Posted in Food, Tokyo, Feelings, Place, Japanese Culture, International Culture, Shop

Tokyo Station Now

Before exiting from JR Tokyo Station, there are small shop lots.

Each of them sell cute and attractive stuffs!

I enjoyed window shoppings there.

Specialized shop for JR Higashi Nihon (East Japan).

Train lovers should stop by to check it out their merchandises.

Across from this shop, there are other specialized shops for traveling, household, lifestyle, food and Japanese traditional products such as chopsticks, towels, etc.

I found portable tea and coffee brewer that I bought as souvenirs from Denmark. (Bottom Shelf)

Wow, these reached to Japan!

These are delicious and recommended to buy.

Posted in Food, Feelings, Place, Friends, Exercise, Travel, Diving, Nature, Restaurants

Hammerhead Sharks at Mikomoto

It’s a season and I had a free Saturday.

I caught an early Shinkansen (bullet train) to go down Mikomoto, Izu Shimoda, Shizuoka.

It’s such a nice day!

I overheard conversation of others and learned that we can view Izu Islands from train window.

At the window, there are shapes of islands that we expect to see from the window.

Could this be Ooshima?

Miyakejima?

8:50 am sharp, I arrived Izu Shimoda Station.

Today, I could see Hammerheads!!!

Big Yeah!!!

At the first dive of today, I saw one but very close by.

At second dive, I saw 6-7 Hammerheads in a group, picture is not clear to identify hammerheads.

For lunch, we went to a beach house.

It was nice and peaceful between two dives as if I were at vacation.

We celebrated at Izakata (Japanese pub) at Izu Shimoda Station to celebrate watching Hammerhead Sharks today.

This time, no stay over; going back to Tokyo.

Though I managed to see Hammerhead sharks not for singular for singular but plural, but now I become more greedy…I want more clear and more more more Hammerhead sharks!!!

Posted in Experience, Feelings, Food, Health, Japan Technology, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Place, Shop, Shopping, Travel, Work

Business Trip to Wakayama (Day 4)

I couldn’t upload on that day, but I think I should share what I experienced in that day.

Well, I was sentimental disabling this view from my window.

Before leaving Wakayama, we had an excursion to learn Japanese technology and culture.

First, we visited Shima Seiki Mfg Ltd.

This company is leading sewing machine in the world which occupies 60% of global market.

The company introduced a whole garment machine to reduce waste by producing a clothing by one single yarn.

The company also introduced 3D design machine to reduce time and cost.

The company has amazing technology, but I’m not allowed to take any photos at the premises.

I received a nice souvenir from them.

Then we visited Nakano BC: brewer of sake, Umeshu (plum wine), shochu (Japanese distilled liquor) and also producer of ume extract as health food.

The company name, BC means Biochemical Creation.

This is my first tour of Umeshu company.

Reserve Tanks

Processing Tanks

This is Sake production tank.

I remember this Sugidama (a ball) as a good luck charm.

However, it has more meaning to it.

It means when it turns green to brown, it means Sake is ready, time to enjoy it.

I tried their plum extract which is so sour!!!

It supposed to supplement improving blood flow, lowering blood pressure, anti-bacteria and many more.

There is a machine to check our blood flow.

I was worried that I might get a negative comments; on the contrary, my blood flow is good! Yeah!

I had a vegetarian lunch at the harbor.

Typhoon 7 wad approaching the area so tides are high.

There is a fish market a d fruit market to enjoy shopping Wakayama delicacies.

Fish market

Fruit Market

I enjoyed staying in Wakayama and would love to come back again!!!

This what I wanted to report the other day…

Posted in Feelings, Food, Friends, Gadget, Health, Movie, Place, Shop, Shopping, Tokyo

Fruitful Sunday

Today, there was a special campaign for Sixpac at Yodobashi Camera Akihabara.

I tried them and I think these are good.

My personal trainer recommend it so let’s give a try.

After lazily exercising, rushed to a movie.

A new theatric movie theater opened at Tokyo Midtown Hibiya.

I watched American Assassin.

I enjoyed it.

After the movie. I had early dinner; enjoying food and gathering.

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

Business Trip to Wakayama (Day 1)

I was frustrated because I could not post my blog: Trip to Bulgaria and Romania (Day 4).

I tried to post again and again but I still failed.

I thought I should post in order so I took a break since then.

I will try to post about my Trip to Bulgaria and Romania when I find time to redo.

Today, I decide to restart my blog.

It is nice to share a small happiness that I find in every day life.

Today, I came to Wakayama to participate in a workshop and forum.

It’s about 4 hours journey by train from Tokyo.

I took a Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka then changed to Tokkyu Kuroshio (Express Kuroshio).

This is my first time to try Tokkyu Kuroshio.

Seats are comfortable.

There is one seater seat.

It took one hour to reach Wakayama from Shin-Osaka.

We visited tourism office, market and historical display area.

Then checked in at Daiwa Roynet Hotels Wakayama.

Yeah, I’ve got a Castle view!

We even walked to the castle.

It was a nice walk.

After visiting the temple, I had nice Japanese dinner with my boss.

Posted in Art, Beauty, Experience, Family, Feelings, Food, Friends, Health, Hotel, International Culture, Music, Place, Restaurants, Shop, Shopping, Travel

Trip to Bulgaria and Romania (Day 4)

Today is the main day of this trip: Rose Festival.

We are scheduled to leave hotel for Kazanlak at 6:45 am; as such, I took a quick breakfast at 5:30 am then Sayonara Plovdiv.

Bulgaria has rich soil so the country’s self efficiency is high.

Bulgaria imports food only during winter.

I can see many farms at the road side.

Kazanlak is famous for production of poppy, lavender and rose.

This is lavender farm, looks nice in purple.

The type of Rose suited for extracting rose oil is Damask Rose.

Bulgarian believes Damask Rose was brought by Thracians.

On the other hand, some claim Damask Rose was brought by Turkish/Ottoman.

This theory is also supported because production of rose oil was industrialized during Ottoman Empire.

Rose requires rich soil, enough sunshine and balanced humidity.

Due to above requirements, roses are commonly planted at winery grape yards to alert soil condition.

To produce 1kg of rose oil, it requires 3,000 roses; 1 drop requires 120 roses.

Once rose oil was traded equally as gold.

No wonder it’s precious.

Rose is national flower of Bulgaria.

This morning, we departed early for rose picking.

It is better to pick roses early morning to keep better/stronger fragrance.

Rose oil is commonly used as one of ingredients for major brands’ perfume to keep lasting fragrance.

Rose oil is also used as an ingredient for cosmetics because of its performance: anti-aging, antibacterial effects, moisturizing and even good for applying insect bites.

It is also used for supplement: kidney stone, constipation, etc.

When we consume rose jam, we need to be easy with it; it might force you to go to toilet often! hahaha

I bought rose oil, hand cream, jam and lokum for myself.

I can enjoy rose picking, shopping and even watching Bulgarian Folk Dance at Ethnographic Complex Damascena, Kazanlak.

Bulgarian Folk Dance and songs.

We moved to the Rose Festival Parade.

This parade started in 1903.

The total population of Kazanlak is about 50,000, but over 100 buses of tourists visit the town for Rose Festival.

They are Queen of Rose.

This parade is heart warming because it is obviously hand-made by local community.

At last, all of us (local people and tourists) dance together.

We had BBQ for lunch,

Drinks are included. Yeah!

After lunch, we visited Shipka Memorial Church, also known as Memorial Temple of the Birth of Christ.

On the way to Veliko Turnovo, we stopped by at one of parking areas to try pure water buffalo yogurt with local honey.

Both yogurt and honey are so rich and delicious that I would recommend to try it.

We arrived Veliko Turnovo and checked in at Hotel Meridian Bolyarski.

It has a tremendous view.

We had dinner at hotel restaurant.

We also enjoyed live music while eating and chatting.

We had a good time at our table.

After dinner, we went for a short walk; this town is very peaceful.

It’s been a long day.

I soaked my body to rose bath to unwind my tired body.

Good night.

Posted in Experience, Family, Feelings, Food, Nature, Place, River, Shop, Shopping, Travel, World Culture

Trip to Bulgaria and Romania (Day 2)

I started my day with a nice simple buffet breakfast.

Ingredients are indeed fresh to enhance a breakfast.

We departed hotel for Rila Monastery.

It is about two hours away from Sofia; therefore, we stopped few places before we reached there.

Rila Mountains

The area is famous for production of cherries.

We stopped at SMALL cherry shop to buy local delicacy.

We also stopped at small town to look for nests of storks.

In Japan, we believe a stork brings a baby to a family and I was told that in Bulgaria, a stork is also a symbol of good luck.

I could see a head of storks at chimneys; how cute!

Then we reached Rila Monastery; it is located over 1000 m from the sea level and opened by Saint Ivan about 960 years ago.

This monastery is the largest and most significant Monastery in Balkan Peninsular.

We are welcomed by Saint Gabriel, Jessica and Saint Michael at the gate.

There was a fire in 19th century to burn all down except the stone tower.

Those days, 500 people served at Rila Monastery, today there are only eight.

Rila Monastery is equipped with 300 bed rooms, a wine cellar, bakery, cheese factory, vegetable farms, kitchen and even library.

Rila Monastery survived during Turkish Yoke by paying taxes because they earned income by selling wine, reads and cheese.

There is a cute little post office.

Wow, this place has everything within the premises.

First, we visited the museum to learn more about the history of Rila Monastery and beautiful crafts of Eastern Orthodox.

This is the tower that survived from a fire in 19th century.

We went outside from another entrance to take a look of Rila River.

Rila means lilac in Bulgarian, but for Rila Monastery, it means the source of water.

Rila River

The Virgin Mary’s Church.

The church is nicely decorated by frescoes.

With no exception, these beautiful frescoes made the monastery famous.

There are significant frescoes.

For example, the judgement day: there is a door to the heaven and a path to the hell.

I found the Virgin Mary and her son (Jeasus).

I had trout for lunch at the river side restaurant.

I had my trout with Bulgarian local beer and cherry juice.

A bottle of Rila Water was provided to each of us so I happily took it back for my own consumption!

Again, food is simple, but I enjoy its simple ness.

After lunch, we visited another UNESCO World Heritage: Boyana Church (1979).

The first section was built in 11th century; the second extension was built in 13th century; the last (third) section was built in 19th century.

We can see the period clearly from the side of church.

The door to enter into church is made by wood (surface) and steel (inner) in 14th century though the building was built in 19th century.

The entrance is small to make us naturally humble to bow before entering.

Boyana Church became famous because of frescoes – so emotional.

It is very unfortunate that I won’t be able to share how beautiful these frescos are.

This was the last sightseeing spot of the day.

We returned hotel for dinner.

We enjoyed buffet dinner at the terrace.

After good laughs, time to hit bed!