Archive for December, 2016

Christmas Sweets in Tokyo

Christmas Taiyaki

Wishing everyone a happy Christmas wherever you are! Winter break has come and I’m feeling warm and cosy spending time with my favourite people in the world and forgetting about finals just for a while. So I hope the holiday season gives you some joy toochristmas

Every year Christmas gets more and more quiet, but there’s nothing I need more than going to church with my family and appreciating God’s blessingshappyPlus there’re so many Christmas snacks around. I’m so happy and well fed right now.

Christmas Santa Donut Japan

I had a Santa donut from the convenience store the other day, and it’s cute how festive they’re able to make a simple donut with packaging alone. Shoutout to 7-11 for having such an adorable (and cheap) line-up of Christmas sweets.

Snowman Mousse Japan

They also had a snowman mousse which I got yesterday—it’s not snowing in Tokyo but at least I can still enjoy the cold winter with appropriately seasonal sweets. 7-11 has been having the best Christmas sweets among all the convenience stores so far this year.

Reindeer Cake Japan

Christmas in the Forest cake from Crayon House! I went there again the day before and they were having a whole bunch of holiday-themed cakes. There was the typical log cake too, but I went with the cuter one. It’s a good time of the year for special dessertskirakira

Enjoy the last few days of the year!

Hakone in December

Hello! It’s already the end of December and I’ve only had one post this month?! It’s been a few of the busiest weeks I’ve had this year with school and part-time jobs and everything in between, and I hadn’t even had time to realise Christmas is this Sunday. But it’s almost time for a short winter break, so tonight I’m going to sit back and try to revive some of my holiday spirit. And blogging frequency.

Hakone

The other day I had to go to Hakone, and it’d been a long time since I last went there so I took lots of pictures. I think Hakone’s a staple on the itinerary of every traveller to Tokyo, so there were tons of people as usual. Everyone heads to the volcanic valley in Owakudani for some good black eggs bathed in sulfur.

Hakone

Those eggs are really popular, and they’ve even spawned a huge line of souvenir goods and snacks. Some of the shops have a keychain of Hello Kitty dressed up as a black egg, which is actually cute. There’s also a popular story that they add seven years to your life, which gets a bit suspicious if you eat several of them at once. I didn’t get to eat any this time, but I saw some cute egg-shaped chairs.

Hakone

And I saw Mt Fuji too! It was super clear that day (with the occasional big cloud sailing across) and so we got a good view of the mountain. Hakone’s still one of the best spots to see it up close—just go up Owakudani on a fine day and you’ll get your postcard shot.

Hakone

What better prop for your food photo than Mt Fuji?

Hakone

We went up and down by cable car. Did you know the black eggs get a ride by cable car too? They get stuffed into a little crate and then transported up and down the mountain by their own mini ropeway system. So they can enjoy the scenery high up there along with us.

Hakone

But the town landscape back on the ground is just as beautiful too. Everything’s authentic and traditional, with lots of rivers and old bridges. So old that this bridge we were on was shaking as we were walking across it (which was slightly alarming seeing it was made of stone).

Hakone

Another famous icon of Hakone—the huge ship that ferries you across Lake Ashi. Look at it all majestic and being blessed by that ray of sunlightkirakira

Hakone

After you’ve had a full day of exploring Hakone (all the tourist maps are literally designed to go one big round) you can return to the main station at Hakone-Yumoto for some good hot food when you’re hungry. I wasn’t touring around the place or anything but I was still hungry anyway. So we had soba! There are lots of soba and udon restaurants around, so any of them would have something delicious.

I had agemochi soba, which was completely delicious but also a bit of a mistake because I only had 15 minutes to eat and not enough time to finish the two big mounds of fried mochi that came with itcryBut still highly recommended if you have more time than that and are not a slow eater like me!

Hakone

Otherwise, just hit the souvenir stores for free tastings. I’ve never seen a street that gives out this many samples. Since I hadn’t had breakfast that morning I ate my way through at least ten stores and got full fast. There’s no better breakfast than pieces of mochi and hot steamed manju.

Hakone

Kamaboko’s also one of the specialties at Hakone, so there were lots of free samples like this cute panda one toopanda

Hakone

And even barbecue. Would you believe that? Right in the middle of the street. It was a store selling seafood, so they had grills set up outside where you could literally take their stock and fry them up yourself. And they even had free tea to drink with it.

Hakone

Free barbecue, beautiful nature and life-extending eggs—Hakone is a wonderful place to visitkirakira

Hakone

Tokyo in Red: Fall 2016

(Why does that title sound like I’m trying to name a fashion collection?)

Tokyo Autumn

It’s December and I need to get my life and blogging schedule back in order. Autumn has breezed by and the leaves are already starting to fall off the trees. But not before I got to take pictures of the momijicamera emoji bearIt’s basically the fall version of the cherry blossoms in spring. Except instead of hanami and lots of pink flowers, people go kouyou viewing instead.

Tokyo Autumn

And there’re lots of momiji-shaped manju like this one! Spongy, red bean-filled, and a perfect prop for all your pictures of autumn leaves. A pack of three was barely a ¥100 at the supermarket toosmileBecause unlike back in spring there is virtually no time for a picnic now, so cheap snacks it is.

Tokyo Autumn

I got to see kouyou twice this year! I realised that last year I never really did go at all. I just saw the yellow leaves that were already on my university campus and I was satisfied with that. But this year it was like, no, they have to be red.

This picture was taken at Koishikawa Korakuen near the Tokyo Dome! I’d been wanting to go because I saw these photos of a old red bridge, but when I went there we circled the entire park and just could not find it. We did eventually find it…after the sun had already sethurhur

Tokyo Autumn

Rikugien had a special light-up event going on, so I saw the leaves at night for the first time and it was spectacular. A poet would write about this inspiring sight. Now I can’t decide if I like the leaves better in the daytime or night.

Tokyo Autumn

Either way, it’s beautifulloveI’ve never been so excited about nature before coming to Japan, but that’s because the leaves in Singapore are too green all year round. I didn’t know I could spend this much time standing in front of a tree taking pictures of its leaves.

Tokyo Autumn

But it’s not just the scenery either—sometimes they have food stalls and traditional crafts just to make things a little more festive. At Rikugien there was a mochi stall where they were grilling them on sticks over a straw pit, so we got some to share!

Tokyo Autumn

Soy-sauce flavourkiraIt was soft and salty and sweet and basically the best mochi I’ve had in a while. I mean, how often do I get fresh hot mochi straight off the grill? Practically never. What a good reason to go to the park (besides the autumn leaves).

Tokyo Autumn

Till next year, momijimomiji


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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