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FEB/MAR 2023 - Chang Sisters in Japan ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต (2/2)

28 February, Tuesday | On our train ride to today's destination:


Gala Yuzawa Snow Resort

The first thing once we reached Gala Yuzawa Snow Resort, is to confirm our Ski/Snowboard class, and purchase Gondola (cable car) tickets!


Then we started queuing to get our equipment:


There are so many items to collect???! We had to hold our shoes, clothes, helmet, goggles, and skis/snowboard all at once...


We placed them in the holding areas first and took this picture because we need to know our equipment ID/ref numbers.

It was time to put on their winter coats, specialised shoes, and stuff. We rented a locker to put out belongings, our own shoes etc.


We have about an hour to get dressed, and get ready for class! Our class starts at 11.15 am!

Their ski pants are so cute, still got suspenders to hold them on. It makes sense tho, like you wouldn't want to be mid-skiing with your pants down HAHAHAHA


The hardest things to put on were the shoes, we have a picture to reference how many buckles and parts it has:


We didn't have a lot of time, as there were so many things to clear before we were good to go, but our shoes were too tight and had to go to the counter (must bring all your things to show them) to get them changed. While we were getting larger-sized shoes at the counter, two friends right next to us didn't keep an eye on their ski plates, and they fell on my arm...


OUCHHHHHHH


Once we were done, and the other things that we didn't need to bring along were in the locker, we quickly gathered outside their Ski School booth to meet our Instructors! Bili went for snowboarding and apparently, she is the only one in her class, so she gets undivided attention haha


Our ski instructor, Lewis is from the United States, and this is his first time teaching in Japan, he was largely doing this in Europe! We took the Gondola up, and Victor, 23 (fellow ski learner) cannot stop talking to me when I wanted to listen to Lewis...


I guess if you're solo tripping, it can get quite lonely, I agree but please let me focus!

Our fellow team includes two (couple^) from Indonesia, two (also couple) from HK, Victor (Singapore), and Fatfat + myself!


We went up the mini slope right next to us, with one ski on, and then change to the other side, practicing how to stop. We also learned how to get off the ski by using our other leg to trigger the lever at the back of our heels. It was super hot, we were sweating like mad under layers of clothing, it was not an easy feat...


Fatfat during our class:

COOL


After we were done with the basic training, we then moved on to a less mini slope to do some skiing practice with significant gravity!

(on the opposite side of the tunnel, were kids sitting in little yellow sleds, that looks fun!)


We took the escalator thing up (under the tunnel thingy) then took turns skiing down with Lewis!


Apparently, I put my weight on one leg, hence tend to ski to the left, instead of going down like a normal person hah


Honestly, after going down once, I didn't want to do it again because it was really exhausting but ้ƒฝๆฅไบ†!

This is also where I learned Victor is a solo traveler.


Then did another run! Quite sure skiing isn't the sport for me HAHAHA


We chatted quite a lot with the HK girl, Gina, she is so funny hehe. The Indonesian couple was way too good to be in a beginner's class...


Bili also had her snowboarding class right next to us! (no pictures tho)


We were all feeling so thirsty, and hot. I kept putting snow on my neck (Lewis taught us that) and that didn't help me much with cooling my body down...


We went to their cafeteria and gulped down cups of iced water before we made our way down riding the cable car!


Our ski equipment on the other side:


The view ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜


We saw the ski lanes/routes for pro-skiers:


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We couldn't wait to take off the shoes, it made me feel like I was moonwalking! My feet really hurt... Once we got back to the locker rooms, we got changed, freshen up, and went to the toilet.


Enjoying a little strawberry brownie as a snack:

(funny thumb bc I rekt my nail)


Okay, so we're back, on the gondola!!!!!

It was 2 ish pm and we were so hungry, so first things first, LUNCH!


Egg Omelet with pork cutlet, and Fatfat's curry rice with a cutlet. I missed out to take picture of Bili's food, TOO HUNGRY LIAO


The food is good! Maybe a little salty but I ate all of it hehe

Dining here, with snow views right outside the windows is so amazing!!! Also want to mention the Muslims behind, can eat here meh


There is also a smell here too, yknow the wet cloth/stinky shoes smell...

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Here's the afternoon class btw! (not us)


After eating, we went to the restricted area! We saw from the dining hall, the view is CHIO DAO BAO DE, so we have to!


I hope my New Balance sneakers survive the snow, and melted snow!

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THE VIEW โ„๏ธ


๐Ÿ˜โ„๏ธ

This is my current phone wallpaper!!


Selfies at this beautiful place don't work with all the shadow and backlight??

(loving this beanie from 2016!)


โœŒ๐Ÿป


Then after taking pictures of the view, we just wanna chill in the snow! So here I am haha


She legit chilling horrrrr


And also Bili took a picture of us lying in the snow:


Hello, why did nobody tell me to close my legs ahhhhh DED

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And I also lost my gloves, from my craziness!


Earlier we heard some announcements and were not very sure if they said the gondola ride down will close at 4 pm, so we didn't have that much time to play in the snow ):

The sun is setting!


Then we managed to catch the gondola down, packed like sardines, and queued for the 5ish pm train back to Omiya/Tokyo. We had zero expectations that we will find a seat, even tho much needed, but thankfully we found seats!!!!!!!


When we got up from our seats to prepare to get off, people started coming over to take our place, and I saw a guy get up from the seat in front, but then there is still someone sitting there?! HAHAHAHA then I realised this dude sat on his friend for the past 1 hr ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚


(+ bought more souvenirs)

We went back to our hotel to wash up after a whole day of sweating under layers of clothes haha, the sky roof onsen is so awesome la!


Then after a good freshen-up, we found a nice place in one of the malls for dinner:

Which is mine? (hint: I don't eat udon)


After dinner, we went to walk around the area, visited drugstores, looking for dad's horse oil cream.

We didn't find it at all, but I bought a highlighter! Hope I look nice in it~


And also we got some random drinks from the store to try + snacks and strawberries from the supermarket, for later!

(this tastes so much like wine~)


Right after dinner, we found a fantastic restaurant with grilled stuff, sashimi etc, but too full liao! Idea: maybe for tomorrow?

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Poor Fat fat has blisters on her legs after ski class today...

ย 

1 March, Wednesday | Today is one of the latest we woke up in the past few days, hehe we'll be moving Hotels. Itinerary is quite chill la~


We checked out at 11 am and left our luggage at the Hotel concierge (Level 13, for info).


Remember that restaurant we saw yesterday, we're here!!

I love their dining interior, very got style!


Their chopstick paper wrapper can be used to make a chopstick holder:


And the food is even better ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹

(We don't have a picture of Fat fat's Aburi Salmon and Unagi don)


One of my goals is to eat Unagi here in Japan, and achievement unlocked!

In the past, I never liked Unagi, but then somehow I came to love it, wonder what else will I learn to appreciate its taste when I get older.


How could we (not Bili) be dining without a little bit of alcohol?

Choya + Soda โœจ


Then we went shopping around a bit, and in search of some nice desserts. We were too full, honestly, so we went back to our Hotel to grab our things and made our way to Omiya Train Station.


They were holding a Sin Chan event, and I saw this really cute DONG GAN CHAO REN cup:

It's undies design HAHAHAHA. I didn't buy it because I have way too many mugs, but really got ๅฟƒ็—’็—’.


We also did some last shopping for souvenirs at the popup store at Omiya Station!

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We'll be taking two trains, before getting to Ikebukuro Station!


I like their two stories train!!!!!! So cool, hope next time can ride this train, upper deck pls

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Story of the little egg traveller in Japan:

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When we got to Ikebukuro Station, there are too many exits and I felt like we walked on and on and on to get to the right one:

We didn't take the stairs, no way with our luggage hahaha


Then once we got out, we walked along this long stretch to get to Sunshine Plaza, and then Prince Hotel. The walk felt more than 20 minutes, HELPS!

Walking with luggage is really a different game...


Sunshine City Prince Hotel Ikebukuro Tokyo

Our room #2922 is right next to the exit door, and I don't like it..., the room is also much smaller since we're staying in the main city area:



Before we headed up to check-in, we saw they have a huge Family Mart, and later we came down to see see look look first, hehehe


Dessert things:


And then my favourite cup noodles ๐Ÿ˜

Ya ya ya, 3 ish pm liao, we still at our Hotel hahaha

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ๅŽปๅ“ช้‡Œๅ‘ข๏ผŸ



่ฆๅˆฐๅ’ฏ!


Cat Cafรฉ Mocha, Ikebukuro West

CAFE INTERIOR PICS:



(spot the cats!)


CATS ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ



Then the GROMPY ONES


Thoughts about this cafe: the cats don't bother hanging out with people, other than the staff who works here. They come close, and when we reached out, they will escape. Interaction with cats today is 2%, but I'm glad to be around cats, and just chilling in this space~



She's a kitten (apparently, they haven't named her)


CAT TV!


Fat fat told me about a documentary she watched, that the cats are more similar to their owners, culturally. I think this is really true leh, they're very closed off and aloof, not the ไบฒๅˆ‡ kind (vs Taiwan)!


We also have to pay extra to get treats, to get close to the cats, and I didn't like this...


Other Facilities:

They have charging facilities, all sorts of cables and also a wide range of cat-related books, mangas too!


(maybe I should start on Tokyo Revengers)


Their best facility is their drinks corner, they have drink dispenser machines, instant coffee, tea, and soup. My favourite is their Miso Soup, Bili loves them after I told her about it, she had 3 servings haha

Could not find them at their supermarket, so I was really sad...

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Wonder what got all the cats gathering in this space?

FOOD!


(I will also come too)


Feeding at 730 pm!

We came at 4 ish pm and left at 7.50 pm! We were here for almost 4 hours, not bad heh

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We're also hungry leh! We checked out nearby places and got the queue number for KURA, but the wait will be about an hour, so we decided to grab Mister Donuts:


We got one each, and a cup of Latte to share. Their shop is closing, so not taking "having here", we went out to sit outdoors and enjoyed our donuts and coffee:

Random observation: dustbins are hard to find, still!


During this time, we also scouted a place to chill after dinner!

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KURA๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ

We returned our plates through the center tray return part, the noise never fails to scare me every time. They also have some game thingy, if you hit 6 plates or something, I played once and won nothing haha.


(trash from earlier, still with me)


They have fried tuna lehhh, so good!!! The sea urchin abit smelly...


Also I saw they have Natto, and can't stop myself from disturbing Pris! She hates Natto hahaha.

For all the things I ordered, it is 950 YEN only. This is less than $10 SGD!!!!!!!

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MOOD๐Ÿท๐Ÿท๐Ÿท


My sisters got mulled red wine, while I went for their white wine. Both are also not bad hehe


Me taking one last shot before we leave:


NIGHT SHOTS

(passing by the cat cafe we went, wondering if the cats went to bed liao)



We visited drugstores and shopped around the area, I got an eyebrow fixer:

(I'm so excited to use it!)


And on our way back, we went to grab ice creams and stuff from Family Mart!

Mikan ice balls ๐Ÿ˜‹

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2 March, Thursday | Randomly putting this piece of art outside our Hotel here~

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We passed by this cool breakfast place yesterday, and wanted to try it!

(I woke up earlier hor)


KOMEDA'S COFFEE

Wah, I am already in love with their interiors, would totally want a window seat to sit by it all day (so I can't)!


Interesting fact: when you order a drink such as coffee at almost any cafรฉ or coffee shop in Nagoya (and its surroundings) in the early morning, you will be treated to a free breakfast. It's called Nagoya Morning Service!


The menu!!!


Okay la, look at the English menu over here:


Fat fat and I didn't understand the morning service culture, so we ordered food that we wanted to eat, and ended up with breakfast++


The waitress who spoke to us, who gave us an English Menu, spoke very fluent English and she was so polite throughout. She got Fat fat's coffee order wrong and apologised endlessly even though we were okay with it. I quite like Soy milk with Coffee:


So here is the breakfast set~

Their red bean paste is so good!!!!! I bought drip coffee and their packed red bean paste (x1) home, woohoo


After we ate way too much, we need to take the train to our next destination! Their train map is insane???

(Can someone help me)


We walked back and forth and even got the wrong tickets as the train lines are not by the same company, we need to make a transfer in between...

The one in orange is correct.


Along the way, at 1 pm in Japan, we also stood around in one of the stations to try to win a free ticket to HK that starts at 12 noon in Singapore (no luck, man).

At the transfer stop, we already started buying things hehe


Asakusa

On our way to ้›ท้–€!


Random Asakusa photo dump:


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On our right, is this chio street filled with shops selling all sorts of things. I got things to eat, and also various souvenirs.

I got a special lip balm for Apple with her birthdate on it~




We cleansed our hands + mouth before heading in to pray!

There was a long queue, and I was listening to someone explaining to her friend, how they pray here, while I was admiring what they have on the ceiling:

*Toss 5 YEN COIN*



Featuring some of the snacks/food we had:


MATCHA ICE CREAM with view โค๏ธ

(random pigeons came to steal ice cream cone crumbs, if we drop any)


We didn't want to miss shopping at Ikebukuro station and the malls there too, so once we were sort of done with Asakusa, we took the train back.

Bili happened to sit by Sakurai Sho's poster on the train~


I remembered feeling exhausted walking back and forth Ikebukuro station and the malls, looking around, and getting things. REALLY BUY ALOT OF THINGS HAH


Fat fat saw this shop sells Apple Cinnamon Latte and couldn't resist not getting it:


We also got ours too:

(+ Liver Skewer)

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This will be our last dinner in Japan, before we need to head home. What have we not eaten?


OMURICE!!!!!!!!


We saw this shop in the last two days, ahhh it is good to know what you have in your surroundings!


After we put our things down in the shop, we went to place our orders at the ticket machine:


Shop Interior


Our seats were here~

I like it when they have marinated vegetables as free sides! It's a good balance!

OMURICE FEATURE:

Hashed Beef with Creamy Mushroom


Mentaiko


Tomato and Hashed Beef

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Then we wanted to go back to our breakfast place to buy the rest of their red bean paste home, so we came again for another cup of their coffee โค๏ธ

Still comes with peanuts, as service hehe


On our way out, I heard some metallic sound but couldn't find anything that dropped around me, so I thought I misheard that. It was my ear cuff ๐Ÿ˜ข

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We got back, bought more things from Family Mart, showered, and started packing our luggage


(Train plan seems a little too risky, so we decided to take a bus instead)

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3 March, Friday | We woke up at 3.30 am this morning and prepared to leave our hotel at 4.30 am, made our way in the cold to travel from Hotel (near to East exit) to the Ikebukuro West exit. It was a 3ยฐC morning walk...


We got to Exit 7, and boarded Willer's Express that leaves at 5.15 am to Narita Airport:


I totally knocked out during the bus ride and we arrived at 6.45 am:

My luggage is 16.6 kg!

Difference of 3++ kg: I bought a lot of things hehe, considered light


We safely arrived in Singapore at 4ish pm, cleared immigration, and went home! The taxi driver who took us is extremely humourous HAHAHA, and even offered us love letters in his taxi.


See you again, the land of Rising Sun~