March 23, 2018

Nikko

I was chitchatting with my Japanese colleagues about my weekend plan when they suggested me to visit Nikko. According to them, Nikko is well known for its beautiful autumn colors, and just about 2 hours by train from Tokyo.

I was busy with work so I didn't really take note on what to see and do in Nikko, I just googled on how to get there. I thought day trip is enough to cover the city.

Big mistake!

Went to Asakusa Station to get my train ticket and the staff at the Tourist Information Center explained to me the varieties of passes available. Only then I realized that there's so much to see and one day is definitely not enough. Should've stayed overnight!

Anyway, it's already late to change my plan, plus it's peak autumn season so I just bought Tobu Nikko Free Pass (Nikko City Area Pass) to visit the main attractions.


Nikko Train Station

Shinkyo Bridge

The vermillion colored Shinkyo Bridge marks the entrance to Nikko's World Heritage listed area of shrines and temples.

The bridge was built in 1636, but has been renovated a few times since then, and is now ranked as one of Japan's three finest bridges. In feudal times, the Shinkyo Bridge could only be crossed by the emperor. Today, its use is also limited, where you have to pay entrance fee to walk across the bridge and back.







Access: 20-30 minutes on foot or 5 minutes by bus (stop at Shinkyo bus stop) from JR/Tobu Nikko Station
Operating hours: 8am ~ 5pm (Apr to Sept), 8am ~ 4pm (Oct to mid Nov), 9am ~ 4pm (mid Nov to Mar)
Entrance fee: 300 yen

Toshogu Shrine

If you only have time to visit one shrine in Nikko, it's gotta be Toshogu. It is Japan's most lavishly decorated shrine, decked out in gold-leaf accents and countless wood carvings, and the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate that ruled Japan for over 250 years until 1868.




five storey pagoda in front of main entrance gate



Toshogu Shrine is currently being renovated in stages until 2020 but it's still worth a visit. 



Of the many colorful and elaborate wood carvings that decorate the shrines, the most famous ones are those of the Three Wise Monkeys, "see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil" and the Sozonozo Elephants ("imagined elephants") that were carved by an artist who had never seen elephants. 


Another highlight is the "Sleeping Cat" at the top of Sakashita gate.


Access: 30-40 minutes walk or 10 minutes bus ride from Tobu/JR Nikko Station (the bus is covered by the free passes)
Opening hours: Opens everyday 8am ~ 5pm (until 4pm from Nov to Mar)
Entrance fee: 1300 yen (shrine), 1000 yen (museum), 2100 yen (shrine and museum)

Done with the two must see attractions in Nikko, I decided to visit Kinugawa Onsen, a popular hot spring resort town along the Kinugawa River. It's also covered by the Nikko City Area Pass that I bought.




Take the ropeway and enjoy the mountain view. There's an observation deck overlooking the town of Kinugawa and a small shrine up there.



Operating hours: 9am ~ 5pm
Fees: Roundtrip 1100 yen (adults), 550 yen (child)




To end the trip, a visit to an onsen is a must! hehe..


So many things to see and do but so little time. Definitely will repeat to come here and visit the other attractions such as Lake Chuzenji and Kegon Waterfall.

Getting to Nikko from Tokyo:
* If you have a Japan Rail pass, take the Tohoku shinkansen to Utsunomiya, then transfer to JR train to Nikko station.
* Take Tobu Railways from Asakusa Station.

March 12, 2018

The Northern Lights aka Aurora Borealis

The sight I've always wanted to see was in front of me.
Bucket list. Checked!





The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis is a natural light display caused by the collision of solar wind and magnetospheric charged particles with the high altitude atmosphere.


Tromso, Norway. February 2018

Watching it danced around, changing shape several times a second was really a dream came true.

More to come...

March 11, 2018

It's been 5 years...

I lost my mom exactly 5 years ago, on this date, at this hour.

I don't talk much about her passing cos it saddens me so much. But I moved on from the sadness cos she's in a better place, Insya Allah. And I believe she wants me to be happy.

Someone said; "You must understand that in the garden, there are many flowers. But God has picked one, and it's your mom. So she is in the best place possible. You have to be happy and carry on."

I miss her and I will always do. Al-Fatihah.

March 9, 2018

JJCM : K Fry Urban Korean @ IOI City Mall

My sister and I went to IOI City Mall a couple of months back. Dinner time, she suggested us to try this new Korean restaurant.

"But there's always long queue to get a table."

Kinda turned off to hear that but I wasn't rushing anywhere. Plus my logic, long queue = the food must be good haha.

So we joined the queue. Luckily it moved quite fast, we got in in less than 10 minutes.
I went another time and guess what, people started queuing even before they opened at 11.30am!


gigih beratur. 


inside the restaurant

What's special about this restaurant that attracts long queue outside?

Their best sellers are the Chicken Bumbuk butttttt it wasn't available that night. Dangggg!!

So we ordered Nude Chicks, Spicy Yangnyeom Chicks and Dakbulgogi Fries.



Spicy Yangnyeom Chicks

Nude Chicks

Dakbulgogi Fries

All sedap!

For dessert, we ordered Oreo Chocolate Bingsoo.

Oreo Chocolate Bingsoo

Yummy!! This is mini bingsoo but still, I had a hard time finishing it. Better share it with someone.

Lychee Rita

Ordered this because it looks so fun on the menu hahaha. The taste ok la, very refreshing.

Bong Bong / White Grape

Menu.















Posted a photo on IGS and some friends actually asked me which is better, KFry or KyoChon? To be honest, I like KyoChon more but I might change my mind after I try the Chicken Bumbuk. So yeah, have to come again la to try it.

-----
Updated 20 April 2018

So I came again recently to try the Chicken Bumbuk.

Ordered the Krazy Spicy Cheesy Fried Chicken Bumbuk cos I heard this is the best. The Original and Honey Mustard is sedap too but they can be 'muak'.


Look at the cheese! So sinful!




I took a video of the making. Maybe I'll post it later.

Siap!


My verdict? Sedap! But I would suggest you come in a group of 4 or more. I came with a friend and we couldn't finish the serving cos we were too full! If you come in a big group you can order all three to taste all.

Also ordered the mango bingsoo. Like the Chicken bumbuk, we couldn't finish it although we shared!


So? KyoChon or KFry?

I like both hahaha.

K Fry Urban Korean
Address: G26 IOI City Mall Lebuh IRC, IOI Resort City, 62505 Putrajaya
Contact: +60 3 8957 8126
Opening hours: 11.30am ~ 11pm