Tuesday, January 26, 2010


It was a really short visit in the afernoon, landed at Haneda Tokyo just after midday on a beautiful Christmas day and after put my two luggages in a coin locker at Shinagawa's station we jumped on JR Negishi line headed to Yokohama and got off at Sakuragi-cho station. Walking around Minato Mirai 21 (Harbor Future 21) district where the tallest building in Japan, Yokohama Landmark Tower is located but unfortunately we didn't have enough time to go inside. We strolled around the port, passing the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse and enjoy the fantastic view of the largest ferries wheel in the world and the 860m-long Yokohama Bay Bridge.

The view of Minato Mirai 21 district of Yokohama

The 860 m-long Yokohama Bay Bridge

The Red Brick Warehouse of Yokohama

The Akai Kutsu (red shoes) bus costs only 300 Yen for a day pass, starts from Sakuragi-cho station and stopping at such sightseeing destinations as Minato Mirai, Nihon Oodori, Chinatown, Yamashita Park and other areas.

Akai Kutsu (Red Shoes) bus

The Christmas-decorated Akai kutsu bus

Wish I had enough time to explore this second largest city of Japan..

Monday, January 25, 2010

Otaru Sweets

It's been one month since I left Japan and seemed like I left half of my heart over there too..
Here is another foodie post from my trip around Japan, especially from Otaru, Hokkaido.
Otaru, an old city worth visiting for its beauty and yummy food. Should you walk on the main streets of Otaru, you'd find cafes and shops along the streets with historic yet charming architectures, some look very traditional and some look very unique and creative. Sushi and seafood might be the most popular food for tourist, besides, there are some worth trying sweets in town, chocolate, cheesecake, sweet potato cake, cream puff and the list still goes on..

Chocolat de Otaru

Sweet Potato cakes in Otaru

Otaru Cream Puff

Apple Pie

Choco Cheesecake from LeTao cafe

LeTao Cheesecake

Christmas' sweets

Kitakaro cakes, fresh from the oven!

Kitakaro cake shop in Otaru

Kitakaro cake
Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rainbow Bridge

It was one fine Christmas Day when my ANA flight from Sapporo touched down at Haneda Airport Tokyo, didn't have much time to stroll around this biggest and most populous metro area in the world, I decided to walk around Yokohama port in the afternoon and then headed to my hotel in Asakusa. Checked in my hotel around 8 pm and as soon as we stepped in the room the phone was ringing! One friend was at the lobby to pick up us and we headed to Aqua city in Odaiba, an artificial island in Tokyo Bay area. Nothing much just strolling around the waterfront and enjoy the beautiful view of Rainbow bridge was more than enough to enjoy the night. There are lamps placed on the wires supporting the bridge, which are illuminated into three different colors, red, white and green every night using solar energy obtained during the day.

Rainbow bridge in Odaiba

The Decks Mall

And it was 12.30 am when we were back in our hotel..
Friday, January 15, 2010


Kushiage literally means deep fried skewer, is a Japanese cuisine made from deep fried meat, seafood or vegetables and mostly served on skewers. It looks like a yakitori, a kind of grilled things (meat, seafood or vegies) on skewers too.
Osaka is quite famous for its Kushiage cuisine, especially around Shinsekai area. During my visit in Osaka, one friend took us for a walk around Shinsekai and we decided to have Kushiage dinner.It was my first experience enjoying Kushiage cuisine and it was really a good pick!

Here are some of my Kushiage shots..

The crispy batter and melted cheese are yummy blend

Mixed skewers

Mixed Kushiage (chicken, fish and vegetables)

Kushiage dipped in soy sauce

Tofu steak

Beef's skin on skewers

A Kushiage shop in Shinsekai
Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Miyajima the shrine island, is a beautiful island located about 20 km South-west of Hiroshima city. Known as Japan's three most iconic tourist spots, with Itsukushima shrine registered as World Heritage site, this sacred island believed to be the home of Kami, a shinto deity.

The famous Ohtorii

The famous 'Ohtorii' gate of Itsukushima shrine is widely known around the world as a symbol of Japan, everyone seeing this gate would say,'This is Japan!'.

Miyajima island

Take the local train from Hiroshima station for a-3o minute trip to Miyajima-guchi station and then walk across the road to the pier and take the JR Miyajima ferry for another 10 minutes then you'll be welcomed by the the Ohtorii gate of Miyajima.

Miyajima ferry pier

The ferry to Miyajima

Shops in Miyajima

Miyajima, an island where people and gods dwell together..

Okonomiyaki, Hiroshima vs Osaka?

Here are two different styles of Okonomiyaki, Osaka-style and Hiroshima style, which one would you choose?

Osaka-style Okonomiyaki from Fugetsu at Yodoyabashi camera building in Umeda

Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki from Okonomimura in Hiroshima

Both are yummy and have their own unique taste..
Monday, January 11, 2010

Historic city of Hiroshima

It was a sunny winter morning when I took Hikari Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka station for about one and half hours to Hiroshima JR station. I only got half day to explore this historic city of Japan, accompanied by my volunteer guide we headed to Miyajima straight away and went back to the city to visit the Atomic Boom Dome, one of two World Heritage sites in Hiroshima along with Miyajima island, I'll write about Miyajima in separate post.

Atomic bomb dome

The Atomic Bomb Dome was constructed in 1915 as a facility for the display and sale of commercial products within Hiroshima prefecture and was the location for the Hiroshima prefecture art exhibition and other such events. In December 1996, it was listed as a World Heritage site. Presently as a remaining landmark of the devastation caused at the time of bombing, it is a symbol for the motto "No More Hiroshimas." Spanning the generations it has become a symbol for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the importance of lasting peace throughout the world. You can read the full history of A-bomb dome from here.

The A-bomb dome is located in The Peace Memorial Park, a large park in the central of Hiroshima city. You can take a street car (tram) from JR Hiroshima station bound for Hiroden-miyajima-guchi or Eba, and get off at 'Genbaku Domu-mae'.

Peace memorial park

From the park we strolled down to the Okonomimura (Okonomi village) to enjoy the famous Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki, there are more than a dozen of Okonomiyaki shops in this building.

Okonomimura (Okonomi village)

Another Hiroshima's specialty food: Momiji manju (maple pancake)

Hikari shinkansen at Shin Osaka station
Friday, January 8, 2010

Ramen Walker

Ramen or Japanese noodle is one of my favorite foods and almost every region in Japan has its own variety, from my favorite tonkotsu ramen of Kyushu to miso ramen from Hokkaido.
Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido is famous for its rich miso ramen which is ideal for Hokkaido's snowy winter. Should you visit Sapporo and want to try the local famous ramen, you just need to find one place called Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku (Sapporo Republic Ramen) in ESTA building level 10 just next to Sapporo JR station. You'd find more than a dozen ramen shops with its specialty and you can try different ramen each day just like what I did during my four days visit in this city.
During my trip in Japan last year-end, I could't resist to try every ramen I found in every city I dropped by, not only in Hokkaido but some other cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto as well. Here are some of my ramen's shots:

Starts from my favorite ramen in Sapporo, these two ramens are from Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku.

This one was the best one, unfortunately I couldn't remember the name

Sapporo miso ramen

Miso ramen in Asahikawa

Shoyu ramen in Hakodate

Shio (salty) ramen in Shinagawa (Tokyo)

Tonkotsu ramen in Kyoto

Shoyu ramen in Shinsekai, Osaka

Miso ramen in Namba, Osaka

One ramen shop in Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku

Free eggs from above shop in Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku

Yes the eggs are free! One of ramen shops in Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku offers free eggs with your ramen, you can eat as many as boiled egg with you ramen for free.