Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sunny's Christmas Eve treat


Thanks to Sunny's loving godma, Siew Boon, he too got a special Christmas eve dinner.

Meat balls and eclairs.

My Christmas Breakfast


left overs from Christmas, but still yummy!

My Christmas gifts

Eventhough we are no longer a child.

Eventhough we have gone through so many Christmases.

Eventhough we could buy all these with our own money.

Still, when come to unwrapping of Christmas presents, the feeling of enthusiasium and curiousity still filled our hearts.

The joy of giving and the gladness of receiving will afterall, be there every Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last dinner in Osaka

Snacking before our last dinner in Osaka. This is Yoshi's favourite Japanese snack. It is made of fllour and topped with sweet sauce.
Tonight's dinner would be Japanese curry rice.

No words could express my gratitude to Yoshi and Rika for their hospitality these two weeks.

"Yoshi and Rika, thanks so much for your great company and most of all, your friendship. We will continue all the eating when you visit us next year yah!"

"Sayonara!"

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ikebana

Yoshi googled and arranged a ikebana lesson for beginner for us.

I had my hands on ikebana today and thankfully, Yoshi was there to translate for us. Soha sensei was a friendly and energetic teacher. She showed us the basics of ikebana and explain a little history of ikebana.

In the Edo era, ikebana was practised by Samurai, much to my surprise as it is always regarded an art form for ladies.

I'm so glad I had this opportunity to learn ikebana from a Japanese ikebana sensei.

Thank God for that.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My favourite purchase in Osaka

Before we set off to Shinsaibashi, one of the shopping districts in Osaka, our hosts gave us direction to some of the more interesting shops.

We managed to locate Acru, a shop selling leather products, after asking help from the owner of a diner.

Acru sells leather straps for camera and I fell in love with this strap. This should be my best buy in Osaka as I've been wanting to get a short hand strap for my camera.

It set me back by S$45.

Simple love

It's a simple dish!

Just porridge.

But what you don't see is the effort, time, care and love that went into the making of this simple food.

I must remind myself to look beyond the visible and care more about the invisibles.

Quotation



Life is meaningless only if we allow it to be. Each of us has the power to give life meaning, to make our time and our bodies and our words into instruments of love and hope.
- Tom Head

Internet shopping

When you are in a country whose Internet culture is so much more matured than back in Singapore, how can I miss this opportunity to shop on line?

In Japan, you can virtually buy anything and everything from the net.

Prices are also a fraction cheaper than the retail market.

Bought two tubs of hair gel at 50% chapter than what is sold in the hair salon in Singapore.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The heavenly Japanese bread

Today was really an eventful day.
We went to Rejoice, a cafe owned by Rika's friend, to learn to bake bread. The butter bread from Rejoice is really heavenly. I've never tasted anything close to this.

We were so fortunate that the owner of the cafe conducted a baking lesson for baking the butter bread.

It is not easy baking bread, especially the perfect one. It is not just by following the recipe, but Kan Jan was there to give us those valuable tips from her many years of baking experience.

The Japanese is not just focus on making tasty bread, but also in making the perfect looking bread.

Under the tutelage of our master, we baked decent looking butter bread and I must say they taste good too. Of course the credit goes to Kan Jan, our master.

Wise saying



We saw these wise sayings posters in the subway at downtown Osaka.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

10 course dinner - finale



Rice cracker. At this point, we were all full to our neck

10 course dinner - 9th course



Fruits

10 course dinner - 8th course



Gohan with soup and pickles

10 course dinner - 7th course



Kani

10 course dinner - 6th course



Tempura ebi

10 course dinner - 5th course



Terrayaki chicken

10 course dinner - 4th course



Sashimi

10 course dinner - 3rd course



Soup

10 course dinner - 2nd course

10 course dinner - 1st course


We stayed in a small cozy hotel in Arima 有马 which is a onsen (hotspring) town last night.
The 20 000 yen a night per person stay came with a 10 course dinner.
This is the first course.

Tea with orange and apple

After every dinner, Rika will make tea and we will sit around the table to chat till the wee hours.
Today, she made tea with oranges and apples. This is really unique and it has natural sweetness of the oranges and apples.
Simple idea but somehow, we never try it before.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

English breakfast

Rika is making scones for breakfast now. With the recipe in hand, she took the trouble to personally bake the scones
It was English breakfast this morning.

Awaji Island

We spent our Friday and Saturday in Awaji Island. We visited Rika's friend Acco and her family. She has three very sensible and friendly daughters. They were comfortable with adults and we had a great time.

We spent the Friday night in a family run motel. Very clean and cozy place. The kids spent the night away having lots of fun with the iPad.

Awaji Island is just a short drive from Kobe and basically it's like a village. There is no huge department stall, no neon lights. Just nice beaches and uncontaminated environment.

Acco brought us around the island on Saturday. We also went to a nice bakery shop and restaurant.

Sometimes, I feel that we really don't need Bally or Prada. What we need is a nice quiet place and enjoy earth's nature and Awaji is the place.

Acco and her husband felt that Awaji Island could provide an environment filled with nature for her kids. They uprooted themselves and moved to the island. She said there was no need to go traveling to beach resort as they are living in a beach resort fronted by the sea. When her children were in Hawaii playing in the beach, they couldn't tell the different from their own beach in Awaji.


So, I guess each has his own priority, but if you ask me, I'll choose Awaji any time.

A lovely modest island.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Gohan

We have Gohan (rice) for breakfast this morning.
Rika prepared breakfast before leaving for seminar in Kobe.
It's really warm to see breakfast all prepared for you when we woke up.
This is Japanese hospitality.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Eating tradition

Our host brought us to this home run restaurant which is high up in the mountain. The house was built many years ago and it was designed based on the structure of traditional building which exist thousand years ago.

The embience was very unique and the soba was oishi. Pricing was reasonable too.


Thanks to Yoshi and Rika who drove us all the way up the mountain. We were lost for a while but thankfully we found the place. Without them, we wouldn't get such wonderful experience.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A-style lunch

We are roaming Horie area now where there are unique shops selling really interesting and beautiful things.

Now stopping over for lunch at A-style. Even food is served beautifully.



Like the toast being served on a little enamel tray.



2nd breakfast in Japan

This morning, Rika prepared porridge for breakfast. Eventhough it is simple food, but the presentation made the food even more appetizing.

Healthy and delicious breakfast.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fallen



After breakfast, Yoshi brought us to a temple in a mountain near his house. We were still able to see maple trees all in fiery red.
There were many maple leaves that had fallen, and they decorated the street with their redness and added colour to our walk.

Japanese breakfast

This is really a dream vacation. Waking up at only 10 am and Rika our ever friendly host serves us breakfast. Everything she serves is oishi.

Love the simplicity and the taste of love, friendship and sincerity.
Really you can't get this anywhere else except in Yoshi and Rika's home.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Flying High 2



Just boarded the plane and I'm glad that it's a rather empty flight. In about 7 hours time, I'll be in Osaka and looking forward to meeting Yoshi n Rika.

Flying High

Yippee!

Lounging at the Changi Airport now, will be boarding soon for Osaka Japan.

Winter, here I come!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What flower is this?

It is a strange flower, a bright red flower with little white flowers growing from the main flower.
Have you seen anything like this before?

Well if you haven't, this is my first time either. It is a very common plant, the Ginger plant.

I guess even ordinary plants has their uniqueness, just like all of us. Each of us holds talents that God bestowed on us. It is for us to discover that gift and excel in it.

As the year comes to an end, we should take stock of what accomplishments we have done and make new plans for next year.

My First Christmas Gift for 2010

This is my first Christmas gift for the year. It is a tote bag bought at 40% discount.

A great buy and a great gift.

A commitment to come back to blogging

After a long hiatus from blogging, I decided to make a come back. I just viewed a YouTube clip which suggest that if we commit to...