Sunday, June 3, 2018

JAPAN 2018 / Not seeing is a flower

Japan...finally. I have been living in a cave being a huge anime fan but never stepped foot in Japan. Japan has been on the top of my travel list for so long, and one reason why I never got around to visiting the country was always because of money, and also just the timing wasn't right and I couldn't find the right people to go along with me on this trip. I usually like to really splurge on a trip and not worry about having not enough money, so I definitely don't want to be on a tight budget or anything or else I'll feel like I'm missing out on a good food or something fun just because of money. So I needed to save a lot of money, which is easier for me now that I've been working a full time job for close to a year now. Also, I gotta go to Japan with someone who loves anime as much as I do, so the best person to go there with was Sam!!! HAHA, before meeting him I wouldn't consider myself to me an anime fan because the only anime I watched was One Piece. But he introduced me to so many others like Hero Academy (I love it), Tokyo Ghoul (yasssss, I walked through every tunnel in Japan and claim that there are ghouls fighting down there and that it's where Mado died I don't care), No Game No Life, Hunter x Hunter, Death Note, Shogugeki, Magi, Full Metal Alchemist and so many more I cannot possibly name everything. And like to everyone who thinks it is lame to like anime or whatever, omg trust me I thought the same like you too, then I started on the best anime of all time (One Piece) and I am a changed person every since. Also me liking anime doesn't mean I get off on hentai and do cosplay and shit, it's like how you like watching powerpuff girls, that's all. LOL

Also, I know I haven't been blogging for awhile, and it's because I really don't have the time to blog and found no significant reason to unless I really wish to remember certain things that happened, or certain feelings, which in this case I really wanna remember this magical trip to Japan, hence this blog post. Also, another reason was because since I started working and everything, I guess maybe I grew up (and became more boring lol) and I prefer to keep my personal life more private now, which is why all my social medias are on private now, and I don't really post much on there like before. 

Sam and I got a real good deal by Singapore Airlines, so it only costed $670 for each of us to fly direct to and fro Tokyo and Singapore. But for this good deal, we booked the tickets like 3 months in advance which is absolutely torturing because imagine having to wait 3 damn months for such an anticipated trip. So I literally applied for leave 3 months before my actual trip and I have been crazy excited for 3 long months. God, torturing. Thankfully I didn't run out of excitement by the time the trip finally began. Our trip duration was 10 days, from 18 - 29 May. And I only used up 6 ALs hehe proud (cos 29 May was a PH, and I have one birthday leave in my birthday month).

OK so from Haneda Airport we took the train to our apartment in Shibuya. Directions, not my forte. That's why I have a boyfriend to navigate me around. Hehe, Sam is really good with directions, and very dependable, so I follow him everywhere, and occasionally when I'm feeling a little stubborn to follow him around, I lead him the wrong way and ended up having to apologise for a little brat. But he loves me for that.

Our Shibuya apartment was awesome. It's only a short 5 minutes walk from Shibuya station, Hachiko statue and we cross the Shibuya crossing every day (love the hype about this, literally you can find the shibuya crossing everywhere I'm not sure why only the one in shibuya is so famous). Also, wanna cry when I saw Hachiko because the movie made me cry so bad, and I could recognize the area from the movie...sheds a tear. I love the movie so much, any animal movies make me bawl my eyes out.

Also, our apartment has a great toilet bowl, which motivates me to shit thrice a day. Not even kidding, I eat so much in Japan I shit three times a day, and like sometimes when we were out exploring I need to shit. And also, our washing machine has a dryer function (awesome), saves us so much time, and super easy to use. We also have a balcony, god who doesn't love. Plus, when we went there eventho it was in the summer, it was freaking 16 degrees. God knows why and how, so my already dry skin was cracking like mad but we're still psychos who chill at the balcony watching people walk around the streets. Are we weird? The apartment building looks super new too, so like all the furnitures in the room itself looks really new. It's also like 1 minute walk from Club Harlem, a popular hiphop club. So like when the bouncer asked Sam to change out of his joggers, we were like yeah sure, and we were back a minute later. LOL no fuss. Super awesome location, I was so pleased with the apartment. Oh, but they only have one little mirror in the shower room, and the only full length mirror we used during our duration in Tokyo was in the apartment elevator LOL. So I ended up buying a compact mirror from Muji so I could do my make up while Sam showers in the morning.

You can check out our Shibya apartment via this link: 

It was pretty late when we landed in Tokyo, so by the time we got to our apartment it was near midnight, and we gotta have some food cos I was so excited to eat. We ate at Nanashi Ramen near our apartment, it was BOMB. But I didn't manage to finish it, the broth got too salty nearing the end and I never ever finish my bowl of ramen anyway it just always make me so full halfway (until I had Ichiran, but that story's for later). But the gyozas there...BOMB. 

We walked around the streets, got some convenience store food like we always do to chill at our apartment later on.

It was after taking these photos that I realised my left brow was lighter than my right, but thankfully I keep a handy dandy eyebrow pencil in my bag specifically for instances like this (you never know when you need an eyebrow pencil). There was once in NUS, I went to class without my pens, but guess what I got an eyebrow pencil. LIFESAVER. Lol, I'm kidding, I didn't use my eyebrow pencil to write my notes, I ended up borrowing a pen from my friend, but it was still least to me. I actually think I'm a funny person, but nobody around me admits it cos they don't wanna feed my ego. HAHAHA c'mon friends.

OK I AM DIGRESSING. Back to the story...

Our official first day in Tokyo, we woke up pretty early in the morning and decided to have Luke's Lobster (which Sam didn't get to eat the last time he came). It was about I think 10-15 minutes walk from our apartment, which I thought was quite alright. And of course, we had to walk past cremia on our way to the stall so obviously we had to stop to get one cos have you tried cremia??? It's the best ice cream ever. 

Ok then back to the original plan and we continued walking towards Luke's Lobster, we were like the first ones waiting there cos the stall wasn't even opened yet. And nope there wasn't any long queue or anything, maybe cos the hype died down? We're not really sure. 

One lobster roll like this costed us close to $15 I think, and I'm not a food expert but I thought it tasted great. They were really generous with the lobster and I would buy a second roll, but we still have food plans later on. Btw, this is just a snack for us, and after this we made our way to Tsukiji Fish Market. LOL, my stomach was bursting.

We went to the Tsukiji Fish Market like around noon time, and yeah there were long queues at the most famous stalls, which idk about you but I'm definitely not joining the queues. So we settled for sushi place with no queue, just beside the famous one LOL. (Unfortunately I do not know the name of this stall, they weren't super famous cos they're quite new and small but I believe every stall in the fish market definitely sells great sushi according to the research I did.) They had omakase for about $50 per person, so that was what we had. It was so fun!!! The experience was very interactive, and god the sushi tasted sooooo good. I'm still craving for it right now, and we were actually planning to return to the fish market to have omakase one last time but we didn't have the time. I love it, if I ever return to Japan I am definitely coming back to the fish market. It was no doubt one of the best meals we had in Japan.

After our meal, which I was dying from cos I was super super full. I couldn't even finish the last few dishes cos I was really so full I was gonna puke eventho the food was really amazing hahaha. Our plan was to head to Harajuku by train from there, but we chanced upon this free shuttle van service that can take us there after stopping at Akihabara. I know this sounds so freaking shady hahaha, but the guide spoke chinese, and there were other Hong Kong tourists in the van too, plus I was with my boyfriend so we were fearless. HAHA, anyway so we actually wanted to go to Harajuku, but when the van made a turn into Akihabara I freaking fell in love. The place looked so amazing and interesting...I looked over to Sam and he's like ok I know you wanna get off here. HAHAHA, so that was what we did, we alighted at Akihabara instead and started walking around the place (but before that I had to find a toilet to take a shit first, typical me after an exploding meal but thank god toilets in Japan are all so clean I love it).

In Akiharaba, obviously we gotta check out some anime stores so that I can ogle at figurines that I will never ever buy but it makes me so happy to look at one of them and remember the exact scene from the show and it me it brings back lots of nostalgia and happiness. HAHA, I also always wanted to buy a Killua keychain but I realise Hunter x Hunter merchandise are really limited, is it just me? Does anyone else realise that too? Also of course, a lot of female characters in anime are heavily sexualised which weirds me out a lot cos when I watch the anime, they were just really innocent characters to me and it confuses me to see them in another light.

Ok then obviously we gotta check out the 7 storeys sex shop right, cos 1. it's 7 storeys, 2. it's a sex shop. Personally for me, I just really wanna know what do you actually have in there that can occupy 7 storeys. First thought when I went it, yeah pretty normal there's a lot of couples. But the higher level you go you just start to see really weird old men, like they can be at the DVD section and just watching free porn. LOL. Also, vibrators there were really cheap, it's like 500 yen, which is like $6? I got it for a few of my friends as souvenirs. C'mon, it's a better gift that mainstream perishables like Tokyo banana, I'm not sure why nobody got vibrators as gifts from Japan. #truth

Obviously gotta take some neoprints because there were so many arcade places right. Sam looks so freaking kawaii as a girl hahahahah.

Next stop, Harajuku baby. I really like the vibe of the whole place. It looks so suburban, countryside (not sure if it's the right choice of words but yeah that's all my limited vocabulary allows me to describe the place). Like I get why it's an attraction.

There was a line outside this store called Zaku Zaku, and Sam the foodie really wanted to try it so we joined the queue. We ordered one Croquant Chou stick and their soft serve ice cream in a cone. The chou stick basically just taste like cream puff to me, I think it tasted pretty normal but it really smells super good in the store. Sam loved it, I guess different people has different opinions. I'm glad I tried it tho. Ok then the ice cream cone, which tasted really good!!! Comparing it to cremia, cremia has better cone and eventho both were milk flavour the taste for some reason tasted different. I prefer cremia still, but I would say it's quite a close fight. If zaku has a better cone, it might be on par with cremia.

(I also find myself super psychotic to be able to remember the taste to such detail.)

We continued walking around the super crowded streets. There were many people queueing for crepes, but we weren't really feeling it. I different or good can crepe taste compared to the ones I've already tried, so we gave it a miss. Plus, we really already ate so much... LOL

For dinner, we headed to Shinjuku to have Ichiran. OK, everyone told me I have to try this and it's the best ramen ever. Tbh, I was quite doubtful cos as mentioned earlier in this post I hardly ever finish my bowl of ramen I usually just eat the meat and drink the soup, and then I can't finish it anymore. Sometimes I can't even finish the meat lol. So in my mind it's like how good can Ichiran be right. Ok then I tried Ichiran....GOD DAMN. Whattttt, I hate to say this and be like everyone else but Ichiran is really so good. I finished every thing, like I almost finished like all the soup too. Damn... guys it's really good no joke.

I was quite pleased we managed to explore so many places on this day. Also very thankful that Sam brings a backpack everyday so he always has water in his bag and he volunteers to keep my shopping loots in his bag. I know it's no big deal but little things like these makes me so happy and glad.


Our day 2 itinerary is something I've been looking forward to for the longest time...

Obviously you can tell how excited I was, and btw the weather was freezing.

The best part of this entire magical place was definitely the live show. Seriously initially I was skeptical, plus gotta pay extra money on top of the entry tickets. Like do you know how hard it will be to mimic how jumpy and excited and retarded Luffy is, or how nonchalent and cool and handsome Zoro is, or how skinny and booby and pretty Nami is? But god damn...the show was on point. Like I believe Sam can vouch that I was smiling to my fullest and I was so freaking happy. It felt like I was watching my favourite anime in real life. Everything was perfect, and even Ace showed up...and other characters like Law, Doflamingo, Smoker, Tashigi, etc. God, so amazing I felt like crying serious

The worst generation never looked better. 

After One Piece Tower, we headed to Ginza to shop a little bit before our dinner at 7pm in the area. I think we had almost two hours to shop, so definitely we gotta check out the 12 storeys high uniqlo here. And guess who spent over 200$ in the store LOL. And I know there's uniqlo in Singapore too, but duh 12 storeys definitely got more variety right. And I bought like 2 pants, and a men's jacket, and I think 6 blouses. So I thought the price was quite alright, we also didn't to get tax refund cos we the geniuses forgot our passports hahaha. But it's alright la, we bought it anyway. The shopping in the store was really intense tho, like my bag was so heavy, the fitting room queue was so long too and it was so crowded inside. And there's so many nice things omg hahaha. By the time we were done, we were ready to walk over for dinner which was quite a distance away.

I know it was only Day 2 then, but god I remember how achingly tired my legs were then. I just really wanted to sit down. Hahaha, we did take a little break on our way there to sit at Starbucks. Cos our pocket wifi for some reason wasn't working, so we needed wifi at Starbucks, and also I really needed to sit down omg.

We made a booking at Manten Sushi a month in advance. It's apparently a really famous omakase place, and the chef decides the menu, so we won't know what price it will actually amount to until the end of the meal. Exciting huh HAHA, also we were really willing to pay for food in this trip la. In case you're wondering, the bill amounted to about $60 per person, which I thought was quite alright. We had really premium food, that was completely different from what we had at the Tsukiji Fish Market. I think one of my favourite was the baby clam soup, so good. And in this trip is also the first time ever I tried sea urchin! Otherwise known as uni. I always see it everywhere and thought it looked interesting, but I could never imagine how it tasted and I tried it for the first time at the fish market, god I fell in love. It tasted so interesting and creamy and seafoodish. Idk how to describe it. We had it at Manten Sushi as well and they actually served us two variety. So both tasted different, one is supposed to be lighter and the other more fishy and heavier. Both Sam and I preferred different variety of it. Of all the sushi I ate, I never thought to fall in love with tuna! I have tried tuna in SG before, I mean it's nice but I was never really a fan. But damn the tuna sushi in Japan is so bomb I crave for it everyday, and it is by far my favourite dish at every single sushi place we eat at. It is so good! I'm so happy I discovered a new favourite food in Japan.

Following the very fulfilling dinner. we went to a convenience store to grab some snacks before resting in our apartment cos we have an early day tomorrow!


I was going crazy excited about every single mascot I see. When we saw Clarice (I googled this) there were just a small crowd so we obviously really wanted a photo. But according to the staff following the mascots around we gotta get the attention of her first. Lol, we tried so hard even though we were so near her.

Also, Ms Popular Minnie Mouse had a long ass queue just waiting to take a photo with her. Insane. We also saw Pluto, but there were too many people around him haha. 

DisneySea was so beautiful and the weather was amazing when I went. I don't think I even sweat a drop cos the weather was so cooling and it was still sunny. Just look at the sky gosh, it's gorgeous. And also I felt really awkward wearing shorts around like I don't see anyone else wearing shorts. 

We also took some rides, but they weren't like super intense or anything. Quite chill, and Japanese babies are so freaking cute. Also, it was during the trip that we realised we messed up our itinerary...

So we made plans to go to Hakone the next day and we booked the Hakone pass via klook and everything, and turns out we were referring to our old itinerary all along and today was supposed to be the day we went to Hakone, instead of DisneySea. So we already made bookings for our Romancecar and everything...and the Hakone pass was like $60. Oh gosh, so total we wasted about close to $100 each cos the bookings for the car was like $26 or something. I was so upset with myself cos I was the one who planned the itinerary...and made all the bookings and I messed up so bad by referring to the wrong one. Sam was so calm, omg. He made everything better. This happening would have completely ruined the DisneySea experience for me if it weren't for his positivity. I kept blaming myself and he was just so cool about it omg it puzzles me how he's not even a little bit frustrated too. Cos I would have been!!!

We decided to just enjoy DisneySea first, then head back to our apartment to sort it out. But we are still gonna go ahead with our Hakone itinerary, by just rebooking everything.

After DisneySea, we decided to have Kobe beef in Kanteki Shibuya, near our apartment. The first place we wanted to go to was closed, so we decided to go to this one. They had a set for 2, which includes innards of the Kobe beef. The total amount we spent about $150 for the set, and we got to try many different body parts, such as tongue, arms, thighs, stomach, liver and so on I can't remember everything. I think the whole experience was interesting, but I won't say each part tasted amazing. Some of them were so chewy I had to swallow them whole. But when we asked for more instructions on how to eat it, the staff helped us cook it and it tasted amazing. So maybe we were cooking it wrongly I'm not really sure. Hahaha, but I thought the price was quite worth it for the experience since Kobe beef is all so hyped up about.

Then we went back to our apartment after a convenience store run. I also gotta share with you my favourite food from the convenience store in Japan...

I eat the orange jelly almost every single day, it's like my daily dose of fruits intake. Hahaha, yes the jelly is sweet, but not too overpowering it's like a really light snack. And for the sushi roll, we eat it almost every single day for breakfast cos it tastes so good. We usually eat about 2 each, Sam sometimes an eat 5 or more in a day LOL. It's not really filling enough to replace a meal, but it's a nice snack that doesn't need much preparations. Really yummy too. And for the soup, I super love it cos they have actual clams inside, but the soup just tastes like miso soup, which is really bomb too haha. Not all convenience store sells this, I got it from ministop which is also nearby my apartment.

When we got back to our apartment, we found out that our Hakone pass was valid for 2 days...freaking awesome cos the thought of wasting a $60 ticket each was heartbreaking. So all I had to do was to rebook the Romancecar, which is about $26 each. I mean still money wasted, but a lot better than the initial predicament we were in so I was still very grateful about it.

Our Hakone day was the one that required the most time planning because we gotta know what time each buses or trains leave so I had to do a lot of research about it. Mount Fuji and Hakone are really close by and there are so many things to see there. My first itinerary when I planned it the day was jam packed, but then I took into consideration that I had to overestimate all our travelling time just to be sure, so I removed a lot of attractions from the itinerary. Our main attraction that I really wanted to see was definitely Owakudani, which is a volcanic valley that resulted from a volcanic eruption from the Hakone volcano 3000 years ago. The way to get there required us to take a Romancecar for an hour or so, then catch another train, then a cable car, then a ropeway LOL. Quite tedious, but it's so worth it.

The yellow smoke you see are actually sulfur emissions from the vents and on some occasions this place is not available to tourists because probably emissions were too high and too dangerous, so you gotta check the schedule properly. On this day we went there, it will actually be closed the next day for awhile or something. Their website has all the information so you can check it out there.

Then you gotta try the black eggs there presumably to increase your lifespan by 5 years, which will be countered off by the fact that you're gonna be inhaling sulfuric gases all the while you're there. I think Sam and I were there busy admiring the scenery and taking lots of photos. We were high up in the mountains so the winds were crazy strong and it was really cold. 

Behind us in this photo is Mount Fuji and Lash Ashinoko!!! It looks so amazing the view is so incredible and the entire journey here was so enjoyable. We took the ropeway again to another area and took a pirate ship across Lake Ashi. Gosh, the entire place is beautiful. I wish we had more time to explore other areas there, but that would make the itinerary way too packed but I really hope to come back to this place again, maybe get to stay in one of the ryokans and definitely visit Fuji-Q Highland. Or also go to the area where we get a closer view of Mount Fuji. They have two other beautiful lakes to explore there, I bet the view of Mount Fuji would be even more beautiful so I really hope I'll get the chance to come back again.

The sightseeing ship took us to Moto-Hakone, which Sam and I explored the place a little and also bought some souvenirs back. We then took the bus back to take our Romancecar to Shinjuku, then made our way to the apartment. 

Actually this day tho enjoyable, nearing the end of the day I fell sick and it was such an ordeal cos all the clinics closes at 7pm. So we had to go to the hospital, but the first one we went to they didn't understand us at all and apparently all the available doctors were occupied with one patient, so I had to take a cab from Shinjuku to another hospital in Shibuya. Mind you, by train it's only 2 stops but the cab fare was almost $50. LOL....crazy I know but I was suffering so bad I really couldn't possibly take the train and walk. Finally, we arrived at another hospital, and waited for three hours before we finally got my medications. The bills amounted to almost $300 btw, but thank god for travel insurance. Then back to my apartment for a good rest. 

This was quite a chill day for us cos the past few days has been a lot of walking and it definitely tired us out, plus eventho I was already feeling better than the night before I was still sick. But we thought we should really try udon in this trip! So we went to Kanda to try Kagawa Ichifuku, and they are famous for their curry udon. Damn I thoroughly enjoyed this meal. In fact, I was even really hungry before I got into the store cos I think we had cremia again before our meal, and I finished the entire bowl before Sam did. LOL omg I am salivating while reminiscing the taste of this curry udon. I ate really messily and that's the best way to eat anythng hahaha. Later on in this post I'm thinking of ranking all the food we had in this trip, we'll see.

Following that we explored Shibuya a little. I mean eventho we stayed in the area, each time we went back to the area it was always too late and everything was closed. So this time we went to check it out, and Sam being absolutely obsessed with Kobe beef got it on a stick. It costed about $20 just for that. God damn tho it tasted so great. The fats really melt in your mouth and tastes so good. Something that always lights Sam's face up is when he offers me food and I reject it LOL. He was even thinking of getting a second stick, but I gotta say it really tasted super good. Hahaha

This Kobe beef stick store (don't know the name) was just beside CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice, which is like a bubble tea store. The bubble tea store always has long queue, so this day we decided to just try it out, and the verdict: it sucks. But the long queue is probably cos this is the only store that sells bubble tea? It's not really big in Japan unlike Singapore where there's bubble tea stores everywhere. 

Following that we went back to our apartment to rest and wait till we have enough stomach space for dinner hahaha. I think we watched a lot of movies and animes every night before we sleep.

It was raining really heavily by the time we decided to head out for dinner so we just hobo-ed it out and went out in our joggers and jacket and slippers LOL. We decided to have dinner at Motomura that sells really famous beef cutlet. I think we queued for about 30 minutes, and the store is so small only 11 people can fit inside at one time. We're not very sure why such a famous store doesn't wanna expand but well...not our business. The meal was amazing tho, eventho I couldn't finish cos I was quite full, but it was good!!! I like how they have many options for the sources, and how we get the experience to cook it on our own too! The meal was really fulfilling, and after that we went back to our apartment to pack as we will be heading to Osaka the next morning!

We packed and left the apartment early in the morning as we had to check out at 11am. My luggage is super huge and we were famished because we cleared all our food in the fridge. So we stopped by this place called Osaka Osho. And the food was so bomb omgosh. HAHAHA I feel like I'm reacting the same way for every food I eat in Japan, but I'm not kidding this omurice is so bomb. The gyoza was just alright cos I thought it was abit too charred. But this entire meal is really value for money. Btw, we didn't intentionally order so much because the rice, gyoza and chicken is actually a set, and I think one set costed like $12? I thought this meal was freaking awesome, and I guess from the photos progressively you can slowly see me gaining weight as well HAHAH

We started using our JR Pass on this day, and took the bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka. When we finally arrived at Osaka, we accidentally took the wrong train that took us back to Kyoto LOL, silly. When we finally reached our apartment in Namba, it was about 6pm. Our apartment is about 7 minutes walk away from JR Namba station, and about 10 minutes walk from Dotonbori. The apartment was alright, I felt that it was a little far from the busy areas but it was still accessible and nice looking. Maybe after excessive walking the past few days I was just really tired to be walking so much hahaha. I dont know.

We checked out Dotonbori a little, obviously had to buy takoyaki, gyozas, 551 Horai's famous pork bun etc. We also bought the famous Rikuro's Chesecake, which I freaking love and was so tempted to buy it back to Singapore (we kept it for three days in our apartment and it still tasted freaking amazing). By the time we ate all these, I was also so freaking full. And Sam was still hungry and craving for Kobe beef omg. He is a pig. On the way back to our apartment, there's a lot of Kobe beef restaurant, so we went into one of it called Steak Sakura, cos I think they sold a small steak one for about $20. I was so full already but we had to order a steak each, but really Sam just ate both. I had a little, and yes it tasted really good. But I think the best Kobe meat we had so far is the one on a stick cos of all the fats hahaha.

The next day we woke up early (not really) for Universal Studios Japan! I know there definitely won't be enough time for us to go through everything inside but we are gonna try our best. Thankfully we are very good at entertaining ourselves like playing checkers against each other on our phones hahaha.

Lucky us, Woody and Winnie the woodpecker (I had to google this) were just walking around with no one hovering around them. Easy photo!

The entire walk through the forests towards the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with the music playing in the background was absolutely magical. And then when we finally arrived at the gate, it was even more magical. I was in complete awe and crazy excitement. 

I have been super excited to go to USJ because who else is a huge Harry Potter fan??? I grew up on this show, and I took all the pottermore quizzes and in case anyone is wondering the sorting hat decided my house is Ravenclaw, and Ollivander gave me unicorn hair wand, which means Voldemort is gonna kill me off like a piece of cake. And my petronas is a polar bear. Hahaha, I thought my petronas is not bad, I mean my friend's a salmon. HAHAHA I was actually quite upset that I got into Ravenclaw, cos it seemed quite boring? I'd rather be in Slytherin, I mean they value brotherhood, not too bad for me.

Anyway I got a keychain of all the four houses for my siblings and myself. Obviously my pampered baby brother got to pick first and he got gryffindor, xinlerk chose ravenclaw, xintien got hufflepuff and I got slytherin. Now the keychain hangs next to my chopper keychain with my new set of keys hehehe.

Obviously gotta try the butter beer which tasted surprisingly good!!! It tastes like buttery and sweet soda. We finished this little cup in less than 10 minutes while walking around LOL, it was really good and the buttery flavour was so distinct, yet not too overpowering. I thought the balance was great. Cos the only other butter beer kinda drink I tried was from Starbucks, and it was not great tbh.

I think we spent about 2 hours just in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter alone cos there's just too many things to see!!! Like I gotta see the Owl Post, the Ollivanders, Diagon Alley and duh the Hogwarts Castle!!! We took the castle ride which we had to wait for about 40 minutes, but the wait was so enjoyable because we got to explore the castle and there were so many things to see gosh!!! I can safely say I enjoyed waiting for the ride LOL. The ride was also absolutely terrifying cos imagine having the dragon so freaking close to your face and breathing out hot air, and the one that terrified me most was being so close to the huge ass spiders and I would have ran but I freaking strapped to the chair with no way of running out of my seat. I think most of the time my eyes were closed LOL, the dementors almost got me I swear.

That's all the photos I got in USJ cos I only care about Harry Potter. Hahaha, following that we went to explore other parts of USJ. But first, we were famished so we went to Amity Village (I think) to get food. Then headed to take the Jaws boat ride, which was awesome. I loved it! We also went to Jurassic World cos we're not leaving without taking the Flying Dinosaur ride. It was the first time I took a ride like that, cos we were facing down the entire time so it really felt like we were just free falling. And we couldn't really see where we're going so many turns and drops were really unexpected, also most of the time my hair was all over my face so HAHAHA.

We also took the Backdrop ride, which was absolutely freaking awesome. While queueing the ride actually closed for like 20 minutes, not sure why. But we continued queueing anyway, and many people in the queue left, which left us to wait for only 10 minutes before it was our turn cos the ride reopened hehe. The backdrop ride is really exciting cos obviously we don't know when we're gonna drop cos we were back facing it so it was super scary. At one point, the ride slowed down so we thought it's over but then it dropped LOL, that was really unexpected and scary but super fun we loved it!!!

We also queued really long for a minion ride that is super shitty and definitely not worth the wait, but well we took some really good rides so I guess it's alright.

Nearing the end of the day we were just kinda sick of waiting cos that was basically what we did the whole day, but I would say that USJ was definitely a lot more exciting than DisneySea. We went back to Osaka afterwards, where we had Ichiran for dinner. It was the perfect way to end the day, cos there was barely any queue for Ichiran and we definitely finished every single strand of ramen. LOL so good.

When we got back to our apartment we watched a movie before sleeping cos our next day is pretty chill.

Not sure what are all these buildings but it looked nice so we took a photo hahaha. Where the deers???

There are the deers...they are everywhere. And whenever I see them on my friend's instagrams they always looked so cute and adorable, but I never knew they were so smelly and that it was a struggle to not step on shit. I was so proud that I made it through the entire day without stepping on even a little bit of poo, but I really almost did. I swear to you, poo were everywhere. And when you walk past all these deers, you can sometimes see them pooping while walking. I mean I get it duh they're free roaming animals and you're in their home, but I just didn't expect this whenever I see people's cute instagram photos like why did no one talk about this? LOL it was just kinda unexpected to me.

The deers were alright, we did buy food to feed them but I got over their cuteness really quickly. I would say Mount Wakakusa was the real highlight of Nara Park. The view was absolutely breathtaking and the walk up was really beautiful (and tiring duh, but not very difficult so it was alright for me to wear platforms). We took our time to go up the hill and rested to play checkers for awhile at one of the resting points LOL, then when we made our way down we took another route to see another side of the Mountain. I would say this hike was really worth it, and yes even on the hills there were deers and LOTS of deer shit. ugh super annoying

We made our way back to Namba, Dotonbori for dinner. While waiting in this long ass line for sushi, we bought the street stall scallops (bomb) to snack on cos we were so hungry. AND THIS IS THE WORST SUSHI EVER I don't understand the queue outside... I was so mad that I even had to pay $20 for such trash food. Singapore's standing sushi bar tastes way better than this. Sam and I were really quite upset, and I'm not sure if we're the only ones to feel this way cos the business at this place was booming. 

We left after having like 5 sushis, and went to have okonomiyaki instead. 

We had the set meal for 2 at Chibo in Dotonbori. The set was quite worth it I think it was $20-$30 for like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, tempura and meat on sticks. I can't really remember. I thought the food was quite good but unfortunately we didn't finish it, I think the bad sushi killed our appetite. But we still gotta get some egg tarts from Lord Stow's Bakery cos it's so freaking yummy, and some takoyaki hehe. (and we wonder why we gained weight after Japan lol)

It was quite a chill night for us just bingeing on food and watching Stephen Chow's movies. 

The next day was pretty chill for us too cos obviously we did so many things this trip and walked a lot, and definitely need a day of rest. But for dinner we decided to go out to get some sushi to make up for the disappointing sushi we had the previous day!

We did our research and decided to go to Junchan sushi, and damn. We were so satisfied. The sushi was amazing and we really wanted to come back here again but we also wanted to try other new food yknow. Damn, but this is great. And really worth the price too.

The next day we planned to head to Kyoto (for the second time, cos the first time we took the wrong train by accident which landed us in Kyoto for the first time). The schedule for the day is quite chill too cos all these places are open 24 hours. We just gotta be there in the day to catch the light so we get some good photos. Hahaha

It was not easy trying to get a photo cos there were so many people. And yeah the scenery is great but pretty straight forward. It was overall just a very chill day for us. We wish we got to explore more areas or food in Kyoto though. Maybe we'll go back again someday!

The left rice cake was not very impressive. It's just plain rice cake with sweet sauce. But the one on the right was really yummy!!! 

We made our way back to Dotonbori later on and decided to try other food for dinner.

We literally walked around the area for about 40 minutes and eventually decided to try another ramen other than Ichiran. So we had Kamukura, which is quite a popular ramen place as well. Quite value for money cos the portion was huge and it has set meals too. I had more than half my bowl leftovers and gave most of my meat to Sam cos the portion was really so big. And it tasted really different compared to other ramens I've tried hahaha. I like it! The gyoza was alright. I think the famous Osaka Osho gyoza was better, or even 551 Horai was better. Those were my most favourite gyozas in Japan that I've tried so far.

We went back to our apartment to pack up our bags and we had to check out at 11am, and get to Tokyo in time for our flight at 5pm. So our schedule was quite packed, we didn't have time to walk around for one last meal or anything we just settled everything at the airport.

I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, we really got to see so many places, try so many food and also had so much fun. We also rested a lot so the whole trip was very balanced and not too over-tiring. I planned most of the itinerary, and Sam has been to most of the places before and he was still willing to go to the places a second time with me cos he felt that it will be a different experience with me hehe. He is also such an angel, I planned the itinerary and he is responsible for getting us there cos I'm a direction idiot.

We are currently on an intense weight loss regime to see who can attain our goal weight earlier hahaha. 

Ok now here's my top 5 ranking for the meals I've tried in Japan so far (starting from the best):
  1. Omakase @ Manten Sushi
  2. Omakase @ Tsukuji Fish Market
  3. Ichiran
  4. Curry Udon @ Kagawa Ichifuku
  5. Motomura Beef Cutlet
And here's my top 5 street food/snacks:
  1. Kobe beef on stick
  2. Cremia
  3. Rikuro's Cheesecake
  4. Gyozas from Osaka Osho/551 Horai
  5. Tarami Orange Jelly
Sam’s ranking for meals
  1. Omasake @ Manten Sushi
  2. Omasake @ Tsukiji Fish Market
  3. Ichiran
  4. Motomura Beef Cutlet
  5. Curry udon
Sam’s rankings for snacks/steeet food:
  1. Beef on stick
  2. Cremia
  3. Luke lobster
  4. Cheese cake 
  5. Takoyaki/gyoza 551
That's all from me. Bye!

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