Activities - Eat Drink

Hakuba Ski

Hakuba, in Nagano, most well-known for being the first ski resort in Japan to host the Winter Olympic Games in 1998. A lot of friends ask me, why Hakuba as compared to Niseko - a popular ski destination for many tourists from SE Asia and China? I have summarised in a few points below: It's at the heart of the beautiful scenic Japanese Alps, which means the alpine views that one gets here is not just of one mountain but many, which you notice very well when you are on the slopes and even when driving to the different slopes and town areas. In Niseko as one skis down the slopes, you tend to just see one Mount Yotei. Close proximity to Tokyo. I am not...

30 Hours in Shirakawa and Takayama

My 2016 was completed with a fun winter trip to the region of Shirakawa and Takayama in the Hida region of the Gifu Prefecture for some sightseeing and a ryokan stay, followed by a ski trip to Hakuba with Y and R. Given how full flights were to Tokyo when we booked this trip sometime in August, we decided to be creative and flew to Nagoya instead and drive up towards Takayama for our 1st stop, renting our car at the always reliable Nissan Rent a Car at the Nagoya Airport (Chubu Centrair International Airport). We only had a night's stay in Takayama before leaving for Hakuba the next day, but Y and I managed to jam pack our 30 hours in the Shirakawa and Takayama...

Reykjavik and Blue Lagoon

Beautiful sunset just before we land in Reykavik. Our first entry into Iceland was via Reykjavik, which is the most natural first stop, before our adventure in Iceland began. We were here for 3 nights but effectively we probably only had one proper full day to really explore the eats and shops, as we also did our day trip to Akureyri from here too! So here's a list of my feedback on where to shop and to eat mainly, with also a preview of Blue Lagoon, another day trip we took to soak our aching bodies after all that travelling. Central town of Reykjavik for shopping and eats. SHOP The good thing about Reykjavik is you could pretty much cover the whole shopping area on foot....

Stockholm Best Restaurants and Cafes

In late November last year, Y and I finally concluded the year completing some new destinations in our bucket list of places to visit. It was a Nordic centric trip with gal pals - GS and AL, centering around visiting cities from Stockholm to Tromso, Norway and Iceland - the latter 2 places to catch some Northern Lights if we were lucky enough, and to just enjoy the larger than life, breathtaking views that these 2 countries were so well known for. Enjoying the short daylight in Stockholm on the way to Grand Hotel. This first post of our exciting 2 week long Nordic trip, started in Stockholm after a whirlwind stop in London to catch up with old friends. Stockholm is the capital and...

Tokyo Best Eats 2016

In part 2 of my late summer Japan vacation, Y and I adjourned to Tokyo to meet R after our girlie trip with LY ended in Fukuoka. I managed to eat at some good ol' regular favourite spots such as Mikawa Zezankyo (my favourite tempura in Japan), and also tried up some new exciting eats in Tokyo, ranging from a modern French restaurant, to delicious yakitori, succulent Tonkatsu, to beef centric meals - sukiyaki, burger and beef tasting course, to even the casual good ol' Ramen. Read it all here! Florilege - Creative Mod French cuisine (2 Chome-5-4 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan, Tel: 03‐6440‐0878. Reservations a must. Online booking here) This 1-star Michelin restaurant helmed by Chef Iwate is definitely one of my highly recommended go to...

Gyoten Sushi Fukuoka

9 September 2016 was a lucky day for me, where I got to enjoy 2 very distinct and different styles of sushi. For lunch, I had very interesting and a rather modern approach to sushi at Tenzushi Kyomachi, and at night for dinner, I was very blessed to have snagged a table with Y and LY at 3 Michelin Star - Gyoten Sushi in Fukuoka. Thanks to a Japanese chef whom I shall not name that LY is very good friends with, he managed to score us some precious seats at Gyoten, which helped since he was really good friends with Kenji Gyoten, the chef behind this establishment. I had heard a lot about this place from our buddy LY who had just been here...

Tenzushi Kyomachi Sushi

After a whirlwind 4 days exploring Western Saga, we did something rather radical. As Y and I was so curious about this sushi place called Tenzushi Kyomachi (named after the chef) located in the fishing town of Kokura in the area of Kitakyushu, we decided to drive around 2 hours plus to here for lunch after checking out from our hotel in Karatsu, of course we had planned it way back but later on we kinda wanted to cancel it after realising we might be so tired from all the driving, but decided oh well, just do something extreme, and strangely we didn't feel as tired as we expected from the drive, as the sushi lunch was rather quite unexpectedly refreshing and probably helped to rejuvenate us. Tenzushi...

Karatsu favourite eats and shops

After our stay in Onyado Chikurintei in Takeo, we made our way through Imari for a quick stopover Imari beef lunch, before arriving at Karatsu in the late afternoon. Karatsu (唐津) is a coastal city on Kyushu, about 50 km west of Fukuoka. Karatsu has always been prosperous since ancient times, being an important trading point for Mainland China. Its most famous attractions is the Karatsu castle and the annual Karatsu Kunchi festival in November, which unfortunately we were too early for, and especially famed for its local pottery - yeah! Beautiful pine grove lined road - known as Niji no Matsubara Pine Grove Me in front of the famed Karatsu Castle (nope I didn't walk up there if you were wondering!) We stayed at Shioyu Naginoto - a simple...

Exploring Arita and Imari

In my September visit to lovely Onyado Chikurintei for a nice well deserved rest and relax in their ryokan and onsen, we gals also had the chance to explore for a short day the nearby areas around Takeo. We made full use of the only day we had to explore the spots important to us. I had read up a lot about Arita, which was extremely well known for pottery other than Imari in Western Saga. Interestingly, they were also the first place in Japan where porcelain was produced about 400 years ago after kaolin - the mineral essential to making porcelain - had been found at a local mountain. Subsequently, skilled craftsmen from Korea were brought into the country to develop this industry. My guide below...

Milan Best Eats during Milan Design Week 2016

We - that is myself with good ol' Y and R finally arrived in Milan as the final leg in our Italy trip for some real business- that is walking till we drop during the annual Milan Design Week, or otherwise known as Salone Del Mobile, which happens during early April every year. It was quite exciting to be back here for the fair since 2013, and we definitely needed to recharge ourselves with lots of food since we definitely needed the energy to walk and explore pretty much the entire Milan during the week. Kid you not, but Y lost weight despite all the eating which you will see below after the trip, because we were walking at least 5 - 8 km every...
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