Archive for the 'Travel' Category

Catching up with Life after the Holiday

March flew by so quickly! From mid March to the end of March, my friends came over and I took them around London and Rome. Travelling was more exhausting than work because you have to be focussed from morning till late evening. After they have left, I went back to work and I needed time to readjust myself to pressure and weekend work. Now I have caught up with life once again – I promise that I will start updating regularly again ;;^^. To start off, some photos from my trip!

Salami and spinach pizza with A LOT of cheese!

St Peter Basilica - one of the grandest buildings I have seen!

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Japanese Desserts

Have you tried Japanese dessert before? I have stuffed myself with Japanese desserts during my one month travel in Japan and I must say if you were to go to Japan, you must try them!

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Traditionally, Japanese snacks and desserts were shaped to reflect the season. For example, in Spring they would be shaped as Sakura and in Autumn they would be shaped as Autumn leaves. They are often made with tea; sweet flour; azuki paste (red-bean paste); nuts; sugar and the fruits of the season. Japanese people like to eat their beautifully decorated snacks with their green tea, while admiring the view of their zen-garden and becoming one with nature.

Nowadays, it is harder to find traditional Japanese desserts: many of them are tailored to suit the preference of the younger generation as well as tourists. That doesn’t mean that they are not good! In fact, there is a wider variety available!

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Loot from Japan and Hong Kong!

A portion of my loot from Japan/Hong Kong!

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Butler Cafe Swallowtail

We have all heard of Maid cafes, but have you heard of Butler cafes? They are surging in popularity due to the increased appearance of English butlers in anime, manga and even Japanese TV series. Swallowtail, being the first Butler cafe ever in Japan, is the most popular of all. Located in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, on the famous Otome Road (you can refer to my previous post for more details on Otome Road), it attracts many young female visitors, all longing to get the princess treatment. I have not been to Swallowtail before but from what I have read so far, I will try to describe what it feels like to visit the place!

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A video on Swallowtail and Otome Road:

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Otome Road – Female-orientated Akihabara

Have you heard of Otome Road? It is located in Ikebukuro and consists of dense groupings of shops that sell anime, doujinshi, manga and other related merchandises tailored for female Otaku. Provided that you are a female Otaku, if you drop by to Tokyo you should definitely pay a visit! You will be amazed at the number and the variety of items that the shop stack! I remember the first time I visited Otome Road very clearly. I was touched to see all the goodies that I wanted and more in one place! So touched that I had teary eyes while I was shopping there ;;^^.

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Since we can’t be there in person now, why don’t we take a virtual tour?

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Alone in Tokyo by Philip Bloom

Found another fascinating short film on Japan: Alone in Tokyo by Philip Bloom. He captured a series of video in different parts of Tokyo from morning till night and crunched them down into one amazing film. It shows many known landmarks such as Shibuya, Shinjuku and Harujuku, and different people getting on with their life in the busy city. Grasped some ideas of what it would be like to live there after watching the video. Click here to watch it.

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Do you ever want to live in Tokyo? My desire to live there grows stronger and stronger as I find out more about the place ^^.

This is Japan (in 5 minutes)!

This is Japan in 5 minutes! The author has traveled around Japan: from Tokyo to the South of Japan; took many great shots and compiled them together to make this video. Love the music and the variations in the photos! In fact, I am going to visit Japan again this summer for a whole month and I would love to produce something similar too. It would definitely take me back to Japan whenever I watch it! Just need to get a good camera before I go ;;^^…

I really really miss Japan. Is it weird to feel like this considering that I have only being there twice? I just love the country to bits: the emphasis on the changing weather in everyday life; the seamless merge of countryside and cities; the politeness of Japanese people; the language itself and of course, the entertainment ranging from animation, games to Japanese drama series. My goal for now is to continue studying Japanese and finish JLPT LV1 by 2011, then head for Japan and try my luck there! Has anyone passed the JLPT tests? Would be grateful if someone could give me some advices on revision ^^.



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