Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Coming to you on Instagram!

Hi there people!! If there is still anyone reading my blog, so sorry for the long absence. Life is difficult but I'm not giving up on blogging, nope! I've just signed up and account on Instagram, will share more about good food everywhere and anything that interests me. Please follow me at this account: alyssaeatsplaysblogs for more updates. In case you are wondering where my next trip is.... drum roll.... Hokkaido!! Please follow my Instagram for more updates on my Hokkaido trip!! Stay tuned because this blog is still alive!! Have a good day!!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

December 2014 to January 2015 - Hakone Hot Spring and New Year Celebration in Tokyo

Before 2015 ends, I have finally decided to blog about the rest of my Tokyo trip which was from 27th December 2014 - 5th January 2015. I'll keep it short and precise with lots of photos! The pic above is the 'silver bell' which is the famous meeting spot at the basement level of food street inside Tokyo station.

I love Japanese bentos, all of them are packed nicely and taste delicious too!

We bought 1 of the above, with fried rice, prawns in chili sauce, fried chicken, Szechuan mapo tofu and some veggies, hubby loves it!

My pork cutlet pocket sandwich with egg inside

Entrance to Shinkansen platforms, we were taking the Shinkansen to Odawara station.

Travelling on a rainy day but it didn't dampen our mood


My bento with my favourite 'kaki furai' (deep fried oysters) and gyoza!

JR Odawara station, only around 30 to 40 minutes from Tokyo by Shinkansen.

This was where we picked up our rental car, which is just 5 mins walk from the JR Odawara station.

Our ride for the next 2 days! For info, this is a Toyota Aqua (Prius C), which is a hybrid car.

The GPS is actually English-speaking, so no worry

Getting on the highway

Stopped by one of the large highway stop Expasa Ashigara, with lots of shops, restaurants and vending machines inside for drivers to replenish stock.

Getting off the highway from the Gotemba exit because we were heading to the Gotemba Premium Outlet

A lot of friendly doggies at the outlet

And a lot of people too, it was public holiday in Japan so everywhere were jam packed.

It was a foggy drive from Gotemba to our hot spring resort at Hakone

Hakone hot spring town

Finally reached our hotel and checking in to this huge room with private onsen! Love it but it wasn't cheap, around 54,000 Yen per night

Private in-room onsen with a view, you can close those blinds so don't worry about unwanted audience peeping

Breakfast vouchers

Private room dinner

The menu

Our menu in English

Hakone was colder than Tokyo, while Tokyo was around 5 degree Celsius, Hakone was 2!!

We took a walk at the Old Tokaido which Japanese from a few hundred years ago walked the exact path to and fro Tokyo (It was called Edo back then) and Kyoto.

And we visited the famous Hakone Shrine.

Not to be missed the big tori gate at the bottom of the Hakone Shrine, which is standing tall at the edge of Ashinoko Lake.

We visited the Owakudani as well, however Owakudani is now closed due to volcanic activities around the area. I'm lucky that I had the chance to visit it before it was closed.

The infamous 'black egg' sold at Owakudani.

It was still a public holiday so the jam was really bad, we were stuck in a jam on our way to Owakudani for 1.5 hour!

Back in Tokyo, the first thing we did was to visit the gourmet street at Tokyo station and bought some bento back for dinner.

The now very famous Gudetama, which was available at Tokyo Station Character Street 1 year ago.

For our new New Year's eve dinner, I got my hotel to book Imahan for us. Imahan is very famous for their sukiyaki.


Look at the wagyu!

A Japanese lady cooked and served us.

I don't eat raw food, but my piece of advice for having sukiyaki, you gotta have it with raw egg, it tastes so much better! Trust me!

After finishing the meat and veggie, the Japanese lady poured the egg sauce into the skillet with the pipping hot sukiyaki sauce inside, cooked it a bit and poured the egg sauce to our rice for us, it was heavenly!

Green tea after the meal.

Doing like what the Japnese do on New Year's eve, watching the red and white song festival.

New Year's day breakfast in hotel, I figured everywhere would be closed since 1st January is a very important day to the Japanese. It was buffet Japanese breakfast, love it!

Oh my 2015 is coming to an end already!

Funassyi the mascot of Funabashi was very famous in Japan.

Doing what the Japanese do on New Year's day, visiting the temple, we went to Asakusa Senso-ji.


Packed at Tokyo Sky Tree as well.

Watched a show at Tokyo Sky Tree, it was ok.

New Year's day dinner at Nadaman, Tokyo Shangri-la.

Abalones! This was my 1st time having abalones this big.

Abalone teppanyaki in kelp sauce.

Wagyu teppanyaki.

Garlic fried rice.

I am very lucky that the pharmacies in Japan started to do tax refund for tourists, however they would pack all the tax-free items in a clear plastic bag, which you couldn't open it until you have left Japan.

It was still a public holiday in Japan and shops were started to have huge crazy sales, so everywhere were crowded.

Shopped till I dropped at Shibuya 109.

Long queue at Bicqlo (Bic Camera + Uniqlo mega store in Shinjuku).

Must buy in Tokyo.

Muji sample house at Muji Yurakucho.

Trying out Muji Cafe.

Of course we wouldn't miss Tokyo Disney Sea, it was a very cold day though. This is Tower of Terror in picture, highly recommended but not for the faint-hearted.

Fast pass in Disneyland is very useful, I managed to use it twice this time.

Chinese dinner at Daimaru Tokyo station after a long day, we missed Chinese food.

A beautifully renovated Tokyo station.

Always one of my breakfast choices in Tokyo.

Taking the airport bus to Narita airport which was probably 20 steps away from hotel.

Last meal in Tokyo, my favourite kaki furai! Tokyo I love you, hopefully I will be back again in 2016.