Thursday, March 21, 2019

Japan Travelogue Day 5: Sensoji Temple, Pokemon Centre and Kura Sushi!

Gosh, it's already 2019 and i realised i have yet to finish my Japan travelogue (which happened in 2017 and i'm already back from my Korea 2018 trip!) My last post was dated in October which means i did not touch my blog for a good 4 months due to personal reasons. I honestly cannot remember the exact details on what happened during the trip but i'm still gonna try my best to finish this travelogue and move on to Korea. Readership has obviously decreased but i've made up my mind to continue updating this space, not just for the remaining readers but for myself to document all my travels. Without further ado, Day 5!
Breakfast was at Matsuya, a fast food restaurant chain. Their breakfast set is one of my favourite breakfast in Japan because it's value for money and very filling. The set above is just 450 Yen which is about $5.50!
First stop of the day - Sensoji Temple. Miss my blonde hair. (shoutout to BlackHairSalon for the sponsor!)
Sensoji Temple is located at Asakusa station and this temple is Tokyo's oldest temple, and one of its most significant. Definitely a must visit for first timers to Tokyo! The above is an interesting way of drawing a fortune tell and if you got a "bad fortune", you tie it to this railing thing to leave the bad fortune behind. Not sure if it's a real thing or just a nice way to make people feel better after getting a bad note.
Before you go into any temple or shrine in Japan, there is this cleansing ritual at the entrance. There is a proper way to do it (read it here) At the end you have to let the water flow down to wash the ladle.
It was drizzling that day but it didn't stop the tourists (including ourselves) to visit this famous temple.
Tried this famous (and expensive) Cremier ice cream but it was too milky for my liking. The cone is made of this biscuit that tasted like the 白い恋人 snack. Another snack that i research online that i should try is this Strawberry Daifuku. I was so looking forward to trying it but little did i know that it's filled with red bean. Sian, i'm not a fan of red bean at all. I also saw melon fruit being sold at a whooping 800 Yen (SGD$9.70) per slice and i told myself it's too expensive, i will see if i can find cheaper alternative elsewhere. I didn't see or taste any throughout the entire trip and sadly, it was one of my regrets of this trip.
At Asakusa, there is also the famous Nakamise Shopping Street. It's definitely a must-go after visiting the temple. The entire street is lined with lots of souvenir stores and food stalls. (not forgetting tourists since this place is famous) I suggest you visit on an empty stomach so that you can try all the delicious street snacks!
I just had to get this Obanyaki because it's shaped after the Magikarp pokemon :D
Next stop, Akihabara! This area is know for it's electronic retailers and the in place for manga, anime and video games lovers. We were not huge fan of these but we came to this area because we wanted to visit the owl cafe. But along the way to the cafe, there were several of these huge multi storey SEGA store which houses tonnes of claw machines - which was our ultimate weakness in Japan! Gosh. I don't even want to think about how much we spent on these machines. But i've got to admit that it's easier to play compared to Singapore. The staffs are super friendly and they will even help you adjust the position of the you till you win the toy after seeing that you have spend quite an amount (and effort) on the machines, hehe.
Spotted Saizeriya and decided to have it for lunch!
Forest of Owl
4 Chome-5-8 Sotokanda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 101-0021, Japan
As you already know, japan have all sorts of cafes and one of the interesting few are the hedgehog (which we went earlier in this trip) and also the owl cafe. Entrance fee to the "Forest of owl" is 540 Yen (SGD$6.50) and it comes with a drink.
So basically after disinfecting your hands, you get to roam around the place where you get to see all sorts of owls in one place. You usually will spend about 45 mins or so taking photos of them (or trying to take one with them for your instagram) and it's a fun experience! I mean how often do you get to see an owl??? 
Went over to Sunshine city to visit the famous Japan exclusive Pokemon centre. (Not so exclusive anymore now that it's going to open at our very own Changi airport) There is sooooo many things i want to get from the Pokemon center but i kept reminding myself the amount of useless toys i have at home and not forgetting the new ones we won from the countless claw machines throughout Tokyo. Gosh. Enough.
KURA Sushi
〒171-0022 Tokyo, 豊島区 Minamiikebukuro, 1 Chome−19−5, Gビル南池袋01

This is definitely a must go when i planned my itinerary because this place is famous for their Gachapon conveyor belt sushi! We queued for 1.5 hours by the way. The queue number are called out in Japanese so we had to ask for help from those in the queue and got them to let us know when it's our turn. 
The sushi are all priced at 100 Yen (SGD$1.20) so it's very affordable and the quality of the sushi is also good. You can also order more items from the iPad and it will be delivered to you via the train system. 

Basically it's like our Genki Sushi in Singapore.

The only difference or the thing that makes this place unique is, for every 5 plates you eat (and drop the plates into the slot) you get a chance at the gachapon! A video will start playing and you have to watch it to know if you won the Gachapon. The chances of winning is quite low by the way but it's the whole experience that makes it worthwhile to pay this place a visit. Anyway the toy inside the Gachapon all quite useless one. LOL I think the game also makes you want to eat more so you can try and win a toy?
A preview of the toys (mostly won from claw machines) for the day. *smack forehead*

Great. Finally another post down. A lot more to go to complete this Japan travelogue (which happened in 2017 now that i think about it. Tian ah.) I still have a Korea one to go and i'm hoping i can finish everything before i go for my Sydney trip in August. 


Till the next post,                      


Monday, October 22, 2018

Funsiamo - Singapore's first and only DIY baking studio!

Recently i was invited to the opening of Funsiamo, which i totally have no idea what it was about but the invitation wrote something about a baking session which i was what i always wanted to do so i immediately RSVP and locked the date in my calendar. Fast forward a week later, i arrived at the store located at Suntec and i was straightaway handed an apron and the baking sessions begins - without any instructions.
...and that's what Funsiamo was all about. Singapore's first and only DIY baking studio. Originated from Taiwan and now here in Singapore. (In case you are wondering why Funsiamo, it literally means "Have fun together!" from the word "fun" in English and "we are" in Italian)
So all you have to do is walk in, choose from a wide range of recipes such as cakes, tarts, macarons etc and all the ingredients and tools will be made available by the studio. Everything is DIY and you will be equipped with an iPad with instructions on how to construct your cake from scratch.
Everything is available. Either in the fridge or from the tray below your workstation. All you have to do is follow the instructions on the iPad closely and nothing should go wrong. *cross fingers* (Well, if you watch 'Nailed it' on Netflix, you would know that it can be a total disaster for some people. LOLOLOL)
In a typical baking class, you usually start with a chef demo and all the ingredients are nicely prepared for you in the correct quantity, which probably explains why baking classes are always so expensive but at Funsiamo, you immediately start after donning your apron. Follow the instructions on the iPad down to weighing the exact grams of each ingredient and follow the steps. I was given a choice of either the rainbow cake or Valrhona Banana Chocolate Cake and i chose the chocolate cake. Well it's more photo/ insta-worthy and it seem more challenging compared to the rainbow cake. #challengeaccepted.
I missed a couple of steps at the beginning because i didn't read the instructions properly -__- I think i was supposed to put in and mix the wet ingredients first followed by the dry ones or vice versa but i dumped everything into the mixing bowl all at once. Even though it's DIY, there are still staffs on site to guide you or teach you how to use the electric mixer and oven, so don't need to worry so much. Just have fun! :D
As you can see, i was very focused at getting the drip as professionally as i can and then putting in the finishing touches and i was really proud at the end result! It looked almost like the one they had on display! (I was still quite skeptical about the taste tho) Looks not bad right! I mean the chocolate drip is a little untidy, the buttercream exterior wasn't well done but still! Not bad for a first attempt what, HAHA
I posted a photo of my final product on insta story and everyone was like "YOU MADE THIS???" Wahlao.
I was really really proud of my creation tho. After you are done, the staff will pack your cake into this nice little box with ice pack and then tie it up with pretty ribbon for you to bring home. I went home and offered the cake to my family. We concluded that my cake looked better than its taste. Not sure if it's me or that's how the cake is supposed to taste like, lol.

With that said, i really enjoyed myself at Funsiamo and i would highly recommend couples and friends to give it a try! A baking session outside would easily cost close to $200 per pax but at Funsiamo, the recipe range from about $60 for chiffon cakes to about $120 for their fruit tarts and cakes which i think is pretty affordable! (Note: You pay per recipe, not by the no. of pax) It can even be an impromptu date because you can just walk in and start baking!

Funsiamo is located at Suntec City, North Wing. #02-248
Website: https://www.funsiamo.com.sg

Have fun!