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!

Dear Reader(s)

August 23rd, 2014

I am not a famous blogger or anything, but I do get all sort of weird things ranging from hate mails to essays of their own life to love letters. I learned to be thick skinned and forget and not even let haters affect me. but really, to those who love me overly. please stop it. it’s creeping me out and I felt like I have a psychotic follower who is going to kidnap me one day and force me to marry him.

I would like to state that..

NO. I don’t want to marry you.

stop talking to me AS IF we are already in a relationship or as if we hang out.

don’t send me pictures of random things. including your parents pictures because it creeps me out.

I don’t add random people on Facebook. it’s my own private space and I hope you respect that.

please don’t tell me you want to be me. it is a little creepy too.

what I really do appreciate are..

appreciation comments/emails

thank you(s)

compliments (I LOVE THIS!)

suggestions on how I can improve.

correcting my grammar. I need this the most. don’t worry, it wouldn’t offend me. because I want to learn too. I know I have tonnes of grammar mistakes in each and every post T_T. oh well.

 

I also don’t mind if you email me asking me questions or if you want to set a date buy me lunch in Korea (if I have time. I love free lunches! ^^. only in crowded places.)

thank you!

Kushikatsu Daruma, an Osakan specialty.

August 20th, 2014

there are a lot to eat in Osaka, and I wouldn’t lie about it. but other than the normal Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki which could easily be found worldwide, let me introduce you to Kushi-katsu, a stick of almost anything deep fried. and it is not easy to find anywhere outside of Japan.

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Kushikatsu can be found in many places in Japan but the famous (with chain restaurants!) one is kushikatsu Daruma. it is easy to spot. just look for an angry looking cartoon character outside the store!

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can you see it?

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this one’s the Namba chain (there are a few chains there too!) see the angry man now? hehehe.

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and the one at Dotonbori’s main street! look at how angry he looks! I have no idea why he’s angry though @@. frying those kushikatsu and managing such a huge business must’ve drove him nuts haha.

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I’m not sure about the other restaurants. but because Namba is FILLED with tourists and locals, they opened a huge restaurant and had it delivered to their customers with these cute “trains” and everything in the shop was pretty darn hi-tech!

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I know it does not look very appetizing here. but the Camembert cheese tastes the best! to me.

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I liked their beef and chicken too! and the chicken internal organ stuff =X. it goes very well with salt and chilli flakes!

check out the modern-ness of this awesome restaurant! and we order everything through the screen too! this way they don’t need many employees on the floor! and they can deliver much more efficiently!

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my stop was Shin-Osaka hehehehe.

and here’s the interior of the restaurant!

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okay back to the Sinsekai outlet.

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today’s special menu! (?)

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look at the amount of people here. we had to queue for it.

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very sweet cabbage, spices and the kushikatsu sauce!

NOTE : YOU CAN ONLY DIP YOUR KUSHIKATSU ONCE in the sauce. no re-dipping!

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now now, don’t it look good? it might be pretty pricey but it really did fill me up! don’t look down on them! I am not the biggest fan of fried food but when it comes to JAPANESE fried food? I’m in. it would not be something I’d like to eat daily but it’s really delicious! I’d grade it an 8/10. the dipping sauce wasn’t really my type but it’s good overall and I understand why I’d have to queue for this every time. because it’s really worth to queue for! well if your queue is over 30minutes maybe not.

Dazaifu, Fukuoka

August 14th, 2014

I took an 8 hour night bus down to Kyushu from Osaka and got off at Hakata Station, Fukuoka. it was a little bit rural but everything there was so much more peaceful and the people seemed much more nicer and patient. for this post, I’d be writing about one of the most popular place to visit in Fukuoka, Dazaifu.

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but first, here’s my tour guide of the day, Megumi! aka my best friend.

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but the tour guide and I were so busy talking that we missed our station and passed another 3 stations until we noticed. T_T. and trains in Fukuoka come pretty slowly so we wasted a lot of time T_T. well at least we took loads of pictures! hehehe.

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you will know you’re taking the right train if you see the cutest train in your life. ahahaha. ain’t it cute?!

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even the insides are!

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I just HAD to take a picture. hahaha. there are sakura on the lights too!

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my very humble friend. someone please tell her that she’s pretty! hehe.

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and finally, DAZAIFU!

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here’s some of Dazaifu’s famous treats

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and the shrine here. I think coming here during autumn would be much more beautiful but oh well..

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upon exit, we bought this rice cake wrapped with seaweed. YUMMM.

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MENTAIKO SHOP!!!

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they’d give you a small cup of rice and you can test all the mentaiko’s!!!! my favourite shop zomg. super delicious mentaiko they have. and in different spice level. ahhhh.

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they also have mentaiko spread in tubes. yum. but I prefer the raw ones.

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no matter how touristy this place may seem, Megumi told me that she never failed to come here at least once a year.

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look at the background in the shop! the gardens they have here are just so… breath taking. and while having a meal? how cool is that.

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this is like some Japanese national favourite character. you can see him EVERYWHERE. forgot his name haha. friend said its name is ANPANMAN!

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just another restaurant. another pretty restaurant. I love Japan T_T.

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do not eat this. I mean, do not get the one with the Mentaiko mayo. it isn’t just very disgusting, it’s more expensive! certified disgusting by a Japanese too.

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Senbei’s (something like roasted rice crackers? roasted everything actually. into cracker form.) very popular around here. a must eat in Fukuoka!

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and I met my love. =3.

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love these red bridges too! so Japanesey =3.

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and the trees!!! so very pretty.

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I was so happy I just ran around doing silly things. and this was one of it. “oh look at my pink hair!”

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so some kids wrote their wishes and it amounted to this. madness.

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I shall be holy after rinsing my hands with these holy water of the holy shrine~ I see some people dabbing their lips with these holy water too!

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AJISAI! the amazingly beautiful flower of the summer. =3.

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and it comes in an array of colours. don’t it look magical?

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hello cow. =D.

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an adorable old couple! ^^.

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if you come to Dazaifu, Umegaemochi is a must!

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one for 120yen! ^^.

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the famous shrine.

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oh, did you know, that Fukuoka is like.. the Mentaiko land? the mentaiko here are known to be spicy and ridiculously delicious =P.

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look at all these mentaiko goods! I have a pair of hello kitty in mentaiko costume socks too hehehehe.

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and MORE mentaiko goods. crazy much?

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totally out of my earlier mentaiko topic but TRY THIS CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM! it’s an ice cream I MUST eat every time I come to Japan. just toooooooo good.

okay that’s all!