A day trip to Miyajima

Hello everyone! I’m back from my summer vacation and I’m kinda suffering the post-vacation syndrome. While we were back in Y-chan’s grandma place, we don’t need to worry on what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner and we can have air-conditioner switched on while we sleep. These are almost impossible when we’re back in our own apartment. Among these, we’re so glad that grandma looks much better compared to the last visit in May last year. 😀

So anyway, we have to go Hiroshima for a night’s stay because Y-chan has to attend a friend’s wedding and I’m left alone (shopping). Took a local train from Yamaguchi to Hiroshima and that takes about 3 hours to reach. There was another choice which is to take the Shinkansen (about an hour journey), but I wanted to see the scenery of Inland Sea (瀬戸内海). So yeah, local train. 😐 On the second day, we had okonomiyaki for lunch at Hiroshima station before we head off to Miyajima. It’s our first time as a couple to visit Miyajima because the first time we went there together was with my exchange group.

Alrightsssss! Photos time!

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The city tram – Hiroden (Hiroshima Dentetsu).moneychanging

Coins changing machine/Paspy charging machine – If you don’t own a Paspy IC card, you’ll have to pay in cash. What happens if you don’t have the exact coins to pay for your fare? Use this machine. 🙂 It’ll change your 500yen coin to a few 100yen coins, 50yen coins and 10yen coins.

And oh! My dear Singaporeans, if you’re paying your fare trip in cash, it’s unlike Singapore where you have to pay first before boarding. You’ll pay when you alight at your stop. 😀okonomiyakiteppan

Okonomiyaki stall in Hiroshima station. The one I went to is Icchan (いっちゃん).

I had my first Hiroshima Okonomiyaki when I was in Secondary school? There was this stall at B2 of Takashimaya food hall near the escalator (it’s now gone because the owner went back to Hiroshima). And from then on, I’m in love with it. 😀 negiokonomiyaki

Y-chan’s Negi Okonomiyaki soba version (Okonomiyaki topped with lots of spring onions), 900yen.cheeseudonokonomiyaki

This was mine. Cheese Okonomiyaki udon version (half-size), 900yen. You may choose between soba or udon, and I chose udon. Then, if you have a small appetite (like me), you can order half-size. BUT, the price would be the same as a normal sized one. orzshikacouple

These furry messengers from heaven welcomed us after we alighted the cruiser. heartbutt

shaped butt. 😀OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Asked a guy to help us take a photo of the gigantic torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine 厳島神社 (and got photobombed by a tourist behind, that explains the awfully cropped photo). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Inside Itsukushima Shrine and it was at low-tide, we could see lots of sea creatures crawling out from the bed. miyajimacoffee

Had a rest at Miyajima Itsuki Coffee (伊都岐珈琲) because the weather was hot & humid. Iced Americano at 400yen was quite a reasonable price considering it to be a touristy place. Itsuki Coffee has good ratings on TripAdvisor too, so if you’re in Hiroshima, do give it a visit.cafe

My new summer hat that I bought while shopping alone the day before. 😀miyajimagurume

Spent quite a lot on omiyage (souvenirs) and the above street food. 😉

1. Anago Chikuwa あなご竹輪 (served pipping hot!)

2. Yaki Kaki 焼き牡蠣 (grilled oysters – Hiroshima is famous for its oysters production and you need to give it a try unless you have allergies. There are some seasonings available on the table so feel free to add some.)

3. Age-manju 揚げまんじゅう (Deep-fried momiji manju)

4. Kaki kare pan 牡蠣カレーパン (I LOVE THIS! There are 2 big juicy oysters inside the deep fried curry bread.)babyshikaWhile we were heading back to the dock, this little bambi kinda sent us off. LOVE!!♥♥♥

Hiroshima holds a big big place in my heart because it was my first overseas trip (please excuse Malaysia) and I met my super nice host family and friends there (not knowing that one of them will be my future-husband).

I seldom hear of Singaporeans including Hiroshima in their itinerary which is kind of sad. 😦 No need to even mention Y-chan’s hometown, Yamaguchi. ._.

While on our way back on the local train, there was a group of ladies in their late 20s (perhaps?) who were talking so loudly that their conversations woke me up from my nap (I suspect I’m having motion sickness). I was so pissed about it that I said out to Y-chan in a tone loud enough for them to hear ‘This is so much noisier than the aeroplane we took!’ Straight after I said that, I went back to nap and woke up again to find out that they had shifted their seats away from us. LOL.

*I’m evil* 😉

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Bentos for June

Hello! 🙂 I realised that I haven’t do a post on June’s bento and it’s already mid-July! *shrieks!!!!* And in a few days time, I’ll be back in Y-chan’s hometown for holidays. 😀

(If you are interested in May’s bento.)

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I’m asked by friends on how I managed to whip up the bento every morning. Like do I wake up at unearthly hour to prepare? The answer is No. 😉

For the side dishes, I’ve mentioned in May’s post that I’ll cook a batch of them and store them in clean air-tight containers. It can last for about 2-3 days so once it’s emptied, I’ll cook additional side dishes. 😀

For the main, I’ll marinate the meat in small ziplock bag the night before and just sauté it in the morning. (Simple and time-saving!) Or sometimes, I’ll cook extra for dinner and save a portion for bento use. (More time-saving!!) 🙂

Some tips on hygiene practices in bento packing.

  • Always allow your food to cool down before covering the lid.
  • Hard-boiled eggs – It’s advisable to cook your eggs well if you’re in hot climates (summer or Singapore) because bacteria contamination might just happen without you knowing. (I was questioned by Y-chan when I placed runny egg yolk in his bento. 😐 )
  • Adding Umeboshi (pickled plum) in your bento – It acts as an edible antibacterial for your bento and aids in digestion. (That’s why bentos are always packed with an umeboshi! 😉 )

I hope these tips are helpful to you.

July’s bento post will be a short one since we’ll be away for 1 whole week. 😀 I promise to do the savory version of tamagoyaki when I’m back! Till then! ♥♥

Bentos for May

Hello everyone! 🙂 It’s been a long time since my last post. I’m may be inactive here but my Instagram account’s definitely active. 😉 Check there for more updates.

After the start of making Onigirazu (read if you haven’t!) lunchbox a.k.a bento for Y-chan in March, I’ve decided to challenge myself to prepare a ‘real’ bento for him instead. 🙂

We visited Tokyu Hands to get the essentials such as the bento box, a pair of chopsticks that’s reusable (being eco-friendly) and a pair of silicon cups. 😀 Tokyu Hands have a huge range of bento boxes, for kids, ladies and large-appetite users. If you are visiting Japan, please do drop by this store. There’s a huge one in Shinjuku and you might spend 1-full day there!

We’ve gotten a 630ml bento box which is considered small for a full-grown male adult. The reason why we’ve gotten that size was because I’m putting Y-chan on a diet (and he claims that he have a small appetite lol). The size of the bento is somehow equals to the amount of kilo-calories intake. So Y-chan literally ‘survives’ on a 630kcal diet for lunch.

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You might realised that there are repeated side dishes in the bentos. That’s because I usually cook a batch of it, store in clean air-tight container and pack it in the silicon cups every morning. Take the above collage for example, I’ve made a batch of kinpira (stir-fry & simmered burdock & carrot) and hijiki (black looking seaweed but is filled with lots of minerals) dishes, and they’re making ‘appearance’ in most of the days’ bento.

It’s important to plan ahead for the week’s bento menu so that you won’t spend 1-2 hours in the kitchen battling on what to pack for your bento. Usually I’ll need only 20mins to pack every thing in the bento including cooking the main item. 🙂

Another point to take note while preparing for your bento is the colors. There was a pro teaching on how to make bento look appetizing and colorful with just the 5 basic colors – White, Green, Yellow, Red and Black/Brown. If you have noticed, some of my bentos lacked the basic colors (especially red) and it seems so dull right? Get it? 😉

One last important point to take note is to allow your pipping hot rice and main item to cool down before covering the lids. If you do not do this step, the steam will condense and form water droplets, then dripped back into your food. Not only will it be watery, it’ll also have a weird smell when you open the lid for your lunch. 😐 *how unappetizing right?*

I’m monitoring Y-chan’s weight and by the end of May, he managed to lose 1kg! I don’t know if it’s the bento’s that’s working but it’s a piece of good news to me!

P/s: I don’t do kyara-ben (character bento) like what others are doing because……….. I think the food will taste………….. 😐 and kinda waste of time.

I Finally Made it! (:

Woopie whoops.. Realised I haven’t been updating again as usual.

I’ve actually drafted up a post but decided not to publish it and have clicked the ‘delete’ button. So what have I been up to?

I had my visa renewed last month and the immigration office decided to give me a 3 years stay. 😀 When I received the card over the counter from the staff, I was soooo happy because this means that I don’t need to do the application paperwork every year (and mind you, the application fee is 4,000yen each).

And in mid March, I received a piece of good news via the family group chat. My brother has officially become a father! I’m so eager to meet my little baby niece but I think the earliest I can meet her would be in the second half of the year. 😦 For now, I can only ‘see’ her via photos posted on FB. *sighs*

Oh.. Oh OH!

After 10++ years, I’ve decided to start learning on how to ride a bicycle. Yes, your eyes are not playing tricks with you. I really don’t know how to ride a bicycle (okay, 2 wheeled bicycle) for all my life until 2 days back.

Family and friends around me all knows how to ride. *So ashamed of myself* 😐

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This was me at around 9 ~ 10 years old? *See those training wheels still attached???* 

And the last ‘touch’ with bicycle was 5 years back when my group of friends decided to do a cycling trip. I had to get one of them to ‘carry’ me on the 2-seater bicycle. 😐 😐

Then, moving over to Japan. I have been told endless times by Y-chan that learning how to ride a bicycle is important in Japan. Not all places in Japan are easily accessible unlike Singapore. (And I believe we, Singaporeans are too pampered in some way.) I do want to learn how to ride and Y-chan is eager to coach me. The only red-light was my motivation. I kept saying Y-chan’s bicycle was too high, the weather’s too hot (during summer) and too cold to learn. I just kept procrastinating.

This year, my resolution was to give everything a try and start something new. So I told myself I need to settle this ‘problem’ and went online to order a foldable bicycle. 🙂

TOPONE(トップワン)20インチ折りたたみ自転車シマノ6段変速ギア搭載 カゴ標準装備 KGK206-09-BK ブラック

Over the weekend, we went to the nearest park to practice. I felt so nervous because there was a group of kids playing at the slides and I’m there learning to how ride a bicycle. *face palms* 

We went to another nearby park because Y-chan’s afraid I might lose control and knock down the kids. 😐 So I pedalled with Y-chan helping me to balance at the back, but after a few seconds, I realised I’m all alone. Pedaling and balancing the bicycle all by myself. :O

Seriously, I didn’t believe it at all because I thought it must be the help Y-chan gave. So I tried again and….. I managed to do it all by myself. 😀

HOW CAN I NOT TRY TO LEARN HOW TO CYCLE WHEN I WAS A CHILD? *slaps face*

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This was my happy face when I could ride for the first time. 😀

Y-chan was apparently stunned that I managed to cycle within 2 hours and he sat at the bench staring blank. LOL

I guess I will need more practices before I can debut on the road. Can’t wait for the day to debut so that I can visit the cafe I’ve always wanted to visit. 😉

Recipe: ONIGIRAZU

One of the food trends in Japan right now is this – Onigirazu (おにぎらず).

I first came across this food term, Onigirazu on Instagram and have always wanted to try making it. Then. Y-chan asked why not I go ahead and make onigirazu for him as his lunch because he’s sick and tired of eating conbini food. I said OK and went to search the net for instructions and even head to the bookstore to scoop some infos. 😉

Onigiri – Rice ball gripped into triangle shape. 「おにぎり」の絵文字

Onigirazu – Rice ball that doesn’t need to be shaped.

So, shall we start? 🙂

Click to start tutorial! 🙂