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Showing posts from December, 2014

My Japan Diary - The last of 2014

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Day 7 - How time flies, having been here for 6 days so far, it is time I do some reflection. What have we learnt about Japan that will be useful for you readers to know? 
1. Pachinko and slots? It's abundant here and basically they are for the elderly to pass time. 
2. Hotels here provide toiletries ranging from comb to shampoo so a lot of luggage weight and space can be saved.
3. Check out time ranges so it may not necessarily be at 12noon.
4. Transportation here cost >200 yen ($2+) even for one stop. 
5. There are many different transport providers supporting different train lines so you have to make sure you double check. We had to do many reroutes. 
6. Transporting luggages between cities and hotels can be done overnight so do send your luggages to the nearest concierge a day before transition. 
7.  English is more widely known amongst the Japanese but some words are in Chinese so you tend to be able to figure out something from a word or two you know.
8. Starbucks here is much che…

My Japan Diary - From Osaka to Kyoto

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Day 6 - We checked out from Hotel Monterey Osaka today. Today's weather is less cold than the last few days at about 12 degrees celsius. We realized that this hotel's check out time is 11am! Luckily we realized at around 10 plus. 
Took the JR line from Osaka station to Kyoto. About 15 stops and 45mins to reach Kyoto. Costs us 560 yen each. 
In the train...
Reached at about lunchtime so we decided to have lunch before check in. Was hard to decide what to eat so we basically tried to choose something which we haven't had yet. Decided upon Kushiya Monotagari (Kushiage). It is located at Higashi-Shiokojicho 590-2, Kyoto Yodobashi Bldg about 10mins walk from Kyoto station. 
The place is quite packed with lunch crowd perhaps because there was a wide selection of dining options there. The concept here is quite interesting. It is self-service deep frying of skewered finger food where you are free to dip them into batter and panko crumbs before placing them in the heated oil in front o…

My Japan Diary - Around Nipponbashi and Namba

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Day 5 - We planned where our lunch and dinner will be at so our shopping was basically around those places. 
Nipponbashi to Namba was just a stretch away. Our first stop was at Kuromon Market which is also known as 黑门市场. 
Kuromon Market was not a disappointment at all. Exit 10 from Nipponbashi station and about 2 mins walk will bring you to the market. You will be welcomed with many Takoyaki and BBQ stations selling grilled squids, meats and many more. Lots of handsome and pretty fishmongers and butchers shouting at you to draw you towards their stall. 

Seafoods and fresh vegetables are abundant. It is like a wet market in SG but with more exotic and fresher foods. The place is huge and even though you will see many stalls selling almost the same thing, business seems to be competitive. There was so much to see and buy but too bad we are not living here for long to have a chance to cook. 
We then walked for about 10mins to Katsu Yoshibei for lunch. Famous for their katsudon and we surely …

My Japan Diary - A day of Eating

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Day 4 - Slept a little more today as we were too shagged from USJ. We were prepared for a day of nomming as we had lots of cravings to satisfy. 
1st stop was at a humble eatery specialized for their beef okonomiyaki. We had the pork yaki soba and seafood okonomiyaki since there was not much on their food menu besides these two types. Can't decipher the name of this place but it should be pretty famous as we have seen queues outside the restaurant before. 

The noodles was quite bland and lacks flavour. Pork slices were tender while generous amounts of cabbage and spring onions was added for the crunch. If only it was cooked with more spices.
Our okonomiyaki was not as disappointing and the wait was worth it. There was a good balance of cabbage and flour used to deliver the pancake that was topped with teriyaki sauce, mayonnaise and last but not least, bonito flakes. 
How to eat a okonomiyaki?  1. Prepare yourself with a pancake cutter. Expect that the okonomiyaki will either be cooked a…