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Photography Travel

Otaru Throwback

Thought – for a change is to post a colored photo! This is a photo from Otaru in June last year. Nothing special about this photo, just thought that I needed some color views 😀

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Photography Travel

Hanoi At Night

Hanoi is a lively city.

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Photography Travel

Trappist Monastery

It has been quite a long while since I last posted on this blog. It has been quite a roller coaster as I was very busy with work (aka finding the dough to fund my ridiculous trips!).

Trappist Monastery is one of the attraction in Hakodate. I was expecting to see a lot more but I realised that I could only see it from the outside. In fact, this is up and running monastery – thus there are no visitors that are able to have access into it. I was imagining different types of photos from the movies, but I guess I have to make do with what’s out there!

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Travel

Cafe Hunting – Blue Bottle Aoyama

One of the joy in life is to go cafe hunting whenever you are on holiday. This morning I woke up quite late – as I was extremely tired from the major flight screw up on Sunday. I lost a whole day of walking and a seat in first class. So this morning, instead of having coffee around my hotel, I decided to go and have coffee in one of the nice cafes. I do have a list from my friend but it seems to that the place that I wanted to go was closed!

So – googling around and found Blue Bottle not too far. Quick walk and wow, managed to find the place. Pretty nice looking place indeed. Didn’t expect the coffee shop to be this nice. I’ve been to blue bottle before and bought a whole bunch of coffee beans and latte. It was awesome. And the queue was pretty looooong indeed. This morning – it was great.

So this morning I had a small lot Guatemalan coffee – single origin drip. Pretty nice flavour. Not too strong, not too sour. Just nice and clean! Love it. Now I am deciding whether I want to bring any coffee beans back today or not. Maybe I’ll buy a bag or two or three. So that in case I don’t have time – I still have some coffee!

Also – to pair with my coffee is toast with poach egg. Something simple. Didn’t bother to eat anything fancy. But one thing for sure in Japan – their toast are just awesome. In my mind – I always think if I should just get my bread supplies from Japanese bakery like Sun Moulin. Then again – I should be cutting in carbs and not be consuming too much bread.

Ok then… to end this post. Just a view of of my sloppy travel look…

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Fun Posts Travel

Cremia – The Best Soft Serve in The World

I have eaten many types of ice cream in the past – this is despite family history of diabetes. Not that I could not care less, but sometimes in life we need to have some indulgence. In fact – I have been cutting down my sugar tremendously because of family history. I don’t take sugar with my coffee nor I take any sodas or desserts unless its a cheat meal. My sugar intake is down to the milk in my coffee.

Back to the topic of the blog, Cremia. If anybody were to go to Japan. I will always recommend them to have Cremia. Creamia is a soft serve that is sold by this company called Nissin. The soft serve is result of many years of research (I assume) to find what is the best balance of creaminess and taste. It is something that I will eat over and over and over again.

In my last trip to Japan – which was a month long trip, I did pace myself because I didn’t want to get myself overloaded with sugar. I probably had about 5-6 of the ice cream. And I must say – I did enjoy each and every piece of the ice cream. The creaminess and texture – combined with the eloquent taste, just reminds you of what are the best things in life that you can indulge on.

I would fully recommend anybody to go and have this ice cream. Its just amazing.

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In fact, Business Insider almost made a feature on Creamia. It has landed in LA. What I heard is that the ice cream also is now available in Bangkok! Time to spend some time in Bangkok!

Oh yeah – one thing that I need to say is that even the cone is different. It is one of those butter wafer type that is heavenly. Goes extremely well with the ice cream!

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You can read more about it here!

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Fun Posts Travel

Blue Bottle Coffee@Tokyo

I am definitely a coffee addict and I have 3 types espresso machine from this site at home to prove it. Looking at the amount coffee that I consume – I do spend a lot of money on coffee. When I was in Japan – I did go to Starbucks almost every single morning because they do have very good brewed coffee – or Coffee Of The Day. Same goes when I got back to Malaysia – I continue to have brewed coffee whenever I have time to get a cup of Joe early in the morning. As I am an early bird – most definitely it is almost like a daily affair. One thing about brewed coffee, it gotta be fresh off the brew otherwise it will taste like shit.

Now back to blue bottle. I have never heard of them before, but on the last day, while chilling by the roadside waiting for the time when I need to go to take my train to Narita, I saw this coffee shop near Shinjuku. So many people were queueing up for it. So I could not help it but to google for the brand – Blue Bottle. I couldn’t help it but to see this article.

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So – I quickly pack up and rush. Thank god – the queue was not so bad then (so I think). What I did not know what that the queue was just for the order, and then you had to wait while they make your coffee. It was a good 15 mins before I had my coffee. Anyway – the coffee was really good I must say. One of the best that I’ve tasted in Japan. I will definitely come here again. I also got a chocolate saffron cookie. Oh emmm geee. It was so good.

Here are some of the photos that I took while waiting for my coffee.

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Travel

Tokyo from the Top

I am missing Japan to be honest – it has been almost 4 weeks since I am back from Japan. Here is one of the best photo I shot with my phone. It was shot using my iPhone X 🙂

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The view is from Tokyo Tower. Its not that far from the city centre, but all things considered – it was a long journey. There are a lot of things you can do in Tokyo Tower but I guess for me given that I am on tight budget, I just do what I think I need, which is to see Tokyo from the Top.

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I could not resist but do this ideating shot of “touching” the tip of the tower. Its wasn’t easy given that I was trying to adjust the camera and my hand. Clearly my hand-eye coordination is extremely bad. Very bad indeed.

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The photo above is one that really making feel like pissing in my pants. I have a severe fear of height. To be honest even with the “safe” environment – I am really scared of that.

Anyway – if you do go to Japan, Tokyo specifically – do visit Tokyo Tower. On a good day, you can see Mount Fuji 🙂

 

#30 days posting challenge – Day 5 out of 30

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Travel

Nara – Mochi Making at Nakatanidou

After spending time in Hiroshima – I then head to Osaka to revisit places where I used to eat – like Kuromon Market. One of the main thing that I wanted to do in Osaka is to take a day trip to Nara, which is not so far from Osaka. Apart from looking at deers (yes there were a lot of deers), and there were instances in which the deers were harassing me because I was holding some food. They were very smart I must say!

But the cool part about Nara in which I have seen many videos were the mochi making. I am definitely fascinated and I must say taking the photo below really made my trip to Nara worth it!

Timing for this was extremely perfect! The action, the faces – its just amazing. I love it. In fact to add to that, here is the video!

I must say – I did hogged the whole show, because I was sitting and observing the guys inside the window, and suddenly they decided to open the sliding door and start their show!

This was the result. It was warm and soft. Really awesome. Note that the warmness is due to the massive pounding. The taste was really brought up by the … sweat? no? who cares. It was damn good. One of the best mochi I ever had. Honestly 🙂

I also took the opportunity to eat some local Nara food in this quaint restaurant. Not sure the name, but the food was good.

I would totally recommend people to go to Nara. But to choose the right time because there were so many of Chinese tourist at that time. Note that when I was in Nara, it was a week leading to Chinese New Year, thus  mainland China was about to start their long holiday! No choice “lah”, had to face the crowd. But honestly, they were so much more behaved compared to previous years.

 

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Travel

Jobless in Japan – Day 10. Hiroshima

This is my fourth city after Nagano, Kyoto, Kagoshima and Nagasaki of my jobless south tour of Japan. The way the route was designed is to go as far as I can first (long train journeys) and then move to shorter ones. In fact – after looking at the last 4 cities. It may not be a bad idea to have long travels on the train as long as those are Shinkansen.

According to Wiki – Japanese: çiɾoɕima) is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu – the largest island of Japan. Hiroshima, a name meaning “Broad Island”, gained city status on April 1, 1889. On April 1, 1980, Hiroshima became a designated city. As of August 2016, the city has an estimated population of 1,196,274. The gross domestic product (GDP) in Greater Hiroshima, Hiroshima Urban Employment Area, is US$61.3 billion as of 2010. This is 1/5 of Malaysia with 1/30 of the population!!!

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Travel

Jobless in Japan – Day 8/9 – Nagasaki and Gunkanjima

Today is day 8-9 and I have surpassed a third of my jobless holiday. It has been great to be honest. Despite having withdrawal symptoms – I am feeling better now. To have time to think about life. Two things in my mind for sure – I wish I had travelled more when I was younger and I am wish I am much fitter. Not that current fitness level is stopping me for doing anything, but being fitter will allow me to do more!

Back to My holiday. Nagasaki is a port town. Back during the Shogunate era, Nagasaki is the only port that was opened to foreigners. In fact only to the Dutch. That’s why when you walk around Nagasaki – you do see a lot of Dutch influences. This is way before the English and American started coming.

Observing how the population works, I think the town is more of a trading town. There are not much of professionals around (like bankers and such). Well this could be because I am not staying at the posh area.

During my visit here, there were two major things that I visited and learnt. Gunkanjima(or Hashima) and Atomic Bomb.

 

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Fun Posts Travel

Day 6/7 – Jobless in Japan : Exploring Kagoshima and Sakurajima

 

Kagoshima is the furthest point that I am going in this trip. The strategy that I am employing is to go to the furthest point during the initial part of the trip (i.e. 3-4 hours train rides) and then followed by shorter train ride as I move back to Tokyo. Though this is the furthest point, it is not halfway point. Halfway point is planned to be in Osaka which is towards the end of next week, where I will spend approximately 2 days – just enough for two rounds of Endo Sushi (yes – it is a reason to go to Osaka) and scallops at Kuromon Market!

 

Kagoshima

Kagoshima is a a port city, it is nearer to South Korea than to Tokyo. In fact, the weather in Kagoshima is an opposite reflection of the weather in Nagano. Few days ago – I was trekking in cold winter and now – it felt like I am in spring. The weather is approximately about 12-15 degrees Celsius. Pretty nice if you ask me.

The train ride here from Kyoto is quite long. It took more than 4 hours and required a switch of train in Shin-Kobe. As it is still a Sakura Shinkansen – there was no need to switch platform. Just need to change train. The following map shows the route that I took from Kyoto to Kagoshima:

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Fun Posts Travel

Day 5 – Jobless in Japan: Exploring Kyoto

This is Day 5 of my jobless trip to Japan. I have been bumming around for 1 week and the withdrawal syndrome is really catching up on me. The typical me will be trying to check on my email every 2.5 seconds or so, but given that I have quit from my current job, I don’t really have an email to check. In reality, I do have my previous work email but as I am on a long leave before my last official day, I should not be checking on my email as I do not want to do any work outside of my jurisdiction 🙂

Today – is about taking it easy. Rather than going round and round, today is about chilling, finding local food and wasting time. In fact – I think I only got out of the hotel about 10+ (excluding my usual morning walk). The objective today is head to the market and makan!