Wednesday, 7 December 2016

1 Oct. 2016 (Dinner)

After meeting Mama at Ibaraki station, we walked through a shopping street to this Japanese restaurant - Naritaya (成田家).




Taking a group wefie while we waited for the kaiseki (懐石料理) to commence.








One skill that we picked up from Mama was to remove the backbone of the grilled ayu without breaking up the body before eating the whole fish - from head to tail. Wow!

We all strolled back to "Yasuki Hotel" after a super satisfying 懐石料理 dinner.












Monday, 28 November 2016

1 Oct. 2016 (Day trip to Kyoto)

We checked out from Hotel 1-2-3 Kobe and took the train from Sannomiya to Ibaraki station and Mama was there to take over our luggage and convey back to "Yasuki Hotel". Then, we made our way to Kyoto.

Upon arrival, we went for lunch at Ukiyahonten (有喜屋 先斗町本店)


 













As we reached the bridge near Gion machi, we went to get the 抹茶 (matcha) that Aloysius wanted to buy.

 

There was something else caught my boys' attention in Gion - the traditional kimono.




These ladies in kimono (着物) or yukata (浴衣) were strolling a narrow street in Gion, so Aloysius took a quick snap as after so many days in Japan, we saw these traditional costumes for the 1st time.

The following photos of the real gems; the Maiko (舞妓) were given by Mama when we showed her the shots taken by Aloysius. The elaborate head-gears & kimono were simply beautiful.





Before travelling back to Ibaraki to have dinner with Mama, we stopped by this dango shop.













Sunday, 27 November 2016

30 Sep. 2016 (From Hokkaido to Honshu)

*All the shinkansen trips have to be planned & reserved in advance*

We checked out early in the morning by just dropping the keys into the box at the counter and took the train from Hakodate at 6.57am to reach Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto in order to ride the 1st shinkansen, Hayabusa 12 at 7.34am in order to reach Tokyo station 12.04pm.

We grabbed Eki-bento from the Tokyo platform before boarding Shinkansen Hikari 473 at 1.03pm reaching Shin-Osaka station at 4.03pm and then connecting Shinkansen Sakura 567, arriving at Shin-Kobe at 4.33pm.

After depositing our lugguage at Hotel 1-2-3 Kobe, we went to meet Mama at JR Sanomiya Station - we planned to have Kobe beef here!

These are 2 of the awards for the quality beef.















The above ¥7000 per head teppanyaki meal is simply unforgettable as each of us had a 250g slab of special grade marbled Kobe beef, ox-tail consomme, etc.

Here to share the namecard of the restaurant in Kobe - Steakland Kobe which according to the details is open 365 days a year!



Monday, 21 November 2016

29 Sep. 2016 (Hakodate)

After enjoying the soup curry, we walked back to the hotel to collect our luggage from the concierge before returning to catch the train, "Limited Express Super Hokuto 14" at 1.32pm and arriving at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station at 4.54pm. Then we JR Hakodate line at 5.15pm and arrived at Hakodate at 5.41pm.

We came to Hakodate for 2 purposes - to capture the "Million Dollars Night Scene" from top of Mt Hakodate and to catch the 1st train out from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto" to Shin-Kobe station on 30 Sep. 2016.

After checking in to Inn Aozora which is very near to the station (3 min. walk), we took the bus up to Mt Hakodate. It is important to take note of the bus timings.





Each of us were braced for the "chill" up on Mt Hakodate as the temperature was expected to be around 8 deg without taking into consideration the strong wind factor. Yet, our tough guy had only his T-shirt. We found only one other guy up there also wearing polo-tee! Everyone else wore wind-breakers, scarves, beanies, pull-overs, etc.

After coming down by  bus, we came to the food mall near the station and had ramen before returning to the inn to rest as we need to wake up early for the 1st shinkansen to Shin-Kobe.