Place, Shop, Shopping, Tokyo

Step 2 for Business and Tokyo Alert

Tokyo Metropolitan Government shifted businesses to Step 2 on Monday, 1 June 2020.

Step 2 allows more businesses to reopen and to operate longer hours.

Gym finally opened on Monday, 1 June 2020; I went on Tuesday, 2 June 2020 after two months.

Gym is also taking counter measures to COVID.

There is a plastic sheet at the reception counter to protect staffs from spread of COVID.

Trainers and trainees need to wear a mask while exercise.

Wipe an equipment with sanitizer after every use.

Placed equipment with enough gap.

Stops providing stone bath service for now.

It’s nice to get a professional guide for exercise.

Then as usual, I visited 100 Yen Shop Can Do for shopping.

I usually buy consumable goods there and my stock became low after two months.

I happily bought 21 products there including masks and a wet tissue.

I was hoping to relax on businesses more by shifting to Step 3.

However, I received a flash news earlier on Tuesday, 2 June 2020 that Tokyo recorded 34 new cases on the day which indicates a peek.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced Tokyo Alert which means the State of Emergency for Tokyo; but didn’t request for closing businesses.

The economy needs to move now; therefore, it remained Step 2 for Business.

However, with Tokyo Alert, people need to be more careful and corporate to voluntarily Stay Home to manage COVID if we want businesses to stay operating.

The State of Emergency, Tokyo Alert, Stay Home, Social Distancing, Step 1, 2 & 3 for Business, the Second Wave, Masks, Sanitizer, etc., these vocabularies remind me we are living in New Normal Society.