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Photography

Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah

I made a random trip to Kuala Terengganu this weekend because I needed a break. It’s a short trip. I still have not decided (today is the 2nd day) whether I want to extend another day or go back tomorrow.

The photo above is shot after I reached Kuala Terengganu (KT). Drove to the mosque and started shooting. My original intention of coming here is to do long exposures by the beach, but I forgot the fact that it is the monsoon season and it’ll rain most of the day!

Above is another view right before sunset. Unfortunately, the mosque did not have enough front light (something that I was expecting), as such the photo looks pretty gloomy. Otherwise it would have been a nice sunset shot.

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Photography

Bogyoke Aung San Market

Bogyoke Aung San Market is a famous market (filled with tourist of course) in Yangon. Based on wikipedia:

Bogyoke Aung San Market is a major bazaar located in Pabedan township in central Yangon, Myanmar. Known for its colonial architecture and inner cobblestone streets, the market is a major tourist destination, dominated by antique, Burmese handicraft and jewellery shops, art galleries, and clothing store

Following are some of my photos (also available in the video).

 

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Photography

Tokyo Metro

Tokyo Metro is an integral part of the daily lives of Tokyo inhabitants. Without Tokyo Metro – the whole Tokyo will be in a grid lock. Despite mountains of people walking on the street, the commute between longer distances are done mostly thru Tokyo Metro. I have not taken Tokyo buses before but the Metro is my usual mode of transport whenever I am in Tokyo. The following are collection of my photos during my solo trip in Tokyo this year.

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Missed the train….

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Common scene where most of the people are hooked to their mobile phones while waiting for the train.

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Common scene inside the “empty train”

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Again… more common…

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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 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!

 

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Fun Posts Travel

Day 4 – Jobless in Japan: Arashimaya via Kyoto


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 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.

A bit of video from today’s adventure!

 

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Fun Posts Travel

Day 3 – Jobless in Japan: Nagano to Kyoto

My trip in Nagano is done. I’ve achieved couple of things:

  1. Went to see the temples in the city (and also experienced Murphy’s Law where most of my cameras are not working except for my phone!
  2. Visited a Winter Olympics site – never been to one before!
  3. Saw some Snow Monkey!

So today.. I am off to my second destination. Somewhere which is quite far and takes a total of 3 hours train ride (~300km).

Me in front of the train tracks heading. I will be heading towards Kanazawa first in which I will switch train to Thunderbird and go to Kyoto.

After I reached Kanazawa, I had a nice lunch at Maimon Sushi. I had sushi here before and hence why I came back here to eat it. It is not as good as Endo in Osaka but it is already great.

The total for the set is JPY2300 which includes 9 pieces of sushi, miso soup and a hand roll. Pretty decent.

After the meal, I then had my first Cremia if the trip. Awesomenesss as always. Unfortunately, I didn’t took any photos. Lol.

After dessert, got back to the train and I am in Kyoto. This is the second time I am here. The first time was when I went to Osaka and dropped by to Kyoto for a day trip. Visited Fushami Inari. This trip I don’t think I will be visiting the Shrines but we shall see.

After checking in to the hotel, I headed over for dinner. Initially wanted to get some Okonomoyaki but unfortunately the place was full. I ended up with Yakitori. Booyah! The place is called Yakitori Sukiyanen(https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Restaurant_Review-g298564-d8599443-Reviews-Yakitori_Sukiyanen-Kyoto_Kyoto_Prefecture_Kinki.html?m=19904). Very decent food indeed. Small but yet cosy.

Cosy place indeed. Very traditional.

Headed over to Yodabashi to look for something to fix my belt. As I didn’t have enough food and started to lose weight, my pants kept falling down. Lol.

Till tomorrow. Arashiyama!

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Fun Posts Travel

Day 2 – Jobless in Japan: Nagano – Snow Monkey Park and Obuse

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.

Snow Monkey – sipping some water

Here is a short video!