japan hokkaido, day 5 – lake toya . fresh soba koyo-tei . sapporo . suage

Breakfast at the resort!

And I tried natto for the first time. The taste is alright, just the slimy texture is quite difficult to accept.

—–

It’s raining again.

Heading to Sapporo!

—–

Stopped by Hoheikyo Dam but it was closed due to gale. The place around the carpark is still pretty though.

—–

Lunch at Fresh Soba Koyo-tei. Their menu is hand drawn! So pretty!

So good! The texture of both hot and cold soba is really different. Cold soba has the al dente bite while hot soba is soft and breaks easily. I prefer cold soba.

—–

Snacks on the go.

—–

—–

Finally in Sapporo! First we stroll at Odori Park.

—–

Wanted to take a break at this cafe but there wasn’t any available seats.

See! It’s so pretty inside!

—–

Went to Oniyanma Cafe instead.

They roast their own coffee beans.

—–

Our airbnb for 3 nights.

—–

Rest and then it was time for dinner. Going to try Suage’s Soup Curry.

I opted for fried chicken. It was so fragrant and juicy. Fried chicken will never go wrong when in Japan.

The soup curry tasted like minestrone soup though. Hahahaha! Nothing like our usual curry.

japan hokkaido, day 4 – lake toya

Buffet breakfast in the hotel. This is different from the other buffet breakfast that I’ve had in Japan. There’s more focus on seafood here.

Mini squids stuffed with glutinous rice.

Shio ramen.

Items I have picked out. Things with milk and cheese are not included.

Not forgetting to add more fibre.

Off we go to our next destination. Lake Toya!

Have more vitamins, our body is not used to the cold and dry weather.

One last time.

—–

—–

Check in.

We’re pretty much devastated after we saw our rooms.

Too sweet for one person to finish.

—–

Dinner buffet at the hotel.

—–

—–

japan hokkaido, day 3 – hakodate asaihi (morning market), red brick warehouse, motomachi

Starting our day at the market.

There are loads of seafood sold here but we do not think the prices here are good. There are stalls that mark up the prices and when you pass by, they will offer you the original price and claim it as a discount.

We bought a slice of melon to share and I almost dropped it. 😅

Cool drain cap.

Found a place for lunch.

I had the scallop, uni and fish roe rice bowl! It was good but just somehow not as good as the one I had at Tsukiji Market.

—–

Hakodate Bay’s Red Brick warehouse.

It’s a really beautiful place for picture taking.

Most of the shops here sell home decorative items or gifts, like musical boxes, dream catchers, famous cartoon characters collectables…

Ice-creamed at Lucky Pierrot.

Headed to the Motomachi area, went pass a few pretty houses.

Visited an owl shrine, the view here is pretty.

Continued walking to a church.

It’s very very pretty inside the church but do keep very quiet and no photography is allowed.

Going back to the car.

Lunch at Kantaro Sushi.

Many choices to choose from.

Green tea powder.

—–

Back in hotel for a nap.

—–

Dinner at the restaurant opposite our hotel, The Very Very Beast. The rating looks good.

—–

Moved to Hakodate Beer Hall next.

—–

Ice cream again!

—–

Up we go to Mount Hakodate!

Be careful went going up or down the hill, there was a fox in the middle of the road while we were going down.

japan hokkaido, day 2 – airport . hakodate . lucky pierrot

Friends are coming over today, so we have to go meet them from the airport, collect the car and head to Hakodate.

We had initially planned to have breakfast at the McDonald’s opposite our hotel but we were too tired and overslept. Needed to get out by 9.40am to catch the last free shuttle provided by the hotel to the airport.

It’s going to be a rainy day.

Took the shuttle.

Cute plushies displayed around the airport.

Decided to have breakfast in MMC Organic Cafe.

No-cream carbonara which tastes better with each bite. There was a bottle of grated parmesan to add if you like but I prefer mine cheeseless.

Honey toast was heavenly, sweet with salty butter and a good tinge of vanilla flavour from the ice cream. Mmm…

—–

Friends are here!

Friends had lunch while we went to Royce Chocolate World.

Chocolate bar bun. 😅

Bought some pralines for myself, this is only available in Hokkaido. Dark chocolate but it’s still very sweet.

Cute!

Collecting our rented car.

Then we had to take the shuttle bus…

To their main car holding area.

Our car for 11 days.

On the road!

Pictures don’t do any justice to the scenery.

Jigokudani aka Hell Valley.

Cute little shop.

Hell Valley is beautiful. Good thing we arrived while the sun is setting too.

Clear water mixing with murky water.

Even demons to represent genders at the toilet.

—–

Chicken cutlet sandwich as a tea break snack. Yums.

Pit stop. Food stations close at 6pm. 😅

—–

First thing we do right after reaching Hakodate is to have dinner at Lucky Pierrot. It’s only available in Hokkaido.

Wacky decor and also snacks sold.

Menu. Chinese chicken is number 1.

Wow. The chicken is well-flavoured, tender and juicy. Thumbs up, will recommend.

—–

It was really quiet.

japan hokkaido, day 1 – chitose

The day I’ve been looking forward to is finally here! Haven’t slept during the night because flight is at 6am.

Breakfast comes first, hunger at 4am is no joke.

In-flight meal (Singapore to Taipei), this looks more like boiled chicken than roasted. 😅

Transit at Taipei.

In-flight meal (Taipei – Hokkaido), this is one of the better meals I’ve had on Scoot. Beef was tender. Be careful of splatters though.

—–

Finally here!!!

Took bus 66 to our hotel but got down too early. *facepalm*

So we took the train and got down at Chitose Station which is just one stop away.

Quiet town.

Hotel is not bad, a little more spacious than the usual hotels.

TC rushed in to work.

I shall have a good bath tonight.

Going to settle our dinner at 7-eleven, their food can hardly go wrong.

This oyako don. 👌🏻 How is it that the egg doesn’t get cooked in the microwave? The rice was in a separate bowl stacked at the bottom.

Condiments provided too, didn’t have the need to use it as the dish was flavorful enough.

Meat ball nabe. It was alright.

The breads. Sandwich was yums, anything related to eggs is good.

Curry pork bun was heavy on the spice and herbs but good in a way.

Desserts! Shall not comment on the sweet potato, it’s not the first time we’re having it. I don’t mind bringing a batch of it home.

I see black sugar and it’s only the last one left on the shelf, I take it. Just look at the whole chunk of red bean paste inside. Better share as it’s quite jelak to have it yourself. The red bean paste wasn’t as sweet as those I had in the past, the thin layer of black sugar cake around gives a very nice fragrance.

Drinks. Bought the Kirin Lemon because packaging on point. Coffee tastes okay, doesn’t have the sour note that TC likes.

japan day 8 – osaka . yukari okonomiyaki . printoss . umeda sky building

TC prepared breakfast today! Mostly from Lawsons.

Soup again, different brand but still good! Lesser meat in this though.

Simmered flounder, I think the one we had at Kuromon Market is better. This has a plastic-ky smell?

Hmm… Van Houten Cocoa drink is quite legit.

_

Plan today is supposed to be Sagano Romantic Train Ride in Kyoto but I felt really tired to travel and there’s not much flowers or autumn leaves to see anyway.

It will just be a shopping day then. We traveled to Umeda.

First, HEP FIVE because I need to check out the Disney and Sanrio stores.

Why the Disney stores in Osaka don’t have Beast? 😧 I already have mine but my Sister wanted one too.

_

Okonomiyaki and yakisoba – checked! Found this place via Foursquare, Yukari.

Condiments.

I’m having a ginger ale.

Kimchi pork. *facepalm* Can’t read menu, so just point.

Yakisoba. Yums!

There are two significant types of Okonomiyaki. First, the Osaka style, in which the ingredients are all mixed into a batter and then grilled. Second, the Hiroshima style, which a small crepe-like pancake is grilled and then other ingredients are layered on top. The Hioshima style uses much more cabbage than the Osaka style.

I prefer the Hiroshima style okonomiyaki, so here it is!

_

Went Yodobashi!

Got myself a Printoss! It’s limited to one per pax and blue was the only colour left. No batteries or ink needed. All you need is your instax mini films, sold separately.

You can watch the video here, it’s in Chinese.

Hahahahha!

_

So pretty! But need to pay ¥1000 per pax for entry which is too expensive for a flea market style place, where people are selling their plants. Pay to get in to buy plants? Weird logic.

_

Umeda Sky Building

It’s only like 40 floors high?

Got the tickets. Went up and sat at the cafe.

Nothing much to see now. Going to wait until night time.

Ufufy bunnies!

Too cloudy to see the sunset.

So we went up.

Look at the ground, it’s glowing.

That’s all. Going back down.

_

Fairylights on trees!

_

Hungry and we decided to just for Indian curry because no queue and rating looks alright on Foursquare.

Depending on the combination that you are getting, you can choose from four different kinds of curry; beef pork, pork, chicken and veggie. Add on soft-boiled egg too.

Meal came with a tiny spicy soup, was told to pour it over at the later half. No idea what it really does.

There’s a lot of herbs and spices, like too much. 😂 Very herby. Even the egg does not do anything to enhance the flavour because the herbs just covers the taste of everything. A very unusual Indian meal.

_

Starbucks!

I like the Earl Grey Tea Cream Frappucino! Very nice with a touch of coconut syrup.

TC had the Sakura Strawberry Pink Milk Latter, I die also don’t want to try because milk.

_

Pudding as a late night snack, more like clearing the fridge since we’re leaving tomorrow.

japan day 7 – osaka . todai-ji . shunie

Prepared noodles as breakfast, we shared a big cup which I think it’s just nice for both of us.

Bought Nissin’s new nugget and fries cup noodles. Looks interesting. The little pieces of meat really taste like nugget, whereas the fries… hmm… not so much. It’s like Jagabee potato sticks in soup. Nothing amazing about it, soup is just normal chicken soup.

The strawberries we bought the last time was sweeter. This has the sour note.

My favourite chocolate cake from Family Mart!

Out shopping and TC wants to get a Cremia to try, I had a little bit, it was soooooooo milky. I cannot.

So I got a chocolate waffle to wash down the milky taste.

Shopping got crazy when we were at Muji. Everything is so much cheaper than Singapore! some of them are even like 40% lesser because got sales. We bought things like cutlery, flooring mop, portable diffuser… Click here to see what other interesting Muji items that you can only get in Japan.

So we had to travel all the way back to our Airbnb to drop the stuffs, wouldn’t want to be carrying the bags around Nara.

_

Dropped by Coffee House Abuki for some food.

Fluffy egg & ham sandwiches, honey toasts and coffee. Simple fare but sooooo good.

_

Heading to Todai-ji Temple!

Pick acorns and see deers.

Enjoy the scenery.

Almost there!

Shunie is not at the main temple. We have to travel up to another site.

I guess these will be the bamboos that the monks will be using for Shunie later.

Always arrive early to get a good view! Shunie starts exactly at 7pm, so it will be good to reach at least an hour earlier.

Remember to prep some food and drinks too, just in case.

The crowd.

Oh. Let me give some background information first.

Shunie, a series of events held annually from March 1 to 14 at Todaiji Temple. This collection of Buddhist repentance rituals has been held every year for over 1250 years, making it one of the oldest reoccurring Buddhist events in Japan.

Omizutori is performed at Nigatsudo Hall, a sub-complex of Todaiji, which stands not far from the temple’s main hall on the slope of a hill. Nigatsudo literally means “second month hall”, referring to the second month of the lunar calendar, when Omizutori has traditionally been held. The second month of the lunar calendar roughly corresponds to March of the solar calendar.”

You can find more information here.

_

The fireworks is so awesome, ‘wow’ every single time.

It has been a good day.

_

Onigiri to fill us up a bit before dinner.

Although they are salmon cooked in different styles but very salty.

_

Beef don at Sukiya!