Archive for December, 2014

Holiday aftermath

December 27th, 2014

I hope everyone has been enjoying the holidays! I decided to take off from work from Dec 24-Jan 5 and have been spending the past week with family :) When it comes to Christmas, it’s become kind of routine for me and my husband. Even before we got married, we were already splitting our holiday time between our two families. It goes like this…

Dec. 23rd is when we celebrate with my family. My brother flies in from Pennsylvania, and we have a Christmas dinner at my parents’ place, which is close to us. Since we won’t see them on Christmas day, we also open our gifts early!

This year, my brother bought me graphic novels from Chi’s Sweet Home and Shaman King, both are series I collect. This was a welcomed sight because I had been itching to buy some more manga to read. My parents also gave me these cute and super comfortable slippers and the Mass Effect ANGL N7 hoodie.


The hoodie is my new favorite jacket! I bought the original N7 hoodie back when it was only available in men’s sizes. Even though I bought the smallest size, it’s still too big for me. I had been eyeing the ANGL version because I knew it’d be a better fit. I love how it looks!


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Japan trip, part 6: Tokyo

December 19th, 2014

This is the finale! Since we were flying in and out of Tokyo, we split our time in Tokyo in half. On 11/06, we took a bullet train (about half an hour) from Hakone back to Tokyo, where we first started our 12 day Japan trip. Now we were ending here too.

The first thing we did was check into our hotel, the Park Hotel in Shiodome. It’s part of the Shiodome Media Tower, and the hotel doesn’t start until the 25th floor. This means every room has a great view! We paid a little extra to face the Tokyo Tower, and the view was definitely worth it.


Since we arrived in the morning, our luggage hadn’t arrived yet (which we sent off from Kyoto the day before). We decided to pass time in Odaiba, which is on a man-made island connected to Tokyo by Rainbow Bridge. It’s become a popular shopping and entertainment area with large malls like DiverCity, Aquacity, and Decks. We found a katsudon place for lunch, were able to do a bit of shopping, and also saw the life-sized Gundam in front of DiverCity!

After returning from Odaiba, our luggage arrived, so we settled in and rested up in the hotel. At night, we wanted to get a view of Tokyo and headed to Tokyo Skytree. We had dinner first at a nearby hitsumabushi (eel with rice) restaurant. There are a few ways you can eat it: as is, with leeks and wasabi, or with seasonings and a hot broth. I tried all 3, and the leeks and wasabi way was my favorite :)


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Japan trip, part 5: Hakone and our ryokan stay

December 11th, 2014

I’m nearing the end of my Japan entries! On 11/05, my husband and I left Kyoto. We packed a small bag, and then sent the rest of our luggage to arrive the next day in Tokyo. We weren’t heading to Tokyo yet though; we had a little stop planned in the small and quiet town of Hakone.


We went to Kyoto station to catch a Tokyo-bound bullet train that stops at Odawara on the way. While waiting for the train, we bought two ekiben which are “railway lunch boxes”. They’re commonly sold at Japanese train stations and often feature local specialties. They’re tasty to-go meals, so you can eat on the train!


It took 2 hours to get to Odawara, which seemed like a busy station. However, as we used the local train towards Hakone, it became a lot quieter. Hakone is beautiful – probably the prettiest place we visited while in Japan. It’s surrounded by mountains and just has a peaceful and relaxing air about it. My photos don’t even do it justice (especially since it was a cloudy day).

We went to Lake Ashinoko first. It’s commonly visited by people who want a view of Mt. Fuji. It can only be seen on a clear day though, so it wasn’t visible this time. (We didn’t mind since we had seen Mt. Fuji previously.)

The real reason we were here was because I wanted to stay in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. Though many Japanese cities have them, I really wanted one that wasn’t in the middle of a city. I wanted one in a quiet scenic area, and thus, I chose Hakone.

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