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My Japanese ryokan hopping adventure 2018-2019 – 7 Ryokans in 3 months

It's been a whirlwind 2019 and I do apologise to my readers for the long radio silence. It's been a mad year of renovating and moving house which can be terribly intense. I am back in action again! Many of my fans often ask me what I look for or...

Best way to experience Karuizawa

Karuizawa is a beautiful upmarket mountain resort located in the Nagano Prefecture. It's definitely not a cheap place compared to some other countryside areas, and has developed as a popular place for many Japanese to visit especially during Summer, with many affluent ones owning a second home here. I aptly call it...

Best of Kusatsu Onsen

For my summer getaway this year, I did almost the unthinkable of visiting Japan in July! Unthinkable because it's the summer season then, and all I could say was my furry paws and body was just sweating profusely in the hot humid weather years ago when I went to my...

Kayotei Ryokan and exploring Yamanaka onsen

Recharged from our first night in Kanazawa staying at the lovely Asadaya Ryokan, I made my way with Y and her best gal pals to our next stop to Kayotei Ryokan, an hour's drive away. Located in the small hotsprings area of Yamanaka, Kayotei is a traditional ryokan, family-owned inn...

Kanazawa Travel in 24 hours

In celebration of Y's big 40 last year, we went for a nice girlie getaway with some of her best gal pals to Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture. This post describes the first part of the trip where we stayed in Asadaya Ryokan in Kanazawa for the first night, before moving...

Tokyo Best Eats 2017

I can never get tired of Japan, and was so happy to be able to visit Tokyo in early March where the weather was so nice and cool. Winters here seem to get later and later and the coldest time seems to be from January to early March in these recent...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

A lovely stay at Onyado Chikurintei Ryokan

For my annual ryokan trip this year, it was with good ol' pal LY whom we haven't travelled with to Japan since our Izu girlie trip in 2013. Talk about how time flies! Given it's been 3 years on since our last ryokan trip, we felt we deserved to pamper...

Kotohira Kadan Ryokan Japan

No matter what, I have to squeeze in a ryokan with a hot spring whenever I am in Japan during their winter time, and I didn’t expect everywhere that I wanted to go to be fully booked up when I started looking around for options sometime in August. Yes, so...

Michel Bras Lake Toya – World’s Best Restaurant

For a change this trip, we decided to take a break from skiing and do a day trip with AL, YW, her mum and Baby G to Windsor Hotel at Lake Toya, about 1 hour and 15 minutes car ride from Niseko Village. We had planned this in advance with...

Niseko Eats and Drinks

After spring skiing in March, I was back in Niseko again with Y and R and her good ol’ skiing buddies. Amidst all the skiing she did this time around, there were some new eventful discoveries of eats and drinks thanks to us having a dedicated car to just us...

Okahan Ginza Matsusaka Sukiyaki

Every time I am in Japan, Y and I must have at least one sukiyaki meal, it’s like a food ritual that we must have otherwise we will be cranky. Typically I always head to Imahan as it has so many locations and is pretty dependable, but I decided to...

Nambaratei, the best Oyako Don in Tsukiji Market

Whether or not you like Oyako don, you have to come and visit this little mom-and-pop shop in Tsukiji Market – Nambaratei 南ばら亭. It was by chance we found this tiny shop after the other Oyako don shop that I had attempted to find in Tsukiji fell to futile attempts...

Sushi Yoshitake – Tokyo’s Top Sushi Restaurants

On every trip to Tokyo, we always make it a point to visit at least 1 or more sushi restaurants. Given our rather short stay in Tokyo, we managed to squeeze in only one but it was Sushi Yoshitake, one of the sushi places I have always wanted to go...

Bar Higuchi Fukuoka

My year end trip in 2015 to Japan with Y and R started off with a quick one night stop in Fukuoka. Having been here in 2014, our day quickly whisked by with walking around in the Daimyo area and eating our favourite Shin Shin Ramen among many other things. I...

Niseko best restaurants

Niseko mountain on a clear unfoggy day, what a rare treat! Niseko, nestled in Hokkaido and one of the world's top 10 ski resort GO TOs for any avid snowboarder and skiier has also a decent selection of restaurants. Having been to Val D'Isere and Zermatt, by comparison the advantage of...

Sapporo best eats

As a prelude to my ski trip again in Niseko this March, Y and I decided to head to Sapporo with our usual travelling buddies for the weekend for some good food and buy some fresh seafood including the famous Hokkaido crabs. Googling for best places to eat in Sapporo seemed...

Teddy Bear Museum Sapporo Airport

In my visit with Y this year for our ski trip to Niseko, we arrived at Sapporo's New Chitose Airport and given that we arrived first before everyone else, we had to explore the Steiff Nature World which was a Steiff Teddy Bear Museum here in the airport! How cool is that? We...

Cocktail bars in Tokyo

During my recent trip to Tokyo in February, the group of us spent quite a few nights exploring different cocktail bars. I think Y and I have never explored cocktail bars in Tokyo despite our love for drinking especially delicicious cocktails, so it was pretty good fun that we managed...

Noma Tokyo

Getting a reservation at Noma's rare 5 week pop up in Tokyo was like winning the lottery! Back in June last year, when Y and I were away for a week with limited wifi in safari in Kenya, the online booking for Noma's pop up had to happen for a...

Northern Nagano

On our second day of exploring Nagano, we decided to focus on northern Nagano. Y had to pop in to Hakuba for a quick work visit, so I found us a really nice quaint ryokan called Yuyada Sekiya which was within walking distance to the famous Jigokudani Monkey Park. Driving through...

Matsumoto sights and stay

In early February, Y and I decided to do some ryokan hopping and sightseeing to Nagano after having confirmed our booking for Noma's pop up in Tokyo in late October last year (Yippee yeah yeah!). So the planner in me went ahead in full steam to plan all the exciting...

Makoto Steak Tokyo

Sorry all for the long break from my last post, been terribly busy clearing year end work and packing for my ski trip to Zermatt, Switzerland! Am sure many of you know how that feels. I told myself in the spirit of caring and sharing, I had to let you all...

Jimbocho Den Tokyo

Our reservation at Jimbocho Den was the hardest to secure being one of the hottest new restaurants in Tokyo, it seemed. Initially I was turned down when I booked 3 months ahead of time, the restaurant citing they were full, despite my plea that I wanted to celebrate Y's birthday there. What a pity, as we were keen...

Sushi Hashiguchi Tokyo はしぐち

This is probably the only post that I have done to date that has no photos, as no photos are allowed in Sushi Hashiguchi Tokyo, a tiny sushi bar in Asakasa run by Chef Hashiguchi which sits around 6 people, that's all. Known to be anti-establishment, he has no Michelin Stars, refusing...

Mt Aso and Kurokawa Onsen

On our second day in Takefue Ryokan, being the explorer in me, I wanted to explore some of the famous sights nearby such as the active volcano Mt Aso. I had read up that there's a Mt Aso Cable car we can take, which is the best spot for viewing...

Takefue Ryokan, Kyushu

As I had mentioned in my earlier blog post, after Y and I decided to head to Fukuoka, we proceeded to read which was the best hot spring area to head to in the Kyushu Prefecture. The one that seemed the most intriguing was Kurokawa onsen in the middle of Kyushu area,...

Fruits Farm Juran, Fukuoka

After a quick 2 day orientation of Fukuoka, we rented a car from Nissan Rent A Car to drive to the wonderful Takefue Ryokan, 2 hours plus drive away from the main Fukuoka city. Of course, being the planner in me, I researched on what interesting sights were worth exploring on our...

Fukuoka best eats

Just a couple of months back, Y decided to take the week of over her birthday in September to celebrate with R and me in Japan, one of our favourite food cities in the world. We discussed it would be wise to explore a different part of Japan in addition to Tokyo,...

Best Tokyo Food Halls

Enjoying a breakfast scone with clotted cream in our hotel The food halls in Japan are really in a league of their own. I always make it a point to visit them when I am in any of the big cities and to me the best Tokyo food halls are...

Harutaka and Narisawa

Every time I am in Tokyo, I always head to Mikawa Zezankyo, my favourite tempura place, and in my last trip there in December, the Chinese chef that works there had highly recommended Harutaka in Ginza, a simple sushi restaurant that seats only 10 people, that his boss- Chef Saotome...

Japanese beef restaurants in Tokyo

After my trip to Izu with Y and LY, we drove back to Tokyo on the 2nd October, and stayed there for 3 nights. It was jam packed with shopping and of course eating, trying to just squeeze in lunch and dinner and possibly tea as and when we could...

Izu Teddy Bear Museum

Firstly, I have to clarify that I did not choose Izu just because they had a Teddy Bear Museum here, but I think God meant for me to come here. It was to my great joy when I discovered in the local Japanese guide regarding the existence of this museum!...

Atami Sekitei Ryokan

Tea time in Atami Sekitei enjoying matcha and a bear cookie from Pets De Donne. I am pretty obsessed with ryokans and onsens. When planning this girlie trip, it was a unanimous decision that we should stay in a traditional ryokan. Entrance of Atami Sekitei Izu Peninsula is famous for its onsens...

Izu Eats

Continuing from my earlier post on Izu - Day 1, on our second day, we decided to drive towards the local food street near Atami Sekitei, where there was a supermarket and other small goods stores. It was such a horrid weather, was just raining the whole day, made it...

Izu

After much extensive research on where Y, LY and myself could go nearby to Tokyo by car, Izu Peninsula looked extremely interesting enough and plus none of us "Japan addicts" have been there before. Located 120km southwest from Tokyo, it took us around 2 - 3 hours driving our wonderful...

Osaka Best Eats

2013 kicked off with a wonderful trip to Osaka with Y's Hong Kong friends - YW, AL and TW, just before Chinese New Year. I haven't been to Osaka in ages since I think 2003 so it was nice to be back there for a short weekend trip before heading...

Niseko Skiing

I was so excited as I peeked out of the plane and saw all the snow capped fields in Sapporo. It wasn't that cold just about -3 degrees by the time we got from the airport to the rental car location, where TW was the official driver and drove us...

Hakone Sights

Me posing with the yummy "cow-packaged" milk from Hakone. Miss it so much! In my part 2 on Hakone, I will share with you some of the memorable Hakone sights that we experienced. 1. The Hakone Open-Air Museum Ninotaira, Hakone-Town, Kanagawa-Prefecture, 250-0493 Japan http://www.hakone-oam.or.jp/english/ This is a definite must go...

Luxury ryokan Hakone Ginyu

Just arriving into the town of Hakone, enjoying the scenic view. Hakone is about 2 hours drive from Tokyo, and spending 2 nights here was a nice break from our Tokyo leg which we spent from 16 to 26 December in 2012. We rented a car from a shop near...

Michelin Star Eats in Tokyo

Tokyo is one of my favourite cities, because I love Japanese food, it's one of the cuisines I could eat forever. I would love to live in Tokyo, but it's too expensive to live there unfortunately. I alway dream of living in Tokyo city in a nice hip neighbourhood like...

Tokyo casual eats and cool concepts

In Part 2 of my Tokyo trip in December 2012, I will share with you some of the more casual eats that I enjoy very much. EATS - CASUAL 1. Ichiran Ramen 1-22-7 B1F Jinnan Sibuya-ku Tokyo-to 150-0041 Tel: 03-3463-3667 www.ichiran.co.jp/english This ramen joint has something close to 30 branches...