Archive for November, 2013

Nomnom November

hellogirl

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It’s been a month since I last updated about my daily life. November has been a busy month full of schoolwork! I should be used to it, but it seems like it gets more frenzied each term. It wasn’t all stress and assignments though, there were still plenty of good stuff that happened this month.

Optimism is necessaryhappy

(Also, I have a smorgasbord of food pictures again)

It took several weeks to eat the souvenirs that we’d bought/received in Japan. There were so many of them that they stayed piled up on our table for a long time, and I got to give some away too.

Pound Cake

Like these lovely pound cakes that I received from Haruka’s family!

Pound Cake

These were from a gift box of Keyuca cakes. I wish I’d taken a picture of the packaging because it was so stylish, but I think the look of the pound cakes already give an idea of how tasteful this particular brand is.  Those fruits and nuts are a work of art!

Seventeen

Can’t go without some guilty pleasurehappySeventeen is still my favourite Japanese magazine even though I’m not seventeen anymore. I’m only eighteen, but I guess I have to retire from it eventually…can I just be a high school student forever?

Miume Niina

The highlight of November! I met two of my favourite Nico Nico dancers, Miume and Niina at an anime convention on one Friday after school. It was the most exciting thing ever; I watched them perform and got to take pictures afterwardShyThat was my first time meeting Nico Nico dancers. It’s surreal to see someone you’ve watched on the Internet for ages! (Is that creepy?)

This month I ate out with my mom quite a bit too. We usually eat at home together as just the two of us, but recently she started bringing me to this café after school for dinnernekoIt’s a quiet place on the outskirts of town that we’ve gone to a few times and there aren’t usually a lot of people.

Cafe

Salmon Burger

This was my first time eating such a huge burger…I rarely eat burgers at all and even this one had a salmon patty instead.

Soup

Soup is comfort.

Salmon Rice Bowl

I’m not sure if you can tell from the pictures but they serve pretty healthy stuff. All that brown rice and veggies (I’ve been eating health for dinner). Even their desserts are of the raw sort.

Chocolate Ganache Tart

Café days with my mom are the bestbearThey make the stressful days at school more bearable when I have something to look forward to each week. I see the importance of looking for little joys in every nook and cranny nowsmile(how very philosophical of me again) Taking pictures of food are one of the things that make me a little bit happier so I guess that’s why they appear in my blog so much.

Here’s a picture of my feet to break up the food spamhappy

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The Japanese fashion brand earth music & ecology has this iPhone app that lets you edit photos so it look like one of their advertisements haha. I took that picture on one of my bus rides hometrainIn 40 minutes there isn’t much else to do besides sleeping and listening to music.

Travel Bear

In a nutshell, that was my November: school and food.

My next post will just be a collection of my coordinates the past month, but please come back to read itheheHaha. It’s been hard to blog, but I’ll try to do it as often as I can. The day after tomorrow is already December! And then soon we’ll be saying hello to 2014. When did 2013 happen?

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bye bye

☆ Hokkaido: Biei & Furano

hello

I spent the last day of the Hokkaido trip in Biei and Furano! They were on the way from Asahikawa to New Chitose Airport, so we made a stop at each place.

Biei and Furano are beautiful. Times a thousand percentLoveThey were so many farms and hills, and no tall buildings at all. And it snowed! It was the best drive ever, travelling along the snow-paved roads.

Biei

Just look at thatlove

Long before the trip I’d always wanted to visit the flower farms that Furano and Biei were famous for. The best time for visiting however, is during the summer months when all the colourful flowers are in bloom. It was already October so I knew I’d missed the flower season and there wouldn’t be much left, but there was still one farm I wanted to go to anyway.

Shikisai no Oka

Shikisai no Oka in BieiRabbitAnd the reason behind this visit…

Alpaca in Shikisai no Oka

I’ve done it…I’ve met my beloved alpacaalpacaA whole pen of them. They were all shuffling around, eating nonstop. There were even vegetable baskets you could buy for ¥100 to feed them in their pen.

Alpaca Shikisai no Oka

It’s possible that I took the most pictures at this place. Every time the alpacas so much as twitched I snapped away with my phonealpacaIt was hard not to get overexcited when surrounded by a whole bunch of warm fluffy creatures.

Aside from the alpaca enclosure I enjoyed the souvenir shop too, with all its precious alpaca stuffed toyshappyThere were lots of warm snacks too, like baked potatoes and croquettes and melon soft cream.

Baked Potato

The weather had gotten even colder, so the baked potato was comfortingyeyEverything they served was grown on the farm itself. Even with the frosty weather I loved walking around the farm. The flowers were all covered in snow, but that made for pretty scenery just as much.

After Shikisai no Oka, we continued on to Furanokira

It was almost lunch time but we stopped by Furano Marche, a charming little complex of natural Furano products. They had a farmers’ market, a sweets café, a food court and a souvenir shopneko

Furano Marche

7℃! But it had stopped snowing by the time we arrived in Furano.

Menkoi Bear

This is Menkoi BearhappyIt’s a kind of bear-shaped sponge cake made with Furano wheat, and comes in a variety of different fillings like custard, chestnut, red bean, melon cream and several others. I bought a box of six bears and doled them out in the car during the later part of the journey, because they’re small and really handy to munch on.

By the way, ‘menkoi’ means cute in Hokkaido dialect森ガール+顔+女の子_m

After Furano Marche, we finally went for lunch around the corner. Guess what I had?

Curry Rice

I can’t get tired of it. I really can’teat

Out of all the curry rice I ate in Hokkaido, this was my favourite. The curry was the thickest, the rice was the fluffiest, and that’s why I had to have curry rice for about the sixth time. Texture is everything! Those potatoes practically give it a new dimension. Like it’s a work of art. Or something.

neko

It was time to head back to the airport after that. We (well, my dad) drove for about two hours through the mountainside, and we played music in the car and talked. It was like something out of a road trip movie haha.

But that’s what made it so memorable—I never get to go on long drives like that at home. In two hours you can probably cross my entire country. In Hokkaido it was more like from one mountain to anotherhmmIt amazed me to see convenience marts in the middle of nowhere—how do the employees commute?

Milk Donut

Milk donut with simple yet the cutest packagingHappyI ate it on the plane back to Tokyo.

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Well it took me a whole month, but…that’s the last of my Hokkaido posts! I’ve been busy with school so I couldn’t blog often, but when I did get down to it I had a lot of fun going through and editing the photos I took. The good thing about using the iPhone is that pictures can’t get any more candid than thatgirl

I actually had another day in Tokyo after I returned from Hokkaido, but I think I want to save the pictures and such for other posts.

thank you

Hokkaidokirakira

Well then. See you next postwave

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☆ Hokkaido: Sapporo → Asahikawa

helloneko

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Day 4—good morning Sapporo! The weather started to get cold that day. It drizzled, then it rained, and then later on we heard it was starting to snow in Asahikawa (where we were going). But it was still going to be a great day!

Sweet Potato

I had a small breakfast of sweet potato and kurumi mochi.

Kurumi Mochi

We wanted to get an early start, so after checking out of the hotel we went straight to the Shiroi Koibito Park! It was on the way to Asahikawa, but I knew that I definitely wanted to visit the factory first. It’s Shiroi Koibito, after all—I couldn’t leave Sapporo without having a taste of the famous cookies at the very place they’re madegirl

Shiroi Koibito Factory

There were a lot of visitors even though it was raining at that time. The park was still beautiful with all the rain, but unfortunately I couldn’t take nice pictures of the gardens because it was a lot of trouble balancing my umbrella and camera and the rest of my stuff. Speaking of the umbrellas, they were borrowed from the parkumbrellaThey had a lot around for visitors to use when walking from one building to another, which I thought was nice of them.

Shiroi Koibito Factory

Got our factory tickets! They came with a Shiroi Koibito cookie for each personheheIn the factory we got to see the production line. It was cool seeing the cookies being rolled out on long conveyor belts and being put together layer by layer. If I were working there I’d be so tempted to just eat the discarded oneshurhur

Shiroi Koibito Park

Shiroi Koibito Ice Cream

I tried Shiroi Koibito ice cream at the souvenir shopgirlIt’s like a tastier version of vanilla. Also, soft cream is probably my favourite kind of ice cream so I loved it even more. There were a lot of other sweet souvenirs but I didn’t have time for a proper looknekoAlthough I think most of them (if not all) can be found at the airport anyway.

We set off again at noonneko

My dad had managed to rent a car, so the plan was to drive to Asahikawa. Before we started the two-hour journey we stopped for lunch at a small steak restaurant on the outskirts of Sapporo! I’m not really a meat person, so I had the salad bar meal where I could help myself to any of the a la carte dishes there. Curry and rice were included tooheart

Second Curry Rice

And then off we drove to AsahikawaCar

Hokkaido Drive

I’m so glad we got to drive, because the scenery while on the Hokkaido roads are the best. Blue skies and wide open spaces! There were mountains everywhere too.  The highlight of the day was probably the driveHappy

Compared to the other places I’d been to, Asahikawa was quieter and more residential. It was that time between seasons where many tourist spots weren’t open—the summer activities had just ended and winter hadn’t quite arrived yet. But I still enjoyed the city a lotLoveEspecially the ramen.

The ramen.

Ramen

This was from Santouka Ramen! The hotel staff said they were number one in town. Since it was just down the street we went down for dinner and tried both miso and shoyu ramenkira

Also, I was kind of full that night because I actually had a mini dinner before the ramen. I stayed in Toyoko Inn, which is a business hotel chain that’s known for its tidy, no-frills quality. They served dinner for free a few times a week (and breakfast every morning). On that day they had curry rice so I had to have a little bitShy

Curry Rice

I realise that I ate curry rice a lot during this trip. I just really like it haha.

It was like eating a school meal—everyone (mostly businessmen in their suits) lined up in front of the counter and the serving lady would scoop out the rice and curry for each person. And then we’d get our own pickles for the curry, and sit down at a table in the lobby to eat. I thought that was cute of the hotel to give its guests meals, especially something as homey as curry rice.

Asahikawa gave me lots of pleasant memories ♪ I didn’t even mind the rain much. That was the day it started getting really cold.

That’s all for that day! It was near the end of our Hokkaido journeyhmmBut I still spent time in Asahikawa, Furano and Biei on the last day, so I’m going to enjoy writing about it.

see you

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☆ Hokkaido: Otaru → Sapporo

Hello

On to the third day!

I’m updating kind of slowlysweat

Otaru Breakfast

This was breakfast at the hotel! Another big meal with a fancy arrangement; there were so many different things but everything tasted great together. I adore Japanese breakfasts (though the average one probably isn’t this huge haha).

After breakfast we had to check out, but before that we explored the hotel ground because it was too beautiful not to take pictures.

Neuschloss Sea

The sea was right below!

Camera

My brother and I went on a photo-taking spree again. The wind was really strong up there!

Once we checked out we headed downtown to explore the streets againhappy nekoThings are bustling in the morning too. We found the sushi street, where it was lined up with sushi restaurants and more sushi restaurants.

Otaru Sushi Street

Giant Sushi

So of course, we had sushi for lunch.

Sushi Board

Tamago Sushi

Sashimi

Just look at that freshness.

The restaurant we went to was a small joint with only two tables and a counter, so we sat near the kitchen with the chef chopping up the seafood in front of usyeyHe was really friendly, talking and showing us the fish that he was preparing. This kind of restaurant is just what vacations are about, I think, because I adored the cosy local setting.

By the time lunch was over, it was about time to leave OtarucryBut not without getting the souvenirs that I’d wanted since a long time!

Maron Coron

Marron CoronloveIt’s a thick cookie with three layers, and coated in the sides with chocolate cream. If LeTAO had the nicest cheesecake I’d ever eaten, this is also easily the best cookies I’ve had. I’d wanted to eat them for a long time, so I bought four different flavours of cookies—strawberry, almond, walnut and cocoa.

Once I’d gotten that, it was off to Sapporosheep

Otaru Sea

I was eating Marron Coron in the train while looking out at the sea and it felt like being in a Ghibli movie or something haha.

We arrived in Sapporo an hour and a half later! There was still time before dinner so we explored the neighbourhood our hotel was in and ended up walking the entire Tanuki Koji shopping arcade. It’s a ten block long street lined with lots of different shops, so it was fun to look at the variety of food and souvenirspanda

For dinner we went to a place in Tanuki koji where you could grill your own meat. We met more friendly waiters there! When one of them twigged that we were foreigners, she started chatting with us a lot throughout the meal.

The most interesting food there was the potato mochi. I’d never seen or heard of it before, but it sounded yummy so I tried it. And it was even better than I’d expectedlove

Potato Mochi

Look at that. It’s squishyyy.

When I look back at my trip I think this was one of my favouritesheartBecause I love potato and mochi and when both of them are cooked together in one spongy patty it’s a clear winner for me.

It was getting pretty late so we headed back to the hotel. My dad and my brother went out again for a night jaunt, but my mom and I stayed behind and wrapped up the day with the TV. That is, we watched Chinen’s new dramahappy

Chinen Yuri

And that’s all for that day!

The next day we headed to Asahikawa, so please come back to read about itneko

End

Alice

☆ Hokkaido: Jozankei → Otaru

good morning

The next day we went to Otaru, but spent the morning in Jozankei.

We started the day with breakfast! It was buffet-style again, and we went early to enjoy what they were serving fresh. It was mostly Japanese dishes, plus free flow of rice and breadkira kiraAnd of course the tastiest milk ever from Hokkaido cows.

Jozankei Breakfast

That’s what I ate: corn soup, scallop roe, potato salad, tamagoyaki (my favourite!), croquettes, salmon and a bun. It sounds like a long list but I really only took a little bit of eachnekoUsually I just have juice for breakfast so it was a little weird to be eating so much.

But the food was so goodkuishinbo

After breakfast we headed to the Jozankei Futami Park.

Jozankei Futami Park

All pretty trees and tweeting birdshappyThere were only a few people so it felt nice and peaceful taking a walk. Except I was lugging around my big camera, but it was still fun.

We walked until the Futami suspension bridge; it’s popular for its views of the mountain valley.

Futami Bridge

Jozankei View

My brother and I took a lot of pictures here…

Jozankei_2

It’s a good thing when both siblings are into photography. At movie-esque locations like this we become each other’s personal photographer haha.

We spent a while at the park, and then hurried back to the hotel to check out.

Next on the itinerary: Otaru!

Otaru’s a small port city right at the coast, famous for its canal attraction and fresh seafood. I thought it was a really quaint and adorable place full of characteryeyA bit of a vintage feel, maybe?

My family decided to rent bicycles to get around the main town! I’ve never cycled on a vacation before so I enjoyed exploring on wheels a lot. There were beautiful views of the sea everywhere!

Otaru

Otaru Canal

Otaru Canal! It was one of the most crowded tourist spots.

For lunch we had seafood, of courseneko

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Seafood rice bowl! My mom likes ikura (salmon roe) a lot, but over here it’s expensive. When I was in Hokkaido—especially Otaru—we saw it everywhere. Not just in different restaurants, but even in the bowl itself there’s so much ikura it’s almost overflowing.

Grilled Scallops

A lot of places had grilled seafood too, like these scallopslove

And then at my request we all went on a hunt for a shop I’d wanted to go to for a long time—LeTAO. It’s one of the most famous confectionary brands in Hokkaido. Its flagship store is in Otaru so I knew I wanted to try their famous cakes. The one that everyone recommended me is their number one bestseller, the Double Fromage Cheesecake! LeTAO’s so popular that there are three branches on the same street.

Oh, but we got lost trying to find the storerabbit

We did get there eventually, and managed to get my precious cake.

Double Fromage

I know it doesn’t look like much but. The double fromage cheesecake is LeTAO’s signature dessert. It has two layers of cheese—baked cream cheesecake on the inside and fluffy no-bake cheesecake on the outside. The result is one of the nicest cheesecakes I’ve ever hadhappy(It’s a good thing my family liked it too, because we cycled over an hour just for it)

Otaru Sushi

Sushi and sashimi for dinnerlove

There was a variety show playing on the restaurant’s TV so everyone was watching and laughing while eating/serving food…it was quite funny LOL.

And that’s all for that day! I think food was a big part of it haha, I tried out a lot of different things. I’d recommend the manjuu (something like a small bun or mochi) in Jozankei, and lots of seafood in Otaru.

See you in the next postgirl

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Welcome ♡

▷ . Cheryl

I'm a university student in Tokyo blogging every weekend about cute food and cute places in Japan٩( ᐛ )و

Read my About Me ☆ to know more.

はじめまして!
大学一年生のシェリルです
毎週日本の可愛い食べ物や場所についてブログ更新していますヽ(´_`) /♪

よろしくお願いします

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