Anyway, first trip of 2014 was to Japan with the fams, over the CNY period. It was a really last minute decision (I mentioned it here before), and it was a very short trip. We flew to Tokyo, and even managed to squeeze in one night in Osaka in our very tight schedule. I'll post about Osaka first, just because well, there's lesser photos to edit (ha!).
道頓堀 (Dōtonbori), 2014 (taken with iPhone 4S Panoramic cam)
On the Japan Rail, from Tokyo to Osaka
Japan has women only-carriages on the train, which I think is quite a good move.
Bicycle nation - they are just simply, everywhere
Besides being a 'Bicycle Nation', I think it's safe to also dub it the 'Vending Machines Nation'. There are vending machines everywhere, and for all kinds of stuff. And I mean all kinds of stuff. Here, I present to you...
Only in Japan - cigarette vending machine
After checking into our hotel, we then proceed to visit one of Osaka's main highlights - Osaka castle. I must say that for once, I did not research much for this family trip, my Sis did the research for the Osaka part of the trip while I did the Tokyo part, so I mainly just tagged along...with my handy camera in hand of course.
Strawberry ice cream
Views from the top of the castle
After that, we popped by Dōtonbori Ave.
Large 3D food billboards
Fugu! aka Pufferfish
It was my first time eating pufferfish. As we all know, it's a poisonous fish, so the chef really gotta be careful in prepping the dish, and diners also gotta eat it at their own risk. It was more like hey, it's something new, gotta try it at least once in your life. But to be honest? It didn't really taste like much - it's pretty bland on its own actually. We had it with the yuzu soy, which made it slightly more palatable.
Breakfast the next day at a random cafe at the rail station before we head back to Tokyo
Matcha white sesame latte
Manneken waffles! Purple sweet potato, almond and plain.
On the way back to Tokyo
Only in Japan, can there be such a rampant bento box culture. Not that I'm dissing it. I just wished we had such a culture too. Just look at how pretty and intricate a bento box could be. And this was just a random bento box purchased at a rail station. You can get bento boxes anywhere, rail stations, convenience stores, departmental food halls, and best of them all - the homemade kinds that Japanese moms pack for their children to eat in schools. I do pack my own lunches to work and everything (check out #chellelibento on Instagram), but seriously, the bento boxes I see in Japan put mine to shame. Ha. Gotta brush up on my bento-making skills!
Okay, I'm rushing off to catch a night movie (The Imitation Game) with my friend in town now, so pardon the short descriptions for the post. Ciao~