Thursday, November 20, 2008

Japan Trip Vol IV

I always feel that my days are maximized whenever I join tours, I think this is because they force us to get up bright and early in order to enjoy what the tour has to offer, and to be able to finish the tour's itinerary in time. This morning was no different, although the previous night's sleep on the traditional Japanese mattress was not as comfortable as I'd expected, nevertheless I had a pretty good rest.

A very Japanese Breakfast. The takoyaki was surprisingly really yummy!

Our first destination for the day was the Hakone National park where we visited Sulphurous spring and its famous Black eggs. There's a belief that each Black egg you eat will add 7 years to your life!

A man cooking the eggs in the Sulphurous spring water

Black egg!

Looked and tasted like an ordinary hard-boiled egg

After we were done enjoying the interesting Sulphurous scenary and odd smell of the Hakone Mountain, we took a cruise through the Ashi lake with a Pirate ship which added a very touristy touch.

Lunch for the day was Ebi Tempura and Ramen set. The tempura prawn was good, the batter was slightly different as it was breaded with crumbs instead of the usual tempura batter.

Ebi Tempura

The ramen at this shop, however, was disappointing as it was on the salty side. I couldn't really taste any other flavors other than the saltiness from Shoyu.

Wasabi flavored Softcream to cleanse the palate after lunch

After lunch, we headed to Tokyo city and were dropped off at the shopping area for some free time shopping. I love looking at the colorful/wide varieties of fashion Tokyo has to offer. One of my favorite place in Tokyo was the Isetan basement where there were countless numbers of beautiful pastries/cakes shop. I was so fascinated by all the beautiful creations, it was a shame I wasn't allow to take photos or else I would be able to show you guys how amazing it was on this blog.

After a few hours of strolling, and some window and real shopping,we decided to take a break and stopped by at this little Coffee shop around the Shinjuku area.

Apple and Custard Crepe with vanilla ice-cream

Vanilla Crepe Cake

traditional coffee maker

Despite having the traditional type of coffee machine, the coffee itself was not up to my parents' standards. They thought Melbourne's Koko Black's Cappuccino was a lot better.

Another interesting experience about my Japan trip is trying to communicate with the waiters/waitresses in sign language as they do not understand English nor can I speak Japanese. When we were finished with the meal, I tried to signal to the waiter for the bill buy doing a 'signing (credit card)' movement with my hand. The waiter looked at me puzzled for 3 seconds then smiled with a nod and took off. I thought he understood what I was asking for, however my parents burst out laughing when the waiter handed me with a pen with no bill. It took me a while to indicate the the waiter that I was asking for the bill before I actually receive one. One thing that I really like about Japanese is that they are so polite and yet enthusiastic to help you even though it was hard for them to communicate! Keep that up all that Japanese out there! :)

After our little coffee break, we continued on to do more shopping until dinner time. For dinner, our tour guide took us to the Ginza area which supposedly has one of the world's most expensive properties.

For dinner, we had a buffet BBQ so everything was free-flow. There were sliced beef, pork, chicken, marinated and unmarinated, varieties of seafood eg. scallops, prawns, squids, lots of vegetables and mushrooms, with different dipping sauces. Miso soup, rice, garlic rice, yakisoba, and over 10 differnt types of soft drinks were also available. There was even a soft serve icecream machine with different flavors and a waffle machine for you to DIY! It was probably one of the most interesting buffet experience I've had so far.

After dinner, the bus drove back to Ikebukuro area where our Sunshine City Prince Hotel was located. After checking in, I decided to check out the Hotel's convenience store. While I was browsing around, I spotted this custard or creme caramel and decided to try it.

I remembered having these when I was younger in Bangkok, however the quality deteriorated over the years. This one really brought back my good old memories of the first few times I've had it in Bangkok--smooth, creamy,and not overly sweet!

The upcoming post would be my very first trip to Tokyo Disneyland and my very first Kobe beef experience in Japan, so do come back and enjoy more food pictures!

1 comment:

Bean Sprout's Cafe said...

The Jap breakfast is very pretty...I really like that kinda things...ahh..really wanna go to thier cafes...*sigh*