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Exploring Osaka In A Day

Here’s What I did in Osaka in a day!

I flew to Osaka via Scoot during the end of September for 6 days and after deducting flight time and all, I essentially only have 4 days. So it’s important for me to plan my day properly to cover as many places as possible. There’s so many attractions in Osaka and you just have to take your pick depending on who you are travelling with. I know my travelling companions are more towards the shopping and eating type so I didn’t add in places like Umeda Sky Building or the Aquarium etc.

And this is how I decided to spend my first day in Osaka!

We always start the day with a selfie. 😛

osaka trip

Ok, I’m just joking. Of course it’s more proper to start the day with a meal. And for me, I decided to have a hearty Sushi Breakfast over at the famed Endo Sushi located at the Osaka Central Market at JR Noda.

endo sushi osaka

After having breakfast, it’s time for a little shopping! And the nearest choice would be Umeda that is filled with loads of shopping malls! And the first place I was headed to is none other than the POKEMON CENTER!! Pikachu!!!

osaka pokemon center

And more Pikachu! Awww!!! Too cute!! Did I mention that I brought home several Pikachu Merchandise too? Hehe.

osaka pikachu

After spending time at a couple departmental stores in Umeda, I made my way to Kuromon Market located near Nipponbashi Station. Kuromon is also known as Osaka’s kitchen and obviously it’s gonna be all about food again! But I would recommend to go early because when I reached there at about 4 plus nearing 5, about half the stores are closed or closing.

osaka kuromon market

When in Japan, you can’t go wrong with seafood. Check out this Ojisan searing my Hotate with the fire gun thingy!

osaka kuromon grill seafood

Two huge Hotate seared to perfection! I’m salivating as I’m typing this.

osaka kuromon hotate

Of course, when we are in Osaka, Takoyaki is a must.

osaka takoyaki

This is the highlight of my Kuromon trip. This plate of snow crab is about 5000 yen and it’s so good! Got to be the sweetest crab I ever ate.

osaka snow crab

Ichigo Daifuku!! I’ve always wanted to try this but never got around to do so. These are like freshly made and sold at one of the Sweets shop in the market. Super nice and the strawberry is sweet but not overly sweet!

osaka daifuku

I’ve seen this Baby Octopus stuffed with quail egg on one of the blogs while doing my research and was so happy to find it. Bought one even though I was super full! Really good! If I didn’t already ate so much, I think I can at least eat 5 of these. The texture is just nice, not too hard and the taste of the egg goes pretty well with the marinated octopus.

kuromon baby octopus

Nipponbashi where Kuromon is located is actually very near Namba. With the help of google maps, I made my way to Namba just by walking. You know you are in the right direction when you see this huge crab sign which signifies the entrance of Doutonbori.

osaka doutonbori

And my main focus at Doutonbori is Don Quixote! See that tall signage on the right! That’s the Namba Don Quixote! Don Quixote is like the must go shopping place in Japan! They have everything from food to cosmetics etc. I bought a whole load of daily contacts there. 😛 Not forgetting the pretty view of the Osaka River at night.

osaka river

I spotted Ichiran Ramen right next to Don Quixote and despite the queue, I went ahead to try it as it’s highly raved. But to be honest, it’s nice but not fantastic. And to be honest, it’s was a little rush for the order that I kind of got confused and ended up with no Char Siew. Sad die me. >< But it’s ok, I had one of the best ramen the next day in Kyoto which I shall talk more about in my Kyoto post.

Osaka Ichiran ramen

You can’t go to Osaka, Namba and not take a photo of the Glico man along with the many signboards. Shisaibashi shopping street is just next to where the Glico man signboard. Sadly, it was already pretty late when we are there so most shops are closing. Still, we did managed to comb through a few drugstores and did some shopping before we head home to our Airbnb.

osaka glico

Random super adorable pastries we spotted at the train stations while transferring to another line! Too cute! I ended up buying two small boxes of 3!

osaka trip sweets

This basically sums up my day in Osaka where I managed to cover some of the main areas like Kuromon, Umeda, Namba where Doutonbori and Shisaibashi is located. One thing that I would change is that I would have started my day earlier (I headed out at 8) so that I can enjoy more of Kuromon and Shisaibashi at it’s busiest instead.

Till the next post!

XOXO,
Joyce.Forensia

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Taipei Travelogue 1.4 (台北自由行1.4饶河夜市,新驿旅店)

Finally I’m have the time to blog about the last part of my Taipei Travelogue. It’s going to be just a short post on the 2nd hotel I stayed on my trip and on Raohe Night Market.

To be honest, my trip was not well planned. I have in mind a few places which I wanted to visit and the rest is just up to where my mum wanted to go. I wanted to head up to Jiufen but sadly the weather is not great so my mum decided against the idea. Oh wells, at least it was not like I’ve not been there so it’s not that bad.

So I stayed at City Inn Taipei Station III for the last two days of my trip. I initially planned to travel to Taichung for the first two days of my trip but end up cancelling those plans and hence ended up staying at two different hotels in Taipei as City Inn was already fully booked when I checked the availability to extend my stay.

CITYINN

I would say City Inn is small in terms of room size but more modern in terms of design. I love the full length mirror in the room! I stayed at City Inn III which is about 15 minutes walk to Taipei Main station.

 

WESTERN IN TW

My mum and me settled our lunches there at the food court which is slightly expensive compared to the night markets but generous servings!

 

lizard

Spotted this Iguana/Chameleon which apparently is a pet of one of the locals. Caused quite a bit of commotion among the diners. Haha.

 

Raoheentrance

I also went to WuFenPu but didn’t take much photos as it was drizzling and there’s just too much to see. Nearest train station to get to WuFenPu and Raohe Night Market would be HouShanPi station. Getting to Raohe Night Market to WuFenPu is about 15-20 minutes walk.

doriyakimini

Raohe Night Market is not really huge but it’s one of the best one. Loads of yummy local delicacy and other random things to see. This is a stall selling mini Doriyaki! Super cute!

raohepups

You can see pets for sale and I can’t resist checking out these cuties!

raohefrenchbulldog

The look on this French Bulldog is so cute and grumpy!!

raohecat

No kittens spotted but there’s this beautiful Scottish Fold. Hopefully it found a forever home already.

flamingbeefcubes

For beef lovers, you must try this flamming beef cubes at Raohe! Good quality beef at night market price!! Melts in your mouth I swear!

beefcubes

I super regret getting the small sized one, gone in a few mouthfuls. But it’s really so good that I’m salivating while typing this. Haha.

juicyclams

I love seafood and clams is one of my favorite. So though it’s quite expensive at NTD150 if I’m not wrong for 6 clams, I still wanted to try it out. And I must say it’s really worth to pay that amount for the fresh juicy clams!

meeatingclamsCheck out the size of the clam! It’s definitely bigger than any average clams you find in Singapore.

lastdayintpciselfie

And I’m going to end my travelogue here pretty abruptly with a selfie I took at the hotel lobby before heading to the airport. The hotel helped us arranged a private driver to the airport at only NTD450 I think which is pretty reasonable. We had to take the car because we bought way too much stuff and gain one new huge luggage. Haha.

Read my previous post on Kiko’s Diner here!

XOXO.
Joyce Forensia

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Taipei Travelogue 1.3 (台北自由行Kiko’s Diner夏威夷汉堡排饭专卖店)

When planning for my Taipei trip, I know that there’s several cafes I wanted to visit. But as I’m travelling with my mum who’s not a fan of such cafes, I know I had to compromise. Initially, I wanted to visit the popular Hello Kitty Sweets Cafe for the cute interior but I know for sure my mum will complain because reviews states that the food there is not good at all. Just nice, I stumbled upon Calvin’s photo of Kiko’s Diner. I looked through reviews online and I decided that I will visit it! Because not only it has Hello Kitty, there’s also other Sanrio Characters!

kikosdiner

This is how the cafe looked like from outside! It it not the cute, sweet, pastel kind of decoration at Kiko’s but instead a more funky, casual, westernized design. Which makes it different from the usual cute cafes I think.

kikoswallmural2

Wall Mural of the Sanrio family!

kittyatkikosdiner

Hello Kitty with Chef hat!

kikosinterior2

Very spacious and I liked the open kitchen concept.

kikossanriowallmural

They have cute and stylish wall stickers all around!

littletwinstarbooth

They have a dinning booth area and it’s Little Twin Stars!

kikoscutechair

How cute is this chair!

kikossanriopaintings1

Art paintings of the Sanrio characters in a different feel.

kikoshkpainting

One of Hello Kitty.

kikosinterior1

Kiko’s Diner served mainly American Style food. They have brunch menu too!

kikosdinersanrio

Sanrio Characters! This is usually placed outside the cafe but I think they brought it in as it was raining when I was there!

kikosmenu

Cute menu in the form of a newsletter-ish template. Prices are reasonable, not too expensive. The staff will explain the menu to you before you order, so you won’t be confused.

kikosmenupizza

You can even customize your own pizzas at Kiko’s.

kikoseggomellete

Ordered a Bacon and Ham Omelette with Toast for The Mum. Served with fries and salad.

kikoslocomoco2

I ordered the Signature Loco Moco. It’s basically a beef burger patty with cheese served with sunny side up, rice, fries and salad.

kikoslocomoco1

The beef patty is really good I must say! Look at that perfect sunny side up!

kikoscafelattemug

Also ordered a cafe latte to warm myself up in the cold weather. Love the cute mug! It’s available for purchase!

kikosmeandmum

The Mum is too busy to take a photo with me. But I’m glad The Mum is happy with the food. Of course, bill is on me. LOL.

kikospowderroom

This is way too cute! Gold statue of Little Twin Star in the washroom!!

kikospowderroom2

Cute signage on the door!

kikospowderroomme

I did not add on any effect, that’s the actual mirror with some filter film!

kikosmymelody

Cute My Melody wall art!

kikosnamecard

Yes, I took several of the napkins and name cards back as keepsakes. Too cute!

kikosinterior3

The cafe is very cosy, staff are friendly and the food is decent. There’s a dining limit of two hours but I believed if there’s no queue or waiting reservations, you will not be asked to leave. However, I still think it’s good to stick to the limit since it’s the house rules. 🙂

kikosplusme

#firstletmetakeaselfie with that Hello Kitty on that pillar.

kikosmymeal

If I’m not wrong, I spent a total of NTD780 for this meal, which is about SGD34. I feel that it’s reasonable for two pax. You’ll probably spend more for a similar meal in SG.

kikosmerchandise

Tote bags and coffee mugs available for sale! But it’s a bit pricey in my opinion. Sadly, I was on a budget if not I will get the tote bag!

I would recommend this cafe to Hello Kitty lovers and Sanrio lovers! If you’re a kitty fan but your friends are not, I’m sure they won’t complain if you bring them here!

Kiko’s Diner 

Address/地址:
忠孝東路四段205巷7弄7號 Taipei, Taiwan 106
+886 2 2731 9135
台北捷運「忠孝敦化站 」2號出口,步行約三分鐘
(After exiting from exit 2 of ZhongXiaoDunHua Station, turn left when you see the sign stating 205 lane, walk straight and you and see it on the right!捷運站2號出口出来,看到205巷的牌子转左,直走再转右就看到了!)

There’s a time limit of 2 hours so do take note! 用餐时间有两小时的限制,所以大家要注意哦!

Read 1.1 and 1.2 of my Taipei Travelogue if you haven!

XOXO,
Joyce.Forensia

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Taipei Travelogue 1.2 (台北自由行1.2 淡水老街,士林夜市)

Part 2 of my Taipei Travelogue! Travelling all the way to Dan Shui and back for ShiLin Night Market! Dan Shui is the end of the metro line and it takes about 40 minutes to an hour from DongMen station where our hotel is located. And of course, Shilin night market is located at Jiantan station!
这次我们上午去了淡水,到了傍晚就到士林夜市去!淡水是捷运站的终点站,从东门站大概需要40分钟到一小时左右.而士林夜市是在剑谭站,不是士林站哦!

day2memum

Selfie first with The Mum before heading out for the day!
先来张自拍!

onthetrain

On the Metro towards Dan Shui. It’s a pretty long trip but the scenery along the way are worth it!
在前往淡水的路途中,风景很不错哦!

mumatdanshui

The Mum in front of Dan Shui Metro Station. It’s essentially an old brick building transformed into a Metro station.
淡水车站.挺古色古香的建筑.

danshuistation

A better view of Dan Shui Metro station! The bus terminal is at the other end.
来张看的到的!另一边是巴士站哦!去渔人码头的话,可以搭巴士或者船.

hkdsshop

As it was raining, we decided to ditch the idea of heading to the famous Yu Ren Ma Tou and just explore the Dan Shui Lao Jie. I found this shop selling the famous Taiwanese Snacks in form of HELLO KITTY!
由于是雨天,我们放弃了去渔人码头的打算.就决定只在老街逛.而我就找到了这家凯蒂猫的土产店.超可爱的!

dshkshopmemum

Must take photo with the Kitty Mascot and even made The Mum did it. Hahah. Look at her expression!
一定要拍张照!逼着母亲大人也拍,看看她的表情!哈哈!

dssea

It’s a pity that it was raining and was pretty cold. However, the view is still breathe-taking in real life.
虽然下着毛毛细雨,但风景依然迷人.

mecuds

Must have a selfie with the view.
来张自拍.呵呵.

mumds

We stopped at this old look old point area to snap some photos. It’s actually near the Fish Ball Museum. Yes, there’s a Museum on Fish Ball in Dan Shui.
我们停在一处像了望台的地方拍照.是靠近鱼丸博物馆附近哦!

medsscene

Peace* I looked fat cause I was feeling super bloated from PMS-ing. Sandals are first day buys from XiMenDing!
看起来肚子有点大,都怪月事的错.鞋子是在西门盯买的哦!

dsicecreamme

I did mentioned it was raining and super cold but one cannot not eat the super tall ice cream cone! I opted for the shorter version as I really don’t think I can finish it. End up I can’t even finish the short one. It’s for NTD30 if I didn’t remember wrongly. They have this other snack, which is the Octopus Tempura which I love!!
冰淇淋!天气太冷了,所以只买小只的!台币30左右!我比较喜欢吃热乎乎的章鱼烧.

shilintrain

After a whole day of shopping at Dan Shui, we proceeded to our first night market of the trip. Shilin Night Market!
逛了一天的淡水老街,是时候去士林夜市逛咯!

shilinstreet

This is just the outside and there’s many food stalls selling local Taiwanese delicacy.
很多卖道地台湾美食的摊贩哦!

prince cheese potato shop

My first buy at Shilin is this Prince Cheese Potatoes!! Have seen this at many variety shows and I can finally taste it for myself! Long queue but the guy is pretty efficient. They will take your orders first while you are queuing!
常常在美食节目看到的王子起司马铃薯!终于可以亲自品尝了!排队排挺长的,不过他们很有效率哦!在排队时,会先点餐.

prince cheese potato

This is really some cheesey goodness! It is really very delicious and you wont be sick of eating it despite it being mainly starch(potatoes) and cheese. The cheese is the nacho cheese kind.
这真的很好吃!吃多了也不会腻!

mumandcutemascot

Mum saw this cute Mascot of a Fashion Brand and asked for a photo. How cute!
看到可爱的东西就要求拍照的母亲大人!

mangoice

Another must eat when in Taiwan. Mango ice! This is actually Mango Snow Ice with Mango Ice Cream. Very fresh mangoes and this is NTD140 I think.
来到台湾怎么能够不吃芒果冰呢?!这是台币140的芒果雪花冰加芒果冰淇淋.

When at Night Market, beware of the fruit sellers. They like to kind of cheat tourist money. We ended up buying a packet of mangoes which is really nice I must say but for NTD300 which is about SGD 15. They charge by per 100 gram despite they just stating each fruit is about NTD50-60. Not say cannot buy, but don’t end up buying too much. We could not finish the mangoes in the end. As I bought Pig Blood Tofu Soup and Smelly Tofu to eat back at the hotel.
在夜市要买水果的话要小心哦!他们是看重量卖的!不要不小心就买了太贵的水果,而且还吃不完!

meandmangoice

Ending Part 2 with a photo of me with the yummy Mango Snow Ice!

Read Part 1 here if you haven!

今天就到这里咯!下次在继续!

XOXO,
Joyce.Forensia

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Taipei Travelogue 1.1 (台北自由行1.1 桃园机场,星辰大饭店,西门盯)

Finally, I managed to sort out and edit my photos taken during my Taipei trip in May. So here I’m jotting down my travelogue! Will be blogging in both English and Chinese for this Travelogue! Instead of blogging by days, I’ll separate it into parts as this is really a very laid back trip with impromptu itinerary.
我终于有时间整理我五月份在台北旅游时所拍的照片!这次的旅游日记将以英语和中文来写!这次的旅游呢,算是没什么计划。可以说是想去哪里就去哪里吧!

departure1

Photo with the Mum before entering the departure hall! We are taking Scoot to Taipei, I managed to grab tickets at $180++ each with return check in luggage.
进离境厅之前先拍张照!这次也是搭酷航,机票才180++新币哦!是优惠期买的啦!

datasimcounter

Reached Taoyuan Airport at about 6 am. However, the counter that sells data sim cards only operates from 8 am. I bought the 5 days data plan at NTD 300.
抵达桃园机场大概早上六点。不过购买预付卡的柜台八点才开始营业哦!我买了可以用五天网络的卡,才台币300!

day1airportsnacks

As we had some time to kill while waiting for the counter to open, we bought some drinks at snacks from the convenience store! I miss that milk tea!
在等待时,到便利商店买了饭团还有奶茶解饿!台湾的便利商店超棒的!什么都有!

charging ports

Charging ports are available at the airport! This is a huge life saver!
机场内还让人可以充电!太方便了!

bus tickets

After getting the data card, we proceeded to buy tickets for the bus ride to Taipei City. Tickets are at NTD 125 each and intervals of the bus is about 15 minutes for the bus company I bought from.
买了预付卡后,就马上到巴士车站去买票!因朋友的推荐,所以我买了国光客运的,一长票台币125。巴士大概15分钟一趟。

insidebus

The bus is pretty spacious and comfortable, I even took a short nap. The ride itself is about 45 minutes to an hour and drops at Taipei Main Station.
从机场到台北车站大概是四十五分钟到一小时。巴士挺宽敞也还蛮舒服的,我还小睡了一会儿。

trainstation

The metro at Taipei is pretty easy to understand though it might get confusing with the many lines. And also the fact that alternate trains ends at different places. So be sure to look at the signs before boarding! The tickets are in forms of plastic coins like in Bangkok! Those are the single trip tickets. You can buy the Easy card similar to our Ez-link. The Mum and me decided to just stick to buying single trip tickets as we are not going to that many places. The 5 days card at NTD 700 each might be more expensive that paying per trip.
台北的捷运站其实蛮容易理解的。不过因为有很多不一样的路线,而且隔一趟的车也停在不一样的地方。所以上车之前要看好电子板。你可以购买优游卡,就像新加坡的EZ-Link一样。不过我和母亲大人决定买一次性的票,因为觉得没有要一直搭捷运,5天台币700有点太贵。台北的日票和曼谷捷运的一样哦!

citizen hotel

Reached our hotel at about 9 am plus and the kind hotel manager allowed us to have breakfast while waiting for check in at 12 pm. We grabbed a bit and went to roam around the streets nearby. Citizen Hotel is located near Dungmen Station! The room is a little dated but very comfortable and cosy and the toilet comes with a bathtub!
我们抵达饭店时,是大概早上九点。亲切的经理让我们先到餐厅用餐。入住时间是下午12点左右,所以我们吃完了,就到附近一带走走。我们住的是台北星辰大饭店,最靠近的是东门捷运站。房间的设计虽然旧了点,不过挺大的也很舒服,而且厕所带有浴缸哦!

台北市中正區金山南路一段80號
No.80, Sec. 1, Jinshan S. Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City 100, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

電話:(02)2397-1377 傳真:(02)2394-8726
http://citizen.hotel.com.tw/

mumximen

We decided to head to XiMenDing after resting awhile at the hotel. Takes us about roughly 15-20 minutes from our hotel to XMD! Here’s a shot of the Mum posing at the entrance of XMD station. It is super crowded there!
在饭店休息了一会儿,我们就往西门盯出发!从东门站到西门站大概需要15到20分钟。帮母亲大人拍个照!西门盯就是热闹,人好多哦!

ximenst

I’ve been to Taipei 9 years ago when I was 15 and stayed at XMD then. The streets remains the same like in my memory.
15岁那年来过台北,住的就是西门盯。和九年前一样,西门盯的街道和记忆里的一样。

ximenstreets store

Spot the cute heart shaped cotton candy! And the many many street food stalls!
可爱的心型棉花糖!!还有好多的路边摊。

ahzhongmianxian

When at Ximending, this is a must try! The famed Ah Zhong Mian Xian! The queue is pretty long but quick. Condiments like vinegar, garlic and chilli can be added at your own preference.
大家都说来到西门盯,一定要试试阿宗面线。人龙排挺长的,不过还蛮快的。调味料可以根据自己喜欢去加。

meesua

Unlike the oyster mee sua we have here in Singapore, the Ah Zhong version is the pig intestine mee sua. I find the taste pretty ok, nothing fantastic. The locals don’t really eat here though, we were told when asking for directions to the stall.
新加坡的面线大多数是蚵仔面线,阿宗的是大肠面线。我是觉得味道还可以,不算是非常好吃的那种。在问路时,当地人都说他们是不吃阿宗面线的。

ah mao

Spotted Ah Mao! The famous dog at Ximending which is also the Mascot of the Risotto restaurant. I noted that there are two outlets and there’s another golden at the other outlet too! But I’m pretty sure this is Ah Mao cause he’s huge even though shaved. So cute!
快看!是阿毛!阿毛还蛮出名的!而且好可爱也很大只!

stsidestore

The Mum and I spotted this stall at an alley and we decided to eat here. Simply because they have two of the food items that I’ve been craving for! The prices are super affordable too!
在一个巷口看到这摊子,和母亲大人就决定在这里填饱肚子。价格便宜,而且有我非常想吃的食物!

braised meat rice

Ordered a Braised Meat Rice to fufill our carbo quota. This is not bad.
先来一碗卤肉饭!味道不错。

smellytofu

Fried Smelly Tofu! I’ve missed this most from my trip 9 years back! I’m craving for it now while typing this. It’s crispy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. And it’s not smelly at all, very fragrant!
臭豆腐!!我的最爱之一!外脆内软的豆腐,想到都流口水!

duckbloodcakesoup

Spicy Duck Blood Tofu Soup! I love this! And it’s super fresh and Q! I ate this and the smell tofu almost everyday during my trip.
麻辣鸭血!我超爱的!很新鲜也很有弹性哦!我几乎每天都吃鸭血或猪血汤还有臭豆腐!


yakult galore

Okay, ending my part 1 here with a photo of the huge bottles of Vitagen/Yakult drinks! The ones in Taiwan seems to taste nicer compared to the ones we have in Singapore!
超大瓶的养乐多!!就只有在台湾有而已,而且还比较好喝呢!今天就先到这里咯!下次在继续!

XOXO,
Joyce.Forensia

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