Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Tan Tans' Minshuku

Alright... the Tan Tans' minshuku has officially received its first guests with the visit of their dear cuz., Michele and her husband Kelvin.
They are here for a 3-night stay and were brought around the little inaka town of Owase as well as to one of the World's Heritage Sites - Kumano Kodo.
Well, as most of the photos were taken with their cameras, I did not have much to load.. hahahaha

One of the best restaurants in Owase, Moriba with their delicious deep fried giant prawns and the not so nice pork salad (wrong choice of dish that I had - sad). Well this is also the restaurant that my cuzzies had their most memorable dish of miso katsu!

The Al Fresco BBQ under the sky without the stars... so sad.... well, there were lots of stars a few days after they left.. so blame it on luck.. hee hee

More Autumn Colours!!!

It's autumn and the Tan Tans are in search for more autumn colours when they received an invite from Mr Tan Tan's nihongo sensei. This time, it will be autumn colours viewing in the mountains and out from the touristy areas.

Nice autumn colours reflection.

This is it! The autumn colours are so called because it is really colourful. And this is one truth that the Tan Tans verified. It is not only in shades of red but also yellow, pink, orange and other colours as well. Oh, we have a very very cold Mrs Tan Tan due to the chill in the mountains.

We also visited one of the more popular waterfall in Owase. Do visit for more information

We definitely enjoyed ourselves with the tea and snacks that my sensei prepared for the trip. It was a great experience !

The days of Ichigo have begun!!!

Just a short note for all of you out there.... the strawberries season is here!!! wahahahhaaaaaaa.... bye. ..

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kyoto part II

Other than the autumn colours that took our breaths away, the Tan Tans also visited some of the places that they had no time for during their last trip in March last year.
They are
1. Arashiyama - famed for its view and scenery. Must go to the bridge - Togetsukyo (wooden bridge).
2. Tenryujin temple - Near Arayshiyama (why not, since we are there) and it is ranked 1st amongst the 5 Zen great temple in Kyoto
3. Nijo castle - Former Kyoto residence of the shogun. It was quite interesting as it preserved alot of the old paintings on the walls, halls etc. and the floor is built in the past to give a "squeaking" sound whenever anyone walked on it. (In case there are intruders.. tell me about smart ancients)
4. Nishiki Market - Well, we had been there the last time, but gladly went back again to look for our favourite black bean ryori.
5. Gion area - for the dango that Mrs Tan Tan missed.
6. Tenmangu

Nijo Castle - Nice place with interesting preserved paintings and nice garden and castle walls.

Kawaramachi, the famous shopping street in Kyoto where you get Isetan, Takashimaya and LV.

Mrs Tan Tan's favourite dango place in Gion area. The shop has been there for a long long time and it is really good.

The black bean ryori restuarant in Nishiki market. We also found a branch in Gion area.
The popular tamago stalls with the master whipping out the eggs in Nishiki market.

And of cos, no matter where the Tan Tans visit, there is bound to be food.
This is the best dessert that the Tan Tans have had in Japan. Found at the JR Kyoto station near the south exit.

Some of the nice soba and other noodles that we had.

And these are the worst we have ever eaten
Lessons learned .... do not try eat non-traditional japanese food in a traditional place like Kyoto.
Oh... to end it all.. .. a photo with Kyoto Tower. . . (or its reflection)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Early Autumn in Kyoto!!

The photos above speak for themselves.. Autumn in Kyoto is colourful and beautiful. Covered with colours of yellow, orange, pink,red and sadly, still alot of green, the Tan Tans visited Arashiyama in Kyoto followed by Tenryuji shrine and Nijojo Castle. These are the places that the Tan Tans did not visit on their last trip to Kyoto... basically due to the lack of time (what do you expect? there are one hundred and one shrines or temples in Kyoto and everyone of them are so different and nice.)
Autumn colours are really great and it makes feel sad that Singapore, due to our close proximity to the equator, cannot really enjoy this brightly coloured season of yellow, orange, pink and red. We do enjoy the best in the sense that we do not have any natural disaster and weather is generally fine but then, we are missing out the other wonderful dances of natural. Autumn colours, Spring flowers, white Winter.
So, the Tan Tans are going to make full use of this year in Japan to really experience the beauty of Mother Earth.
Below are the first sights that greeted them in Arashiyama.

Artists at work.

This is the popular bridge in Arashiyama - Togetsukyo - which means something like " bridge crossing over the moon" and since we were "over the moon" upon seeing the pretty autumn colours, we decided to take a shot with it.

Castle walls of Nijojo castle and autumn leaves at its garden. The castle is one of the most interesting castles that the Tan Tans have visited in Japan. The old walls and paintings of the Shogun are intact and carefully preserved (sorry, we couldn't take any shots as the management does not even allow direct sunlight to get into the castle, so as to preserve the paintings and other artefacts. So, no light, no flash = no shots)

Tenryuji shrine in Kyoto. A place where "Zen" is written all over the place. The Zen garden costs more than the shrine to enter (price to enter shrine = 100yen. Price to enter garden = 500yen)

Due to the high price of entering the garden. Mr Tan Tan decided to make the best out of it.