Sunday, August 11, 2019

Japan : Osaka Kansai Airport > Kyoto > Shijo Omiya (Day 1)

23 May 2018

After 6 and a half hour of flight, we arrived in Osaka, Kansai Airport at 4:30p.m. ✌ I was waiting for my luggage and caught a glimpse of my bag at the side of the luggage belt. Apparently an officer was pulling some bags from the belt selectively and put it at the side. So if you cannot find your bags, don't panic ๐Ÿ˜ญ, look around and check first. 

I heard so much about Japan and its vending machines prior my trip. Even at the airport itself, there were a lot of drink vending machines. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Unlike most travelers, we decided to head to Kyoto first instead of Osaka. At the airport, we crossed the bridge to the opposite building to get our Kyoto Access Ticket at Nankai Ticket Office. You can also buy your JR Pass beside the Nankai Ticket Office (the one in blue).

Our Airbnb was at Shijo Omiya, Kyoto. We bought the Kyoto Access Ticket from Nankai Kansai-Airport to Omiya Station, which costs 1,230 yen per pax. It is the cheapest option ๐Ÿ‘ to go to Kyoto. 

The bottom ticket was from Nankai Kansai Airport to Tengachaya. From Tengachaya, we switched to local sub to Omiya Station with the ticket on top. 

This was where we boarded the train. If you are not sure, do ask the friendly officers around. They are usually very helpful. 

Japanese are very quiet in train. They usually play with their handphones or read books in train. Also, they would put their bags either between their legs or at the overhead compartment. I was quite fascinated with the fact that all trains I took in Japan are cushioned ๐Ÿ˜. 

The train journey took approximately two hours. We were thankful that our Airbnb was only 5 minutes walk from Omiya Station. When we reached our Airbnb, it was already 8p.m. ๐Ÿ˜ซ 

The place was small but cozy. 

I really loved the fact that we could cook here. The fridge was a tad too small thou. 

This was probably the smallest toilet + bathroom I had ever used. The bath tub beside the sink was extremely small. The shower and sink were sharing taps. 

We went to Seabura no Kami Mibu (ใ‚ปใ‚ขใƒ–ใƒฉใƒŽ็ฅž) for our late dinner. It was around 7 minutes walk from our place. 

Seabura Niboshi Soba (Backfat dried small sardines ramen, +Onion, +Egg) - their signature ramen (950Y). You had to order from the vending machine and it was all Japanese. We managed to make our order with the help of the shop assistant. The recommendation was to order the ramen with onion broth and egg.

Tips: 
Take photos of the food that you want to eat when you were doing research and show it to the shop assistant to avoid ordering wrong food.

I wanted to try another rice dish but the shop assistant said its not available๐Ÿ˜ž. So, we randomly selected a rice dish from the photos shown at the vending machine. We were so surprised to find that its actually noodles - Mazesoba (ใพใœใใฐ) (800Y). It was served in a thick sesame sauce with lard and soy sauce. You basically mixed all the ingredients together like a noodle version of bibimbap. It was savoury ๐Ÿ˜‹and I prefer this over their signature ramen. 

We ordered medium portion for both and was alarmed by the big portion. Their medium was large to us. As I was feeling thankful scooping the last bit of noodles, the shop assistant came....

Shop Assistant  : Gohan (rice) *pointing at the Mazesoba*, service (on the house)! OK?
Me                      : *Smile and nod* OKOK! ๐Ÿ˜Š*turning to husband* I told you those were rice on top! They said it was on the house.
Husband            : I see I see ๐Ÿ˜ฎ.

When I was feeling proud that I could understand basic Japanese, the shop assistant came....

Shop Assistant  *passed me a scoop of rice* Service! *points at the Mazesoba and gestures to pour the rice in to eat with the sauce*
Me                      : *finally realized what she meant* Ahhhhh OKOK! *forced myself to smile* ๐Ÿ˜†

I tell you.... my stomach was on the verge of bursting from too much food at that point of time but I had to finish it if not it would seem too impolite. I felt very warmed by the hospitality thou. 

That pretty much sums up our first day in Japan! ๐Ÿ’•

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Malacca

"Malaysia is full of public holidays! How do you get work done here?" - one of my new hire from Ireland complained to me when I told him it's holiday in view of the king's coronation. >_< 

Husband and I decided to go for a short getaway @ Malacca. It had been a long time since I visit the historical city. 

We stayed in RC Hotel, which is strategically located near Jonker Street (around 5-10 minutes walking distance). The room we got was relatively small as compared to the one that my mother-in-law stayed in. So I guess it depends on which room you are assigned to. The breakfast was so-so, nothing to shout about. Down side of staying here is that there is limited hotel reserved parking. So you may need to purchase car park coupon from the shop beside RC Hotel (full day: RM5, per hour: RM0.60). 

It took around two hours drive from KL to Malacca. We were famished by the time we reached and decided to go for the famous chicken rice balls. 

Honestly, I still prefer the normal chicken rice. 

Went for the famous cendol shop. It was hot, crowded with tourists and do expect a long queue.

We ordered two baba durian chendol and one baba chendol. Got a shock of my life when I knew that the durian chendol costs RM9 as opposed to what have been advertised in the menu posted outside the shop. Turned out that there was a small disclaimer mentioning that the Baba Durian Chendol is RM5 per bowl before 1p.m. ๐Ÿ˜  To make it worse, it was not as tasty as before and we had to eat our chendol while standing because there was not enough seats available. ๐Ÿ’†This shall be my last time visiting this shop.

Had to have that durian puff (RM2,50/piece) from TasteBetter. It was really very durian-y and you have to follow the instruction to eat in a bite. This was okay but I imagined it to be a lot better. 

Saw a lot of tourists buying Mamee but you can actually purchase it cheaper elsewhere. 

But this is a good place to visit if you have kids. They actually allow you to design and colour your own mamee cup. After that you can bring to the counter and the shop assistant will put in the mee and seal it nicely.

 
For dinner, we decided to avoid the crowd at Portuguese Settlement and venture a new restaurant - Bert's Garden. The service was great and the waiter was friendly.

I enjoyed the grilled squid and nasi lemak. 

The grilled fish and kangkung was so-so.

They gave complimentary fruits as well. 

Before I left, the waiter showed me their big prawns! Would probably try their grilled prawns next time.

Went to Jonker Walk again after dinner. There's a lot more stalls at night. Didn't know that there are stalls selling seafood as well. 

Green tea + sea salt ice cream from Family Mart. ๐Ÿ˜

Last but not least, had to take a photo here. My husband wondered why I would want to take photo at the stairs. Well... because it reminds me of sweet memories with the kawans. ๐Ÿ’“

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Japan: Tune Hotel (Day 0)

Worry about missing your super duper early morning flight? Fret not with Tune Hotel! ๐Ÿ˜

Our flight to Japan was 8a.m. and it was recommended to check in at least one to three hours before our flight ๐Ÿ˜“. We didn't want to strain ourselves just before our trip so we decided to check in to Tune Hotel the night before.

I was imagining it to be some shabby, cheapo place since the price is not expensive. But it proved to be otherwise. Although it was late night, you could still see people at the lobby since the hotel location is conveniently located near to KLIA2.

There is a Snacks Bar for you to grab some snacks anytime you want. ๐Ÿ˜‹

A reading zone is also available for you to immerse in your book. Beware though as it is just right beside the reception area so it can be a little noisy.

Chill out place with some light music.

The room is small but I think its just nice if you want to stay for a night. There's a very small TV provided as well. 

I like the simple design.

 Shampoo, body wash and hair dyer are provided.

Since there was not much to do, we decided to head to KLIA2 to collect our PocketWifi

As you can see, from Tune Hotel to KLIA2, it is really just a very short walking distance. Took us 10 minutes or less to reach. That pretty much sums up our Day 0. 

*Yawn*