October 23, 2017

Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko

Every time I visit Japan, I try to allocate time to go to Kawaguchiko or Hakone. Love these 2 places cos I get to see the majestic Fuji-san (Japanese refer to Mount Fuji as Fuji-san, don't confuse it as Mr Fuji ok hehe).

Another reason is also because I've never gotten a photo of the mountain in its full glory. It's always cloudy or foggy. Grrr.. I want to see it like those photos I saw on the Internet or the travel brochures. The snow-capped mountain with clear blue skies. No luck so far although I did get quite good photos sometimes.

How can you not fall in love with this mountain?

view from Mount Kachi Kachi 

Kawaguchiko in Autumn...

Mount Kachi Kachi ropeway 

queue for the ropeway

The lake is also very beautiful. I took the 20 minutes pleasure boat cruise on the lake, Ensolleille. The view of the mountains and the scenery around the lake was wonderful, although Fuji-san wasn't so clear cos it was almost noon. Need to come early in the morning for the best view. Also I went up Mount Kachi Kachi first before embarking on the cruise. I think it is best to go for the cruise first before going up the ropeway.

There weren't many people on the cruise so I had plenty of space to walk around the top deck and had unobstructed view of Fuji-san.

Opening hours: 9am ~ 4.30pm / ~ 5.30pm (summer) / ~ 4pm (winter)
The boat service runs every 30 minutes
Fees: 900 yen (Adult) / 450 yen (Children)

beautiful autumn colors starting to show

unobstructed view of Fuji-san but it wasn't clear :(

love the view anyway

sunny day

 ice cream on a sunny day

strolled around the lake

Went to Kawaguchiko again in Spring to see Fuji-san... and I was greeted by sakura as well!

at Kawaguchiko Station 

never get bored of this view

to Mount Kachi Kachi ropeway

The lake was really beautiful with sakuras surrounding it. If only the sky was clear, the view would've been perfect.

 sakura trees


 cloudy day

Two different views but the same beauty 

Oh we found one halal restaurant here, Alladin Indo Restaurant. But too bad it wasn't opened yet when we came.

It's very easy to find this restaurant. It is located nearby the Kawaguchiko pleasure boat jetty.

Address: 288-1 Funatsu, Fujikawaguchiko Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi 401-0301
Phone: +81 555 72 6755
Opening hours: 11am ~ 3pm (lunch) / 5pm ~ 11pm (dinner)

You can also find a halal hotel at Kawaguchiko. Yup, a Muslim friendly hotel, Syariah Hotel Fujisan. The hotel provides prayer room, prayer mat, qiblat indicator in each room and of course there's halal meals (reservation needed). I actually wanted to stay there but no room was available. Check the website for more information.

Anyway, there's a tourist information center at Kawaguchiko Station so you can get maps, information etc before starting your sightseeing around the lake.

October 17, 2017

Halal Food in Tokyo - Part 2

Continuation from part 1

If you use public transportation in Tokyo, I'm sure you know Yamanote Line because the loop line is one of Tokyo's busiest and most important lines, connecting most of Tokyo's major stations and urban centres.

Halal places in Shibuya and Shinjuku is on the western side of the Yamanote Line. So now I'm bringing you to halal places on the eastern side of the line.

Ueno - Chicken Man

My go to halal place because I love chicken :D . They serve roast chicken at very reasonable price. It is also located at one of my favorite place for bargain shopping, Ameyayokocho or in short, Ameyoko. I usually come here to buy fresh fruits and snacks because they are cheaper here.

My order will usually be the Chicken Rice or the Karaage (karaage is fried chicken btw).

My verdict: Cheap and simple yet satisfying meal. Never missed to come here whenever I visit Japan.

Access: Ueno Station. Just walk straight along the Ameyayokocho street market.
Opening hours: 10:00-20:00 daily

Chicken Man is situated in between two other halal places, the Doner Kebab and Oscar Kebab.
I've never actually eaten the kebabs because I will always go to Chicken Man whenever I'm there. Should try it on my next visit.

Ueno - Doner Kebab

They have 2 stalls at Ameyoko; one at the main street, the other one just on the next street.

Ueno - Oskar Kebab

The kebabs are 500 yen so it's really good for those on tight budget or for those who just wanna grab a quick meal.

From Ueno Station, you can take subway Ginza Line to get to Asakusa because there are more halal options there.

Asakusa - Naritaya

Also one of my favorite.

My usual order, Ramen and Karaage Set.

My verdict: Definitely a place you mustn't miss if you wanna try authentic halal ramen. I love the taste and most importantly, they are cheap. The staffs are very friendly. There's also prayer room. Highly recommended after a day of sightseeing in Asakusa!

Address: 2-7-13 Asakusa, Nishisando Shotengai Arcade, Taito 111-0032, Tokyo Prefecture
Phone: +81 3 4285 9806
Opening hours: Mon-Fri  10am ~ 10pm, Sat-Sun  11am~11pm
Access: Walk left from Sensoji Temple towards the building in below photo.

Asakusa - Sushi Ken

We eat sushi freely in Japan because they are mostly seafood. But what I didn't realize (and I believe many of you don't know it as well) was that some of the seasonings in making the sushi are actually non-halal like mirin (type of rice wine similar to sake). Asakusa Sushi Ken is the first halal certified sushi restaurant in Japan.

They have counter seat on ground floor as well as Japanese style room upstairs.

My verdict: The sushi was fresh and delicious. I love the ambience, very Japanese. They also provide space for prayer. The price is fairly pricey but it's well worth a visit.

Address: 2-11-4 Asakusa, Taito 111-0032, Tokyo Prefecture
Phone: +81 3-5246-6547
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12pm ~ 2pm, 5pm ~ 12am, Sun, Public Holiday 11:30am ~ 3pm, 5pm ~ 10pm
Access: About 5~10 minutes walk from Asakusa Station. Just Google Maps it.

Asakusa - Sekai Café

Tried this cafe because it is among the popular halal places in Tokyo.  

My verdict: Ambience was great and it was really cosy. The cafe also offers free Wi-Fi. Unfortunately I don't think I will come again. The menu looked tempting so I ordered the burger, but the taste was very bland. :( Maybe I should have ordered something else.

However, the good thing from my visit was that I met some representatives from Halal Japan Expo 2016, and they showed me how to go to the expo.

Address: 1-18-8 Asakusa, Taito 111-0032, Tokyo Prefecture
Phone: +81 3 6802 7300
Opening hours: 10am ~ 9pm
Access: From Kaminarimon, walk about 50m on Nakamise Dori, then turn left.