Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Keryn & Tim Travels: Last Day in Japan - Dotonbori, Osaka


And comes the last post of my Japan trip last September! After Kyoto, we took the train back Osaka and explored Dotonbori, the famed shopping district in Osaka. Intro pic is taken with the famous Namba Glico Man. :)






Dotonbori is always busy no matter what time of day! When we reached Osaka after Kyoto it was already around 11pm. And there were still so many people! Late night snack was takoyaki which you can find all around Dotonbori.




Our time in Japan flew by just like that and it was our last day here. :'( Tim and I ambitiously planned to have sushi for breakfast, yakiniku for lunch and maybe curry katsu for tea LOL cuz we simply did not have enough time to try out all the food we wanted to while here.

So our last day was spent here doing some shopping and eating. Look at the amount of people! 











First we went for sushi at Genrokuzushi Dotonbori joint. Night Owl Cinematics (NOC) released their Osaka travelogue sometime before we flew to Japan so yea, had to go where they recommended! You have to queue for a bit because the restaurant does not really seat a lot of people! However they offered a wide variety of sushi at inexpensive price point so it is worth the visit. Our whole meal was around ¥3000 only. 










Then we went to the Kuromon Market (Black Market) and had some local delicacies including my first try of the local oden. :) 

The scallop was really huge and succulent! We went with the lemon and basil flavor. It was cut into four pieces and we had 2 sizeable juicy bites each for ¥880. You can get the same dish at other stalls for around ¥500 but the scallops did not look as big as the one we had so do shop around for the best value!




September 10 was our 4th year getting together and just like our trip to Krabi back in 2016, this trip to Japan was also our Anniversary trip! Tim chose a yakiniku place to bring me there for lunch to celebrate. Tim then led the way to the yakiniku place but we arrived only to find that it was closed for the day!! TT






At this point we were just randomly strolling the streets around the area. We found this beef place which offered set lunches so we went in and had our celebratory lunch there. :)




Then Tim brought me to the electronics area of town and I just followed him around while he explored computers and games and other geeky things lol.



Before leaving, we went back to Shisaibashi Shopping Street to have Luke's Lobster as recommended by Tim's parents. Super yum!



Instastory grab #1 Tim got me this adorable hamster plush from a claw crane machine and it is very special to me as it commemorates this amazing trip Tim and I went on together. :)



Instastory grab #2 We had McDonald's for supper one night and I love the prawn fillet burger!





Last few pictures taken in Japan was at Kansai Airport before we left the beautiful country. :') First picture is an amazing portrait of Monalisa created solely from recycled train tickets. 

Then Tim got me Royce Chocolates while we wait for our flight. :) I really recommend getting Royce Chocolates as souvenirs when you visit Japan! Their chocolates retail in Malaysia for RM50+ per box but in Japan it is sold at around RM20+ only.



  

As for my Japan haul, this basically summed it up. :) Japan is well known for its drug store and I spent an amazing morning shopping there fishing for the best deals. I spent around ¥10,000 on the cosmetics and skin care, and you can read about my review of the items here!

The food were mainly souvenirs Tim and I got for our friends and colleagues. The giant bottles of milk tea is so worth the purchase! Family Mart sells the small bottle at RM9 each, while the giant bottle was ¥200 each! 



This Pretz souvenir pack was ¥1000 and it contained 9 mini packs of different flavours. In my opinion whether or not it was worth it really depends on individual. For one, you'd spend RM40 +/- buying Pretz of different flavours and would have fun trying them with your friends. On the other hand, with that money you can spend at a supermarket and buy a lot more other crisps and chocolates (for example refer to pic above, the bags of crisps, Kit Kats, pack of Gudetama chocolates, boxes of Oreos totalled to around ¥500).



Keeping these as memorabilia. It was really a nice trip with Tim and I always smile when I revisit memories of Japan. As usual, I am very thankful to check off another place on the globe with the one I love. :)

Till the next adventure!



With all the love,
Kxin

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Keryn & Tim Travels: Day Trip to Kyoto, Japan


During our trip to Japan last year, Tim and I included a one-day trip to Kyoto. Kyoto is famous for the beautiful shrines in the city and we were excited for it! Initially our plan was to cram visits to two cities, Kyoto and Nara, in a day however we figured we didn't want to rush so in the end we decided for Kyoto. And so glad we didn't! 

But even a day in Kyoto was too short for us! I would highly recommend at least a 2D1N stay in Kyoto to cover some of the most famous temples.

09/09/2017






Started our journey late in the day because we were both exhausted from Universal Studios Japan the day before. We departed from home to Osaka Station at 12pm, had lunch at the station then off we go! 




The train fare from Osaka to Kyoto via the JR Shinkansen was ¥560 and it took around 1 hour ride to reach our destination. 

We then got the Kyoto City Subway One-Day Pass which was ¥600 each- which in my opinion was not worth it for us because we barely used the sub-way! We used the train more to travel to Fushimi Inari and had to pay for additional travel expenses as the sub-way is not really accessible to many areas.



Train was too crowded that we couldn't stand together. QUESTION: How would you feel if you find your man looking at you like this through a crowd? 1) Sweet 2) Creepy LOL.






Sights on the way to the Fushimi Inari shrine. :)





I am a hardcore mochi lover so I couldn't pass on trying the roasted mochi! Loved the toasted crispiness on the outside and the chewiness of the inside. At the neighbouring stall we also had a wagyu beef skewer which was really tender and yummy. Each was ¥500 and worth the splurge! 







  


And then we were transported to another dimension. 

The Fushimi Inari is so beautiful. It was a nice windy day and perfect for a peaceful visit to a beautiful, brightly painted shrine. What would've made our visit even more enjoyable though? To visit earlier in the morning or later in the evening because you guessed it, it was just way too crowded with people! 

You cannot really see it from the pictures because we actually waited for the windows where there weren't people in front of us to take our pictures, for example:




Typical conversation while walking through the gates would be something like this:

"Walk slower, walk slower."
"Ok now. Go, go, go."
"I, 2, 3! *snap camera x100 as quickly as possible* Ok let's go."

Overall had nice pictures taken but I did not get a picture that I really love probably because of my outfit choice, which did not match with the yester-years ambience of the shrine. Kinda regret not renting a kimono for pictures. 






We then took the train and walked 2km to see the Ninna-ji Temple, which is both a national treasure and one of the listed world heritage sites! The garden surrounding the temple looks so beautiful and serene in pictures. Sadly for us, it was closed for the day when we reached *cries. We rested our tired legs and took some pictures outside the temple front gate before we left lol.

So to sum up our Kyoto trip, we visited one temple...






Our evening in Kyoto was lovely though! We went to the Shinkyogoku shopping area and had the famous Ichiran Ramen for dinner. :) 

We initially planned to have our Ichiran Ramen at the Dotonbori, Osaka branch. But while we were here, Tim googled and to our pleasant surprise, Ichiran Ramen has a joint here!

IMO this branch has a shorter queue compared to the Osaka Dotonbori joint! I've seen the line outside the Dotonbori joint, and it was crazy. So if you happen to be visiting both Osaka and Kyoto, you can opt to have Ichiran Ramen at the Kyoto branch instead.



The queue to order food at the self-service machine

The queue for the seat

The display showing available seating
Placed our order at the self-service machine and queued for our tables.




Note how we were randomly seated at number 13, 14. In the Chinese language, 1314 sounds like "一生一世" which means a couple staying together for life. LOL I was so excited when I noticed it because what are the odds lol. I'm so corny someone please help me... 




My glorious bowl of Ichiran Ramen. The soft boiled egg and seaweed were of course musts! We also got to extra pork to share.



And even though one of the selling point of Ichiran is that you get to experience dining in solitude, we (read: I, the overly attached girlfriend LOL) removed the panel between us so we could enjoy the meal together. :)



The ramen was so good that Tim not only finished his broth, but mine too! 

After dinner we had a relaxed stroll around the area.




Then this happened.

HAHAH I LOVE IT. I'm so glad we did this. Didn't think he'd be up for it but as usual Tim was very sporting (one of the qualities I love about him). I designed the 3rd and 4th pic from the top and Tim designed the rest, and IMO it turned out so adorable! The picture is now framed and on display on his computer desk back home. :3



With all the love,
Kxin