Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Need To Fly Tomorrow (And I Forgot)

Hemm.... am ranting and rambling.... I forgot that I need to fly for reccee trip tomorrow. With my back pain and the need to clean my house (since travelholics might be dropping by for Gong Xi Fatt Chai ler kan [part nih besh!])... am technically and honestly KANTOI!

And belum pack lagi pulak tuh... doink Lily!

OK! Need to finish work, go home and pack, transportation coming at 7am to take to airport.

DOINK DOINK DOINK LILY!!! (sambil melukukan kepala sendiri) ARGHHHHHH..... UPSET!

Day 7 | Kansai Airport - Gempak!

 This is what I had for last day breakfast and can you see? That's the camera case that I have purchased.

As usual, in Japan; there are few things that fascinates me.... below are collections of stuff I saw near the hotel and at Kansai Airport. Above is parking for bicycles, machine operated... if we have this in Malaysia, it will be spoiled within a week.

After breakfast, we went back to hotel to get our luggage and get a taxi to Sakai Station for the airport train.

Trolley dolly, mine is the one in green (me favourite colour) and orange for sis (her favourite colour).

Their taxi accepts credit card and comes with GPS.

Otoman menyerang tanpa disedari, mana Sami to the rescue nih?

This is the route to the airport and port. Berapa line dah tuh?

For those going to Osaka,  Air Asia located at aisle B, from 1-8.

Otoman nye train. Changgih or not this express train.

We arrived at Kansai Airport, most of the toilets in Japan comes with the specification. Am sharing the interesting stuff I saw at the airport... it was fun going around toying with them.
Baby chair for Sami and Aqilah.

So, that you pants or kain don't get wet and you need not bend down that much.

 Sami's & Aqilah's diaper changing table, Sami need not anymore kot.

Mind you, all these are in Kansai Airport, the outside of the washroom indicates amenities available.

This is for disable and needy folks. I thought it was very thoughtful and disable friendly of them.

If you must need to refresh, they do have area for that with norminal fee. The Kid's Space is free if am not mistaken. 

Kit Kat options available.
We then need to take a monorail to another gate to reach our flight... I was thinking Icam would love all these train ride.


Till next Japan trip.

Summer in Furano, here we come!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Levain Bakery, Willy Satay & Travelholic Meet-up

I have back problem since last week, but ever since 3-4 days ago, it has gotten worst, like BIG TIME WORST. Reason being I went for brisk walking (jogging was a harsh word since I can't drag my big f_t  boddy to jog, let alone run!) with Wahidah and Bukit Kiara, for those familiar or has been there; would know that the journey uphill is really tough, ie SUPER TOUGH.

I have been to this hill for the longest time and after the walk, we normally pekena yummy Laksa Johor at Santai Restaurant in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (behind KFC). The problem this time is that I woke up late and rush over hence, I did NOT do my usual warm-up. Consequences? Muscle-pull on my back, sakit like crazy! I can barely walk... I was lying down on my back for the last 2-3 days. Jalan pun macam orang mengandung, I can totally dig how Ely must have felt now.

This morning my cousin called me and asked for brunch at Levain Boulangerie & Patiserie (the bungalow behind Jalan Imbi), I said no as I need to fetch my sis for work (despite the back ache) but she proposed something irresistible. She will fetch my sis and me, and send sis to work; we were to then proceed for brunch with her 2 lovely daughters and mummy. I obviously say yes, tak yah drive kan.

We head to Levain Boulangerie & Patisserie and ordered makanan omputeh... but orang melayu nih, mana nak konyang kan... we had earlier plan, we are to check-out my aunt's house under renovation and give some ideas or the colour and "decor"... apa apalah.. so drove to Cheras after that.

Levain Boulangerie & Patisserie Sdn Bhd
No. 7, Jalan Delima
Kuala Lumpur, 55100 
Tel:+603 2142 6611

When will Pondok Kenangan be ready... cepat ler... nak buat Family Day nih... mode terkinja kinja?
Then Maira showed me the cake she baked with her friends during her stay-over... John's favourite... Rainbow Cake. Nanti I get my niece to bake for Abang John yek.

Smart kid kan, say a non-baker to a 12yr old kid whom baked, hahaha... I was still main kejar kejar and kaler kaler at this age... masak nasi pun belum tentu... ada sedikit malu disini (or perhaps banyak).

Then, received an sms on "pineapple" & choco cupcake available for me to enjoy... err... susah nak tolak ni...atas sebab orang tak pujuk but pipi ni tersorong sorong; I sms-ed that am interested (ceh wahh...) to receive  "the" offer and join her at Willy Satay in Kajang, but driving is a problem. Hemmm.... WhatsApp ler to this Guava Korea Artist guy... ask whether would he mind to give me a ride. He said ok, so off we go makan satay!

Satay Willy
Ramal Medan Selera
Ramal Junction, Sg. Ramal

We all stayed there for an hour or two and went home to catch Juara Lagu (blogging for me).

Eh! Who do I owe the dinner just now yek?

Hyperlink credit : Levain Boulangerie & Patisseri 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 6 | Japan Toys R Us, Baby R Us, Studio Alice

OK! I know some probably waiting for this entry, so here goes...

This is located in Osaka, 100m from where we stayed ie Best Western Joytel Osaka for a night. Will review the hotel later. This was a last min pick as most hotel was at full house due to the new year... worried that we will not be able to get a room, hence we went ahead to book this.

The minute I saw that Toys R Us is a stone throw away from the hotel, I felt it was god helping... that's it! Toys!! Here we come!

Enjoy the pics yah!

HUGE HUH! A mall on it's own!

I have a colleague's son who absolutely loves Cars.

When I was a kid, I love these big foot car.... cool giler.
Tah dah... TRAIN!

Chawan? Mini car right?

Macho most toy I feel.

This reminded me of 2 person, Raiyan (Maimon's son) and of cause Icam.



Gundam? I have the game when I was a kid... during those days in school, Gundam is unheard of... giler advance!

They even sold the monster, I didn't know this. I assume Malaysia pun ada.

Even I didn't know Sami likes Otoman, telepathically I can sense...ceh wahh... ramai dak sedara mara Ultraman?

Kesatria Baja Hitam?


The whole crew...

It comes with human? Seriously?

 I always tell my bros that this is moi! Hahhah...

Got this for my bro...

Lihat lar dunia ini!!!! Teka sapa lost ?!!?!?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 5 | Kyoto's Fushimi Inari Shrine & Deer In Nara

OK! I have planned this for the longest... WHY? The background colour is gonna be RED, so; my clothing cannot be of the same colour. VAIN traveler & fashionista (perasan max disini!)... after much thought for many weeks (yeah! when it comes to the clothing, I plan it in my head for weeks prior to the trip. KID YOU NOT!) Decided, white light dawn overcoat...mind all set, mood jek ada kacau.

Anyways...off we go, 2 venues to be covered today.

1. Fushimi Inari Shrine - to see the plenty redTorii Gate
2. Nara - to see them lovely deer

Off we went... I think overall, Japan is kinda an easy country for tourist, just follow the crowd. Hheheheh.... even the locals do their version of Cuti Cuti Japan. So, jangan harap tak da orang on a weekday; DREAM ON!

We walk pass few locally own shops & restaurant that sells Inari, for those INTERESTED to buy FRIDGE MAGNETS; this is the ONLY place I saw (there might be other places, wallahuallam...) that sells Torii Gate magnet with the word KYOTO on it. But unfortunately only 2-4 shops selling it and it is not a plenty, expensive? YES! It's Y380 - Y450 per piece, so memang beli tuk diri sendiri je ler (exhange rate of 4.2 in Dec 2011). So, remember to grab it when you are here, there's only 2 types and only 1 type with the word Kyoto on it, the other only the red Torri Gate. Most magnets are of this price range or even slightly more.

There's not much for me to say aside it's a climb upwards just like Miley Cyrus song hahhaha....

Excerpt from Wikipedia:

Inari is a popular deity with shrines and Buddhist temples located throughout most of Japan. According to a 1985 survey by the National Association of Shinto Shrines, 32,000 shrines — more than one-third of Shinto shrines in Japan — are dedicated to Inari. This number includes only Shinto shrines with full-time resident priests; if small roadside or field shrines, shrines kept in a home or corporate office, smaller shrines without full-time resident priests, and Buddhist temples were included, the number would increase by at least an order of magnitude.

The entrance to an Inari shrine is usually marked by one or more vermilion torii and some statues of kitsune, which are often adorned with red yodarekake (votive bibs) by worshippers out of respect. This red color has come to be identified with Inari, because of the prevalence of its use among Inari shrines and their torii. The main shrine is the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Fushimi, Kyoto, Japan, where the paths up the shrine hill are marked in this fashion.

Before you enter the temple/shrine compound, remember to "ambil wuduk" dulu... Hehhehe.... kidding!

Anyway, you will notice this cat/fox like figure there ie Kitsune. Kitsune from Wikipedia are as below (pemalasnye kan, but I thought this way would be better *wink*).

Kitsune is the Japanese word for fox. Foxes are a common subject of Japanese folklore; in English, kitsune refers to them in this context. Stories depict them as intelligent beings and as possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom. Foremost among these is the ability to assume human form. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others—as foxes in folklore often do—other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.

Foxes and human beings lived close together in ancient Japan; this companionship gave rise to legends about the creatures. Kitsune have become closely associated with Inari, a Shinto kami or spirit, and serve as its messengers. This role has reinforced the fox's supernatural significance. The more tails a kitsune has—they may have as many as nine—the older, wiser, and more powerful it is. Because of their potential power and influence, some people make offerings to them as to a deity.

Chup! Reverse abit... What is Inari right? Since the name is being used in most shrine/temple in Japan. Here you go from Mr. Wikipedia :)

Inari Ōkami is the Japanese kami of fertility, rice, agriculture, foxes, industry and worldly success and one of the principal kami of Shinto. Represented as male, female, or androgynous, Inari is sometimes seen as a collective of three or five individual kami. Inari appears to have been worshipped since the founding of a shrine at Inari Mountain in 711 AD, although some scholars believe that worship started in the late 5th century.

OK! Enough geography and history lesson. Now... food pulak!!

Aku sebatang paku.

Am sure most of you have eaten Inari before in local Japanese Restaurant right? Well.... the food apparently originated from here lar... al-kononnye. How does it look like? Tah dahh... below.

Source google

I don't fancy this so much as it is sweet as compared to other Sushi, so; usual I won't opt for this.

The whole distance is about 2hours hike/walk which covers about 4km. Mommy and daddy, remember your kid's stroller yah! As for me, I bet it will be longer, simply because I will STOP EVERYWHERE to take pics plus terhegeh hegeh tak larat! Hahhahha.... Mind you, this is per-way and going uphill, BE WEARY!
So, what I did was walk up till the 2 doors meet and did a U-turn back as I assume all will look the same and I need to ensure I have enough time to cover Nara kan.

We rushed down to go to our next destination... NARA!

From Wikipedia :
Nara Park is a public park located in the city of Nara, Japan, at the foot of Mount Wakakusa, established in 1880. Administratively, the park is under the control of Nara Prefecture. The park is one of the "Places of Scenic Beauty" designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The over 1,200 wild sika deer freely roaming around in the park is also under designation of MEXT, classified as a "Natural Monument." While the official size of the park is about 502 ha, the area including the grounds of Tōdai-ji, Kōfuku-ji and Kasuga Shrine, which are either on the edge or surrounded by Nara Park, is as large as 660 ha.

According to local folklore, deer from this area were considered sacred due to a visit from one of the four gods of Kasuga Shrine, Takenomikazuchi-no-mikoto. He was said to have been invited from Kashima, Ibaraki, and appeared on Mt. Mikasa-yama riding a white deer. From that point, the deer were considered divine and sacred by both Kasuga Shrine and Kōfuku-ji.

Killing one of these sacred deer was a capital offense punishable by death up until 1637, the last recorded date of that law having been enforced.

Post World War II the deer were officially stripped of their sacred/divine status, and were instead designated as National Treasures and are protected as such.

Chup! Officially stripped...? Ish! Sedih ler kan...

The journey took us 1 hour and cost us between Y600 - Y690 depending from where you board the train (I will have an entry on the estimated costing, not to worry). This is our longest and most expensive journey to see some sacred deerSSSSS. Luckily there's no entrance fee (the deer forbid them... Hahhahah... kidding still).

As I mentioned in my teaser entry here on the memories of this place, I will let you enjoy the pics instead (apa nak cite, rusa jek kan... ehehhe...).

Once you reaches JR NARA Station, you will see the Nara Tourism Counter, just ask the person in charge there on how to get to the park. They will advice you to take a loop bus that goes to the 3 temples (temple again...) OR you can jejak bertapak there (walk).

Here's the thing, if you decide to walk, it takes about 1km or so of a very pleasant walk (on a lane ie not road - safe!). Thus, for those who have baby as cute as Aqilah, BRING YOUR STROLLER!! Absolutely NO way you will have the energy to carry your cute baby the distance (slightly uphill too!!!) nor make them walk, mendera baby adalah kesalahan besou!

Once you reached the park area which is SUPER DUPER SUPER DUPER GILER HUGE (thus the convenient of baby stroller here), you will realize that ALL the deers are let lose. And strangely, none that I saw, run to the street nor cross the road despite that there's no wall, fence nor gate! Discipline like the rakyat jelata, impress huh!

You can buy the deer-cookies here (don't bring own human food and feed them, we don't know their diet beside we wouldn't want to harm them right?!) and feed them. You know what is crazy? The minute they hear the sound/smell of food, they will come running and SONDOL-ing you for some/more. Comei ok!

Not only that, they are one of those special breed that OWNS a CAR! Hahhahah....

For more pics on my Kyoto trip, please view it HERE.
For more pics on my Tokyo trip, please view it HERE.

Hyperlink credits : Wikipedia.

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