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2014.08.20 | 北海道夏(3)

[Volume 9 Issue 8, #1932]
Hokkaidō Trip Summer 2014 - DAY 3 of 8
Sapporo (札幌) and A Rainy Day in Asahikawa (旭川)
中文讀者請注意: 因為篇幅問題, 這一系列日本遊記只有英語版本, 敬請見諒..
after a rather "brief" rest as my virgin experience in a capsule hotel the previous night, we rose rather early on day 3 to catch a train to Asahikawa (旭川).. both Nagoya (名古屋) and Sapporo (札幌) in the previous days were just some kind of stopover, and i would rather say our plan for the trip actually started "more officially" after this day..
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we woke up at 6am on this sunday morning as we wanted to catch the 7:48am train to Asahikawa (旭川).. packed and checked-out, we took a cab from Susukino (すすきの) to Sapporo Station (札幌駅 Sapporo-eki).. it was merely a 5-minute ride and we paid ¥980 for it, a wiser choice since we were with luggage and it would be so troublesome to walk to the subway station and take a subway ride that would cost us ¥200 each..

travel tips no need to freak out thinking about taking taxi in Japan, it is not necessarily as expensive as you think, especially if you are in a group to share a car, why not that little bit extra for more comfort and convenience?? but of course, not all the time taxi lah..
Sapporo Japan - Doraemon Stand By Me Roadshow @ JR Sapporo Station
#3-1 ■ ■
wait!! what are all these Doraemon thingy again?? weren't we (rushing) to take a train to Asahikawa (旭川)?? yes, we indeed were, and this was actually another roadshow for the Doraemon movie "Stand by Me" inside the Sapporo Station (札幌駅 Sapporo eki)!! oh boy, what a thrilling surprise as we got out of the taxi and entered the station..
Sapporo Japan - Doraemon Stand By Me Roadshow @ JR Sapporo Station
#3-2 ■ ■
you know what?? i wanted so much to visit the Doraemon Waku-Waku Skypark (ドラえもん わくわくスカイパーク Doraemon Waku-Waku Sukai Pāko) which is inside the New Chitose Airport (新千歲空港 Shin Chitose Kūkō), but unfortunately both our arrival and departure flights were beyond its opening hours, disappointed but have to miss that.. so when i saw this, i thought God wasn't that mean to me, at least something Doraemon seen out of surprise in Japan, hihi!! we put catching the train aside (since there is always another train to take later if we miss this one) and quickly took some photos with Doraemon like kids.. okay, actually many others were doing the same lah, haha!!
Sapporo Japan - JR Sapporo Station
#3-3 ■ ■
okay, after some photos we were still in time to catch the train, and indeed we were even able to catch an earlier train that departs at 7:21am (lucky!!) though many was already queuing up at the platform.. we didn't buy tickets with reserved seats but just the normal ones at ¥4500, that explained why we actually buffered some time to arrive earlier, in order to queue up at the platform to (hunt and) secure a seat in the free-seating coach.. you may ask if we used the JR Pass?? we did not, as our fares for the trip did not add up to justify the price of the JR Pass..

travel tips the Japan Rail Pass (or simply JR Pass) would definitely be the first option you would consider while planning a trip to Japan.. find out the fares, do the maths, or probably re-arrange your itinerary to fit in, then make a justification.. :)
Sapporo Japan - EkibenSapporo Japan - Ekiben
#3-4 ■ ■
we skipped breakfast provided by the hotel, but bought "station lunchbox" (駅弁 ekiben) to be eaten in the train while traveling.. this was bought from the guy with a cart in the platform as seen in photo #3, something like people selling Ramlee Burger in basket here (hehe!!), convenient huh?? my ekiben as shown is at ¥800, so nicely packed right?? and printed on the packaging are some landmarks of Sapporo (札幌).. okay okay, i know you sure ask me to show what's inside!! just click on the ekiben itself above to unveil the luxury inside, haha~~ :D
Asahikawa Japan - Welcome Mascot
#3-5 ■ ■
after a 109-minutes ride, we arrived at Asahikawa (旭川) at 9:00am, right on the dot as per the train schedule, punctual!! so unlike the style of Keretapi Terlalu Melampau huh?? hahaha.. at the station, we were welcomed (ようこそ yōkoso) by this mascot of Asahikawa (旭川), but can anyone enlighten us what this cute animal could be?? i actually noticed many cities in Japan has their own mascot and all are so cute.. i personally think this is way more fun and lively than representing the city by boring flags or emblem.. besides the mascot, we were of course welcomed by our friend who picked us up at the station.. since it was still early to check-in our hotel, he fetched us back to his home to meet his family as well as his newborn baby boy (who was just 10-day-old)..
Asahikawa Japan - Shoyu Ramen @ Hachiya
#3-6 ■ ■
the friend then casually asked what our plans were, and i showed him our very detailed plan which probably impressed him a lot, haha!! but somehow it was also quite embarrassing when the family tried to accommodate our wish-list.. and so, this bowl of ramen was one of the many items on the list..

for lunch, we were brought to the "Asahikawa HQ" of the famous Hachiya (蜂屋旭川本店 Hachiya Asahikawa honten) to savor the Asahikawa (旭川) style soy sauce ramen (醤油ラーメン shōyu ramen), with extra rolled pork (チャーシュー chāshū) at ¥900.. another variation of ramen for the trip, somehow very different as the noodles was not that curly, and the soup was fish based instead of pork.. i found the taste a little heavy compared to those we had in previous days, don't get me wrong, it was nice though i would not place this as first choice.. we briefly concluded that the more northern the heavier the taste, in order to keep warm under the colder weather.. despite that, come to Asahikawa (旭川) and you gotta taste the soy sauce ramen (醤油ラーメン shōyu ramen)!! and one more thing, it seems like Asahikawa (旭川) is the "city of ramen" because i actually noticed a lot of ramen shops around, but too bad was that, so many ramen so little time!! haha..
Asahikawa Japan - Staying Indoor
#3-7 ■ ■
it was raining the whole day in Asahikawa (旭川) on day 3 (!!!), so we had no choice but to postpone some plans and hoped for nice weather the next day.. anyway, we did hang out around downtown to settle our train tickets, went to an electronic mall and the retail shop of a local bakery.. no photos taken as those were just brief stays, but this was where we spent most of our time that day.. the photo above shows the dining and part of the living room of our friend's house, though i cannot understand and speak Japanese, i still joined in the fun with universal body language.. well, not typically a "touristy" day but definitely a "homey" one~~ :p
Asahikawa Japan - Homecooked Dinner
#3-8 ■ ■
of course, we stayed in for dinner with the family that day.. i'm not showing off, but just look at how scrumptious (some of) the dishes were, and we can surely feel how hospitable they are!! clockwise from top left the delicious dishes we had, very fresh raw fish (刺し身 sashimi) to be eaten with rice and seaweed wraps, fish (cooked the Japanese style - i know this is a very generic description but i really have no idea, hihi!!), oden (おでん - i do not know how to explain this, please refer here yourself) and egg (卵 tamago).. of course these were not all, somehow being a guest, i was not comfortable (and also it was not courteous) to keep taking photos of food, you get what i mean right?? :)
Asahikawa Japan - Take-away Homecooked Dinner
#3-9 ■ ■
it was an incredibly rich and warm dinner, i may say, and such an honour to be invited and included.. and now you are seeing the same set of food but in a different setting?? yes, in Cantonese we call this "eat and still take away" (又食又拎 yau sik yau ling), maybe the host was happy enough to let us tapao the leftover back to our hotel, but we definitely felt a little bashful, haha!! what's more, they actually paid for our accommodation (¥12000 per twin room) in this Asahikawa Washington Hotel (旭川ワシントンホテル Asahikawa Washinton Hoteru), that's amazingly wholehearted!! what else more could i say?? it was certainly a night of good sleep after a wonderful dinner in a comfortable room..
so this is a just very brief day 3 since it was raining and we did nothing much but more like having a precious opportunity to blend into the life of a Japanese family.. was it a day with good weather the following day as we hoped for?? stay tuned for day 4 and read about one of the highlights of the trip!! :)

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  1. Morning moning.. Salam bloggers..

    I think today SK sure got new post, coz he didn’t post yesterday.. So now I’m hogging the pc la, keep clicking refresh, and waiting for the post before I start my work.. It’s like a daily routine liao, come to work, on my pc, make Milo, blog-hopping and updating and commenting, then wait for 8.38am for SK’s post..

    Today is (Hokkaido) day3 right? So we still have 5 more days to go right? Jom, day3, come! I’m ready..

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    1. Ooohh, can't belif I'm the first commenter today.. Haha, coz I was hogging the pc justnow and keep clicking refresh.. Wana faster komen here first before I start my work..

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    2. Ahh, so I guess today we can see a full detailed day post instead of A and B right.. Good, woke up at 6am to start everything.. The earlier, the better.. Got more time to get ready..

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    3. Morning Louiz! Wah you are first today! Some more sempat to put in a long comment instead of a quick Chop!

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    4. Wah, rushing somemore got time pose with Doraemon, hehe.. But yes geh, already reached that place, no harm posing with Doraemon la.. Although rush, but still feel happy right.. I think you did the right thing la.. The train can catch another one la..

      Since this is a DIY trip, no rush, and you guys got all the time in the world.. So just take a break and pose with Doraemon, I think still ok la..

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    5. Ooohh, still managed to catch the train? Ok wor, God was kind to you, haha.. I agree with skipping bfast and buy bento breakfast..

      Or, if a big eater like me, maybe I will wallop something fast from the hotel (already paid, kiasu ma, must eat a bit first), then buy another bento breakfast to eat later..

      Woi, reading halfway, but no show how the breakfast box looks like, what lah you.. hahahaha.. Have to wait later ahh? Ok then..

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    6. Got click the rating yet mou?

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    7. The host’s house looks very cosy.. OMG, look at those food! I’m laughing so loud now with your “yau sik yau ling” statement. .. Ooohh, so you guys manage to take away some food too, heh..

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    8. Hi Phong Hong, ok I click my vote now.. Not yet vote this morning, busy hogging the pc and commenting to this post, kekeke..

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    9. Morning ah princess ribbon !

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    10. Prince, morning.. Thinking of you, ooppss, typo.. Thinking of your fish meat noodles..

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    11. SK have fate with Doremon la. everywhere he goes also jumpa Doremon one. Guess this one more happy coz not like the one Genting show where have to pay money and kena rush rush by the staffs to move on.

      This one can leisure snap photos with Doremon.

      Grrr...SK...go photoshop away the woman and the boy la...disturb your nice pose la

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    12. Good morning bloggers! Wah! This Princess Ribbon has become addicted until need to refresh this blog so many times. Last time all the previous gang of Hamsap bloggers used to fight like this until our fingers became shorter. Later we got had to detox the crazy habit from our blood! LMAO!

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    13. I guess SK was lucky to go during the Doraemon's movie promotion!

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    14. Louiz, got to click on the breakfast box photo then can see contents.

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    15. Uiks, where is she? Haven't come back since morning. Meeting kot.

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    16. I'm here la.. Ya read too fast.. I clicked on it already.. I think the bento breakfast enuff for two persons.. But for a glutton like me, maybe I will buy two types of bento breakfast, hehe..

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    17. Thought you jatuh dalam longkang...Princess.... hehehe....

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    18. Good morning Princess Ribbon (but on another morning),

      Hope you have a good day today. Why is this Chris like that - wants to think you jatuh longkang?

      Congrats Princess, you managed to chop this post. yay!

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    19. LOL...Anay oh anay...that timw was when SK blog max is 200 comments....those were the time. Before noon all the comments closed liao for each post ...hahaha

      But SK this Japan series comments also not bad mah. Each also going to reach 200 comments. Also we all get more useful information here.

      Uiks...I noticed SK have revised the numbering system wor

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    20. yeah, at first quite disappointed because i knew i had no chance to go to the Doraemon Waku-waku Skypark in the New Chitose Airport.. but then these kebetulan really gave me happy surprises.. saw the posters already very happy, now even see the patung-patung of Doraemon in the station!! but lucky, we buffered some time and even can catch a train which is earlier than what we planned to take!! :)

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  2. Oooooo...your friend's house is so so so nice!!!!

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    1. Eh! What happened to this King of Chops? Lost your crown for today. Try harder next time.

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    2. Oh??? Your friend prepared all the nice food for you? Goshhhh!!!! What a terrific friend you have.

      Ya...not comfortable to take keeping photographs unless you know them really well and they know you're a blogger and you need the snapshots for your post - they would look puzzled and wonder why you're doing that. But these days, most people will assume you're going to share on Facebook as so many are doing it.

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    3. Nothing beats warm get-togethers in the home with one's dear friends - nothing beats eating what one has specially cooked/got for you to enjoy plus the company in the cosy setting of their lovely house - eating out can be quite impersonal, may be nice but can never be as nice. You certainly are blessed to have such wonderful friends.

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    4. And they paid for your hotel some more? I'm speechless. Priceless, truly a God-send!

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    5. It's very neat , warm and clean. Nice to see a Japanese home. hahaha ... All along, the Japanese home we have in mind are those like 'paper type' , low and easily dismantled.(due to earthquake)

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    6. Yes, most times see on TV is the paper type with sliding doors. This one is like any ordinary conventional house pulak.

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    7. the mum was the one who prepared all the food for us.. actually not specially for us, because they were also inviting some other closer relatives to their house due to the newborn baby, remember, the 10-year-old baby?? so kind of some celebration, and we were just lucky to be there to join in the happiness.. i heard that they don't cook that much on usual days..

      hahaha, paper type sliding doors?? errr, maybe houses in kampung still have that, but they are in big city lah.. Asahikawa is Hokkaido's second largest city after Sapporo.. it's a very nice and modern apartment style house..

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  3. See, you can write long, long post too. :p Will be back to read. Sorry, gotta run. But this grabbed my attention on your first line... my virgin experience :p

    Good morning, nevertheless..

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    1. yeah.. i can do anything if i want to.. too long that you can't care to read on huh?? hahaha.. okay, i understand~~ :p

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  4. Ahhh ....so this is the real thing , the real trip starts in this post. The previous two posts are just appetisers , like those pickles found in bento or Kim chi found in Korean set meals. Lol

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    1. LOL....very good "representation".......pickle and kim chi....now will be full trip gua...

      Today is wednesday...I wonder when comes friday ..sk will post again...wondering he will put a special twist in his post or not coz usually friday is gadget or brain teaser day mah

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    2. I will have the Shoyu Ramen by then, hopefully!

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    3. Aiyoh, don't want the gadget or brain teaser twist this Friday. Very hot on this Asahikawa trip. Want more!

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    4. Hahaha.....Chris,looks like reading SK Japan post will make you have to go to the gym more la. the more you look the more you drool and then go hunting for Ramen

      From the track record, this SK very pandai one, Phong Hong. Every...errr...nearly every la..friday he will do something unexpected,

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    5. hahaha, because Nagoya was a bonus since we flew there.. and Sapporo was just a brief stay less than 12 hours.. so i consider the Hokkaido trip actually started this day.. but not really leh, since it was raining whole day and we didn't do much..

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  5. So how do u feel after waking up in the capsule bunker ? Got a full.night rest or backache ?

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    1. errr, didn't actually sleep well because it was warm and stuffy.. i should have just let the curtain opened to get the aircond and fresh air, probably i would have a good sleep.. but still okay lah, didn't feel anything not right :)

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  6. Good morning SK....first time see the blog post...scroll or roll ...muhahaha.....looks like gotta open two tab :p

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    1. haha.. that means this post is very long lor?? okay okay, i know i am long-winded when it comes to travelogue~~ :p

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  7. woke up 6 am to pack still okay la. When travelling also wont expect to sleep much leh.

    they dont have bus to the station? Or maybe a cab would be much easier

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    1. Kucing - When travelling, usually will feel alert. Then when back home, the sleep debts will start counting.

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    2. betul betul betul...that is when we say "jet-lagged"(spelling betul ka?)

      But i see this SK like Durecell bunny la. Touch down to Msia aje terus blog hop to our blog and drop comments.

      Guess when he go Japan he really relax to the max la. Some more friend stuffed him with so much home cooked food. So nice leh

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    3. errr, on the days we need to take train to another place then need to wake up early lor, but we knew we gotta wake up early the next say so we just go to bed earlier, not tiring actually..

      and i would say this time the trip was a lot more relax, unlike the last two trips which were rather rush..

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  8. #1

    I cant help laughing la...you and Doremon really have "yuen" fated to meet where ever you go. go train station also jumpa that and come down from plane also jumpa that

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    1. betul tu...one day we might see SK holding a Doremon exhibiton in KL ...his doremon collection should be very big liao

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    2. haha, yalor, really pleasant surprises to bump into Doraemon like everywhere.. previous two times to Japan tarak even nampak the shadow of a single Doraemon!! errr, me organizing a collection exhibition?? haha, no lah, not capable of doing it yet~~

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  9. #2

    Nasib baik the train tickets not books yet. go there and buy punya else you will be feeling sad lor.

    Hmm////looks like not only you having photos there wor. I see behind you there is a kid and the mom also taking photos. Guess must be a good surprise all around

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    1. errr, if i'm not mistaken, the ticket has only got the date but no time one.. so if you miss this train you can board the next one, means valid for one whole day lah.. even if you have the time booked and seat booked, you can still board on the next one, but whether seats are available then depends on your luck lor..

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  10. And we go nuts with that Doraemon exhibition in KL that time, in Hokkaido they're everywhere!
    I learned a Japanese word from my Tokyo co-worker, motai nai, waste not. When your host serves you food, gotta finish them or else it is not polite. So I suppose they are definitely happy that you guys yau sik yau ling, if you leave the food there they might feel more sad LOL!

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    1. oh ya ka? In Japan if bring food to the host family count as bad? I didn't know coz thought here is we go people house have to bring buat tangan.

      Think Sk's friend super happy liao with them tapau back to the hotel and eat

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    2. If people offer me to tapau food home, I sure say yes. Very happy to do so :)

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    3. I am sure the Doraemon exhibition there are so much better compared to KL. Maybe got rides and who knows...a robotic Doraemon ? LOL

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    4. I don't know about bringing food to the host family, it's more the food that they serve you. If you do not sapu all the food that they serve you, apparently it is a signal that they are not serving you satisfactorily. Same goes to when someone treats you to a meal, if you have leave with some food still not consumed / tapao-ed, they will think that you dislike their treat.
      Well, at least that's what I was told by my work counterpart.

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    5. I would feel quite disappointed as a host (especially if me cooking) if there were leftovers. I love it when all the food is gone. But of course lah, I tend to prepare more than enough. So a little leftover is fine. And as a host, I always like it when I see my guests eating with gusto! So, when going to party just eat lah, ok? Don't paiseh-paised like that. Your host will feel bad if you did not eat well.

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    6. Oh i see, RG. I only know that we must slurp loudly over there when eating noodles to show that it's sedap.

      Lucky SK and friend staying in hotel and not capsule hotel that time coz if not will be kinda hard to makan the food that has been tapau-ed.

      That is the confusing part Phong Hong. At one part, host will be happy if food are finished but another part ..Chinese part always ask don't finish all the food...must leave some food for the people who might come later or leave some food for the host family.Coz usually if host, not much time to eat. Unless it's a sit down dinner la

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    7. haha, you will despise me if i tell you that i also went to that Doraemon Expo in KL this year, and that one in Genting two years ago!! muahahahaha.. i wanted to go to the Doraemon Skypark in Hokkaido, but didn't manage to make it.. so this roadshow also good enough lah~~

      oh yes, i heard about that also.. it will be impolite if you did not finish what is served to you.. hmmm, now let me recall if i left with an empty bowl?? i think i did.. i ate everything, until i had to raise white flag and signal them i was too full to stuff anything more~~ :D

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  11. How do you feel waking up.at 6 am in cold japan ? Breezy and cool wind with super fresh air ? Was the sun rise already ? Yeah , I think if got kaki to share cab , it's ok to take , furthermore you guys got so many luggage as well as it can save you more time for sight seeing. Does the cab driver understand english or you guys used sign language ? Lol

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    1. why? Their cab driver over there doesn't know english?

      But i think SK and his friends knows a bit of Japanese. All add together can tell the driver go to the station gua

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    2. Just say Sapporo station should be ok liao.

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    3. Well, somehow Japanese give me the impression they are not so fluent in English ..anyway, that's my opinion only.

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    4. I also think like that but I was pleasantly surprised that they do speak it well enough at Narita Airport. Perhaps airport ground staff are trained to speak English to deal with passengers.

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    5. Phong - Probably kawaii also , besides fluent in English.

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    6. "tsk tsk tsk" tak habis habis with Kawaii...LOL
      think airport staffs some how will have pretty good English la.

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    7. it was already all bright by the time we woke up at 6, i think the sunrise was at 4+ in the morning since it was summer mah.. and no problem woh, one of us can speak Japanese and so we do not have communication problem as we got one translator~~ :D

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  12. #3

    thanks for the link on JR Passes. been wondering about that when you all talking about it. I thought Jr is in Junior :p

    Ohhh.....there are free seating and also reserved seats ya.

    Good that the photos session did not take up much time. But then guys snap photos very easy one . not like girls have to make up and flip hair :p

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    1. Yeah, that's a good piece of info.!

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    2. i am trying to give useful info in travelogue lah.. cos i read other people's travel posts also very nicely stuffed with useful info leh..

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  13. #4

    wah very nice wor...the box made of paper and plastic? Else can recycle and make into come sort of stationaries container

    Food inside also very nice looking. not soggy nor messy. I would have expected it to be bit messy coz of the travelling but it's not wor.

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    1. yalor, the packaging so nice hor?? the outside all paper cardboard lah, then inside is plastic with compartments and padded with styrofoam (that one that looks like wood).. don't think can recycle lah, the material just like those we had when we buy bento from supermarket only..

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  14. #5

    oh my kucing...so punctual ah...not Malaysian time ka? Like that good. can plan well

    Your friend fetch you all to his home ah? Good leh. I heard some where that they sometimes very particular on inviting people to their home wor. This must be a cose friend leh

    Baby boy 10 days old ya...ahem ahem....one rude question.....what you bring for the baby? kihkih.....joking la

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    1. Did u give fing fing to the baby to play with?

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    2. I bet he did not....nanti the Baby want Fing Fing how? there is one and only Fing Fing here leh

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    3. yalor, such an honored to be invited to their home and also to have dinner together.. haha, we bought some local stuffs and snacks, and also some baby stuffs for them la of course.. Fing-Fing?? aiyoh, cannot lah, Fing-Fing is about same size like the baby lah, baru 10-day-old only leh~~

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  15. Wow ...happy lah you !!! So many doraemon to greet you at the train station and they came in so many forms and looks so cute. They really go all out to promote this movie it seems. Well , I guess that could really be a finale to this cartoon character. Too bad you miss the exhibition but then , it may cost you a a bomb too, right ? After all , I guess they probably show the history as well as some rides with more figurines for you to pose with!

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    1. Hmmm...i wonder when will the movie reach out shores......

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    2. Canf find on Youtube?

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    3. I guess it's unlikely , you may have to search the DVD/BluRay or softcopy.

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    4. Don't really know how to search in Youtube and my internet connection not fast enough to download movie

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    5. yeah, really nice surprises when we saw the Doraemons, though they looked like what we have seen in the Expo in KL earlier this year.. errr, no idea when we can watch the movie here leh~~

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  16. #6

    Confirmed dei...must be close friend. they do so much to accomodate your wish list ya. even make ramen.

    Guess each city the ramen is a bit different. Like Curry laksa in Kl not same as curry laksa in Melaka.

    I think if you wanna taste all the ramen there...you stay there one year also not enough leh.

    Could it be due to you biasa already with the pork ramen taste so the tongue auto programme to be bias to pork ramen taste instead of fish?

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    1. Kucing - Yeah, that's what I am thinking too. Laksa also got so many varieties in Malaysia , Singapore as well as Sabah and Sarawak.

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    2. i think also their very warm hospitality lah.. they did not make the ramen lah, but just bought us out to a ramen shop to makan there only, haha!! and maybe you are right, tried too much pork ramen so like not used to the fish ramen, haha!!

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  17. The train station really looks good , like an airport, compare to boleh land which is not so well.mintained. Wah .... why so many people take the train so early in the morning ? I was wondering what happened if the train is full and guys gotta wait for the next train since you didn't book the tickets in advance ? Quite risky huh ? Hmmm... so the JR pass looks like some discounted train rides ?

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    1. But maybe there only peak hour train is full leh. If full then SK and friends can always go snap some more Doremon photos or maybe kawaii girls photos ...muhahaha

      The station seems to have lotsa things to see. Maybe they explore and will find something that we didnt know

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    2. Early morning peak hour to travel a distance ? Like JB to SG or Bukit Mertajam to Penang? Or even Seremban to KL ? haha

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    3. should be la. Their train very modern . not like us here. Think they can take train to travel far for work leh. Maybe that is why they also have capsule hotel . The workers who are to tired can stay and rest at capsule hotel for a few hours?


      Entah la...have never been to Japan. The very few Japan drama that I saw, their city life is like very hectic geh. more hectic than us here

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    4. indeed, this Sapporo Station is very very huge inside.. i think comparable to the LCCT terminal building leh.. cos there are trains and subway in the same station, and also got lots of shops too!! we went there another time to find the same shop, but not able to locate it the second time, haha!!

      Delete
  18. #7

    double click cannot enlarge the pic. Was curious on the two statues on the shelves at the back. Is it some sort of Deity or just ornaments.

    Your friend's house looks very western ya. Kucing bawah tempurung coz was expecting otherwise.

    In a few months your friend might be very busy chasing his son around the house and child proof the place lo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kucing - wah...you also very observant!

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    2. errr, i have no idea about that two dolls also leh.. and i also didn't ask them lah, scared later bikin malu mah~~ but i think probably decorative only, because i saw got a sembahyang thing somewhere else in the living room..

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  19. #8

    Fulamak....guess your friend once heard you all will be arriving he or his family members when to the market and borong the whole market ya. So much food leh. He scared you all kebuluran is it...LOL...so nice of him

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    Replies
    1. Ya lah, they really took the time and trouble to prepare such a fantastic spread. I know what it is like to cook for so many people. Can really pening kepala and have to plan the ingredients and logistics. A much appreciated effort and SK, I hope that you ate a lot and made your host happy.

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    2. They are really very warm folks and provide great hospitality to SK and gang, it seems. The food are a lot and I guess they took lots of time and efforts to prepare it. And, even book hotel rooms !

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    3. Plus with a newborn baby in the house leh. Over there do they have confinement period like what we have here?

      They really took great effort leh if like that

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    4. actually half half lah i guess.. because they were also celebrating the addition of a newborn baby to the family mah.. it was weekend we visited them, and they were also inviting some close relatives to have dinner at home..

      ah, i think the friend did not follow the confinement thing leh.. she still eats raw and cold things.. she also ate sashimi and watermelon like we did, gwai lo style i guess..

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  20. #9

    your friend so generous leh. I am sure if they come and visit Malaysia you will return double to them the courtesy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For sure lah kan? Take them to sample Malaysian food kau-kau.

      Delete
    2. cili padi vs wasabi :p

      I wonder what they will think of Malaysia

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    3. yalor, if they are in Malaysia next time, we will have to double return already.. but things in Malaysia cheaper lah, hahaha!!

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  21. Morning Bloggers!! Weather announcement... weather in IPOH was misty this morning and now sunny at around 9.30am... good weather to dry the flowers still lying on my car and see them fly away later when I drive...
    Oopppss..sorry to digress from SK's post... better come back to the right topic!

    For 800 yen, the "station lunchbox" is considered cheap in Japan... nearly RM30? If Im not mistaken... hahahaa... But at least it is more kind of a balanced meal... their Japanese rice is very nice one.. yat lop yat lop... round round.. .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahaha....Claire Claire...potong markahhhh...... LOL joking la. why you so :high" today? Planning for a trip to japan is it after seeing SK post.

      But RM30 ...you see got so many things there leh. think for me that lunch box can feed two person lo

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    2. Claire upbeat because retiring soon mah. Got lots of ime to go kai-kai.

      Delete
    3. It's about that price lah, for a bento in Japan. As long as it is below 1000 yen, considered not expensive. You'll starve in Japan if you keep looking for meals below 300 yen (RM10), unless you don't mind having 7-11 onigiri every meal XD

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    4. Yup, don't be so kiamsiap when it comes to food. Have to be reasonable and pay for a decent meal. Surely no one wants to eat at 7-11.

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    5. Nah...Claire not kiamsiap. More like if we travel...we tend to "convert" the amount to RM when wanna make purchase. A habit. But if see the amount as 1 : 1 then the price is reasonable la. Just like when we compare our salary and their salary there....haiz...alamak lari topic to economic pulak..tension...hahaha...SK sure dont know how to reply liao. Potong markah later ;p *joking*

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    6. Cos I remember when I went.. 1000Yen is more or less RM40... so RM800 must be around RM30 and it is considered cheap... cos the things in standard of living in Japan is not. heheehe.. I am repeating what I said yesterday...

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    7. yeah, i think 800-yen for that bento is considered cheap lah.. cannot do the conversion and compare with what we have here lah, also things there more "loaded with real authentic ingredients" mah, so it's worth the money.. and actually spending 100-yen is like us spending RM1 here leh..

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  22. But I must really "kudos" your friend and his family la... such warm hospitality to you all... eat, tar pau and free classy hotel room as well...Really "kind and generous" friend you have.. but I guess they too appreciate how you treat them too... kindness goes round and round, they say...
    Your DIY trip is really fruitful this way.. can get to experience more than those who go by tour agencies...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ahem..ahem....similar to hospitality of someone from Ipoh leh. *Wink wink*

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    2. Hmmm....I belum experienced the Ipoh hospitality yet lah..hint..hint...

      Claire will go into hiding LOL!

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    3. hint hint here not point coz she seldom come back and see...go hint hint in her blog :p

      Delete
    4. Hey ladies, did I hear my name being mentioned? hehehe.. here I am... Ok, noted... but then ah, I dare not say I am good in hospitality la.. unlike SK's friend here in Japan.. paid for hotel also.. hahahaha.. anyway, just inform me in advance... and perhaps I can plan something out.. but better if you wait till I retire first.. hahahaa..

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    5. Claire, I don't expect you to pay for hotel lah...hee..hee....Maybe after I retire then I got time to come see you lah. hee..hee..

      Delete
    6. indeed, such warm hospitality that we also a bit of "paiseh".. so when they come over to Malaysia, we certainly need to give double return lah.. haha!! and the Ipoh Food Mayor is for sure a very nice host, we all agree?? :D

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  23. Wah ... you have a nice lunch box there ! Even the presentation looks so good like a box of moon cake kinda design. And well , you had salmon sashimi , some meat which I guess it's chicken , vegetables. Nice one !! Lots of rice too....This bento shall keep you full I guess. I always like Japanese stuffs. They packed it nice nice ..... !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very kawaii lunch box. Lunch box can also be kawaii rite?

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    2. Phong - Errr... I usually refer kawaii to ladies.

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    3. hmmm....am still thinking and thinking....how nice if can recycle the lunch box.....can be made into many things.....adoi imagination overload liao

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    4. yes, very nice ekiben there, and nicely packed too!! that one not salmon sashimi, but salmon steak already cooked one.. and yes, almost cannot finish that, it's really a huge portion..

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  24. Their trains are so punctual ! In line our boleh land where they can stop for maintenance half way.....*sweat *. Even the mrt in SG can delay for while or worse still , breakdown. The mascot in asahikawa looks very cute and I thought it's a a leopard with all the bintik bintik on the head. Well , could be a bear too ! Did they sell it as a plush toy too ? Yeah , it's great to see mascot in different cities , that's a nice and friendly way to represent the place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ommm ommm...must think positive.... slowly and we are getting there...hopefully future our train will be just as good and punctual.
      But before that we also must self adjust our timing la. try to be punctual instead of "on the way"......must daily self remind

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    2. i heard if MRT delayed then they will be fined according to how many minutes they delayed right?? but no such story in MY, hence suka suka they delay or even cancel the train.. yes, they are of course selling the mascot, not only plush toys but many other types of merchandize.. yalor, nice to see such cute mascot representing a city right??

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  25. Haha.. typo...I mean unlike not in line.

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  26. I heard about this shoyu ramen which I think got sell in my favourite ramen restaurant. Somehow I prefer miso ramen but can give it a try. There seems a lot of cha shu there and the broth was thick and dark. They really have different ramen in different places , just like our prawn noodles here in Malaysia and SG. Hahah.. oops. .. will check out this ramen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah, i actually also think the miso one is nicer than the shoyu one.. actually there was still one more type of ramen i tasted during the trip, and i love that the most, haha!! stay tune~~ :p

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  27. So you only had the shoyu ramen in the city of ramen ? Aiyo. ...what a waste but never mind la , since you got a friend there , can always go again. Hahaha...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. errr, because Asahikawa famous for shoyu ramen, so i had shoyu ramen lor.. hmmm, you say want to go then can go so easy meh.. must have money and time also mah~~ :D

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  28. Your friend's home looks warm.and.comfy..and they are so nice to bring you around. Japanese have very warm hospitality, anyway. Ok la , you treat this day as a rest and did some minor sight seeing and go around the malls. Wow...electronic shops. ...did u get anything special , since their tech is so advance ? Any jap made tablets or phones ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ya wor...got buy anything from there? I recall our parents time when they go Japan they will hunt for camera. Buy camera as those time camera is good there. If go singapore, sure buy rice cooker. coz cheap.

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    2. hahaha..so funny..go to Singapore buy rice cooker :D

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    3. yeah, it was a very nice house and very cosy too, and they are of course very hospitable people, no doubt.. errr, just go and see see look look but didn't buy anything lah..

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  29. Wah ... The dinner is really sumptuous ! Better than any Japanese restaurants here..I am.sure the sashimi is super fresh there ! Oh my .... you guys are so lucky. yeah , not so nice to take pics of the food as it may looks rude. Just enjoy the dinner. After all , they took so much efforts to prepare the dinner for u guys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah, if i can choose, of course i would want to be invited to a home dinner than to dine out.. haha, that's what make my trip a little special~~ :)

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  30. Hahah ..as long as they understand what you ate trying to say then it's ok la. I thought you knew a bit of Japanese ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. could be that their Japanese and the way we speak japanese is different. The loghat or pronounciation. So might be difficult for us to understand

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    2. Ya lor. Like Malay language in Terengganu and Kelantan is so different from the standard Bahasa Malaysia.

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    3. i can roughly guess the meaning from the Chinese word lah, but then not all the time correct because they have different meaning in Japanese.. but i cannot speak Japanese at all lor..

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  31. So nice of your friend to tabao the food for you guys in bento boxes. Can save some money for supper or lunch the next day back in your hotel. And yeah, they even book 2 rooms for you guys..That's very generous of your friend. No pixs of the hotel room ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe in the next post we can see the hotel. It would be nice to see how it is like, Who knows can use as reference if going that way? Me dreaming only lah.

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    2. I doubt can see the hotel leh coz SK seldom post up hotel room photo geh. But then maybe just of Fing Fing holding the ice cream or something? was it in this hotel?

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    3. yeah, you are right!! we actually saved up a lot from there.. hotel and also a few meals.. errr, hotel room?? i don't usually take the photo one, you can actually see from their website lah, i put the link there already, noticed??

      Delete
  32. omg doraemon ! ! ! im crazy with doraemon since secondary school ...

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  33. So Nagoya and Sapporo is more like an "appetizer" to the main meal eh? The real tour now starts with Asahikawa!

    I have to agree with you about the taking cab part. If you are on a tour, for heaven's sake, you want smooth and stress free travel. You don't want to struggle walking to the subway station with your luggage and then rush to catch the right train to the Sapporo station. Pay a bit more is really worth it. If you want to travel, you must be willing to spend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah, sometimes just have to justify and don't always put money at the first priority.. there were 4 of us all with heavy luggage, surely better to share a cab than to climb up and down taking trains..

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  34. Doraemon was waiting for you hah..hah...What a thrill it must be for you! Wait, the Doraemon in the top left in pic #1 has a yellow muncung like a bird's beak. Why ah? Sorry I don't know much about Doraemon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh, exactly!! thought i cannot see any since i missed the Skypark, but surprises were actually waiting for me~~ oh, the yellow muncung is one of Doraemon's gadget, you noticed every Doraemon is holding or wearing a different gadget?? :)

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  35. "Sukai Pako" is a literal translation for Skypark? So the Japanese also a bit like our Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka lah?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha, yes!! you are right, in fact they have many words directly translated from foreign language.. and yes, the Japanese syllabus pronunciation is just like our BM's pronunciation..

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  36. You were really lucky that even after taking the shots with Doraemon, can still catch the earlier train. It pays to be early. And very smart to do the maths on the ticket price. That is something to plan properly when travelling anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh yes, we were just in time for the train, not the one we planned but the one earlier somemore, haha!! :)

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  37. The ekiben box is certainly very attractive! And so convenient too to have food ready packed. Just pay and go. I see lots of rice with 7 compartments of side dishes. Let's see what is in there (clockwise from right):

    1. Salmon with some other stuff I can identify.
    2. Snowpeas, tofu and mushroom (?)
    3. I can't tell what is that black thing.
    4. Same for that green thing. Pickled vege?
    5. I can see egg (tamago) and some fried thingy and a pink thingy
    6. Another pink thingy in the small compartment. This is some kind of pickle right?
    7. Are those round-round things grapes?

    So how was the taste of your ekiben? Nice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oopss..typo "Can't identify"

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    2. Noticed that that they like to put that green plastic thing among the food. I always see it in the Japanese packed food section at Aeon.

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    3. Phong so observant with the food! LOL

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    4. Even the box itself is nice, I think can keep it la after wash, hehe!
      And even it's ready packed, I am sure the taste is good, cause it looks presentable, unlike the Bolehland's type (nasi tomato/nasi lemak for instance), haha!
      And got lots of 'liu', worth the money!

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    5. Hayley -at first I thought its moon cakes box as it looks like one . lol

      Delete
  38. What I like about the Japanese is punctuality. Why can't we be like them? Even our LRT got delays. Bus no need to say lah. If I remember from the previous comments, the Asahikawa mascot is a leopard (?). There is a colourful picture next to the mascot. I reckon they are painting of vegetables? I can see tomatoes, corn and fruit. Was that a poster?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phong - They are very efficient and effective unlike ... err... forget it.

      Delete
  39. So nice that you have a friend to pick you up at the station. And how lovely that you got to meet with 10 day old baby boy. Must be very cute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure very cute (all bb also cute one, some more just 10 days-old, just drink and sleep only ^^).

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  40. hahahaha....your Asahikawa ramen wish came true! Your friend is really nice to bring you to savour the Asahikawa style soy sauce ramen. Wah, with extra rolled pork some more. I like! But the soup is fish based but the liew is pork. I suppose the combination is quite OK. My grandma has a soup where she mixed fish and cuttlefish with pork. It is quite tasty. But I gather that this particular soup base is not your favourite. But at least you have tasted Asahikawa ramen.

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    Replies
    1. I hope I can find the ramen here to try .... *slurp*

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  41. You brought the rain to Asahikawa hee..hee...But you still managed to go out for some jalan-jalan, Your friend's house is quite cosy. And his family prepared a feast for you. So nice, can experience home style Japanese food! What a warm and grand welcome. Let's see...Ah, I definitely like that platter of fresh raw fish. As with home cooked meal, they look plain but I am sure the taste is very delicious! And that was just a small part of the whole dinner right? Of course it won't be nice to keep snapping photos. So paiseh. An best of all can tapau some more. I like that lah. Back at the hotel can enjoy for supper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too bad no snow else lucky day for SK! hahaha...

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  42. Your friend is so generous to pay for the hotel. Lucky you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PH, ya lo, SK so lucky ho? I wish to be treated like that also, hehehe :p

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    2. Hayley - I come to taiping. ...you pay for my hotel room, Ok ? :D

      Delete
  43. So this friend of yours, is he a Malaysian who settle down there? Or is he Japanese? Sorry I kepoh a bit. Curious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I am also curious! hahaha

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    2. Haha, same question asked!

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  44. See your pictures makes me miss Japan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, though my trip to Japan was 5 years ago, but I can still remember it very well, I guess that's because I love Japan very much! It's such a nice and beautiful country!

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  45. Your friend's house definitely not as Japanese as my imagined, so Europe style :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, that's what I thought too! A blend of Japanese and Western =)

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  46. Good day everybody!

    Eh apa rather rather ni? Hehehe :p

    So, day 1 and day 2 is like a warm up only la, day 3 onwards is more official and makes you guys feel more like in a vacation, is it? ^^

    Woke up at 6am, very early indeed, but no choice la right, since your train is at 7.48am.
    So are all the taxis in Japan metered? Yala if travel in a group, it's worth to share a taxi one...

    Another Doraemon roadshow? Wah so there's actually more than one Doraemon roadshow that time lo? See, you guys memang ada fate with Doraemon! Of course visiting the skypark will be an extra bonus but what to do, since timing wasn't right this time, may be plan ahead again and visit Japan again? ^_*
    Yala, glad you think this way, miss the skypark but still get to see some Doraemon here, not that bad ma!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Still in time to catch the train? It's either you guys were really quick in taking photos, or you guys actually had lots of extra time before boarding the train.
    That JR pass sounds interesting, is it like Hong Kong's 八达通?

    Skipped breakfast provided by the hotel? Aiseh, wasted already lo? Hehe I thought auntie SK very jimat and won't want to waste things one? :p
    But I guess that's because you guys were rushing to catch the train la?
    Before I read your explanation, I thought that box is some sort of present or 纪念品, really very nicely packed!
    Looking at the whole box, actually kinda worth the money la, so many 'liu' inside! Even the plain white rice is tempting enough!! Some more the portion macam a lot wo. And after eating can consider keeping the box also, can right?

    Haha, Keretapi Terlalu Melampau! Is it your own interpretation? Haha, great translation! Yala, I believe train system oversea is better, really punctual eh?

    ReplyDelete
  48. That mascot, I have no idea... But looks like a bear to me :p
    So your friend is a Japanese? Or Malaysian who stays in Japan? (based on your words on photo #3-7, I guess he is a Japanese la?) Got baby boy, must be very cute, 10 days old only...

    The pork ramen looks 'ho liao', look at the pork, quite big slice! Can see the broth is thick, so sure taste heavier, cause I remember what you posted before, the broth is much lighter.

    Aiyo, raining whole day ar? Hmm, very 无奈 right? Have to cancel/postpone the original planning.. But this is something we cannot avoid, luckily can still lepak at your friend's house and experience the real Japanese lifestyle.
    Your friend's house looks cosy, a little bit of English styled also..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wah, your friend is really nice! Look at all the food he prepared! Among the food you shared, I love tamago the most! I tried to make tamago before but failed, the rolling/folding part is not easy as taught in those tutorial videos, hur hur.
      Anyway, I always love tamago! And though I don't know what is oden actually, I'd love to try that, looks 'springy' to me, 感觉很弹牙 =)
      Haha yes, I know what you mean, we are not doing food review so it's not nice looking if we keep on taking photos of the food.. :p

      Wah, 又食又拎, and got free stay in the hotel? I think you guys are really lucky! Eh just wonder your friend very rich punya ka? :p
      Good to know friend who is so generous like this right? Hehe!

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    2. His friend is really generous I agree with you. I wonder did all of you treat your friend to a trip to Malaysia before?

      Delete
  49. Oh woke up at 6am on DIY which most people would not wanna join group tours for this reason saying its too early not enough sleep oblada obladi. In actual fact on DIY we must have good discipline and proper planning. If we take our own sweet time and too relax may not be able to cover the places of interest in time.

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  50. Read quite a lot of JR from Lina. So ramen is the in thing in Japan no kampua huh.

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  51. Got a few former colleagues DIY to Itali but did not tie tali well. Came back over shot planned budget through the ceiling, friends no longer that friend after seeing true colors while on tour.

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  52. Japan food is definitely yummy. I surely love all of them.

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  53. Good morning SK,

    I guess the highlight of Day 3 must be holding hands with Doraemon and having photos taken. Also the kindness and warm welcome all of you received from your Japanese friend. They are so kind and hospitable to pay for your hotel and let all of you stay in his house for so long and served you good food too. Must be a very good friend of you all.

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  54. The train bento looked so tasty. I also bought one to eat on the train in Japan. Some people who like their food to be warm will not like to eat these train bento because the food is cool.

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  55. The name of the mascot is Asapi. It is a combination of polar bear and seal. That's what i found using google.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SK. Have a nice day! :)

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  56. Hello Sk,

    I spot a set of dolls in your friend's house. Is that the Seven-tiered Hina doll set used in Japanese doll festival?

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  57. Sometimes my family will buy JR Pass. Sometimes just the regional pass.
    Depending on what/where we plan to do or go. :)
    If one city only, then maybe not. ^^
    One island - maybe yes. ;)

    We once travelled with JR pass and cover Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido in a single trip. *thumbs up on kiasuness*

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  58. I love ekiben's one of the highlight of travelling by trains and trains for long distance in Japan, for me. Always look forward to try the different ekibens sold at different regions and according to the season too.

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  59. to me oden is the Japanese version of yong tau foo except they are simmered in broth. Hahaha

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  60. I agree with you SK... not really all that nice to snap photos of food (or décor or whatever) when one is invited to someone else's house.

    I never do.

    Take photos of each other OK la.

    There are stuff we blog/show off about. There are stuff that we don't need to show to the whole world.

    ReplyDelete
  61. 冇錯,其實日本搭的士都唔喺一般人吹到咁貴,價錢都算合理。

    免費晚餐之餘仲有免費住宿,請問你哋喺咩貴賓啊?

    ReplyDelete