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.

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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? ๐Ÿ˜ง I already have mine but my Sister wanted one too.

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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!

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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!

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So pretty! But need to pay ยฅ1000 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.

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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.

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Fairylights on trees!

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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. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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.

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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.

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

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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.

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Dropped by Coffee House Abuki for some food.

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

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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.

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

It has been a good day.

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Onigiri to fill us up a bit before dinner.

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

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Beef don at Sukiya!

japan day 6 – osaka . universal studios japan

We are going to Universal Studios today! Weeeeee~!

TC getting a hot drink for me and the vending machine sells hot soup too. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

We have people complaining about getting toxicated by heated plastic and here I have a hot drink kept warm by the vending machine.

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Here we are! It was crazy when walking over from the train station, I almost got blown away by the wind. Many girls were screaming and all I know was that I was struggling to keep myself on the ground. I gained quite a lot of weight leh!

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I bought our tickets from Klook, so no queueing for them! Just need to scan the QR code on the printout to enter.

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Took a picture with Charlie Brown! Snoopy lookd a bit distorted, so I don’t want to take picture with it.

So paiseh! I waited too long until my phone locked itself, so when it was our turn… I had to let Charlie wait. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Sumimashen! ๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

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I’ve never watched any Shrek movies. Erm. Ya. Hahahhaha.

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Minions! Omygawd. I think I got too excited.

And look what I got! So cute! ๐Ÿ˜

Eating Bob’s brain. ๐Ÿคฃ

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Snacks first! Shared a hot dog and snoopy meat bun. It was not bad, in fact so much better than all the food sold in Singapore’s Universal Studio.

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This is a very cute place to visit!

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Sesame street section, such happy colours.

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Going into the Wizarding World! Anyone could easily spend 3 to 4 hours in here.

So many fun things to see!

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Late lunch at Three Broomsticks. Luckily we shared a main and a side, if not we would not be able to finish the food.

Chicken & pork BBQ platter, soda bread and butterbeer.

Soda bread tastes like biscuits.

The platter was not bad, the corn was a little tad dry but still very sweet.

Butterbeer does not have butter smell! Phew. It’s like ice-cream soda with cream on it.

You want some too?

“Kelvin, where are you? ๐Ÿ˜ฏ”

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The castle. Went in for the ride, queued for almost an hour. Ride was fun, except the 3D parts. Makes me dizzy.

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In Ollivander’s shop of wands. If you are lucky to be selected as part of the show, you may get a free wand.

They are shifting rocks. ๐Ÿ˜ž Hmm… let’s not bother them.

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Jaws. Ride was closed for maintenance.

Hey! You’re not supposed to be there!

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TC says I need a hot drink.

Guys. Tell me why their whipped cream so nice? Why? I feel like I was eating ice cream even though it’s warm. ๐Ÿ˜

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Old movie. There were 3 parts, first 2 parts are just boring because it’s mostly back story of how the film was made… all in Japanese. I understand nothing.

The actual thing was quite fun. Tip, try to leave the place last, so you can see the things shifting back in place and also… I think this is the best place to warm up if you’re feeling cold.

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Minions! Didn’t take the ride because we need to go to the other ride before the park is closed.

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You kiss Spiderman here.

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Oh yes! Final Fantasy!

Cactuar churro, apple flavoured. Tastes like I’m having apple pie. Nom nom.

Went in to queue 2 hours for a 5 mins ride. ๐Ÿ˜‚

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Time for a break warm up break. Croissant brulee was yummy.

Didn’t try this but looks nice if you like Sailor Moon.

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Going back to take a look at the Wizarding School, for night scenaries.

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TC found this highly rated and affordable sushi. Minimum ยฅ100 per piece. I ate so much.

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Supper.

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japan day 5 – osaka . kuromon market . dotonburi . namba . matsusaka m

At our next Airbnb!

There’s a little kitchen.

Washing machine and a separate shower room.

Underused wardrobe and balcony.

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Hungry. Grabbed food at the nearby Kuromon Market.

Wolfed these strawberry mochis down our tum tums.

Unagi tastes quite standard. Scallops are quite good but not as good as the ones we had at Nishiki Market.

Came to this stall to get their delicious oden and fish. Everything is sooooo delish. ๐Ÿ˜‹

Didn’t get these pufferfish.

These strawberries are so huge, it’s like a small apple but the price…

Meal for two!

Although this fatty tuna sushi looks good… Don’t get them. It’s too big and thick. Not fat enough to melt in your mouth too. Very difficult to chew. I have once again lose faith in tuna.

They are better eaten microwaved and dipped in the leftover fish sauce.

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Shopping happened at Dotonburi.

This melonpan with ice-cream is popular but I didn’t get it because there’s a very strong butter lingering around the area.

Dessert before dinner at McDonald’s!

Oreo McFlurry is ยฅ290, a little more.expensive than Singapore’s but they are way more generous with the oreo bits.

Tried the new premium hazelnut chocolate pastry pie. It’s soooo good. There’s like two dollops of nutella. ๐Ÿ˜‹

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Yakiniku at Matsusaka M. Finally back to satisfy my craving.

Ordered a 2 person share fatty beef platter, and I’m the only person having it because TC doesn’t eat beef.

TC’s fatty pork, pork kalbi and chicken.

Scallops! (We had so much scallops during this trip. ๐Ÿ˜‹)

Almost forgot the hotpot garlic rice.

Mmmm…

Together with beer and highball.

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We were just in time to watch a praying a progress, at the little shrine right outside the restaurant!

The horn that they are blowing is actually a huge conch shell.

All the while wondering is the paper garlands hanging at the top will catch fire or not.

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Slow-roasted sweet potato for supper. I saw a lot of people queuing to get it, so I joined the queue. (Singaporean’s logic; got queue means got good stuff)

Then realise that it isn’t cheap leh! Approximately $10 for a large sweet potato.

It really is huge. We couldn’t finish it. ๐Ÿคฃ

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Please work your magic! Help me lose weight!

japan day 4 – kyoto . sanjusangendo . hisago . ichiran

Quick breakfast from Family Mart before we rush down to the shrine. Got the braised pork onigiri which was from the premium range and a chicken & egg sandwich. Both are very nice! Very filling.

Soymilk smoothie with fruits. Waaaa… I really like this leh! Why Singapore don’t have? Smoothie is very thick due to the bananas, had to wait a while for it to come out. ๐Ÿ˜†

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Sanjusangendo. It was closed when we came yesterday.

Let me just go somewhere to steal some pictures first, so that I can show you how amazing this place is. We’re not allowed to take pictures inside. โ˜น

Tadaa!

Some brief history from Wiki.
The main deity of the temple is Sahasrabhuja-arya-avalokiteล›vara or the Thousand Armed Kannon. The statue of the main deity was created by the Kamakura sculptor Tankei and is a National Treasure of Japan. The temple also contains one thousand life-size statues of the Thousand Armed Kannon which stand on both the right and left sides of the main statue in 10 rows and 50 columns. Of these, 124 statues are from the original temple, rescued from the fire of 1249, while the remaining 876 statues were constructed in the 13th century. The statues are made of Japanese cypress clad in gold leaf. The temple is 120- meter long. Around the 1000 Kannon statues stand 28 statues of guardian deities. There are also two famous statues of Fลซjin and Raijin.

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Got my fortune again! It’s still good. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

We are allowed take pictures outside the praying hall.

This looks like cherry blossom? Not sure. ๐Ÿค”

Plum blossoms.

Freesias smells very niceeee.

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Another temple. Don’t know the name. Hahahhahahaha! It was somewhere nearby.

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Maple pretzel for a snack before we head for dinner.

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Oyako don at Hisago! I have craved a long time for this. It’s still good. ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹ Can never find anything that’s close to this in Singapore.

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Then favourite dango with sweet salty miso sauce for dessert! Shop’s name is Tanbaya. This is a must get!

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Coffee at Tsukiji Cafe, not the fish market. The decor is pretty.

Ordered assam tea, tastes just like lipton tea. Chocolate is meh. Weiner coffee is coffee with cream.

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Just strolling around.

Saw these cute easter treats.

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Then it was time for a late dinner at Ichiran. Safe place for ramen.

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One last supper in Kyoto, clearing the food that we still have.

japan day 3 – kyoto . disney store . nishiki market . katsukura

This building. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Don’t know who so evil, stick the sticker there. TC thought we are really staying in NASA. ๐Ÿคฃ

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Took a walk along to river to town

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Shopped at the Disney store. They have things like dollhouses and those Alice in the Wonderland home decorative items are so pretty!

I’m here for only beauty and the beast. ๐Ÿ˜ Too bad I can’t find tsum tsum for the rest of the characters. Gonna try the store at Osaka.

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Food galore at Nishiki Market.

Saw Mike Chen’s Kyoto youtube video, there’s this tangerine mochi and TC has been wanting to eat it. Yes, tangerine is juicy, just a little sweet but the mochi around it tastes like the skin around snowskin mooncakes. Really not a fan of snowskin. ๐Ÿ˜

Bought a packet of Houjicha tea leaves here. Packet was filled to the bream.

These scallops. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Although I don’t like butter but it doesn’t have the milky taste that I hate and most importantly there’s a sweet corn fragrance. I’ve looked at the other stores, it’s either just boiled in water or grilled until it looks dry.

Best. Big, juicy and sweet.

I always crave for this tamago. Really don’t know how they make it so smooth.

Soft mochi in soybean powder. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

The flowers. ๐Ÿ˜ Too bad, I can’t bring them back.

Snooppy shop. Very cute but I didn’t get any.

I saw a shop selling custard filled porcupines and chocolate croquette. Please skip them. Just interesting but doesn’t taste good.

Soymilk store. We had the matcha soymilk ice cream, it’s not the creamy kind, it’s more like ice; frozen slushie. Soymilk donuts are good; fluffy and mildly sweet.

Tofu skin is the best! Eaten with soy sauce and a little bit of wasabi. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Bought a pack of sweet strawberries for tonight.

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There’s a mini Kitano Tenmangu Shrine near Nishiki. What’s different is that they have moving mechanisms.

You can enjoy the plum blossoms here too.

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Wanted to visit a few other shrines but they close early during this period until 28 Feb.

Nevertheless, it was still a good stroll.

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That’s Kyoto tower.

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Headed to Isetan for Pork Cutlets. Katsukura at The Cube, it’s at the 11th floor’s Eat Paradise. Would take quite some time to find.

We ordered from the premium range, costs around ยฅ2,000 for 120g. Pork is really tender. Even the barley rice is good. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

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If you have time, since you are already at the top level, go take a look at the scenery around.

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Ballroom range for Sylvannian Families! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Argh! Why so pretty? That sprig of cherry blossom. ๐Ÿ‘

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Supper

Got the hotpot set from the supermarket, the soup packet is included at the bottom. Surprisingly good.

Donuts are from a little stall at Kyoto Station. Very doughy. Meh. Just cute for pictures.

japan day 2 – kyoto . elk cafe . kitano tenmangu . kinkaku-ji . sushi no musashi . mcdonald’s . premium cup noodles

On our way for some yummy food.

At ELK Cafe, they serve soufflรจ pancakes. The place may be a little too cosy. ๐Ÿคฃ

Order croque monsieur and chocolate cookie & banana pancakes. Had coffees too, which I think you can skip.

Pancakes are very very soft and airy, like clouds. I loved it!

Everything in the croque monsieur works so well together, even that little bit of spinach on top adds a good tinge of flavour. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Another hit! Although the chocolate wasn’t sinful, it was just nice. That whipped cream surprised me, I thought it was ice cream but not cold??? Hahaha! Creamy, airy and smooth, best part is there’s no milky smell. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

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We’re taking the public bus to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, following Google’s direction of course.

There’s a festival every 25th of the month at the shrine, hence the crowd. There’s flea market along the way selling food, crafted items and second-hand stuffs.

What a long queue to see geishas! All the way in. ๐Ÿ˜…

Can you spot the geishas?

There’s even a long queue for praying. ๐Ÿ˜“

Can’t finished the food but I don’t want to waste it. This is what I do. ๐Ÿ‘Œ

Got my fortune! Luckily it’s good.

Plum blossoms everywhere. If you can’t go for cherry blossoms season, come earlier to see plum blossoms instead.

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Decided to walk to Kinkaku-ji Shrine

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Stopped for a quick rest before we step inside the Shrine. Takoyaki in soup ๐Ÿค” and croquette. Never had soaked takoyaki before, still tastes like it but just wet.

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They give amulets as admission passes. Haha! That’s nice. ยฅ200 per adult.

Here’s the famous golden shrine.

Gold carp in the lake.

Other things around the shrine.

Bought a few charms, all they need to do is sell one that says ‘good health for pet’. Take my money.

Also bought my stamp book here; ยฅ800 for the book, ยฅ300 for the stamp. The calligraphy is really nice to look at.

Got my fortune here too! It’s still good. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

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We’re having sushi tonight! Sushi no Musashi, Foursquare recommended this place to us and it has a score of 8.8/10.

After seated, we were quite surprised because the servings aren’t as generous as the ones we have been to before. Oh well.

Mentaiko is salty. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Scallop is sweet but I think it’s only half scallop each.

I never like tuna until I had this fatty tuna. ๐Ÿ˜

Just look at the grain and fats.

Uni sushi. Another love. Can never find a good one in Singapore. It’s like creamy egg yolk.

On to the sweet stuffs; beancurd skin, tamago and sweet potato.

We only had 12 plates, it’s quite affordable.

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Shopped at one of my favorite place, Flying Tiger Copenhagen. Only managed to get 2 items for the house though, the selection is not as much as the last time I was here which was 2 or 3 years ago?

Got this for TC from Loft. He can be batman for 15 mins. ๐Ÿคฃ

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Headed to McDonald’s for some food because laoniang’s gastric is acting up.

Shared a Chicken Tatsuya burger meal. It was damnnnnnnn good. Omgawd. Well marinated, full of flavour and tender. Can Singapore McDonald’s bring in this???

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Late night supper! Everything from 7-eleven.

Cup noodles from their premium range. Obviously, I wouldn’t know what’s the flavour.

Has little packs of oil which has to be added after the noodles are cooked.

Don’t know why TC always somehow has a lot of green onions in his food. ๐Ÿคฃ

Anyways, the yellow one. Noodles are thick and chewy. Soup is thick. Really good. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Brown. The oil has this salted fish smell which I hate because I don’t like salted fish. Doesn’t smell that bad when eating. Noodles are thin. Soup wise is just salty? Can’t really comment. Haha.

Added vegetables to the diet because we hardly had vegetables. The vegetable is very good because it has a natural sweetness.

Guess it’s the peach season? Yes to Calpis Peach Soda. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ No to Peach Coke, it’s like have soap fragrant drink. Ewww… I threw the wjole bottle.