Sunday, June 28, 2009


The cafe at the old parliament house, which is now the arts house, is called Earshot.

Love the cafe, it's so quite and not many customers there. Other than food and drinks, it also sell books and CDs by Singaporeans.

It's a great place to hangout with your good friends for a nice chat.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

How many ways can you eat a fish?

How many ways are there to eat a fish?

From the picture above, it seems like it's only one way.
unanimously, we all eat it the same way, Japanese, Malaysian or Singaporean, all alike.

Never eat a fish like that:

You'll bound to choke.
Derrick is eating a traditional Japanese miso coated rice cake.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Forgetting to live

I read this article by Gary Hayden in his regular column in Mind your Body dated 18 June 2009.

He quote Seneca, the Roman philosopher:

" But those who forget the past, neglect the present and fear for the future have a life that is very brief and troubled; when they have reached the end of it, the poor wretches perceive too late that for such a long while they have been bruised in doing nothing."

Do you agree? Let's examine our life often and see whether we fall into this bondage.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Osaka Day 6 - Part 2

After spending the whole morning snacks hunting in Takayama,
we proceeded to our hotel, and my God, the hotel was beautiful.
The building was built one hundred and fifty years ago, very traditional Japanese building.

My room was huge, and was tatami ladened. It cost each person about $350 per night including a really sumptuous dinner and breakfast.

This town has many onsens, and we spent the afternoon onsen hopping.

It was like Japan Hour, the outdoor onsens were set just next to the running river surrounded by mountains.

I really thank Yoshi for bringing me here and thank God for this opportunity to have such a memorable experience.

Osaka Day 6 - Part 1

We set off for Takayama today.

Yoshi & Rika has bought a guide book on travelling.

We have highlighted a few snack shops to visit and the decade old soba shop for lunch.

We managed to find all the destinations.

My favourite is this Hida beef sushi.

The beef was smooth and very tender.

love it.

Osaka Day 5 - Part 2

Shirakawa-go is a beautiful village.

There are farm lands and at this season, you can find all sorts of flowers there.

We spent the whole afternoon walking around the small village.

We stopped by this little cafe, to drink coffee.
The owner was really friendly, we sat around the fire place and had coffee.
He even treated us to his red bean soup.

We spent the night in this home run bed & breakfast.
It cost about S$130 per night per person.

It was a good experience staying in a 200 year old house in this ancient village.

Osaka Day 5 - Part 1

Today we woke up early and set off for the mountain in Gifu Prefecture
It was a long drive, about 5 hours.
We made a few stops before we reached our destination, Shirakawa-go.

This is a very ancient town which was listed as one of the world heritage.
It was classified as world heritage as the houses there was built in the unique Gassho-style.
The houses have been there for like more than 200 years.

The roof was a huge A shape, made of grass bundled together to about a foot thick.
It took about 500 abled men to build the roof in a day.
It is a custom to finish building the roof in one day.

The A shaped roof allows good air ventilation as well as enabling the snow to fall off during the harsh winter month.

We stayed at this family run bed & breakfast.

There was nothing to do at night, we just sit round the fire place and talk.
The owner came by to chat with us and told us a little bit about him.
The house was passed down from his grandfather to his father and eventually to him.

I just wonder whether his children would want to inherit this family heir loom.
5 months of harsh cold winter and 3 months of very hot summer. That's a tall order to inherit the property.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Osaka Day 4 - Part 4

When one comes to Osaka, one must try the Okonomiyaki.

It is prepared on a hotplate, It contained lots of cabbage cut into slender strips and topped with seafood and egg. It is then pan fried into a pancake shape and spread with special sauce.

We went to this restaurant near Yoshi's house which served Okonomiyaki. I ate in this same restaurant in 2005 when I last visited them.

Osaka Day 4 - Part 3

Today, we went Shopping with Rika at Umeda

I love shopping with Rika cos she always bring us to very nice shops.
Our first stop was a shop selling herb based products.

The service was world best. When I was browsing at some tea which only cost about $6 each small box, the sales girl took the effort to prepare the tea for me to try. And she did it with finesse and a huge smile on her face.

The tea was oishi, being so impressed by her service, I bought 3 boxes.

Osaka Day 4 - Part 2

For lunch, we went to this restaurant recommended by Yoshi.

It was a restaurant selling Japanese food.

We ordered the set lunch, the highlight was that there were many dishes, each served in tiny crockery. It was a feast for the sight as well.

I love the chawamushi, which was served in a tiny jam container.

Osaka Day 4 - Part 1

Derrick prepared breakfast for us this morning.
It was a simple dish – fish porridge

However, it took him about an hour to boil the porridge, stirring it intermittently to prevent it from burning the base.

Somehow, the porridge when serve in a beautifully crafted bowl taste better.

That's what I like about Japan, everything is so beautifully presented.

Osaka Day 3 - Part 3

We went shopping with Yoshi today.

Rika stayed home and prepared dinner for us.

She prepared simple dishes with the vegetables planted by Yoshi's father.

I love the minced meat with tofu.

The soup was delicious too, meat and vegetable wrapped in tofu skin.

The finale was the dessert. She made Panna Cotta from a recipe. It was her first time trying it but it tasted refreshingly sweet.

A disciplined lifestyle

I've been doing my one-minute exercise routine for more than a year. I first started with one-min planking, now I've extended i...