07 January 2011

Winter Holiday

Today's the last day of almost 2 weeks of winter holiday. Let's summarize abit what I've done....

23 Dec: Malaysia Night 2010

As per advertised earlier, it's the first event that I ran into on the winter holiday.

I was sort of enthusiastic into it as this is my first time to get involved in the audio & visual department.

The location: Sumida Sangyo Kaikan at Kinshicho (錦糸町にあるすみだ産業会館).
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It is quite close to the under construction Tokyo Sky Tree, taller than the last time I saw it.
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The workstation. My job is to regulate music playback and presentations during the night.
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Fellow ex-schoolmates of the Japanese language school, Ming Han & Chava.
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Guests enjoying Malaysian style chicken rice. Too bad I had none that night.
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It was my first experience and to be honest, there're still a lot of things to learn about managing such event from now onwards! Many thanks to the fellow committee members who helped each others to bring the event together, especially my mate Omar Shafiq!

24 Dec: Christmas eve dinner with friends

Just when I thought that I'll be "celebrating" Christmas eve alone, a friend asked me to join 'em for dinner at Nishi-Kasai (西葛西) .

Mmm..... it's been awhile since I had such delicious homemade meal!
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The Taiwanese chef Yusheng and fellow countryman Jian Shan.
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A few drinks while playing poker cards. Me having mango lassi while they're having cassis orange.
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Spent a night at their place and went back on the next morning.
Simple breakfast at Doutor, cheese toast and tiramisu latte.
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My Christmas "gifts"....
Discount coupons from my favourite sushi shop lol.
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Stickers from HootSuite!
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26 Dec: Exploring Ikebukuro

Somehow I got the leisure of walking down Ikebukuro (池袋) after attended a function briefly at nearby Itabashi. Ikebukuro is the closest Tokyo city from my place but I haven't really managed to explore it thoroughly as it's kinda huge.

Ikebukuro station hosts a few train lines, but it's not as complicated as Shinjuku station.
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JR Narita Express NEX resting on the track.
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To know what's this tall tower about, read here.
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I ended up spending most of my time in the Amlux Toyota showroom.
Driving Lexus LFA on Gran Turismo 5 in 3D!!
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The new Toyota Vitz (or Yaris in various countries).
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Too bad my favourite Toyota Majesta wasn't on display on that day but was given the catalog of it. Very grand I must say.
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It's not just Majesta, I've also completed the collection of Crown series' catalogs as well! Royal Saloon, Athlete and Hybrid.
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27 Dec: Exploring Minami-Furuya

Eventhough it's holiday I've not forgotten my usual leisure of exploring on bicycle during free times. This time I've headed to Minami-Furuya (南古谷). It is a station away from Kawagoe (川越) heading towards Omiya (大宮).

Railroads.
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JR Saikyo line train (埼京線) heading towards Kawagoe.


Total distance covered for the day was 20km, as recorded on RunKeeper.


28 Dec: Meet Ken Lee at Shimo-Kitazawa

Actually there was a classmate gathering planned on the day, but due to low attendance we have to called it off.
Upon contacting Ken Lee, we met up at Shimo-Kitazawa (下北沢).

It was my 2nd visit to Shimo-Kitazawa, a bustling township filled with streets of shoplets.

Our late lunch was having ramen at Ichiran (一蘭).
If you know me well, I prefer tsukemen to ramen but for this one the soup is so nice that I managed to finish off the entire bowl with nothing left lol.
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We then explored a few shops here and there, quite a lot of interesting shops around. Lots of restaurants and I noticed quite some foreign cuisines here as well. It's really a shopping heaven here too!

The feel of walking down the streets of Shimo-Kitazawa is very different than walking in Shinjuku or Shibuya, although still crowded but at least here people are walking at a more relaxed, slower pace, no rushing.
Would say this is my new favourite spot in Tokyo heh.

29 Dec: Tsikuji & Ginza with Chava

OK this trip was rather spontaneous as we turn a few comments on Facebook into a real trip down to Tsukiji (築地). Chava haven't been to Tsukiji before and I'm carving for sushi, so why not go explore there together?

Everyone's busy for year-end shopping preparing for the New Year.
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Those in Malaysia may be familiar with the Japanese restaurant "Sushi Zanmai". But it's totally different story what's inside the restaurant though.
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We eventually dined at a quieter shop as we're hungry and don't feel like queuing up to enter the shop. Our decision was a bright one.

This set of sushi usually cost 3500 yen but we managed to have it at 2500 yen. Not to mention, top notch ingredients used!
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Worthwhile mention, the shop that we dined at. Tsukijiya.
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Tempting sushi menu... The price isn't that expensive for once in awhile indulgence.
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First time visiting shop like this L'Occitane. In normal circumstances I would never enter it but when having a lady around, so why not?
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Landmark of Ginza, the Wako clocktower. Also one of my favourite spots in Tokyo.
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Golden hair playing PvZ on iPad, Apple store Ginza.
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Forever 21 seems classier after changing their logo to XXI Forever.
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Adidas' lucky bag for the new year. Very tempting but it wasn't on sale during that day.
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As we walked, we were getting hungry again. Since we had Japanese lunch, decided to have something Western. Someone's carving for pizza so a little Google search suggested this restaurant, Vino Vita.

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Fellow gourmet, Ms Chava. We were hungry so we attacked any food that's in front of us hah.
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Pizza made from 4 different cheeses.
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Her mushroom pasta and my crab pasta.
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This outing was really enjoying as we have similar interest and communicate on the same frequency hah.

1 Jan: Explore Miyoshi

It's new year's day!!! Hello 2011!!
Decided to take my usual stroll checking out what the Japanese are doing during new year's day.

It's their virtue to visit local temple/shrine during the new year, to wish for a good year ahead.
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Hatsumoude (初詣) is the term used for first visit to shrine/temple in the new year.
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Lunch was this zaru soba and seafood rice set which cost less than 1000 yen!
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Actually I've cycled to quite far away that day, but didn't took much pics. Cycled all the way to Miyoshi (三芳町), another neighbouring township with a rather huge Unicus shopping mall and some nice houses.

RunKeeper activity, 22.24km clocked.


3 Jan: Dinner at Omiya with Komatsu

I had the honour to meet up with Komatsu at Omiya on Monday, been eager to catch up with each other and have a drink or two.
While we wonder around Omiya looking for food, came across this Thai restaurant slightly hidden from the main street.
We're confident with Thai food's quality, and what's more eating spicy Siamese food during winter sounds like a good idea heh.

It was a home-style restaurant, at first we don't really have any idea what to order but one wouldn't go wrong with tomyam when eating Thai food.

One of the surprise of the night was this shrimp dish. It's raw but it was marinated with chili spices so makes the taste very unique. Imagine eating a shrimp sashimi loaded with Thai's fine chili.
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The outcome, satisfied meal albeit it's the spiciest, hottest meal I ever had in Japan. Instead of tuning the spiciness level to suit the Japanese's tastebud, this restaurant does wonderful job of bringing authentic Siamese taste attacking the tastebud.
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There was this guest who came earlier than us, we had a brief chat and kinda clicked on together. After the Thai food we headed out for 2nd round at an izakaya.

Chit-chat a little and drinking ala the Japanese style. Of course Japanese style, as the other guests of the night were Japanese as well lol!
So the normal beers, and a few stuffs to go down together with the alcohol.

Not really a beefy person, this was the first time I had beef sashimi!! Normally one would dip the meat into a boiling broth but we just ate it with soy sauce. It was good!! さすが和牛だな!
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That was the last day of outing for the winter's holiday. I actually had a list of places to go during the holiday but only managed to fulfill one of it, which was the Tsukiji trip.
Now thinking back.... if I were at Tokyo, I might be going to more places though.

So this week back to university, it's gonna be a busy month to go! Then when February arrives, it'll be holiday again weee~~~ :D

1 comment:

  1. haha. Nice outing. and Guess nice expenses too. ^^ well seemed really nice so guess it's okay for you?

    ReplyDelete