Chochin (giant lantern) everywhere...

Asakusa is an area in Tokyo famous for Senso-ji, a huge temple in the middle of metropolitan district. I went to Asakusa with N-san on the second week after I arrived. The memory was quite distant I don’t remember all the details of what I did…. But let the photos do the talk.

Saw the sky tree from outside the train station... it doesn't open to public until May this year... and I heard people have to reserve tickets from now.

This entrance leads to a dori to the temple

The Nakamise-Dori.. with traditional shops on both sides of the street

People buying sweets as souvenirs..

I bought some Ningyoyaki(人形焼). Eating that while drinking warm Ama-sake(お甘酒). Perfect for the cool weather.

Getting closer to the temple... it was a short 5mins walk (if you don't stop by the shops)

Grrrr.. many tourists and locals...

A second building..

Kamiraimon: Symbol of Senso ji. And we had to walk through this gate to reach the main building

A kid sniffing the smoke. They say it makes you smarter... I guess its partially true: After sniffing, you'll learn smarter to not do it again next time 😉

Line up to pray

People praying after throwing coins into this well? I threw in some pennies...

Last glimpse of the temple before heading out.

We took a stroll around the older part of town.

A lil kid begging his mommy for some more Ningyoyaki

A Monchichi store!! Weird, but I find Monchichi kinda cute now.

Grill sweet yam. I tried a sample... too sweet to my liking.

A tank full of eel like fishes... Signature ingredient of this restaurant.

Heh, cute. but the picked radish is expensive.

I love Tai-yaki... But I'd prefer green-tea flavor.

We walked pass a Monjayaki (もんじゃ焼き) store... but it was too early for dinner. So we went for dessert instead.

A popular place I found on my tour guide, selling traditional desserts.

Here's what I ordered... 700 yen. Expensive for a simple dessert like this...

Before heading back to Yokosuka, we also walked the Shin-Nakamise Dori.. I gotta say though, this area is full of shops that target elderly people. Definitely not a fashionable place.

Sky tree! and the Asahi Beer Headquarters! (I can't relate that golden status with beer, really)

Honestly, Asakusa is not my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong, temples and shrines are interesting. But I personally would prefer somewhere more tranquil, somewhere I could relax my mind and quietly walk around. Asakusa, like any other parts of Tokyo is simply too crowded. I will come again though, not for Senso-ji.. but for a walk to the Sky tree!


Now down to one week until my Kyoto trip… And I just checked the Sakura Report… The cherry blossoms in Kyoto still hasn’t bloomed yet! I would be so disappointed if I don’t get to see much Sakura there.


Bits and Pieces: …

A week goes by so fast, it’s weekend already. Phew!

I remember reading the Coop pre-departure document (see bottom of this webpage)…which says it’s typical for students to hype up during their first few weeks and gradually they would become homesick and depressed… I’ve survived for 2 months, woot! But I am already feeling a bit worn out from mental stresses.. There’s really not much of a cultural shock for me, since I’m used to Asian cultures. Living alone isn’t a problem either, I’m loving the freedom. However, language barrier is a big problem for me. Though my colleagues are all very nice and would translate their conversations for me as much as possible… and I would feel bad about it. The Japanese that I’ve learnt really only suffice for greetings, introductions and simple phrases. For instance, even if I could answer a question in Japanese, when the other person replies, I would be lost and confused.. Hence it’s mostly just one way communication. I’ve always wanted to try Yaki-Tori, but I hesitate every time I walk pass one… because I wouldn’t know how to order ! (and I’m sure the owners mostly likely can’ speak English) Guess I’d have to wait for somebody to bring me out for that *drooling* Don’t ask me why I don’t speak Japanese with my colleagues… it is impossible with all the workplace terms at my current noob level. I do, however, try to speak it here and there (though it may take me 15 secs to process a short sentence). At the end, I just feel disconnected from the outside world other than my workplace… Argh, I hope this feeling would subside eventually.

Anyhow, negative things aside… Here’s what I had for dinner after Japanese lesson in Yokohama.

Omelette Rice!! One of my to-eat-items. Looking at the 3d menu makes me drool now. How can eggs with rice have these many variations!?

I found a underground gem last night… On B2 floor of Yodobashi (a electronics store) around Yokohama station, there were many great+cheap restaurants- plan to try them all, one at a time =) I always look forward to my Japanese lesson, because I get to finally have decent meal other than Miso soup Udon!

Omelette rice here came with different sizes: SS, S, M, L. L is humongous- like 3.5 bowls of rice with 6 eggs. SS was just 1.5 bowl rice plus 3 eggs. Eating one L size omelette simply means one has reached their weekly quota for eggs. I ordered a dinner set for 1600 yen (not cheap, but well worth it… my average homecook dinner costs 150 yen). It comes with…

Onion soup, salad with ham, rasberry soda.

My baked SS sized Omelette rice (with loads of cheese+cream)... it was devine!

Thought I would not be satisfied with SS size, turned out I had to forced my last bites in… The cheese was just really heavy, but that’s how I like it =P

Ice-cream with fruits and yogurt

After such a fulfilling meal, I went taking a night walk in town… You know, just hanging at the few stores that remained open.

Will buy this before I come back...

Must have item for apple fan boy XD

BTW, the pink phone is my current cell phone in Japan (excuse the white sticker, which I didn’t peel off cuz I plan to resell it after use). It’s the only Android “free” phone available with a 2 year contract. OK, and it is just a piece of crap, honestly, NO HEADPHONE JACK? I didn’t expect this from a Japanese phone. However, the camera’s image quality I’d have to say is better than my Nexus S. =.=;; I barely use the phone anyway, mostly just for messages, web browsing (back up when my Nexus S ‘s battery dies) …

iida's InfoBar was my dream phone... but I was scared off by its price. It's an old phone and why didn't the price go down !!!

Speaking of my Nexus S sucky battery life… I was worried that my phones won’t last during my next weekend’s Kyoto trip. I wouldn’t be able to charge my electronic devices since I would not be staying in any hostels (mostly likely at a 24 hr MacDonald’s or Manga Cafe). So I made my first purchase from Amazon JP just now–

Yoobao Power Bank 11200mAh external battery... 4500 yen. Enough to feed juice to an iPhone for 7 times in one charge.

Since I’m usually not home ( and I don’t want the postman to come ring the bell again..), so I got it shipped to a convenient store downstairs… should be arriving on Monday. It would be really useful (if it works.. it’s made in China… not so sure about the quality), because my phone’s battery can barely last half a day with wifi on.

Clumsy me is back. This morning my phone’s off so the alarm didn’t ring and so I got up late for work… (got up at 7:10am, arrived 30 mins later than usual).

And going back home today… I somehow got on a wrong bus (can you believe that?), all the way to the Yokosuka Hospital… and I had no idea where I was (my pocket wifi’s dead), but I eventually got on a random bus that took me to a random train station.

It’s 3:51am now. And I may go to Harajuku ( to see Sakura @ Meiji Jingu temple)..  if I can wake up early in the morning… Forecast says it’d be raining tomorrow, again! Ugh!

US Navy Open House

I've never seen Yokosuka THIS lively before...

There were thousands of people lining up to get into the US Navy Base the past Sunday. Yup, the Navy guys open the base for the public twice a year. It was supposed to be a Hanami event (Sakura viewing) too, but the weather in Yokosuka has been to cold for any flowers to bloom.

On my way to Mikasa Park, cloudy weather in the afternoon.

I got up late that day – 12pm.. all because I didn’t sleep till 7am. Anyway, I got out my door before 1pm and began my 10 minutes walk to the Mikasa Park, where the Navy Base was situated.

After 8 mins walk from my dorm, I was shocked to see people lining up just to WALK toward the entrance of the Mikasa Park.

Oh my, I had never seen such a long line up in my life… it’s several blocks away from the park and people were in a single file to enter the park. I had an urge to turn back and go home, or head to Yokohama for a shopping spree or something. “But the Navy opens up twice a year, it means if I miss this, I won’t see it again…” I decided to go in, check it out and leave if it’s no fun.

Been lining up after this small family.. look at how cute his little bag was... BTW, this was only the entrance of the park, the Navy base was 5 mins walk away (with no line up).

The Mikasa battleship (it's now a museum, with 500 yen entrance fee).

The Mikasa Battleship was the first thing I saw after entering the Park… and I was stupid enough to pay 500 yen to go inside, on the (probably) busiest day of the year. Partly because I thought it belonged to the US Navy……… which obviously made no sense now (looking back)… it had a fricken’ Japan flag on it!

The sky began to clear up... on the deck of Mikasa battleship.

When I first got into the park, there weren't a huge line up..

But once I got onto the battleship museum.... swarms of people formed.... At the time I still didn't know what the line was for though.

I later realized it's for going into the Base!!!

However, I still took my time inside the museum, as I paid 500 yen for it. I watched a movie there, about the war with Russia… The Japanese commander of the Mikasa Battleship was a lucky dude, surviving so many battles and lived until the age of 86.

The view from inside the base....

I joined the massive lineup soon after… and got into the base after 3o mins. The reason why it took so long was because every person’s personal belongings were checked before entering.

A tent for selling food, such as jumbo dogs, turkey legs, etc.

However, successfully entering the base didn’t make things any better. Because lineups were still everywhere! For food, for washroom…I hadn’t eaten since waking up, and was hungry. But I decided to wait a little bit longer, hoping the lines would become shorter eventually.

Jumbo hot dogs!

Gigantic turkey legs!! I was drooling.

Kids and their parents lining up to some sort of "build-a-bear" workshop.

People lining up to pee, or taking a dump after enjoying some American food.

The base was like a mini American town, with residences, high school, McDonald’s, Food Court, Fire Department, Bowling Place, Theatre…

Some friendly soldiers chatting up a kid. Many areas were blocked.It was more like a carnival than an Open House.. I initially thought there would be some sort of tour on Navy ships.

Another long line up in front of MacDonald's... So sad. And the bare branches of the Sakura trees made me even sadder.

Cute lil girl pretending to take a shot of her father, who was shooting a photo of her.

Navy officers in uniform became major photogenic attractions..

As well as this poor dog, having to play catch for so many times..

The public enjoying bowling at the Base.

Another attraction: American foodcourt... populated with familiar names like Subway, A&W, Manchu Wok, Cinnabon, etc. Again, no chance to fill my empty stomach due to ridiculous lineups.

A highschool!

Movie theatre. People, again, were lining up to watch a movie or two.

A girl wanted to hug this friendly cow mascot, and her dad dragged her away.

Male Choir with mostly seniors. They sang really well, and I sat there for 20 mins to enjoy their performance... Because I was tired and there's nothing better to do.

Yet another lineup to buy American *expensive* junk food.

I later bought something (non-food) and was surprised the changes were in US dollar.

Um.. the Navy guys showcasing their firetruck?

Gee, almost thought its another line up... just officers standing there to block off a road.

Since I had nothing better to do.. and I saw many people carrying boxes of large pizzas… My craving for food (pizza specifically) finally became stronger than my fear for line ups.

A cute girl and her older sis. Their mom was in front of me, lining up for pizzas.

Wrestling.. not really, her good sister was struggling to put on the jacket for her.

After 40 mins of lining up, it was close to 4:15pm. And suddenly the pizza lady came and told us they were sold out! $#!$ WTF, should’ve notified us sooner.. that way I would’ve lined up for a jumbo dog instead. But of course, it’s Japan, so nobody complained…

Looking at the Navy shipped parked afar, I regretted coming here.. should've gone to Yokohama to have All you can eat Pizza instead of wasting my time lining up for nothing.

One door closes, another opens. Just when I felt hopeless, pissed, angry, hungry... I saw Japanese food stalls right outside the Mikasa Park!! To be honest, I prefer these than pizza/hot dogs!!

I ordered Chicken Skin Gyoza (stuffed dumping wrapped with chicken skin). It's super greasy and fattening, but who cares?

Time for some Hiroshima Yaki...

Basically, pan fried ramen in yaki sauce with corn, lettuce, bacon and egg.

A pair of lovebirds feeding Hiroshima Yaki into each other's mouth lol

The Base was pretty bland, it’s just like any other small American town… except you could see officers in uniforms. But the Japanese people were indeed very intrigued by the place, the food… pretty much everything there.

Japan Travel Wishlist

I’ve been in Japan for almost 2 months now… with only 5 months left, I thought I should make a list of places I wanna go, things I wanna do, food I wanna eat. Not all of the items can be accomplished, but I figure I need some motivation to save time/some doughs for travelling =)

Right now, the list is short (since I’m writing this at 3am in the morning)… but I will keep this updated.

Note: The items on the lists are in no particular order.


  • Tokyo Disney Sea
  • Doraemon Museum
  • Hanami in Kyoto
  • Hanami in Tokyo/Kanagawa (ie. Uneo Park, Kanazawa Bunko, Mitsueke Park, Kamakura)
  • Yokohama Chinatown/Mirato Mirai+ Night View in the indoor spa place (Cup Noodle museum)
  • Shinjuku Korea Town,Golden Gai
  • Kamakura (鎌倉) 
  • Day trip in Odaiba (お台場)
  • Hiking in Kamakura, visit T-san again
  • Trip to Okinawa
  • See lavender in Hokkaido (Noboribetsu, Edo Wonderland, Onsens)
  • Himeji Castle 姫路城
  • Visit where the Emperor lives (Kyoto, Tokyo)
  • Sony Store in Ginza
  • Akihabara (Anime stuff, Music instruments, second hand items)
  • Museums (Edo, Tokyo National, Space, Train, Tabacco & Salt)
  • Karuizawa in Summer (Wiki tells me it’s sister city with Whistler)
  • Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trails (Hike, explore, visit Shrines)
  • Shinbashi at Night (for cheap eats, etc)
  • Nakano/Ueno/Jiyugaoka
  • Old towns of Kawagoe, Shibamata in Tokyo
  • Koganezaki (clear waters and islands in summer)
  • Osaka
  1. Namba (難波)
  2. Otaroad (Similar to Akiba)
  • Hiroshima
  • Nagasaki (長崎)
  • 吉祥寺
  • 三重縣,廣島縣,鳥取縣 Nature trip during Golden Week
  • See all of Tokyo
  •  – 新宿東口、新宿西口、回憶橫町、池袋東口、池袋西口、澀谷、原宿、青山‧表參道、築地、吉祥寺、淺草、銀座、秋葉原、上野、六本木、惠比壽‧代官山、台場、橫濱港未來、元町‧中華街, 谷中老街, 有樂町高架鐵道…

To Do

  • Bike Trip in Wakayama (和歌山)
  • Feed deers in Todai-ji (東大寺) of Nara
  • Onsen in Hakone (箱根)
  • Crazy coasters at FujiKu
  • Hike Mt. Fuji
  • Design/make my own glasses in Eyeglasses Museum
  • Visit Tokyo Tower
  • Get to the top of Sky Tree (once it opens, stop by Akasaka Sacas)
  • Anpanman Museum
  • 三鷹の森 ジブリ美術館
  • Visit all 三景 Sankei in Japan
  1. Amanohashidate, Kyoto
  2. Matsushima, Miyagi
  3. Miyajima, Hiroshima (but the tori was being Repaired at the time)
  • Watch Hanabi (fireworks) in Sumida River and nightmarkets
  • Totori prefecture~ Recommended > Mie
  • Dressed ONCE in Yukata/Kimono
  • Shop till I drop in Ginza (drop by NihonBashi)
  • Stay up late enough on weekdays to see drunkies on train
  • A day trip to chill in Yoyogi Park of Harajuku (also Meiji Jingu), then window shop in Omodesando, Takeshita Dori
  • See Geisha in Gion, Kyoto
  • Chill in Shinjuku Gyoen, Happo-en in
  • Participate in 博多祇園山笠, a festival held in July @ Fukuoka
  • Kyoto Gion Matsuri
  • Osaka tenjin matsuri
  • Tokyo Sanno Matsuri
  • Shop in an outlet mall (there’s one close by in Kanazawa Hakkei)
  • Rock climbing in EnoShima
  • Eat /stroll in Tsukiji (築地)
  • Challenge for a good shot of Shibuya Crossing
  • See babies cry in Nakizumo festival @ Asakusa (fourth Sunday in April every year between 12.30 p.m. and 3 p.m. )
  • Paint an eye for Daruma doll
  • Head to Heian Jingu in Kyoto on June 1 or 2 to watch Takigi Noh performances
  • Sendai Tanabata Matsuri from August 6-8
  • Hike on Mt. Takao
  • Mandarake Complex: Sotokanda 3-11-12, Chiyoda-ku, +81 (0) 3 3252 7007, noon-8 p.m.
  • Go to a Comic cafe
  • See Godzilla in Hibiya Park
  • Festivals-Kanda-matsuri in Kanda, Sanno-matsuri in Nagata-cho, and Fukagawa-matsuri in Tomioka, Koto-ku
  • Stay in a Capsule hotel
  • Buy a pair of Evisu jeans


  • Any All You Can Eat in general
  • Fugu Sashimi (any weird fish)
  • Try the Miracle Fruit
  • Ultra fresh sushi
  • the best Unagi don in this world
  • the best Ramen in this world
  • Taishoken Ramen in Ikebukuro
  • Matcha desserts
  • Strawberry shortcake
  • Takoyaki and お好み焼き at Osaka
  • Japanese styled Omelette rice
  • Curry (Japanese style of course)
  • Yaki Tori
  • Yaki Niku
  • Kaiseki ryoli (If tofu Kaiseki counts?)
  • Navy Burger in Yokosuka

Let’s see how many can be crossed off by the end of August.

Drinking Party & Kyoto weekend trip itinerary

Coke-san making his "speech". His gift from us was Sakura tea with a pair of cups. He can't drink alcohol (a rare case), so tea it is!

Our team had another Friday drinking party last night. The occasion was two members will be “retiring” from the company end of the month to become professors in universities, as well as to celebrate Coke-san’s recent marriage to his girlfriend (dating since junior high, way more than 10 years haha)! The party was attended by most of our members (around 20 people), my supervisor didn’t show up because he had to hurry home and take care of his pregnant wife (expected date in a few weeks!) 😀

The Sake at the top was sooo good, the aroma was almost fruity. At the bottom was the small bowl of ramen...

The more drinking parties that I go to, I find that there are usually 6-7 dishes shared amongst each table. The dishes are all small portioned… perhaps people need to save space for alcohol? I didn’t take picture of our food, but we had: Shabu Shabu, Plain tofu (yes, plain with a pinch of salt, but it was really good… As someone commented, “Oiishi, it got such a rich taste of… tofu” lol), Sashimi (I don’t think I’d ever know what fishes I’m eating) , salmon salad, ramen, and chicken karaage. Obviously, for a person who needs to consume 14 plates of Kaiten sushi…. It was not at all for me. So after I went home, I wiped out all Natto in the fridge 🙂 .

Actually, I prefer all you can eat over all you can drink…

Besides the small amt of beer and sake I had in the beginning... The rest of the night, I sampled all Plum/fruit wine on the drinking menu! This is the grapefruit wine... Yike!

This is not tea.... but Sake with a piece of Fugu fish in it. The taste was fishy... and it costs 600Yen!! I'd be more interesting in having Fugu fish sashimi than to drink this.

AB-san received a gift (digital photo frame) from us after his speech. He sits right behind me, can't believe he'd be gone after next week. He'll be teaching in Hiroshima... a beautiful city.

During dinner, Mayor-san talked about his 3-day trip to Hong Kong… I asked him if he went to DisneyLand or the Peak… He said no. Then I asked him where he went. He said “I went to buy iPhone, iPad. And I also went to see Jackie Chan’s house (outside, of course)!” *drop dead*

After dinner, of course there’s a second round as usual. Being a good (and poor) kid, I went home to sleep.


For my weekend Kyoto Hanami trip on April 7-8th… I have planned to visit the following places… will put more details once I have checked out maps and finalize the route.

Red= Must see 

*  = top 100 Hanami sites

# = World Heritage Site

Day 1: 

Eastern Kyoto-

Toji (#)

清水寺 Kiyomizu Dera ( #)

高台寺 Kodaiji ()

浄土宗 総本山 知恩院 Chion ()

平安神宮 神苑 Heian Shrine ()- features colorful pink blossoms

哲学の道 / Ginkaku ji (#)

Central Kyoto:

二条城 夜桜 (#) : Need to enter during daytime

醍醐寺 Daigo Ji(* #) Southern Kyoto

The famous cherry tree in Maruyama Park is often the center of attention in the evenings when it is lit up. Vendors line the pathway leading up to it, creating a festive atmosphere. Kiyomizu-dera and Kodai-ji have extended hours during the first few days of this season offering visitors the opportunity to view them at night, lit up against the blossoms. Blossoms can also be seen along the Kamogawa River. The entire area literally blossoms in the spring!

Day 2:

Western Kyoto-


Arashiyama(*)- Light up and food stalls at night

Arashiyama Info

Unagi Don@ ArashiYama

Train to ArashiYama

Northern Kyoto-

龍安寺Ryoanji (#)

御室@仁和寺 Ninnaji(* #)

Kinkaku ji (#)




“The Kyoto Sightseeing Card can be purchased as a one-day (¥ 1200/Children:¥ 600) or two-day pass (¥ 2000/¥ 1000). It can be used for unlimited travel on the subway and city buses as well as a part of the Kyoto bus route. The two-day pass has to be used on two consecutive days.”


Matcha… tofu, Fugu sashimi, etc.

Yummy Food



This year’s winter has lasted longer than usual… so I’m praying the cherry blossoms would bloom in time of my visit. Because normally early April is the prime time for viewing Sakura…

The purpose of the trip is to enjoy cherry blossoms in the historical Kyoto, so I want to spend quality time at each site, rather than taking a photograph and leave. Looking at the jam packed wishlist, I’m sure I won’t be able to cover all the places listed above, but it’s alright… I plan to visit again soon in a longer holiday (hopefully I’ll get to visit nearby cities such as Nara, Osaka…)

Kaiten Sushi Round 2!

Here we go again... 回転寿司!!

Today was the deadline for paying the overnight bus fee to Kyoto, otherwise my reservation would get cancelled. The website said I had to pay by 6pm… but I couldn’t leave work yet! So I kept hitting Cmd-R on my keyboard, hoping to re-reserve once I get dropped off the list. But nothing happened… My status didn’t change. So I took my time and finally arrived at Lawson, the convenient store next to my dorm at 7pm. Then I realized, I didn’t have enough cash to pay for the  fee! Crap… The 7600Yen roundtrip ticket was the cheapest I could find, and I had to get it (Seriously, Shinkansen one-way costs more than that!). So I ran to Yokosuka Chuo, where the Post office was… Yeah, I hate my bank… it’s a Post Office bank, so ATM machines are inside Post offices (there’s one nearby my house, but it’s closed at 4pm). The Chuo branch was still opened, so I withdrew some money, crossed the street to a convenient store and got it over with. When I was about the make my way back, I spotted this-

Not 100Yen sushi, but 90 YEN SUSHIIIIII!!!!

OK, I walked by this area every few days and I couldn’t believe I didn’t see this. Or maybe my mind wasn’t on Kaiten Sushi at those moments. But I have been craving for Kaiten-Sushi, particularly after having it last week. Not because I love Sushi… but because last time was just so, memorable. Don’t get me wrong, not the taste, but the cost. 2600 yen = 10 dishes for lunch. For a student like me, this made my heart ache. Then people kept telling me about 100yen Kaiten Sushi after hearing my experience. I couldn’t stand it no more, I had to have it again, just to even out the costs. 😀

Yesterday when I was at Akihabara, I saw 130 yen Kaiten Sushi… I stood outside the place, in the rain for 5 mins… debating weather to step inside or not. I really wanted some sushi, but 130 yen still wasn’t the cheapest! So I ended up not having it, nor dinner… because I spent some money on something afterwards (What’s with my mindset of balancing things out?). Last night before sleep, I actually searched on the web to find 100yen Kaiten Sushi places in town- Since there’s no work tomorrow (Spring Day or something), I planned to eat at this place with good reviews near Uraga Station.

But how could I resist? Standing right there in front of the tempting 90Yen banner and with some cash in my hand, I walked in w/o second thoughts.The place could seat around 60 people, with four conveyor belts. It was busy, yet fast flowing… There weren’t many waitresses, but was convenient enough since everything was done electronically: From getting a seat at the ticket machine, to ordering using a touch screen menu.

Touch screen menu makes it easy to order things not on the belt. Select an item, and wait for the friendly waitress to bring it over! It's a nice menu with pictures and Japanese names, learnt some new words today!

First items I saw were .... strawberry short cakes. They were 200 yen btw, too early for dessert.

My first round (clockwise): Grilled Tamago, Mayo Mentaiko, fresh Squid, Ikura. Love the Tamago best!I had another plate after... I know eggs are cheap, but its good. The squid however, was watery... Ikura at the place I went before easily costs 240 yen... almost 3 times!

French Fries! Roasted Beef sushi! So american. Not surprising though, Yokosuka has a US Navy base. On the conveyor belt, sometimes you'll also see a piece of pineapple, tofu pudding, NY cheesecake, caesar salad... etc.

Tiny white fishies, which I love when cooked and salted... go well with rice. Tasting them raw felt soft and tasteless.

Lightly grilled Salmon... Delicious. I think i love the smell +taste of grilled sushi more.

Deep fried Osyters. LOVE!

Many eggs. Steamed seafood egg, and another plate of grilled tamago w/ cheese.

When the belt came out with 2 plates of Tamago-Yaki... these two people took them... T_T

So I ordered it, along with Uni sushi. Uni was not fresh though, tasted bitter... Thankfully I have my tamago-yaki to rinse away the bad taste.

Stuffed. Rested for 10 mins because I was too full to walk.

Overall spent 1400 yen for 14 dishes plus the steamed egg. 1200 yen less than what I spent last time (with only 10 dishes). Honestly, the quality was nowhere near as good (not as fresh, smaller piece), but it’s expected. Which do I prefer? The cheap place of course. I really don’t care too much about eating 550yen middle class bluefin tuna… all I need is to enjoy and pick up any plate I want without calculating the price! Sure, I would come across some disgusting Uni at times, as long as I don’t get sick or parasite infections… I’m fine.

HamaZushi. I should come often, but they don't give out point cards like the other place...

One draw back is I tend to get carried away and eat too much… like what happened today.


Was watching the Hong Kong Chief Elective debate tonight, looping the funny parts over and over. It’s more entertaining than any Jdoramas or comedies. The candidates are retards, and the show itself is a JOKE. HK citizens don’t get to vote in the election anyway, is there even a point in having a debate… besides exposing their lameness? It’s worse than any chinese debates that I’ve watched or participated in. But again, politics is the same everywhere- there’s no real democracy. I just wish Hong Kong can hang on for another five years… although, letting the public vote does not guarantee electing a capable CE. After all, they all just turn into puppets overtime.

I wish it’s translated into English, that way the international community can also enjoy the show.



MC 仁:陪跑,但能夠帶動氣氛。可惜無提到政綱,只顧質問另外兩位-俾位佢地遊花園。主線講普選-講真,一切已成定局,何不放眼現在或是未來5年?平反六四是重要,但解決燃眉之急的種種社會問題不是更逼切嗎?也許,他也是一味懂得喊民主,卻無實際建樹。


Hong Kong is doomed, no matter who gets appointed “elected”. 香港人唯有自求多福。


Bits & Pieces: White Day and Work Strike

This is my latest creation: Frozen wrinkled Daikon (white radish)

Oh, and frozen expired tofu too.

I have simply bought too much food in my previous grocery shopping spree. Since I haven’t been cooking much in the past week, most food was just lying helplessly in the fridge… forgotten and expired. Some (even the pumpkin) became frozen.. Remember the grapefruits that I bought early last month? there are still 2 left… I cut one up this morning, barely any juice left. As I’m writing this, I suddenly remember the bananas.. they must have turned into charcoals by now.

Anyway, I tried to not be もったいない (wasteful) so I dumped all the expired goodies into my miso soup for lunch today. Tasted as good as they were fresh, except for the radish…. no matter how long I cooked it, it was still crunchy like those pickled ones you find the supermarket… Is it supposed to be that way? I was dreaming of those steamed soft melt-in-your-mouth radish with soy sauce.


White Day in Japan was several days ago. As a tradition, guys would give gifts to ladies, as a return for the Valentine’s chocolates. It’s a custom that ladies at work would give chocolates to their male colleagues on Valentines day, to show gratitude. The Jap term for this is 義理チョコ. What I received from some colleagues… though I did not give them any chocolates :-<

Some chocolates from AB-san

Mamadors from O-san, they are just white bean cakes. They are bought from Shinjuku... Japanese really know how to do business.. with all these different "editions" of the same sweets.

Home baked cookies from Mayor-san.. he bakes way better than I can lol

Now I really wanna buy a oven, to bake things and share the edible ones with my coworkers. And I need a rice cooker too.. I am very sick of udon/spagetti now. With a rice cooker, I can finally eat Natto with rice and make congee once in a while too! Plus rice cookers save so much cooking time! A bowl of hot rice, Natto and some soy sauce can satisfy me!

Saw these on Amazon JP- I love how Amazon can deliver to convenient stores, so I can pick up after work.

炊飯器 3合 一人暮らし 1380 Yen! for a mini rice cooker

KOIZUMI ホワイト 1582 Yen! for a toaster oven

Can a 1000W toaster oven bake anything other than toasts??


Oh and also  on White Day, our office had a worker’s strike! It was rumoured to begin on Monday, but somehow got delayed.

So what is a strike really like in Japan?

It's 5pm and office was almost empty.

WTF right? Yeah, a strike in Japan (or maybe just in my company) is basically employees have to leave work by 5pm. Which is a normal time for North Americans to leave work (assuming arrive work at 9am). Plus, many employees here arrive earlier than 9! Some didn’t even want to go, as they had unfinished work. =_=;;

The higher people settled things fast too, people were back to their “normal” work hours the next day haha

So Canadian teachers who are on strike now.. consider yourselves “lucky”, because you don’t have to work at all(besides protesting on streets)!


Some random musings…

I am craving for steaks and pizzas recently. So one day after work, I went for a American restaurant, hoping for a steak fix. I saw they were advertising with gigantic posters of meat. I walked in and ordered the same thing.

I was stupid.. they weren't steaks at all.. they were just hamburgs (hamburger patty). Argh... and every bite was soft and oily. Portion was little too, each piece is half size of my palm! I needed something to rince the fattiness in my mouth and fill my half empty stomach... so I went for crepe afterwards -_- But yeah, Japanese love hamburgs. And I guess if I really want steaks, I'd better go to some fancy steak houses.

For my Pizza fix, I saw this All you can eat Pizza/pasta place in Yokohama the other day... They have many flavors, even sweet ones such as "chocolate banana".. can't wait to try!

Chicken-katsu set dinner at 大戸屋. Went there twice this week. Economical with good portion and I LOVE the plum sauce and sweet radish on top of the chicken. I'm usually stuffed after eating here.

When lining up to order at 大戸屋, the waiter usually ask how much rice the customer want. I didn’t know how to express different sizes in Japanese, but lucky me! The guy lining up in front of me ordered the same thing… And I copied what he said haha- “Omori 大盛り” If he was a girl, then I’d probably end up saying “Small bowl please” lol The bowl was big, but wasn’t filled… Useful meal size phrases I found on a site.

Although 並(nami), 大(dai) will works on most of the place, but others would depend on each restaurants.

  • For Small – 小 (shou), ミニ (mini), 半分(hanbun), 少なめ (sukuname), S (エス) …
  • For Normal – 並 (nami), 普通(ふつう), 中(chuu), M (エム)…
  • For Big – 大 (dai), 大盛り (oomori), 多め (oome), L (エル)…
    • For Special Big – 1.5盛 (ittengo mori) (sukiya invented it)
  • For extra Big – 特盛 (tokumori), 特大(tokudai), …
  • For extreme Big – 鬼盛 (onimori), (超)巨大盛 (chou kyodai mori), バカ盛り (baka mori), 激盛り (geki mori), メガ盛り (Mega mori), ….


Finally, I’m currently planning a Hanami(花見) weekend trip to Kyoto in early April. Night buses are cheap (7600 yen) round trip.. but all hostel rooms are full! !! I’ll try my luck again, if not I’d delay the trip for one or two weeks.. hopefully the cherry blossoms aren’t gone yet!

Been raining alot lately.. if weather is nice tmr, I’d probably go to Akiba and Ueno.. to check out ricecookers and cameras for my bro.

Himajin’s (暇人) Weekend

Has been really rainy in Yokosuka last week. One day on my way to work, my converse sneakers were completely soaked...

This was a dull weekend, as I stayed in Yokosuka without going anywhere (not even Yokohama). But I did catch up on some much needed sleep, reviewed some Jap, cleaned my room etc.

First thing I did yesterday(Sat) morning was to hurry to the nearest ATM… My paycheque+ air ticket money was finally deposited on Friday! I had seriously ZERO cash(except for some coins, not even enough for an onigiri) in my wallet, and in the past few days I had to borrow transit money from N-san just to make it to work T_T As for food, I was surviving on instant noodles, which I previously bought for emergency purposes.

When I saw my account balance, I knew it’s the end of my financial crisis. Phew, a major relief. If I don’t spent extravagantly, the amount should last for at least 3 months.

Since the ATM was located inside the post office (my bank is a post office bank), I also tried to pick up a parcel (received a slip in the morning).

Post office's gift shop.

Dragon BallZ stamps..

Cartoon stamps: Astroboy, Doraemon, Pikachu, HK...

Mickey's. There are heart shaped stamps?!?

But the post office lady told me to return at 5pm. It was 1pm then, which meant I had to chill in Yokosuka Chuo for another 4 hours…

Time to stuff myself with some real food... Conveyer Belt Sushi near the Chuo train station.

Menu and price list for different plate colors.

I made a grave mistake of not checking the price of my first plate... I was starving and the tuna looked good. After my first bite, I saw and almost choked- 550yen for two pieces of Bluefin Tuna sushi. But the tuna was really good, you can see the shining fish oil on its surface ...

Some kind of eel and fresh squid on the far end.

Didn't know what it was, but it tasted good.

About half way, I started to see the same sushi over and over again. The chef did make some new ones... but the fresh ones were immediately taken by the people sitting at the upstream. I realized it's all about location, location, location! Next time I'll sit upstream too.

I could have ordered directly, just as many customers did. But I was too shy, I was just wishing secretly and hoped the chef could catch my telepathic waves.. And he did! Or maybe he simply saw the lost look on my face. He asked what I wanted.. I told him- Uni and Unagi. OMGGG, they were the best! The Uni was soo fresh, no stinking taste. And the Unagi was hot and melted in my mouth.

Then I saw the chef grilling something with a fire gun.. Again those plates only lasted like 5 seconds on the conveyor belt, and they were gone. Lucky the chef made a second round and put in right in front of me! He could probably tell I was waiting for it. Lightly grilled salmon with mayo on top! Yum.

My last dish.. and it was the worst. I should've eaten another dish of Unagi or something to rinse away the nasty taste. But I was too stuffed. It's tuna with those green things... Texture felt like Natto as it had some stringy slimy things.

I K.O 10 plates at the end. You can tell I had the most expensive (golden plate) first and the rest were mid ranged or the cheapest (110yen). Poor tamago (egg) sushi in the photo was there when I first sat down.

After a fulfilling meal (the only meal I ate for the day… since it was costy- 2500yen!), I went for grocery shopping…

Saw these canadian canned salmon sold in a store... My mom wanted to pack a bunch in my luggages.. thank god she didn't, they are quite cheap in Japan too.

They have Snyder's Prezels here too! But expensive for such a small pack... The mustard flavor that May bought me was long gone. I missed that flavor! I later bought a huge pack of Caramel flavor at Donki in Roppongi... for 350yen! What a deal, except, Caramel sucked!!

3rd Year Anniversary at a Snack Shop that I frequent.

I couldn't help but put more and more into the basket.

Let’s fast forward to 5pm, when I was ready to pick up the parcel in the post office.. The lady apologized to me and said the postman would actually delivered the parcel again to my place between 5-7pm!! Shit, I couldn’t miss it (I knew the parcel was my debit card).. So I ran as fast as I could to get home. However with so many bags, what I actually did was fast sprints for 30 seconds, then rest for 10 secs lol

Finally I made it, and I saw the post man on his motorbike about to leave- “Sumimasen!” I yelled and showed him my pickup slip. Phew… It’s a small package, but since it had confidential info, the guy had to make sure I was the receiver by following me home and confirmed that I could open the door with my key haha.


Look at what I bought in just one day... spent over 10000 yen. My limps were sore and I threw everything to the ground. I think I'm definitely the type - 有錢就身痕的人

My snacks... I probably don't need to stock up on junk food for another 3 months XD

Besides grocery and snacks, I also went mall shopping to kill time (since the post office lady misled me to go back at 5pm =_=)

Elmo slippers for 300 yen... and the seat cushion for 100 yen.

For my mom: the padded socks that she wanted, and a pair of strawberry "crocs"... The crocs have fabric insole.. perfect to wear for dumping out garbage/laundry in winter months.

A cardigan and a plaid shirt... 700yen each. ~8CAD

A bowtie cardi... also 700 yen. Who says fashion in Japan is expensive? You just gotta avoid areas like Tokyo =)


After unpacking, time for cleaning….

Even I couldn't stand the mess on my desk.

After sweeping and cleaning up… The entire night was spent reading a Manga called “Parasyte”/(寄生獣).

What a "human" host looks like after a parasite invaded his brain. They are technically dead and act like zombies.

A colleague recommended it to me after finding out I visited the Parasitological Museum. It was about this young teen’s (Shinji) right arm got infected by a Parasite. He was lucky as the parasite did not take control of his brain and turned him into a human eating monster… The whole story was about how the parasite (called Migi, means “right” in Japanese and Shinji co-exist and fight other parasites to save mankind. I finished it, in one night. It was bloody but engaging! It also had a meaningful message about species on earth and the environment.


Today is the one year anniversary of the 3.11 Earthquake in Japan. I did not go out, but I heard that trains would stop around the time when the incident happened…

Since I stayed up till 4am to read Parasyte, I woke up at 1pm today- my first time since coming to Japan .

I bought some chicken breast yesterday… so I decided to cook that for my late brunch. I didn’t want plain chicken breast and dip with soy sauce… I had eggs too, might as well make Oyako Don Udon.

Marinate a piece of chicken breast with salt and soysauce -> cut in pieces -> fry until half cooked. Add Onion and stir fry together.

Put the chicen/onion aside... Time to fry udon and lettuce together, add some Dashi (fish stock) for favouring..

When udon is cooked, add the chicken+onion back in... Beat an egg and pour it in.

Crack another egg and add on top of everything.

An easy, well balanced brunch.

Sometimes a chill weekend like this is quite enjoyable, especially going to Tokyo is quite physically+financially draining. A good way to get some work/jap review done without spending much money (though I still managed to spend quite a bit during grocery shopping oops)!