Go Japan ♥♥♥♥♥♥ Tokyo

(My apologies for not updating this for almost a year, gone hibernating… i guess)

DAy 6 & DAy 7

We took the Shinkansen  to go back to Tokyo.

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We bought Bento Box  for lunch and Mochi for dessert!   I just love love love these! ♥

When we arrived in Tokyo, we just spent this day to rest and take in the view from our hotel.

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Day 7

This is my first try doing a time lapse.  I called it good morning Tokyo 🙂 .

 

We ate our breakfast at Girandole. Yum Yum.  It was good  and  it comes with a view!

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Bagel, smoked salmon, Wasabi cream

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Eggs Benedict,  Smoked Salmon, Hollandaise Sauce

 

 

 

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View from Girandole

 

Then later that night we went to Shibuya.

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Hachiko

To see the statue of Hachiko, alight at the shibuya station and take the Hachiko Exit.

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Shibuya Crossing

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Since we are the  Shibuya area,  we went to eat dinner at  Ichiran Ramen

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Ichiran Ramen

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How to order:

  1. Select and purchase your ramen from the vending machine.
  2. The staff will pass you a piece of paper to customize your ramen.  You can select the noodles texture, strength of flavor, onions etc.
  3. Wait to be seated.
  4. Once you are in your booth. The staff will serve your order

 

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5. Enjoy your ramen. Itadakimasu 🙂

Ichiran Ramen– Shibuya : Open 24 hrs.

Address in Japanese:  Japan, 〒150-0041 Tokyo, 渋谷区Jinnan, 1−22−7

1-22-7 Jinnan | Iwamoto Bldg. B1F, Shibuya 150-0041, Tokyo
(3 min walk from JR Shibuya Station Hachiko Exit)                                                                    Phone number :  +81 3-3463-3667

Go Japan ♥♥♥♥♥ A birthday in Kyoto

Day 5

     12:00 Am Japan time.. I was awoken by a voice singing a “Tanjoubi Omedatou♪ ♫ Tanjoubi Omedatou ♪ ♫” 

cake

1st bday song

    When I opened my eyes it was my friend singing a happy birthday song in Japanese and a Doraemon strawberry shortcake!

I am blessed to have good friends…. or not! hahaha.

2nd bday song hahaha.

2nd bday song with “The feet”  hahaha.

My friend told me that he had to sing the happy birthday song twice.  The first time — not even a stir, the second time he need to sing and wake me up using his feet! (was he kicking me???) hahah.  He was afraid that the candle and cake has already burned down and I still wont wake up harharhar.  I was surprised on how he was able to order it custom made!

   The cake is from Malebranch.  I was surprised on how he was able to order it custom made. I almost don’t want to eat it, Doraemon was too kawaii 😀

 

     That morning we woke up a bit late. We decided to eat breakfast at Yoshinoya.  We wanted to know the difference of their beef bowl  from the Singapore’s  Yoshinoya.  They have english menu.   The beef  is more flavourful  and cheaper :D.  Original is the best eh?

Yoshinoya

Yoshinoya

 

Beef bowl

Beef bowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

english menu

english menu

 

Japanese Menu

Japanese Menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      After breakfast, we went to the Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion). We took the train from Gojo Station  (Karasuma Line- heading to Shijo)  and alight at Kitaoji station.  Then you can take bus 101, 102, 204 or 205. Bus ride is around 10 minutes.

Kitaoji station

Bus terminal at Kitaoji station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ladies wearing their yukata on the way to the Temple

Ladies wearing their yukata on the way to the Temple

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Golden Pavillion

Golden Pavilion

Incense

Incense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Next stop is the Kyoto Imperial Palace.  Since we haven’t eaten  our lunch we decided to eat near the  palace. We found a small restaurant – Inakitei.  It is very cozy and the food is good.  I ordered a Don-Buri set.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inakitei

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Lunch , we went to the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

Children playing baseball

Children playing baseball

 

Walls

Walls

more walls

more walls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Munakata Shrine

     

     Then we went to Fushimi Inari Shrine.  We took train from Marutamachi (Karasuma Line) then we change train at  Kyoto and transfer to JR nara line.  We alighted at the JR Inari Station.  The shrine is just outside the  station.

platform for JR nara line

platform for JR nara line

Jr Inari Station

Jr Inari Station

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romon gate

 

Fushimi Inari Shrine opposite the JR Inari station

Fushimi Inari Shrine opposite the JR Inari station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     It is a Shinto shrine and it is famous for it’s thousand torii gates.  When they say thousand… they really mean it hahaha :P.

Foxes are regarded as the messengers

regarded as the messengers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Map of Fushimi Inari Shrine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senbon Torii

Senbon Torii

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     After the Shrine we went to the Gion District.

      

 

 

 

 

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     Then we ate dinner at Miyako Ramen.  It is located near the Yasaka Shrine.  They have english menu.  The Ramen  was tasty, yum yum :D.  A good meal to end the day

Miyako

Miyako

English menu Yay !

English menu Yay !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go Japan ♥

DAY 1  –

     We arrived at Haneda Airport around 4PM.  It was raining heavily in Tokyo.  We straightaway went to the JR Travel Service Center to exchange our JR pass.  It was easy, the staff can speak english and  they were very friendly.  You can choose and decide which day you want the  JR Pass to be activated, it will start counting the 7 day pass on the day you first used it .

Located near the Tokyo Monorail 2F Ticket Gate/Arrival lobby

Located near the Tokyo Monorail 2F Ticket Gate/Arrival lobby                       

  Then we bought a PASMO card, you  can  use it to ride trains and buses both in Tokyo and in Kyoto. It is easy to purchase and  top up the Pasmo card. The machine have an english option, so don’t fret 🙂

       Then we are all set to go out of the airport Yay!  We took the train to go to our hotel.  After a few stations the train is getting crowded.  After a few stops, I looked outside the train window.  It was still raining heavily  and then  I saw this river, the water is almost overflowing and running very fast.  That’s the time we realized we took the wrong train, oh noes! Instead of heading to Higashi-Ginza station, in which our hotel was located  we ended up in Yokohama! OMG! hahaha.  We decided to get off on the next station.  By this time, the train was so packed! Hello rush hour! How are you? In case you ask me I think we are lost! To top it off it is raining heavily and it’s getting dark!  Not a good timing to get lost. Hahaha.  We had a hard time getting off the next station. The door opened at the other side and we are on the opposite side. As we tried to say our “excuse us” and made our way to get off the train (either the  train  was so packed or they can’t understand us)  no one was moving to give way.  The people behind us who also wanted to get off, started pushing us. Then we have no choice but push/squeeze our way out!  I don’t know how many feet I have stepped on or if my luggage or my friend’s heavy luggage ran over any feet, as we struggle to get out while saying sorry.  Whew!  We were able to get off on time before the door closed. Both of us laugh after we realized what just happened.  We asked for directions on how to go to Higashi-Ginza Station from the train staff.

     Upon reaching the station, we decided to walk because  the rain seemed to stop… Not!  Just after we walk a block or two, it started to rain heavily again.  It was around 7 pm and it was dark already.  We asked for directions from a guy who is in front of a Pachinko establishment.  After getting directions, we thanked him and walk a few steps . We stopped for awhile and struggled to find our umbrellas that is inside somewhere in our luggage.  To our surprise, the same guy who gave us directions came to us and gave us two umbrellas to use. We didn’t expect this act of kindness from a stranger.  After thanking him, we kept on walking and looking for our hotel.  We seemed unable to find the hotel, so my friend asked again for directions,  this time, from two middle-aged ladies. To my surprise he was asking them  in Japanese (when I asked him later on he said he wanted to surprise me, he learned basic Japanese conversations).  Aside from giving us directions they even walked with us and took us near the hotel. On our first day we have experienced the kindness of the Japanese people.  Getting lost, walking under heavy rain and getting drenched didn’t seem to be a bad thing at all.  Instead we appreciate the experience and I felt admiration for the Japanese people :).

     We booked 1 night at the Tokyu Stay – Higashi-Ginza as I originally wanted to go to the tuna auction. It is ideal.  It is very near the Tsukiji Fish Market.  We decided not to go to the tuna auction.  We are travelling to Kawaguchiko the following day and for sure we are not able to wake up that early ;P.  The staff at the reception can  speak english. The room size is a bit small however it is clean and the  toilet is clean and spacious.

     We decided to go out and  eat dinner at Ippudo. While trying to locate the ramen shop , it started raining heavily  again.  It took us quite awhile to  find it. We thought it was on the main road, and it doesn’t have an  english sign. We just matched it to the picture we checked online. By the time we were able to find it, we were drenched again ;P.  Hot ramen  for a rainy night

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Ippudo (4-10-3 Ginza | 1F Central Bldg., Chuo 104-0061, Tokyo) Higashi-Ginza Station (Asakusa line), exit A8.

     When we went back to the hotel, we were still drenched.  It is very convenient that the hotel room itself has its own washer & dryer. We were able to  wash and dry our clothes at the comfort of our own room.  Next time,  I can travel light if I book accommodations like these :).  Needed to sleep early  as we planned to eat early breakfast at the Tsukiji market and leave for Kawaguchiko.

Go Japan ♥ Preparation

      Since I was young, I have always wanted to go to Japan. This year, I decided to go and celebrate my birthday there. My friends went with me to celebrate, aren’t they the sweetest? ♥

       We decided to go free and  easy for 10 Days :).  After several late nights of researching and planning, finally! I was able to draft my itinerary, how to’s, how much entrance , fares , budget etc.  Last thing I need is to be penniless in a foreign country right? ;).  Most websites I have checked recommended to use Hyperdia.com for checking of train routes and schedules.  The site is very useful. It helped me planned routes and estimate the train fares as well.  Yay!  I was able to build my confidence that  we won’t get lost (hopefully). When I saw the Tokyo Metro Subway Map, my nose almost bled and my confidence was smashed  :).

         I booked all our accommodations through agoda.com.   Here is the itinerary I planned:

  •  Arrival and 1 night stay at Ginza (1 night)
  •  Lake Kawaguchiko (wanted to see Chureito Pagoda and Mt. Fuji)(1 night)
  • Kyoto ( 3 nights)
  • Tokyo  ( 4 nights)

       I also went to the Japan National Tourism Organization(JNTO) here in SG.  I was able to get  copies of maps and travel guides for Kyoto & Tokyo  that will be very useful.

      I rented a pocket wifi and mobile phone from Pupuru, the service is good and hassle free.  They reply quickly if you email them for any enquiries  (Mon-Fri.).  I have requested it to be delivered to our hotel.  This video is from their youtube ad:

 

   We bought Japan Rail Pass from H.I.S.Singapore. There are two types : Green  and Ordinary. Green – need to be reserved and first class ; Ordinary – non reserved seats. You can choose from 7 days, 14 days and 21 days pass.  We have bought the  Green Car  7 days pass.

     Planning and Packing – This is the real challenge hehehe. I am  still learning the art of travelling light :P.  I decided to use my small luggage and  my friend will use a bigger luggage so I can also  stuff it with my things. Now let the adventure begin….

Brothers Ramen

Today, I tried this ramen  store near my office.  I like the concept.  The  Menu  is available outside the store and  inside as well.  Make sure you know what you want to order, as they only have a self service ordering counter 🙂

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Payment is by Cash and by NETs  and have to order through this

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Once you have placed your order, a receipt and order number will be given…..

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I find the design inside the shop very cute.  I was amused by the heart-shaped lighting

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 Their story is being told by these:

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the Noodle Room, It’s where the homemade noodles using their own recipe are being made

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Oishi!!! ♥ I ordered the Brothers Set, added an egg, vegetable (free) and oolong tea. The soup base is very tasty, and I find it just nice for my taste buds, Yum yum.  Will I come back and eat here again?  Definitely YES!  So if you craving for a feel good ramen, come and visit their shop. 

ramen

Brothers Ramen

International Plaza

10 Anson Road  #01-20

Singapore 079903

Price range : Around S$15 for Set meal.

Hours:

Mon-Sat  11:30 am – 8:30 pm

Contact info:

94377267  /947626

                         For more info you can visit their website or Facebook page

Happy Eating!