Wednesday, April 3, 2019

2019 April: Japan: Visit to Takayama and Shirakawa Village

We booked at Klook, but try if you can get it on a lower price at Meitetsu Kanko website.
On the day of your travel, go to Meitetsu Bus Center 4F to get your tour sticker and travel guide documents.  The office opens at 7:10am, stay nearby the door because there area a lot of tourists who will be waiting outside.  The bus was expected to arrive at 8:10am in Gates 27 and 28. But because the earlier bus departures have problems of waiting for their guests, expect that your own departure time will be affected as well.

Flavors of Nagoya - Food Review


Soup Stock Tokyo
Order: potato soup (with focacia bread and oolong tea) at 980 yen,
Cuisine: Western
Location: Higashi Terrace
If you are looking for a light snack and wanted to warm a little, having a hot cream soup is a good option. Plus, having a chance to eat a sakura is an experience, although nothing special on the taste.

Kayu San Chin
Order: sweet potato rice porridge at 750 yen ( php), wanton rice porridge at 850 yen ( php)
Location: Underground Mall in Sakae Station
If you feel sick and in need of healthy home-made type of porridge, you can try this place.  But be mindful that they would require 1 order per person.

What is unagi?
Unagi, the Japanese eel, is an important part of Japanese cuisine, and quite tasty when marinated and grilled. It is also an especially nutritious fish, and the health benefits of unagi are numerous.

Why Special?

2019: Japan: Nagoya: Vessel Inn Sakae Ekimae

Vessel Inn Sakae Ekimae ベッセルイン栄駅前
3-14-13 Nishiki, Naka, Sakae, Nagoya, Japan 460-0003
名古屋市中区錦3-14-13, 栄, 名古屋, 日本 460-0003
Price: Expensive triple room during sakura festival (7073php/night)

Location: Accessible from Sakae Station (Exit 1 and 2 for stairs and Exit 8 for elevator or escalator.  For food the closest is getting onigiri at 7/11 in the building grounds.  There’s also Coco Ichibanya on the next building.  There are other restaurants and shops in Central Underground Market. My favorite would be doing your omiyage shopping in Don Quijote above the Sakae station.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Japan: 6 Days Spring Itinerary in Nagoya

Sakura in Nagoya
Forecast showed that full bloom is on the last week of March, but don’t always trust the forecast.  It’s been cloudy and raining in few days of our stay, and because of less heat that the buds did not open and there are more still more buds than blooming flowers.

Gladly, we had our full experience in Tsuruma Park on our last day in April 01.

Health Alert
I already have asthma prior on going to Nagoya and I keep on coughing and had deep breathes all day long.  Le me share with you, there exists pollen allergies or known as “hay fever” that is wide spread during spring season or February to April in Japan.

It is advisable to wear eye glasses and face masks when enjoying the nature, trees and blooming flowers during this season.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Nagoya?
Vessel Inn Sakae Ekimae ベッセルイン栄駅前
3-14-13 Nishiki, Naka, Sakae, Nagoya, Japan 460-0003
名古屋市中区錦3-14-13, 栄, 名古屋, 日本 460-0003
Read my Hotel Review

Food: Where to eat in Nagoya?
Flavors of Nagoya - Food Review

Itinerary: Places to go, Things to see, What to do in Nagoya?

Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 Dec: Taiwan: Taipei: Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Huanshan 1914 Creative Park is quiet huge. Back then I remember that the place was a bit crowded because multiple exhibits and events are taking place. The place will most likely appeal to the young ones and young at heart. Shops selling various crafts and trinkets are all over the place. You won't get hungry here as there are plenty of cafes and restaurants are spread across the venue. In deed a place where creative juices and ideas are overflowing.

2018 Dec: Taiwan: Taipei: Holy Family Church


2018 Dec: Taiwan: Taichung: Houli Blossom Pavilion

Houli Blossom Pavilion is located in Houli Horse Ranch, another venue of Taichung World Flora Exposition. The expo begun last Nov 3, 2018 and will run until Apr 24, 2019. Refer here -

Due to public's interest in the flower expo, the place gets too crowded. We arrived at nearly lunch time, fall in line for 30 minutes before stepping into the pavilion. Inside its huge but due to the large crowd one will have a hard time looking at the flower displays. You have to really allot time when visiting this place, and roam at your own pace. To get descent photos, bring a lot of patience and wait for a while until the crowd disperse a bit. Good thing I got some pics worthy of posting here.

2018 Dec: Taiwan: Taichung: Houli Forest

Houli Forest

Houli is one of the venues for Taichung World Flora Exposition that started running from Nov 3, 2018 to Apr 24, 2019. We particularly went to Forest Park and enjoyed the scenery created by different participating countries.

Taichung World Flora Expo Highlight: "The Sound of Blooming" 

2018 Dec: Taiwan: Taichung: Zhongshe Flower Market

Zhongshe Flower Market
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2018 Dec: Taiwan: Taichung: Fengyuan Huludun Park

Fengyuan Huludun Park is a series of parks connected by bridges.  This is one of the 3 sites for 2018 Taichung World Flora Expo.

2018 Dec: Taiwan: Shifen

Shifen together with Jiufen is also a town mostly visited in northeast Taiwan.  The only reason I have chosen Shifen over Pingxi is because of the location being closer to Ruifang.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 Dec: Taiwan: Jiufen

Jiufen is a town found in the mountainside of northeast Taiwan.  This has become a famous visit for tourists to experience the old town street with viewing deck to see the horizon of East China Sea.

Plus of course to visit A-mei Tea House which has been the inspiration for the restaurant and red lanterns in Spirited Away animated movie.

2018 Dec: Taiwan: Ruifang Station

Before we can reach the towns of Jiufen and Shifen in northeast side of Taiwan, there's Ruifang that will be the base for commuting transfers.

I already bought advance tickets online because based on some vlogs, there are cases that the train back to the city from Ruifang are fully booked (and we cannot let our mom standing for that long on the train.)

For regular trips, you can visit here.  For the high speed, try to check this page.  You just need to print your paid reservation voucher and exchange it to actual tickets on the counter. 

2018 Dec: Taiwan: Wǒmen lái chī ba (Let's eat) in Taipei and Taichung

Tasting food as we go along the streets and restaurants of Taipei and Taichung!


Tea Restaurant in Jiufen
Location: across A-mei Restaurant
Food: fried noodles with vegetables & sliced pork (250ntd = 430php), mixed fruit tea (160ntd = 272php)
Personal Preference: 8 out of 10
A-mei maybe good to visit if they can accommodate you due to it's popularity.  But going to the tea house across A-mei gives you a good spot to have a better view of the Spirited Away inspired scenery. 
I really enjoyed the mixed fruit tea as I also enjoyed the cold weather, people watching in the old street and the viewing deck for mountains of northeast Taiwan and horizon of East China Sea.

2018 Dec: Taiwan; Taichung: New Plaza Hotel

New Plaza Hotel
No.77-1, Xiangyang Road, Fengyuan District, Taichung, Taiwan 42080
向陽路77-1號, 豐原區, 台中市, 台灣 42080

Price: Got this from with Early Booking Saver. Rate at 10% discount!