Sakura Viewing 2013 (Part 2)

Continuation from my previous post.

Y-chan and I went for our sakura viewing 2 days straight (Sunday & Monday) as the sakura petals will be blown off by the wind easily once they reached full bloom. Another reason was Y-chan took leave on Monday to accompany me to the local municipal office to complete my foreigner registration.

The local municipal office was located near Ageo station and the recommended sakura viewing spot was somewhere 2.6 km away from it. So we decided to stroll there while burning the calories. Ten minutes after we started off from the office, we came across this place that stopped our feet. The sakura trees were already in full bloom so I dragged Y-chan to go and explore that place with me.

We took some photos and rushed off to the initial sakura viewing spot. It took us around 45 minutes on foot to reach the entrance. As it was an incline slope up to the viewing spot, we saw many sakura trees lined up both sidewalks of the road as we moved up. We were so amazed by what we saw when we finally reached the viewing spot. Very PINK! As we walked through the sakura trees to an open area, there were some food stalls selling the usual local food like Okonomiyaki, saute squid (焼きイカ – yaki-ika) and cotton candy. The sponsors were kind enough to rent the mats for free. So we bought some food and drinks to sit down and enjoy the sakura while eating. 😀 😀 Okay, and this is what the Japanese says ‘Hanami’ (花見). We wanted to stay a little longer but the wind was so strong and cold that we left before the sunset. 😦

This is the route that we have walked and took us around 1 hour. We treated it as an exercise (long distance walking) as walking helps to burn calories too and we have started this since last year.

 

Recently, the weather in Japan was quite bizarre! Just over the weekend (20th & 21st April), the temperature dropped to less than 11 deg Celsius in my area. Places like Nagano Pref., Ishikawa Pref. and Hokkaido Pref. even started snowing. Unbelievable but it’s true because my friend living in Nagano updated her facebook about this yesterday. 😛

Hope you like my updates and do drop me comments for improvements! 😀 😀

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Sakura viewing 2013 (Part 1)

YAY! Going to start writing on my first sakura viewing of my life till date. I’ve decided to separate it into 2 posts because I’ve went to 2.5 sakura viewing spots (the 0.5 was actually a spot we found incidentally).

The first place we went to was Omiya Park (大宮公園) because this place was already in full bloom and it’s about 30 minutes (train ride + walking distance) away from our apartment. This park is quite huge as it has around 1000 sakura trees (of 4 different species) and a big pond. It’s located beside Hikawa shrine (氷川神社), the shrine which Y-chan and I went in January for our first temple visit of the year (初詣). On the way to the temple, we popped by this very very old dango (団子) store and we each ate 1 stick. *the photo I posted in the previous post*

It’s my first time seeing sakura and I’ve told myself to catch the falling petals when there’s any chance! The weather was gloomy as it was about to rain and the air was so cold! There’s many people in groups, sitting down under the sakura trees and enjoying the sakura while eating & drinking. Y-chan and I just walked around the park to see the pretty sakura. Then we settled down at a bench to have some food to warm our tummies. 😀 We had Takoyaki which was so huge that the octopus size inside was around 2~3 cm. :O Definitely cannot find this in Singapore!!

In Japan, when there’s special events going on (e.g. sakura season and summer festival), temporary food stalls will set-up around that area. It’s somehow like our pasar malam but they don’t have stalls that sell clothes, auction and smartphone cases. The most common food stalls are Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き), Takoyaki (たこ焼き), Yakisoba (焼きそば), Potato with butter (じゃがバター) and Mini sponge cake balls with fillings (ベビーカステラ). The recent trend I found recently was the increase of kebab stalls. It could be due to this comedian (デニス- 植野さん) who started this trend. 😉

He’s a mixed of Brazilian and Japanese and has this gag of saying ‘はい、ケバブ’ (meaning ‘Ok, kebab’). His appearance makes him look like he sells kebab in one of the stalls in Japan. 🙂

Sorry for off-tracking from the Sakura post.. and I will do the part 2 soon! It’s the place where I took the photo for my banner! 😀

a little less than 2 weeks

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Hello, I’ve finally settled down in Japan. When I say ‘settled’, I meant paperwork (i.e. foreigner registration). We planned to complete it ASAP (i.e. the first working day after I reached Japan) so that it won’t bother us for at least 9-10 months later.

Upon touching down in Narita Airport, I managed to cut other tourists’ queue to the particular entry lane for the officer to issue me my residence card. It’s function is somehow like our Singapore I.C. Got face, name, gender, home address and information such as your visa status. Thank god for free wi-fi, I managed to check which train to take and to inform my husband (Y-chan) what time I’ll reach the meeting place. Took a 1 hour plus train ride from Narita Airport to Nippori (that’s like taking train from Pasir Ris to Joo Koon) where that’s the station I’m meeting Y-chan.

The scenery on the train ride was realllllyyyyyy amazing! Actually it begins from the moment the plane touched down because I saw many many sakura trees everywhere in full bloom! I was so 感動 because it’s my first time seeing sakura. Like PINK trees everywhere.. 😀 Too pretty!!

Went straight for dinner after meeting my husband. My request to have the most awesomely deliciously meaty つけめん (tsukemen) at one of the train station. Will do a recommendation on this shop!

Then we decided to go sakura viewing on the following day at 大宮公園 (Omiya park). So excited about it! 😀 😀 😀

On Monday, the very nice Y-chan took 1 day leave to accompany me to our city’s municipal office (市役所 shiyakusho) to complete the foreigner registration. I am thankful that my city’s municipal office is quite big unlike my husband’s previous’ one. I believed it’s because of the number of foreigners staying in this city, they handled my registration without asking much questions.

After the registration, we went for our sakura viewing part 2 for the year. Another amazing sight in my whole life. *woohoo*

Then after all these pretty and exciting days, my life went back to a normal housewife. Do household chores and cooking and….. watch TV. :p I will try to do more updates of anything I can think of.. 😀