Monday, 28 November 2016

1 Oct. 2016 (Day trip to Kyoto)

We checked out from Hotel 1-2-3 Kobe and took the train from Sannomiya to Ibaraki station and Mama was there to take over our luggage and convey back to "Yasuki Hotel". Then, we made our way to Kyoto.

Upon arrival, we went for lunch at Ukiyahonten (有喜屋 先斗町本店)


As we reached the bridge near Gion machi, we went to get the 抹茶 (matcha) that Aloysius wanted to buy.


There was something else caught my boys' attention in Gion - the traditional kimono.

These ladies in kimono (着物) or yukata (浴衣) were strolling a narrow street in Gion, so Aloysius took a quick snap as after so many days in Japan, we saw these traditional costumes for the 1st time.

The following photos of the real gems; the Maiko (舞妓) were given by Mama when we showed her the shots taken by Aloysius. The elaborate head-gears & kimono were simply beautiful.

Before travelling back to Ibaraki to have dinner with Mama, we stopped by this dango shop.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

30 Sep. 2016 (From Hokkaido to Honshu)

*All the shinkansen trips have to be planned & reserved in advance*

We checked out early in the morning by just dropping the keys into the box at the counter and took the train from Hakodate at 6.57am to reach Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto in order to ride the 1st shinkansen, Hayabusa 12 at 7.34am in order to reach Tokyo station 12.04pm.

We grabbed Eki-bento from the Tokyo platform before boarding Shinkansen Hikari 473 at 1.03pm reaching Shin-Osaka station at 4.03pm and then connecting Shinkansen Sakura 567, arriving at Shin-Kobe at 4.33pm.

After depositing our lugguage at Hotel 1-2-3 Kobe, we went to meet Mama at JR Sanomiya Station - we planned to have Kobe beef here!

These are 2 of the awards for the quality beef.

The above ¥7000 per head teppanyaki meal is simply unforgettable as each of us had a 250g slab of special grade marbled Kobe beef, ox-tail consomme, etc.

Here to share the namecard of the restaurant in Kobe - Steakland Kobe which according to the details is open 365 days a year!

Monday, 21 November 2016

29 Sep. 2016 (Hakodate)

After enjoying the soup curry, we walked back to the hotel to collect our luggage from the concierge before returning to catch the train, "Limited Express Super Hokuto 14" at 1.32pm and arriving at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station at 4.54pm. Then we JR Hakodate line at 5.15pm and arrived at Hakodate at 5.41pm.

We came to Hakodate for 2 purposes - to capture the "Million Dollars Night Scene" from top of Mt Hakodate and to catch the 1st train out from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto" to Shin-Kobe station on 30 Sep. 2016.

After checking in to Inn Aozora which is very near to the station (3 min. walk), we took the bus up to Mt Hakodate. It is important to take note of the bus timings.

Each of us were braced for the "chill" up on Mt Hakodate as the temperature was expected to be around 8 deg without taking into consideration the strong wind factor. Yet, our tough guy had only his T-shirt. We found only one other guy up there also wearing polo-tee! Everyone else wore wind-breakers, scarves, beanies, pull-overs, etc.

After coming down by  bus, we came to the food mall near the station and had ramen before returning to the inn to rest as we need to wake up early for the 1st shinkansen to Shin-Kobe.

Added the map of Hakodate - so easy to get around!

Saturday, 19 November 2016

29 Sep. 2016 (Brunch at Sapporo before departing for Hakodate)

On the way to Sapporo station for late breakfast/early lunch, we stopped by the "surprise" food truck selling crepe.
With the fresh cream and fruits - so so delicious! Aleo would not mind having more of the crepes as lunch as there are so many varieties!

A nice option for lunch - the Japanese soup curry. The mild version was enjoyed by Aleo but Aloysius opted for the very spicy and after eating, declared "no kick!" [having gone thru' Level 35 buffalo wings challenge.]

28 Sep. 2016 (pm)

After the scrumptious seafood lunch, we moved on to visit Otaru by going back to Sapporo and then Otaru; all by JR trains using the JR pass which is FREE instead of ¥640 each.

 Arrived at Otaru station in 30 min. and headed out right into the central boulevard (中央道)which led us to the famous Otaru Canal.

On the way back, we stopped a nice shopping street to rest our feet.

This was something that we must stop for - ice-cream!

So we had the super yumilicious Hokkaido soft ice-cream!

Aleo's face of contentment after his 1st ice-cream!

We found this dis-used railway track which offered the setting for nice photos.

.Back in Sapporo, the boys again soaked in the hot tub of fruity bath salt to end the night in Sapporo.

The map to get around Otaru.