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 Exercise, Feelings, Food, Friends, Golf, Japanese Food, Place, Restaurants, River, Shop, Shopping, Tokyo, Travel

Shopping Weekend

Yesterday, on Saturday, 9 March 2019, I went to Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi, Tokyo to buy golf shirts and a hat for my friend in overseas.

To my surprise, these golf wears by Leonard Sports Paris are mainly produced for Japan market and only available in few areas in Asia.

It was fun shopping on behalf. hahaha

On Sunday, 10 March 2019, I went to Osaka to meet my friend from Malaysia.

I hopped on Shinkansen (bullet train) in the morning and went to Osaka.

We met up at Nanba and had our lunch.

We walked Dotonbori area and decided to have grilled seafood at Isomaru Suisan Dotonbori, Osaka.

Perhaps, I looked helpless; it was so nice having someone cooking for us!

We had a big lunch but no worries; we started walking for shopping!

We took few selfie at Dotonbori (Dotonbori River), Osaka.

We continued shopping at Shinsaibashi Suji Shotemgai (Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade).

We stopped at Daiso (100 yen shop), 3Coins+Plus (300 yen shop), etc.

There are many foreign tourists to shop; therefore, the choice of products, especially for Japanese Souvenirs are good and many!

Starbucks is popular among us.

Many beautiful seasonal Sakura designed tumblers and cups are available.

I checked the merchandise before in Tokyo.

There are many choices like shown in below photos.

But when we visited the first Starbucks of today, there are only few Sakura design merchandises available.

Other designs are all sold out at that shop.

I became panic because I wanted to get one for my dear friend.

We looked for other Starbucks – Starbucks Shinsaibashi BIG, America Mura (American Village), Shinsaibashi, Osaka – and found the design that she wants.

Luckily, I found it!

Today, merchants finish fast because the purchasing power of foreign tourists is so great.

I was in panic so I bought it, though I’m in Osaka.

Then made me wanting to have one for myself so that we can be twins. hehehe

Starbucks became a great shopping place for us.

Time was running out for me; I had to catch the Shinkansen back to Tokyo.

But we had another destination for shopping: Daimaru Department Store Shinsaibashi, Osaka.

My friend wanted to get something nice for her bosses who fought for her so that she can take this training programme in Osaka.

It’s so sweet of her.

But time is ticking…I helped her to decide souvenirs but I ran out time to accompany her to get tax refund.

Japan is safe and systematic.

I guided her and left for Shin-Osaka Eki (Shin Osaka Station) to catch my Shinkansen back to Tokyo.

I managed to reach Shin-Osaka to catch my Shinkansen.

I’m heading back to Tokyo.

I had a good time with my friend.

We laughed and exercised well.

You know women don’t mind to walk around and around the store.

I needed a crazy fun like this to get a break.

Posted in Art, Experience, Family, Feelings, Flower, Food, Place, River, Sunrise and Sunset, Travel

Trip to Egypt (Day 2 Part 1)

We took a domestic flight to Luxor.

When we arrived Cairo at 3:50 am, it was dark; therefore, I couldn’t see the city.

Now it’s 6:15 am and we can see the city of Cairo clearly.

And sunrise.

We see houses in desert.

I enjoyed juice and cookies on the flight.

And these are also written in Arabic.

I enjoyed views from plane.

The landscape is breath taking and reminded me of Grand Canyon.

These landscapes might have created by Great Nile River.

We can clearly witness bless from Nike River; so rich and green.

This is town of Luxor.

And we landed Luxor International Airport after one hour journey.

I’m glad to know that my suitcase also arrived Luxor International Airport with me.

I started sightseeing in Luxor.

First visited Karnak Temple.

There are mini Sphinx to receive us.

There are few theories for construction method of gates.

These sands/rocks support one of theories that old Egyptians made a slope to build higher.

This is a papyrus columns.

There are a total of ten papyrus columns on two sides to be lined symmetry.

There is a section with 134 papyrus columns..

These used to be painted in nice colours.

After walking through Papyrus Columns; there are two Obelisks.

There is one wall full of Hieroglyph.

These are nice views of the Obelisk.

At the back, there is a road leading to Luxor Temple which is under the repair.

Sacred Pond

There is a Scarab.

According to the guide, if we walk around the Scarab reverse clock wise for three times, it will being good luck, but this matter is not written on the Scarab.

Nonetheless, I walked to wish for good luck. hahaha

It has been a long day because after landing in Cairo, we continued sightseeing.

I will continue the second half day in next blog.

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!

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!

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 Exercise, Experience, Feelings, Food, Nature, Place, River, Surprise, Travel

Trip to the US (Day 6)

I returned to Tokyo.

I wanted to upload my adventure every day/night, but the US is huge; I was at deserted area where internet connection isn’t good.

It took me hours to connect to internet disabling to sleep…and some photos are not uploaded properly – I can view them on my iPhone, but not on my iPad…hummmm

Sorry, I decided to sleep to enjoy my events on Day 6 of My Trip to the US; I needed enough sleep and energy.


Changed to Hummer to drive sandy off-road and walk to the White Pocket.

Unfortunately, we cannot reach there with this Car which is cute and talks.


We need to walk a distance after getting off the car.


It’s hot and dry; need to drink water frequently to avoid dehydration. 


Some rocks have the name.

This is called Brain Rock – hahaha.

Close relook for verification.

This area was elevated at Jurrasic period, about 200 million years ago.

The formation is unique and beautiful.



Originally sands/rocks are in red due to iron.


Rain and it’s water flows (rivers) which can become 1.5 m depth wash off iron and creats white pockets.

Imaging, cows to drink water from white pockets after rain.


We ate lunch (sandwich) at the shadow that we can find there – the place is rocky.

By the way, called Turtle Rocks because rocks look like back of turtle.



The view from our lunch place was nice, but we spotted a serious wildfire in Utah. 


After lunch, we walked to admire the area and rocks.

Rolly Pop Rock – I would name it Layered Cake or Rainbow Ice Cream.



Once again, the place is unique and beautiful.



It takes 2.5 hours to reach the White Pocket from Kanab, Utah by Hummer (4WD).

And we need to walk under heat.

This is why I decided to take sleep.


After a great adventure, we departed Kanab, Utah for Las Vegas, Nevada.

Drove through the Zion National Park on the way to Vegas.

At Zion, we also enjoy looking at unique and beautiful rocks.

The Checkerboard Mesa.


A Birthday Cake?


West Temple and East Temple


The Arch.


And other beautiful rocks.




After enjoying the Mother Earth Nature, arrived CITY – Las Vegas.



Stayed at the Monte Carlo Hotel.




Dinner is buffet.

Hotel encourages to walk Casino to reach a restaurant.

Well, food is nice.


After dinner, went out for a quick walk because I spotted my Hard Rock Cafe!




The city doesn’t sleep; there are many people speaking different languages on the street at late night.