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

Mommy’s Surprise Part 2

Continue… With more photos.

Everything was pretty well-prepared and most of our guests arrived around noon. Firstly, thank you all for your time, effort to our humble party (wearing pink!) and lovely presents for Terena. As well as for those who couldn’t make it yet making efforts to get messengers to deliver us Terena’s presents. Thank you very much.

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A lovely moment when Terena’s bestfriend/schoolmate (she claimed that) and her family has arrived. They happened to be our lovely neighbour too. I’m very blessed with that because having a good neighbour is like spinning a lucky wheel. *smiles*

While kids were having fun with balloons and a balloon twister…

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grownups like us were having chit-chats, pizza, and photos.

Thank you Auntie Toy for getting us matching earrings. So cute I thought I was 18 again. *chuckles*

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I thought playing with balloon wouldn’t be enough fun for the kids so I arranged some easy games for them as well. Started with a word guessing game where I randomly picked anything for them to answer one by one. One win equalled to one chocolate coin. Kids love chocolate so they were excited!

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Even a baby girl like this could join. When she responded my questions with any noises, I’d gave her anyway. hahaha! So cute isn’t she? xx

We also played hide-and-seek game and let them snacked after.

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It was then a part where I took out a pretty cake waiting to surprise Terena. She had been asking me many months before that she wanted a hello kitty cake. Too bad I was pretty occupied until I forgot to take a nice picture of it.

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We decided to put each candle in each cupcake so that all the kids get to blow candles together and not just a birthday girl. It was a good decision.

 

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Happy 4th Birthday my sweetheart Terena. May you be filled with happiness and loving kindness. Be mommy’s good girl always. x
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One guest shouldn’t leave before participating in our last game, lucky draw! Each family took one and they had to break a balloon without using any sharp objects. I sticked those balloons onto Terena’s Duckie bathtub she used when she was a baby. I thought it was so cute! haha!

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I told Terena to give out all the prizes. I think this is also a good way to teach her about giving. That makes her and others happy ! We didn’t get anything expensive for the prizes and they were actually from Daiso! Some small gifts and thoughts will be enough to make them laugh and smile at least! 4l2a0498

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And we saved one last special prize for the best dressed! And of course Terena and I chose one we liked the most! Her pink is the brightest! hahaha! She was also the one who brought us matching props (on many special occasions)!

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Here we did an improper (almost) group shot before guests started to leave.

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And say goodbye to some who made a long way to here.

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Terena and her cousin were having a good time opening up all the presents. I guess this is another exciting part about birthday for her isn’t it?

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Daddy wore a new shoes for his princess.

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I’m sure she was very happy so was I. I wasn’t only celebrating her birthday but for myself too! 4th year we are together and still counting on. I never knew it will be such an indescribable great feeling to be a mother even though sometimes it wasn’t easy. I am thankful she is the one I’m proudly called my daughter, my sweetheart, and my unconditional love. Terena, I hope you will be reading this one day.

Love, your mommy.

Ease The Itch

If you or your child has ever experienced eczema, I think this post might be helpful for you. It’s all started with the itch, the annoying itch.

Eczema is a term for a group of medical conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated. Some of you may already know. Eczema is the most common skin condition in infants, children and adults, and 85% of people affected have an onset before the age of five. Usually, eczema-prone skin genetically lacks filaggrin and natural moisturising factor, which cause the skin to easily become dry, inflamed or irritated. Scratching in turn worsens the skin inflammation, kick-starting the “Itch-Scratch” cycle.

Now let me share with you a story about Terena’s eczema and how it affected me and her.

It began when she was a newborn where her skin would turn red raw on her face, hands or feet. At first I thought she was just allergic to something or some food which I had taken and it passed to her through breastfeeding. What I did was to stop certain foods to find out the root cause of the problem but her rashes were still occurring and not getting any better. It made me so worried for her until I couldn’t get a good sleep. I didn’t want her to suffer. I didn’t want her to scratch until it leaves a mark. You know us as a mother, we could worry about anything when something goes wrong with our child.

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So I decided to bring her to a doctor and I found out it was atopic eczema. A doctor prescribed her Fucidin and recommended me to use it only when her eczema is really bad: to apply a thin layer once every 6 hours. What is considered really bad? They are recurring rash, rough and leathery patches, swelling and sometime dark-colored patches of skin. But you see, I don’t wanna put too much of any steroid onto her skin.

She got better after but that wasn’t the happy ending of her eczema story. You know the condition unpredictably comes and goes, especially when she is exposed to allergens such as dust, pet hair as well as certain brands of soap or detergents. When the heat is high, she might get it too. They could have triggered her condition.

So I’ve been trying to minimise all those as much as I can. I’ve searched for the suitable daily products for her hygiene and skincare routine. Some work, some didn’t. But as she grows up with better care, and with the suitable choices of products, the less frequent her eczema condition appears.

Thank you Cetaphil ® RESTORADERM, a new product range which is specially formulated for such eczema-prone skin.

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She has been using it every day for 2-3 weeks and I could see improvement on her skin, with less itching when her skin turns really dry. They also helped to reduce the frequency of flare-ups.

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Cetaphil® RESTORADERM is the clinically proven formula that helps to relieve dryness and itch for eczema-prone skin. It helps to increase and retain moisture content by supplementing the natural moisturising factors of the skin and restoring the skin barrier function. Their products are suitable for all ages including infants from three months. They are gentle, fragrance- and preservative-free.

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The range includes a Skin Restoring Body Wash and Body Moisturizer.

Their products are suitable for all ages (including infants from three months) so I gave my dad to try one as well since his skin is very dry and I often see him scratching. He came back with a positive feedback.

Cetaphil® RESTORADERM is now available at clinics, hospital pharmacies, polyclinics and leading retail pharmacies including Guardian, Unity and Watsons. It’s so convenient for you to get them! And they come with a refreshed packaging too.
This post is sponsored by Galderma Singapore.

You can view more details at their Instagram account here or Facebook account here.

Love, Nira.