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Saturday, 6 September 2008

Kawaguchiko

Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) is one of the Fuji Five Lakes along the northern foothill of Fujisan (Mt. Fuji). The access to this lake is by the town of the same name. Kawaguchiko Town is about 3 hours by train from Tokyo, with transfers at Takao and Otsuki.




On a clear day, the northern face of Fujisan can be observed very clearly from here once you have alighted from the train. When you have come out of the train station, it is slightly hidden behind the station.




If Fujisan is covered by clouds, you do not have to be disappointed, as Lake Kawaguchi offers the view just as spectacular. There are some other activities on the lake that visitors can play with too.




To get the best view of both Fujisan and Lake Kawaguchi, take the cable car up the hill.




A return ticket is ¥700 at the time of writing. Though not very cheap, but I can say that it is well worth the price.




There is no other place around Kawaguchiko Town that you can get such spectacular view of Lake Kawaguchi.




A glance at the ruby-blue water of Lake Kawaguchi will certainly wash away all the worries troubling you.




If you would like to indulge yourself further, you can always dip yourself in one of the onsen (hot springs) at the hotels scattering around the shore of Lake Kawaguchi.




After getting down from the observation platform of the hill, you can take the retro-style bus to the lavender fields around the shore of the lake.




You should not miss the chance to taste the lavender-flavoured ice cream here as it is one of the local delicacies. This was my first time eating ice cream with such flavour. It was quite refreshing.




Other than lavender fields, there are also blueberry farms around here. I saw the blueberry trees for the first time in my life here at Kawaguchiko.




The farm owner was very kind that he plucked some riped blueberries for me. In fact the fresh blueberries have a very refreshing taste, very unlike those blueberry paste or bread spread.


Friday, 5 September 2008

Lotteria no Chizu Baga

Lotteria is another Japanese chain of fast-food restaurants similar to Mos Burger. It was established in 1972 following McDonald's and it has expanded to cover Korea, Taiwan, China and Vietnam since then.






The most popular item here is probably something that is called "ZEPPIN" Chi-zu Ba-ga (Ultimate Cheese Burger) as it was advertised with loads of posters at every Lotteria restaurant.




So, this was the first thing I tried at Lotteria. It was really good in taste but not in size. I couldn't fill myself up with only one "ZEPPIN" Chi-zu Ba-ga.




On a separate visit, I ordered something called To-ma-to Tan-do-ri Chi-kin San-do (Tomato Tandoori Chicken Wrap).




This was also very nice, but it was only offered for a limited period of time. The tomato was very juicy and the tandoori chicken tasted like charcoal-grilled.




Knowing that I couldn't fill myself up with only one item at Lotteria, I made another order of the "ZEPPIN" Chi-zu Ba-ga.




This time, the "ZEPPIN" Chi-zu Ba-ga came with double shot of beef patties. This was also a limited edition as a regular one comes with only one beef patty.




A meal with burgers is always not complete with some Fu-ren-chi Fu-rai Po-te-to (Potato French Fries).




My friend ordered a shaved ice with mango syrup in milk shake but I do not fancy that. I prefer to gobble up my burgers and French fries with some O-ron Cha (Chinese tea).




The burgers at Lotteria beat the ones at McDonald's hands down, in terms of the beef patty quality! However, the burger size is too small to my standard. In terms of a balance in taste, Mos Burger is the best among the three.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Wordless Wednesday – Experienced Samba Girls









Location: Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan
Event: 28th Asakusa Samba Carnival
Date taken: August 30th, 2008
Camera equipment: Nikon D70s + Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8D + Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D




Monday, 1 September 2008

Desserts for the Eyes

Desserts are abundant here in Japan, and the Japanese have made it to savour both the taste buds and the eyes. If these were put in front of you, would you start to feed your mouth or your eyes first?
























Sunday, 31 August 2008

I Poisoned Myself

Who on earth will try to swallow some poisonous food? The Japanese do! Fugu, or puffer fish, is one of the delicacies in Japan.

The fish is poisonous, so it has to be prepared by a licensed chef. However, the chef will intentionally leave a bit of the poisonous stuff on the knife for slicing the fish, just to thrill the guests.

Since I am in Japan, I went out hunting for a restaurant serving fugu with two Thai friends today and we found this restaurant at Omiya.




There were actually living fugu in the aquarium at the entrance! We knew that we were at the right place.




After we had settled ourselves down, we started to decide what to order. Since the menu was in Japanese, it took a bit of time for me to understand the items.




The first thing that came before we put down our order was this fugu salad. It was a mixture of fugu skin and belly with spring onion and red wasabi. It tasted quite nice.




Then came the highlight of our self-poisoning adventure, the fugu sashimi! The fish itself has actually not much taste, but the fish meat was a quite a fair bit tougher than normal fish, more like jellyfish. After eating this, all our tongues turned a bit numb due to the poison.




We also tried the deep-fried fugu and it tasted quite nice. The fish meat was silky smooth. This came with the fish bone, so it must be the central part of the fish.


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