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…

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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.

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Chicken cutlet sandwich as a tea break snack. Yums.

Pit stop. Food stations close at 6pm. 😅

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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.

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It was really quiet.

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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!