food, travel

拉麺しるし @ Hamamatsu, Japan

Hi Everyone,

Today I want to take you to a small ramen place we found inside Don Quijote store in a country town near Hamamatsu called 拉麺しるし. We were staying at an onsen resort (will share this in another blog) and decided to go out and get some simple things for our stay.

As we were there during winter, a bowl of hot ramen was perfect for lunch.

The outside of the store was very nicely decorated with paintings of ramens. We can already smell the ramen from the outside! Yummm


Just like in anime and Japanese tv shows, many ramen stores have a vending machine for you to buy tickets in exchange for the food you want. It can be daunting for someone who doesn’t know Japanese but if you take a minute or two to match up the words/characters from the menu to the buttons, you can easily buy your meal tickets. Some shops will have numbers associated with the meal you want which can make things a lot easier.


Also a note, some machines have options for additional toppings like shallots, bamboo shoots, additional eggs. There are options also like extra noodles and which is usually a must for us because we are big eaters.

We ordered two ramen both with extra noodles and a serve of goyza.

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For such a cold day, the two large bowls of ramen were perfect for us. I am really impressed even in such a small town with little shops, you can still find some nice food at a very reasonable price.


Address: 431-3125 静岡県浜松市東区半田山5-36-1

food, travel

Rilakkuma Sabo @ Arashiyama, Japan (Part 2)

Hi Everyone,

In my last blog, I have taken you to the gift side of the Rilakkuma Sabo store at Arashiyama, Japan. Today, I will take you to the food side of the store.

First of all, you will always see a crowd outside the store. The reason why is everyone is there ordering or waiting for their ice cream and we are one of them. Look how cool it looks! Even though we went there during winter, we had to get an ice cream. yummmoooooo

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Inside the store, you can get many pre-packaged foods and they all look so nice! There are a lot of sweets and biscuits for people to buy for souvenirs.


There are also a range of honey and sauces but were too heavy to buy to take home.


Also, something to take note is there is a place where you can stamp your guide where you can collect different stamps in the area.


At the back of the store, there is a small area for people to enjoy their desserts of ice cream. It is nicely decorated and the area looked really peaceful for such a busy store.


If you decide not to buy anything from the store, do try their desserts as not only it was really delicious, it was also nicely delivered to us which was great for photos to share with friends and family.


Rilakkuma Sabo @ Arashiyama, Japan (Part 1)

Hi Everyone

Today I want to take you to the Arashiyama Rilakkuma Sabo in Kyoto. If you are a fan of Rilakkuma, you will have to come and check it out! The visit will be broken into two parts – one is the food side and the other one will be the gift shop side. There are loads to see so hope you don’t mind the picture overload. Today I’ll show you the gift shop first.


The store is on the main strip of Arashiyama and you will not miss it as there were so many people outside taking photos and lining up to get ice cream (including us!). If you do come for a visit, be prepared to buy something because everything in there is just so cute. Also, there are items just limited to that store so you need to choose carefully what you want to buy. There lots of merchandises including t-shirts and cute bags.


There are also many traditional looking Japanese printed items with Rilakkuma printed on it.

Gifts for all ages and occasions

Don’t forget the plush toys!!

In the next blog, I will show you the food side of the store which is next door of the gift shop.

Address15 Sagatenryuji Kitatsukurimichicho, Ukyo-kuKyoto 616-8374, Kyoto Prefecture

Phone: +81 75-863-2660
Life, travel

Supermarket Self Checkout @ Japan

Hi Everyone,

Today I would like to share the experience I had at a countryside supermarket in Japan when visited late last year. In Sydney, there are already self-serve checkout counters but this is the first time I’ve seen it in Japan from memory.

Everything on display at the checkout is in Japanese but it was pretty straightforward.


Firstly, scan the items with the barcodes on them. If they are too hard to scan, there is a handheld machine which you can also use to scan the barcode. Once you have scanned the items, place them in the bagging area. If you have purchased items that require you to choose from the menu, you can also select that on the screen.


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Once you have scanned your buys and everything is bagged, you can check out. If you have been to Japan before, you would notice the supermarkets will provide chopsticks and smaller bags for cold/wet items to put in the larger shopping bags. They are also available at the self-checkout counters. I have paid in cash so you can tell from the timer it is thinking. Then they print out a receipt, give you some change and remind you to take your items with you.

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Although everything is in Japanese, it was pretty straightforward so do give it a go when you see them next time.



Ujigami Shrine @ Japan

Hi Steemians

Today I will be taking you to Ujigami Shrine, not far from Uji Shrine which I have shared the article recently. Ujigami Shrine is registered as UNESCO Hertiage site and is one of the most visited Shrine in Uji.

Ujigami Shrine

When we arrived, there were very little people so it was a nice and peaceful visit.


Before we went it, there was already a large tori gate with words stating this is a UNESCO Heritage site.

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There were many flowers and trees around Ujigami Shrine which gives visitors a very nice peaceful atmosphere.



During this visit, my little one really loved putting money in these Saisen boxes (賽銭箱). He thinks that every time he makes a wish, it will always come true.


If you are near Uji, do make a visit to Ujigami Shrine.



Uji Shrine & Surroundings @ Japan

Hi Everyone,

Today I will be taking you to Uji Shrine (lower shrine) & the outskirts of Uji. The shrine approximately 10-15 minutes walk from Byodoin Temple where you can walk across the bridge to the opposite side of the town. It is one of the main destinations if you are around Uji apart from Byodoin & the shopping strip. We visited Uji twice during our stay and would recommend that for anyone who doesn’t want to rush during their travels.

uji shrine

Just before we go in to see the shrine, there are some things you can look out for. Along the side of the road, there are many signs and maps for tourists. It gives you a detailed description of the area or a story of the location.


You may notice this side of town is a lot quieter than the main section. It was very pleasant to walk around with the autumn leaves surrounding us (even though it was already end of the year when we visited).


It is recommended you should wear some comfortable shoes as there would be alot of walking and the ground is full of cobble stones. Here we are!

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If you look around, the ground has many interesting drain caps just like the rest of Japan.


We really enjoyed the visit. Next stop, I will be taking you to Ujigami Shrine which is not far from Uji Shrine.


food, travel

Renge Chaya (蓮華茶屋) @ Uji, Japan

Hi Everyone,

After taking you all around the shopping area of Uji, lits time to have some lunch!


We have chosen a place that specialise in green tea soba. On a cold winter day, we decided it was the best thing to have. The restaurant is near the entrance to the Byodoin entrance which can be easily located. There were lots of seating when we arrived and the restaurant was very nice and warm inside.


Let’s check out the menu first. Although the menu is in Japanese, there were clear pictures of what each set consist so you can easily order your meals. The price of the sets was also very reasonable considering it is situated at a popular destination.

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Here are our meals! Everything was presented really beautifully. Although mainly sell soba noodles, they do also have rice options.


We had a wonderful meal here. Like most Japanese restaurants, they also have some plastic displays outside.


If you are in the area, do consider trying out this restaurant as you won’t be disappointed.



Address: Japan, Kyoto Prefecture, Uji, Renge−23-1
Phone: +81 774-23-0666
food, travel

Itohkyuemon @ Uji, Japan

Hi Everyone!

Today I will be taking you to the most famous tea shop on Byodoin Omotesando at Uji called Itohkyuemon (伊藤久右衛門).


Once you are at Byodoin Omotesando, you will see many people holding bags from this shop as they are known to be tourist friendly (tax free & great service), great variety of tea and sweets and also have a nice alcohol range at the store.


Let me take you around to see what tea they offer. If you are a tea lover, you will want to buy everything from the store.

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This one is a tea which can be served hot or cold – I got a few packets of these for gifts


There are also gifts which needs refrigeration. They are able to organise a cooler bag for you so it stays fresh while you shop around the area



Look at these green tea flavoured cakes and fruit coated in green tea chocolate – yum yum!


There are many green tea desserts

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If you don’t like to buy any tea leaves, there are also gift sets you can purchase


Do drop by and visit this store if you visit Uji – be prepared to spend some money here because they are a great choice as souviners from Japan.


Have you noticed today is the 100th episode of my ‘Traveling Around The World’ series? Do check back tomorrow for my special post to celebrate this special milestone!


Address:19-3 Todouaramaki Uji City Kyoto Prefecture 611-0013

food, travel

Traveling around Uji, Japan (Part 2)

Hi Everyone,

Continuing on from the last blog, if you are a tea lover, you definitely need to come to Uji in particular, Byodoin Omotesando.

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There are many tea stores, dessert stores, restaurants all sell items linked to green tea. Its  like a green tea wonderland! As you walk along the main shopping trip, do check out some the stores in particular – a famous tea shop called Itohkyuemon (伊藤久右衛門). It is by far the most popular and had the largest variety on the strip. I will take you for a visit in another blog.

At Byodoin Omotesando, not only you see a line of shops and restaurants, it is also the way to the famous Byodoin (will share in future posts)

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Also the strip has the famous Starbuck branch (will share in future posts)


This is the large Tori gate where it leads you to Byodoin Omotesando


When you are walking around and about, do look for some cute statues or signages.


While I was shopping and browsing around, my other half decided to get a box of green tea dessert. Nicely packaged and the dessert itself was very green teay (is there such a word? haha)

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In my next blog, I will take you to Itohkyuemon (伊藤久右衛門).


food, travel

Traveling around Uji, Japan (Part 1)

Hi Everyone,

I love Japanese green tea. Uji is famous for the green tea they produce in the country. When we arrived, the first thing you see is the number of shops that sell tea and food items made in green tea flavour. Our first stop is to visit the main shopping strip of Uji – ie the strip to get tea and souvenirs.

I need to split this series into 2 parts as there is too just much to share.

This is the closest JR station to get to Uji. We drove so parking was also very easy around the area


Here are some of the shops on the main shopping strips


We visited numerous shops and this one we bought a snack from as they were just making a new batch for their customers. They even have the process for customers to understand how the desserts are made.


There are many things to buy so tomorrow I’ll so you some a really nice and famous gift shop to buy souvenirs.

Here are some of the cool stuff we saw around the area.


Thanks for reading!