[Okinawa: Manzamo, Chuuraumi Aquarium, Kouri Bridge] Day 3

so on Day 2, we rented a car at night and had it parked at the mall where we rented the car (it was free of charge if you tell the company you want to have it parked there!) which was next to the ferry peer. since Megu had to take an evening flight on the 3rd day, we started our journey from 4:30am!

the sun rose really early in summer and the skies were just spectacular.

DSC01157 copy

our first stop: Manzamo.
estimated time spent here: 40minutes
time to get here from Naha: 1hour 30minutes – 2hours (we drove really slow and even took the wrong road so..)

Continue reading “[Okinawa: Manzamo, Chuuraumi Aquarium, Kouri Bridge] Day 3”

[Okinawa: Zamami Island, Aguu Pork] Day 2

with the recommendations of friends who have been to Okinawa, we squeezed Zamami into our tight schedule because many of them commented that the Kerama (Zamami is one of them) Islands are the highlight of their trip. if you could stay a day or two in Zamami, make sure you go for the turtle watching which is around early in the morning or in the evening. but since we went for a day trip (where many Japanese does too), we had to miss out on the cute little turtles =(.

DSC00229 copy

my best friend while I was in language school, Megumi. ain’t she beautiful or what? =D. Continue reading “[Okinawa: Zamami Island, Aguu Pork] Day 2”

[Okinawa: International St., Shuri Castle, Jack’s Steakhouse] Day 1

when one thinks of Japan, they’d usually think about Tokyo or Kyoto; which yes, is two of my favourite places as ones super high-tech and another is full of traditional stuff. but near Taiwan, there lies Okinawa, an island that’s pretty under-rated and is said to be better than Hawaii by some. (it is also named the Hawaii of Japan!) lucky for me, the tickets from Seoul to Okinawa was pretty affordable and there’s a direct flight so I decided to pay a visit to the other end of Japan!

after doing some homework, I found a list of places to go and things to eat and I couldn’t fit all of it in my 4 day 3 night schedule. so I’d recommend going there at least for 5 or 6 days! what I will not be covering is the cave diving and turtle watching in Zamami (I’d recommend to stay in Zamami for at least one night!) which I would really want to see but there was just not enough time T__T.

so are you ready for day 1? let’s go! Continue reading “[Okinawa: International St., Shuri Castle, Jack’s Steakhouse] Day 1”

[Tokyo: Nishi-Ogikubo] Pineapple and Chocolate Ramen?! Papapapapine!

if you’re a hardcore rocketnews24 reader, you might’ve run across this restaurant that serves pineapple ramen so good, they came out with the instant noodle version of it and it can be found at selected convenience stores. except I’ve yet to come across it during my 7 month stay in Japan.

IMG_8395 copy

so Papapapapine is known for their pineapple ramen. but what’s that above? kakakakakao. get it? well, other than its famous pineapple ramen, it is also known for its notorious innovation when it comes to ramen. they had strawberry ramen, banana ramen.. well.. you name it. while their seasonal menu changes all the time, you’d always be able to find pineapple ramen in this shop. Continue reading “[Tokyo: Nishi-Ogikubo] Pineapple and Chocolate Ramen?! Papapapapine!”

[Tokyo: Mitaka] Ghibli Museum

I am not sure if you know, but I am actually a huge Ghibli fan. other than the few latest movies I watched almost all of Hayao Miyazaki’s popular creations and I LOVE IT!!! up till the point that I need to restrict myself from going into a Ghibli store before I spend all my savings on fan items I know I shouldn’t buy.

but this time, since my sister came to visit me in Tokyo last winter, I decided to go online (you can check the availability here) and book the tickets 1 month prior to her arrival. holy cow! one month?! yeap. one month.

IMG_6051 copy

so how do you get the ghibli museum ticket? well.. it’s really easy for those who’s living in Japan. and for those who isn’t living in Japan, you may want to find someone to help you get it in Japan. there’ll be a machine that looks like an ATM machine in LAWSON (a convenience store) and you can buy your tickets there! there are 4 time slots a day and the earlier ones tend to get sold out quickly. and weekends gets sold out faster than the weekdays too. Continue reading “[Tokyo: Mitaka] Ghibli Museum”

[Tokyo: Harajuku] AFURI Ramen

recently I got the nickname “ramen girl” from my Japanese friend because he stated that Ramen isn’t normally loved by women. but if you look through my instagram a month before I leave Japan, you could probably see my love for ramen, which made me the “ramen girl.”

while the best ramen I’ve ever had was still the one from Osaka, from a chain called.. I forgot (update: it’s called 藤平) but it was near Fukushima station, Tokyo has the widest range of ramen in my opinion. it is like, you can find anything in Tokyo. and I love Tokyo for that reason. if you are living in Tokyo and loveee ramen, then Afuri shouldn’t be a name that is unfamiliar to you as it is literally ONE OF THE BEST ramen available in Tokyo.

IMG_0202 copy

you should know how no ramen in Japan would taste the same, Afuri takes a huger leap away from the weird. they are known for their Yuzu ramen, or in other words, Citrus ramen. how would the citrus’ tangy taste taste like with salty ramen? well, that’s why I went to find out! Continue reading “[Tokyo: Harajuku] AFURI Ramen”

[Tokyo: Ginza] Midori Sushi. is it worth it?

I’d like to label people who come to Midori Sushi as.. smart. because for 3,000yen, you can get as follows:

IMG_5946 copy

12 pieces of sushi, egg + one handroll and a miso crab salad!

although the queue would be quite a misery (normally 2 hours. I only queued for 80 minutes ahahhaha ONLY.) you can actually take a number and come back an hour later and wait for only about 20-40 minutes! depending on which branch you go to really. I went to the Ginza branch and I heard the Shibuya branch has the longest queue whereas the one in Kichijoji has almost no queue! Continue reading “[Tokyo: Ginza] Midori Sushi. is it worth it?”

[Tokyo: Ebisu] Itasobakaoriya 板蕎麦 香り家

so this place which I’ve stumbled across in Ebisu while looking for a soba place, is the BEST soba place I’ve ever came across in Japan so far. I was actually around the area looking for the Ebisu illumination but decided to settle for soba instead since it’s a tradition in Japan to eat soba the night before new years (the Japanese NY is on 1.1) and it is said that you should not bite your soba as you eat and gobble it down as a whole until it is all in your mouth and then chew. all that just to live a longer life. well, no harm believing in it right? except I forgot and accidentally bit it off my first bite =X. but I followed the “rules” after that.

soba’s always been my favourite Japanese dish since I was young. although now it’s sushi, I still love soba. but to my surprise, soba in Japan does not taste quite like the soba’s I’ve had in Malaysia and Korea where it was always a little more jelly-like. instead, these buckwheat noodles called soba, are not as smooth and has a stronger buckwheat taste to it in Japan. I wasn’t very used to it the first few times but I came to enjoy it more than the ones I’ve had which I now label, the unoriginal soba.

IMG_0165 copy

I actually read about this place and it has a soaring high 3.52 in tabelog and there were comments on how people waited for this and thought it was totally worth the wait. except because I had it first on NYE I had to queue for 2 hours in the painfully cold weather. and still thought it was very worth it! they even provided us hot tea, beer (yes, BEER!) and hot packs while we were waiting in line outside! Continue reading “[Tokyo: Ebisu] Itasobakaoriya 板蕎麦 香り家”