Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Tokyo Day 3 Part 2: Shinjuku 新宿~Omotesando表参道~Marimekoまりめこ

Harajuku 原宿

So let's start the day with 原宿Harajuku.. The all famous Harajuku is famous for shopping and the cosplay... There are people here dressed in gothic dressing, lolitha dresses, etc.. The famous street in 原宿 is called Takeshita street.. There are shops selling mainly fashion stuff here... Really bustling and lively place..

You probably can't guess, but this place is actually Mac Donald's.. where people hide from the rain or take a break from the shopping... Or even use the toilet... (Like me!!)

One of the must not miss places here are the crepe stalls!!! The beautiful crepes are not just pretty and cute, but the aroma of the crepe batter being cook simply draws the shoppers towards the display to choose their favourite crepe!
Check this out! My crepe is being cooked!! If I remembered correctly, I ordered blueberry cheesecake with some fruits and ice cream...
And check out the girl in the background in striped stockings!! wahaha... As usual, タッチャン looks sleepy...

Omotesando 表参道
After the walk in Shinjuku, we crossed a road to reach a place called Omotesando... This place feels like the paragon of Singapore... Really classed with world famous designer brand shops...
Look at this... Doesn't this remind you of our Paragon?
And this? Orchard ROad? Well, its just a street called Omotesando..
Erm... Haha... violation of rules in the building!!!

Marimeko まりめこ
Designer clothes shops.. designer bags shops.. But ever heard of designer fabric shops? Well, Marimeko is one.. Its not that their textiles is super smooth and high quality, but the designs of their fabrics and textiles are really unique and coloutful...
As you can see in this panel, that's how they display their textiles... In comparison to Spotlight,this is much more expensive...
This is the stairs leading up to the second level where we can see the marimeko fashion line...
In the background, there are the other products such as bags and shirts and other fabric products..

Its almost time to leave this area to head for Roppongi for dinner with Takeuchi-san... So we're leaving this area to head for another station...

Tokyo Day 3 Part 2: The Chair Shop, Roppongi and Dinner with Takeuchi-san 竹内さん

From Omotesando, we crossed an overhead bridge to walk towards the Shibuya station. This shot was taken from the overhead bridge and I feel it reminds me of Singapore...

Take a break from all that walking.. Look at my tired face...

Tat-chan brought me to an interesting chair shop.. They sell designer shops that cost from few hundreds to up to a few ten thousands dollars per chair.. Some of them are actually Europe imports...
The bottom three pictures are some shops which I felt the design was special...

Walking on a little more, I was distracted by a song I often hear on TV by a band called Perfume... And I found a Truck with their picture, broadcasting their song.. I uploaded the MTV of the song that they were singing for the product.. YOu can see them eat the ice cream pino... Haha... I felt their voice are too 'dae'(dollish)...

We reached the train station and boarding the train, I found something interesting...

After a few stops, we reached Roppongi... We were one and half hour early for meeting Takeuchi-san... So we took a walk around the posh shops of the Roppongi Hills buildings... Where do these buildings remind you of?
Well, the stuff remindsme of Raffles City.. High class and posh... A box of cherry tomatoes for about $400 dollars?
Pet shop!!! And I caught a picture of a cat stretching from its nap!! So cute!!

The long waited dinner finally came and Takeuchi-san treated the both of us to Mexican Food!!!! Gracias!!!
There were NAchos and Tacos and kidney bean sauces and guacamoles, pina colada... MMMM..... hungry liao...
After dinner, we looked for a place to chill... One of our search led us to this underground pub that allows people to play air pistol... And I found this interesting sign... Haha...
But in the end, we settled for this cafe...

Pretty quiet and calm place.. They were playing Coach Carter on their projector screen....
Thanks to Takeuchi-san for the great night and dinner!!!
What's special here? Well, Tat-chan's family name is here... Ookubo=大久保

Tokyo Day 3 Part 1: Apple Pie and Trip to Shinjuku

After an entire night's effort, I finally made the Apple crumble pie!!!! This is the same recipe as the one I made at Akiko-san's place..
As you can see in this picture, there is actually two pies.. The one in front has the word 大久保Ookubo on it... The one behind says 竹内Takeuchi.. And I had another great breakfast from Ookubo-san's mum... Great frankfurt with omelette!!! I love Tamagoyaki!!!
After brunch, Tat-chan and I walked out to the bus stop outside his place to catch a bus.. His area's nearest station is called Koiwa.. So we will take a $3 bus out to the station... Which is like a 5 min ride?
And this is the bus in Tokyo... Its frequency is very low though... Pity...

After 5 min, we landed at the stop and walked towards Koiwa station... Look at all the shops in leading to the station!!!
The biggest expense would be transport... Since the Koiwa-eki 小岩駅 is on the 山の手線 Yamanote line, i think its slightly pricier, since it operates by the JR instead of the METRO... So basically, you put your money in, den press how many tickets you are buying and how much the destination costs.. And the ticket pops out!
Look at Tokyo's scary network,, This is like a simplified map.. The ocmplicated one is even worse.. On top of that, the number of interchange here is really alot... Scary much...

This is my ticket that would take me to 新宿.. This is like $5+?
Waiting for the train at 小岩....
And the train arrived! Not as nice as our local trains actually, but the seats are more comfy..
Some interesting girls I spotted... Look at her hair.. Cute hp accesory, striking polka dot bag, lacy skirt..
I'm a uniform fan and I love these japanese uniforms that they call 制服 sei fuku..

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Tokyo Day 2: Garden Party at 大久保様家族 (Ookubo's family)

After an entire night of hardwork on a cheesecake, which I have not baked for a super duper long time, Tada!!!! Here's the cheesecake!!!Unfortunately, the cheesecake cracked cuz I forgot to fill up the waterbath with more water.. Apparently their oven was so powerful that the water evaporated faster than i expected.. Apparently make up for cakes work as well as make up for humans.. Hospitality Cheesecake (Named because of the hospitality from the Ookubos)

15 marie biscuits, crushed (Supposed to Graham crackers, but marie cookies were the only ones i found at Ookubo's place)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoon of brown sugar

4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (Using Philadephia Cream Cheese makes the cheesecake rock!)
1 cups white sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Blueberry filling

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
2.In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan. (Bake for 10 mins)
3.In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in vanilla and flour until smooth. DO NOT OVER BEAT!!
4.Pour filling into prepared crust.
5.Put spoons of blueberry filling randomly into the pan, use a skewer or a fork to create a marble in the batter
6.Fill Baking tray with water after placing the cake pan in it
7.Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.

Make up for cracks
1. Whip sour cream or yogurt with some sugar and coat the cheesecake on the top and on the sides
2. Add more blueberry filling and marble the cake
3. Top the sides of the cake with toasted coconut flakes

I woke up to nice breakfast at the Ookubo's.. Bread from Paul! Well, not Paulie Waulie from Aerospace, but a famous bread shop that originated from France.. You can check out Paul La Paisson du pain website or wikipedia it! I'm such a wiki fan cuz they give the best summaries..

Exploration of the kitchen made me say hello to this really cute tomato.. Haha.. Look at how perfectly cute it is!! Cute tomato...

As the title suggest, we're having a garden party!!! And this is the Ookubo family's garden!! Tat-chan told me he has a really ugly garden.. He says its worst than a forest.. bla bla bla.. But does it look that bad to you? Well, apparently, to prepare for my coming, Okaasan spent some money to get someone here to tidy up the garden...

Here's the beautiful mum and cute dad who hosted me in Tokyo... Okaasan and Otousan.. :D

Mrs Councillor and Mr Lawyer.. Haha..

ANd here's Tat-chan's beautiful and slim sister, Nomi-chan and Obaachan!!!

Well, any idea who is this guy? His name is Kazu-san... He's a doctor, and he loves baking too!!! He complimented my cheesecake was really good!!! So happy!!! And oh... He is Nomi-chan's boyfriend... This party had two purpose... First is to welcome me and second was MEET THE PARENTS session for Kazu-san...
HEre's everyone in the party.. Obaachan not here.. She was tired.. So she went to sleep..Haha...
What did we have?? Alot of food!!!!! There's cheese and crackers and vegetables!! I was supposed to help with cutting these.. But i overslept.. Sorry to Okaasan and Nomi-chan..

We had top grade beef that Okaasan bought.. Tat-chan barbequed it and we ate it.. It tastes so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its really expensive... I know Jingwei won't eat this~~

You can see tempura in the background... That was fried with alot of hardwork by obaachan.. But she fried so much we could not finish most of it despite how good it tastes.. Haha...
And after that, we chatted in the living room on the second level... till almost midnight!!!! Tat-chan was offering tips on renovation since Kazu-san was interested in purchasing a house... Tat-chan sounded so professional.... Like an experienced architect... Though they spoke in Japanese, I could feel his professionalism.. Even Nomi-chan agreed with me.. HAha..
All right... Its late when I ended this day and when I end this entry.. So wait for the next Tokyo entry!!