3 weeks ago, my friend Hui Ling came to Japan from Singapore and we spent a week travelling in the Kanto region.
Our first stop: Tokyo
Some parfait for you?
This is 60cm tall!
*my ice cream heaven, finally!*
Some monjayaki for dinner.
Basically monjayaki is similar to okonomiyaki just that it’s made from a more watery batter and you are supposed to eat it with a metal spatula (something like a scraper). It’s my first time having this but i like it!
The next day we met with Rie, Hui Ling’s Japanese friend whom she met while on exchange.
We went to Tsukiji (famous for fish market) so of course i had to eat some FISH right?!
Okay, it’s not REAL FISH but still it’s a FISH (just that it’s filled with red bean, haha). It’s super good by the way.
And we visited the Parliament house of Japan. I’m really impressed with how luxurious it is on the inside! No photography is allowed therefore I can’t show you any pictures.
And then i met my friend Helen!
The 3 of us visited Yokohama:
Do you know Baby Star?
Well i didn’t know it’s popular to this extent that they have a huge shopfront of their own. There’s even live demonstration of how this noodle snack is being made.
Basically the person just fry the noodle dough in front of you and you can buy it fresh!
I found a list of really good dim-sum in Yokohama Chinatown so we went food hunting (as usual).
But i only managed to eat 3 out of 7 in the list because we were too full!
I just had to eat the custard bun again!
I was pretty disappointed that i didn’t get to eat the ‘flowing’ custard bun. So we went in search of this and we googled and that the picture of this bun popped out.
So i bought it as breakfast the next day! It’s really better than the normal one and it’s fun to eat.
2nd stop: Karuizawa (軽井沢)
It’s rare that i take the shinkansen now because it’s really expensive for foreign students like me because we are not eligible for the JR Pass. There is only the Kanto Pass that i’m eligible for which is why we were able to come here.
Karuizawa is a stylish mountain resort area that is well known for its pension houses and European influences due to its expansion brought about by the missionaries in the 18th century. It is a good place to go to avoid the summer heat!
Hui Ling and i were both so excited when we board the shinkansen towards Nagano.
We took LOTS of pictures.
More pictures of places:
The photo of a woman above the hotel signboard is just the owner of this hotel actually.
Don’t ask me why there is a Merlion statue outside this kimono place. I don’t know.
You can never miss out on soft cream in this place. There’s TOO many.
I’m still regretting for not trying the Kuri soft cream (chestnut).
This is really good but you have to find the signboard to find this place since it’s out of the way.
We decided that going european is the way to go here.
A view from the outdoor seating area of the restaurant. It’s a lazy rainy afternoon.
I didn’t know that there could be so much difference between packaged pasta and those that are freshly made!
This was my first time having freshly made pasta and wow, it totally blew me away. They are really worth the extra penny.
Shiraito falls is a famous tourist spot in Karuizawa.
We also tried tofu made with the water from here:
Hmm, it tastes like …. tofu?
Do you know John Lennon used to patronize this place frequently with his wife, Yoko Ono? That’s how it became so famous that it’s breads usually get sold out by 3pm in the afternoon. There was nothing much for me to buy when i went at 3pm.
Finally i bought something from here! (French bakery – checked!)
It was still raining…
You could also take some quirky photos in the costumes of the 18th century and soak in some European atmosphere.
There’s a toy museum that you could check out:
We went there at around 5pm and they were already closing. The toys were fantastic, most were made in germany and handcrafted and pricey (well, it’s worth it if you look at the worksmanship). I went there to see the Nutcracker actually, to satisfy my princessy fairy-tale fantasy. 🙂
3rd stop: Hakone (箱根)
This is probably the place where we spent the most time in and it’s probably the most fulfilling part of the trip cause’ we covered almost everything on the tourist map.
I’m so glad i came!!
We then took a bus to Gotemba outlet where you can find all the branded goods at like 50% off? Even i could afford something there.
But the highlight was that the bus that we took brought us to among the clouds!
Gosh. I’m totally soaking in the holiday atmosphere.
That night we went for an outdoor onsen in our hotel. The yukata was provided!
The next day we planned to go to Owakudani and we had to take the cable car up the mountain and then take a ropeway to the place.
I’m SO EXCITED!
Btw, the cable car was something we had to take every time we wanted to go to the hotel. It’s really comfortable, though it’s just a short ride.
The fumes that you see are actually sulphuric fumes.
Some breath-taking views:
They said eating one of these adds 7 years to your life…
But you’re not supposed to eat more than 2 of these at any one time. So Hui Ling and i split these up equally (2.5 each) so that in case we survived the rest of our friends, we still can be playmates with each other.
We just got into the mood of trying all things black! I was told that the black thing actually cleanses and detoxes your body so it’s actually good for health!
The soft cream tasted totally vanilla by the way. There’s strawberry flavour too.
We got onto the deck of the ship and we were standing right IN FRONT. (Yeah, you can do the titanic thing there)
It was quite cooling and after that it became quite cold.
Next we reached the Sekisho, which is the checkpoint area for travellers in the Edo-period.
It still retained how it looked like then, just newer.
We were lucky to see a performance put up by the staff from our hotel:
Yay!! That’s the end of our trip!! Actually there’s more but i can’t put everything here cos it’s already tooo long.
There goes the holiday! Where’s the rock chick you say? Well, i’ve always wanted to be a rock chick but i just can’t dress any rocker enough so i guess i shall just stick to the relaxed casual style = rock chick on holiday style
Alright, i applaud you for sticking till the end of this post.