Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Checker

Monday, April 22, 2013

Scenes From Japan: Day 2 - Discovering Wataminchi

It's a Monday and we officially started our hell week. We left the hotel at around 7:30 to head to Kumagaya train station which is about 10 minutes away by foot. It was still cold but I guess the mornings are more tolerable than the night because it's just breezy and not windy. By now, I'm starting to get accustomed to all the walking. Besides, after all the rice that we've been eating, I think this walk is just the perfect way to start burning all those carbs up.

Our itinerary for the week has been slightly altered. So we're spending the first two days of our stay here in Japan to train and support our colleagues in Hanyu. They're transitioning to adapt our accounting system so we wanted to be there to help address the issues that they encounter during this pre-closing period. (Okay, I know I'm starting to sound really boring so I'm ending this here.)

Hanyu is about 20 minutes away by train from Kumagaya. I enjoyed that train ride. There's mostly just the view of rice fields and quite suburdan neighborhoods. Most of the houses had vegetable patches (with actual vegetables planted in them) and some even had cherry blossoms in their yard. 

Left Hanyu at around 530pm and went straight to dinner at Wataminchi. My colleagues introduced me to Umeshu (plum wine). It was so good I had two tall glasses. Sharing below photos of today's adventure:

The star of this week's dinner table - Ume-shu
my Filipino colleague's favorite stop. it's just a few meters away from the Kumagaya train station
and not very far from our hotel as well. 
free salad appetizers, Hiro's black sour sandwich by our Umesours (Umeshu)
Yakitori, Kaarage, Tuna Sashimi

not my best photo but this will do. and no, that isn't my beer glass. hahaha.
i finished 2 glasses of Ume-shu though
Nabe. So good!
giant asparagus in comparison to most asparagus sold in our groceries
patiently waiting for the Nabe to cook
broth so good!!!
Tuna Belly Sushi 
Inside Wataminchi.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Scenes From Japan: Day 1 Of Foodtripping

We took an early flight out of Manila yesterday so we arrived in Tokyo around noon. It was raining and my Japanese colleagues were telling me to anticipate the cold when we head outside. We took the train to Ueno and the ladies decided to take me on a 'mini' tour first before checking to our hotel in Kumagaya so we left our bags in rented lockers and headed out for a walk. At  noon, the temperature wasn't that bad. It was fairly tolerable and I only had a sweater on. The rain had also stopped but we were praying it doesn't get windy because when the wind starts blowing that's when it gets colder.

They took me to Akihabara Electric Town (I will have to ask my colleague what exactly was that called again) but I'm really not very fond of electronic gadgets. My eyes zeroed in on the restos that were scattered all over. It's comforting to know that you will never get hungry in Japan (as long as you have the money to pay for it, you will never ever get hungry. Restaurants are almost in every block). I found several that sold your usual Japanese fare (tempura and sushi) but I was particularly looking for a ramen shop because I kept thinking the hot soup can help warm me up (hahaha). There was also a Mister Donut outlet and my colleague bought a piece of this for me to try:

Pon de Ring. So good. But a little expensive too. 136 Yen for a piece of donut.
Miso Ramen from this hole in the wall ramen resto in Ueno. It was a large bowl. For 800 Yen. I could share it with 2 more ladies but I was looking around nobody was sharing a bowl. Hahahaha. 
After that ramen experience, we decided to skip dinner already. But we bumped into our boss in the lobby and we just couldn't decline the dinner invitation anymore (after dodging about 3 others prior to this) so we just ordered food to share. This steak was so good. Super tender. I wish Tibs was with me. He would absolutely like this. This was from Blue House, a Japanese restaurant just right across our hotel.
Mixed seafood tempura. The Ebi tempura wasn't the best I've tasted but I love the veggies though.
And the coating was just right. And very crispy. 
This was the best part of the night. Warmed me up. And helped me sleep soundly last night. Haha.
(and I haven't had a full glass of cold draft beer for awhile so this was a good welcome for me)
I will probably gain a lot of weight here. So I will have to start training hard for that half-marathon in July to get back to my post-marathon shape. For now, foodtripping is probably going to be my after work activity in the next 5 days so I'm totally embracing food for now and putting that word DIET back in my memory box.

Scenes From Japan: Mother's Day Soon!

We passed by this dainty flower shop several times today while we were in Ueno. I can't find a wi-fi hotspot today so I thought, I might as well share it here and hope that the two loves I left at home sees this and picks my message up.

I am not the biggest fans of flower bouquets but who doesn't like getting them? I think that flowers are just the perfect pick-uppers to a lousy day. (But Tibs, just in case you're reading this, you won't need to buy me flowers from here. Hahaha. It's so expensive here!)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bound For Japan

The last time I exited the country was almost 6 years ago. When I had to leave for 6 weeks to the US to train for the job that I am currently handling (but by God's grace will soon be turning over to somebody else).  I was just married then. For a week to be exact. But I knew a month before my wedding that I will be leaving. It was sad and I missed my husband terribly bad.

My visa was a buzzer beater. I got it a day before our scheduled departure. 
Tomorrow, I am finally ending my 6-year record. I will be leaving for Japan for a week and will leave my family behind. I already announced it to my 4 year old last week. But she didn't seem to mind that Mommy is going to be away (for the first time) for that long. I worry. She doesn't really get along well with her dad. I mean, they adore each other but they fight like cats and dogs when they're in the same room together for longer than an hour.

But my best option right now is to just get them to promise to be good with each other while I'm away. So I did. The kid made me note and the daddy demonstrated his affection over breakfast the day by fixing her a plate. I wonder how long exactly that will last. I hold on to the thought that we all need this. And we will all have something to take away from this experience (me learning to let go of my 'neurotic' parenting tendencies, the husband learning to stand on his own, and for the kid one more step towards independence). 

Wish us all luck! (because we really them a lot of them. haha!)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Marking This Career Milestone

Today marks the day my career prayers were answered. I have been with my current employer for almost 6 years now. And today, I finally received my promotion. Well actually, my first ever promotion since I started working. So yes, it's a huge milestone for me. And I am giving it all back to God. For guiding me through it all. And to my family for just being so supportive.

I now have a huge challenge to face. And it's going to be a rollercoaster ride from here. But I'm confident I can pull this off. Exciting times ahead!

photo from Pinterest

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Horizons, Sunrises and Sunsets

I am a sucker for sunsets. And sunrises, of course.

Well, being a self-confessed drama queen, why wouldn't I be attracted to these particular times of the day.

Sunrise signals the start of a new day, of new beginnings. While sunsets to me are just the best backdrop to end one's day.

On our recent vacation, I had the luxury of seeing both almost every single day.

view from one of our morning runs
came across this magnificent sunset view on our way home from visiting my grandmother's grave
good morning Mr Sun!
one more time! (can you believe this was just taken using my phone camera and while I was running?)
final visit to lola before we head back to Manila
view from our window, right after take off. kid and i were really awed by this. 
Don't these make you want to heave a happy sigh? How marvelous are God's creations indeed!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...