New place, novel lunch

Was exploring a new area in Singapore and ended up at an interesting place for lunch. Was near a very popular food court but it was closed during the day.

The lunch set served during the weekday was really affordable with quite decent coffee. The soup of the day (tomato soup) was really good and didn’t taste too sour as with most other soups. The main course of braised pork belly was served in a retro style bowl but not something I’ve seen before. The pork belly was braised really well though it was a bit too busy for me. The fat content was ok and the salad was quite nice. The ending with coffee was really great and looking forward to come here again.

Principle of travel

One thing I have in my mind when travelling free and easy is to have one primary objective for the travel. This round the objective was to visit the Kinkakuji temple to have a look at the golden pavilion. Having one simple objective to fulfil during the trip makes me feel less stress about having to visit multiple places to make the most of the trip. This round I almost missed it because of the busy and short schedule. But I finally managed to visit the temple on the very last day of the trip. It was really a nice and tranquil place to be and there was not a giant crowd. I really wonder how will it be like to spend a day just sitting in the pavilion to find my inner peace.

Tax free shopping in Japan.

Just wanted to share something about tax free shopping in Japan from my own experience. Tax free shopping in Japan is quite hassle free and some shops have dedicated cashiers for it. Others you’ll need to claim the tax refund but from the mall itself. Overall, I didn’t have to go to any customs office at the airport to get my tax refunds.

The retailers and malls who do the refunds will do the necessary procedures and stick like loads of receipts on your passport and can make it look quite thick depending on how much you shop.

Few things to note when you buy tax free items in Japan:

1) minimum spending of ¥5000 for consumables and general goods each. Some malls offer the ability to combine receipts from different shops.

2) Goods will be sealed and can’t be used until you depart the country. There certain things which you use immediately such as electronic items.

The interesting part is that no one talks about if you have to show the goods you purchase to any customs officer when you check in for your flight back. Well, basically you can just check in the items you bought. You don’t have to bring it as carry on. After you enter the departure gate, there is a counter for customs to look at the refunds. Basically the officer didn’t bother and just asked me to deposit all the receipts in a box at the counter and off I went. That’s how simple it is.

Wrapping a wonderful trip.

Spent the last day of my Japan trip in Tokyo. Had a full day to roam around before making my way to the airport. Stopped by this amazing mall with amazing cafe. The coffee is really good. The ambience was nice as I sat down watched as the world go by in front of you. Makes me just want to sit there for as long as possible. Will try to compile the photos and put up a itinerary for a trip to Kyoto in time to come.

Ramen, ramen and more ramen!

Can’t say you’ve been to Japan without trying their ramen. In fact, I tired three different ramen over two days and suffering from ramen overload. Although all three were different, but they were so good. Not something you’ll be able to find in Singapore. And definitely the prices here are definitely cheaper. On contrary to my thoughts, ordering the food is easy and some staff are able to help you with some English. The vending machine also has upgraded to include English menu at some places. Definitely something not to be missed when you’re in Japan.

Takoyaki, almost authentic way

Had takoyaki from a Popular chain in Japan and it was really good. The skin was crispy and the inner is soft with a huge chunk of octopus inside. Haven’t tasted something like this before. Although I later found out that takoyaki originated from Osaka. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to taste the authentic one during this trip.

Different taste in different place

Am in Japan for a work-cum-travel. Decided to try out a popular chain of French cafes and was really surprised at the vast difference in quality between the branch here and at home. Each cup of coffee is individually brewed and the aroma was amazing. The bread definitely taste much better. Never imagined I would be so impressed with the food from this franchise.