Archive | October 2014

Gold Loving

Taking a break from sharing on my holiday pictures, here’s a frivolous post on jewelries.I’m not sure if it’s age or I’m becoming more practical, when it comes to accessories, I now have a weakness for gold. Not gold plated jewelries, gold colour jewelries or brass jewelries, but those 24K or 22K gold accessories which my parents and grandma love! The ones which you can exchange for cash at  a pawn shop in time of crisis.

The thing is, I can’t wear silver, it tarnishes very quickly after the first wear. I’m also not the kind of lady who likes costume jewelries from luxury brands, this pair of pretty earrings cost SGD 620 which is made from glass pearls. You are basically paying for the brand and all the advertisements.
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Source: Here

So instead of buying accessories which doesn’t quite last or has little value, my heart yearns for gold! This year, I decided to pamper myself and buy myself a little present. A 22K gold ring from Poh Heng. Before you scream, OMG, Serene is turning into a granny, look at this little pretty! And this, cost me slightly above SGD 500 and it is probably something that I can pass it on to my future grand daughter! Haha.

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The Peace Park, Gotemba City

// To recap, we signed up and went for Hong Thai Travel’s 8 Days Hokkaido / Tokyo tour package and in this post and the upcoming posts, I will be sharing them via the days (e.g Day 1, Day 2 etc) but if some locations interest me enough, I will share them in details in a post on its own! This is so if anyone is researching on Hong Thai Travel’s tour package, you can have an idea on what to expect. So stay tuned!

The overview of the tour package can also be found here. Day 2 to Day 6’s itinerary is already shared in previous posts! Day 2’s post is here, Day 3’s post is hereDay 4’s post is hereDay 5’s post is here and Day 6’s post is here!

One of the main attraction in Day 6 is the Peace Park in Gotemba City!

“The Peace Park in Gotemba City commands a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji and houses the chalky stupa. Approximately 70% of visitors to the park are tourists from overseas, and the park serves as one of the golden spots in sightseeing in Shizuoka Prefecture. It is located on the mountainside of the outer rim of Hakone crater, commanding a good view of the city. The stupa, the symbol of the park, keeps the Buddha’s ashes presented by late Indian Prime Minister Nehru. 4 golden images of Buddha are also housed. In front of the stupa, the guardian dogs of respective Asian countries stand in line. In addition, The pond circuit-style Japanese garden, the Buddhist Monastery of Nihonzan-Myoho-ji Temple, images of Deity of Mercy ‘Nade Kannon’ (lit. rubbing Kannon) and 33 Kannon images are also well worth seeing. You can enjoy yourselves here all year round, in particular, the cherry blossom and autumn leaves viewing times.”

Source: Here

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At the bottom of the park is a small temple dedicated to Goddess of Mercy and it looks like the usual traditional Japanese temple.

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Spotted this huge tree of Hydrangeas! So beautiful!

After visiting the temple at the bottom of the park, you get to take a short walk up the slope to look at the main attraction!

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The white chalky stupa! Guarding the stupa are many lion statues from different countries!

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It is definitely an interesting place! Too bad it wasn’t a clear day! Otherwise, it would have been the perfect location to view Mt Fuji!

Hong Thai Travel: 8 Days Hokkaido/Tokyo: Day 6

// To recap, we signed up and went for Hong Thai Travel’s 8 Days Hokkaido / Tokyo tour package and in this post and the upcoming posts, I will be sharing them via the days (e.g Day 1, Day 2 etc) but if some locations interest me enough, I will share them in details in a post on its own! This is so if anyone is researching on Hong Thai Travel’s tour package, you can have an idea on what to expect. So stay tuned!

The overview of the tour package can also be found here. Day 2,  Day 3,  Day 4 and Day 5’s  itinerary is already shared in previous posts! Day 2’s post is here, Day 3’s post is hereDay 4’s post is here and Day 5’s post is here!

Continuing with Day 6, we left Hokkaido and flew back to Tokyo to continue our holiday! It was a bittersweet day as there is so much more to see in Hokkaido but yet, Tokyo is one of my favourite city after New York!

After landing in Tokyo, we went for a simple lunch at a hotel restaurant and proceed towards Gotemba City.

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The first stop was The Peace Park in Gotemba City which provides a beautiful view of Mt Fuji when there is a clear day! It also houses a white stupa of Buddhist origin. Will share more of this beautiful Peace Park in a separate post! As you can tell from the picture above, it wasn’t a clear day and we didn’t get to meet Fuji-san.

Today’s itinerary was only The Peace Park and thereafter we were supposed to check in to the hotel for a traditional dinner and some onsen soaking. Our tour guide who very kindly decided to stop by Gotemba Premium Outlet for an hour just for us! If you have been to a Premium outlet, you will know that an hour is not definitely not enough! The place is huge but in that one hour, I managed to grab some great deals!

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Bought some pretty Cath Kidston pretty makeup pouches at 60% off! It works out to be around SGD 20-30! Woohoo! Addidas was also having a sale where after 5pm, most of the items which are already on discount gets an additional 40% discount! Bought a gym bag for yoga which cost less than SGD 30, more yoga tops between SGD 20 – 40, and a board shorts for my brother! I even splurged on a Kate Spade sling bag! There wasn’t a major discount but it was definitely cheaper than in Singapore. Scary impulse buy in that 1 hour! Haha. It was the most exciting and yet stressful shopping experience.

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Along the way, we finally met Fuij-san! Haha, Mr Fuji was a little shy that day!

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We then concluded the day with a comfortable night stay at the hotel and some onsen soaking! This is also where I got a strange insect bite which resulted in a swollen foot on the last day!

Headed to Susukino for Ramen, Sapporo’s Red Light District

// To recap, we signed up and went for Hong Thai Travel’s 8 Days Hokkaido / Tokyo tour package and in this post and the upcoming posts, I will be sharing them via the days (e.g Day 1, Day 2 etc) but if some locations interest me enough, I will share them in details in a post on its own! This is so if anyone is researching on Hong Thai Travel’s tour package, you can have an idea on what to expect. So stay tuned!

The overview of the tour package can also be found here. Day 2,  Day 3 and Day 4’s  itinerary is already shared in previous posts! Day 2’s post is here, Day 3’s post is hereDay 4’s post is here and Day 5’s post is here!

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The last night in Hokkaido saw us hanging out late at Susukino, Sapporo’s Red Light District. Not for the girls or the guys but for their ramen! Love the picture above! This place is so picture worthy and using my iPhone camera, we are able to capture the glamour and glory here!

Before enjoying a bowl of ramen for supper, our tour guide brought us on a walk about tour to look at how their red light district functions! It was an eye opener and they are very high tech.

If you see offices like below which states “Information Center”, these are not tourist information centre but there are the shopfront providing sexual services.

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Guests enter the professional looking shop and take a pick of their ladies from an electronic catalog. They do not serves foreigners so if you are a tourist, don’t even bother! We also saw a store for gigolo but I forgot to snap a picture! Lots of pretty, pale looking boys! Haha. After an interesting walk about tour of their red light district, we headed to Sapporo Ramen Yokocho, which is a famous ramen alley in Susukino.

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We picked the first store in front of the alley and enjoyed a hot bowl of ramen on a breezy night.

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Our tour guide assisted us in ordering “less salty” version of their local ramen as their ramen is generally a little too salty for Singaporean’s palate. The owner generously gave us free corns because he knows our tour guide who returns to this store whenever he is in Sapporo.

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There are many sponsored chilli pepper cans in the ramen shop! Haha.

 

Li Xiao Lu and an Artist, Hokkaido

// To recap, we signed up and went for Hong Thai Travel’s 8 Days Hokkaido / Tokyo tour package and in this post and the upcoming posts, I will be sharing them via the days (e.g Day 1, Day 2 etc) but if some locations interest me enough, I will share them in details in a post on its own! This is so if anyone is researching on Hong Thai Travel’s tour package, you can have an idea on what to expect. So stay tuned!

The overview of the tour package can also be found here. Day 2,  Day 3 and Day 4’s  itinerary is already shared in previous posts! Day 2’s post is here, Day 3’s post is hereDay 4’s post is here and Day 5’s post is here!

I didn’t realized that it has been about 3 weeks since I last blogged! When that usually happens, it is either that my life is in a disaster mode or a fun filled mode and people, don’t worry, I’ve been so busy enjoying my life that I’ve yet to have time to blog!

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So catching up from the last post on my Hokkaido trip, Li Xiao Lu Shopping Street was not part of our Itinerary and this place closes really early! It is filled with shops and restaurant but when we reach at 7.30pm, most of the shops are closed. The tour guide brought us here for some food souvenir shopping as they offer for up to 10% discount off the retail price for some of the items and it is cheaper than in the airport. So we decided to buy them and pack it into our luggage.

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While waiting for the rest of the tour group to finish shopping, I chanced upon an artist selling his prints on the street. I really love his prints as it is brightly coloured and pretty! Initially, I wanted to get one of his print which shows a guy backpacking alone with his pet dog but he don’t have a female version. In the end, we picked a print featuring a couple enjoying their time in the rain. The artist has speech difficulty but his work has been featured in so many publications! He is also really sweet and nice and asked me to pick a postcard print for free!

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He gingerly signed and dated the print and packed them up really nicely. He was all smiley and very friendly.

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After I asked to take a picture with him above, he requested for us to squat down to take another one! In this pose, it makes a better picture with us together with the rest of his work! Haha.