Claire and Simon heading to Seoul – 19 to 24th February 2018!

Yay guys!! Finally we are going to Seoul!!! We booked a one day tour to Elysian Ski Resort too and are going to shop and eat alot hehe.

It is my first time to Seoul and I hope I will like it!

Do remember to follow me on instagram – claireaudreylim and watch my IG stories to see where we go!

@claireaudreylim

Travel: 4D3N Hakone and Tokyo (summer) in Summary, it was my birthday! Travel vlogs included!

Hi all, I’m here to write about my Tokyo trip that we went in June 2017. Simon has done his part for the whole trip and today I’m here to share my thoughts on the trip! I did the video and I mentioned that we flew ANA, I want to apologise because we actually flew with Japan Airlines and I totally forgot all about that. So really sorry for the mistake. And I guess I really need to try ANA soon because I wasn’t very pleased with Japan Airlines.

The service was (okay la not bad) but they didn’t serve me food for my return flight which should be included. (holycrap I sound like a brat here lol) Our fares also happened to be on the higher side so I’m really quite frustrated. Nevermind this, I shall continue with my post.

It was a 4D3N trip. You must be thinking Claire must be crazy to go Japan for 4days only!!! I know I thought I was crazy too. But can we get over this already? It’s already 2018.

Today I will only give a summary of the trip and show you the remaining vlogs since Simon has already finished all the blog posts. 🙂

For Simon’s blog posts click the following:

[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 1: Arrival in Hakone and Odawara Castle 
[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 2: Exploring Hakone 1/2 – Sengokuhara, le petit prince museum, owakudani black eggs (Image-intensive!)
[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 3: Exploring Hakone 2/2 – Sightseeing boat, Hakone Shrine, baby wishing tree, (Image-intensive and excess words!) 
[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 4: Going back to Tokyo, Ichiran Ramen, Cat Cafe Calico and Sensoji! 
[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 5: Last day in Japan, The Roastery by Nozy Coffee, Yoyogi Park and Blue Bottle Coffee. 

and watch the videos here!

This is new! 

So here we go!

Day 1: 

We travelled to Hakone from Tokyo and stayed 2 nights in this traditional Japanese house.
I think I prefer to stay in a room where the doors can be locked. It was a really good experience but it makes me a little scared. The house is a little too big too and I kept thinking about scary things. lol.

BUT the location is good, very near convenience store and the bus stop. Abit far from the station though, we had to climb up and down a flight of steep stairs with our luggages.

https://www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/16484277

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On one of the nights, we found ants on the mats. But we managed to kill them la. haha.

Went to convenience store to get food and icecream after unpacking our stuffs. 4648

Bought this icecream from the store, this is my favourite icecream! They used to have this in Singapore!

After that, we went to Hakone Castle. It was June, supposed to be summer but the weather was about 19 degrees. Damn shiok and happy.

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Very quiet here, unlike Osaka Castle. 62

Hydrangeas in full bloom. Pastel and vibrant flowers, they are so beautiful! 7176

and check out the sunset here. sigh..

For dinner we went to Odawara Fish Market Den! I absolutely love the miso soup! The miso soup got fishbones and clam one! It was so nice! The sashimi is super fresh as well. Looking at this makes me wonder if I should go back to Hakone again, I can try to spot Mt Fuji too. Higher chance to spot Mount Fuji during Spring, Autumn and Winter. 94

We went back to our Airbnb that night and Simon gave me my presents! He should have given me on the actual day but I was really happy to see this pair of earrings though. (one of the presents)!

I couldn’t wear them anymore by the way because I’m allergic to nickel so whenever I put them on, my ears just itch and burn like mad. 🙁 100

Recently I find pandora very cute and girly.

Day 2.

We went to Sengokuhara for the Japanese Pampas grass. But there was only a land of greens because it was summer. So.. wrong timing again. 113

stay here for awhile and we took a bus to our next location and decided to stop at Le Petite Prince museum. We didn’t go in because 1. we don’t want to pay for the entrance fees and 2. we were rushing. 124

Fast forward to Sounzan station where I spotted this super cute caravan cafe and I insisted to wait for the people to come out because I want to take photos inside. 143144

Opposite us we spotted this ‘da’ big mountain. 153

After the coffee break, we went on to take the ropeway! This is my first time taking and I was so excited. Word of advice though, don’t look down. It is really scary. 160

So hello Owakudani!!! I thought the black eggs were really cool hahaha, and so I told Simon I want to come here.

They provided us with mask and wet tissues so we can cover our nose and mouth from the smell. Very smelly by the way, and I guess toxic too? 172

and tada our black eggs! Actually they are just normal boiled eggs (not even onsen eggs) with black shell! It was also my first time eating boil eggs with salt. 174

We try to spot Mt Fuji from the Owakudani Valley but we saw nothing. 🙁

Next we went to Togendai via bus because the ropeway was under maintenance. Here we are for the sightseeing cruise! This is so fun! This was the day I truly felt like a tourist!

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The view is priceless! 203

Then we stopped at Hakone Machi, walked the Ancient Cedar avenue and then to Moto Hakone to visit the Hakone Shrine!

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This is the famous baby wishing tree! I don’t even dare to stand close to it.

Day 3. 

Train back To Tokyo, also feeling a little sad that it is Day 3 already. But I was really excited for my Cat Cafe (1st time) and Ichiran Ramen!

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This is the Airbnb we stayed in Tokyo! I tried looking for the listing but I couldn’t find it. Let me try later and I shall update over here. 232

Woohoo Ichiran Ramen!! It is so good!! If you go Japan you must try this! We had this at Shinbashi. 234

And we also had Gindaco!

After this we went to Senso-ji. The last time we were there the giant lanterns were undergoing renovations, but this time we managed to take a photo! Refer to link here.

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Before the trip I did some research and found out that there is a famous melon pan shop – Kagetsudo Honten here. I know Simon likes Melon Pan and so I added this to our itinerary. 😀

We ordered the plain melon pan and I was quite disappointed. Although it was buttery and crispy I felt that it was too sweet for my liking.

I think there was supposed to be good coffee somewhere but we ended up going to this Coffee ‘JinLong’ place. Simon ordered latte and they give him instant latte so you know la hor, I don’t even need to describe the taste. 243244

and I stopped somewhere for some iced cold drink after getting a bad divination stick from the temple. I am glad that there is an option for me to tie it somewhere so that the bad luck won’t follow me home. Anyway ever since I moved into our new house, my luck has been pretty good so I am really grateful for this. 247

Next to Shinjuku for shopping and of course Map Camera for his camera stuffs. I really like leica stuffs, but I don’t think I will know how to use. hahaha.

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and guess where we went next? How can you not eat Yoshinoya?? It is a must eat in Japan! Hahaha. If you hate spring onions then I’m sorry Im a huge fan!

I think Simon wrote that we ate at somewhere else, that is supposed to be the next day. 261

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And finally, cat cafe!! Hehehe. Once again, more photos to visit Simon’s post! I researched and Cat Cafe Calico has quite good reviews hence our visit! Today is also my birthday and I really wanted to play with some cats hehehe.

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the cats whisperer!

IMG_0555IMG_0558IMG_0557IMG_0564IMG_0566IMG_0567After that we went back to our Airbnb and here’s my cheesecake from Starbucks. Simon actually sang for me, you can watch the video hahaha!

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IMG_0568 (1)Day 4, our last day. 288

Gindaco again for our soul! This outlet is better than the one we ate the day before. I think this is the Harajuku outlet. 291

Oh I love this so much, I missed the ones at Ion Orchard. 🙁

Next we went to Kiddyland Harajuku Store to find Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori! Simon got me some cute things and I got him his favourite Kiiroitori! Hahahaha. 298

Then next to The Roastery by Nozy Coffee for good coffee!313

IMG_0592Super hipster man this place.

And then we went to Patagonia and he bought some stickers for our luggage. LOL! 317

And here we are at Meiji Jinggu! This place is so calm and peaceful. Damn zen. 322325

And I got something good this time! I really love this quote, I am very determined one. 339

Then finally toTonkatsu Hamakatsu at Shinjuku for dinner! 342

Generous serving and awesome food!

After our happy dinner we went to Blue Bottle Coffee for another cuppa. 348

The Queue is Crazy.

IMG_0579After this we just walk around aimlessly, took our luggage (thank god for lockers) and went to take a train to the airport. :/ 356Check out these cute kimono earrings. Cute but I won’t wear. haha so no point buying.

It was a wonderful summer, not so hot and the temperature was quite cooling. Not like the previous time where I went for a media trip and it was pretty hot haha. Japan is really fun and fascinating and I am returning in March again! We will not go again this year because honestly how many times I’ve been to Japan the past one year already? I have commitment issues I need a change.

And oh yah we also bought this castella cake from the airport. Soso only, I prefer singapore butter cake lol.

IMG_0628IMG_0634I recently just booked my november trip and I am really excited. I am so proud that I’m going with my own money! 😀

Also I know I haven’t been updating regularly. I’m pretty busy with campaigns, other important stuffs and my full time job lately. I’m not sure if I will be more busy after June, but I will do my best to keep you all updated.

If you want to know what I have been doing then just follow me on instagram at @claireaudreylim 🙂 I’m quite active on instagram stories, posting alot of nonsense and shit.

Anyway I shall stop here, and I’m glad I finally finished this post! And now I can’t wait for February 19th, my first time to Seoul and Skiing!!! 😀

@claireaudreylim

Video: Japan, Hakone Tokyo Day 1: Our Airbnb at Miyagino & Dinner at Odawara Fish Market Den!

Travel on Airbnb and get S$40 in travel credit! Click here! 

I’m sure you guys have already read the posts written by Simon. Today I’m here to share the videos. Might as well break them into individual days so that it’s easier to watch right?

You can also read the below posts here:

[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 1: Arrival in Hakone and Odawara Castle 
[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 2: Exploring Hakone 1/2 – Sengokuhara, le petit prince museum, owakudani black eggs (Image-intensive!)
[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 3: Exploring Hakone 2/2 – Sightseeing boat, Hakone Shrine, baby wishing tree, (Image-intensive and excess words!) 
[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 4: Going back to Tokyo, Ichiran Ramen, Cat Cafe Calico and Sensoji! 
[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 5: Last day in Japan, The Roastery by Nozy Coffee, Yoyogi Park and Blue Bottle Coffee. 

So here’s the clip for Day 1, we bought limited express tickets to Hakone Yumoto, then went to our Airbnb at Miyagino, and then Odawara to visit the Odawara castle and had dinner at Odawara Fish Market Den! I highly recommend this place for dinner!

During the journey to Hakone, we also laughed alot in the train. Videos allow you to know more about us and how lame we are LOL! So pls watch it! haha.

@claireaudreylim

Claire and Simon heading to Japan! Osaka, Nara, Kyoto on 11th November 2017 for 8 days!

Hi hi people we are off to our favourite place again! This will probably be my last trip to Japan until 2019 because I have other plans for 2018. First in Feb would be korea! 😀

For the trip, we are traveling from Osaka to Nara, then Kyoto and back to Osaka again. This will be my longest trip thus far I guess, about 8days! Will be taking about 2 weeks leave next year November too so that would be the longest trip ever wahahha. Btw I can’t wait to see the autumn leaves. The autumn leaves in Japan are the best!

Remember to follow me on @claireaudreylim to watch my IG stories and @travelfarenough_ to see more travel photos! 😀

Claire

Claire and Simon heading to Montigo Resort Batam (Couple retreat!) on 5th November 2017!

Hey guys!!

Simon and I will be going to Montigo Resort Batam tomorrow! Very excited because I can finally rest and relax! Do follow me on IG @claireaudreylim to watch my IG story and I have also created a new IG account solely for our travel photos only!! It’s @travelfarenough_

I swear im going to sleep alot but we have fun activities to do too! I will probably feel very tired but it’s okay at least I got to go on leave on 6 Nov Monday. hehe.

I heard that Montigo is perfect for couple retreat! So if you guys are attached you definitely have to stalk me to see what I do there. Of course I will be back with a video and blog post but isn’t IG story better? :p

Update* Blog post is updated at

1. http://blog.myfatpocket.com/claireaudreylim/2017/12/02/claire-and-simon-goes-to-montigo-resorts-nongsa/ 

@claireaudreylim

Travel to Perth: 6D5N in Summary with video!

Hello!! Here’s me again with another travel summary! Wow I feel like I haven’t blog for a very long time… I have been pretty busy this 2 months. Not complaining at all. I am super super grateful for all the opportunities. 🙂

So before everything else, here’s the travel video for you!

This is my first family trip and it was so fun even though we lived like pigs everyday! It is the first time Simon brought his parents overseas and I can see that they were very happy. I would be too, if I have a kid next time and he does the same thing for me.

I met his relatives before, a few years ago when the cousins were still so young and small. Now they are all grown ups and looking so matured. Janelle is a makeup artist at MAC and she is so good at her job. They have really strong Aussie accent and I think if we stayed there longer we would too.

As it was a trip with the parents, we thought it will just be a follow our parents around kind of trip so we didn’t research anything at all. We ended up doing our research the first day in Perth because his uncle thought that it’s better for us adults to explore Perth on our own. LOL! Damn GG.

We didn’t go to Margaret River. I know I know, everyone say it is a must go. Next time we will go!

We scoot to Perth and the total fare was about $1700. Actually the fare can be lower, I couldn’t wait anymore so I just asked Simon to book immediately. 😡

Our flight was at 12pm + and we landed at about 6pm. There is no time difference between Singapore and Perth.

Uncle James picked us up at the airport and we went straight to his place. We are really blessed. San Yi prepared breakfast and dinner for us everyday. We wake up to smoothies and coffee waiting for us and always have wine and tea to go along with our dinner.

The next day, Uncle James drove us to Bassendean station and we took the train to Fremantle. This is a summary post so I only post some of the photos I have, remember to return to see the other photos. ^^

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Our first stop was to Fremantle Prison. The price was on the higher side but I thought it would be fun to visit. But the tour was about 1hr plus and we still have to wait for the next round so we decided to skip this and went to the market straight. 5

Here at Fremantle Market! This is definitely the must visit if you are in Perth! 11

The fruits and vegetables there are so green and fresh! 7

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Simon and I was like should we try Japanese food in Perth. We tried ramen in Melbourne and it was not a good experience hence we assumed that this won’t be good too. But my lecturer told me that the jap food was surprisingly not bad. If any of you are going Perth soon, go try this and let me know?

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Perth is a really chill place. We don’t need to rush and we just take our own sweet time everyday. We decided to roam around and happen to spot this field with my favourite trees. We continue walking and then decided to take the ferris wheel. More on that next time but it was fun although short! 18

Fish and chips are so popular in Perth. We went to 2 different outlets because we want to compare. One at Cicerello Perth and the next one at Kailis Fish and chips! 19

This is from Cicerello. We actually prefer the fish at Kaili’s. 

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Sorry no pic. Next time! 23

Then we walked to Megabes Products to find tshirts for Sebas and Ivy. I remembered Ivy told me she love tshirts with country names printed on them.

Day 3!

We went Kings Park with our parents and Uncle James.

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View from Kings Park! So pretty! 26

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After the walk, we went to Annalakshmi Restaurant at Barracks Square for indian food. It is buffet style but all vegetarian food. The concept is you eat what you want and pay what you feel. It’s a non profit institution basically. Even though the food choices are limited, it tasted pretty good. And anything for a good cause is worth visiting. 28

After that is our couple time again where we went to Crawley boatshed to take photos with the popular boatshed! 31

I love seeing those black swans! 34

then we end our day with a carrot cake at Dome Cafe before going back Sanyi’s house for dinner!

Day 4 – hunting for good wine! 36

First stop was to Sandalford wines! They have really good wines! A pity we cannot bring them back to Singapore. 38

Then to Providore, the chocolate sauce and condiments were so good. 40

We also visited the Margaret River Chocolate Company where we tried so many chocolates until I got ulcers. Chilli chocolate tastes really funny.

It was already raining but we decided to go Caversham wildlife park. Honestly we already don’t know what to do. LOL.

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We spent the rest of our afternoons there checking out animals. 43

I also recommend you to try the Connoisseur ice cream if you haven’t before. I think it’s better than Magnum! 44

There’s a meet the animals session where you get to hug the Wombat ( i think? ). If you are wondering if I did take a photo with him, no I didn’t. 45

We uber/grab to Yahava Koffeeworks next! 46

had coffee and bagel here and decided that the coffee from Yahava in Singapore is better. 47

But the scenery outside is so beautiful so it’s not a wasted trip afterall. 

Day 5 –

We went to Watertown Brand Outlet Centre then The Tuck Shop Cafe followed by Sayers Sister. Our plan was to follow our parents for the remaining days but we ended up wandering off again. 49

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If you google cafes in Perth, The Tuck Shop is always being recommended! And I got to agree the food is really good here! 53

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I never tried the other items on the menu but I highly recommend the lamb pie and fries with gravy! SO GOOD I tell you. I think I can eat 3 myself.

We went to Sayers Sisters next for coffee and cake. 56

I wanted to try the coffee only but Simon ordered the cake too. If I’m not wrong, it’s flourless chocolate cake. 

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Feeling like a stuffed toy now, we went to Hyde Park. It’s just a really huge park with basically nothing and only trees. But it was so relaxing and beautiful. 59

Since we have no where else to go, we decided to take a train to Cottlesloe to visit the Cottlesloe beach. 60

It’s amazing. 

Day 6. 

We went to Janelle’s workplace to find her and San Yi bought me lip pencil and lipstick! So nice of her! 61

then to Hillary Boat Harbour, and bought the super delicious honey cake.

http://www.thehoneycake.com.au/visit-our-shop/ if you go perth you must buy. It’s so good believe me!

Our late lunch was at D’Big mama at Coventry Village.

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Uncle James recommended us this place and we really like the food. 64

I honestly eat alot during this trip. Simon gained like 3-5kgs?

On our last day! We have some time to spare before our flight so we went to Swan Canning Riverpark and then University of Western Australia UWA. 65

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The university is so beautiful. How I wish I was studying there.

For lunch we went back to D’big mama again to try the new bamboo noodles. 68

Read the review here!

And we went back to San Yi house to eat duck meat and nachos before packing up and to the airport.

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71Thank you San Yi and San Yi Zhang for hosting and taking care of us! It was such a wonderful week! We will visit you soon. 😀

And that’s all for today. Anyway people I have decided to cut down on my travels to 2-3 times a year. I have been spending my extras on my travels and I realized the amount of money I could save if I could just practice a little bit of self control. What would I do if I don’t have the extras anymore right? I can travel anytime I want after I retire. So now my priority now is to save and retire early.

And in the meantime look forward to my Japan trip in November!! yay!!!

Till the next time people! 😀
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S-series, E45: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve with our friends!

Hi,

A couple of months back we went and challenge ourselves going up the Bukit Timah Hill.

Traditionally, by saying ‘we’ I meant Claire and I. But this time we have awesome company joining us in our long-awaited hikes, Ivy and Sebas. Well anyhow, we started our walk from the classic entrance

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I liked what the site Huckberry does everytime they end their newsletter in my email.

Show me someone’s awesome outdoorist photo with the caption: “See you out there.”

So I’m gonna spread that ideal now guys.

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See You Out There.

[Claire and Simon’s Explore Series]

[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 2: Exploring Hakone 1/2 Sengokuhara, le petit prince museum, owakudani black eggs!

Travel on Airbnb and get S$40 in travel credit! Click here! 

[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 1: Arrival in Hakone and Odawara Castle 
[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 3: Exploring Hakone 2/2 – Sightseeing boat, Hakone Shrine, baby wishing tree, (Image-intensive and excess words!) 
[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 4: Going back to Tokyo, Ichiran Ramen, Cat Cafe Calico and Sensoji! 
[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 5: Last day in Japan, The Roastery by Nozy Coffee, Yoyogi Park and Blue Bottle Coffee. 

Watch day 1 here:

Hi

We woke up early today, hoping to cover all the places we shortlisted. Its a long list and it involves a lot of walking. Ambitious. We will be attempting what was known as the Hakone ‘Loop’, which goes one round around the popular tourist sights in the Hakone region, but I’ll skip all the museums and art exhibits because I’m an uncultured swine. I preferred to visit  what nature has to offer rather than paying entrance fees to see man-made art pieces and wasting time contemplating what the heck the artists were trying to tell me. Limited time limited funds and limited interests, that’s about right for me.


SENGOKUHARA SUSUKI-SOGEN

Susuki is the Japanese name for Japanese Pampas Grass, also known as Chinese Silver Grass. I think I’ll stick to susuki because its so much shorter than the others.

We woke up early in the morning to catch a local bus for Sengokuhara. The buses were easy to navigate thanks to the popularity of Hakone to foreign tourists. The buses all have a few languages showing on the screen telling you which stop is coming up next. Combined with Google Maps, even though its not very accurate, its good enough for us to navigate.

The bus took about 20mins from Miyagino town to Sengokuhara.

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We stopped opposite the cute bus stop, absolutely have to snap a shot. Then we made our way to the Susuki-Sogen or the Japanese Pampas Grass Fields. So long-winded..

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…Then the disappointment.. You see, we expected to see at least a little of the golden grasses on the fields.. But I found out too late that we can only see the golden grass during autumn. Its summer now and all the susuki are green. Bummer.

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Claire was very impressed by the neat rows of pine?/spruce? trees up along the tree lines. We had a tight schedule, if not I’ll probably drag her into the forest just to see how its like inside. But if a bear appears I won’t know what to do, I know I wont win.

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So after taking a couple more photos, we made our way back to the cute bus stop and catch a bus back to Miyagino, where we’re based for this couple days.

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MIYAGINO

We noticed the Little Prince Museum along the way on our bus. Claire thought it looked very grand and the little Prince is cute, even though both of us never read the book and know next to nothing besides the name ‘Little Prince’. We still end up alighting our bus and made a detour to visit the place. We entered the lobby, went up to the ticket counter and inquire about the entrance fees, saw the price, and left. LOL. It was a little over our budget so we just took a few pictures in the front garden. FOC.

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We then catch another bus and went on our way back to the town. Where we followed the dreadful short cut up to Gora station…

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Its dreadful because I nearly died here, climbing down the crumbling, moss covered stairs with 2 luggages on my hands. Luckily, we don’t have our luggages with us today. So I get to shoot some moss. DSC04408

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Fancy us finding red maple leaves in summer. Onwards to Gora station for our cable car ride. The Cablecar is really just a few cabins on a track hanging by a few steel cables by the side of the mountain. We got dragged up by the cable from Gora to Sounzan station, and the journey was best described like a sardine in a packed can. The cabin is our tin can, and we are the sardines, dragged along the side of the mountain to Sounzan. In between both terminal stations are a number of stops to other attractions in the area, but everybody seems to be going to Sounzan, hence the metaphor.


SOUNZAN STATION

The Sounzan station is the terminal station for 2 services. The Hakone Tozan Cablecar from Gora, and the Hakone Ropeway to Togendai. After escaping from the can (of sardines), we decided to take a breather outside the station. Its mid day now and all the tourist never bothered to come out and explore the area, they just went straight to the ropeway. Well we usually try to avoid crowded places, because that’s the essence of exploration isn’t it?

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And this is what we found, right outside the station. A little caravan kinda cafe. Well I don’t see the ‘locomotive’ attached to it anywhere so I think its quite permanent here.

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Claire decided it was cute and so she posed in front of it.
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There isn’t any other customer inside the cafe, I thought since its such a hip(pie) coffee joint it must be crowded right? Well its either his coffee is bad or the tourists here only follow what’s shown on travel guidebooks. Anyways, since Claire posed at the door step of the place, I have to patronize it right? So we ordered 2 coffees to go. Its decent coffee this guy makes, so it must be the tourists here don’t know how to explore then.

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We then went out to the carpark and took in the view. There’s the mountain with the word (大) on it, in Chinese it means ‘Big’. I believe it means the same thing in Japanese too. Intrigued by it, we decided to take a wefie with it.

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After the coffee break, we went on to take the ropeway. I took our very own cablecar back in Singapore, so I know what to expect. But Claire never done that, so she quite excited, or scared. I don’t which is more true in her context.

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OWAKUDANI

Owakudani is a volcanic valley with active sulphur vents as you can see from the ropeway. It gives a great vantage point to see the whole valley, its especially awe-inspiring when your ropeway car goes over the mountain and the whole smoking valley comes into view. Its also equally awe-inspiring when you got hit with wave after waves of sulphurous stench.

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See what I mean? Look at that lady covering her nose in the ropeway.

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If only those smoking vents were some aroma-therapy-eucalyptus-essential-oil-kind-of-stuff if you know what I mean.

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Well before we ride the ropeway, we were each given a piece of disposable wet tissue to cover our nasal orifice, but because no one is using it, so we didn’t as well.

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We alighted at Owakudani to see those fuming sulphurous vents and eat the black eggs. Legend states that eating one egg can extend our lifespans by 7 years. So we bought a pack of 5, split them equally between us, and now we each have 17.5 years added to our original lifespan. Duh.

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After eating the eggs, we took some wefies with the help of my well worned 2nd hand tripod.

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Then I noticed in the distance, hidden behind the clouds, was the magnificently symmetrical cone of Mt Fuji. But its so cloudy over there its like its hidden behind a veil. Too bad for us, best season to see Mt Fuji from Hakone is autumn I heard, we’re one season early.


Now my friends, I realized how I’ve made this post a rather long winded one. That reflects my character, I’m a 32 yrs old male with a mental state of an elderly man. With that, I shall end it here and adjourn my relentless ramblings till next time.

Yours sincerely, with lots of saliva,

Simon

Melbourne 7D6N (Spring): Day1 P2 Southern Cross Station and the Higher Ground Cafe Melbourne! 

Travel on Airbnb and get more than $20 in travel credit! Click here! 

Watch our travel video here!

Read the other posts here:

Melbourne 7D6N in summary plus my outfits
S-series: Cafe hopping in the coffee capital MELBOURNE, visited 11 coffee places! Check this out!
S-series: Gear review: Carl Zeiss Batis 25mm F2 lens + some shots of our Melbourne trip! 
Melbourne 7D6N: The Airbnb we stayed- Light & Airey Collingwood loft apt
Melbourne 7D6N (Spring): Day 1 Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, Skybus Express and Myki Card!

Welcome back people. It’s Melbourne again. So continue from the previous post.. I was eating burger at Hungry Jack’s…..

After our unhealthy meal, we took tram 86 from Spencer St/Bourke St to Rose St tram stop, then walk the rest of the way to our Airbnb. Along Bourke St, the tram had to stop because of the demo going on outside.

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All these grandmothers are so cool and friendly. Because of them the tram couldn’t move so we spend quite awhile watching them walk by. They even wave and said hi to me. Maybe cause I was videoing them haha. 25

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After like don’t know how long the tram finally started moving and we continue our journey to Rose St. 33

We had to walk about 15mins to the Knife Shop at Wellington St to get our keys from the bnb owner.

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Along the way there are many interesting stores and one of them are The Craft & Co. Love the building too. 

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And here we are at the Knife Shop Cafe which is just beside the Knife Shop. I seriously thinking if the owner owns all of these.

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Finally checked into our Airbnb. Before that we met the owner, she was this elderly lady sitting in the knife shop. She saw us wrapped in thick clothing and shivering. She asked were we cold? We told her we were freezing. She comment: ‘Freezing? Its nice today, yesterday was really hot, it was like 27 degrees I think?’ Oh my goodness.. My aircon at home is always at 27 degrees…

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We settled in and familiarize ourselves with our loft room. Its got all the basic necessities, even have a kitchen sink in the room! It was so spacious it could pass off as a studio apartment in our home country.

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We went out to explore the area around our Bnb and begin looking for our dinner place!

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Stopped at Pavlov’s duck to take our couple shots. Wanted to try the food here but didn’t have time. 434.5

Beautiful flowers everywhere! It’s spring you know! 6

Hihi it’s us. 😀5

Love this shot! Simon left his camera on a window ledge across the street and dashed back and forth to get the best shot you see above. Who said we need to hire a photographer when we have window ledges. 🙂

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Then we took the tram back to Southern Cross station. 45

to check out the different timings for the train, prepare ourselves for the next day. 46

Then we went to Woolworths. Tim tam is only $2.50 here! 48

47Mango flavour was damn sweet. 

Its getting dark real quick, so we decided its time we go get our dinner settled. We were near one of our shortlisted cafe places to visit that’s still open at this hour. Many cafes don’t serve dinner as we soon found out in our trip.. So we were really lucky The Higher Ground is open at 7pm. We went in, a little lost because we were really shy, but a waitress soon attend to us and showed us to a table. Not knowing what to order and still struggling a little with the Aussie accent, we managed to order the following for dinner. LOL.

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Our appetizer: Almond Hummus, seed cracker, roasted chilli and spices.

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We shared a main, recommended by the waitress: Confit Duck leg on pan seared sweet potatoes. This is the best duck dish we ever had to date. Honest.

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And how can we not have coffee in Melbourne? Latte and Mocha for me! Our first quality coffee in Melbourne and we savour every last drop!

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And that concludes our first day in Melbourne. It was really awesome, the chill vibe after 5pm, unlike Singapore where our rush hour goes all the way till 8pm. LOL.

Day 2 coming up next so stay tuned!

Ciaoz.

[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 1: Arrival in Hakone and Odawara Castle 

Travel on Airbnb and get S$40 in travel credit! Click here! 

 

Watch the video of our day 1 here:

[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 2: Exploring Hakone 1/2 – Sengokuhara, le petit prince museum, owakudani black eggs (Image-intensive!)
[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 3: Exploring Hakone 2/2 – Sightseeing boat, Hakone Shrine, baby wishing tree, (Image-intensive and excess words!) 
[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 4: Going back to Tokyo, Ichiran Ramen, Cat Cafe Calico and Sensoji! 
[S-series] Tokyo-Hakone Travel Journal Part 5: Last day in Japan, The Roastery by Nozy Coffee, Yoyogi Park and Blue Bottle Coffee. 

Hi,

I rarely write about our travels, I usually just take the photos and be done with it. But wifey had been asking me to post more of my photos, because when we go out and take nice photos, its to be shared and enjoyed by whoever who enjoys my work. While its not much, my photography is always a spontaneous overwhelming urge to steal the moment. Its often unplanned and therefore, a hit or miss job. More so with the latter. That’s why on a trip like this, I usually take about 2-300 photos per day, on average. But the ones that passed my QC number at around 10%.

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GEAR

Anyways to cut the story short, we went on this trip on a whim and rushed through the planning. The kit I brought with me was poorly planned as well.

  • Sony a7II
  • Zeiss Batis 25mm f2
  • Zeiss Batis 85mm f1.8
  • Voigtlander Super-wide Heliar 15mm f4.5 III
  • Velbon travel tripod (flimsy old unknown model)

The heaviest lens and also the most under used one is the Batis 85… Throughout the trip, its only there in my backpack to weigh me down.. Voigtlander is a specialty lens so its understood that it will see little usage. So I’m only left with my Batis 25 to cover most of my shots, and I can’t count the number of times I wish I’ve had my Zeiss C-Sonnar 50mm f1.5 with me.


GORA, HAKONE

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Gora Station of the Hakone Tozan Railway. This is the terminal stop where we will be taking the Tozan Cablecar up to Sounzan Station tomorrow. Well that’s for the next post.


MIYAGINO

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What a peaceful place, our bnb was at Miyagino Town. On the map it looks really close, but I neglected the terrain, the short cut from Gora to Miyagino involves multiple narrow flights of stairs that nearly sent me to my Maker, as I carry both our luggage and negotiated those endless, crumbling stone steps… This tranquil river is the exact opposite of my mental state.

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And finally some rest in our traditional Japanese home styled bnb. Tatami floors are awesome, they gave us that peaceful zen feeling unlike those cold hard tiled flooring in our HDBs. I just lay down on the tatami and stayed there for like 30mins while Claire dolled herself up.


ODAWARA

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We next spent an hour on a local bus all the way to Odawara, on which we dozed off and missed our stop. Ended up walking an extra 5mins to Odawara Castle. By then every’s closed, so no visiting the castle and no shopping for medieval Japanese souvenirs…

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Escape the castle.

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And stumbled into a forest of hydrangea.

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And after a little while, the sun begins to set. Guess we should move on to dinner.

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Odawara Fish Market Den (小田原 魚河岸 でん)

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And here’s our dinner place, after walking for half an hour. Claire found this place online and as the temperature turned Southwards, we welcomed the large bowls of piping hot miso soup with lots of scrap fish meats inside. 100 yen each if you bought it with a rice bowl. I’ll let Claire tell you about how awesome this place is. Stay tune. 

Odawara was a small town that we didn’t have much time to explore properly. I believe they have much more to offer, but our highlight for this trip is exploring the Hakone area. That will come in my next post. For the night, we ransacked the snacks section at the 7-11 in our bnb area and went to sleep early.

Signing out for now.

Simon