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We went for the IT Fair held at Suntec today and it was expectedly damn crowded. Not just traffic jams around that area, but also human jams. When walking to City Hall MRT Station via the Citylink underpass, there was suddenly a huge massive human jam just outside HMV, and we noticed that the people stuck in the jam were not moving at all. Pity those stuck in the middle and yet unable to go forward or backward. Many people did not want to waste time trying to squeeze through and headed for the emergency exit instead, which led everyone (incl. us) up a staircase to the open air above. It was quite dark and stuffy in there, but the (non-moving) crowd at HMV also made that area very stuffy, like no oxygen. 😦 All in all, everywhere was stuffy, air-con did not seem working and there was lack of oxygen in the air. Anyway to make things worse, it was raining outside, so we braved the rain to walk to Raffles City after exiting from that staircase from Citylink. Bleah. Bad experience.

Why do people like to go IT Fairs so much huh? Are there really great bargains? You go Sim Lim Square and bargain your way, also can’t get those lobangs meh? How much savings can there be? I was thinking of these questions in my head while on the way home. Haha. We went there aiming to buy a netbook but realised those on offer were not cheap enough. Tsk tsk.

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I came across NARS blushes while I was in Hong Kong and was immediately attracted to almost all the colours available at the counter. Unfortunately, several popular colours were already out of stock at every NARS store. 😦 Nonetheless, I was damn curious as to why this award-winning blush can win the hearts (and loyalty) of so many ladies in U.S. etc., and forced the counter girls to try on different shades on my cheeks everyday. Sorry, didn’t take pictures to share with you all the effects, but my favourite colours would be Desire and Deep Throat. Did not bother trying Orgasm as it was so highly-raved that I thought it ought to look good on everyone.

Wait, you may wonder, why am I using so many sex terms in this post? They were the real names of the NARS blushes!

The following are rather highly-talked about colours for the NARS blushes – Orgasm, Deep Throat, Amour, Desire, Angelika, Mata Hari, Exhibit A (bright red!!), Dolce Vita, and so on. Basically every colour is very attractive because it is very pigmented, i.e. when the counter girl just dabbed a bit of the blush onto my face using the brush, the colour really shows. When I say a bit, means really a little; If you dab too much, you may end up looking like the ghostly paper dolls that some people burn/offer to the deceased. I liked the way that the different blush colours made my face look like I was naturally shy (Haha!) while blushing. Besides, I don’t usually buy pink blushes because somehow I find pink blushes very unnatural on my face; peach blushes tend to look more natural. NARS pink blushes are however very sweet shades of pink. Really.

Anyway, having felt extreme disappointment at being unable to buy the NARS blushes while in Hong Kong, I was really feeling sore about Singapore not selling NARS stuffs. Fortunately now, there is a spree now that is on-going to consolidate orders for NARS blushes. Please visit here to know more details of the spree! 🙂

P.S. Go google about NARS blushes and you will see many positive reviews (of course there are also negative reviews lah! Can’t be totally good for everyone in the world right?) I have even seen one youtube video of an Asian lady applying Exhibit A (which was a bright red blush) and it looked damn good on her!!! 🙂

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Main Highlights:

  • Eating tonkatsu at Shinjuku
  • Shopping at Shinjuku
  • More of Tenya at Ikebukuro before going back

As it was our second last day in Tokyo already, we had to do some last minute shopping at Shinjuku. (Okay, more of me doing the shopping rather than Yh… Hehe) We had planned to have our brunch at a Tonkatsu restaurant located near Shinjuku Isetan Men’s Building, facing a carpark. I don’t know the name of the restaurant but there is a huge signboard above saying “TONKATSU” in hiragana. Walking from our hotel to that area was a nightmare as our hotel (i.e. Tokyo Keio Plaza Hotel) was at the Western part of Shinjuku and Isetan Shinjuku was at the Eastern part. I think we walked for about 30 minutes before finally reaching the small restaurant.

The restaurant was located in a quaint corner of Shinjuku, very traditional looking and really small.

Phew… Finally reaching the tonkatsu restaurant.

(Tonkatsu is a popular Japanese dish; it’s actually breaded deep-fried pork cutlet)

That’s me staring into blank air after the long-distance walking from our hotel. Was very tired and hungry. “Where’s our food?!”

Sampling the appetizer. Strange taste. Should be radish.

Yay! Our orders finally came! Mine was ebi (i.e. prawn) fry set and his was the typical tonkatsu set. Each set was around SGD $30. The portions seemed rather small but the food looked so home-cooked-like. Could not wait to dig in then, but had to take a picture first. 😦

Lady-like me (*puke*) acting demure while savouring the prawn at first instant. OMG. I felt like I was in heaven. The best ebi fry I have ever tasted in my life. The outer layer was damn crispy and the prawn meat was also tasty. You know, some ebi fry in Jap restaurants are crispy but somehow the inside, i.e. the prawn meat is tasteless.

And hey, another pleasant surprise was the miso soup which looked quite gross at first glance. Again, it was the best miso soup I have ever tasted in my life. Sounds exaggerating but that was really my thought. Besides the typical tofu, mushroom and seaweed found in most miso soups, they added in bacon! Thanks to them, Yh and I now cook miso soup with bacon added in for the extra BOOMZzz.

Another shot at the exterior of the restaurant.

Not sure if this helps you in finding your way to the restaurant, but this picture was taken while standing at one of the entrances/exits of Isetan Shinjuku Men’s. On the right is the carpark building, on the left is the side of the street where the restaurant is sited on.

With a full stomach, I could then summon all my energy into shopping! I bought a few more bags (*happy*!) from Burberry Blue Label and Agnes B as well as 2 blouses. Did not take pictures of them or I could show you all.

Not practising favouritism by saying the following just because my mum and aunt work for Isetan, but the Isetan Shinjuku Building is the nicest building in Shinjuku area, in my opinion. It has this historical and yet clean-cut look, and somehow makes tourists feel like posing next to the building.

One of the many entrances of the departmental store.

The plaque on the wall proudly announcing to everyone that this is ISETAN and a short write-up is below it, presumably on the history of the store.

Behind me is a larger view of the Isetan Shinjuku departmental store.

Another picture similar to above, but without my face in it, for the benefit of those who can’t stand looking at me.

Across the road was Marui departmental store. It’s another departmental store selling fewer brands and I don’t really like that place, probably as it was much smaller too. They have Rebecca Taylor there though. It’s a girly brand with a range of nice wallets and bags, at rather affordable prices. Affordable meaning SGD$200 or so. It’s something like Samantha Vega (the cheaper sister-brand of Samantha Thavasa), but I think it’s slightly cheaper than Samantha Vega. 🙂

There was a popular gelato store at the entrance of marui. Such a long queue!

We did not spend much time at Marui and proceeded to Takashimaya Times Square. We were there to look for the insect catcher at the Tokyu Hands branch there but somehow we could not find it there.

Another insect catcher device sold at Tokyu Hands Takashimaya Times Square. We did not want this because the stick was too short. It would be easy for the lizard, cockroach, insect etc. to climb up the stick to reach our hands within seconds. Better to buy a longer stick to maximize the distance between us and our target.

Aroma-therapeutic candle holder in the form of Anpan Man! That’s Anpan Man btw, for those youngsters (like me) who have no recollection of such a character. My hubby was the one who could remember his exact name. 🙂

Two of us taking a break (very tired leh!) at one of the benches in a secluded corner of Takashimaya Times Square.

The 2 pictures below were taken in RanKing RanQueen, a very interesting store in Japan. One of my favourite must-visit store in Japan besides Tokyu Hands. Almost everything in the store is ranked in terms of their popularity and you get to buy the items, of course. They have drinks, snacks, stockings, eyeliner, mascara, etc. Why can’t such stores open in Singapore too? One reason I can think of is, many Singaporeans tend not to buy things based on popularity, but based on price, so it could be hard for such stores to appeal to the mass market here.

Popular drinks’ ranking, categorized according to their types. (Mineral water, milk tea, oolong tea, etc.)

Another picture of drinks and food inside.

At night, we made our way to Ikebukuro, specially to buy the insect catcher! To see it you will have to see one of my previous Tokyo Day’s posts. We again went to dine at Tenya @ Sunshine City, the restaurant selling different kinds of tempura.

Do look out for the “seasonal” menus there. Certain items are served during limited time periods only.

“Wah… I have cold udon (yummy!) and my tempura rice bowl to eat… How to finish?”

The yummy sauce which goes well with the tempura.

Ugly me. The focus of this photo should not be me, but the Indian lady whose back is facing us.. She made us feel so ashamed then. Her Japanese was superb! Initially we saw a group of Indians making a commotion outside the Tenya restaurant, speaking Tamil, as if they were discussing whether to enter the restaurant and it looked like they were struggling to understand the Japanese menu. Then after they sat down at their table, the woman started conversing with the waitress in Japanese! I heard her “sumimasen” (i.e. “excuse me”) and then go on to ask questions about the menu, ALL IN FLUENT JAPANESE! Haha.. I would think with our ability to read Chinese words, it should be easier for us to learn Jap language; but this Indian proved us wrong. We ought not to have belittled them earlier on. Hahaha. Anyway, I realise that most Indians pick up different languages very quickly and easily.

That was the end of my day 8 in Tokyo and I was to leave for Singapore on day 9. So sad right. Hate that feeling of going home each time I go on a trip, like going back to reality. Yh and I usually suffer from post-trips-depression for about a few weeks, like what we are undergoing now after being back from Hong Kong. Hee hee.

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Main highlight:

  • Odaiba Aqua City

We left the boring Decks Tokyo Beach and walked to the shopping mall next door, Aqua City. While walking, we continued enjoying the scenery of the Rainbow Bridge. It was a rather long walk.

A closer look at the bridge. Looked quite ordinary but it was considered a “touristy” sight…

Finally, when we reached Aqua City, we were awed by the size of the shopping mall and spent our time shopping like mad instead of taking pictures. They have Agnes B, Comme Ca Ism, Le Sportsac, Coach, some Jap brands that we’ve never seen before, etc.

They have a Naruto Museum there. Naruta fans should have known about this.

That’s me staring at the signboard above. I was wondering what kind of Naruto place that was. There was a boy squatting at the corner, eating his Baskin Robbins ice-cream. So nice meh?

There was also a Disney Store there too. You can buy your Disneyland tickets from there if you wish to. The photo below roughly shows the dress sense of young school girls during summer season. Basically they are very casual and laid-back during summer, but during spring time, they actually bother to doll up and look really different (much better) than summertime. 🙂 Whenever we go Japan during summer, we won’t feel so out of place in terms of dress sense; but whenever we go during spring, the disparity is there. Haha.

Inside Disney Store.

That’s me looking excited playing with the Pooh puppet. See, he looks happy too posing next to me in the picture.

Wanted to buy him home but my cold-blooded husband said strictly NO MORE STUFF TOYS! There, the pooh was begging him to take him home, by tugging at his sleeves. “Please master, bring me home…”

That’s cheeky Pluto looking down from the shelf above.

See the dalmatians from “101 Dalmatians”? I actually find real dalmations very ugly because they usually have very skinny legs and look like they have kind of skin disease with black spots all over their white fur, but Disney managed to make the dalmatians look so adorable and much more lovable. 🙂

Many more decorations in the store below. Yh was busy taking pictures everywhere and anyhow to occupy his time in the store.

Wanted to share this cute merchandise I saw in the store. Earphones in the shape of Disney characters. Although I found them very cute (especially the Pooh one, since I love Pooh), somehow I felt they were not very well-made. The plastic material alsomade the item look very cheapskate. Not worth the price. Can’t remember the price already.

Only took pictures of the Pooh one ‘cos I love him the most among all the characters. 🙂

Fancy a Casio Baby-G watch with Disney designs? About SGD $330. Not cheap ok.

We then left Disney Store and ventured into other interesting shops in Aqua City instead. There was this particular store which was super attention-seeking and rather ostentatious imo. Yh was very grossed out in the store as majority of the items (all kinds of household things, girly stuffs, stationery, etc.) were pinkish. I would say about 80% of the items were of SHOCKING pink shade and there were some rather nice but overly priced BLING BLING hair accessories in shades of pink and the usual clear diamante colour. I remembered the price for a usual hair band to tie ponytails was about SGD $50. Crazy. They were similar to those you find at Chomel, in case you are still wondering what kind of hair accessories I was talking about. Anyway, photography not allowed in the store, so no pictures were taken. The store seemed to be opened by a particular Japanese female artiste. I don’t know her name (maybe ‘cos I am swagoo) but she could be someone popular there, based on the row of posters of her flaunted all over the shopfront. It’s either opened by her or she was the spokesperson lah. Anyway, I thought she was a porn actress as her dress reminded me of those costumes bought in sex shops.

There was also a store there to cater for all tourists in Japan. Basically it sells many items which could only be bought in Japan. Note: Don’t expect everything there to be Made in Japan. Many items were Made in China but sold only in Japan. They sell high tech items, Japanese bottled drinks, hairdryers, facial-related appliances, etc. The item below attracted my attention and I contemplated buying it but later changed my mind as it was too expensive for a 1 GB thumbdrive.

A Hello Kitty thumbdrive! Our local Hello Kitty stores don’t sell this.

Soon it was dinner time. Of course we settled it in Aqua City as they have one whole level of restaurants on the 5th, 6th or 7th floor. (Sorry can’t remember the level but you will know after taking their information brochure.) We chose a restaurant selling … OMU RICE. What’s Omu Rice? It’s actually Omelette-Rice, and is a well-liked home-cooked dish by the Japanese. The simpler versions consist of just butter/tomato-fried rice wrapped within  a thin layer of omelette. The more complex versions will consist of additional items to eat with your omu rice, such as a hamburg steak, fish, prawns, special gravy, etc.

This was the restaurant we went into. My friend told me there was a branch in Garden Walk Outlet too, but somehow I had missed it there. Hee hee.

Pomme-no-ki

Picture taken during dinner time. There was a queue outside. Almost every restaurant there had a queue during dinner time.

The Japanese are fond of putting up colourful and detailed window displays of food to tempt potential patrons.

A closer look at one of the main courses. Looks exquisite right? Of course the real thing is not so neat and pretty lah, but the chefs do put in effort to “decorate” your food before it is being served to you. Japanese care a lot about food presentation.

We got a counter seat inside and were presented with this nice window display in front of us. Alright, perhaps not really that nice or scenie, but being a kaypoh person, I enjoyed watching people walk up and down, observing what they were wearing and looking out for good-looking people. 🙂

That’s me, waiting for the waiter to take orders from us. Did you notice the bottle of milk tea next to me? That’s my favourite drink – Kirin Milk Tea. The one shown above is the thicker and more expensive version of milk tea by Kirin. They do have a cheaper one, it’s very nice too!!!

Felt very calm staring out of the window then, though inside was bustling with activity – people chatting and eating while the waiters were busy shuffling around.

The view from where Yh was seated. It was drizzling when we entered the restaurant and it soon turned into a heavy downpour. No more people-watching already. Occasionally we still saw some brave souls running towards the nearby Yurikamome Station – Daiba.

(As mentioned earlier, Decks Tokyo Beach is nearer to Odaiba Kaihin Kōen while Aqua City is nearer to Daiba Station.)

How the interior of the restaurant looked like. It was quite a small but packed place.

Couldn’t wait to dig in still must pose with the food. 😦 I chose one with half-half cream sauce and brown sauce. VERY TASTY.

Mine… Yum yum.. I don’t know of any nice omu-rice places in Singapore as of yet. The ones I have tasted in Japan were never disappointing.

Yh’s… He chose one with hamburg steak. Nice too, though most hamburg steaks tasted the same to us.

Okay, gotta go. It’s weekend today and I gotta go make full use of my weekend! Will blog soon after I have edited the photos okay… 🙂

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I bought this Jill Stuart mix blush compact from Tokyo few months back even though it cost me around SGD $70!!! *gasp*

Pretty pink box. Outside is already so pretty, how about the inside?

Wow.. They really know how to capture a girl’s heart! See the elaborate details and the mirror-like surface. (Girls love looking into mirrors, so we love stealing secret glances at ourselves whenever we walk past shops with glass windows. Hee hee.) What I like is the pink diamante stud used for pushing the brush outwards. I love lots of bling!

This is their brush. Has white bristles that resemble the hair of the White-Haired Demoness (starred by Lin Ching Hsia).

The shade I bought: 06-Fresh Apricot. More peach like. The actual colours were actually brighter. I have tried taking many shots to show a more accurate representation of the shades, but somehow failed. Roughly there lah huh. Hahaha.

I have yet to use it but would like to say some stuffs about this. Before buying this in Tokyo, I read many reviews and most reviews were negative. Many people who bought this have had very high expectations of the blusher given its price, so when they used it, they feel there is nothing special about it. Hmmm… Most people buy this for the packaging lah. Imagine you are in toilet touching up on your blusher, and you take this pretty thing out, the lustre from this blusher casing would surely gain the envy of girls nearby! 🙂

Anyway the more popular shades are 02-Rose Bloom and 06-Fresh Apricot. The former is pinkish, and the latter is peachy. I personally feel pink blushers usually give a more girly and sweeter look, but they also have an accentuating effect on your cheeks, so may end up making your face look bigger and rounder. Peach blushers are usually more for the sporty and natural-looking look, as if you are always blushing due to shyness. Hee hee. I like to act shy, and I don’t like my already-big face to become even bigger, so of course I bought 06!

Anyway good news for all, there is a spree for the Jill Stuart blushers…. For those who want their pretty cosmetics, but can’t find them easily in Singapore. You can buy other items as well of course. I know there are some people out there who create fake Jill Stuart products that look like the real thing, to sell online. Rest assured this won’t happen for this website I am recommending as my friend will be painstakingly carrying the items back from overseas Jill Stuart counters. 🙂 If it is not authentic, may my head grow even bigger! Hahaha.

Click here now if you would like to buy yourself this pretty gift! Or guys may buy this for their girlfriends (I meant each guy one girlfriend huh, I don’t support multiple-timing) as a gesture of lots of love and affection. Hee hee hee.

P.S. Sorry, I had considered trying this on my cheeks so that I can show you all, but I simply have too many blushers and don’t want to start using this pretty thing yet.

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Main highlights:

  • Ikebukuro shopping
  • Eating at Sunshine City’s Tenya
  • Shopping at Tokyu Hands
  • Late night shopping at Matsumoto Kiyoshi
  • Lousy bakery – Takase
  • Our expensive and yet disappointing chocolate cake

The reason why we went to Ikebukuro specially after Sanrio Puroland, was because I wanted to go Parco to get my Jill Stuart blusher. A word of advice to those who want to get their cosmetics too, their SA (sales assts) can’t understand much English, so it would be easier to just quote the shade no. to them. For instance, I wanted the Apricot shade (I think it’s 06), so I mentioned “Apricot something” which was the name of the blusher shade and they could not understand. I had to say “number 6” before they nodded their heads.

Anyway, Parco at Ikebukuro is HUGE. Btw, it is located within the JR Ikebukuro station. We spent some time navigating around as they have different buildings (A and B) and every building has many levels. It was quite a maze to us, especially when the English guide was not very detailed either. 😦

Being frustrated with the searching and the constant walking, we soon got hungry and instead of searching for a different restaurant to try out different food, we went to our all-time favourite TENYA! 🙂 It’s located at Sunshine City and is about 10-15 min walk from the JR Ikebukuro station.

Tenya at Sunshine City

I wouldn’t say it is fantastic, but we really enjoy their sauce. Basically, it’s a tempura “eatery”. (I wouldn’t call it a restaurant either, because it is cheap and not very nicely-decorated inside) So you order your tempura rice or one whole set and they pour some delicious sauce over your tempura. The sauce is sweet and refillable; They provide a bottle of sauce at every table. Do not expect the tempura to be very crispy though. It is also rather popular among non-Japanese. I am not sure if those people were expats or tourists like us. You will be happy to know that they have an English menu. 🙂

There, the English menu.

I was looking and feeling very tired that night. We walked a lot in Sanrio Puroland and then had to walk back to our hotel to put down stuffs, followed by walking around to search for the Jill Stuart cosmetics counter in Parco. Also not forgetting the walk to Sunshine City as well. Wonder if Gandi felt tired too when he walked the Salt March.. Although Tokyo city is well-linked by many different railway lines, there are still lots of walking and climbing of stairs to be done. Wear comfortable shoes when you are there. Don’t go and act chio and start wearing heels there. You can only do that if you decide to just stay in one departmental store the entire day, or have lots of money to spare to cab drivers there. Taxi fares in Tokyo are well-known to be exorbitant.

Oops.. Drifted too far away. Please shift your focus back to Tenya. Below shows our dinner that night.

We were so hungry and yet still had to pose for you all to see.. Tsk tsk.

Basically, I ordered a set which consisted of the cold udon and a normal-sized ebi bowl. Yh ordered a large-sized bowl. You can actually choose what kind of tempura you want to add to your bowl and pay the additional cost accordingly. For instance, my set consisted of 1 or 2 prawns already, but I asked them to add long bean, sweet potato and fish. The fish thing ( I can’t remember what fish it was, probably cuttlefish or fishcake) was very nice! I’m a fish-lover btw. 🙂 Yh also asked for additional items but I can’t remember what he ordered. Haha. Anyway, it was a good and satisfying meal. If you go during Spring or some other season, the set will be different. Probably some ramen with the bowl instead. My cold udon was very nice (very springy or “Q”) and matched well with the hot weather outside.

After dinner, I had no more energy to shop around in Sunshine City. Fortunately (or unfortunately), most of the shops there close at around 8 pm, so we left for Matsumoto Kiyoshi thereafter.

Before I forget, I must mention this. While walking from PARCO to Sunshine City, you will definitely come across Tokyu Hands. The branch at Ikebukuro has about 7-8 storeys and is far neater, more orgnanised and larger than the branch at Shinjuku Takashimaya Times Square. For instance, we came across a miraculous household handy tool at Tokyu Hands and didn’t buy it that night. Somehow we regretted and went to the Times Square branch, wanting to buy it. Damn! We walked round for about an hour and could not find it! On our last night in Tokyo, we had to specially make a trip down to Tokyu Hands at Ikebukuro to get it. WHAT IS THAT ITEM THAT CAUSED US ALL THAT EFFORT? TADA………………….. It’s the bug/insect-catcher!

My handyman holding the handy tool. Haha. Please focus on the tool in his right hand and not his armpit hairs. Thank you. 🙂

Gotcha!!!! You are bound to get trapped!!

Demonstrating how to catch insects. Just imagine/pretend there is a cockroach/lizard/bug lying on the floor at that particular spot. You just need to press something at the handle and the plastic bristles will open up. Then quickly release the catch and the bristles will tighten to trap your target.

Now, you must be thinking that tool is a white elephant. (It cost SGD $30+, not cheap okay. That explains why we hesitated buying it initially.) No, the tool actually helped Yh catch huge lizards! Really!!!

Do note that Tokyu Hands at Ikebukuro closes at 8 pm. That was also why despite our hunger and frustration from the walking, we persevered and shopped at Tokyu Hands first. Tenya could wait as they close at 9 or 9.30 pm. Most eating places in Tokyo close rather late.

As I mentioned above, after we completed dinner and left Sunshine City, we headed to Matsumoto Kiyoshi. It’s really a girly place and guys would feel bored there. Go there to buy your Kose, Shiseido, Marjolica etc. at discounted prices. Not all items are discounted, but many are. So do open your eyes big big there. As I would spend at least half an hour there looking at various things (cosmetics, skincare,  manicure/pedicure items, hairdo setting things, etc.), my bored husband had all the time to go research on their tissue paper. Haha. He managed to find a particular kind of tissue which was good for runny noses. In particular, the tissue had a picture of a nose on it, and the nostrils are red in colour. The tissue paper’s material was very soft and somehow felt cold always. Definitely prevents friction due to excessive rubbing and pinching of your nose during a bad flu. Not cheap of course. Go Matsumoto Kiyoshi as late as you can as they close at around 2 or 3 am. Of course, go before 12 midnight or you would have no JR train to go back. 🙂

Lastly, we went to this bread shop called Takase. It was recommended in some books and we wonder why. Pui. We bought various types of bread, cakes, pies, etc. for the next day’s breakfast and all were disappointing. Singapore’s Province and Sun Moulin definitely win them. I had high expectations of bread shops in Japan before that as we used to stay at New Takanawa Grand Prince Hotel and their bread shop sold DAMN fantastic bread! I still remember we bought some Sakura jam and custard bread there that tasted so heavenly. A pity they sell that only during Spring time I think, and the hotel is rather far from JR Shinagawa Station. Lazy and tired me had no more legs power to walk that far to try their other breads.

The shop front. I must remember to avoid that bakery again unless I have totally nothing else to eat for breakfast. Haha.

After that, we quickly went back to our hotel that night to rest early. Remember that night when we went to Shinjuku Takashimaya Times Square to buy bentos for dinner, we bought some chocolate cake as dessert? We had no choice but to buy that. We had wanted to buy the cheesecake mentioned here but somehow the cheesecake shop had disappeared!!! Maybe it has closed down due to bad times? Their cheesecake was probably too expensive for daily consumption. Hahaha. We reserved the chocolate cake for Day 6’s supper/dessert and were anticipating that it would be as good as the cheesecake. The shop staff was detailed and service-oriented enough to help us wrap the cake in an insulated package, for us to bring back to the hotel. We kept the chocolate cake in our hotel room’s bar fridge.

The packaging.

The brand of the cake… OGGI Tokyo meguro. It does not mean you can only find this cake in Meguro. 🙂

How the chocolate cake looked like before being sliced. Really looked enticing.

Mainly chocolate mousse inside. VERY RICH in chocolate.

I was rather disappointed by the taste of this chocolate cake. It tasted like ordinary chocolate. Just a few mouthfuls and we were already sick of the chocolatey taste. It did not match my expectations at all. I had thought it would be good due to its price. I think that small block cost around 1000-2000 yen, which worked out to be around sgd $15 – $30. So sad….. The cheesecake is gone and I can’t find any other better replacement. What else can we look forward to next time?

Ok I shall end abruptly. This entry is so long! Hope it was informative enough for you and detailed enough for me, so that I would know what to avoid in future when I am back there! 🙂 I will be posting Tokyo Day 7 next. Akan Datang. 🙂

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Main highlights:

  • Bought limousine bus tickets from the hotel bell captain.
  • Akihabara.
  • Garden Walk Outlet.

The itinerary for day 5 was planned in an impromptu way. I think we only discussed where we were going on that morning itself. The past 2 days of Disneyland and sea had depleted us of all our energy and we actually slept till around 10 am that morning. I still think it was a wrong decision for us to go Gotemba on day 2 because it was not only costly to get there, it was a waste of time and energy. We were seriously exhausted by the end of day 4.

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More thoughts on Gotemba Premium Outlets: (Skip if you are not interested)

Come to think of it, Gotemba premium outlets is not so bad because it really has many brands, but unless we have many days to spare in Tokyo, I think we will give it a miss in future. 🙂 The only brand at Gotemba premium outlets, which I feel will be a pity to miss it, is Samantha Thavasa. Hahaha. Other than that, the other brands are quite standard and can be found at other outlets places too. If, 1) there is no traffic jam in getting there or going back via the bus, 2) there is no rain or hot sunny sun, 3) there are more eating places and choices there, and 4) there are fewer people there (we went on a Sunday you see, haha), I think we will like Gotemba premium outlets much much more.

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Before we set off from our hotel, we went to the bell captain at our hotel to buy the limousine tickets to go Narita airport on our last day. Typically, tickets should be purchased in advance and reservations made earlier so that you can secure seats on the limousine bus. If the bus is too crowded, I think they will arrange another bus, but then again, that is not guaranteed. Anyway we won’t take chances and might as well buy the tickets early.

Japan is a high-tech city, even buying tickets from the hotel is automated, done using this machine below.

My funny husband took this picture, he kept saying this machine is so cute. Hmmm?! The only cute thing is the model of the limousine bus placed on the top of the machine lor. Haha.

Our first destination for the day: Akihabara. I have always liked Akihabara though it is more of a guys’ place.

Men like to go there mainly for these few reasons:

  1. Japanese Manga and anime,
  2. Japanese toys (those collectibles like figurines, army tanks, etc.),
  3. the many maids’ cafes located in the vicinity, and
  4. technological products, like accessories/consoles – PC, wii, PS, etc.

As for me, I like it there because they sell many cute and innovative computer stuffs which can’t be easily found in Singapore. For instance, many years ago, the sushi-types of thumbdrives were rather popular in Japan and in particular, you can see a large variety of designs at Akihabara, all exquisitely made. They had the finger thumbdrive, the duckie thumbdrive, the tamago sushi thumbdrive, the ebi sushi thumbdrive, etc. I was more after cute things then (more than 3 years ago), so I bought a pink rubber duckie thumbdrive which lights up whenever you insert into your USB ports, and also a Disney Marie thumbdrive which will display a cute Marie animation on my screen each time my PC detects it. Yh also bought a very plain and neat laptop bag for work, which surprisingly was very cheap, around SGD$40! Felt it was a good buy that lasted for years.

This time was our second time at Akihabara, and we were still amazed by the cute Wii accessories at Yodobashi Akiba. Goodness, they had a pink Wii remote strap! So girly! They also have other colours like light blue, light green, and the usual white. We also bought a nuchuck back because we thought our nuchuck was spoilt, but it turned out to be not. It was slightly cheaper than in Singapore. I also pestered Yh to let me buy many stickers, which are actually Hello Kitty protective stickers for my wii remote and nuchuck. So kawaii! Can’t bear to use them. 😦 Btw, the latest Wii console and accessories in Japan are in black now. Yh found them so cool but he did not buy any of them because they would be a mismatch with our current Wii console..

The pink wii remote strap. Wasn’t cheap, I think about SGD$5. I bought only one.

One thing about the Yodobashi Akiba store. I think I was a bit angry (because I am a petty woman) over the tax refund policy in the store. They kept announcing that they have a tax refund policy, somemore in various languages, and that to enquire more about it, approach any of the staff in the store. WAH LAO, the irritating thing was, I really approached a few staff in the store, but none of them seem to understand/speak English! How to even ask them about it huh? Hahaha. In the end when I mentioned “tax refund”, they answered me with very basic English, “No” and crossed their hands. WTH.. I don’t know how to qualify for the tax refund in the end and lost motivation in spending more than 10,000 yen there. Bwhahaha.

On the 7th or 8th storey of the store, is an entire storey of restaurants. Tokyo has lots of departmental stores with this concept, like in Tobu Ikebukuro, Isetan Shinjuku, etc. where there is one whole storey dedicated to Japanese restaurants. We visited this ramen restaurant that was located opposite Pepper Lunch, and there was always a queue, but a fast-moving one.

The front of the restaurant. Each bowl was about SGD$12. Reasonable price right?

The restaurant was small but cosy, and most of the patrons sat round the kitchen, at the counter. There were some table seats but not many in all.

Our ramen with lots of ingredients in each bowl. Our soup bases were different but both were tasty. I wouldn’t say they were exceptionally good, but okay lah. Thought the standard was similar to that in Hakata Nihon Ryori at Mohd Sultan. I reviewed Hakata here previously.

A very nice old uncle sat next to Yh and he helped us take that picture above. He was very cute. Haha. I saw him reading a whole passage of English while queueing to enter the restaurant and he could converse with us using basic English. He told us every restaurant in Japan is good because it is very competitive in the F&B industry there. Any lousy restaurant there will close down very quickly. He also told us that his colleague just came back from Singapore, and his review of our food standard was – cheap but standard-wise, “so so”. I think he went to places serving mediocre food. What a shame.. *throw face*… But I really agree with him leh. You just step into any restaurant in Japn, everything is really tasty! Nothing was really disappointing there. In Singapore, it is easy to be disappointed by the food standard here generally. Unless….. you are willing to make effort to research on reviews of good restaurants online, willing to pay for tastier food, and willing to travel to secluded corners of Singapore in search of the restaurants. With all that effort, I might as well eat the tastier and cheaper char kway teow, carrot cake, and hainanese chicken rice in many hawker centres. Haha.

Next on our itinerary was Garden Walk Outlet. It’s very near the JR Kaihin-Makuhari Station, we went there via the Keiyo line. We had not had enough satisfaction from shopping at the outlets, so we targetted Garden Walk next. It has brands like Agnes b, Vanessa Bruno (star attraction for me), Adidas, Jill Stuart (clothes only) and asics (nice Onitsuka Tiger shoes there, prices only slightly lower).

All smiles because I am going shopping next!!

I always have a problem, I don’t have the mood to take any pictures when I am concentrating on shopping or food. So the above was the only shot we took at the Garden Walk outlet. Hahaha. We spent about half a day there, and it was evening by the time we left the place. We were dead beat. Although it did not look like a big place, we actually did a lot of walking and standing (while browsing through the items on sale).

Inside the JR train, on the way back to Shinjuku. Really really very tired then.

See what I bought from there!!! *excited* Agnes b stuffs were generally going at less 30% and Vanessa Bruno bags were at less 50%.

Agnes b bags first:

Vanessa Bruno bags: (I have always liked their bags because of the sequins. They make the bags look bling bling.)

The colour was pinkish-beige.

The same bag as above. I put the remote control next to it just to show its size. It’s really very small. The larger size for this colour was sold out, so I had to make do with this mini size. 🙂

I am crazy I told you. I bought the larger size bag, but in brown. This photo’s colour is not so accurate.

The actual colour of the bag, and its size.

I also saw this shop selling racks of clothes, all at 2000 yen (~SGD $30) each!!! I bought 2 skirts at one go, same design but different colours. Haha.

 The 2 skirts were clipped together, one was light yellow, the other was light grey. I like to wear such skirts, especially if they are not too short.

For dinner that night, we did not go any restaurants, but went Takashimaya basement to buy many bento sets. I think it is a very good experience though the food was eaten cold. We always do that for at least one of the nights each time we are in Japan. Many Japanese always buy bentos home for their meals and it’s like us “dabao-ing” (i.e. takeaway) food home for dinner from hawker centres or food courts.

Our sumptuous and filling dinner for the night. We were eating comfortably in our hotel rooms. Finally can rest our feet.

What’s worth mentioning is, all the salads I ate there were really very very nice! That night, we bought some big prawns salad which was not very cheap but it satisfied our taste buds thoroughly too. It was not just the ingredients used, their salad sauce was very well-suited to the ingredients. Even the macaroni salad purchased from the convenience store at the basement of our hotel was very nice! Anyhow grab one also can grab something so tasty. Hahaha. That’s why we love going Japan. 🙂

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