Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Day 3 Shinjuku & Shibuya

Good thing about traveling on our own; we need not follow a packed schedule provided by tour guide. And, we get to take our own sweet time getting up and ready. After traveling to various places, I learnt not to be greeady and try to squeeze as many tourist attractions and places as possible into my itinerary. I used to do it that way and forgot to eat as Ken and I hastily hop to one place to another.  On the ensuing days, we usually ended up with sore feet haha. So, it was a really bad idea!

For my trip to Tokyo, I created my itinerary by referring to :) 

Our first destination for day 3 was Shinjuku Gyoen (Shinjuky Garden). It was around 15 to 20 minutes walk from our hotel. Throughout the trip, Ken and I had a keep-calm-and-do-not-be-grumpy-rule since getting lost was almost inevitable. Indeed, we were lost everyday. While we were searching for the way to Shinjuku Gyoen, we saw Starbucks so we went in, grabbed some drinks and asked for the direction. Each time we travel, we will definitely visit Starbucks and McDonald's. Guess it feels at home? haha

Ken and I had Capuccino and Iced Chocolate respectively. 

As instructed by the staff of Starbucks, we headed off towards west. On our way, we saw a young mummy trying to lift a pram and bring it down to the bottom of a staircase so we stopped by and lend our hands. Speaking of young mummies in Japan, majority of them look very young and pretty. Men, now you know where to look for pretty wife! haha

Along the sidewalks, there were tall trees on my left and the streets were empty, it felt serene hehe. Still looking for Shinjuku Gyoen by the way..

And then, we saw a poster somewhere near a primary school. I wondered if the kids will be terrified when they see this? :/

Upon entering Shinjuku Gyoen, we were a little confused since most of the trees were as bald as a coot. To some extent, it felt eerie just like how a horror movie should be haha. That is me posing with trees. 

After walking deeper into Shinjuku Gyoen, we saw more non-balding trees and some flowers too! We had a cute discovery; we found a lot of professional-looking elderly people bringing huge-ass DSLR camera in the park taking close-up shots of Narcissus 'Paper White'.

So, I decided to take one too. haha

For Ken and I, the attractions of the park were Shinjuku Gyoen Goryō-tei and the Old Imperial Western-style Rest House.

Shinjuku Gyoen Goryō-tei was presented by voluntary Japanese in Taiwan in commemoration of the Imperial wedding ceremony of the Crown Prince (later the Emperor Shoōwa) early in the Shoōwa era. It displays the architectual style (the Minnan style architecture of the southern China) which had previaled in Taiwan since the middle period of the Ch'ing dysnasty, showing a swastika pattern in the plan of the former retiring room.
resource from: the descriptive plaque provided near the entrance of Shinjuku Gyoen Goryō-tei.

The Old Imperial Western-style Rest House was built in 1896 for a rest place which was used when Emperor and Imperial family came to admire plants at greenhouse in Shinjuku Gyoen. The House was designed by the Bureau of Construction in the Ministry of the Imperial Household and built based on the style of architecture called Stick Style which was popular centered in housing around the U.S.  
resource from: the pamphelt provided upon entering the rest house.
Regarding the greenhouse mentioned in the description above, it was located just 1 to 2 minutes walking distance from the resthouse. Ken and I did not spend much time lingering inside the greenhouse as all the plants in it can be found back in Malaysia. 

We actually spent about 90 minutes in the park and it was not all thoroughly discovered lol. Anyhow, we headed to Takashimaya Department Store and went to Tamazushi for lunch. Upon entering the restaurant, there were people assisting us to to take off our winter coat and hung it. We then sat at the sushi bar. The chef recommended us to have ebi (prawn), freshly delivered from Hokkaido, for lunch. Additionally, we had Omakase (Chef's recommendation) and a sake named 'Akai Akari' (if I am not wrong).

Spot the bigger ebi in the middle of the plate! That's the one from Hokkaido! It was really different from those I ate in KL. The ebi was really fresh and juicy.

After lunch, due to the after-effect of sake, my face turned red and I felt a little tipsy but it was not too bad. I was able to walk but Ken forbid me from drinking any sake thereafter. :/ ohwells.

 At noon, we rode on the train to Shibuya. Next stop, Shibuya crossing! Each train station in Japan has numeral exits that lead to different side of the town (like north, west, south, east). Without fail, we got lost again. On the brighter side, we got to see other parts of Shibuya before arriving at the right exit to Shibuya Crossing. The picture below are restaurants located under a flyover. That fascinated me since we do not have that in KL. Do you see the bicycles in the picture? Japanese often travel around the town on bicycle. :)  

Just realized that I did not capture much pictures in Shibuya as I was too caught up in shopping and sightseeing. Anyway, I snapped this picture when I was standing at the crossroad of Shibuya Crossing. :)

Ken and I went to 109 Men's, Marui, and Parco (shopping malls) and eventually got bored with it. Ken is more of a fan of Nike and Adidas so he is not interested in anything less or beyond that. As for me, I bought two sweaters and a winter coat (if I had not mentioned it already, I did not have any winter coat since day 1 as I could not find any in KL)! We continued wandering around Shibuya and suddenly, we came across this cute truck that reminded me of Kiki's Delivery Service haha.

I am not sure if it is a trend in Tokyo or all over Japan, but I noticed a lot of dessert shops around town! And, they all looked really nice. After looking around, we both settled at a dessert shop inside Parco.  I had a chestnut chocolate cream cake and Ken had a black tea sponge cake.

This is my favourite place in Shibuya; the Spain Slope! This slope is lined by boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Additional to that, the shops are in different size and structure: one-storey, three-storeys, and some even have basement! In KL (at least at the place I live), the structure of buildings and shops are rather monotonous hence I got really excited as I walked on the slope. I actually walked up and down on the same slope for twice (that showed how excited I was lol). 

On the side of the slope, we discovered Tsukada Farm which serves chicken (mainly chicken since they has a farm in Hokkaido and chickens are freshly delivered across Japan). The waiter in Tsukada Farm named Yasu was really friendly. He actually briefed us through the origin of Tsukada Farm before taking our order. We had salmon served with avocado, charcoal-grilled chicken and soft-boiled eggs.

Before leaving the restaurant, Yasu gave us a surprise. He presented us a 'pan' of rice fried with chicken oil obtained from the charcoal grilled chicken we had earlier, that explains the blackish-colored rice.  

Then, a note on the plate, some yoghurt-like food in the spoon and stickers of Tsukada Farm (This restaurant has its own sticker. How cool!) haha. Last but not least, when we left the restaurant (for real), he ran out of the restaurant and gave us two mini bags of soy sauce as gift. Haha I am not sure about the custom of giving soy sauce but Ken and I really appreciated the warm welcome. 

After a plentiful meal, we took the train back to Shinjuku. We decided to visit Kabukichō, a famous red-light district located in Shinjuku before heading back to the hotel. As usual, I had to ask people for direction haha. So, I was asking this man, who probably just got off from his work, for direction to Kabukichō, he was trying equally as hard to reply me in English (he found out that I am a foreigner since I spoke awkward Japanese) just like how I tried to ask him for directions in Japanese and that was really funny haha.  

The entrance to Kabukichō.

For men's pleasure, I saw various types of services being offered here. Some of which I spotted were: massage, a date out with a girl you picked,  and private room for viewing porn. This was a real eye-opener!


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Giorno 15 - Day 15 in Italy but Day 3 in Malaysia

I was remembering it is Chinese New Year in Malaysia. Everyone would say I would feel lonely since I'm abroad and I don't have anyone to celebrate it with. Instead of that I don't feel any difference actually. There was one secretary from school wished me Happy Chinese New Year! I smiled my largest as I think no one would know about it. There was a girl in my class from Israel who look at me strange "Why is your new year in the middle of January?" I like how people look at me strange. I then explained how the Chinese calendar only have 30 days that's why our dates are always different for new year. In Malaysia we could celebrate new year 4 times actually hahaha.

While we share stories about how we all celebrated our New year back in our own country, Laura black hair, pointy nose and had lots of rings on her fingers said her and her family would run around the boundaries of their house(and their neighbours as well! Couldn't help myself I was laughing so hard) once the clock struck midnight with their pocket filled with a good luck charm. She showed us later but I forgot what was it but I remembered it was weird. ;/ hahahaha. This was her story in italian which was my second week of Italian language. I hope I heard it correctly if not I would be finding a wall to bang into right now.

I felt nothing on "Chinese New Year" this year as I walk the streets of Florence there was commotion of course it just another day to get to work. What I find it funny was I kept wishing my parents on Chinese New Year eve and my brother was like "... not yet.." My nostrils frilled and wondered "wtf. I just told the secretary in our school it was CNY tomorrow." Heh heh . Thank God he didn't needed that information about it. As well I told the dates so wrong when the next day I wish my family again they say "tomorrow is only the first day of Chinese new year today is just the eve where we are going to your grandparents' house"
Finally on the first day of Chinese New Year I give up, my younger brother sending me a picture of my red packet and mum told me to go find bird saliva in Florence.

Haha no mum. There is no bird saliva in Florence.

I was evading the rain.

Weather in Florence is terrible as it was raining the whole day and almost the whole week for that matter. I stayed in my pyjamas and made myself minestrone as I was sick and mum should not know. It was day 3 of CNY where all my relatives would gather in my house. I remembered telling my Italian teacher Valentina, I had 6 nieces/nephews, 40 cousins, 18, aunts and uncles and 1 grandparents. Her mouth opened wide and asked how we fit into one house. While everyone fitted in my house they skyped with me as well. How sweet. I don't know but I think it is the first time my grandmum encountered skype and she cried literally in front of the screen where she was shocked to see me. hahahaha. As awkward as it was I felt so loved by everyone.

Nom toast is a comfort food when you have cold (Thats what I read at least)

Now I understand why went you are abroad "studying" you can really know alot of series. I finished a few seasons of series of my own. I should really say FML at that moment as I'm in Florence but heck. It's winter.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Le Purple Hair!

Hellos I have yet another update of my hair dye colour again :) I dyed this a little late this time, after Christmas.
Such silly decision.
This time I only dyed it one colour, dark purple! I chose this because I saw this girl from lookbook which has light purple hair.
Since school is starting in a month I don't think the colour will fade in time for me to back to school having brown hair instead of bright purple hair. Sadly.

So then I saw another blogger who did dark purple and it turned out really nice! So I thought since I can't choose light purple why not go for dark? 

No regrets the colour turned out pretty cool! Since my last dye, I had bleach highlights on my hair still with the original colour already washed off. So even though I only dyed dark purple my hair turned out to have two colours with the bleach highlight having very bright purple.

Check out my previous dye here ! 

This colour is amazing because when I just dyed it, it look really dark almost like black(excluding the highlight).
Then as I wash it, it turned more red-marroon-pinkish which look sooooo gooooddd under the sunlight! I think it looks good in my preference. Heheheh and my lighter purple looks pinkish-magenta-fushia-ish? So I really liked it!

I have pictures of both when it is dark and light.

Now after having it for more than a month plus the colour is still there but is slowly fading to brown already. Just in time for school!
This colour is quite lasting compared to the red hair and pink brown hair I had last time.

I dyed my hair colour at number76 Mont' Kiara branch by Hikky! 

Notice the lighter purple (highlight streaks) are still the same as my previous dye.


This is the 3rd day after I dye, after first wash. Still very dark.

This is after I don't know how many washes, probably 3rd where the colour in my opinion is the best! These photos are taken indoor.

Side view.


Back view with sun and without sunlight.

See the difference in colour one in sun and the other without.

And finally a random picture I took that make my hair look super purple!