vrijdag 28 maart 2014

Japan - Day 12: Cycling in Abiko

When you think of Japan, you'd probably imagine beautiful scenery. I know I do. Of course a lot of people think about extreme Japanese stuff, but let me tell you that there is way more to Japan than the things you might generally know. For example, nature!

On day 12 we took it easy and stayed in Abiko, 我孫子市. Abiko-shi ('shi' means city) is located in the prefecture of Chiba. Right here:

Image from google maps.

Little present
A day before I got a present for my birthday from one of my boyfriend 's friends. I did not expect that at all. I thought it was so kind of him. I think this is also the first time I got Leonidas chocolates. They were really good. Thanks, Gaku!


Cycling time!
Somewhere around two p.m. we prepared ourselves for this amazing ride along a huge lake. My boyfriend told me the sunset over there is beautiful. So I did not forget to bring my camera! His dad lend us two bikes and we were ready to go. It took us about 15 to 20 minutes to get to the lake, in a slow tempo.

The upcoming pictures don't really need much caption. Enjoy please!






Most derpest selfie ever lol.



The sunset was beautiful indeed! I couldn't believe my eyes. The colors and warmth gave me such a satisfying feeling.  







And this derpie enjoyed it a lot too!













Back home!
It was an exhausting day of cycling. I think we took more than 2,5 hours to go around the lake, including cycling back home. But oh boy, I really want to do the same in the summertime if I become that lucky ^_^!

When we got home we had the time to freshen up before dinner was ready. And as always dinner was delicious. Here is a picture of a raw egg, super orange. Which I think indicates that it is very fresh. Did you know that you can eat eggs raw in Japan?


Hope you liked the pictures!

Bye~

maandag 24 maart 2014

Japan - Day 11: Shinjuku

Day eleven, the day after my birthday. We woke up early to grab some breakfast. It was certainly nice waking up in a Japanese styled hotel. The colors, the tatami floor, the low table. Everything looked so authentic. 

Breakfast
We prepared ourselves and packed the little stuff we had with us and left. After a few turns and crossings here and there we arrived at the station. There was a nice looking place were we saw people enjoying their breakfast a la French, so we went inside. What they had to offer looked really delicious. We grabbed a croissant, melon bread and a croissant with chocolate if I remember right. We washed it down with some coffee. With our tanks fueled we were ready to explore Shinjuku (新宿区, Shinjuku-ku).

Shinjuku
The first thing I went looking for in Shinjuku was makeup and some type of hair wax for women. I will feature those some other time in another blog post. Of course those type of things aren't difficult to find in Japan. There are multiple stores selling these goods on each corner of the street. After buying what I wanted we entered a mall. Instead of Bubble Tea we decided to get some Starbucks Coffee (again, we drank too much Starbucks coffee if you ask me haha).



From a vending machine we got water for on the way. I still adore how Japanese companies design their packaging for bottles, foods and whatnot. 




We were thinking about what to eat for lunch. But as you might know now, lunch is no big deal in Japan. There are plenty of places which serve warm, healthy, affordable and quality foods. We would just wander around and enter any decent looking restaurant. After that my boyfriend wanted to meet up with a former colleague.  

Lunch at Ootoya
Up the elevator we went, to enter Ootoya, 大戸屋. They serve a lot of home-styled dishes here. You can picture yourself home-made meals that a Japanese mother would make, but then for restaurants. As almost in every restaurant in Japan,  your meal will include miso soup and rice as part of your main dish. Check out their website HERE if you want to know more about Ootoya. 

Reading his book and waiting for food.



I don't remember what exactly we chose for lunch, but what I do remember is that it was delicious! I didn't take pictures of the food, because I was way too hungry, haha. The plate was well organized and prepared as it should. For just around 1000 yen you will be stuffed. When you are in Japan go an try it. From experience, you won't be disappointed! 





A side from the food the view was nice too. We could look down over a crossing. By the way, this restaurant from Ootoya, in specific, is called: Ootoya Gohandokoro Shinjukunishiguchio Guard. 


(Still frames from video.)


Left or right, both sides have a Mac Donalds, lol. 




Gathering in Kashiwa
After meeting up with Tatsuya's former colleague, which didn't go as planned, we traveled to Kashiwa, 柏市. If you want to know more about that city check out my post about Day 8 in Japan. This night my boyfriend had a gathering with old classmates from highschool. They hadn't seen each other for a really long time. Some came all the way from Osaka, 大阪市. We had a nice evening in an Izakaya where foods and drinks were served. It was fun!



When everybody was done eating and drinking we left and went to a Karaoke place not far from this Izakaya. Things became a bit crazy, lol. But then again, another awesome day in awesome Japan! We took the cab home and had a good night rest.

For more posts about my vacation in Japan click on the following links:

Day 11 is this post :D
Day 14 STILL COMING!


Thank you for reading~ I hope you liked this post. Stay tuned for more ^_^.

zaterdag 22 maart 2014

Japan - day 10: Birthday and Christmas Illumination in Odaiba



I celebrated my birthday in Japan! That automatically makes it the most awesome birthday that I have had until now, hihi. Of course being in Japan and all didn't make it the only reason. This was the day I would go to the Pokémon Center. Yes... I am a girl like that. I don't need big presents or going out to fancy restaurants. Just sitting in my relaxing clothes, watching some good movie with the ones I love is just perfect. But yeah, going to Pokémon Center was super duper fine too :D!

Check out my post about the Pokémon Center HERE.

Now, I thought that would be it for the day. To go and check out what the Pokémon Center was all about and explore the area around it. Doing a little bit of shopping, snapping some pictures. But little did I know, my boyfriend had something planned out already. He surprised me big time!

Walking towards..
My boyfriend said he wanted to go somewhere, but he was a tad mysterious about it. It didn't bother me at all. Every street we walked in, every corner we took, every building we passed by, it was all just fine :). The city looks so modern and the streets are very clean. I couldn't believe my eyes.



Metro passing by.


We were getting closer and closer to a monorail station. Still I had no idea where we were heading to. We entered the station, took the stairs up to the platform and waited for the next monorail to come. I noticed these particular monorails did not have a driver in front. Which was really awesome, completely automatic it came up to the platform. So, my boyfriend wanted us to go sit were the view was the nicest.





All the way in front! The city lights shined so bright that night. Dark shadows of buildings rose out from the horizon, with lights portraying their silhouette. Where were we heading for? Then he told me we were heading for Odaiba. My eyes got bigger and bigger the closer we got.


Odaiba Christmas Illumination
The Christmas illuminations is something you shouldn't miss when being in Tokyo. I had the chance to go and see them in Obaiba, お台場. This is an artificial island in the bay of Tokyo. 


Approaching the Rainbow Bridge



Fuji TV Station
The next frames are from the Fuji TV Station. This is their headquarters and woaw it looks cool! I kept staring as the colors continuously changed. It was amazing.





On the left side of the next picture you can see the illuminated Ferris wheel with a height of 115 meters. Pretty! You would probably have a great view from up there.



Arrived in Odaiba
We didn't want to miss out on the illumination, so the first thing we did when we arrived was taking a stroll outside. I can imagine why couples would like to go and spend an evening out here. It is so pretty and peaceful. Not to mention romantic! 


Shake.


And here you see the Rainbow Bridge in all its glory. The name reminded me of the toughest level in Mario Kart 64. This bridge connects Odaiba with the rest of Tokyo. You can also pass the bridge by foot, car and train.


Humongous Christmas tree. 

We took some stairs down and followed a path onto sandy ground. It was a beach looking like place (I couldn't really see, because it was very dark). Holy crap how nice! The view was perfect. The water, bridge and buildings around us. The illuminations reflected on the water, making the surrounding even more colorful and bright. Breathtaking I would say.


I got frustrated, because I couldn't take a proper picture of the bridge. Do you see?!





On the right you see a little illuminated boat. Doesn't it look awesome? It gives such a fairy tale kind of feel to it.

Close to the place I was taking pictures and filming there were others also doing the same. I took a quick glimpse at their equipment and it look very professional. So they must have taken better pictures than I did, haha.

Moving along the beach we found a stairway up again. We walked up the stairs, where more illuminations was to be found.


 The Fuji TV station from up close, displaying Mount Fuji!

What is that statue doing over there though? 'MURICA.

(These are still frames from my video again btw!)



Aqua City Odaiba
After spending a long time outside we got a bit hungry so we decided to explore the shopping mall. Luckily there were plenty of places were we could eat dinner.


Samurai Flamenco.

Anime Galilei Donna





This wasn't just a store to buy merchandise. It was a cafe. We had the choice to go dine there, but we decided to look further. And good we did. We found this almost neighborhood-like area for only restaurants. There was a lot to choose from! Recipes from almost all over the world.









Though this area was amazing and would feel like the perfect place to go and celebrate a romantic birthday dinner, we couldn't choose anything from those places at all. So we went all the way back and decided to eat HAMBURGERS!




I had a hamburger with avocado on it. Never even thought that would match, but oh my, THAT TASTE! <3. I think Tatsuya took one with bacon, his second love. 


Ending to this lovely night
When our tummies were filled with all that goodness, we sat down and talked a bit about what we were planning to do next. We still had a long trip to make to get back to our hotel this evening. That was another surprise by the way! We stayed at this amazing Japanese styled hotel which I really want to go back to someday, hehe. It was a perfect ending to a perfect night.


On our way to the metro we saw there was something going on outside. There was loud music playing and people just piling up. The Fuji TV station gave a spectacular show. The building gave a light show on the beat of the music that was playing. It was very cool and almost felt like a live band was playing without singing any lyrics.







I really loved how this day turned out. Without knowing were I was going and where I would end up, made is pretty adventurous and exciting.  

Missed other blogposts about my first trip to Japan? No worries, you can check them out down here:

Day 14 STILL COMING!

If you don't want to miss any of my posts make sure to follow me on Bloglovin' , twitter, facebook! Soon I will have a public facebook page~

The video's for my new youtube channel are still in the making! I have a technical problem at the moment, so that's why there is a delay. So please be patient ^_^!

Thanks for reading again :).