Japan 2015 Day 8 – Food!


Remember Fushimi Inari Shrine? There are so many gift shops and food stands – it’s an attraction within itself! I cheated a bit, my coworker came here a few days before me and sent me pictures of this special taiyaki she got. I had to get it myself!


150803-02There was a young guy working this food stand and he was all alone! He had a pretty genius way of collecting the money for it and each taiyaki he made looked great! This one is mine! It’s filled with custard, topped with cream and drizzled with chocolate. You can choose your fruit topping, I went to strawberry. It was delicious! We also bought a whole bunch of furoshiki from a gift shop here.

150803-03Nishiki Market! A must visit if you come to Kyoto. It’s a great foodie spot.

150803-04The inside of Nishiki market, it’s full of tourists and locals. There’s something about the ceiling lights that I like…I remember them from my last trip so it was comforting to see them again.

150803-06Plenty of shops were selling these mini octopus, didn’t realize there were so many sizes of this little thing. They were charging for small, medium and large. I think I went for the medium, it’s cooked in a sweet shoyu sauce and the head is stuffed with a quail egg! Morbid but delicious.

150803-05The best thing I had last time that I had to get again this time. Dashimaki Tamago. It’s not like the ones in Hawaii, the ones in Hawaii are super sweet. This one tastes more like dashi stock and it is absolutely wonderful. They are so good at making this, the seasoning and how perfectly cooked the egg is…I wish I could buy a whole block of this to enjoy. I should have.

Japan 2015 Day 8: Kyoto

Day trip to Kyoto! We had to make good use of our JR passes so we planned a day trip to Kyoto. We originally were planning to go to Osaka to check out Universal Studios but I was a bit theme parked out so now I have a good excuse to visit Osaka during my next visit. The JR pass allows you to purchase passes on the Hikari. Our train was at 7:15 am so we had to be up pretty early since we also had to take the train to the Shinagawa station to take the Kyoto train as well.

150802-01Bright and early in our neighborhood…heading to the station. Crows still cawing away.

150802-02View from my train seat. Lots of business men on the train headed for work, I felt a bit bad for them having to commute for hours each day to and from work.


150802-04I’m still going to do a separate food post for Kyoto but the bento pictures should go with the train rides! I went with a Chinese bento (of course I did) and it was delicious! It would have been better warmed up but I didn’t have that option. I’m kind of surprised they sell it cold.

150802-05Check this shot out! I’m so lucky. I was watching the other side in envy because they had the window closest to Mount Fuji. Then suddenly, I saw that I had my chance and took the picture. Magnificent…




150802-10Fushimi Inari Shrine – this is a shrine that’s famous for it’s path lined with hundreds of traditional gates. It’s so beautiful. We didn’t make it to the top. Can you tell by this last picture how many people there were? It was madness. There were also a lot of selfie sticks which I really didn’t appreciate, they would just stop suddenly in the middle of the path, swing out that stick and start taking pictures. The path is crowded enough! And gosh, there were so MANY Chinese tourists! Their loud yelling kind of took away from the quiet environment.

150802-08Before you enter the shrine, there is a long street filled with different gift shops and food stands. That was fun and neat to check out. Here’s a picture between the street shops, it was pretty neat.


We headed to Nishiki Market after we finished at the Shrine. I’m sharing more of that tomorrow since it’s mainly food…lol. I didn’t take as much pictures as I wanted. I believe this is the Kyoto Tower. I got a shot of it as we walked back to Kyoto Station.

150802-12I wish I took pictures of the mochi I bought! I love Kyoto mochi. It looks like a won ton pi mochi folded over the filling. The mochi is kind of thin so you can see the filling. It’s delicious. I love the black sesame flavor. Check out this blog, she took a picture of the mochi I’m talking about!


150802-14Dinner Bentos for the train ride back to Tokyo. Tasted good! Kind of funny that both our full meals were train station bentos. Hmm…food post coming soon!

Japan 2015 Day 7 – Tsukiji and Akihabara

First things first, I had to take Kristian to Tsukiji. You just gotta. We tried to stay within the Yamanote line so we got off at the closest station and had to walk over to Tsukiji. It was quite a walk but I don’t mind walking long distances in cold weather. In fact, I love it.


150625-02After the walk that felt like forever, we finally got to Tsukiji. The last time I came to Tsukji, I didn’t even eat sushi. Funny yeah? This time, we had to eat sushi! Sushi Dai is the one that has a super long line. Like wrapped around different buildings type of line, hours of wait kind of line. We didn’t exactly want to stand in line for hours so we settled for second best, Daiwa Sushi. Don’t get us wrong, this place is busy too. I think we wait for about an hour. It was uncomfortable and the sushi bar was TIGHT. Like super tight. Kristian was nice enough to give me the seat against the wall, thank god.


150625-04My view for an hour


150625-06All tourists like us get the omakase. It was a good choice. It’s so rushed and I hate to say it, commercial there. Just didn’t feel like a great experience. I rather go to a hole in the wall versus a super popular place.


150625-08I should have waited for all the sushi to come out. But I felt like I hate to eat thinks quickly. This place was also kind of dirty compared to other Japan dining establishments…anyhow, there isn’t much else to do at Tsukiji so we decided to head out to Akihabara afterwards. Akihabara is known as the Electric City, they have all the electronics, games, cell phones, etc. you need.


150625-10Gosh, my feet were hurting again this day. We went around but I wasn’t planning on buying much. I regret it now, I wish I looked into buying an original nintendo. Ah, I probably would have played it once and stopped. We went to a store called Labi and that store is levels upon levels! I have never seen so much cell phone cases in my life and yet somehow, I never bought one! Crazy huh? Maybe I wasn’t in the mood.

After a whole bunch of walking around, we headed to the local McDonald’s for an afternoon treat. Just a small snack.



I think Japan is the only place that has teriyaki burgers other than Hawaii yeah?

150625-13STRAWBERRY PIE. I REPEAT, STRAWBERY PIE. Sorry, it is so good. I wish I could have another one. I did have another one during this trip, it was that good. Kristian bought a Japanese PS Vita, how fun! Then we decided to pick up dinner from the grocery store across the street from our apartment. I gotta say, we were hitting up convenience stores before this night and discovered this grocery store way too late! Their prices were great and they had great variety. They had a salmon nigiri set for like 3 bucks, great quality too! Ahh…I miss Japan food.


I don’t usually post pictures of my brothers here but since this is super old, why not. I just wanted to wish my brother Jensen a happy 8th birthday! I hope you’re having a great time in China!

Japanese Biscuits for the Win

This picture comes with a story. During my first trip to Japan, we went to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. After we perused the top floor, my friend checked out the gift shop and purchased a package of biscuits. I’m not a fan of biscuits but she let me try one and my life changed. It was so delicious and I always remembered them. I also couldn’t find it afterwards during the trip. So for this trip, I had a mini mission in mind…to find those biscuits again. I randomly look for them here in Hawaii when I go to Nijiya but I never found them. Guess what? I found them! I saw it in a convenience store in Japan and picked it up…150618-01If I learned anything from my previous trips, I knew that when I find something – I have to buy it. There’s a chance I won’t find it again. Thankfully I did, because I really didn’t spot these cookies again during this trip! How do I explain the taste of these? They are both savory and sweet at the same time. Perfect amount of saltiness while maintaining the sweetness of a biscuit, they are toasted and aren’t too hard or soft. I mean, how can a person really sell biscuits? Just buy a pack if you see them and try it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.


Japan 2015 Day 6 – Food!

No breakfast today. But our dinner made up for that and for Shibuya! Lunch was a bit of a letdown. We didn’t know where to eat so we ended up in Tokyo Station and ate at an Italian Risotto place called Riso Canovietta, it was so junk. I’ll still share the pictures…




150617-04This one was mine. Bacon with spinach and carbonara risotto I think. It was that memorable (not). It was bland and disappointing.



150617-07Tea time! Well more like coffee time for us. This was a nice little afternoon pick-up in the middle of shopping. A cute cafe in the middle of a very expensive mall, there were a lot of young housewives enjoying their afternoon tea. How lucky…this Kristian’s dessert. He enjoyed it!

We headed back to the apartment after the garden and shopping because we wanted to rest but mostly because we wanted our new wifi device. I know, we’re too reliant to the internet. We got to the apartment and the owner respected our privacy enough to hide it outside of the apartment in his gas closet thing…it was great. Older wifi unit but worked great. We were ecstatic. I don’t know about you but when I get back home after a long day, I don’t tend to head back out. This happened to us too. We finally decided to grab dinner across the street from our apartment. We found a super hole in the wall Chinese restaurant and decided to give them a try. Oh my god. It was such a great decision. By far my favorite restaurant of the trip, which is kind of sad but I don’t care. IT WAS GREAT. The waitress was an older lady and she was very nice to us (much needed after our previous day) and the food was delicious. Let me share…

150617-08Can they bring this place to Hawaii? Please?


150617-10This dish is as simple as it looks. Scrambled eggs with edamame and shrimp. The eggs were cooked perfectly, not runny or overcooked. The seasoning was probably just salt but it was perfectly seasoned, the edamame was a nice touch and the shrimp was perfectly cooked. It was delicious.

150617-11Chicken Karaage – delicious and tender. So good.


150617-13Okay how Chinese is this? Lettuce in fried rice, I love it. The lettuce is cooked just to a quick wilt so it maintains its crunch. The seasoning was on point and really hit the spot.


150617-15I AM DROOLING LOOKING AT THESE PICTURES. This is their tan tan men and it was so so so good. It was my favorite bowl of noodles in Japan. Perfectly seasoned broth and perfectly cooked noodles. Gosh, it was just a perfect bowl of comfort. I am half compelled to fly back out to Japan to eat this. Really.

150617-16Mapo Tofu – at first, we told her we didn’t order this. She nicely told us it came with the food we ordered. Was good! Spicy and delicious. What a perfect way to end day 6….


Japan 2015 Day 6 – Tokyo

Day 6. Yes, it was the day after the worst day in Japan. It didn’t start off great. Why? Our pocket wifi stopped working, it was super slow or it wouldn’t connect at all. The rare moment I was able to connect, I used it to contact our apartment owner to ask what could be done. We could NOT go around Japan without the use of wifi for our phones! Anyhow, our day was going to be pretty leisurely. Shibuya and Disney pooped us out. We headed to the Tokyo Station and I remembered how to get to the Imperial Palace East Gardens. It’s an awesome garden that is free! Who wouldn’t want to go? It was definitely a nice time for us and it was during this visit that the apartment owner offered to drop off a new pocket wifi unit for us to use! Wasn’t that awesome? Thank God because Kyoto was around the corner! This day was already way better than the day before.

This post is going to be mainly pictures of the garden, I’ll focus on the food in the next post!

150615-01The beautiful Tokyo Station

150615-02The rule is to take pictures of every sakura you see, I make and follow the rules.



150615-05I love walking through this city. It was all so clean and beautiful. Perfect weather. I also love tall buildings so it was all in all a great walk.

150615-06Here we are! Garden time!

150615-07Making our way to the entrance gate. They issue you a token to get into the garden which you return when you leave. Not sure why they do it, there is no charge to get into the garden.


150615-09Just loved seeing the old pay phone here. Even the picture is vintage, this was located at a rest area in the garden.




150615-12The garden was a great way to relieve our stress. Next post, food!

Japan 2015 – Random Japan Purchases

Quick post to show off some cute stuff I bought from Japan. It’s mostly pictures of the things I got from Natural Kitchen that I wanted to show Jalna. And anyone who wants to be a fan of their stuff!

150507-01All from Natural Kitchen – I might be missing a few things but the bulk is here!

150507-02Okay I lied, it’s not all just 100 yen stuff. This one was 500! But if we compare it to the price here ($15 – $20), me paying less than 5 bucks was a steal! And this one has much cuter colors!

150507-03I was there for the cherry blossom season so they had a lot of sakura stuff! Here is a sakura foam pot rest thingie…so you don’t burn your table tops!

150507-04Sakura Coasters

150507-05Ah, here are the Laurel scents I was raving about. One drop of Savon and Cherry each into my aroma diffuser and I am in zen mode for the night. My alien looking aroma diffuser is in the background, hehe.

150507-06Jalna, you’re gonna get a laugh out of this one. I found these in the dollar store for a dollar each. They don’t sell this kine here, only get the primary color/alphabet kine for kids. I HAD TO GET IT. So I bought 24 of these. YES, 24 of these dang foot long squares. I carried it all around Odaiba back to the apartment and had to stuff them into my suitcase. Everything fit! And these of course offered mucho cushion in my suitcase. And yes, you can see that I initially placed them with the grain facing all crazy ways. I did fix it so they are more wood looking now. I’m nuts yeah? No regrets though!

Japan 2015 Day 4 – Dinner!

Gosh, we had such a hard time thinking of where to go for dinner this night. We finished Disneyland pretty early and walked back towards the train station when we decided to walk through the Ikspiari Mall and I am SO glad we did! I didn’t realize this mall was Disney owned at first. We first headed to the food court but there was limited choices and not a lot of English menus around. We found a Krispy Kreme and had to eat some. Check out Kristian’s donut…

150422-18Sakura Donut! Pretty right? He seemed to enjoy it. It looks a bit too sweet for me…but that’s just me. The pre-dinner dessert was followed by a dinner at Hakata Ippudo. This is a pretty good ramen chain in Japan. My first experience in this restaurant was in New York. I wish they would open this in Hawaii!


150423-02Seasoned Bean Sprouts

150423-03Pickled Ginger

150423-04Pickled Mustard Plant


150423-06The classic ramen


150423-08I got the one with everything, of course. The black liquid is probably the black garlic oil. This bowl of noodles was good. Nothing that knocked my socks off but definitely a nice bowl of noodles. They were very fast and efficient, glad we came to this restaurant for dinner!

Three must go-to stores at this mall:

Disney Store: Why? If you’re looking for tsum tsum and a lot of the more traditional Disney stuff, go to this store. Big store, good selection!

Natural Kitchen: I think I might have bought out their entire stock. This is a very very very very (very?) cute kitchen item store. It’s ALSO a 100 yen store. I was in heaven. The cutest kitchen accessories for 1, 2 or 3 dollars. I didn’t want to leave! I bought tons of stuff. I love this store. Good thing I didn’t hold back, I didn’t find this store anywhere else.

Laurel: This store is a bit like a bath and body works shop but very minimalistic and simple, nothing over-powering. They had an aroma diffuser running outside of their store and it just drew me in. It was such a wonderful scent and I was so tempted to buy it. But I knew I didn’t have an aroma diffuser at home so I left sadly. As the days went by, the scent never left my mind so I found the another location of the store in Harajuku. THANK GOD. It was a bit hard to find but I totally bought the oils (Savon and Cherry) and haven’t regretted it a bit. In fact, I’m fretting about what to do when I run out of this oil. I’m crazy like that. If Laurel came to Hawaii, I would be in heaven.

Day 5 is Shibuya and it is the post I am dreading to write! It was a really bad day, the worst day of the trip so I’m not exactly looking forward to talking about it. But it must be done! Hope you are all doing well!

Japan 2015 Day 4 – Food!

Ah yes! The long-awaited final Tokyo Disneyland food post. So sorry it’s taken a bit longer to update these…these posts are definitely more time consuming than my usual posts! It’s been hard to sit down and concentrate lately, lots going on. I didn’t eat as much as I did at DisneySea (thank god) but we still got a lot of good eats in! The biggest surprise at Disneyland? Well, remember how I told you that there was an ice cream cart every five steps at DisneySea? Ice cream was a lot harder to find at Disneyland! I was surprised by that. But that’s okay because I ended up finding the Toy Story alien mochi balls I wanted and they were everything! I should have gotten a second serving…lol. Let’s get to it!

150422-01Breakfast. LOL, we just really wanted some regular hot dogs. So here we were! Sorry, I had to giggle at this sign. Yes, I am an adult.

150422-02Ratatouille Hot Dog Set, this was like almost $10. Dorothy, we’re not at Costco anymore…

150422-03So what is a Ratatouille Hot Dog? It’s just a regular hot dog with tomato sauce and pesto drizzle…oh and chunks of zucchini! It was okay, I think I would just grab a regular hot dog next time.

150422-05Just wanted to get a cute picture of a menu. I wasn’t hungry so I didn’t get anything. If I were to order, I would have gotten the Tapioca Drink – no question. And of course the roasted chicken on a Chinese bun. Too cute.

150422-06The alien mochi balls! They were SO good. Very very very soft mochi skin filled with different flavor creams.

150422-07Strawberry (the best one)

150422-08Vanilla/Custard – good!

150422-09Chocolate! Ahhh…I wish I could eat these again. They were perfection.

Our lunch was at an expensive buffet restaurant called, Crystal Palace Restaurant. A bit pricey at $25 but in the end, it was actually a super good deal for Disney standards. It gave us a comfortable place to sit for about 2 hours and we had unlimited access to food and drinks. We could easily spend $25 ala carte in the park for much less.

150422-10How cute is this plate! Round 1. The variety isn’t that great but the food was good enough.

150422-11So this was the special for the day. It was a sausage….on a chicken bone? It was so weird. I mean, they really had to clean up these chicken bones to use as a stick for the sausage. And then it makes you wonder where the meat of the chicken is…because I don’t know if it was in the sausage. The sausage tasted pork-ish.

150422-12I got creative and got the soup bowl to make a curry and rice bowl. Easier to eat this way.

150422-13Round Two. Hahaha I guess I liked the spaghetti and fish. Actually the fish thing is still going on even now, I wouldn’t mind some fish and chips right about now.

150422-14Oh Jesus. Round Three! I needed to get this to get a picture of the carrot.

150422-15I got my Mickey face!

150422-16Dessert was fresh fruit and jelly. Knowing the price for fresh fruit in Japan – this was a treat!


150422-17I talked about the popcorn in my past post. The popcorn mania in Japan is beyond. Everyone had a bucket around their neck – it was like a cult. A cult that I joined. I knew I wanted the classic Mickey bucket but I needed to find my popcorn flavor. It was fate this day. I found the Mickey Bucket with the Shoyu Butter flavor. My mind was made up. How was the popcorn? It was good! Nice and fresh. The seasoning was like instant ramen MSG…lol. I gotta say, the popcorn stayed relatively fresh. I even like transferred some into a ziploc bag to bring home and it didn’t taste too bad when I got home. Disney really knows how to make money. Everyone definitely bought into this craze. There was no line at the orange marmalade flavor stand which I can understand behind completely (blech!).

We ate a pretty late lunch so we actually ended up eating dinner at a restaurant in the Ikspiari Mall. I didn’t realize it was a Disney owned mall and I LOVE that mall. I will share the dinner posts and some thoughts on the mall in my next post!

Japan 2015 Day 4 – Disneyland

Day 2 of Disney! We were pretty excited for this day. We even left DisneySea a bit early the day before to rest up for today. I was excited to see what Disneyland had to offer. We had a great time at DisneySea so I figured Disneyland would offer the same experience. Well, the staff and sights were definitely great. Like I shared before, we expected more Tsum Tsum stuff here but the stores basically sold the same items as the stores in DisneySea! The lines were once again super long, some of them were 3 hours long! Good thing I don’t ride rides.

150421-01Time to head into the happiest place on earth! Wait, does that apply to all Disney sites??

150421-02I loved seeing all the balloons! How fun is the job of the girl who gets to hold the huge bunch of balloons? The Disney castle can be seen as we walked in. Disneyland was definitely busier than DisneySea.



150421-05New Orleans! Cute stuff. Wish I could go up there and take pictures…hehe

150421-06Another ride I could handle. It’s a Small World. Can I just say that those dolls are some kind of creepy? It was an…interesting ride.


150421-08My first Japan Cherry Blossom experience was at Disneyland! Maybe it IS the happiest place on earth! It was the only trees in bloom on the entire property but they were SO pretty. I was very happy to have seen them!

150421-09Sorry, so many pictures of flowers. I didn’t take much pictures of the park!

150421-10I did of course take pictures of the castle. Who wouldn’t?? It’s so beautiful and looks just like the one before Disney movies. Enchanting.


Do you know what this is? It’s a popcorn holder. Every park had different stations with different popcorn flavors and different character containers to hold the popcorn. You could of course buy popcorn to eat out of a paper bag but who does that at Disney?? I was too tempted and finally bought this. It was so cute. And yes, I wore it proudly around my neck. I’ll share more about this popcorn container along with the food in the next post!