Posted in Action, Beauty, Choco-chan, Experience, Feelings, Food, Health, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Restaurants, River, Tokyo, Travel, Waterfalls

Memorable Weekend

First I went to Utsunomiya, Tochigi.

This town is known for Gyoza (fried Chinese dumpling).

In fact, this is my first time to try Utsunomiya Gyoza at Utsunomiya.

There is Gyoza Dori (Gyoza Street).

There are many Gyoza specialized shops and Ramen (Japanized Chinese style noodle) and Gyoza restaurants.

The lamp is also in shape of Gyoza.

I queued and had my Gyoza at Goku, Gyoza Dori, Utsunomiya, Tochigi.

Niku (Meat) Gyoza and Jumbo Gyoza

Then proceeded to Nikko, Tochigi.

In Nikko, visited Kegon no Taki (Kegon Fall).

Today, there is a lift to go down to watch Kegon no Taki in front of it.

It’s very cold there and we can still see some snow.

We drove by Chuzenji-ko (Chuzenji Lake) and enjoyed the view from window.

Recently, we enjoyed warm temperature and suddenly its temperature dropped; therefore, we could see some steam from lake which makes lake look more scenic and mysterious.

We drove through woods on the way to Oku-Nikko, also very scenic.

We drove farther and reached Sengokugahara (wetland) where believed God of Mountain conducted battles.

There is another lake, Yuko (Yu Lake) at the entrance of Oku-Nikko area.

We finally reached Oku-Nikko Kogen Hotel.

We can stay this nice Washitsu (Japanese style room) together with Choco.

I went to dip in onsen (hot spring) before dinner.

There are two sections: Lower (bigger) and Upper (smaller).

Both equipped with indoor and outdoor/open-air bath.

Upper
Lower

It’s cold there; so that dipping in Onsen felt really nice.

I became thirsty after dipping in onsen so I enjoyed drinking cold Wakimizu (spring water).

After getting some rest, we had dinner with local sake made for Oki-Nikko Kogen Hotel.

I went to futon (Japanese style bed) early.

Next morning, I woke up with a surprise.

According to weather forecast, it predicted snow in Kanto region.

However, in few days, we will welcome April – Spring.

There could be some snow but I didn’t expect it to be thick.

Well, I was wrong….

It continued snowing and no sign of weakening.

I became panic because I came with normal tyres, not snow tyres.

To calm myself down, I went for morning dip.

It was still early and there were no one.

I supposed not to take any photos at the bath, but it was so romantic.

Quickly got ready and went to breakfast.

There are many varieties of food and there is an egg and bacons in the pot.

Continued monitoring snow and consulted hotel staffs who are local; well, I had to make a hard decision – abundant my car.

I think we made a wise decision because snow is thick and we surely could not drive through these windy roads: Irohazaka.

Reached Tobu Nikko Eki (Station) by hotel free shuttle bus.

Then Took train, Spacia, back to Asakusa, Tokyo.

Choco behaved his best on train.

I had a rich vanilla ice cream on the train while looking at these sceneries.

It’s scary but breath taking sceneries.

We cannot underestimate nature; I safely returned home.

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

Kainomi, Kanda, Tokyo

I went to quick bite at Kainomi, Kanda, Tokyo, specialized restaurant for Shell.

Basically, it’s a standing bar but I had the only table.

It’s reasonable and delicious.

It has casual dining atmosphere.

What interested me is that we need to make our own drink including simple cocktail such as Highball (whisky and Soda).

Again, food is delicious and VERY economical.

Kanda is known as downtown and this friend of mine is good at discovering a new restaurant.

Cheers and Yammy♪

Posted in Diving, Exercise, Experience, Feelings, Food, Friends, Hotel, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Restaurants, Shop, Shopping, Tokyo, Travel, WordPress

Trip to Miyakojima, Okinawa (Continued)

When I tried to post numerous photos and videos on my diving trip to Palau, the system was jammed.

I noticed WordPress upgraded the system recently and perhaps, I might not face the problem.

Nonetheless, I’m posting other matters on my trip to Miyakojima, Okinawa on this post.

On previous post, I mainly shared about under water matters.

Now I would like to share on over (!?) water matters.

There are many more activities on the ship.

While we are resting between divings, some divers were enjoying fishing.

As a result, they caught Ika (squids)

And Gurukun (Bananafish).

Gurukun is popular Okinawan fish that we can find it easily on the menu of restaurants.

However, to serve in sashimi (raw), it has to be super fresh.

We have to eat it in 10 mins after catching it.

Therefore, this is the only way to try the taste: on the ship!

You might easily guess that both Ika and Gurukun were super delicious!

While we are moving to next point of diving spot, we met dolphins and manta.

I could catch manta’s fin by my eyes but not able to by my camera because it blended in to waves.

If you are lucky, you can also see dolphins and manta.

We had lunch on the ship over looking ocean.

This place is famous for its clearness and colour!

Lunch was nice; these are all home made cooked dishes

We also enjoyed food and activities in town.

Nice local food and local music at Bunmya.

We had Awamori (distill made of Thai rice which contains 35 – 40 percent alcohol) and local beer, Orion.

The store taught us local way of enjoying Awamori – with canned black coffee.

To our surprise, it’s so nice!!

The musician sang with Sanshi (Okinawan local guitar).

He plays a traditional music instrument, but he rocked the place!

My body started moving automatically!

The next day, Deiriguchi.

We asked other diving mates to join us for dinner and we enjoyed drinking, eating and laughing together.

Yes, we had fried Gurukun (right bottom corner) as well.

The final night, we had our dinner at Yakiniku Inkazi (BBQ Inkazi).

We tried different Awamori every night: Tyumya, Kuon, Ryukyu Ocho, etc.

Every night, despite how full we were, we returned to the Steak House Leon to end our day.

The last day, we woke up late lazily.

We even had our breakfast at our room. hahaha

Since our body was tired from 3-day diving.

We went for massage at Hogushi-Ya (Unwinding House).

After unwinding our body, we went to Steak House Leon for last visit.

I’m gonna miss this…

Then I walked the street for looking for a souvenir.

The place, Miyakojima is famous for production of salt and found a salt specialized shop, Maasuya.

I enjoyed soft cream (ice cream) with free flavored salt.

I bought souvenirs from this shop.

However, I noticed I’ve been to this shop by looking at their products but in Azabu-Juban in Tokyo.

The sales lady happily reported to me that the company has a satellite shop in Azabu-Juban.

I bought souvenirs that I could buy in neighbor. Ahhhhh

Well, good prodicts should be accepted at any markets anyway.

However, sadly I learned the satellite shop in Tokyo will close on 15 March 2020.

The last thing we did before heading to airport is to cross Irabu Ohashi (Irabu Big Bridge) which we crossed under it every morning.

It’s 3,540 m long bridge to connect Miyakojima and IrabuJima.

It’s longest bridge in Japan for free access.

In terms of length, it is fourth longest bridge in Japan after Aqua Line (4,384 m), Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi (3,911 m) and Kansai Kuko Renrakubashi (Kansai Airport Connecting Bridge: 3,750 m).

I believe I’ve done all what I could do in Miyakojima.

I would like to thank my friend to plan and reserve nice restaurants and n advance so that we won’t miss out any good food and time together.

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

Trip to Miyakojima, Okinawa

Monday, 24 February 2020 was a Japanese national holiday in observance of replacement of New Emperor’s Birthday on Sunday, 23 February 2020.

I took few more days off to go to Miyakojima, Okinawa from 21 – 25 February 2020.

There is a direct flight from Haneda Airport to Miyakojima which takes three hours to my surprise – three hours…

I look forward to use the lounge for domestic flight and I thought we are going to have a bite there.

However, I was informed that there aren’t any food.

When I reached at Haneda Airport, I spotted Mac Donald and suddenly I had a craving for Sausage Egg Muffin, regular Mac Breakfast.

Nonetheless, we stopped at ANA Lounge.

It’s time for boarding.

This is when we realized the flight takes three hours.

The distance must be almost same as reaching to Guam…?

Another world, I could go to overseas with three hours flight.

Today, ANA briefs flight safety in Kabuki (Japanese traditional play) Style.

As you can see, we are not provided an individual screen.

We need to be creative to enjoy flight entertainment which I failed to do so by forgetting to bring my head set for iPhone X.

We are finally approaching to Miyakojima, Okinawa.

It takes two hours to the capital city of Okinawa, Naha, meaning Miyakojima is located much farther.

Once we reached Miyakojima, we checked in at Coral Island Hotel.

We unpacked and waited for other friend from Osaka to join us for dinner.

Unfortunately, this nice Okinawan and Miyakojima local food restaurant, Bocha Tatsuya doesn’t allowed to take any photos of food.

I took some photos for my memory but sorry, I should not post any to respect the restaurant.

This restaurant is must go to enjoy delicious local Miyakojima food.

Despite enjoying various Miyakojima local food, we followed the Okinawan custom – eat steak for last meal of the day.

We went to famous Steak House Leon for a steak and local beer, Orion.

Please remember we just had various dishes and we even emptied two bottles of Awamori (distill made of Thai rice which contains 30 – 45 percent alcohol) at the restaurant.

However this is what each of us had after good food. hahaha

The hotel provides us simple breakfast such as bread, egg or yogurt and drink (tea, coffee, milk and water).

I could enhance it by buying salad and yogurt myself but I’ve been having nice dinner so these are sufficient.

We engaged Aqua Story for three-day diving (3 dives x 3 days).

We passed famous Irabu Ohashi (Irabu Big Bridge) every day.

The diving spots for Miyakojima are famous for Chikei (landscape).

We dive through a hole, looking at cracks and shape of rocks and how sun light reaches at the bottom of ocean.

Sometimes we go up to surface and dive back to return.

Posted in Action, Diving, Exercise, Experience, Feelings, Food, Friends, Hotel, Nature, Place, Restaurants, Shop, Shopping, Surprise, Travel

Trip to Palau

I was absent from Word Press but there are so many things that I wanted to post.

Sorry, I was too tired. hahaha

I took days off from 31 January – 5 February 2020 to go to Palau for diving.

I haven’t dived for a while so surely I was excited.

Unfortunately, the direct flight between Narita and Palau by Delta is no longer in service.

We took United to Guam and change flight.

I didn’t know it was preferred to obtain ESTA (electric VISA for the US) for transit at Guam.

We need to go through immigration to exit and re-enter at Guam.

I busily registered myself but I received a notice that it will take two days to process it.

I needed the internet access and rushed to the gate.

Hoping application would be processed by the time we reached to Guam.

I continued to register for others till losing internet connection before departure.

My seat was facing back so I could have a clear view of airplanes heading for runway

And taking off.

I purchased inflight internet access for an hour to complete registration for ESTA for friends.

I’ve done what we could do at that time.

I had Loco Moco for inflight lunch.

I thought the way serving lemon tea is cute.

Now landing to Guam.

Unfortunately, ESTA wasn’t approved by the time we landed.

However, we were informed by a flight attendant that we could queue at the line for ESTA holder for transit.

We exited and re-entered.

We had good four hours to connecting flight.

We chatted over drinks and light snacks.

United’s flight video is collaborated with Star Wars!!!

This might be showing at previous flight but I was too busy registering ESTA so I’m might have missed it. hahaha

I had sandwich for inflight meal.

It looks simple yet nice.

The person next to me placed her arm on my inflight monitor controller so I could not view anything.

When I managed to press it while she moved her arm but later she placed her arm to change the channel. Sigh

She was watching Japanese movie with English subtitle so I watched her screen.

It was less than 2 hour flight but I felt it longer…

I didn’t know that Palau is stop over for this flight and this continued to Manila.

I had to walk over two passengers to exit. Ahhhhh

Finally, we arrived at Palau and the Penthouse Hotel in Koror.

The internet connection is superb and WCTC shopping center is nicely located in few minutes walk away.

The hotel provides blue beach towel at the counter.

The next day we had a breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

For the next day, we bought breakfast at the supermarket at WCTC such as anpan (red bean bread), yogurt and orange juice for breakfast.

We departed for diving shop, Cruse Control.

Nice staffs looked after us.

I decided to take a license for NITROX this time.

We came to Palau in early February, especially new moon for spawning season for Tsunodashiuo (Moorish Idols).

If we are lucky we could see over few hundreds even thousand Moorish Idols in a group.

We dived mainly at Blue Corner where we can expect many various fish and of course Moorish Idols.

To my surprise there are many sharks swimming under a group of Moorish Idols.

I didn’t know sharks are not good at hunting.

Therefore, a shark targets Moorish Idols when they become weak at the spawning season.

Unfortunately; they swim deeper than us and light won’t reach them so it’s not clear on the photo.

However, these shadows indicate sharks and you would know there are MANY.

We were lucky that we managed to watch Moorish Idols at most of our dives.

We also watched other fish.

Can you find a fish?

And at the German Channel, we also caught Mantas!

I even watched Manta Train!

However, I noticed there is limited capacity for one post.

I will post the movie of Manta Train on the different post.

Sayonara Koror, Sayonara Moorish Idols!

These are lunch that I had on the boat.

And at the shop.

After 14 dives over 3.5 days, I joined a half day trip to Shell Island and Jelly Fish Park for snorkeling which is operated by Antelope.

Shell Island and also called Inoki Island.

Japanese retired Professional wrestler, Inoki has a property here.

It’s Shell Island because there are Shakogai (Giant Clams).

And some fish

The next is the major destination… heading for Jelly Fish Park!!!!

When I visited Palau in 2017, Jelly Fish Park was closed because of death of Jelly Fish due to global warming.

It was so much fun!

There are so many of jelly fish and these are harmless to touch!

Every night, we had nice food such as Thai, Indian and Sushi for supper.

On the last night, we and staffs of diving shop gathered to have a party at Italian restaurant.

Our departure flight was at 3:35 am, I slept through the returned flights.

I remember having breakfast only. hahaha

Posted in Exercise, Feelings, Food, Friends, Golf, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Mt. Fuji, Nature, Place, Restaurants, Travel

Christmas Golf

My friend arranged Christmas Golf at Satsuki Golf Club Kanuma Course.

I caught 6:50 am subway for Kita Senju Station to catch Tobu Express Kegon 5 (Departing Kita Senju Station at 7:42am); this train reaches far as Nikko, a nice UNESCO heritage place.

The uniqueness of this train is it’s entrance is located at platform of other line.

I enjoyed peaceful Winter views from the window.

There are many ducks.

Mountains with snow.

I even spotted Mt. Fuji!

Mountains can be seen clear and closer.

Kegon 5

The club bus will wait for us at Shin Kanuma Station.

We checked in at the club and got ready.

Today, we can drive in the cart in the course; yeah, we can save energy!

It was nice weather, sunshine without cold wind.

I enjoyed the first half; then I had a Genghis Khan, Mongolian Style mutton BBQ for lunch.

I played okay for a player who hasn’t played for nearly two years (Score: 95).

After the game, we quickly took a bath to catch a club bus back to Shin Kanuma Station.

We went to our usual place, Micchan for after game party and Bonenkai (Year End Gathering).

We wanted to continue chatting, eating and drinking but we had a train to catch.

We continued on the train.

We even stopped at Kita Senju Station to further continued.

I had a good laugh with my friends so I could conclude that my Christmas was ver Merry.

Posted in Art, Family, Feelings, Food, Japan Technology, Place, Restaurants, Tokyo

Santa Hunting

First, we visited the exhibition organized by Fuji Film at Tokyo Midtown Roppongi: Merry Many Santa Clauses.

There are Merry Many Santas!

Even enjoying summer by wearing swimming suits. hahaha

Then we found Fuji Film currently conducts a stamp rally for Fuji Film’s Instax magnets.

My niece loves to participate in stamp rally therefore we went to look for another stamp stand.

While we searching for a stamp, we reached to Infinity Santa booth.

There are many Santas in a booth for us to take pictures with them.

I’m taking this photo from the side but if we stand at the center of the booth to take photos, we would be nicely surrounded by Santas.

There is a trick; inside of booth is covered by mirrors to create Infinity Santa!

Finally, we found a stamp stand,

We successfully collected one.

We had our Christmas cake together.

It’s not necessary to place candles for Christmas cake but there are some candles from past birthday cakes so I just placed them.

It looks more merry, right?

Merry Christmas!