Monday 12 October 2015

Japan : Kyoto - Arashiyama area

Kyoto - May 2015

This trip definitely came no easy. From the day we decided to go Japan and the actual day was only 1 month apart so we need to make fast decision. I felt thankful for this particular friend to make this trip finally came true but also felt very apologetic that she did not join due to many reasons. She was like an angel from the sky lol~

This was my ever first trip to Japan so it was frustrating and miserable when planning the itinerary. There were so many places and things we wanted to go and do. We almost broke down when we saw how complicated Tokyo's train lines were. Thankfully, we found this website Hyperdia which made our lives so so much easier. It shows you all the timetable and route search in Japan with alternative routes. Another angel for this trip.

Our third angel is this Japan tourist website: It has all the recommendations, routes and nearby tourist spots in one website. 

We only finalised our itinerary just three days before the actual day. 


Finally, this day has came and we touched down in Narita Airport in the afternoon. We quickly gotten our JR 7 days pass and pocket wifi in the airport before we headed to Kyoto via Shinkansen. The total duration was around 2 hr 30 min. Bf and I were so tired from the flight that we both dozed off in shinkansen with our bags hanging on the walls unattended. That was so unusual for us as we normally would take turn to sleep to look after our belongings. Other than in Singapore, we never felt this safe in this country that security totally slipped out of our minds. 

It was already near night time when we reached Kyoto and settled down in our airbnb apartment near Kyoto station. We headed off to nearby shopping mall which was only 2 min walk from our airbnb apartment for dinner.

 Mushroom omurice

Cheesy sausages omurice

After dinner, we went back to our airbnb apartment to rest. 13 days in Japan has started~ ~


Day 2

Good morning Kyoto~

Our 7 days JR pass was indeed very useful and cost efficient as we planned our routes all via JR. We were super impressed that their trains are very punctual according to Hyperdia timetables. We arrived at JR Saga Arashiyama station where we have three places to cover here: Tenryuji Temple, Bamboo Groves, Sagano scene

sources: japan guide

Tenryuji Temple 天龍寺

It was ranked first among the city's five great Zen temples and is now registered as a world heritage site.

Purification fountain where you can wash your hands as an act to cleanse yourself before entering temple or shrine.

Tenryuji Temple 天龍寺
Opening hours 8:30 to 17:30 (until 17:00 from late October to late March) 
Entrance fees 500 yen (an extra 100 yen for entrance into the temple buildings)

Arashiyama Bamboo Groves

There is a side door towards bamboo groves from Tenryuji temple near the purification fountain. 

It gave out a mysterious quiet feel while walking the path that cut through the bamboo groves.

Sagano Scenic Railway 嵯峨野観光鉄道

Through the bamboo groves, we slowly strolled towards the scenic railway where we could take the sightseeing train line that runs along the Hozugawa River with a pleasant view of the scenery from Arashiyama through the forested ravine and into rural Kameoka.

We had some time to spare before the next train so we wandered around and found this beautiful small plot of field filled with flowers.

The miniature version of the train station

Here we go~

This place is amazing beautiful during autumn or spring where it fills with autumn foliage or cherry blossom.

Hozugawa river

Hozugawa river cruises

I wanted to take this sightseeing boat ride down the Hozugawa River which is piloted by boatmen who guide the craft with oars and bamboo poles. However, the whole journey will take 2 hours and it is not very time and cost efficient (4100 yen).

Then we saw this inflatable raft - maybe cheaper alternative lol

Sagano Scenic Railway
Opening hour : 9:00 to 16:00 (until 17:00 on busy days) 
Closed on Wednesdays (except for national holidays, during the spring and summer vacation periods and the autumn foliage season), December 30 to the end of February 
Fees 620 yen one way between Torokko Saga and Torokko Kameoka Stations

Our lunch! 

This reminded us of our dinner last night.

Kinkakuji temple (Golden Pavilion) 金閣寺

Then we took Kyoto city bus number 205 to Kinkakuji temple. Their bus fare was one fixed price 230 yen regardless any stops.

Top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf.

Crowded with people trying to get the best shot of the golden pavilion.

black sesame ice cream 350 yen

black sesame bun 300 yen

Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) 金閣寺
Opening hours 9:00 to 17:00 daily
Entrance fees 400 yen

Tuesday 6 October 2015

#FoodHoppingSG - Food that worth the wait

#FoodHoppingSG Local Food that worth the wait/travel

Ang Mo Kio - Penang Prawn Mee (waiting time ~10min)

S$5 each

Penang Prawn Mee
Amk Central S11 @ Blk 711 Ang Mo Kio Ave 8
Opening hours: 9.30am to 11pm 
Closed on Monday & Thursday

Boon Keng - Bao Feng Ban Mian (waiting time ~15min)

Mee Hoon Kway S$3

Bao Feng Ban Mian
Blk 27, Bendemeer Road, City Food Court #01-645 S330027

Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak (waiting time ~30min)

Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak
Address: #01-06, Boon Lay Place Market and Food Centre, 221 Boon Lay Place, 641221

Chinatown - Shanghai Zhu Cheong Fun (waiting time ~5-10min)

1 roll = S$1.40

Shanghai Zhu Cheong Fun 
Address: Chinatown Food Centre Blk 335 Smith Street #02-174 
Opening hours: 6am – 8.30pm

Chinatown - Tuck Kee Ipoh Sah Hor Fun (waiting time ~10-20min)


Tuck Kee Ipoh Sah Hor Fun (德记怡保沙河粉)
Address: Stall 41A Hong Lim Food Centre, Singapore
Opening hours: 11am to 3pm
Closed on Sunday

East Coast - Chin Mee Chin Confectionery (waiting time ~15min)

Chin Mee Chin Confectionery
Address: 204 East Coast Rd, Singapore 428903
Opening hours: 8am to 4.30pm 
Closed on Mondays

Geylang - L32 Kopitiam Ban Mian (waiting time ~40min)

Mee Hoon Kway (Left - dry, right - soup) ~S$4 each

L32 Kopitiam Ban Mian
558 Geylang Road Lorong 32 
Opening hours: 12pm to 10.30pm. 
Closed on Monday

Hougang - Sin Heng Kee Porridge (waiting time ~10min)

Signature Porridge S$5

Sin Heng Kee Porridge
Blk 685 Hougang Street 61
Opening hours: 7.00am - 9.30pm daily

Hougang - Nakhon Kitchen (waiting time ~30-45min)

Nakhon Kitchen
Address: Blk 212 Hougang St 21, #01-341, 530212
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2.45pm, 5:.0 – 9.45pm
Closed on Wednesdays

Hougang - Yi Dian Xin 一点心 (waiting time ~5min)

Yi Dian Xin 一点心
1012 Upper Serangoon Road 
Opening hours: 7.00am to 6.00pm
Closed on alternate Tuesdays

Jalan Besar - Swee Choon Tim Sum (waiting time ~20 min)

Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant
Address: 183-191 Jalan Besar, 208882
Opening hours: 6pm - 6am
Closed on Tuesday

Middle Road - Le Cafe Confectionary & Pastry (must book in advance)

S$9 a box

Le Cafe Confectionary & Pastry
AddressL 264 Middle Road Singapore 188990
Tel: 6337 2417
Mondays to Saturdays: 10.30am – 7.30pm 
Sundays and PH: 10.30am – 4pm

Punggol/Sembawang - Sembawang White Bee Hoon 白米粉 (waiting time ~30min)

White Mee Hoon (Large S$12)

Sembawang White Bee Hoon 白米粉
22 Jalan Tampang, Singapore 758966 
Contact: +65 98434699 
Opening Hours: 11.30am - 10.30pm 
Closed on Wednesdays

Toa Payoh - Hougang 6 mile Famous Muah Chee (waiting time ~5min)

Black Muah Chee - small S$2.50

Hougang 6 mile Famous Muah Chee
480 Toa Payoh Lor 6, HDB HUB B1-01 (Stall 21)