Sunday, 23 December 2007

Food!! Glorious Food!! December!!


Well this is my last entry about the food I have eaten in Japan. I love the food here and I will definitely be in search of Japanese restaurants and ingredients when I come home. So here is what I ate this month -

Amazing Pud Thai in Tokyo - it was my first one all year!

This salad was part of my lunch and was really yum but look closely and you can see tiny whole fish! Eyes and all!

The yum Nabe that Kyosuke and Makoto made us.

Plum sparkling sake - so nice that I wish the bottle was bigger!

The omurisu that we made with Yoko's help - like an omelette filled with rice and chicken - yum!

These are Kyosuke's favourite - it is whole dried squid that has been soaked in vinegar - they look and smell disgusting but taste amazingly good!

I finally made a pavlova in Japan and it actually worked - although I had help from a pavlova egg which I took over with me!

We tried Sapporo beer in the beer factory in Sapporo - this was their original recipe and it was really good!

My last asahi beer in Japan :( it was as delicious as all the others!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Winter Wonderland!! Sapporo!!

17th - 20th December
Tina, Marie and I decided that before we left Japan we should go skiing and snowboarding! So we headed to Sapporo which is on Hokkaido - Japan's top island for 4 days of fun and snow!

Day One

We arrived by plane in Sapporo at 10 am so we had the whole day to explore the city and attempt to get used to the weather - it was one degree!! We looked around the city - saw Odori Park during the day and at night with the lights, the Tokei-dai - the famous clock tower, the old government offices and snow galore!! We once again were really lucky to get a really good hotel in a central location with an amazing buffet lunch and breakfast - what more could you ask for!

The view from our amazing hotel

The scary ice on the road - thankfully we don't have to drive here!

Riding a bike here would be quite interesting due to the amount of ice on the ground and that your basket can fill up with snow!!

The streets are just lined with snow making everything look so beautiful!

Tokei-dai - the famous clock tower

Sapporo white illumination in the park with the TV tower in the background

Beautiful lights with the snow

Day Two

Today we set off early to Rusutsu ski field which is about two hours by bus from Sapporo city. I decided to try skiing for the first time as Marie and Tina were going to be so at least I would have teachers! Well I didn't go up in the lift as I was that hopeless that I just spent the day walking up a small slope and practicing! but it was a really fun day and the funniest thing was my outfit! I borrowed Kyosuke's old ski outfit which looked hilarious on me - there was no losing me on the slopes - just look for the bright blue girl who can't ski!!

The baby slope that I practiced on!

Me in my crazy ski gear!!

Yes I am skiing and it was my best attempt and Tina and Marie saw me!!

But yes I did spend a lot of time like this!!

Ski parking!

Real Christmas trees!

Tina, Marie and I in our ski gear!

Me on the slopes!

The snowman that we made :)

Day Three

Today we went to Kiroro ski field which is about one and a half hours from Sapporo city. It was minus 3 degrees today and it snowed all day at the ski field. I decided that I would attempt to do snowboarding today as I enjoyed it the last time I went. It was really hard but I eventually got the hang of it and was able to go down the "family special" slope! It was a really fun day and Marie and I ended it with an onsen. Yes I finally went in a public bath! It was so nice as there was an outdoor bath so the air was really cold but the water was so warm and we could see and touch the snow!

The slopes at Kiroro

My snowboard and I on a hill!

The "family special" slope that I climbed then went down!

Me attempting to snowboard! In the end I was quite good at going down the slope and didn't even fall over!

Day Four

Today was our last day in Sapporo and it was snowing! We headed to the Sapporo beer museum where we tried Sapporo beer. It was really good! We then wandered around the city before heading back to Himeji.

It was snowing in the city and it just looked so beautiful!

Sapporo beer museum

mmmm . . . beer!

Hokkaido is an amazing part of Japan and I would love to go back there to explore even more!

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Our last karaoke :(

14th December

Tonight we had dinner with a few friends who are leaving Japan before we do and to have our last karaoke session. We have made so many good friends this year - Japanese and foreigners and it is sad to think we may not see them for a long time. But we had a fantastic dinner at the local restaurant - Blue Plate before heading to karaoke!! Karaoke was amazing as usual and so much fun! There was "Last Christmas", "Hound dog", "Love Shack", "Sexy back" and many more classics! It was a great night and a good way to say goodbye to some great friends!!

Julian, Taube, Marie, Me, Kyosuke and Makoto at dinner.

Richard, Tina, Steffi, Harvey, Thomas, Steve and Yoko at dinner.

Thomas and Marie belting one out!

Hiromi and Fumiyo are too cute!

Makoto and Marie enjoying karaoke!

Tina and I getting into karaoke!

Tina, Kyosuke and me at karaoke.

Richard and Tina - classic!

Richard and Thomas!

Marie, Me, Tina, Kyosuke and Makoto!

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Luminaire - lights in Kobe!

13th December

Tonight we headed to Kobe to see the amazing Luminaire!! It is an annual light display to commemorate the earthquake in 1995 that almost totally destroyed Kobe. There was a huge tunnel of lights and then another area where there were even more lights - I will let the pictures speak for themselves - it was AMAZING!!!

Steve, Tina, Marie, Richard and I.

Steve, Tina, Marie, Richard, Yoko and I.