07 May 2011

Golden Week 2011 Part II

My Golden Week story doesn't just end from previous post, because the best was yet to come by that time!! ;)

Cycle to Saitama City
Ever since I've moved to Saitama prefecture, I've been to Saitama City (the prefecture's capital which shares the same name, 埼玉県さいたま市) a few times but so far all by train. Checking Google Maps, it isn't that close from my place but still reachable by bicycle. So I've decided that one day, I'm gonna cycle there! Glad that I've managed to achieved it during this Golden Week!! :D

First stop, full bloom dandelions waiting the wind to blow the seeds off.

Before reaching the city centre, stop by a shrine/temple to check out this ancient place.



Zen Garden.

The biking journey was pleasant one, and noted that Saitama City seems to be a cyclist-friendly city with dedicated cycling tracks by the riverside of Arakawa. I felt "under-dressed" compared to those cyclists on their "battle bikes" and "full boy armor" of skin-tight cycling suit and helmet.

Finally reached near the city centre!

The menacing NTT Docomo Tower.

UFO landed on this tower!

Pretty amazing structure for this hotel.

It's hard to believe that this is actually the regional postal service office! Looks more like hotel to me!

The few towers of Saitama City that can be seen even from my place.

The train station of Saitama Shin-toshin (さいたま新都心駅). Unusual station structure not found anywhere else.

Eventually I've managed to clocked over 40km distance from the entire day! It's a new record for a day's ride as usually I only managed to made around 20km++.


Friend's visit
The day after the cycling adventure I had my good mate Cong Jie came down from Tochigi to kill some time in Kanto region. He stayed over my place for 3D2N and it's enjoying to have a company here heh.

Finally got the chance to visit this amusement + recreation center very near my place, with sports facilities and arcade machines. We played pingpong and football, which is great since it's been awhile I "blasted" a ball hah.

Dinner of the night is slightly luxurious, having yakiniku (grill meat) which goes well with a jug of beer! :P


Tsukiji and Ginza
Right after the sports day, the main agenda of the entire Golden Week would be the trip to downtown Tokyo, enjoying some fine sushi at Tsukiji (築地) and leisure walk around the shopping district of Ginza (銀座).

This time I had Cong Jie and Jian Shan tagging along for the sushi gourmet trip. Previous experience dining here was great and by that time I already decided that I'm gonna come here again soon!

This time dining at Sushi Sen (すし鮮). We chose it as it's not as crowded as other shops and the sushi set looks reasonable.

Colourful illustrative menu. This however, might be a bit of problem for those who can't read Japanese.

Jian Shan got his set served first, Tuna set (まぐろづくし).

Cong Jie's nigiri set with a large eel (穴子).

My nigiri set, at it's finest lol.

Extra order, a piece of scallop (ホタテ) and salmon (鮭), my favourite sushi toppings.

Cong Jie's fatty tuna (大トロ) and seared salmon (炙りサーモン).

Passed-by this shop where I had my dose of sushi last time. The set is still pretty tempting as they include soup as well.

People crowding the Ginza's famous landmark, the Wako shopping mall. Inside there stuffs are selling from 5 digits yen onwards.

Matsuya Ginza, I haven't step into it before but surely, a simple item would cost a lot in there.

Fancy a white poodle?

Folks lining outside Ginza's Apple Store just to buy iPad 2. Unlikely to pick one up, unless the sky drops one for me lol.

"Songs for Japan" charity album. Although it's pretty worth to get 2 CDs for just 2000 yen, but the tracks included are horrendous! Luckily I resisted to buy it and tried listening to the samples on iTunes.

While passing-by a Starbucks Coffee the staff's handing out free sample of this Soy Strawberry and Cream Frappuccino. It tasted great and we didn't hesitate to get one lol. Smart marketing huh Starbucks.

Revisiting the Imperial Palace again. Somehow I just love the surrounding, surreal comparison between the sky scrapers of Tokyo and the ancient castle so close to each other.

Tokugawa must have been a very smart visionary as he was the one who claimed this large piece of land and build castle on top of it. Right now it's in the heart of Tokyo and I dare say, the land will cost way higher than Ginza's prime zone!

Purple sunset near heart of Tokyo.


Golden Week holiday ends today (Friday) as I resumed my usual lesson. But, that doesn't stop me from planning to enjoy the weekends heh.

Anyway, it's been a month since I came back to Japan from Malaysia. A month seem to passed quite fast eh, and yet I sensed that university is getting busier too. Well, 2nd year is definitely not as easy as the 1st year, so have to keep myself highly-motivated to work hard and work smart!

To give myself a head start, I've already confirm it will be a cooler summer for me this year, back in Malaysia!! :D


See you again soon, Malaysia! 16 Aug - 20 Sept!!  ;)

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