New Years Day @ Fushimi Inari

September 26th, 2014

if you’re in Japan on December 31st, you MUST visit a temple/shrine. it isn’t exactly what all Japanese people do but I can guarantee you a huge crowd. in fact, I headed over to Fushimi Inari, my favourite geisha shrine. okay, it isn’t a geisha shrine but I call it that because it came out in “memoirs of a geisha” and I loved that scene a lot.

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we arrived around 4-5am on the first of January and half the stores were closed but you can imagine how crowded it was the night before. I wanted to go for the new years eve festival too but I chose to watch the first sunrise. it is similar in Korea too, where Koreans travel to the most Easten side of Korea to watch the first sunrise of the year.

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some random store. the food at festivals are really good. no idea if it is because I was in a festival mood or maybe because there was a lack of food and everything just tasted so good. but they are also much more expensive =(.

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see how most of the stores are already closed? there are less people too.

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alright, so I was really tired and I couldn’t hike up anymore. and this was literally my sunrise. with no sun. it was just like the whole sky lighting up. =S. there was a crowd of people behind me ahaha I was lucky to capture a shot of the peaceful Kyoto without anyone blocking me in front.

but it was rather misty that morning so.. =S.

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since I am Chinese, I really shouldn’t wear black on the first day of the year. but oh well, at least I had some red elements! I continued hiking and made hiking up Fushimi Inari my first new years resolution. hahahahha. stopped by at this stop to have eggs dipped in salt.

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I just love how the stores there are. very peaceful and Japanesey. and pricey =(.

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you know you’re halfway through when you see a lake. not in this post but you can see another Fushimi Inari post I had posted.

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I actually recommend you to take the way most people take to come down and not some random other way because it is not as pretty. as you go up, the tori’s will get further and further apart and it will also get steeper and difficult to hike if you have no stamina like me.

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well I made it to the top but.. I didn’t take any pictures there because the peak was.. sort of like a cemetery. not very appropriate. but I made it to the the peak of Fushimi Inari so my first new years resolution was checked on the first day!

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and on my way down.. it was around 9am and it was getting bloody crowded again. but I love being with people. make me feel less alone. =D. I was there with a friend so I liked it. but if you’ll be going there alone, you might want to invite a friend or two from your guesthouse/dorm or just look for some local friends to mingle around with!

Sinchon’s Famous ONE WHOLE CHICKEN! 공릉 닭한마리

September 23rd, 2014

공릉닭한마리 or Gong-reung-dalg-han-mari is said to be one of the yummiest of its kind! located in Sinchon, this famous place is actually pretty secluded and difficult to find. actually, most dalghanmari’s are hahahahaha. no idea why.

Japanese people especially frequents this place a lot and it was my Japanese friend whom had introduced me to all the famous Dalghanmari restaurants.

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but don’t worry because I’ve got you covered. I’ll provide you directions on how to get to gong-reung-dalghanmari. it is actually located in the middle of Sinchon and Edae but let me tell you how to get there from Sinchon instead since it’s nearer!

SO, get out from Exit 3 of Sinchon Station (line 2/green line). then, walk straight and turn right on the first right turn you find. it’s quite a small road but just walk all the way straight and you should be able to see buildings like the picture above.. it isn’t that difficult to find actually but because it is rather secluded so…

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here’s how the entrance look like!

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the Dalghanmari here is 1,000won cheaper than the one in Dongdaemun and is in my opinion, more delicious. it is kind of different. not sure how to express it but the one in Dongdaemun is much more famous. I guess people who prefer a sourish kind of sauce will prefer this one.

they state that it’s 19,000won for 2-3 people right? don’t trust them. unless you order noodles or is a small eater, you need 1 and a half for 3 people. because it is just THAT yummy. and yes, it’s possible to order half a portion for this store.

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the interior. nothing special. just like an ordinary Korean restaurant. and you sit on the floor!

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here it is! look very bland does it? but it’s not this pot that matters to me..

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is the sauce. look pretty.. disgusting? well I am salivating as I write this post. the sauce here is THE BOMB. only flaw is that they do not have all the ingredients on the table so that you can make as much sauce as you want like the dalghanmari store in Dongdaemun but the one here is YUMMAYYYY. they have different sauces and I guess that’s how they differ to me.

 

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their Kimchi’s really good too. similar to the one in Dongdaemun.

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it wasn’t my first time there and just look at the look of happiness on my face =3.

that’s how good it was. I cannot guarantee that it’ll taste as good as when I went there but it was good every time I was there.

 

Fat Cat in Gion.

September 22nd, 2014

for the first time in forever my blog, an animal post. hahahhahahaha.

I’ve never really liked cats.

I’d scream and yell if there’s a cat near me. I especially hate how their tails touch my leg.

and also when I slept over at a friend’s house in Korea whom has 3 cats and woke up with cats sleeping around me AND blood stains on my face (the cats scratched and walked all over me pfft). oh the door was closed. somehow the cats managed to open the door via the handle wtf.

I don’t know since when but cats DO seem adorable to me now. I still love dogs more but I start to think cats are really cute creatures. especially this fat cat I bumped into in Gion, Kyoto.

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apparently this cat was kind of famous in Gion. locals recognizes it! it was soooooo fat. and it kept rolling around.

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like KYAAAAAAAAAAA.

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just too cute.

here’s a video of it rolling! sorry for the ending part because I dropped my DSLR and my heart shattered T_T.

enjoy!

Gusto Taco, Sangsu/Hongdae VS. Vatos

September 14th, 2014

travelling in Korea but is sick of Korean food already? or have you been here too long that you’d like something else?

well, how does Mexican taco’s sound like to you?

recommended by Koreans who had lived in Latin America themselves, Gusto Taco is as close as it can get to the original ones in Mexico.

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located near Sangsu Station exit 1, this place isn’t difficult to find at all. just walk straight amongst the row of cafe’s and restaurants and you’ll definitely see it!

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no doubt Gusto Taco is awesome as it is also the top rated Mexican food in Korea according to Trip Advisor!

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the outdoor view had a really nice atmosphere. really liked it. cozy and romantic =D.

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whereas it’s just very casual and pretty inside.

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we ordered a plate of Nachos with amazing cheese and other yummy Mexican style toppings. =D. don’t remember the exact price but taco’s in this shop ranges from 9~23 thousand won.

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meet my oppa! Kemal! (and the white guy smiling at us behind!) he’s so famous the white guy sitting beside us recognized him and asked him if he works at XXXXXXX store and said he’s actually well known amongst foreigners as the “foreigner who speaks Korean really well.” so proud to have such a famous friend! hehehe. Kemal used to sit beside me in class when we attended Yonsei Korean Language Institute and he had always taken good care of me in class =3. blessed to have such a lovely friend. oh! he probably writes better than me in Chinese. such a multilingual Turkish guy!

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and here comes our tacos! ordered beef. it was SO GOOD. you can add extra chilli sauce if you want to if I’m not wrong. so so so so so good U_U. the nacho’s was good enough but you MUST try their taco’s. I kind of like Vatos’ creative mix but this is yummy in another way. I had never been to Mexico so I’ll never know what’s authentic but this seems to me like the authentic version. while Vatos’ tacos are good because they have a Korean twist and it’s special like that.

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look! look how yummy it is! it’s quite pricey considering how it DOESN’T fill up your stomach. taco’s here costs around 6~7thousand won.

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a closer look!

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similar to Vatos, they sell Coronarita here. it’s a mix between Corona and Margerita. my biggest disappointment is that they served us Coronarita with NO SHAVED ICE. I mean, I understand that their machine was broken that day but they could’ve refunded us instead if serving us something that even I didn’t want to take a picture of. =/. but as for the taste it still tastes good.

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sorry for the blur picture but I just wanted to show you how the other side look. the whole place is pretty filled with foreigners but Koreans who value great Mexican food end up coming here too!

Gusto Taco’s website : http://gustotaco.com/

and now,

VATOS.

almost everyone’s favourite but with a Korean taste in it. it is slightly more expensive Gusto Taco’s and also a little smaller in portion for the tacos but great quality.

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I personally liked the design of the restaurant. they have one in Itaewon, one in Garuso-gil (above Giordano) and another one in Galleria’s food court. every table is served with free.. chips? with some salsa sauce. but what I really liked was the peach margerita (I think. whatever it was, it’s peach and it has an alcohol version.) WITHOUT alcohol. it was cheaper without the alcohol but the original price was 14,000won. they also have a super wide range of drinks (you can check it on their website) and drinks where they pop bottles of beers into a huge glass of ice blended margerita.

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their famous menu is the Kimchi Fries. indeed very yummy but not as worthy when you come to think of it. it’s priced at 12,000won. some of my friends think that it’s over rated but it was really good to me U_U. but of course, I wouldn’t want to pay so much just for fries. (this place is meant for working class adults hahaa)

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here’s their prawn taco’s. pretty tiny? I can chuck them into my mouth like ssam (meat and other food wrapped in lettuce/vege) and chew them in one bite if I want to. but they are so good I’d just eat them bite by bite.

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my personal favourite from Vatos would be the Galbi tacos. if you’re going to visit Vatos, make sure you order these yummy Galbi tacos! the Korean fusion is so perfect you’ll be craving for more!

the taco’s here are 7,000won for two and 9,000-10,000won for 3. quite expensive for such tiny tacos? oh well, they taste good!

here’s Vatos’ website : http://vatoskorea.com

verdict? I liked both Gusto Taco and Vatos but Vatos is definitely on the higher end side (and I just can’t get those galbi taco’s out of my mind!) and something you’ll only be able to find in Korea. but Gusto Taco’s more pocket friendly and tastes amazing. we all know how far Mexico is and personally, I don’t enjoy taco bell. so Gusto Taco would be one of the places you can go to when you have your Mexican food cravings! I’d go to Vatos more often if only it was cheaper.

summer vacation back home

September 8th, 2014

warning! this is quite a personal post. travel post readers might find this boring =X.

my first summer vacation in Malaysia after 3 years. no doubt many things has changed. the crazy jam all over because of the MRT, inflation of almost everything, friends all started to work and the worst thing was, it is the busiest month for all. but nevertheless I am really grateful for those who had to travel all the way to see me because my license expired.. too long ago to be renewed. it is actually a good thing that I can’t drive. I don’t want to hurt anybody =X. I admit, I’m a lousy driver hahahahah. I’ve been told that I’m multi talented. but I can’t drive well and I have not mastered the basic skill to cycling, skating and anything involving balance with ANOTHER object. okay except high heels.

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so as soon as I’m back, Pavilion was my first destination. and coincidentally, there was a K-festival thingy going on. my mom didn’t believe that those behind those costumes are Malaysian she had to ask them. I AM RIGHT!

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the clothes was pretty impressive. but it was a little too draggy. I like looking at ancient Korean stuff. but I guess I am not so much of a fan of the slow dance.

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some expensive Japanese restaurant in KLCC (not umai-ya) and it was quite a rip off. the slices of sashimi was very small and thin compared to what was being showed on the menu. quite a disappointment.

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my sister’s wedding shower at Acme. a pretty nice cafe in KL. it’s Korean class. or even better.

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I HAD to have my Nong and Jimmy (at Jalan Cempaka) before I leave. try their glass noodles and chicken feet!!! super affordable too! as long as you do not order crab.

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coming to A&W for the last time. since they are going to be torn down. with our country’s own famous photographer Andy Kho!

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and we went for some Swedish meatballs. I just LOVE all the lighting in Ikea. they say lighting matters a lot! which I find super true.

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dropped by Kakaotalk Malaysia’s office to visit APEACH! look at all the Apeach in the picture!!!!

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okay truth was I was there to visit my favourite girl, Natalie! and another good friend, Jason working in the same building ^^.

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and finally, during my sister’s wedding, the 3 musketeers reunited. although we hadn’t met (all 3 of us together) for 3 years, I really look forward to one day where we can go food hunting, badminton and swimming together again!

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we didn’t reunite because this fatty’s schedule clashed with mine. but look how happy we were after finally being able to meet after so long :’).

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they say you gain a brother when your sister gets married. well I’d like to assume I gained two. since my brother in law has a brother. brother in law’s brother is.. still my brother in law haha.

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the singers my whom was hired at my sis’s wedding! they were really good but I especially liked how the guy’s voice and style is so very unique! hope they can make it even bigger one day! =D. (although they are already quite expensive singers for weddings ahem)

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and last picture with my sister and my brother in law right before I left for Korea.

I left in the middle of the wedding dinner. sad much?

my handbag with very heavy stuff broke right after arriving at the airport. T_____T.

but thank goodness I am finally here in Seoul in one piece. my sister was worried sick because I had to go on a plane. she now has sitting on planes phobia because of the recent tragedies. =/.

and here are some pictures from my Instagram and further caps =D.

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I am really grateful towards my mom for taking care of me and not complaining about sending me here and there just to meet my friends when I don’t have transport. and also the woman I love the most, my grandma whom had always been yelling at me to eat because she thinks I starve too much T_T.

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went to chill at Joseph’s house and we experimented baked kit kat! pretty good. definitely would like to have more! and some good Korean cow’s tongue at night.

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the very next day I met my twin partner in crime, Mr. Jeremy Teo. now now, don’t we look alike? had Korean food. AGAIN! this time Kimchi stew which I was longing for. hahaha. he is the most awesome friend ever. arrange to meet despite his busy schedule and messages from time to time. it isn’t an easy thing to do (even I can’t do it.) but he’s done it. U_U. *touched*

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went to a zoo. I mean, Ginny’s house. she has the most animals amongst all my friends. and her Koneko is so cute. can you believe it, this beautiful and very adorable cat was actually once a very ugly kitten which she saved.

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went to Andy’s Curious Goat. great place to hang out and yumcha!

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Andy and Ginny! Ginny is another awesome girl. extremely true and she seldom lie. not sure if it’s a good thing but I find it good because I don’t need to stress and guess about what she’s thinking and be like myself when I hang out with her ^^.

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thank you Shawn for bringing me to the SS2 durian buffet to feed me enough durians to last my cravings for a year. but I had durian again after a few days =X. it’s just TOOOOO good. drinking water from the shell of a durian is said to be good as they lower your body heat or something. and if you wash your hands with water poured into the durian husk, it is said that you can get rid of that strong durian smell from your fingers!

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thank you to my old friend for taking me to Klang for Bakuteh which I’ve not had in centuries! and also the biscuits I wanted from his holiday destination. thank you thank you and thank you!

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it was a nice catch up with Suzuki whom had travelled around Asia for 4 months straight by staying at random people’s house and hitch hiking. salute!

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another close friend whom I had not met for 6 years, Jon. also, another good catch up =3.

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sweet Mei Sze, the over-exposed model’s dopplegangger! I hope you get healthier and gain more weight before we get to travel and eat together in the future! so we can eat MORE!!! =D.

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thank you uncle Pat Pat for the very glam Japanese dinner. =D. I will study hard and earn loads of money so I can buy you something yummy too in the future!

I’d like to say thank you to MJ for bringing me for my kaya toast in the morning and even got a saman for it, Caverlin whom made me feel super loved every single time. thank you for being my sister from another mother. there’s also YeeHou. I am glad you valued my cow t-shirt and thank you for sharpening all my knives; may that be your part time job when you get really old. also biggest thank you to Nic for flying me to the airport =D!

the thing about studying abroad is that it gains you a lot of foreign friends but you’ll come to realize that there are very few friends from the past whom will still remain. and those who does remain, are friends you know whom had valued you more.

The Famous Kinana Ice Cream, Gion Kyoto

August 25th, 2014

Gion is perhaps my favourite place in Kyoto and I would only like to complain that there’s too much to see. there are not just a lot of places to visit but also a whole lot of places to eat at! other than my Jouvencelle, I visited the famous Kinana which were reviewed by many Korean bloggers. I have a friend whom had passed me their card and tell me that I must go there when I go back to Kyoto.

it’s some health ice cream I heard.

so how to get there?

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first, get to Hanami-koji! literally mean place to see flowers. I guess it’s a metaphor for a place to see Geishas hahaha.

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okay now when you walk in, you should walk for a while and turn right into the next small street. it’s on that row. just keep walking around until you find it.

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I kind of got lost since I went there looking at a map. oh well.

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here’s how the alley look like! Kinana look pretty normal and it doesn’t stand out (at all!) so you should learn how to read Japanese. I am not kidding hahaha. it’s written “(something)(something)きなな” simple yes? just remember the double hiragana at the end.

*something something because I can’t read Kanji T_T.

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Kinana had an array of desserts but I went right after some filling lunch at Izuju so I opted for something lighter. it looked like Kinana was known for their parfaits as well but oh well, there’s always a next time (and the parfait costs double! pfft.)

so how did it taste? I’d say, it tastes HEAVENLY. definitely a one of a kind ice cream shop as they have flavours barely sold anywhere else. I couldn’t remember any of the names of the ice cream by now but I had black sesame (my favourite of Japanese ice cream!) with some honey flavoured one. it was so light and fragrant I could have 2 more portions all by myself. it’s that type of ice cream which is soooo good you’d HATE to share.

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we also ordered a bowl of Honey shaved ice. the beautiful honey paste resting on top of the finely shaved ice sure look desirable but if I was given another chance, I’d order the green tea. I like honey. but I didn’t like this one as much. the red bean and plain ice cream was good though.

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oh hello =D.

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although Kinana only has 6 flavours to choose from, it’s already a lot. the 6 flavours are Matcha (green tea), Kurogoma (black sesame), Azuki red beans, plain, Kuromitsu (black honey, says google translate), Yomogi (mugwort). there is another set where you can choose 3 ice creams and if you’re going with a friend I’d recommend to ORDER ALL THE FLAVOURS!!! =3. those mochi was good but the ice cream was amazing.

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you can also buy a tub of ice cream  BUT you can only eat it inside. like, standing. because you’re not supposed to eat on the streets of Hanami-koji. and they’d not allow you to bring it out. so I guess that’s for when the place is really packed or you’re on a tighter budget =X.

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remember those writings on the cloth because they are your only clue! there are no pictures or anything outside so..

here’s the website : http://www.kyo-kinana.com

pricing : expensive but affordable. around 700yen to over 1000yen per person. the tubs were 360yen. not cheap but if you’re in Japan already, don’t skimp!