Saturday, April 11, 2015

Light Em Up

No disrespect to Fall Out Boy, but Japan's winter is the season for all the lights to go beserk.

Oh dear, I forgot to post this entry and have been in the drawer for 3 months...
Here goes my winter entry.

All major cities in Japan will have grand illumination, usually up to Dec. 25th, but some of them still continues until Valentine.

Dear me, I am so hyped looking at those sparkling lights.
Tokyo Color from Tokyo Station


I love those lights against the harsh winter. Without them, the winter will be too cold and life will be, well lifeless. Not to mention how delicious the cheese cake I had in Ebisu. It was,guiltily, the most expensive cheese cake I'd have.   

Now the spring has arrived, I will move on to the next chapter of 2015.

Till then, 
Ha Hu Hi.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

List for the holiday

List for my holidays:

A little early, but who cares.

1. Go meet the kohais before they BFG.
2. List out all the books ( mangas and fictions alike)
3. Learn a new language.
4. Hibernate like squirrels.
5. Make pies, then karipaps, then pies, then karipaps....
6. Back to 4.
7. Eat nasi goreng for brunch and dinner.
8. Back to 2.
9. Back to 4.
10. Recheck list

Till then,
Ha Hu Hi

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Typhoon Season

(and the effects on company workers)

Signs of autumn in Japan.
 1. A lot of mushroom going around in supermarket.

 2. Cute pumpkin design anywhere.

 3. SANMA fish everywhere. (and it's delicious too!")

 4. Reading and Sport events

 5. Typhoon

Courtesy of the STAR Thursday, Oct 9, 2014

Definitely no.5.
In less than two weeks, I've had one hit last Monday (Typhoon No. 18 aka Neneng Typhoon) and another upcoming No. 19 aka Vongfong whether in Monday or Tuesday next week.
Schools in Japan had informed the students that class were cancelled.
Meteorology department had given warning issues to high risk area to evacuate.
Now.... how about medium risk area or to say Tokyo area?

 Last week typhoon, my department had warned us the typhoon in e-mails the Friday before. To quote the contents; "If the typhoon no. 18 hit on Monday, you should stay in your home. To those who went to work after considering there will be no danger, you can enter your working hours as............"

Well, I went to work in the afternoon since I had some unfinished documents need to be completed by Tuesday.

 Now, for the upcoming typhoon. I received the same e-mail on Friday, but with a bit of change of contents. To quote " ... You can only go to work after receiving your supervisor permission."

Oh dear, it seems like the upcoming typhoon is quite dangerous seeing the e-mail.

 Why does Autumn brings forth typhoon? It's more on the drastic change of pressure since it'll be getting colder here = air pressure drop. The high pressure from south moves upward and creates the swirls of winds. Well, that's just my assumption. I don't know whether this is right, but this is the basic knowledge of typhoon.

 Autumn is the season of greatness in terms of food and health. It also brings out the nature danger. Sort of give and take with nature and human. Time for remembrance so we don't forget. No matter how great the human beings are, there are far greater power than us.

Till then,
Ha Hu Hi

Friday, July 4, 2014

2014 Golden Week: Last day

It's the last day in Aomori.
M had gone back yesterday, and I'm going to tour alone in the city.
First stop is breakfast.
I'd had the apple pies for breakfast in ASPAM, some sort of tourist center.
My breakfast.........apples of Aomori.

Apple Pie and Apple puff
Then I took a stroll along the coast, watching the harbor, listening to my blues....
 See the clouds? The wind was quite strong that day, drifting all the clouds to gathered near the mountains. Nope, it wasn't raining at all.

Then I went to the Seikan ferry museum, the Hakkodamaru.

Inside, there's a replica of the times when the ferry started operating until it end in 1988, with the opening of Seikan tunnel. There was also an English catalogue given, making the tour foreigner friendly.

Seikan ferry was also in operation during World War II. Though, I think that it was meant to carry passengers to and fro from Hokkaido, the ferry was attacked, killing all the passengers. (I'd learnt in History that Japan was bombed in Tokyo raid; and Hiroshima and Nagasaki for atomic bombs. Never heard of Aomori history). After WWII, the ferry resumed it's operation, but alas, due to storms, more casualties were born, thus the Seikan Tunnel project began.

What I really like in this tour is that how big the ferry is! I had ridden on Penang ferries and Sarawak ferries, but never had I known how really big a ferry is! There was the engine room, and rooms that stored trains inside! It's like the ferry was the ocean railway connecting Aomori and Hakodate.

The first class seat of the 1980s

Enormous engine room 
Fishes are flying in the sky on the top of Hakkodamaru

That conclude my last day in Aomori as I rode on the bus back to Tokyo.
Aomori station! Ao = blue, Mori = forest; get the logo?

On the way back, the bus stopped at several R&R, and these was taken in the early morning, in which I was in haze, but took pictures anyway since the R&R was quite eccentric.

The R&R
Never knew that Edo-style R&R existed! Very funky!

Until my next trip,

Ha Hu Hi

Thursday, July 3, 2014

2014 Golden Week: Day 3

Aomori city, Aomori Prefecture

It was cloudy and the sky looked like it was going to rain sometime soon, we went around the Aomori city. 
(mainly because M is going back to Tokyo today)

Aomori city is a port city (think of Klang if you're a Malaysian), providing passages between Hokkaido and Honshu. There's a history guide around the city and also a ferry museum, the last Seikan ferry, which I went to for my last day in Aomori.

Just a bit information on Aomori. 
First of all, Aomori is famous for it's apple and fishery.
Then, Aomori is famous for birthing intellectuals and writers.
Aomori also have a pre-historic site of Jomon period (5500 - 4000 BC). 
In August, Aomori city is fully festive with the Nebuta festival, a festival for floating light-up giants paper crafts (if I'm not mistaken) and dancing and singing.

Now the proof of Aomori apple.

 This is the A-Factory. The Apple factory.
Where you can find all apple products from apple to apple wine. You can smell the apples even before going in!
There's also an eatery inside, so you can still have udon if you're tired of eating apple pies, apple sorbets, apple juices, apple mochis, ya da da de da....

Nebuta museum 
It is giant floating light-up crafted paper! Though in the museum is in small scale, but by looking at the handicrafts, you can see how tedious the details are being made to make it so outrageously beautiful!
Wa Rase ワ・ラッセ
I think that the festival is to honor the samurais. Or maybe back in the days the nebuta was used to scare the opponents. To say, if this was made in it full scale and lighten up in the night, everybody would thought that monsters had descended.

Me and M didn't make it to the Jomon site, but we made it to the Aomori Art museum. 
Aomori-ken あおもり犬(aka Aomori dog)
It's the famous dog! It was big and simple design... though I don't know what the sculpture was about.

At Aomori port, there have been some figurines that taken from Aomori writers.
Akai Ito
This is Akai Ito (赤い糸) aka red destiny (or red thread) monument. The novel Omoide (思い出) aka Memory was written at around 1930s, with the theme of true love, in which one of the characters lived in Aomori and the other one in Hakodate (Hokkaido). It was the days when there was not much transportation between Aomori and Hakodate ..... (since I don't read the  novel, I don't know how the characters met)

Oh! Lunch!
M and I ordered a Tsugaru set for lunch!
Tsugaru set 津軽定食
There's rice, misoyaki hotate, hotate sashimi, a miso soup with fish, big pickled radish and spicy fish.
It was delicious!!
(P/S: Hotate is scallop)

That's conclude of what I did in the 3rd day.

Till then,
Ha Hu Hi

Friday, May 23, 2014

2014 Golden Week: Day 2

Hirosaki, Aomori

It's Sakura Festival Week in Hirosaki, Aomori.
Since all the other (known) prefectures sakura had already bloomed and fall weeks ago, it's nice knowing that I can get my sakura revenge while it was still blooming all over in Hirosaki!

And I meant it, sakura all over!
Damn, so beautiful, that it made me cry (apparently in my head, though).

while walking in the city, a Beni Shidare Sakura
beni = crimson
shidare = sweeping

again, throughout the city, sakura in blossom!
Just not a sunny day though.

Before entering the Hirosaki Garden, walking down the road circling the garden with sakura!

The sakura was so full that even the small stream turned pink with the petals!

Never thought that I would see the day where everywhere in an extremely wide space, sakura blossom all over!

Oh yeah, because Aomori is also famous for apples, me and M enter every cafes for the best apple pies!
Fujita Memorial Garden, which served an amazing size of apple pie.
Both are apple pies, one with chocolate filling, and the other was a bitter apple pie, using the apples from Aomori. It was so good. 

The signboard next to Aomori Tourist Centre, apple pies!!!!
At Nebuta village, making senbei with peanuts filling. I ate while it was still warm, and taste delicious. Warm, soft yet crunchy senbei!

We went on for sakura viewing until 7 p.m, wanting to view sakura in the night sky. The soft colored petals of sakura in the day time turns vividly red in the night. 
Just after the sun set, and several lanterns were lighted up. 

No wonder the sakura in night time seemed like a haunted yet beckoning us to come spirit.

The sakura viewing experience in Aomori was indeed a breath taking experience. To see everywhere in white and pink was again telling me to take time and enjoy the purity of life, and to do your best!

Till then,
Ha Hu Hi

Saturday, May 3, 2014

2014 Golden Week Trip Day 1

Day 1 starts off with waiting a friend of mine, M who was coming from Nagoya in Tokyo. We agreed to meet up in Akiba since both of us wanted to eat halal dinner, and decided to eat kebab in Akihabara at 7.30 p.m.

The bus to Shichi-no-he Towada (七戸十和田駅) departs at 9.30 p.m from Tokyo station. The gist of the route is just like this.

We arrived in Shichi-no-he the next morning at around 8.30 a.m.

Since both of us haven't planned anything yet, we decided to plan our trip at the station and also refreshed ourselves while charging our empty stomachs and phones.

It was outrageous since our planning took 2 hours before we decided on our first activity on the first day, which was visiting the museum in Towada. Yet, we didn't proceed as planned. That was all because we found out that to go to the Honshu northernmost site takes 3 hours drive from the station. So, our first day ended up going to the northernmost site of Honshu, which is Omazaki(大間崎) in Shimo-kita hantou(下北半島).

We arrived in Omazaki at around 1.30 p.m and my, it was so cold! It was already summer in Tokyo yet, it was so cold here in Omazaki. I didn't even brought my winter coat, thinking it may be not that cold at all.

The drive to Omazaki was amazing. The north of Honshu is just beginning to embrace spring, and the sakura was blooming all along the road. It was such a calming view and the drive had been such a joy that all my fatigue and sleepiness flew away! (M could not drive, so M the one who took the photos while I drove all the 6 hours, while sleep-deprived)

And it's the sea! It's been a long time since I'd been to a seaside, and wow! Didn't I miss the sea so much!

The sea breeze, the salty air, the fish smell all over! And it was so cold!!!! Hokkaido can be sighted from the Omazaki cape, making me wanting to go cross over the sea.

My lunch was Maguro, fresh from the sea!

That was the trip from the first day. I drove back to the station just in time for our lodgings in Aomori city.

Until then,

Ha Hu Hi.