Posted in Art, Beauty, Driving, Feelings, Food, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Music, Nature, Place, Restaurants, Travel

Peaceful Town: Matsuzaka, Nishi-Izu

I immediately line this town.

Crab on the street.

Foot Bath

Old fashion building with Namako Kabe (Sea Cucumber Wall).

Nice dinner at Shinsai Kuon.

Be careful with Wasabi Edamame (Wasabi young Soy Beans). It really hit you.

All others are also nice.

There was an antique cashier that can work today.

There is a traditional post.

And this is my BGM for a night.

It’s not far from Tokyo; It takes 3:30 hrs.

It’s worth coming

Posted in Art, Feelings, Japanese Culture, Place, Shop, Shopping, Travel

Short Trip to Kyoto (Day 1)

Last week, I visited Kyoto.

First, I visited Galerie Tamenaga.

Mr. Kiyoshi Tamenaga, the owner, has four galeries: Ginza (Tokyo), Osaka, Paris (France) and recently opened Kyoto.

In Kyoto, he refurbished a traditional Japanese moromi (mash / unrefined sake) factory to a galerie for young artists.

The owner welcomes us to visit the galerie just to enjoy admiring paints and the building.

I enjoyed exchanging impressions of each paints with Mr. Kiyoshi Tamenaga.

The building itself is the art.

I found Shoki san (Mr. Shoki) who protects us from evils, bad lucks and illness on the roof; I felt safe.

I will continue more on next blog.

To be continued….

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This steel bridge was originally made by wood, then, reinforced by wooden beams.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 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 Books & Magazines, Cooking, Family, Feelings, Food, Health, Japanese Culture, Tokyo, Travel

Supposed to be Tokyo Olympics’ Opening Ceremony Day

It’s Japanese National Holiday, Health and Sports Day, today which I believe it was created for Tokyo Olympics.

It supposed to be Tokyo Olympics 2020 Opening Ceremony Day today.

It was National Holiday, Ocean Day, yesterday making this weekend long (4 days) .

I thought the town would be crowded with visitors and I would be glued on TV.

Japanese government launched Go to Travel Programme on 22 July 2020 to stimulate tourist industry by excluding Tokyo residences.

The government subsidies traveling cost for transportation, accommodation and coupons to use in the visited area.

However, the policy is changing even after launching.

On the other hand, the number of new case is shooting, recording 366 in Tokyo yesterday.

And the number increased not only in Tokyo but also other areas such as Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and many more.

All governors are worried after this long weekend coz many people are traveling with Go To Travel Programme

I’m enjoying long weekend with my niece and we don’t mind to stay in because we haven’t seen since New Year due to the COVID and we have so many things to do!

We’ve been playing games by creating and changing game rules.

I want her to eat healthy so I try to cook as many as I can and she volunteered to help me making dumpling!

We are having so much fun staying in!

I’m not qualified for Go To Travel Programme and it’s better to avoid crowd.

We decided to stay in but we are having so much fun!

I’ve never thought we would spend Olympics Opening Ceremony Day like this.

I like how I’m spending today though it’s different from what I imagine last year – being with family.

Stay Safe!

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 Beauty, Choco-chan, Daily Life, Feelings, Flower, Food, Health, Japanese Culture, Shop, Shopping, Tokyo, Travel, Work

Work From Home

Yesterday, Prime Minister Abe announced a plan to declare the State of Emergency for One Month (8 April – 6 May 2020) on today, 7 April 2020 for following prefectures:

Tokyo Kanagawa Saitama Chiba Osaka Hyogo Fukuoka

JPY 108 trillion Economic Measure etc

By reflecting case records.

Tokyo alone recorded as follows:

117 cases (4 April 2020)
145 cases (5 April 2020)
83 cases (6 April 2020)

We cannot identify the source for about 90% of cases.

My office has decided to work from home today and tomorrow.

This declaration is still requesting bases for self-restraint and doesn’t have any legal enforcement such as an arrest or fine.

Essential services will continue to operate.

We can still go out freely to supermarkets, convenient stores, drug stores, even office as need it.

I don’t have any Corona Tsukare (Corona Depression) because I’ve been commuting office every weekdays and I also had few Corona Sokai (Corona Evacuations) on weekends to enjoy fresh air when premises in Tokyo closed for weekends.

In Roppongi alone, two major shopping complex, Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown Roppongi, closed last two weekends.

Events for Ohanami (Sakura viewing) are cancelled not to create the cluster.

I don’t feel suffocated by Jishuku (self-restrain) or no social life (gyms have been closed, flower arrangement classes have been cancelled/rescheduled, of course no dinner/lunch appointments, etc).

However, I’ve been feeling uncomfortable commuting to office by taking public transportation, subway.

These trains/subways cross other state of emergency prectures (states) such as Kanagawa (Yokohama), Chiba and Saitama.

I won’t have enough distance among other passengers.

It’s not crowded as rush hour train but we are about 50 cm apart or even next each other if I take a seat. (Ooops, I didn’t think of this).

And they are all strangers.

Do we need to take a risk…?

I expressed my worries to my boss because my job can be conducted at home.

Though the declaration of the state of emergency is effective 8 April 2020, the situation is serious now.

I’m happy that I’m free from the stress of catching public transportation today and tomorrow.

I’ve been cheering me up by putting springy nail colours.

Mirage & Day Dream

Walk in a park with Choco for his walk and Ohanami.

Nonetheless, I’m excited to work from home.

I woke up as usual.

Since I can save commuting time, I took a bath to increase my body temperature to enhance immune system.

Started detoxing

Two Carrots and One Apple

Brewed coffee for starting work.

My father gave me a voucher for Starbucks which validated till 13 April 2020.

I went to Starbucks last weekend but three Starbucks that I visited were closed.

I believe Starbucks might extend the validation date, but I was hesitated to go through the process or even to request for it.

Starbucks was opened yesterday so I bought a French Roast Coffee beans.

I received complementary drink, Kenya and sample of Columbia.

I brewed Columbia and I should start working. hahaha

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.