Tokyo: Day One
Woke up at an ungodly hour and dragged the poor boy along. Still think I must be crazy to planning this last minute trip, but I hope the experience will be worth it.
Who knew an airline will serve coffee c/o starbucks.. Only an American airline of course! First time taking Delta airline cuz it’s the cheapest of the lot. Despite the bad reviews, so far so good, nothing to complain about.
1.5 hrs later, dragging my 16kg luggage up and down the stairs and noisily across the streets. I’m finally at Kako’s home! Shall layer up and go explore Kijijoji! Will basically update dayre as I go along so that I won’t forget impt points when I blog in details. First dips for you guys!
Apparently this is the mini welcome pack I missed before leaving the house just now.. Everything is enough to keep me self contained – risotto, beef soup, chocolates, pocket wifi and powerbank.. So blessed! Shall go get myself all comfortable and cosy before I hop over to my blog and post a proper one. See you on the other side~~~~
Tonight’s facial treat. My skin needs all the hydration after the long flight and cold air. (I tend to bring my full sized skincare along.. That’s why luggage always heavy 😔
Oh oh, and this is my must-have whenever I travel. Use after toner, before moisturizer. I’ve reviewed it in detail before. To sum it up, it is perfect for your skin when it is trying to adjust between climates/season. It’s actually encouraged to be used 28 days consecutive with the start of each season to help detoxify and purify to soothe and calm my skin. So basically I’ll be using it from today right until my next trip. Lol.
Tokyo: Day Two
Today we ventured out of Tokyo and into Kanagawa Prefecture. First stop, Enoshima Shrine! Was supposed to be able to see Mt Fuji from here but it’s foggy 😭
Lunch came with a beautiful view, there were eagles flying around us 😍 – we walked pretty far for this! The place is called 魚見亭, they are famous for shirasu don and serves really good crab miso.
Today’s lunch I’m alr craving for right now. That’s our seaview!
Then we rushed all the way to Houkokuji at Kamakura as it closes at 4pm. It’s suppose to be a teahouse with bamboos as added scenery – kinda like the bamboo forest, Takenomichi in Sagano, Kyoto; but smaller and nearer. Unfortunately the teahouse will be closed ’til 29th Feb 2016, so we couldn’t enjoy.
Sunset at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu – a massive shrine that’s said to be good for praying for one’s career 🙏🏻 Well basically we have been shrine-hopping cuz Kako got me started on a hobby. Will divulge tt later. But first, dinner.
We had yakitori and some beer to go along – Japanese style they say! And it’s only in Japan I will dare eat ox tongue, liver etc. These two are my utmost favorite people when I was working in Sushi train, along with Joyce Jian and Kathy. But good things nv last and now we are all over the world.. Always makes it a good excuse to travel tho!
Ending the day with one of the best and cheapest dumplings around: 薄皮餃子専門 渋谷餃子 it’s at Shibuya!
20 pieces for 880yen, OISHII!!! 👍🏻👍🏻(1 piece missing, so they gave us 3 extra 😊)
Address for this Usukawa Gyoza Senmon Shibuya place:
Atlas Shibuya Building 2F
Apparently we are not done, Karoke Japanese way with a good view of Shibuya! These two are determined to celebrate to the fullest after hearing about #operationkitties. Lol! Eat drink climb stairs repeat~
Tokyo: Day Three
This was what started the shrine-hopping hobby. I have always have a fascination with temples and shrines, the history behind it, the architecture etc. And now Kako added a new hobby: Goshuin (divine stamp) collecting. It’s normally only found at the bigger temples/shrines all around Japan.
Each Goshuin includes a red stamp and Japanese calligraphy of the name of the shrine/temple you’ve visited, along with the date and costs ¥300. Each stamp is a blessing btw so nv put it on the floor!
The album book, called Goshuin-cho, is necessary to receive the divine seal stamp as it is a sacred signature of the shrine and deity. So they will never stamp it on any random notebook of yours, just this. Every shrine sells a different design at ¥1,700.
And if you can’t find a specific design you like yet, don’t fret. Just request for the divine stamp (they will do it with their own paper) and glue it onto your album when you finally found one of your dreams!
I felt that was a wonderful idea for someone like me and so am starting with my collection! Hopefully can get two more tmr!
Exploring a little at Daikanyama today. It’s known for many quaint little shops and cafes that the local celebrities like to frequent.
Hidden from the main streets, it’s quite a walk from Omotesando station. Not much to eat tho, really just to enjoy the atmosphere.
Fun fact: they change the interior every month!!
Last stop of the day 🗼 Magnificent isn’t it?
Itinerary for tmr’s solo journey as Kako head to Osaka for her work trip. Loads of walking to fulfil many stops, gonna start pretty early. I hope I don’t overslp again, lol!
Tokyo: Day Four
OMFG, it’s snowing!!! My first snow!! 😱😱😱
Stepping on massive slushy today
Q-ing w e morning crowd
And u think Singapore’s peak hour is bad. Japanese are q-ing in order, patiently and politely.. No tsk-ing, no complains, no pushing.
Also the first time in my life I felt like a pack of sardines in the train. Literally no personal space, everyone’s body is squashed against each other as we move in accordance to the motion of the train. Crazy man. No more peak hour rides 🙅
Finally made it to Meiji Jingu (we were too late yest, it closes at 4.20pm in Winter) amidst the rain and snow. Freezing walk in but it’s really beautiful. Helps that this terrible weather means lesser tourist and prettier pictures!
No kako dearest today (off on a worktrip to Osaka), so it’s just me 😭 Just realize I forgot to draw my brows and my face is flushed from the cold haha
Next up is quite a controversial one: Yasukuni Jinja. And beside it, a museum dedicated to their fallen heroes. Got to pay ¥800 per pax, it took me about an hour+ to cover it all but only selected ones were translated into English.
I reckon most Asians won’t like it due to the lingering sentiments of WWII. But if you’re able to look past it with an open mind, you’ll realize that ultimately war is where the young and innocent get tricked to kill each by the old and bitter.
I’m not taking sides on whose wrong or right, by the way. It’s just a sobering reminder that no one ever wins in a war. And although history are meant to teach us a lesson, to never repeat the same mistakes again… Humans have always been waging war over two things: land and religion. Look what’s happening in the world today?
This will be a favorite with the boys: Sengaku-Ji temple
This temple is famous for where the 47-ronin are buried
Graves of the 47 Samurai
Oh dear, I’m too late for the Imperial Palace :/ ’til next time then! Now back to shibuya!
Back at my new found favorite gyoza place thanks to Kako! Woohoo!
P.S Shochu taste better with jasmine or oolong tea as compared to soda. Had to pour my remaining bottle of lemon tea to make it drinkable. Lol!
Will do some drugstore and grocery shopping after this, before heading home for a hot bath 🛀🏼
Nothing more rewarding than a hot bath after a loooooong day of walking in the cold, my poor feet were in dire need of some relief and the hot water sure takes the tension away. Good thing about being petite is that no bathtub is too small for me to fit in 👍🏻
No bubbles, just a stress-fix soaking salt from Aveda that smells amazing! Like lavender and some herb, think is sage. Skin feels very moisturised afterwards as well. I need to buy!!!
And now, some apple juice to acmpy as I start the tiring process of packing. Obviously bought this bottle for the packaging to bring home 😋
Tokyo: Day Five
Shochu is the best sleeping pill for me man, KO all the way. This morning’s instant breakfast: nasu miso, mushroom risotto, beef stew and custard pudding!
Packing situation, mostly tea and sweets. Didn’t buy much cosmetics this time round cuz I will be back pretty soon anyway, and Kose is sending stuff over so better not to stock up yet! Shall blog about my haul soon, ideally up by this Friday?
Ok, much better now! Finishing my stew, dessert, collagen drink and off I go! My flight is at 6pm actually but I’m leaving really early just in case! Since my journey takes at least 1.5-2hr, it’s better not to risk it shld there be any delay.
Early check in = more time for duty free shopping!
So many emails I’ve yet to reply but ahh, gtg! Bidding this humble abode goodbye, you have been awesomely fun. I’ll be back 🙆🏼😘💗
All aboard the Narita Express! Everything is currently on schedule and I didn’t realize that I bought the Limited Express one, which means fewer stops in between compared to the usual express de, 2-3 stops before my destination. May even reach half hour ahead of schedule, yay!
Luggage checked, duty free shopping done, now some me-time before boarding in an hour’s time. Feeling damn accomplished!
Btw, pls only buy this at the airport, it’s like approx 50% cheaper?!!! I’m wearing a similar compression sock now for the flight, helps in blood circulation soothe my achy legs – esp when my left ankle is feeling the strain again.
Also bought this for a good night sleep tonight!
The awesome feeling of breezing through duty-free cosmetics with the acknowledgment that I either already have it or don’t need it. High level of self-constraint achieved. Whee!