l'isle joyeuse

Archive for the ‘outings’ Category

backlog: 2010.5.30

yokohama is one of my favourite places for day trips; the sea breeze, the peaceful tree-lined streets with coffee shops, the artsy little shops that sells wooden spoons with rabbits carved on top. i’m not surprised it’s such a popular dating spot for couples, especially after sunset where it sparkles with colourful lights that blink cheerfully (。◕‿‿◕。)


on this day, i started my journey by getting off at 桜木町 sakuragicho, which is the title of a yuzu song.


after that, i took the bus to the red brick warehouse >w< i've been wanting to visit for a very long time but never had the chance or time to. the 赤いくつ red shoe buses run around yokohama‘s famous spots and it costs 100円 each time you get on, no matter how far you travel.


arrival at the red brick warehouse. i had no idea what it REALLY was, so i was pleasantly surprised when i stepped inside.


lush! you can smell it from miles away ヾ(((´*゜∀゜*`)))ノシ i wish i bought more lush before coming home… it’s my dream to have my house smell like lush


more lush goodies!!!


there are a lot of small restaurants and cafes inside 🙂


cute little interior shops that make me want to have my own house~


there was a shop where everything in there has a rabbit motif. it’s creepy yet adorable at the same time.


i moved to chinatown after some shopping at the red brick warehouse! chinatown always smells like home – the steaming buns, the red lanterns, the chattering old ladies, the old messy shop selling chinese herbs and medicine.


santa claus in chinatown seems a bit out of place, though. it feels like a horror movie gone wrong.


back at shibuya. it’s funny how it feels like home, despite me being a foreigner.


high school boys on their way back from sports practice 🙂 i love japanese school uniforms, with their matching sports bags and parka jackets.


i bought an adorable two-tiered wooden accessory box at the red brick warehouse for 1050円 (`・ω・´)ノシ 

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i haven’t been updating my blog in a very long time due to a lot of reasons. one of it being university, with all the end-of-semester reports and assignments to be finished. another reason would be captain who is an awesome travel buddy >w< too many things to do, so little time!

i'll update my blog properly on each and every place i've went in the past few weeks when all this madness is over, but for now, here is a short update on what i've been up to, hiro-style.


kamakura


shiga


kyoto


kobe


tokyo


nagasaki


fukuoka


kumamoto

almost two more weeks before i leave the wonderful land of the rising sun and return to my tropical island! i shall miss this place dearly 😦 *starts planning future trips back here to japan*

backlog :2010.06.19

on saturday, i went to the narita express platform to pick captain up ♥ it was like a scene out from a really cheesy love drama hahah – we were running to greet each other and went all colkfneoicqhnovihn *insert spazz here*


she got me a present ♥


it comes in a pretty box!


and a nice little bag!


so pretty *O* it’s the cutest bracelet ever ;w; there’s a musical note for nino and a fish for ohchan!


after that, we went to harajuku because apparantly the softbank there is more efficient and foreigner-friendly. we got it done in less than 20 minutes omg :O


we saw the funniest vending machine EVER in one of the idol shops 😀 a vending machine that sells arashi photos!!!


we had epic purikura with our kaibutsu-kun caps and pikanchi shirts >w<


i’m sure we look crazy


after that, we went to shibuya‘s tower records to look at the kaibutsu-kun costume they have on display there >w< he's SO TINY!!!


so, so tiny hahah!


dinner time!!! all-you-can-eat sukiyaki at 1980円 per person ^^


fresh australian beef… how ironic!


pork from chiba prefecture


in to the pot it goes!


😀 yes we are happy


and dorky :p


i ♥ sukiyaki


and that’s the end of an awesome day – the first of many to come 🙂

recently i’ve been going out a lot with megan, a fellow arashi fangirl that i met on lj quite some time ago 😀 it would have been so much more fun had we gotten the courage to speak to each other earlier, because we’re both going home soon! nevertheless, it has been really fun everytime we go out together 😀


last friday we went to pasela to watch the 5×10 dvd. it’s a really nice karaoke place that has a dvd player as well, so we could watch anything we want 😀 it was so much fun, waving our penlights and doing the hand movements along with them.


they even have mouthwash for you in the washrooms :O


after that, we went looking for something to eat, and we saw this : destiny. the words crab chahan with a big “umai!” exclaimation? it is definitely very leader-ish so we went in!


we sat at the counter so we could literally watch them cook our food


it has a really warm, welcoming atmosphere and an authentic chinese ambience


we both ordered the crab chahan


we both chose different sets though. mine came with a small plate of gyoza, and hers came with a small cup of kaarage

yesterday, i met up with her again for dinner 😀 it was quite an adventure! i was supposed to meet her at shibuya but she emailed me 15 minutes before our meeting time to tell me that she had forgotten her wallet at home, her suica had run out of credit and she is now stuck in ikebukuro with no money. i went to get her, and then we had a laugh at how aiba-ish it was 😀


we went to an all-you-can-eat place called nabezo where you could choose between sukiyaki, nabe and shabu shabu (1980円 per person).


it was surprisingly quiet for an all-you-can-eat place! the service was really good too!


😀 meat! unlimited pork and beef, as well as assorted vegetables and random stuff for nabe dishes. i love harusame!!!


us 🙂 i love her red tights and black mary-janes! her dress was really colourful too – really springlike! my outfit on the other hand was a bit more subdued and it looks like winter… hahah!


on saturday last week i went out for cakes with the malaysians 😀 we met up at shibuya and it made my day to see these two huge posters outside the station >w<


i finally took a more decent photo of myself with hachiko!

deru joined us later because she woke up late so azu, kat and i had some sushi to fill up our stomachs since we have not eaten anything for lunch (and azu claimed he can’t fill his stomach with only cakes =w=)

after deru arrived we took the train to 田園調布 denenchofu because i fell in love with the cakes at l’epi dor! there was a small street festival there as well and we made the mistake of taking a look… i spent money again – a really nice bamboo-bottomed handbag for kimono (4000円), and a white heko obi (1000円).


i fell in love with the mille feuille the last time i came, but since i’ve already tried it before, i decided to order something else : the chestnut bavarois ♥ (420円)


it was unexpectedly good :O i am not a big chestnut fan but this one had just the right amount of sweetness and the subtle fragrance of chestnut >w<


the one who hides and the one who poses


the normal ones 😀 hahah just kidding XD and i’ve just realized that we were dressed to match! kat and i in white, and deru and azu in black 😀 talk about contrasts!


the hydrangeas are starting to bloom now! i’m so happy!


possibly my favourite flowers, next to casablanca lilies ♥ they are so gorgeous! *o*

backlog : 2010.05.22

the next day, i woke up around 6:00, got myself ready, and left the hostel at 7:00 to catch an early train to 高野山 mount koya, which is located in an 800 m high valley amid the eight peaks of the mountain. it took a really, REALLY long time to get there from kyoto, which is to be expected considering it’s in another prefecture… it took me no less than 3 hours to get there by train!


on the train to mount koya. i was so sleepy… the weather was cloudy and cool, and there were not many people on the trains so i managed to get a corner seat ❤


on the way there, i spotted a train station with a really amusing name and couldn’t resist getting off to take a photo!


all my reflection photos turn out really unclear that day 😦


so in the end i settled for a shot of my clothes and shoes on the train platform


there was also a buddhist priest on his way back home XD


in the cable car on the way up to mount koya. let me proclaim my love for the surutto kansai pass once again : it covers EVERYTHING on my trip, and i mean everything – even the cable cars! there were a lot of french people in the cable car though… they were chattering excitedly in french and snapping photos every single second.


my first stop was the 奥の院 okunoin, a huge maosoleum with graveyards and memorial tombs for famous (and the not so famous as well) japanese people. it’s a bit unnerving to see the japanese taking photos of the tombs and even making double peace signs in front of them, because back home in malaysia everyone’s mother and grandmother would totally get on your case for taking photos of graveyards 😀


a super cute gecko. it ran away after a small boy went too near trying to get a photo of it… i wish i could have taken a closer one too, the focus is all off in this one


one of the many tombs at okunoin. i lost count of the number of tombs and gravestones i photographed. this one belongs to the kaga family, which is really well-known in japanese history!


hiro at mount koya! the cedar trees were so tall and provided ample of shade for visitors… it helps that the weather is cool too!


amulet and charms on temple pillars


i found this really cute – the signboard next to it says “ひとりぼっち地蔵 hitoribocchi jizo” which means “lonesome jizo” 😀 he was pretty lonesome, all by himself!


the whole maosoleum was surrounded by cedar trees!


most of them date back to 2000 years ago…


origami cranes along the way


my everlasting love affair with inari gates


an intricate wooden carving of a beam supporter… really interesting!

i went to most of the important unesco sites, but i’m trying not to post photos of every single temple simply because they all look the same in photos! do not ask me why is that so, it just happens 😀


finally, reflective surface!


i love red


when in mount koya, eat traditional buddhist vegetarian food!


the amount of greenery at mount koya is so refreshing!


根本大塔 konpon daito, a pagoda that (according to wikipedia) represents the central point of a mandala covering not only mount koya but all of japan, according to shingon doctrine. it was HUGE D: i couldn’t fit myself in the photo…


still waters at the gardens of konpon daito. have i mentioned how much i love red?


like arashiyama in kyoto, mount koya is also very famous for autumn foliage


it’s so bizzare to see red leaves in spring/summer. i suppose these are the maple leaves that are red all year round?


hiro on buddha‘s right palm


a most appropriate typo


i. love. red.


after walking around in mount koya and refreshing my body and soul, it’s back to the city again…


and i headed straight to 祇園 gion for some shopping, despite being knocked off my feet


gion at night. always magical.


dinner 🙂 i love this place! this is my second time here. the sukiyaki is heavenly!


gion shines and sparkles at night 🙂 it’s so misleading because even though all the lights are on, the shops close really early, around 8:30 or 9:00 D: i want to do more shopping!

backlog : 2010.05.21

my day in 京都 kyoto after my maiko photoshoot 🙂 it was really sunny, i was sweating a lot :O i’ve been to kyoto many times but i would never get bored of this place. just as i thought, my heart belongs in kansai!


the bus stopped at a rest area on the way to kyoto at night, and i saw this on the shelves 😀 so amusing!!! also, did you know that they have memorial stamps at highway rest areas too? oh japan you amuse me…


walking up 清水坂 kiyomizuzaka 🙂


as you can see, it was really sunny. i should have brought sunscreen along…


i caught a bee! it took me a few tries to get it though, because it was moving around so restlessly


a studio ghibli merchandise store at 三年坂 sannenzaka. i feel like buying so many things…


a cute maltese outside a store, waiting for its owner to finish shopping


obligatory self-photo, the moment i find a reflective surface >w<


a common sight in kyoto


on the way to 嵐山 arashiyama. i took the bus because then i can look at the scenery fly past me outside the windows, instead of staring into the dark subway tunnels


finally, after a long bus ride! 🙂 it’s so beautiful!


the original bridge was made from wood, and even now they’ve still kept to the original design


hiro enjoying the cool wind by the riverbank


another common sight in kyoto : rickshaw pullers


the original wooden beams under the bridge were replaced with iron but the original design was kept


fresh maple leaves. arashiyama is very famous for autumn foliage, and there are maple leaves everywhere you look! i must come again in autumn next time – my favourite season is autumn! ♥


and finally, the bamboo forest path i’ve been wanting to go for such a long time! ♥


they’re really straight and tall :O i tried knocking on one and my knuckles went red 😀


it’s really a tranquil place, and you can barely hear the sounds from the streets, except from the occasional rattle from the trains nearby


it’s a good thing i went on a weekday, though, as it would probably be filled with people on the weekends


野宮神社 nonomiya shrine along the bamboo forest path.


imperial princesses who served at ise shrine first resided here for 3 years to purify themselves, before taken in a procession to ise.


nonomiya shrine has also appeared in the tale of genji, noh stories and waka poems


i know we’re supposed to read the kanji from top to bottom, but i can’t help reading it left to right…


i realized i have this sort of fascination with railroads


a really mysterious looking bamboo bridge in the middle of the bamboo forest


finally, a reflective surface in arashiyama!


after emerging from the depths of the bamboo forest, i walked back towards the river just in time to catch the sunset


so beautiful! the water surface was really calm and pretty too, despite the quick flow of water


i walked a little closer along the river bank and was overcome with the beauty of it


i had dinner at a restaurant nearby since i was starving and the bus back to gion wasn’t going to come around anytime soon 🙂 when you think about kyoto, it’s got to be kyoto cuisine! the set was supposed to come with a chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), but they ran out of it so they replaced it with agedashi tofu


a close-up of my favourite : sashimi! ♥ ♥ ♥


i took the last bus from arashiyama back to the station and back to the hostel 🙂 it’s a really cute and homey place, and they have a whiteboard at the lobby to tell you how the weather will be like the next day


and they have cute handwritten signs all over the place 🙂 there were a lot of photos on the walls, of people who used to stay there. it was interesting! maybe i should send them mine as well…


welcome!

slice-of-life entries of my life in japan as an exchange student :) feel free to comment... they're my daily pieces of happiness!

to read my travel posts, please click on "voyages"

thank you for dropping by, and have a nice day ♥

i ♥ nino

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i ♥ ohchan

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