Keropok Losong is one of those delicacies that are unique to Terengganu (so I think). It is made of fish and flour generally and boiled into the water to cook it. Honestly – I love this stuff because it tasted healthy. Plus its not easy to find boiled keropok. Usually – keropok comes fried!
Here is a video of the lady making the Keropok Losong.
I must say, this is one of the better keropok that I had. Here is the link to the location of the store!
This is day 2 of a 14 day trip to Hokkaido. Going thru the west side of Hokkaido island starting from Chitose where I landed, and then headed over to Lake Toya for a quick over night before I head over to Hakodate.
In Lake Toya – it is a quick lay over on the way to Hakodate.
The photo above is Ukimido Park – which is a shrine at the end of the “small cape”. Initially – I wanted to take the photo much earlier during the day, but I was scared away from a goose, or maybe a swan. Memories of being chased by a goose when I was young still fresh in my mind!
Silo Observation Deck
After visiting the park, I then headed over to Silo Observation Deck. Its somewhere about 5 mins away by car. Ample parking space and it has a nice shopping area for those who wants to buy souvenirs. Note that there are a lot of tourist.
Because the weather is shit, there’s nothing much to see. I just took a picture and went to the cafe nearby.
At the viewing platform, there’s a cafe named Cafe Balher. Serving coffee and soft serve. I didn’t try any.
Mount Usu Memorial Park
As I was driving out of Silo Observation point, I remember a park that I came across while going for dinner the day before. It’s Mount Usu Memorial Park. It has some of the fun art sculptures . One of it is the picture of the face.
Distance between Hakodate and Lake Toya is not very far but I decided to take the long way round thru the coastal road because… I can. The coastal side of Hokkaido island is very pretty, it’s facing the northern Pacific Ocean. Well – right across is California (not swimmable of course).
I was trying hard to find a place to stop, despite having to have pinpoint place to stop, I couldn’t find the entry(perhaps driving too fast) but of course the entrance was very small. And I can’t stop from enjoying the beautiful view of the coastal lines. Weather was cloudy making it more dramatic than ever.
The photo below is the picturesque view of the coastal lines. As you can see the rocks on the left is wave barriers.
Cape Esan Light House
Just before I reached Mount Esan, I could not help but noticed a light house. Probably won’t be seen by the roadside thus you would need to map it out. It looks pretty abandon as the offices are not opened. There’s a small road that leads to the lighthouse and there you would see the lighthouse. It’s pretty serene indeed. If I am not in a rush, I wouldn’t mind having a picnic here, rolling on the grass with the daisies.
Mount Esan is an active stratovolcano of the Kameda peninsula. It is located in Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan. Mount E is part of Esan Prefectural Natural Park.
Driving to Mount Esan was not difficult at all. Just need to be a bit careful as the road up is pretty narrow and have sharp corners. Would have been great if I am on the bike! Driving a Prius is not the best, but I for cost purposes, this is the best option.
After checking in to the hotel, I went to have Uni don at Uni Murakami. Supposedly the place for Uni. The Uni itself is good but the rice is normal rice. Perhaps it’s the normal Hakodate style. It was really expensive. JPY4860.
Another throwback weekend – where I am looking at my crossing bridges photo from back in 2006!
The photo above is a shot from the road side where I took a photo of Bun Dau shop, which means (based on google as fermented shrimp noodle!).
I never tried this dish, but what intrigues me is that I managed to take this photo despite not having an eye for street photography. In fact, during this period, I am more interested in shooting portraits and as what I’ve mentioned earlier, my trip was some what wasted because I am just focused on shooting headshots, rather than shooting a “story-like” photo.
This photo is probably one my first few photo that I start indulge in street photography. Yes – I’ve been doing a lot of street shoots but to be honest, I am not good at it until Eddie (friend from Singapore) said that I need to have a story. Which is then how I started thinking on how I should be shooting street.
Things has changed, and now I am a far better photographer (and picky one too!).In fact there are times when I go out for a walk and not shoot anything (lol). But I guess, that’s part and parcel of street shoot.
Going to Chiang Mai was an impulsive action where I wanted to take a break from all the craziness at work (not that crazy). I do believe that taking little breaks every now and then does give me some recharge (or not).
Also – this year is where I am taking a strategy to do more shooting and getting more holidays. In fact, I am trying to get into holiday once every month. Which means that I will be shooting more.. and spending hell a lot more money.
The following are the gallery of photos that I’ve taken in the 3 days 2 nights in Chiang Mai. In short – I must say, I like the place. Very nice indeed and I do plan to come here more often for my quick little breaks. The coffee is great indeed. And lets not bring up about, just absolutely awesome.
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.
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!
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.
The restaurant and its owner/chef
The awesome meal
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.
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!!!
Today is the day that I am going Arashimaya. Arashimaya is a western district of Kyoto. It is a major touristy site! Going there just for the check box exercise.
In order to go there from where I stayed, I need to take a local train from Kyoto Station. It is a 15 mins ride. As I have a JR Rail Pass, I just need to show the conductor my pass and here I go! The track is track 31-33 at the JR West Gate.
The train to Arashiyama
The train will take you to Saga-Arashiyama Station. Do note that there are two types of train, one will take you direct to this station from Kyoto, while the other will take you thru most of the stop. To me it does not matter as I am not rushing for time. It took me less than 30 mins to get to Arashiyama.
Once you get to Arashiyama Station, you will need to walk about 10 mins to get to the Main Street of Arashiyama. Here you can make a decision on whether to go to the Bamboo Forest or you can Tenryuji Temple.
Today is my second day on holiday. This year – I am actually nursing a foot pain, hence walking for longer distance would be extremely painful. Well, at least to start and once the pain goes away, its actually quite ok. This is probably resulted from my massive preparation for this holiday in which I trek about 5-7km a day, almost 7 days a week (that is until my feet got into severe pain). Probably gotta look at another post for that. And today is only day 2! I am still in Nagano, and today I visited Snow Monkey Park and Obuse.
Snow Monkey Park
First and foremost, you can get more details on Snow Monkey park from this website – http://en.jigokudani-yaenkoen.co.jp. The attraction for Snow Monkey Park is where you are able to see the monkey in the hot spring or Onsen. It is really fascinating to see this, but unfortunately in my trip there – I was not able to experience that. The only that I was able to see was the monkey sipping some warm water from the onsen.
Last weekend I did a trip to Kuala Sepetang because I thought I wanted to eat cockle. The last trip I did to Kuala Sepetang was couple of weeks ago in which I went for motorcycle trip up north to Penang. A friend of mine introduce me to this place called Restoran Tepi Sungai (Restaurant By The River).
The restaurant it self is on a platform above the river mouth, along the mangrove coast of Kuala Sepetang or better known as Port Weld. It was a short trip and I did not do any food photography. It was mainly a food trip to eat dinner. I did however took a few pictures when I was walking out of the restaurant. One of these days I should make a trip there and go for some street shooting. It does look like a nice place to shoot.
Here are some photos that I took…
The location of Kuala Sepetang is as follows, click on the link to head over there!
The other stuffs thats famous there are charcoal factory and prawn mee. Which I’ve never been to both!
It has been quite a few weeks since I wrote anything on my blog. I have been occupied with work and drawing. And now I guess I need to tell myself to write more so I am motivated to take pictures and also draw more. Whenever I write anything on my blog, I do feel inspired to think about different things in life. And in this case, I do feel like going out there to shoot.
Its a weekend again, and I have decided that I am not going to ride out today as I wanted to spend sometime with family and friends as next weekend I am going for a weekend adventure to Penang with another group of friends.
The other thing, this weekend I managed to activate my Lightroom CC – which is a cloud enabled Lightroom that enable me to access my Lightroom catalog from anywhere and everywhere. Which effectively allow me to edit my photos whether on my laptop or my phone. It doesn’t really matter. Which is good. I need to shoot more and make a good use of my camera.
The photo attached in the featured is a photo that I took with my Leica M9 – back in the days when I was using a rangefinder. It shows an aunty preparing some wanton noodle or something. I didn’t eat that as I don’t eat pork. I only go there for coffee. My friends definitely had a good time eating the noodle there. The place shot is in Batu Arang. I have gone there so many times to shoot as well as to fly drone.
Last Sunday I tried out a new restaurant in Taman Tun Dr Ismail. It’s called PaperFish. The main dish here is Poke bowl. They do portray themselves as a healthy food joint. Joining the new sets of hipsters cafe along the road – Grumpy Cyclist, Goodness Greens and Wood/Steel.
From wiki – Poke /poʊˈkeɪ/ is a raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine, and sometimes as an entree. Poke is the Hawaiian verb for “section” or “to slice or cut”. Traditional forms are aku (an oily tuna) and he’e (octopus). Increasingly popular ahi poke is generally made with yellowfin tuna. Adaptations may feature raw salmon or various shellfish as a main ingredient served raw with the common “poke” seasonings.
Umami Shoyu Salmon. Classic poke bowl. Cherry tomatoes, edamame, Japanese cucumber and onions. Option for white rice, brown rice, quinoa or all greens! I took quinoa and added a sous vide eggs to get that protein overload. Needed more protein as I did quite a long weight workout earlier that morning.
The price RM16.90 with 1.90 for the additional quinoa and 2.50 for the egg. Pretty hefty but I must say I did enjoy the food.
Glad to see more and more of this local establishments coming out as alternatives to the mainstream food.