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Monday, March 27, 2017

Japan Day 5: Shinyokohama Ramen Museum

Hey everyone!

On our way back to Akihabara from Kyoto, we checked out the Shinyokohama ramen museum. Yes, a ramen museum.


They had this welcoming bowl of ramen out front with moving chopsticks!



The set up of this place was very interesting. They replicated an old fashion Japanese market area with different ramen shops that have a specific specialty ramen. The ramen is made by various chefs from different parts of the world. I love this concept but one thing that really bugged our group was the system. We imagined running around learning about how the ramen was being made and being able to taste test or get small samples. But you pay a fee to enter this area that is not a museum but just a strip of ramen shops. They all work individually and you are not allowed to sit with friends and not order. So... we were only able to try 2 kinds of ramen. Some of them offered a smaller sized ramen bowl for maybe $2 less but it wasn't much smaller and $2 wasn't enough of a discount for us to get smaller sizes. 


Because of this layout, I felt that "musuem" wasn't a fitting description for this place. It was more like a more exclusive ramen strip. It was still a pretty neat and well made experience.


Here are the two ramen that I tried. The left one is Italian and I believe the right one is Chinese inspired. I liked the right one better. Note the bowl on the right was a "mini" bowl.


Upstairs, there are more shops and alleyways that depict these old fashion streets in Japan. They were fun to walk around!

This was out lazy and tired day. We headed back to Akihabara, played some difficult claw machine games and somehow managed to order pizza off of Pizza Hut's website. It was hilarious because we weren't sure if it was going to work but low and behold, the pizza guy delivered after climbing up 5 flights of stairs to get to us. Bless his rapidly beating heart.


And that ends our day 5. :)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Japan Day 3: Tsukiji Fish Market

As simple as a market is, the Tsukiji fish market was one of the most memorable days during my trip to Japan. There was food, culture, and just a lot of fun walking around!

I was so glad my group came here, starting the day super early exploring and basically eating our way through the streets.

Although there was a lot of fish, there were a lot of things to snack on during our walks through the outdoor market streets. We spent hours here just looking around and buying street food! I bought some great souvenirs for family as well.



Something we often did was buy only one of the foods we wanted to try and shared it. That way, we got to try out more foods before feeling full. This corn thing was so good. Too bad I have no idea what it's called!


This onigiri stand was popping. It was run by a group of older women, which I found so endearing. They were working quite diligently to keep up with the long line. Of course, we bought several kinds to try for breakfast the next day. We spent a good amount of time trying to figure out what was the word for eel. Trying to translate that between foreign languages was pretty funny.


Fruit, especially strawberries seems like an expensive commodity here. These are simple mochi filled with black beans an a strawberry wedged in between. It was very popular among the students going through this market.


I loved trying all the oysters and mussels being grilled right on the spot. They were so fresh and delicious, especially the uni on mussel!


This market was a lot of fun.



We also went to Takeshida street in Harajuku afterwards. We walked so much during this trip. 
But this was souvenir and shopping central. I really enjoyed it, even though I'm not a huge fan of shopping. Nonetheless, finding cute and cheap souvenirs around the holidays is always fun. 

Cheers,
Dana


Friday, March 17, 2017

Japan Day 4: Kyoto, Kinkakuji Shrine Golden Pavillion, and Fushimi Inari Shrine

Hi everyone!

I'm sorry these updates are taking so long to post. I got carried away with school. After exchanging photos with my friend from this trip, I knew I needed to come back to my blog and talk about my adventures but I guess life got the best of me. Now, I have South Korea and Hong Kong to photo journal about on the backburner too!

Here goes! On this day, we ventured to Kyoto. Since Akihabara and Kyoto aren't exactly close, we found a hostel to stay at overnight to fit in all of our adventures. It was great but also the coldest day by far on our trip. In fast, we had literally like 30 seconds of snow.

We started off in Kyotor to check on the Kinkakuji Shrine or Golden Pavillion. There were a lot of cute shops along the streets during our walk there. Look at these adorable kimono ladies!


I definitely bought a lot of souvenirs here!



(the beautiful ticket to get inside)


Here is Stitch and the shrine. I realize the shrine isn't focused because stitch is the star of this photo. My hands were so cold. This is where we got 30 seconds of snow. I definitely bought fingerless gloves for my next trip after realizing the hassle of attempting to take photos on my phone with regular gloves on! Side note, I also found $5 here and bought my parents a good health charm with it.


These little cutie pies are the epitome of cute. I bought my friends very cute and round pandas. :)


I just realized mt finger got in this shot. This was my first and last bento box during the trip. It was so good. The meat melted in my mouth. I was also always excited to see a bit of green on my plate. I realized after traveling multiple Asian countries that they don't eat as many vegetables or salads as Americans do. It was tough!


This is the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Boy, was it stunning. There are shops along the sides and so much food to try too. It made it a lot more touristy walking in actually. We walked a bit of the trail and ate takoyaki on the way out!


It was very orange and symmetrical. The repetition in my opinion is what makes it beautiful to the human eye. It was very crowded. Every time we were at a bend with less people, we tried to get in some cute pictures. I also realized that I did not know what these pillars were about or what it meant. I described it to others as a beautiful scene from the movie Memoirs of a Geisha. So... I just looked it up. 

The pillars are called "torii" and were donated by different Japanese businesses. The torii lead to the Inari Shrine. "Inari" refers to the god of rice so it makes sense that manufacturers and businesses were patrons to the shrine. If you want the full Wiki breakdown... you're welcome.

We thought our day would end there until our hostel owner told us about some festive holiday related events going on around the area. We walked SO much that day. I has to massage my legs out that evening between the fierce walking and cold. 


Here is a Kimono festival we found along with a Bamboo lit garden (more like trail) and lantern decoration. We walked across a bridge to get to the lanterns. We were freezing by then.



Yep. That was our longest day for sure. Slept very well that night. It's rare I hit the pillow and knock out but that night, I did. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Fairytale Wedding Dresses Featuring OKDress

Hi everyone,

I have a special sponsor post today with OKDress.

Okdress

Okdress sells some beautiful dresses for special events such as weddings, prom, and other formal events. They have a wide selection of dresses and gowns to fit any occasion. Here are a few choices that I found lovely and magical. :)

Okdress.uk had a really great collection of different kinds of wedding dresses that I decided to share for this post as many of my friends are tying the knot this year! The wedding dresses that I will feature are also very well priced and all under $200.

I went with a effervescent and fairy-tale theme for this post.


This princess dress has such a lovely lace top and simple silhouette. The sheer neckline is very delicate and classy but also quite functional in keeping the dress up as well! If you are looking for nice long evening dresses, there is a huge variety and many categories to choose from such as mermaid dresses. :)


Here is a beaded tulle wedding dress that has these really unique tree like sequins along the bodice and back. The v neck is lovely and elegant while the beaded back gives the dress a little old fashion meets modern take with this tree branch fairytale-like design.  


This sweep train wedding dress looks like its straight out of a story book! The delicate floating lace details along the shoulders caught my eye immediately while it trickles down into this princess gown adorned in more lace! It's really pretty! 

I realize I focused on wedding dresses this post but OKDress also has a lot of beautiful formal wear and little black dresses as well. Feel free to browse the links I provided if you are interested or in need of a new outfit for an upcoming event!

Thank you OKDress for sponsoring this lovely post and I hope you all enjoyed it!



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