Hello Japan - Day 1: Osaka to Kyoto

25 January 2016

Travelling is how one escapes reality. Or at least in my book, whenever I travel, I would feel like a free soul. At times, I would even feel as if I've retired happily :') That'll be my goal la to retire happily with a lot of money.

So my journey began with a night flight out from KLIA(Malaysia) to Changi(Singapore) airport via Singapore airlines. I don't know how but I managed to injure some vein on my forehead near my eyebrow in the plane from KL to SG. The pain was so bad that I swear I started praying that I wont faint or touch wood die on the plane due to a mysterious headache. T_T After a horrendous 45 minutes, we arrived at SG and I looked pretty half-dead. 

Now, this is where SG's Krisflyer lounge came in. While waiting for our flight to Osaka, courtesy of my aunty, me and my sister got to rest in the Krisflyer lounge. I still had a minor headache when we got to the lounge but I stumbled upon my favorite cream based pumpkin soup and tomato juice. I initially thought that airport lounges food would be like so-so only la. But surprisingly, their food was really good. The pumpkin soup was so nice I wanted seconds, their fry mee-hoon was so yummy in that one hour span the tray was already replenished twice. Oh and there was also fish that tasted pretty nice too. (plus I'm not a fan of fish)

Fast forward to next morning, me and my family has safely arrived at Osaka! and Osaka was really really cold! 

When we arrived, my mami and aunty went to collect our JR Passes as well as to book our shinkansen seats from Osaka to Kyoto at Kansai airport's JR Ticket office.

This holy JR pass is like a must have if you are planning to cover a lot of places in Japan. Now let's have mathematics 101 with Candy. 

Price of this pass (JR Ordinary pass - 7 days): 30,000yen-ish( i think it was below that )

Shinkansen/JR trips that I can recall:
Shin Osaka-Kyoto: 1,420yen
Kyoto-Hiroshima: 11,090
Kanazawa-Omiya: 13,590yen
Omiya-Shinjuku: 1,500yen

Total: 39,390yen (excluding normal 'in-the'city' train trips & tourist bus fare) That's close to saving slightly more than RM300 = more money to spend on food & shopping! ♡

The train ride to Kyoto was pleasant, in fact all our shinkansen rides were nice. Even their toilets were better than a plane's toilet. 

The first thing we did after arriving at Kyoto station was check into the hotel we were staying at. The hotel we stayed during our Kyoto trip was Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto. For odd reasons, I spent 3 nights in that hotel but I forgot to take any photos of it. So the photos above were photos of the room I was staying taken from Tripadvisor's website. The accomodation was nice, I liked the tatami-sort-of setting very much. What I did not like was the shower in my room.

After we left our luggage with the hotel staff, we went to Kyoto station's underground mall, Porta! We after all the walking and traveling, of course we had to feed our belly. And of course, what's better than having ramen as your first meal in Japan ♡ Look at all the displays!! Almost every restaurant in Japan has these cute cute cute super duper ultra kawaii yummy displays y'know!!! ♡♡♡

We tried a miso base & another clear one. Personally preferred the miso one more. I'm always into stronger flavors and thicker broth so yup! ♡

After brunch, we got a cab to Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺) Along the way to the temple, we passed by shops selling all sorts of snacks and souvenirs! It felt touristy but my sis bought a kendama from one of the shops and it was only selling for 650yen! 

Since it was winter, by the time we were there I guess a lot of the trees were already bald :( But even though that, the scenery was still a beautiful one. Amber leaves during fall season are always my favorite sights to savor. 

After visiting Kiyomizu dera, we took a short stroll to Gion. Along the way we passed by this totoro place. I'm not sure if it's a cafe or what but the displays were just so cute! 
We passed by this souvenir shop that sells biscuits and my mom mentioned that during her previous visit to Kyoto with my aunt, they went into this shop and they were giving out food samples. Surprisingly after years, they're still giving out food samples ♡ The green tea biscuit the shop assistant gave me was really good and yummy, and I regret not buying it back home T_T
Initially I was thinking "weather so cold, summore want to eat ice cream???" But turns out, it was really nice to stroll along the streets of Japan while eating an ice cold green tea ice cream ♡ 

Gion was a really nice and peaceful area to walk around. Just before dinner time, we got a cab back to the hotel and went down to Porta at Kyoto station again to get dinner.

This time we had udon and rice for dinner. Food was good, and so far I'm pretty happy with Japanese food. During the entire trip, I don't think i've recalled eating anything I absolutely hated?

Just before heading back to the hotel, we got some snacks and drinks from Lawson for tomorrow's breakfast because we'll be on the train to Hiroshima early morning. And I just had to say, this meiji milk is hands down the best milk I've tasted! ♡♡♡ Definitely missing it now :(

This sums up my day 1 in Kyoto! College has started but hopefully I'll be able to update more often! Every year I make the same resolution to blog more constant, even if the posts will be short, I still fail to do so, hopefully this year I'll be able to achieve it!

Giving is caring - Chinese New Year 2016 with Coca-Cola

20 January 2016

Hey everyone, college is starting real soon! My results are out and I guess I’ll say that I did pretty well this time. Definitely way way waaaayyyyyy better than the previous semester. Remember my previous post on Coca-Cola’s newly launched limited edition Chinese New Year cans? I have finally decided who I’m giving which can to! Cheers to me because I’m personally a very indecisive person (选择困难症) which makes even the simplest questions like “What is your favorite colour?” a very tough question to answer.

Now for the first can, this person is currently doing a pretty good job in running his business. And if the business is good, his employees will get more bonus too! Y’know like my mom hahaha. So for the Coca-Cola can ‘Prosperity in Business’, I will be giving this can to my mami’s boss!

The next person is probably the most annoying person that I can never hate in my entire life because she has practically drooled all over me when she was a cute round little baby. This person is my little sister that has ngam ngam (recently) entered secondary school. Adapting form 1 life is not easy, especially when you are coming from a Chinese primary school background. So for this Chinese New Year, I will be giving her the Coca-Cola can that symbolizes ‘Academic success’ to wish her good luck in her studies.

Every family is bound to have arguments once in a while. To me, arguments could bring the family closer as we would all learn to compromise and understand one another better. For this CNY, I will be giving my grandfather a can of Coca-Cola that symbolizes ‘Peace in Family’ also because when he saw the Coca-Cola gift set he has already been asking me when can he drink it hahaha.

For my yee yee(aunt) that is currently residing in Singapore, I will be wishing her a blessed career path this year with a can of Coca-Cola that symbolizes ‘Smooth sailing career’ Why? Because if her job in Singapore goes well this year as well, she won’t be returning to Australia so soon which gives me more time to consider whether to further my studies in Singapore! Jokes aside, if her career is smooth then she can come back and bring us go makan makan again la. #FoodIsLyfe

Now now now, this person has probably seen me in so many ways. Namely, lazy, hungry, tired, happy, very very hyper, sad, very very hungry and also my ‘suddenly occasionally hardworking’ mood. This person’s my main babe, the bestie. :> So she has pretty much been my ‘贵人’ for one too many occasions during secondary and trust me, I miss that so much. I miss not having the need to pay full attention in class knowing that there is someone there that is able to re-explain the entire econs textbook to me in a day’s time. I know I’m never really your ‘贵人’ but it’s ok!!! This CNY, I’ll wish you with a can of Coca-Cola that symbolizes ‘Benefactors Aplenty’ okkk? I’ll wish you to have banyak banyak (many many) ‘贵人’ around you ok!

Now that I have this thing called ‘love life’ a.k.a I have a boyfie, the Coca-Cola can that symbolizes ‘Flourish in Love’ cannot go to others already kan! Because he loves Coca-Cola, this Chinese New Year, I’ll be wishing him with can of Coca-Cola! He’s been around so many times to witness me stressing over my assignments and blessing me with food whenever I get hungry (which is like all the time), plus he plays the guitar, so that’s why I love him hehe. 

Lastly, there are two Coca-Cola cans that I will be giving to mommy dearest. This would be the cans symbolizing ‘Everlasting youthfulness’ and ‘Abundance in Wealth’. Women in general are all about beauty. Youth especially means a lot to us women. After all, you don’t see women getting surgeries to get wrinkles, do you? Nope. So every girl you wish them forever young, they’ll be happy also la. Same goes to my mommy and I. As for ‘Abundance in wealth’, my mom has been dreaming to get a property of her own. She’s been working so hard to bring up both me and my sister, so I really hope that 2016 would be a prosperous year for her. Bringing up two kids and giving them the best that she could is not a job everyone can do and yet she is capable of doing it. Thank you and love you mommy,

This Chinese New Year, spend more time with your family and less on your smart phone or tablets. Your social media updates, CNY selfie editing, games, all of it can be done after your family gathering. Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous Chinese New year!

And don’t forget that if you want to win yourself a limited edition Chinese New Year Coca-Cola giftset like the one in the post HERE, remember to share your Chinese New Year celebration photos on facebook and Instagram with the official hashtag #CokeCNYmy ! Gong xi fa cai in advance everyone!

Share your wishes with your loved ones with Coca-Cola - #CokeCNYmy

11 January 2016

It’s January again, meaning a whole new year filled with new surprises and challenges waiting ahead for us. Every new year people would have a set of new year resolutions in hopes of achieving them. Every achievement to every individual leads to another pinch of happiness in their life. This year, I have decided to be a more carefree person. I do not want to stress myself out with assignments but what I wish for is to be happy all year round. This means embracing life in a whole new positive perspective and be more optimistic. After all, the key to happiness is optimism! :)

Chinese New Year is around the corner and this is the best time to share wishes with your loved ones. Traditionally, we would exchange gifts that symbolizes their wishes for an auspicious year ahead with their family, friends and loved ones. With the advances in technology, people could even send their greetings and wishes via social media platforms like facebook or WhatsApp.

This year, instead of sending the typical 'Happy Chinese New Year' or  'Gong Xi Fa Cai / 恭喜发财' Coca-Cola has released a series of cans specially for the year of the Red Fire Monkey. In this series of cans, 8 different designs were introduced, each varied in images and words to portray different auspicious meanings and wishes. This comes off as a great gift for the festive season as one is able to give these Coca-Cola cans as a special customized message to their family, friends and loved ones. After all, whats better than a gift that one could appreciate as they are able to relate to it better?

The 8 different Coca-Cola Chinese New Year can designs include:

  • Abundance in wealth (财源滚滚) - decorated with pineapples, coins and gold ingots
  • Prosperity in business (生意兴隆) - double goldfish & water
  • Smooth sailing career (事业顺利) - sailboat
  • Flourish in love (情场得意) - a pair of magpies
  • Lasting youthfulness (青春常驻) - cranes, peaches & plum blossoms
  • Peace in family (合家平安) - double pair of stone lions and a gourd
  • Academic success (学业有成) - brush, ink, and paper scroll
  • Benefactors aplenty (贵人相助) - Ruyi/如意 knot, peach blossoms

huh? why and what's what???

Abundance in wealth: Have you wondered why pineapple tarts are such popular CNY biscuits? It’s like every house you visit, you're bound to come across these yummy yummy biscuits. Besides of how yummy it tastes, as a half hokkien I kinda know a few hokkien words and I guess its originated from the hokkien word of pineapple ' ông-lái ' that sounds similar to the word 旺来 which is also translated to 'fortune coming'

Prosperity in business: A double goldfish with water is the perfect design for someone managing a business as goldfishes are similar to a magnet. Attraction. They are like a form of invitation to wealth and business(Plus, they're pretty, that's why so many people wants a goldfish as a pet) 

Smooth sailing career: Sailboats are used to represent 'money boats' sailing on the calm blue sea. It's like wishing one a smooth path on their career journey.

Flourish in love: Did you know that the number of magpies within a frame signifies different meanings? Two magpies represent union in joy! This can is perfect for your loved one! If you don't have a significant other, don't worry, just give this can to your kawan-kawan that has a girlfriend or boyfriend or is married!

Lasting youthfulness: This is the perfect design to get for the older generation. For instances, cranes and peaches represents longevity and good health. This is why some Chinese birthday celebrations  you get the big pink colour 'sau pau' a.k.a longevity buns(寿桃包) 

Peace in family: A pair of stone lions could symbolize the strength it has in protecting one's family while the gourd on the other hand is an important symbol for family in the Chinese culture. This can would be perfect for the head of the family to wish them peace. 

Academic success: Long story short, as a student myself, this is a Coca-Cola can design I would give to all my friends or any relative or junior of mine taking their national exams this year haha. Its like wishing them 'Good luck on your papers!' in a cooler way than just dropping them a text message.

Benefactors aplenty: 你想要很多贵人吗?(do you want to meet many expensive people? hahaha just kidding, this Coca-Cola can design is perfect for those seeking to have many benefactors in life as the Ruyi knot symbolizes good fortune and luck

Now that we know which can represents what, wanna know another reason to share your wishes through a can of Coca-Cola? Because in our Chinese culture, the colours red and gold are lucky colours, and what is the colour theme of this set of Chinese New Year Coca-Cola series? Red & Gold

Stay tuned for an update on who I gave which can to! On the side note, all 8 of these CNY Coca-Cola cans are available in stores now so hurry up and collect all 8 designs. Don't forget to share your Chinese New Year celebration photos on facebook and instagram with the hashtag #CokeCNYmy to stand a chance to win yourselves a limited edition gift set like the one in the picture

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