atashi

Top 3 Pastry Chef in Japan - Gateaux naturel Shu cafe

We randomly walked into this cafe near the train station in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo... And were told that the pastry chef was the top 3 in the whole of Japan! wow O_O





The interior



And the desserts *droolz*
Mont Blanc



Orange Chocolate Cake



Chocolate Cake


Strawberry Shortcake



If you ever get the chance to take the train to Jiyugaoka, Tokyo - PLEASE visit this cafe, you won't be disappointed! ^_^
atashi

Namja Town - Ikebukuro Sunshine City

If you are looking for a non-touristy place, go to Namja Town - a mini food theme park that the locals hang out at.


First stop - Gyoza stadium. All the shops are lined up for you! Just order anything from any store yummiez


Try not to stuff yourself full with gyoza, head down to the Dessert Palace!








Everything is sooo detailed...


Take the subway to Ikebukuro Station. Follow the signs to Sunshine City mall. Take the escalator up and Namja Town is at the far end of the mall. Enjoy ~




*Side note* I just had to post this. They even have Panda bread at the local bun shop O_O
atashi

Ginza Sushi

If you are looking for some good sushi with a reasonable price in Tokyo, I would recommend Ganko at Ginza.



The sushi is really fresh and the service is awesome. And for sushi in Ginza, the price is actually pretty reasonable!



Take the subway to Ginza subway station. Ganko is located beside Harrods at 3-chome, the street between the Gap store and the Wako store.

http://www.gankofood.co.jp/en/
atashi

I miss Japan!

Just finished my holiday in Japan and I miss it already! >_< The people were so lovely ^_^

I will post pictures of my trip soon. Went to many new places this time! Really enjoyed shopping at Shibuya 109, bought so much stuff :)))

Japan, till we meet again ^_^


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atashi

Hakone Venetian Glass Museum

Bus stop: Hakone gurasu no mori mae


I'm not really interested in museums and the lot, but I really enjoyed the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum because everything was soooo pretty! ^_^

Even the trees outside the museum were crystallized:


Make sure to flash your Hakone Free Pass for a discounted entry ticket!

And here's what meets you inside...


You can wander around outside - there are lotsa pretty stuff! With the mountains as a backdrop, it is absolutely breathtaking :)))

Later, head inside to the store that sells so many wonderful things!


I would highly recommend buying some souvenirs back ;)


If you have time, stop by the Terrazza Cafe inside the museum for a nice cup of coffee/tea or dessert!

For more information, visit:
http://www.ciao3.com/info/english/index.html
atashi

Hakone Lake Ashi Sightseeing Cruise



After taking the local Hakone bus to Togendai, you can start the Hakone round trip with the Lake Ashi sightseeing cruise :))))

On a clear sunny day, the lake is beautiful and sometimes you can even see Mount Fuji! ^_^

The cruise boat reminds me of a pirate boat and looks like that:


There are two stops - Hakone machi and Moto Hakone. You can alight, wander around and explore these areas! The food is good and the soft-serve ice cream is to die for XDD There is even the old Hakone checkpoint for those of you who love historical stuff and the Cedar tree lined walkway (kinda looks like those olden days samurai on a horse scene haha)

I would also recommend the Lakeside view restaurant at Togendai (before or after taking the cruise). You get wonderful views of the lake:


The cashier gives your very own beeper to let you know when your food is ready:



Also, Hakone is famous for their hot soba noodles. Usually soba noodles are eaten cold, but the hot soba noodles are so yummy!! ^_^
At Lakeside view restaurant - mushroom soba noodles:


At Hakone machi - Tempura shrimp soba noodles:


*droooools*
atashi

Hakone Free Pass

For those of you are not familiar with the Hakone Free Pass, please see the link below:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_008.html

If you are doing the usual Hakone round trip - the lake cruise, ropeway, cable car etc... I highly recommend purchasing the Hakone Free Pass. It is at a discounted price (if you calculate all the ticketing fees for the normal round trip) and it is also unlimited! As someone who likes to take the local Hakone buses here and there for no reason, I really like the fact that the pass has unlimited usage ^_^

I usually purchase them at the Odawara station. You can also purchase them from Shinjuku, Tokyo for a higher price, which includes the train ride to Hakone and back.
atashi

Palace Hotel Hakone



If you are looking for a place to stay in Hakone, I recommend the Palace Hotel Hakone. I'm not into the traditional ryokans, which is rampant in Hakone. Personally, I just like hotels haha XD

Palace Hotel Hakone always has discounts or offers on some websites like zuji or agoda etc etc. And I always book waaaay in advance, so I always manage to get a good rate ;)

The Hakone Tozan Bus from Odawara or Hakone-Yumoto station stops directly outside Palace Hotel Hakone. The bus stop is Palace Hotel Hakone mae (in front). The bus also goes from the hotel straight to Togendai, which is the starting point for the cruise on the lake for the usual Hakone round trip.

The hotel even has their own indoor and outdoor hot spring for hotel guests (at the third floor, i think?). which is SUPER awesome, I love the outdoor hot spring - rock feature with a fantastic view.

The restaurants at the hotel are really expensive and out of my budget, except Cafe Restaurant "Humming". The service staff are really professional and the food is affordable. I tried the omelette rice, expecting the usual omurice in Tokyo... And it came so beautifully presented, the staff even cut open the omelette for us over the rice *_*

There was one day when we ordered room service, and the food was really good too. The staff in Palace Hotel Hakone speak relatively good English... In fact, much better than some hotels in Tokyo that I stayed before >_<

If you can, try to book the rooms with the Lakeside view ^_^
atashi

Transport to Hakone

For our upcoming trip to Japan, we decided to head towards Hakone first for a resort experience... Who am I kidding? Lol XD of course we are heading there for the onsen (hot spring) experience :)))

But! We realized that the best transport solution would be to head towards the city of Tokyo, and then take the train to Hakone. But the normal trains take 2hours!! >_<

Soooo.. Here's what we decided to do:
1) Take the Narita Airport Limousine Bus to the Tokyo train station

2) Take the bullet train - what's that? Expensive? Yeah.. But if u compare $8 for a 2 hour ride and $35 for a 20min ride.. I choose 20mins haha XDD time is precious!!

3) Arrive at Odawara train station. Purchase the Hakone Free Pass - allows unlimited free rides on loads of Hakone transport n discounted entry tickets!

4) Take the Hakone Tozan bus towards Togendai and our hotel! :)))