Summer Vacation 2014

Hellos! It’s been such a long break since my last post and yes, I’m doing fine. 🙂

In Japan, most working adults here get to have summer leaves (in addition to their annual leaves entitlement), average around 3 days?

During summer season, many travel agencies in Japan will release lots and lots of summer campaign to attract customers into buying their travel packages. Last year, we went to Nagoya and Mie for holidays, and it was the first time we took part in HIS bus tour. Since their package was reasonably priced and saves us the fuss in travelling around under the hot sun, we decided to join a bus tour again this year. 😀

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My First BBQ in Japan (Part 2 of 2)

Hello everyone! I think I’ve vanished from this space for a while. I blame it on TBS (one of the free-to-view TV channels in Japan). Why? Because they re-aired 2 series of past dramas in the afternoon consecutively! I’m so sucked into the drama that I’ve forgotten to write my part 2 of my BBQ trip. (FYI, the 2 series of dramas I’ve watched were 魔王 and パパドル and today is Rookies.)

My previous post can be found here. 😀

So we slept at around 3+am but woke up at 7am. (crazy right?) After we finished our make-up and packing, we headed to the men’s cottage and were shocked at the scene.

YAKINIKU at 8.30am. (-__- || )

Okay, there’s a reason behind it. As there’s leftover meat from the BBQ the night before, and it’s quite risky to bring the raw meat back to our home since it will spoil under the heat. Mami-chan and I joined in this ‘morning party’ by having cup noodles. 😀

M-chan and my chicken noodles (at the bottom)

M-chan and my chicken noodles (at the bottom)

After eating, we did the last clean up of the cottage and check-out! Super in love with this place and if there’s another chance to go again, I’ll go without any complaints. 🙂

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We went to some sight-seeing after that since it was quite sunny compared to the day before. The first place we went to was Shiobara Onsen Momijidani bridge (塩原温泉 もみじ谷大吊橋). Y-chan totally freaked out at the length of the bridge (320m) and face changed when he step foot on it. The bridge swing the most when the whole group was at the middle of it. After reaching the other end of the bridge, took some photos and the organizer mentioned that we shall go to another sight-seeing spot. (I LOL-ed because Y-chan thought this nightmare was over but he forgotten there’s a return-route back to the parking area.) The next sight-seeing spot was quite deep inside the mountain and I almost gave up walking because I was wearing heeled sandals.

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We had lunch at Gusto (family restaruant) before heading towards the highway. Oh!! By the way, Nasu-Shiobara has this special way of ‘preserving’ nature. The signboards are all in white & brown colors. It’s such a unique scene but I didn’t managed to snap some of it! *shocked at myself* So I’ve searched google to compile it. 😀

Apparently, these white & brown signboards can also be spotted at Kyoto city. If you have the chance to go to Nasu Shiobara or Kyoto for holidays, try spotting it! 🙂

I’ll be sharing recipe in my next post! It’s been a long time since I wrote one. 😀

My first BBQ in Japan (Part 1 of 2)

Hello! About 2 weeks ago, I went to Nasu-kougen (那須高原) with Y-chan and his colleagues. Nasu-kougen is located in Tochigi Prefecture, about 2 – 3 hours drive from Saitama Prefecture.

We left house early in the morning to meet up with the rest of the group at one of the train station in Saitama Pref. Y-chan was super tensed since the moment we met up because he’s so afraid I’ll speak the wrong stuff in front of his seniors and bosses. <inserts *troll-face>

Our first stop-over was at Sano Service Area (佐野 S.A). The weather was so hot and sunny that I was sweating the moment I stepped out of the car. Since Tochigi Pref. is famous for Tochiotome (とちおとめ苺), a strawberry ‘brand’, I went to get a Tochiotome soft serve for myself. It was super good! 😀

Then we headed to michi no eki (道の駅) for lunch. Service area is an area which is located near to the exit of an expressway whereas michi no eki is a rest area located in normal road. The place where we had our soba lunch was not fantastic at all. I ordered cold soba with mountain vegetables but the tsuyu (sauce) was soooooo salty that I think my tastebuds went crazy after that.

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ランチは蕎麦屋。had #soba lunch (: #そば

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As we still have extra time before checking-in the cottage, the organizer of this trip brought us to one of the leisure place in Nasu-kougen – Minamigaoka pasture (南が丘牧場). You can ride a horse, rent a rabbits, feed sheeps and also see mini piglets roaming in their own area. There also restaurants and fishing area within the place. To be honest, I didn’t enjoyed it much because I wanted to visit alpaca which is somewhere near that area too. (T_T)

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So after visiting the ‘pasture’, the whole group went to a super big supermarket to get food and drinks for that night’s BBQ. I think we bought near to 3.5 baskets full of alcohols and 2 baskets full of food. Canned beers and alcoholic drinks in Japan is cheaper as compared to the price you find in Singapore (Meidi-ya or Isetan).

The 13 of us lugged all the stuff from the supermarket to the cars and set off to the log cottage! The organizer had booked 2 cottages, 1 big (for men)  and 1 small (for ladies) from Finlandia (Nasu). It’s so pretty and the image I had was so different can! There’s kitchen, bathroom, tv, beddings, pots & pans, plates and even air purifier. What’s best is that the BBQ pit is just right next to the cottage (covered!).

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We started our BBQ at 6pm because it has started to drizzle. From cut vegetables to sliced pork belly to beef tongue, we ended the BBQ with yakisoba (焼きそば) – stir-fried noodles to eat inside the cottage. Right after we moved back into the cottage, the rain just went crazy. (T_T) The men continued drinking while I already on the verge of giving up.

The 3 of us took turns to go back to the ladies’ cottage to take a shower. It’s so good because the bathroom is sooooo clean! No need to bring any amenities because it’s already prepared by the person-in-charged. We slept only at 3+am in the morning because we kept on talking and trying to know each other. 😀

I’ll continue the rest in the next post because I think this post is getting quite long. 😀