Sweet Sapporo, Part 3

This will be my final part 3 for this Sapporo trip. No Hokkaido trip will be considered a good trip without fresh seafood in their fish market. We went to both, Nijo and Jyogai Fish Market. We had very fresh and reasonable-price seafood and souvenir shopping.

I start from a smaller market first, Nijo. We went there around 8am in the morning and spent about an hour.

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Fortunately my dad was able to join my brother and I for this market. His knee wasn’t in a good condition on the day my brother and I went to Jyogai market. We brought him to a clinic early in the morning and a doctor asked him to rest awhile so he chased us out to play rather than being with him (after we got him some breakfast of course). I was very happy he could visit this one market at least because he loves to go such places. You know, my old man is not getting younger and this is one of the least things we could do for him by bringing him out to travel. Ok, back to the market.

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We ordered a bit of food and they were alright and very reasonable price. But somehow I thought it could be better than what I expected.

I actually preferred Jyogai market. Both markets weren’t very far from our hotel anyway, less than 20 minutes in taxi from Sapporo Grand. I know some of us may think that all markets should be more or less the same.

However, our desire to eat fresh seafood still took us there. I had no regrets visiting this market which is bigger than Nijo; more choices of restaurants and variety of menus. Their shops look somehow more organized too; selling giant snow crabs, fish, sea urchins, scallops, oysters and etc. You can also buy famous Japanese snacks in the market. It’s a good place to walk around then have lunch at one of their seafood restaurants.

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We decided to have our lunch in a restaurant recommended by a taxi driver. And I beileve it is also the biggest restaurant in Jyogai market.

Kitanogurumetei 海鮮食堂 北のグルメ亭

Start with fresh cold beer during a winter.

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I would say their price wasn’t very low as what we thought but the quality and freshness definitely worth it. If you don’t know it yet, I’m a seafood lover and I can just eat them everyday, only good ones I mean. *chuckles*

We were also educated about melon by the stall owner and bought some back to snack in our hotel.

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Now it comes to the end of my Sapporo posts with a lot of food for temptation. haha. I came back home with souvenirs, toys, and especially a lot of amazing skincare products which I’m looking forward to share with you readers in the future.

And, Happy Chinese New Year to all of you. I wish you happiness, prosperity and lots of luck through out this year. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Love, nira

Sweet Sapporo, Part 2

My favourite Part 2 will focus mainly on food especially sushi. Japan trip without good food is not considering a good trip for me. I did some researches and read quite a lot of reviews on where to have nice Japanese food and all, and luckily we managed to try most of them. Forget about diet routine and just be happy eating!

 

Kinsushi (金寿司

Best omakase sushi in town. I repeat BEST! The only restaurant we wanted to go twice but we didn’t get a chance to. You need to make a reservation. It’s a little difficult to locate their place at first but it was worth every single bits. Sushi there just couldn’t get any better. They will surprise you, very good surprise I mean. Let my pictures speak.
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Trust me they taste even nicer than they look. My dad and brother all loved it and rated this restaurant on top of our lists.

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They served very fresh sake in generous amount. I repeat again, very fresh sake.

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Simply awesome meal to end our day. Everyone was happy. I suggested you to get someone who can speak Japanese to make a reservation. Price was reasonably alright for such great quality.

Unless you want really good sushi and very cheap, the next restaurant will be what you are looking for.

Kaiten-Sushi Nemuro Hanamaru (回転寿司 根室花まる)

Located at JR Tower Stellar Place 6th Floor. Because their sushi is nice and really cheap, you need to queue up to almost 2 hours. Unless you go there early (and with luck), you might only need to wait less than an hour. We were early (and lucky) and waited for about half an hour only. In fact, I went to shop around while my brother was waiting in queue. *chuckles*

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Price start from 140yen to 345yen per plate for fresh and various sushi.

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Crab meat and intestines. This one I die for.

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Thumb up for this restaurant. Give it a try. But I do not recommend this if you have no patience for waiting. More reviews for you to read here.

Sushizen Daimaru (すし善)

This restaurant is located at Daimaru Tower 8th floor. It was very easy to find. There was no queue at all by the time we were there. No need to make reservation as well.

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Their food was nice but I preferred Kinsushi a lot more comparing their quality and price. Price range here is about 2700 yen to 4900 yen for 10-12 pieces dish of assorted sushi. I personally think it’s expensive compared to those sushi restaurants I’ve been to previously but the only good thing is that you do not need to queue.

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Or maybe it was just a bit too commercial for me. If you want a quiet or business-talk dinner then this maybe the one for you.

Before you are getting sick of sushi I will end this post with nice Unagi dish.

Unagi Futaba (うなぎ二葉)

This was recommended by our local driver because my eldest brother is a big fan of Unagi (Eel) and he requested that for our first meal in Sapporo. This restaurant is cozy and comfortable.

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Honestly I was never a big fan of any Unagi dishes but I gave it a try. This restaurant serves only Unagi anyway, in different sizes of bowl. My very first Unadon (Grilled eel on the rice with original sauce). Cost 1980 yen, about S$25.

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It didn’t disappoint me at all. Very good dish, nicely grilled with delicious sauce.

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This one is my favourite, Deep fry of eel’s bone. Crispy and full of calcium.

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Grilled eel’s liver. You have to try this if you have a chance to. I believe it’s pretty rare to find in other countries as well. Simply yummy. I was kinda liked it.

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The happiest person would be my brother. He couldn’t be bother with photo-taking because he enjoyed his dish way too much. haha.

I hope you enjoy this post. I am hungry just by writing and going through this. Love Japan. x

Love, nira

Sweet Sapporo, Part 1

This is going to be quite a long post with a lot of photos.

I just love travelling to Japan and I plan to visit many cities there. This time, Sapporo in Hokkaido! This trip was also a gift from me to my dad. I’ve always been overseas working in the past years, taking care of my daughter and I hardly have time to really spend with my parents. So I thought this would be a perfect gift. My mom passed this one but we will soon have our next trip.

We have been to a few cities in Japan and Sapporo is #5 biggest (and new) city. I did some research about Sapporo and I think it would be a great place for a relaxing trip for my dad, not too busy I would say. 6 and a half hours flight from Bangkok to Chitose Airport by Thai Airways this time. Chitose airport screening was really quite slow just to added. Think we were queuing for an hour. Weather was great at 1°C. I arranged a car from hotel which took us an hour from airport to town area.

I chose Sapporo Grand Hotel, just because of a good location as reviewed by many other tourists. And I agreed on that 100%. Everywhere we want to go is possible just by walking less than 15-20 minutes or less than 15 by taxis. However, taxis in Japan are not cheap but I did not have many choices because of my dad’s leg conditions. At least I already prepared for this in advance. I recommend this hotel if you care about location. Their rooms are not spacious but most hotel rooms in Japan are. Cleanliness and services are good enough. Choices of breakfast are great. There are 2 different buffets spots on 1st and 4th floor and one local menu breakfast sets by garden views on 4th floor. Nothing fancy about their bars so I didn’t like it.

And here is the lists of what I think it’s best to do in Sapporo. Please take note that I crossed out quite a number of very commercial places and only focused on my travelling style. I simply do not like boring or overrated places.

Hokkaido Jingu (北海道神宮)

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A beautiful place to be and to pray. It’s the biggest shrine in Hokkaido. The outlook of shrine is so great with such weather. Also to observe the local cultures. And very peaceful I would say.

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Do not mind my almost bare face. I couldn’t be bother to put so much makeup after a crazy long day before flying. Well.. at least my camera helped.

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We spent probably about 45 minutes. There is a nice huge garden around their shrine to walk around and I saw a few local feeding squirrels.

Sapporo Beer Museum (サッポロビール博物館)

I like beer so I wanted to visit this place. Sapporo beer as we know is one of the oldest and most popular beer brand in Japan; brewed in Sapporo since 1877. This museum tells you about history of beer and the making process.

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After touring the exhibitions, beer tastings are also available at a low cost. It was actually more of a tasting session at the end.

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My favourite was Kaitakushi beer on the right which is more of a easy-to-drink and quite rich kind of taste. After tasting I was told that Kaitakushi was named under a 2-story wooden brewery building and it was the first brewery in Hokkaido. But I personally prefer Belgium or Germany beer a lot more.

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However, this place is not as huge as I thought so one hour would actually be enough unless you want to sip more fresh beer.

Shiroi Koibito Park (Chocolate Factory)

It is a theme park by Ishiya, a local chocolate company. I’m sure many you know this most famous cookies for souvenirs from Hokkaido. It is wrapped in green paper and inside is a white box with light blue design.The one which consists of two thin butter cookies and a layer of white chocolate in between.

There are quite many things to do and stroll around at this park such as cafe, restaurant, shops, chocolate related exhibitions and of course the cookie production process in the factory. Opposite this park is a huge soccer field.

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I just love their park. I’m pretty sure it’d look much nicer in December to January where all the new year lightings are set up. This is your place If you like to do selfies with nice background.

Next is my favourite of all, hot-chocolate cup room.

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I could spent a few hours in this room if I were by myself. Their rooms were nicely decorated and cups were displayed in such a way that is so grand and vintage. Rare kind of luxury.

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Below are some of my favourites out of a hundred photo I took of these cups/boxes. If they do not fancy you, just skip them. How I wish to have some of this for my home. They are just so beautifully designed in different years and places. They reflects the cultures of where they are from as well.

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Next, it’s the factory itself. From far I could smell a mixed of chocolate, butter, cookies before walking in this session. Very nice impression to start with.

 

 

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And a room full of cakes, beautiful ones.

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Ended with a random stuff of old collections. They are again, rare.

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This is a must to visit place if you have a chance to be in Sapporo. Out of all places I mentioned above, this is my most favourite. We went back hotel with some souvenirs of course. Simply a good day out.

I will be back for more of what to do in Sapporo as well as where to have good food over there. I hope you enjoy reading.

Love, nira

Bangkok with Baby

Some random updates about my life here.

I’m doing pretty fine as a mom so far. Terena is now very active and a fast learner so I need to be very careful of what I do as a role model. Kicking off some of your bad habits can be quite tough no? But we have to do anyway for the love of our child.

Last week Terena and I flew up to Bangkok again because I need to attend a few weddings this month and also for a short break for myself. All my family members were dying to see her especially my dad. She slept on the plane for the very first time after flying alone with her quite a number of times! Think it was about 15-20 minutes and I managed to take a short nap as well.

After spending only a week in Bangkok, baby Terena has gained some weight too. She is somewhat chubbier now especially her cheeks. We bring her out everyday while we are here! I’m not sure about other babies but mine definitely like to go out A LOT. Are they all the same? Here are some photos of baby Terena just in case you miss seeing her. x

She is growing well in overall. Not overweight or underweight. Also starting to walk by herself. Can’t imagine when she starts to run around… It would be so tiring yet so fun.

Terena is getting along very well with all my family members as usual especially dad who is really good with babies. There is more time for me to run some other errands, catch up with old friends, enjoy my own space etc.

End up this post a few more random things I have yet to post up. First, one of my many favourite shots of Terena.

And, a special delivery of homemade lychee chiffon cake by Rachel herself a few days before I flew to Bangkok. The cake is really light with a soft texture and sweet fragrance of lychees. Think it will goes really well with a high tea session with my girls.

This is not an ad. You can look out for her pop-up sale through Instagram @pleasure_monger or hashtag #twentysevenbyrachel for and other good reviews. Thank you Rachel. Hope to make you Lava cake next time when we have a chance.

Lastly, a beautiful bouquet of flower that my honey gave me during our first anniversary. Love flowers very much.

And again, thank you family, friends and lovely readers for all your kind words and well wishes for me and my girl. I will try to write more this month if possible. Quite a lot of photos I’ve been taking this trip. Back for more.

Love, nira

Tokyo for Food, Part 2

DAY THREE

The day started off around Harajuku and Omotesando areas. I would say I prefer these two areas than Ginza. There is a lot to see and more to buy. Most importantly, for me, lots of fashion boutiques and rare local designer clothes. It’s not possible for to name all the Japanese brands and designers I love. Too many yet never enough.

We began our shopping at Takeshita Dori, a narrow and roughly 400 meter long street. This street is very popular in Japan so it is always very busy and extremely crowded on the weekends. Many local fashion boutiques can be found here and mostly for teenagers.

Spotted one interesting shop where they sell lucky box for minimum 300yen, 500yen and so on. I bought one for my husband to try his luck.

Next was Tokyo Plaza, Omotesando Harajuku. This 7-storey shopping mall is filled with domestic Japanese brands, mostly for ladies.

They have Starbucks and Bills restaurant at the top. Food was good but the waiting time was quite long, 25-30 mins at least. I had their signature dishes; sweetcorn fritters with roast tomato, spinach and bacon (1400 yen)

One thing you shouldn’t miss at all is all the small streets with lots of shop off Omotesando. It’s not crowded at all. There is lots of cute shops and not grand or anything. I like it there very much.

For dinner we went to Ebisu and decided to go for this restaurant (below) after looking through many in that areas. It was a good choice. Food was great and affordable price.

We have seared marinated raw mackerel, grilled chicken thigh kushiyaki style 2p, barbeque squid and my most favourite, seaweed tempura.

Back to hotel right after dinner. My legs were overly tired from walking but it was all worth it.

DAY FOUR

First thing I went to 21_21 design sight to see the exhibition. It’s a small art museum located in the upscale Roppongi Midtown area. Admin fee is 1000yen.

The next time I visit Tokyo, I will check out more Museums.

In the afternoon we went to isetan and takashimaya (Shinjuku) to get some snacks and chocolate for little souvenirs. Then, headed back to hotel to get ready for a special dinner at Kozue, park Hyatt hotel 40th floor.

The view was amazing. If we were lucky enough to have good weather, we could see Fuji mountain right where we were sitting.

Their sashimi was like the best. Crunchy, soft and wonderful texture.

I wouldn’t mind going to Japan again right now. Miss their food very much, and also shopping. Pretty happy with my new purchase during this trip, especially beauty products.

And YES, some of these products below are for another GIVEAWAY, as promised.

including this pretty iphone5 case.

Just share with me one (or more) of your favourite Japanese fashion brands and why you like them. Remember to leave your email address. If you want to win iphone5 case please put *IP5* at the end of your comments. Giveaway ends 14/9/13. Thank you and good luck. x

Love.- nira