Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lucky fortunes, off to Yokohama! ♡

The first (I visited 8 ^.^) temple I went to in Kansai was Kiyomizu-dera(清水寺) in Kyoto. If you could only visit one shrine/temple in Kyoto, I highly recommend Kiyomizu-dera! It might be a rather arduous 1.5km uphill trek, but it's totally worth it 

The structure is beautiful, and it has a spacious veranda with a gorgeous view of the surrounding nature. It's especially exquisite during autumn and spring, where there is autumn foliage and sakura blossoms to see respectively ♡

Anyway, I got an omikuji (paper fortune), and it turned out to be 大吉(great luck/fortune)! And what great luck it has brought me. Recently found out that I won a contest that I had entered early last month, so I'll be going to Yokohama on Wednesday! ♥  I never fathomed that I could actually win, because I knew so many people and friends who entered. Thank you heavens and stars for shining favorably on me! 神様、ありがとう!

I went to the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum 5 years ago, but didn't get the chance to visit the city of Yokohama itself. My Japanese friends always tell me about the gorgeous night view and beautiful bay, and now I have a chance to see it for myself! Looking forward to an amazing time in another amazing city in my absolute favorite country to visit, Japan~! ♡

A big thank you to the organizers Campus Magazine, Yokohama Convention and Tourism Bureau, Singapore Airlines and Pan Pacific Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Juchheim Kobe Motomachi ♡

Founded by Karl Juchheim in 1909, Juchheim is famous in Japan for their baumkuchen (literally tree cake in German :P). Layers of batter are poured over each other, making a series of rings when you cut them, like the rings in tree trunks!

When I went to Kobe, I just had to visit their cafe,
because there are so many delicious things to try!

Other than tea-time offerings, the store also serves pasta and salad for lunch.

A variety of some of the other goodies they sell: cookies and jelly.

The dining area is on the upper level, and these were models placed at the level between stair flights.
Trying to tempt you on your way up!
Baumkuchen with fresh cream, strawberry shortcake, parfait.

Kobe Motomachi store special strawberry shortcake!
It looked delicious, I was having a really tough time deciding between this and the one I eventually ordered.

Schwarzwilder Kirsh Parfait.
This looked good too, with a generous dollop of ice cream and mix of berries!

I eventually ordered a strawberry baumkuchen with ice cream tea set~

In addition to having them on top, the baumkuchen has strawberry inside it too!
Strawberries are my favorite fruit

Left to right: Sahnetorte, fruit roll, choco cake.

German cheesecake. It's different from regular cheesecake!
My German teacher tried to explain how, but I guess you have to try it yourself to understand!

Limited to the Kobe Motomachi store, Apple Baumkuchen!
This has apple in the center, with layers of baumkuchen around it, forming a ball shape.

Juchheim is available in Singapore too,
but just the baumkuchen and some cookies ^^
No pretty cafes or cakes like in Japan!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Kakigori and other matsuri food!

Summer is a great season for matsuri (festivals); where streets are lined with temporary stalls (yatai) selling delicious matsuri food! There are also stalls for games and festival goods like masks and balloons.

One summer bestseller is kakigoori (shaved ice), which is a refreshing way to combat the summer heat. It comes in a variety of colorful flavors, though staples usually include melon (green), strawberry (pink), cola (brown), blue hawaii (blue), mikan (orange).

My favorite's the cola flavor!

Karaage (fried chicken)
Tasty but not the best on a hot summer evening!

Every summer matsuri needs beer.
The legal age for alcohol consumption in Japan is 20!

Not taken in Japan but they sold Kirin beer at the Natsumatsuri (summer festival) here recently.

Dango! (mochi dumpling balls)
This is a type of dessert, made of sticky rice, similar to mochi.
This is the dango that "Hana Yori Dango" refers to!

Takoyaki (octopus balls)

Okonomiyaki! one of my perennial favorites
This is a savory pancake made mostly of cabbage, along with flour, egg and dashi.
It can have various fillings like octopus, meat, seafood, etc, whatever you like.
Okonomi means the "what you like". Yaki means "grilled".

Another perennial favorite, ikayaki (grilled squid)!
Self-explanatory, squid (and other cephalopods ie cuttlefish/octopus) is one of my favorite foods!

Yakitori (grilled chicken)
Usually comes in shio (salt) and tare (soy) sauces.
I prefer the tare one!

Yakisoba (grilled/fried noodles)

Hmm, only now do I realize that most matsuri food is grilled!
I guess it's for the ease of cooking on the spot ^^

Chocolate-coated bananas.
I've never actually tried them, but they seem to be well-loved.

A newly discovered favorite, nikumaki (meatroll)!!
This is basically rice wrapped in a thin layer of meat.
There can be toppings like cheese and sauces too.
The meat is sooo juicy, and the rice inside is delectably soft!
But it's quite pricey at 400yen per piece!

Candied apples and other sweet goodies.

Another matsuri staple, kingyo-sukuu (goldfish scooping).
I always feel sad for the little goldfish so I've never tried it.

Doing my friend's hair.
I now have a cordless curling iron (it's pink!) that's super convenient for bringing around~
I really like this yukata, it's black-based but all the little balls are so colorful.
And the bright obi gives a striking contrast :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lash Sightings in Kansai

Full display of Diamond Lash lashes at SBY in Shibuya 109 Abeno.
On top of the display are the top 3 best-selling types for each series.

Little Wink Series (green): [1] Muse [2] Wink [3] Honey
1st Series (dark pink): [1] Dolly [2] Fairy [3] Lovely
Volume Series (blue): [1] Celeb [2] Rich [3] Cool
Pure Series (light pink): [1] Girly [2] Beauty [3] Baby
Ready Glamorous Series (purple): [1] Cat's [2] Natural [3] Glamorous

Heavy Rotation lashes spotted at Pink latte, the colorful-ness attracted me!
01Doll, 02Rich, 03Natural, 04Baby, 05Pop, 06Pure

pa lashes.
Interesting to see as pa is a brand known for producing nail goods (polishes, stickers, stones, etc)

Nature is Lovely lashes, produced by Donki.
398yen for pack of 3 pairs, 148yen for single pair.
Don't know if they permanently cut prices or if it's a temporary promotion,
it used to be 598yen for 3pairs and 198yen for 1pair.

ageha lashes at MatsuKiyo.
ageha is a gyaru magazine.

GuriguLash and Ever Doll lashes at SBY.
Guri and Gura are twins that model for ageha.

One Way lashes, sold in packs of 3.
One Way is a 109 clothing brand.

Decorative Eyelash Minnie Mouse lashes! 380yen each.

Vanilla Birthday lashes, 980 yen per pack of 5 pairs.
There are 8 types in all, divided into 2 series: Sweet (pink) and Little Devil (violet).
They are produced by Ogura Yuko.

Suzuki Nana-produced Sugar Veil lashes, 980yen per pack of 5 pairs.
Suzuki Nana is a former Popteen model who now models for Edge Style.

Anmiel lashes, produced by Popteen model Kumikky.
1,050yen for a pack of 2 pairs. There are 3 types in all.

A Eyelash, produced by J-Pop singer Ayumi Hamasaki.
1480yen per pack of 3 pairs.

Brigitte lashes, fronted by ViVi model Rola.
1260yen per pack of 2 pairs.

Various Eyemazing lashes.
Some have been repackaged to include 5 pairs instead of the regular 3 pairs.

Luminous Change got a new look!
On sale at 999yen each, regular price 1155yen.

Eyelash Value Pack, 1260yen for 5 pairs.

Random lashes.

More Eyemazing lashes.

Luminous Change (top row) and Decorative Eyelash (bottom row)