Monday, October 29, 2012

Diamond Beauty Mascara & Eyeliners ♡

Seems that Diamond Beauty is yet again expanding their line to include more products, and this time it's mascara and eyeliner! The packaging is similar to the Eyelash Fixer, in that it has a gold cap and gold fairy motifs on the tube. The items will go on sale from 11/15, but are available for pre-order from their webstore now~  ♡

Described as a high-performance eyeliner that is waterproof, but easily comes off with warm water. Choose from two colors: the very intense, jet-black "Forever Black", or "Sweet Brown" which creates a cute, lovable look ☆ The eyeliners retail for 1,050yen each, inclusive of tax.

No. 1 (Black)
Forever Black 
UP your eye power with a jet-black line using "Forever Black" ☆

 No. 2 (Brown)
Sweet Brown
Leave a cute impression with "Sweet Brown" ☆

The mascaras retail for 1,365yen each, inclusive of tax.
No. 1 (Volume & Curl)
 Volume & Curl, which has a good 24H curl-keeping power ☆
Keeps curl for 24H, right from the eyelash roots.
Claims to be resistant against water, tears, sweat and sebum. 

No. 2 (Long & Separate)
Easily removed by warm water, "Long & Separate" gives a elegantly separated lashes ☆
Though it is easily removed by warm water, 
this fiber-type mascara claims to be strong against sebum, tears and sweat.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kyoto's Kibune Jinja ♡ 貴船神社

Picturesque path up to Kibune Jinja.
Deep within a cedar forest and side-by-side to a crystal-clear flowing stream, Kibune Jinja is a Shinto shrine located in the northeastern area of Kyoto, about 15km from the city center. 

I was searching for places to visit in Kansai, and I wanted to go somewhere with a lot of nature since Osaka is very city-ish, and so is Kobe. Anyway, Kibune Jinja fit the bill perfectly! It's located uphill, surrounded by numerous trees and a flowing stream, plus the red and black lanterns are gorgeous!

Dedicated to the God of Water, Kibune Jinja is also known as the water shrine, and is over 1600 years old.

 Going up the stairs to the Honguu 本宮, the main shrine. 
It's about an 800m walk from the bus stop!

Tanzaku at Kibune Jinja.
You write your wish on a piece of paper and tie it here, and hope that it will come true!

 Horse statues at Kibune Jinja. 
In the past, dark or white horses used to be offered in instances of too much or too little rain.

Goshinsui 御神水, sacred water. The source is straight from the mountains.
Why do you think they're all gathering around the water? 

Kibune Jinja has a special omikuji (paper fortune).
And since it's a water shrine, the special feature has something to do with water!
You pick a seemingly blank sheet of paper from a stack, and let it float on the water.
As it gets wet, words magically appear! When it dries, the words disappear.

Where you buy the omikuji, omamori, goshuuinchou etc. 
Here you can also ask the staff for English pamphlets with information on the history of the shrine.

   Kibune Jinja is also famed for its musubi-mamori むすび守 (charm for love).
Pink for females, blue for males. 
They come in two forms/shapes, the ones on the left are the "famed" ones.
They don't come cheap though, each one is 1,000yen.

Lovely little waterfall along the side. 

Bridge and path to walk to the middle shrine.

I really like walking the stairs here, the steps aren't steep, the rock is beautiful, the trees are cooling, and it's lined with all the pretty red lanterns and rails.

About 800m uphill from the main shrine is the Yui-no-yashiro 結社, where people pray for marriage.
In the past, the people believed that wishes were granted by the power of the Water God.
And since it's the water shrine, Kibune Jinja is a popular place for praying...for relationships. 

 Lovely gravel walking path, lined with tall cedars and bright red lamp-posts.

Close-up of a lantern! 

Hear the calming sound of the water flowing in stream beside you while climbing up.
The cooling water brings the temperature down by 5~10°C!

Finally, Okunomiya 奥宮, the inner shrine. 
It's another 500m from Yui-no-yashiro. 

In the inner shrine is the original location of the Kibune Jinja that was established 1,600 years ago. 
I lost my camera lens cap somewhere here I think! Never found it :(

Guardian statue. 

 The cedar trees are really tall and straight! 

Another lovely little water feature.
Although it was a hot summer day, walking uphill was very pleasant as the flowing water from the stream made the temperature cooler. Also, it was uphill with a lot of trees, which totally lessened the humidity and heat! The temperature was markedly different up here compared to the Kawaramachi area in Kyoto.

Another interesting thing I saw along the way up were these restaurants/tea houses lining the stream.
Built right over the stream, you can dine whilst the rivers flows directly beneath you! 

The water is so clear! 
The part in the bottom left of the picture is the river/stream, you can see right through the water!

I had a lovely morning walking along Kibune Jinja, and would definitely visit again!
It's a nice place for a quite, relaxing walk, and the atmosphere is very peaceful.

To get there, take the Kyoto subway to Demachiyamagi station (出町柳). At Demachiyanagi, transfer and take the Eizan Electric Line to Kibune-guchi station (貴船口). Then take a bus to Kibune bus stop, and follow the path up for about 800m.

If you're coming from Osaka like I did, take the Hankyu line to Kawaramachi (河原町) then walk to Gion-Shijo (祇園四条) to take the Kyoto subway. From Osaka to Kibune-guchi, it takes about 90 minutes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halloween-themed goodies in Yokohama

Halloween is drawing near~! As a child I used to love Halloween...all the crafts, costumes and fun trick-or-treating! Sadly, Singapore doesn't really celebrate Halloween/trick-or-treating, so after coming here I never really felt the "Halloween spirit" or the "Halloween season". Hence I was really glad to have seen so much Halloween decorations and items when I was in Yokohama. Everywhere we went, I saw special/seasonal Halloween-themed items!

 Store display at Bashamichi Ice in Akarenga.
They kind of mixed Halloween and autumn decorations cos summer's ending and autumn's coming!

Some Halloween-themed felt crafts.
Very nostalgic, I miss making all the fun Halloween crafts when I was a kid!

Little candy buckets of jack-o-lanterns, Frankenstein heads and mummy heads! 

Creepy moving hand! 

Halloween-themed candles 

Even Godiva has some Halloween hype~ 

More sweets! 

Outside Donki, there were tons of Halloween goodies, in fact, the whole section outside was devoted to Halloween-themed things! One Piece is obviously very popular, there were even Chopper and Perona sweet packs!

Halloween Haribo! 

Candies in jack-o-lantern heads and more Choppers!
Somehow, during the Halloween season, pumpkin heads suddenly seem really cute.

They had a section for Halloween costumes, and there was even a Chopper costume! 

More goodies and decorations for gift wrapping! 
There were even adorable cards and things for trick-or-treating.

Do you celebrate Halloween in your country? Places in Singapore don't really have much Halloween decorations or Halloween-themed goods (though clubs have Halloween/horror parties etc), and only select supermarkets have a limited selection of Halloween candy :(

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Yokohama 横浜: Day 3 ♡

 Started off the day with the best breakfast/meal of the trip, a Japanese breakfast! ♡
The restaurant was Oshima at Pan Pacific Yokohama Bay.
By the way, this is a picture of the table beside us that had already finished their meal ^^

 The breakfast set had so many dishes: fish, scallop, tamagoyaki, tofu, soup, rice, tsukemono...

It even had one of my favorites, mentaiko!!
I love mentaiko! And every time I'm in Japan I'll buy mentaiko onigiri from conbinis^^
There's just something about mentaiko that makes it so tasty, especially with rice!
Needless to day, breakfast was delectable and extremely filling, it was more like a brunch to us!

After breakfast we checked out, left our luggage at the hotel and headed to Motomachi 元町, a shopping street. It's located very near Chinatown, you get off at the same train station.

Motomachi is a lovely cobblestone street that closes entry to traffic from 11am on weekends. We reached slightly before 11am, when they were just about the close off access for cars! The street is lined with pretty plants and flowers, which is always a plus point as greenery adds scenery. You will also be spoilt for choice by the many patisseries selling delectable cakes and pastries!

Adorable dogs and children are a common sight, as people flock here during the weekends to leisurely stroll  along the street. This cutie was somewhat reluctant to be pulled along by its owner and kept running here and there!

Halloween-themed chocolates at Godiva! 

Pretty cutlery...and very expensive! 

Colorful and cute umbrellas with animal heads as the handles! 

Cute dog with a pink shirt, resting on a bench^^ 

 ♡ Beautiful buddy resting outside a store

Spotted at a drugstore: limited edition pink Hello Kitty packaged D.U.P eyelash glue!! I thought last year's limited-edition pink packaging was cute, but this year it's not only pink, but Hello Kitty as well! I didn't get it though, I still have lots of tubes to use up...

Stopped for a short tea break, 1st montblanc of the day.
Montblanc is one of my favorite patisseries! ♡

This was kind of a scam, we wanted to just order cakes, but then the lady said we had to get drinks too, as it's part of a set (there wasn't a proper menu, you select cakes from the display). And the drinks cost more than the cake! But oh well, tea breaks are always nice!

 Two collies in a pram....I don't know why.

Yokohama Doll Museum ♡
Take caution when coming at night, the dolls behind the glass will scare you!
There was a doll near the entrance that was eerily lifelike, like a child.
Even my camera's face/smile detector detected it.

Marine Tower, a popular symbol of Yokohama. 
Built as a lighthouse in 1961, it is now a popular venue for holding weddings! They even have a special web-page regarding holding weddings there. Illuminated at night, the tower has restaurants, cafes and bars, and is popular spot for night dates.

Couldn't leave Yokohama without visiting Donki

Halloween Haribo
There were tons of Halloween-related goodies outside Donki. And all around Yokohama like candy stores, supermarkets and even in malls like Akarenga and Colette Mare. Wish Singapore could have that too!

Headed back to the hotel to dump stuff in our luggage, and on the way back saw some university students performing in Queen's Square (mall linked to Minatomirai station). Students from the flamenco club of one of Yokohama's universities! 

There's an area in Queen's Square called Minatomirai 109, which has a bunch of 109 brands like Cecil McBee, Esperanza, Dazzlin, Glad News...etc.

After that we headed over to Cosmo World, a small theme-park located by the bay. Here you can find rides, take purikura, play UFO catcher machines and Gashapon capsule toy dispensers. The arcade area had UFO catcher machines...which we didn't try^^

The main point of going to the arcade was to take purikura! 

There were also rides like this spinning thing which I would have loved to try, I love exciting/thrilling rides! 

And the main reason we went: to ride the Cosmo Clock 21, the world's largest clock, that's also a Ferris wheel! Standing at 112.5m, it has 60 passenger cars and takes 15 minutes to complete one rotation. After looking at it everyday since we got to Yokohama (our hotel rooms had views facing the bay and the Ferris wheel!), we just had to ride it.  

 At the wheel goes round, you can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the Minatomirai area! 


Another mall in the area, World Porters. 

And Akarenga again ♡

Yokohama Oktoberfest, which was held right outside Akarenga!
Admission to the premises is 200yen, food and drinks are separate costs. 

Held annually at the Redbrick Warehouse, the event recreates the authentic Oktoberfest atmosphere of the Munich festivals.

There was a large selection of locally brewed Japanese beers and authentic German beers specially flown in.

And there was also the variety of German food like wurst and sauerkraut, and not forgetting the entertaining live band; the event was so much fun! I loooove sauerkraut, it's just so delicious!


Headed into Akarenga for more food cos the queues at Oktoberfest were crazy long and crammed. 
This is Kiyoken 崎陽軒, they make famous Yokohama shuumai/siew mai.

This is how Japanese shuumai looks like...very different from Singapore/Hong Kong siew mai! 
But it's sooo tasty! The skin is thin and the meat is juicy...
Now I will buy Kiyoken shuumai whenever I go to Japan!

Also got a special autumn bentou set. The kanji in the middle is "aki", the word for autumn. 

Montblanc #2 of the day, from Bashamichi Ice. This one is ice-cream!
It's soft serve vanilla ice-cream in the center, covered by chestnut cream on the outside ♡

Pan Pacific at night. 

Colorful lights of the amusement park rides reflected in the water ♡ 

Montblanc #3 of the day, along with green tea float! 
Last meal of the day before heading to Haneda airport :(

One of the purikura we took ♡