Supergoop! sunscreen is now available at Sephora [Singapore + Malaysia!]

2017-06-21 16.44.54   Did you know Maria Sharapova is co-owner and ambassador of Supergoop!. Well no wonder she’s probably the most beautiful tennis player around #supermodel material don’t you agree?

Launched in 2007 by a school teacher, Holly Thaggard, Supergoop! ​is the only prestige skincare brand completely dedicated to UV protection 365 days a year. It’s been awhile since I met an entrepreneur who’s this focused on living and breathing their mission. Holly and her team of some 20/30 people strive to create products famlies and kids can use safely –one that is easy to apply and backed by high quality ingredients and not to mention lots of clinical research. It wasn’t until today that I realize how skin cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers globally and how easily preventable it actually is.

Here’s Holly and me :)

Supergoop holly

She looks wonderful doesn’t she? we heard that she touched down in Singapore on a 5am flight this morning – and yet still looked fab (she credits this to her eyecream) and I must say that I reached for that tube of eyecream today and i can see how that helps! it was an instant eye brightener wow!? [now i can’t wait to go buy more Supergoop!]

supergoop everyday sunscreen

Ever wonder where the name Supergoop! came from? Not being from the beauty industry Holly referred to her earliest lab samples as “goop”. When Supergoop! Everyday SPF 50 was presented, she had exclaimed “this goop is super!” and that’s how Supergoop! was born. It was a very exciting time for her which is why it’s always written with an exclamation point!! She says you can’t say it without a smile on your face lol.

It’s also really surprising to learn that sunscreen is deem as a ‘drug’ in many states in the US and kids are not allowed to thank these to school – and how Holly is campaigning state by state to raise awareness on the importance of sunscreen and trying to breakthrough to government to allow it for use on kids. Talk about Laser focus and determination! I do love how Supergoop! is free from parabens, oxybenzones and synthetic fragrance and controversial ingredients. Did you know Supergoop! will send at least in the US – free sunscreens to schools! That’s putting money where her month is – I really admire Holly’s pluckiness and get go attitude! It must have been quite a tough journey over the past decade.

In Holly’s words “I’m here to change the way you think about sunscreen. No longer is it a sticky, tacky, smelly mess that you put up with at the beach. It’s a feel good lotion, a refreshing makeup setting spray, your got-to-have-it mousse, that you’ll want to wear. Every. Single. Day”

supergoop citysunscreen serum

Take heed as majority of the damage that leads to skin cancer later in life is actually done during childhood as kids are exposed to 3 times more sun than adults.

Did you know while the lips and the eyes are the first areas dermatologists check for skin cancer, it’s often the hands that are the first place to show signs of damage. Apparently because people tend to wash their hands after applying sunscreen.

Also being in the shade or even on a rainy day you’re still being exposed to damaging sun rays. Skin, without sunscreen, is always at risk for sun damage. UVB rays can easily reach the skin indirectly–particularly by bouncing back from surfaces like concrete, sand, snow and water.

The date your sunscreen was manufactured is really important!

The shelf life begins at the date of manufacturing rather than the date you opened the product. If your newly-purchased sunscreen was recently manufactured, it is likely effective for two years (three years, max) so using it from one season to the next could be okay. Keep in mind, however, that if you apply generously and frequently 365 days a year, a bottle of sunscreen should not normally last from one summer to the next. And, it’s not so much about the sunscreen becoming ineffective as it is the risk of bacteria and fungal growth, which can happen well within the expiration date, and quickly lead to serious skin irritation and allergic reactions.

Supergoop eyecream oat peptides

Note to self: Steer clear of parabens, synthetic fragrances and oxybenzone. Oxybenzone, was declared Allergen of the Year by the American Academy of Dermatology, has also been connected to hormone disruption and cell damage that can cause skin cancer. Another ingredient to avoid is Retinyl Palmitate (vitamin A) as studies suggest that while this is an antioxidant, it can actually accelerate growth of skin cancers. SPFs over SPF 50 can also be irritating and the SPF benefits reach their maximum at 50. I guess – no need to go above 50 then.

The brand story made my heart drop a little – Holly created Supergoop!

While there’s so many products Supergoop! has in their brand – I would probably say the Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF50 is the bomb!

The Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF50, which was sold out at Sephora in the US is your answer to reapplying sunscreen over makeup. I bet none of us did that previously, I have tried and failed as it gave me a terrible stinky grease over my makeup and skin – but with a mist im surprised just how no one had thought of it earlier? I can’t wait to get my hands on some of their lip protection products such as the Lipscreen! Our poor lips – have been neglected for a long time.

The brand also has fun products such as a sunscreen mousse https://www.sephora.sg/products/supergoop-super-power-sunscreen-mousse-spf-50/v/100m

Supergoop sunscreen mousse

l and things like a make up setting powder, or body butters and sunscreen oils. #wow
Read more about Holly Thaggard and Supergoops! story here on forbes

Cheers to one united sunscreen lol and 1001 textures and ways to use them! Hurry get it on Sephora now!

Pico + fractional laser

While Dr Elias Tam of EHA is no stranger when it comes to aesthetics, and I was and still am quite the fan of their 24hr sunscreen.[Please check this out if you’re a sunscreen fanatic like me lol.]

DMPixels - EHA SkinCare

 – EHA SkinCare

I must mention that he gives great care and service to his patients, I’m very blessed to know him and have him to help me solve my skin troubles! Esp when my adult acne can be rather hard to combat -_-.. more on that soon.

Here’s CIMG0460Dr Tam’s clinic with its clean white interiors are welcoming, not clinically white but rather, clean bright and inviting, with aromatherapy to boot and even some freshly brewed teas for patients. Here, his numerous accreditation and certificates line the walls :) Tea EHADr Tam certificates

And a little peek into what a consultation with Dr Tam is like – he is a very affable doctor who gives alot of face time to his patients, I mean I have gone to clinics where the doctors only see you for some 5-10mins during treatment, so much so you don’t get to talk much or even get to know them. I see now why Shirley of Luxury Haven is a fan too hehe.

Dr Tam unlike other practitioners I noticed takes the time to ask about your lifestyle and history of your skin and your routines to then give you a rather comprehensive recommendation/treatment plan. He doesn’t rush thru things for sure :)

Not that I ever blamed any doctor ever for giving me less time with them but everyone appreciates it when their doctor isn’t rushing thru the works!Dr Tam EHA

As with many clinics and sometimes facial salons, a VISIA imaging system with a very high definition camera is used to map out your skin condition, from pigmentation to pores etc.

VISIAVISIA system EHA

This was just a snippet of my skin analysis, before more photos were taken of my face in various angles for documentation and followups I believe – then my face was cleansed by the lovely assistant and prepped for the laser session. EHA clinic singapore

Here’s me – post laser.

This visit to Dr Tam – I was daring or perhaps vain enough to get a fractional laser done. It’s meant to improve my skin tone as I do have visible pores and even some scars (even on my nose tho I’ve yet to treat that). I went to work right after wearing just a face mask lol.
The pain was very bearable, and in fact I have some trouble recalling the scale / pain factor now that i’m a few weeks post laser.
I had the picosure laser done first, followed by fractional laser which I think was by the picosure machine as well.

Afterwhich a blue light treatment was applied too – to kill acne bacteria I think!

EHA clinic bluelight EHA clinic fractional

My face was pretty red after the fractional laser but this didn’t deter me from going back to work lol, and my work mates didn’t think or notice too much either lol. Thanks guys hahaha.

In fact this was done on 30th May and by 3rd June my skin was totally recovered and I could attend a wedding happily with good skin! something I didn’t think was possible when it came to fractional lasers. What sorcery is that lol. Oh the advancement in technology these days :) dreams can now come true !

For my home care I’ve decided its time to be diligent and use my differin cream to combat the darn breakouts I still get, along with the amazing Hydra Hyaluronic serum and Moisturing gel both of which are fragrance free!

The hydra serum has a strong viscosity which I showed some of you on my instastories, Tip: stretch the serum between your fingers, and the viscosity demonstrates the high quality of the Hyaluronic Acid used.

This uniquely lightweight serum does not clog pores and is suitable even for those with sensitive skin and post ablative or non-ablative lasers/procedures – when skin is most desperate for hydration. <3
The high viscosity enables this serum to form a thin yet highly protective layer over your skin, to maintain hydration. Just one pump does it for my entire face :) I kinda regret not using this earlier when I was introduced to the product somewhere last year!

Dr Tam also recommended me the Moisturizng Gel which is free of artificial activators and dehydrating alcohol. This non greasy gel-based-lotion forms a protective barrier that locks in moisture and nutrients so your skin stays hydrated for longer. Non greasy and suitable even for those with oily skin, it can be used in place of a primer, so foundation applies smoother and lasts longer. Perfect for daily use.

With Evening Primrose extract known for its anti oxidant and whitening properties, seaweed extract for its moisturizing and whitening properties, plant collagen and protein for its deep hydrating and anti-ageing properties, silicon for its ability to form a barrier and keep skin hydrated and protected from oxidation and Titanium Dioxide for its sun protection properties this water-based gel type moisturizer hydrates without leaving a greasy or shiny residue. Mad love for all of these and can’t wait for my June appointment.

EHA CLINIC
1 Scotts Road #15-01 Shaw Centre Singapore 228208
info@eha.com.sg

 Phone Line 1:
+65 6235 3325
 Phone Line 2:
+65 8168 7235
Closed on sundays :)
By appointment only

Wondering whos’ the cheapest 1Gbps broadband at CEE 2017

WhizComms CEE 2017

 

This is the cheapest 1Gbps home fibre broadband plan we have ever seen in Singapore. Effectively, you’re only going to pay $18 per month for a 1Gbps home fibre broadband plan, and you only have to commit 12 months instead of the industry standard of 24 months. The super deal is for real, at the Consumer Electronics Exhibition (CEE 2017), at Suntec Convention Centre. Only from 1 to 4 June, this deal is available for the first 50 customers per day who register at WhizComms booth (Booth 8501).

 

A few of the telcos are also introducing Mesh Network at the show, to enhance your home WiFi. Many people may not know how to use such equipment, and many do not know which ones to get to suit their home environment and usage. WhizComms Broadband is the only telco so far we’ve found, to be offering WiFi Clinic service to their customers, which is an essential onsite home WiFi Audit Service and installation service of the most suitable equipment for their homes, and how to place the equipment to maximise WiFi coverage at their homes.

 

Now back to the prices. With 2 big shows – the PC Show 2017 and the CEE 2017 happening over the same weekend at 2 different locations, you will want to plan your travel wisely to avoid disappointment. We’ve summarized the prices of all the telcos at the show and their locations in the table below. We believe this will greatly ease your job in making comparisons for the best WiFi deal in town.

 

Our conclusion?

  • If you want the cheapest 1Gbps home broadband, go for WhizComms. They give the lowest priced home broadband deals, short contract period at 12 months, and also a WiFi Clinic service, which no other telco provides. You’ll definitely want to check their booth out if you’re at CEE 2017 this weekend!
  • If you want any commitment shorter than 12 months, go for MyRepublic with no contracts. Be prepared to pay $59.99/month, no free months available.
  • Singtel has the cheapest WiFi mesh service at an additional $10/month for AirTies WiFi Mesh. Do remember to take the monthly subscription fees into consideration, with AirTies WiFi Mesh, the monthly subscription fees will be $69.90/month before the free subscription promotion.

 

Singtel Starhub M1 MyRepublic WhizComms
Minimum Contractual Period 24 months 24 months 24 months 24 months 12 months
Price/mth $59.90/month for 24 months $49.90/month for 24 months $39/month for 24 months $59.99/month for 12 months or no contract.

 

$49.99/month for 24 months

$36/month for 12 months

 

$32/month for 24 months

Freebies •  Free 4 months subscription

•  Free Wireless Dual-band AC router

•  Free Home line

•  Free Singtel WiFi

•  Free 4G mobile broadband (500MB)

•  10% off mobile subscription.

• Free 3 months subscription

• FREE wireless AC Dual-band Router worth $319

• FREE service installation worth $53.50

• FREE 6 months JuniorProtect Basic – A service that lets your kid explore the Internet safely across devices, blocking out harmful websites and content on both your mobile and PC.

• Purchase additional Wireless AC Dual-Band DIR-868L Router at $120 (U.P. $319) or pay $5/month via a 24-month installment payment plan.

•  Wireless AC Router

•  24 mths 4G Mobile Broadband – Typical Download Speed (Mbps)*: 41.1 – 104.0

•  Home Fixed Voice Service

•  ONT Activation (worth $58.85), Delivery on Weekdays, Monday – Friday (9am – 5pm)

• 3 months’ subscription to Internet Security

• Option to top-up for Entertainment Add-ons from as low as $5/mth

•  Free 3 months subscription for 24 months contract

•  $250 new router discount for 24 months contract

•  $100 new router discount for 12 months contract

•  Free TP Installation (worth up to $235.40)

•  Free Home Voice line subscription

·  Free 6 months subscription for 12 months contract (First 50 registrations per day at their CEE booth)

·  Free 3 months subscription for both 12 months and 24 months contracts if you’re not the first 50 to subscribe each day at the booth

·  Option to add on router at $98

 

Mesh Network or other WiFi Booster service •  Add $10/month for AirTies WiFi Mesh (total $240 over 24 months contract)

•  Add $30/month for Linksys Velop Dynamic Tri-band technology (total $720 over 24 months contract)

NA • Add $20.90/month for Linksys Velop (total $501.60 over 24 months contract)

• $249 for 1 unit of Linksys Velop Whole Home Mesh WiFi System

• $620 for 3 units of Linksys Velop Whole Home Mesh WiFi System

NA Add in total $338 for Mesh service with coverage up to 3000sqft (Usual price $428)

• Includes 2 units of Seamless WiFi Roaming System from TP-Link Deco (commonly known as Mesh Network)

• Complementary accessories provided for setup (e.g. cables, power plugs, adapters)

 

Effective Price for 1Gbps broadband without Mesh Network service (excludes non-quantifiable freebies) $49.92/month $43.66/month $39/month $41.66/month 12 months contract:

·  $18/month (only 1st 50 sign-ups per day at the booth)

·  $27/month (if you’re not the first 50 to sign-up at their booth)

 

24 months contract:

·  $28/month

Show and Booth Number CEE 2017

Suntec Convention Centre Level 4

Booth 8818

 

PC Show 2017

MBS Level 1

Booth 8018

CEE 2017

Suntec Convention Centre Level 4

Booth 8438

CEE 2017

Suntec Convention Centre Level 4

Booth 8460 / 8480

 

PC Show 2017

MBS Level 1

Booth 8009

 

CEE 2017

Suntec Convention Centre Level 4

Booth 8101

CEE 2017

Suntec Convention Centre Level 4

Booth 8501

 

Dessert story brings Taiwanese Popiah Icecream to Singapore! Just like the one in Shifen 十份 Taiwan

 

Sweet, salty savory you say? Well – here’s the answer to those cravings.

Dessert story copy

The popular Taiwanese styled Shifen 十份 popiah icecream can be eaten in Singapore now – no need to splurge on your airfare. At just $3.50 per serving at Dessertstory, you can have your fill on Yam or coconut flavored icecream wrapped in a generous amount of peanut candy shavings that give so much fragrance to the dish, springs of parsley to cleanse your palette [yes surprise! – but well this is of course optional] , and wrapped in a soft and lightly salted popiah skin. mmmm  I personally prefer the Yam flavored one, as the coconut one seemed a little to sweet but taste is always subjective. Well you can have the best of both worlds with a mixed flavored popiah icecream at $3.90.

20170502_190609

Don’t you just love icecream sandwiches? This is perhaps these mandarin version of it, I used to go crazy over Tiong Bahru Bakery’s icecream croissant and never do I reject a good serving of the icecream wrapped in rainbow bread. Each of these have their unique taste and living in Singapore , we are surely spoilt by the options <3

dessertstory1

2017-05-02 20.05.56

LOL having a go at shaving the peanut candy!

Over the tasting session, i had a chance to try their yam cake too that comes in 3 flavors.  Yam, orginal and pumpkin – all of which were good and really soft and smooth. I’m surprised at the rather broad menu available at Dessertstory in Tiong Bahru but i was told they have a total of 5 branches! That can only be a good thing!

The popiah icecream is available on 3 April onwards at all 5 outlets of Dessertstory.

happy eating folks

Thanks to the good folks at Dessertstory for importing the 25kg block of peanut candy from taiwan so we can all have our fill on this lovely dessert! dessertstory popiah icecream

More on @dessertstorysingapore dessertstory3

Limited Edition Dyson Supersonic for Mother’s Day

What do you buy the super woman in your life? Well – you buy her the Dyson Supersonic!SG_Supersonic_mothersday_withcopy

Sleek isn’t it.

This special special Mother’s Day edition of the Dyson Supersonic comes with a complimentary pink leather travel case. Pretty nifty !

Available for S$599 at the following stores, while stocks last:

– TANGS (Tang Plaza / Vivocity)

– Takashimaya Department Store (Ngee Ann City)

– Robinsons (The Heeren / JEM)

– Harvey Norman (Millenia Walk / Parkway Parade / Jurong Point)

– Best Denki (Vivocity / Ngee Ann City / Parkway Parade / Great World City)

– Courts (Causeway Point, Courts Megastore, Nex Mall)

What’s highly recomended – is if you’re a TANGS member you can purchase it and earn 6% rebates on a regular day but at times up to 12%. Perhaps so for takashimaya members and robinsons too but since i am not a member of those- i’m not too sure how much rebates you get with those!

LGG6 – The Big Screen that Fits

Ever felt yourself wanting more out of your phone’s camera? I mean we’re so reliant on technology these days’ arent we – yet for most of all ladies, all we ask for is a phone with a good camera lol.

Have you also wondered what goes into each and every phone – frankly it has never crossed my mind, most of the time – it’s always about the camera! But so so much more goes into it, I’m guilty in fact of under utilizing my phone’s functions sometimes but hey it was a personally eye opening experience for me when I was at the launch of the LGG6 last week.

The hardware – such as screens: Whether to be curved or flat, the size of the screen, how it fits in to your palm , how it affects muscle usage levels, and the rate of task completion were some of the things that the R&D team looked into when designing the G6.

Turns out research showed that the perfect phone is one that fits into your palm, has a flat screen and a very specific screen size.

It is also sealed against dust and water resistant up to 1.5m for up to 30 minutes – yes! I brought it onto a water street slide and slid into the water with no issues!

LGG6sg lgg6 april qualcomm dual rear cameras

Let’s have a look at the phone – its available in Iced Platinum, Mystic White, Astro Black2017-04-05 22.12.35

I got the iced platinum Korea edition set for a review and first looks which fares well when it comes to being finger print resistant.

It also looks like dual rear cameras are the way to go for mobile phones these days! The LGG6 comes with a groundbreaking18:9 Screen aspect ratio which allows users live review of photos while shooting images.

For selfie fans the phone’s front facing camera has skin tone, lighting and filters to help you get the selfie of your dreams. And the fun thing, you can turn on the gesture or voice shutter and have the phone take photos ever so conveniently for you or shall i say hands free :)

20170405_153220_HDR

lg g6 selfie skintone light filter

lgg6 voice shutter

For foodies: The G6 has a food mood – that has a white balance slider , and lighting slider that made food noticeable more delicious looking. – here’s a really quick comparison. Even the table looks better already lol.  LG G6foodmodeLGG6 food mode on wagyu

Food mode Lgg6

lgg6 singapore signature

You also have the convenience of adding a watermark to your photos! And several other camera modes.

The LGG6 features 2 x 13MP rear cameras by Sony, and a front facing camera that has 5MP. The wide angle camera is a god sent with its 125 degree field of view which makes it a breeze to capture landscapes, or even big groups of people.wide angle 120degrees g6 wide angle mode

LGG6 wide angle street slide lgg6 landscape

Lgg6 wide angle front camera

Those wide-angle images bump to 125-degree field of view — an increase that works best when capturing things like landmarks and landscapes. The front-facing camera also features a similar wide-angle option capable of 100-degree field of view shots.

The highlights of G6 includes the Snap shot, Match shot, Grid shot and Guide shot features.

Snap shot  Because of the 18:9 ratio, this enables users to splits the screen into two, with the upper half used as the active camera window while the bottom half allows you to preview the photo that you’ve just taken for easy comparison/or just efficiency you know?

Lgg6 snapshot mode

Match shot allows you to get creative by matching disparate photos, such as the wings of a bird to the tail of an airplane.

Grid shot where you can directly form a collage made up of four quadrants with photos and video contents without any third-party apps. Think of it as a moving collage of images heh.

Guide shot {NEW} that act as a guide for the next shot which matches the composition of a chosen image at different settings . AKA the copycat mode lol , this is where you can save an image of a photographer that you really look up too, or just something that you like, lol and then have it on your screen while you try to replicate the  shot for yourself.

lg g6 matchshot

All in all – this phone has worked well for me but photos tend to be a little grainy on both front and rear cameras in certain dark indoor areas or low light conditions. Battery life was good and you get a 50% charge done in just 30minutes, i really welcomed the waterproof function knowing how paranoid I am with having split drinks on my devices such as my laptop before, or just knowing full well that I can take my phone to the beach or for a swim and go trigger happy with it.

I did find the price a little steep – pretty much on par with most of other new phone launches this month.

The LGG6 will be made available 14th April 2017 and will retail for $988 at M1, Singtel, Starhub and authorized retailers. Here are the early bird perks:

  • Get an extended 12 month warranty making it 24months! Nice!
  • And get a free flip case worth $58 with each purchase.
  • M1 customers can enjoy up to S$200 off LG G6 when they sign up for selected Fibre broadband and mobile plans at the same time.
  • Singtel customers can get a Free LG 43″ 4K UHD TV worth $1,388* when they complete their Singtel Circle with a LG G6 purchase (Combo 3 and above plans) and recontract or subscribe to Singtel Fibre Broadband or TV. Simply visit any Singtel Shop or sign up online at singtelshop.com
  • StarHub customers who sign up for a 2-year HomeHub Go 1Gbps plan with LG G6 will receive a FREE LG 43” 4K UHD TV worth S$1,388*.

www.lg.com/sg/LG-G6

Japan Itinerary – Day 4 of 8

20 March – Day 4 [Asakusa]

Itinerary

  • Quick Breakfast from 7-11 in the morning [sushi to go]
  • Reach Asakusa Sawadaya at 1145am for our Kimono rental
  • Skipped lunch – we just ate street food at nakamise dori street yum yum.
  • Dinner at Isetan Kaikan Kushinobo on the 3rd floor -where a small eatery serving up kushiage – we did it the omakase way and at the smoke free section.
  • The night was still young so Junya took us to the the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building where the observation deck is usually open till 11pm.

kimono rental asakusa

The video pretty much sums up our time in asakusa and what we did there.

I’ve to put in a word the the ladies at Asakusa Sawadaya kimono rental! They were spectacular :)

Their website:http://sawadaya.pecori.jp/qian_caosawada_wu/TOP.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asakusasawadaya/
Email them to make a booking at asakusasawadaya@gmail.com

Also, if you need tips on how to select a kimono rental shop, read this super informative post by blogger Eileen on how to rent a kimono in Asakusa

Tips:

Pick a kimono rental that includes your hairstyling, as well as has a premium collection or more elaborately designed kimonos as some shops are cheap but give you the bare basics, compare things like the belts, and details!

Bring a huge pot of conditioner or hair mask if you’re going to do this as you’ll need that to remove all the hairspray from your hair at the end of the day.

The dressing starts with your hair being done first, which i must add is beautifully done and nicely set with hairspray to last all day seriously. Next you select a kimono out of the huge collection they have, and then an obi (sash) , i picked turquoise, and then a obijime (i picked a flower cord), and obiage (inner scarf of the belt) and then you put on a hadagi, which is a cotton undergarmen and a nagajuban silk robe. Budget about 10-15minutes for your hair to be done , and another 45mins to be dressed up. I picked some pretty hair accessories to go along =) so fun. Also a pair of tabi socks that had flower motifs on it! Oh yes and i get to pick the colors i wanted for my obi back bow too as there were some shiny organza cloth placed behind. The socks cost 600yen.

Cost: 5400 Yen per person ,or 9800 yen per couple.

What i did before hand was to look at their kimonos via facebook and instagram to kinda shortlist what I liked, i emailed them those i liked so they could pre-prepare during my arrival.

As it takes a long time to dress up and being late will affect other customers, try to be on time! In fact – being late just means less time to dress you up :(

There’s actually a few styles of dress up to choose from,

Kimono, Hakama, Furisode, Oriran etc

Or you can dress up like a Geisha/Maiko too .

Note: Kimono: Thicker and usually made from silk, Yukata: Thiner and usually made from cotton

As we passed through the kaminarimon Gate, a world famous symbol of Asakusa, you will find much to tickle your senses. From the smell of insense burning, to the hordes of tourist , and locals dressed up in kimonos and yukatas, to camera wielding throngs of people and street hawkers amongst other things. Kaminarimon is the entrance to Nakamise-dori, the front of the Senso-ji Temple. This approximately 250 m long street starting from the kaminarimon Gate and stretching to the hozomon Gate is called nakamise dori where by the many shops lined up here all of them old and historical. Get your shopping done here as there are many goods to pick from, from local snacks, to funny trinkets and lucky charms, to earrings, cloth and origami or woodblock print postcards and fans with the scenery of Asakusa in Edo Period. I think the street hawkers might not always be around, but the brick and mortar shops selling local fare and goodies are!

I read that Nakamise Dori is also worth visiting at night, to view the wonderful mural paintings that stretches across all the shutters of each shop. We sighted a few as some shops weren’t open the day we were that as it was apparently a holiday!

We made a beeline to Suzukien – is one of the few shops in Japan where you can enjoy the richest matcha tea flavored gelato in the world. In fact they have 7 levels of matcha icecream to pick from.  Needless to say after queuing up  – I had to have the strongest of the 7.

Asakusa suzukien

The thing about japan is you just can’t foresee how long the queue is. Stores have a habit of keeping the queues inside, so you won’t see how far it stretches on the street. To get our Suzukien fix, we were directed 3 streets down the road to an empty shop which was a holding area to get your ‘passes’ , once done, you sit down and wait for your name to be called, before returning to the main suzukien shop. Again – the husband wasn’t big on this -_- hahahaha but i insisted i needed to have it!

I got a little bored awaiting and decided to snap a photo of my manicure! Done by the awesome Bejeweled Singapore at breadtalk IHQ. One of my go to nail salon actually – https://www.facebook.com/bejeweledsingapore/

my nailart and manicure done by bejeweled nail salon at taiseng breadtalk ihq

Oh did i mention how beautiful Asakusa is – its one of the oldest streets really in Tokyo and there you can find pretty rickshaws where you can tour on. Perfect for photo ops and to immerse in the feel of the whole area ! Asakusa rickshaw tour

suzukien matcha icecream passes

Suzukien matcha

At 430 or so, we left Asakusa to go meet Junya at 530pm at Isetan Kaikan Kushinobo skewer restaurant . Read more about the food it serves up: as told by another blogger . Personally i didn’t want to be impolite and so I focused my attention on my husband’s friend and didn’t go trigger happy with the food ahahaha.

I think 16 skewers go for 5000yen, the dinner ended up costing some 22000yen I think for the 3 of us *Gasp*. And it was Junya’s treat, so nice of him but we felt bad… With Kushinobo, you get seasonal food – ie: 40 kinds every day.

isetan shinjuku kushinobo restaurant skewers

kushikatsu kushiage oasaka

isetan kushinobo

Dinner ended with a nice dessert of brown sugar jellies, and soy candy.tokyo metropolitan government building observatory

We skipped out of Tokyo skytree as we thought it may be a tourist trip but oh well perhaps we’ll go next time. I was told they have good restaurants and decent shopping in the tokyo skytree :) Tip: You can buy an express ticket to save on waiting time . Price ranges from 1500 yen for single floor, or 2000yen for a combo ticket

tokyo at night

So at the tokyo metropolitan government building observatory there’s a gift shop that seems to open till real late too. Nice selection , and in fact they have lots of gifts, but well i found it all pricy and so I didn’t buy anything but i did spy on some cute starwars light saber chopsticks! and the metal model kits.

 

tokyo lightsaber chopsticks starwars tokyo metropolitan government building

 

tokyo metropolitan government building

After which we

Somewhere in Shinjuku or Shibuya’s underground malls, i spotted a really beautiful florist!

Bon marche floriste tokyo shinjuku shibuya

She even sold sprigs of sakura which i was soooo tempted to buy!

 

Japan Itinerary – Day 3 of 8

19 March – Day 3

  • Breakfast: Isomaru Suisan (磯丸水産) a popular izakaya chain that has delicious fresh grilled seafood and chirashi bowls and Miso grilled grab
  • Meiji Jingu where we witness a wedding posession
  • Oreryu Shio Ramen for lunch
  • Tokyu Hands for shopping [ omg i spent many hours inside Shibuya’s tokyu hands]
  • Tempura Tendon Tenya for dinner

So the day started with breakfast at the Isomaru Suisan chain

breakfast at seafood chain in tokyo Isomaru Suisan jpgIsomaru Suisan (磯丸水産)Isomaru Suisan chirashi bowl with crabmeat

I had a chirashi bowl which had crab meat in it omggggg so good. I just found out today that Chirashi just means scattered, it comes from the word 散らす (chi-ra-su) meaning “to scatter”, as in scattering fish bits all over the place. isomaru

We didn’t eat that much because we wanted to get to Meiji shrine quickly. But we did have grilled fish , i think it was mackerel or something, and a grilled potato which seafood on top . They were all good but the mackerel had quite alot of bones.

I think we were the only locals there, which is always a good sign of authentic good jap food lol. To read more about Isomaru Suisan read this blog

After a quick breakfast, we made our way to  shrine and on the way look who we bumped into – the fire dept mascot! lol he looks like an insect hahahhaha tokyo firemen department mascot

Alas we made it to the shrine! Come early if you’ll like to see the wedding couples ceremony, we reached the shrine at about 1015am however there was quite some construction / refurbishment being done to the roof of the shrine and some parts of it .

reaching the meiji jingu

wedding at meiji shrine

Meiji shrine ema wooden plaque

See these wooden plaques? They are called ema and they are small wooden tablets used by worshippers to write down their prayers or wishes. The tablets are left in a designated area at the shrine, a traditional way of sending their prayers to the gods. I think they cost about 500yen each which you can buy from the shine direct. Meiji shrine 2 sake heaven meiji shrine meiji shrine wine barrels

A beautiful place nonetheless. Oh yes forgot to mention , the treasure museum is closed till further notice so you might want to skip out of that, we made a long walk there only to find that it was closed.

Oh yes sake and wine heaven you say? Read about it here on http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2007/10/16/reference/sake-barrels-at-shrines/#.WOpsZo4lH3A

As for the wine barrels

“The Meiji period was an enlightened period during which a policy of “Japanese spirit and Western Knowledge” was adopted, to learn from best of Western culture and civilization while keeping Japan’s age-old spirit and revered traditions. Emperor Meiji led the way in promoting modernization by embracing many features of western culture in his personal life such as shearing his topknot and donning western attire, and in many other aspects of daily living. Among these departures, His Majesty set an example by taking western food and in particular by enjoying wine with it. The barrels of wine to be consecrated at Meiji Jingu have been offered by the celebrated wineries of Bourgogne in France on the initiative of Mr. Yasuhiko Sata, Representative, House of Burgundy in Tokyo, Honorary citizen of Bourgogne and owner of the Chateau de Chailly Hotel-Golf. Profound gratitude is due to the wine makers who have so generously contributed to this gift to be consecrated here to the spirit of world peace and amity, with the earnest prayer that France and Japan will enjoy many more fruitful years of friendship”

 

We took a walk to the inner garden of the Meiji shrine as well as yoyogi park after

Kiyomasa well in meiji jingu

meiji inner garden cherry blossoms

yoyogi

And then we went to Shibuya cross! Say hi to Hachiko =)hachiko

Then lunch was at Shibuya’s Oreryu

Oreryu

Afterwhich we spent many hours shopping inside Tokyu hands lolololo , about 3hours.sakura tape by bande silver clay class in tokyu hands

There were workshops held at tokyu hands – everything from Leather work, to silver clay crafting and more! <3 I wished i came by earlier so i could have participated in that class. darn. axolotl tokyo axolotl on sale in tokyu hands

I also found an axolotl! OMGGGG its super cute, and there were 2 :)

There was also these wonderful felt cat caves i wished i could afford lol. they seem to be priced alot less in places like USA. tokyu hands pet deptcute collars for cats in tokyu hands

Made a pit stop at one of the Daikokuya stores as we weren’t hungry yet – spotted some cheap cartier rings so i bought one for my mom, and another for myself.Cartier rings in Daikokuya Daikokuya cartier

And then it was time for dinner! I was exhausted by then … so we made our way back to Shinkuju, past the izakayas near our hotel and stopped at Tempura Tendon Tenya, a delicious “fast food chain” that serves us cheap and good tempura Real yummy http://www.tenya.co.jp/english/tokyo-locations/

We didn’t realize the tempura already came with rice beneath and we ordered what we thought was the udon set only to realize we get both rice and udon LLOLOLOL.

 

 

tempura tendon tenya copy

WIth our stomachs filled, we called it a night!

More on days 4 to 8 when i find the time to write once again :) Stay tuned!

And please follow me on instagram @aletheajane

Japan Itinerary – Day 2 of 8

17 March – Day 2 [Akihabara]
Hotel: Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo
Recommended to me by my aesthetician – Dr Chiam Chiak Teng. Thanks Doc!
The cost: About $180 per night [ rates can fluctuate and sometimes go up to $225]

japan_citadines_central_shinjuku_tokyo_map

Tip: I used the UOB code “UOBEXPSG17” to get 10% off and of course my UOB card to pay for it.

Participating “Expedia Rate” hotels refer to hotels labelled “Expedia Rate” and are not on the exclusion list in www.expedia.com.sg/p/corporate/coupon-exclude-hotels, see Terms and Conditions below.

Voucher code: UOBEXPSG17

Booking Period : Now – 31 March 2019
Travel Period: Now – 30 June 2019
Minimum stay: 2 nights

There is apparently a mastercard 12% off promotion for expedia as well
How i’ll rate our stay: 4 out of 5 stars i guess.
Address: 1 Chome-2-9 Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0021, Japan
What I loved: They gave us a room of the 14 floor, and also some super delicious pecan chocolate and even folded us some swan towels to welcome us. They also offered free printing and hence we were able to get our disneysea tickets printed.

Not only that, the hotel also helped us to book our lunch at Ginza Ukai Tei which i requested before we even checked in. The washroom was spacious, and although the room was really tiny – typical of tokyo hotels, the toiletries, and amenities were lovely and towels were changed daily, I wore the bathrooms to sleep on most nights.

The toilet was also clean! And so was the room :) There wasn’t much of a view however from the windows. heh

What i didn’t like: The pillows weren’t fluffy, the bed pretty small. Oh and the housekeeping doesn’t wash the plate for you ie: if you’ve eaten snacks in the room etc. There was limited space hence we had to plonk our luggage in front of the door which made it hard to walk but there wasn’t an alternative. Also the hair dryer provided seem faulty, and even after requested for a replacement, the second one was faulty too – it sparks when i power it on after some time which made using it a scary thing!  citadines central shinjuku tokyo

citadines central shinjuku tokyo washroom


Activities:

We visited akibanavi.net/ and did a 1hr go-kart ride with a guide around Tokyo, making tops near the sky tree and Asakusa.

They open from 10am to 8pm, I booked us for 5pm initially but we were early and so I called the Akiba Kart dude who then managed to change our booking to 4pm for us :) The go-kart is suited for anyone 150cm to 185cm in height.

Costumes are free for use. And you literally drive on the roads, public roads, along with any one road users. You can just drive around yourself, or you can hire a guide to go along with you.

For tourist – an IDP is required. We applied for ours online for $24 bucks. http://www.aas.com.sg/our-services/international-driving-permit-idp.html

What to wear for go kart: well pants will be ideal as the site states to refrain from high heels, snow clothes, long skirts and other obstructive clothing.

akiba gokart akibakart akibanavitokyo skytree gokart

ok i feel damn sad my eyes are closed in this photo here nooooooootokyo maricart gokart

Why are my hands on my ears? Well i was actually putting my head gear on lololol.

After we were done with go-karting, we headed to the Akiba Fukurou owl cafe, they take reservations via website and confirm it only over email. There is no number to call apparently.

Please be mindful to book 1-2 weeks ahead of your visit, i checked the calendar today just for the heck of it and they were fully booked till 20th April?
Address: Japan, 〒101-0022 Tokyo, 千代田区Kanda Neribeicho, 67
Its actually really near our go-kart place that’s why we decided to go there.akiba owl 2

akiba fukurou owls2

akiba fukurou sweet potato owl

akiba fukurou owls

While the owls are all well kept and seemingly well rested as the shop as strict rules on how you should handle owls, they also rotate the owls such that each owl gets to sleep after its shift. But the thing with owls is that you can’t pet or stroke them very much and when you carry them they mostly keep really still, which is cute for maybe 10-15minutes and then it becomes a very zen experience which IMO isn’t for everyone lol. It isn’t something that is very interactive you can imagine. Some people bonded real well with the owls they handled, others had the owl shit on them. And me ? My owl decided to perch itself on my head  – clearly i was panic stricken by the fact that i am now at its mercy in case it decides to relief itself on my head LOLOLOLO.

Thankfully – it did not! AHHAHAHA

What it did do however was mess my hair lololl but this is as authentic as it gets.owl on head

The Akiba Fukurou site has very clear instructions on how to get to their cafe http://akiba2960.com/access

Isn’t the tiny owl cute?

The cafe for one thing handles and maintains the owls very well – the fact that they are strict

  • each guests can only handle 2owls in the 45 min
  • no stroking or petting the owls – only one tap as they said owls do not like being stroked
  • With this i am confident the owls lead a pretty good life there and that the shop is pretty ethical :)

What we really liked? Was that the shop took about 1-2 professional photos of us with their Canon Mark II which they then mailed to us, and also gave us a postcard each as a takeaway.

cute owls

akiba fukurou offical photo

[i think my owl wasn’t too happy to have his photo taken lol]

We ended off the day with dinner at Ichiran ramen at Shinjuku or was it shibuya where we queued for some 30minutes haha! Much to the displeasure of my husband but well didn’t complain when we were eating! Ichiran was nice, but I wouldn’t queue 30minutes for it again because we discovered better Ramen! Namely – Oreryu Shio Ramen which we the next day, The creamy shio ramen left us speechless. I didn’t take much photos of Oreryu so read this blog for a full write up on the ramen they serve up http://www.eataku.com/post/95492262471/oreryu-shio-ramen-kagurazaka-tokyo

ichiran red sauceichiran order forminside ichiran

p.s. The shinjuku east branch of Ichiran is a 24hour one!

Address: 3 Chome-34-11 Shinjuku, 新宿区 Tokyo 160-0022, Japan

https://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Restaurant_Review-g1066456-d3751876-Reviews-Oreryu_Shio_ramen_Shibuya_Main_Shop-Shibuya_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

Read about our Day 1 here