Sunday, February 7, 2016

Travelogue: Japan- Kyoto (Day 6)

Kyoto is my favourite place in Kansai. I truly enjoy every moment there from cycling around the city to a stroll along the well preserved street at Gion. I guess the reason why I love here so much is the antiquity, harmony atmosphere and warm hospitality that we may not be getting in other places. Living in KL for a long time isn't a great thing, too much of modernity sometimes make me wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of this city. Another point that I observe the way they dress up themselves. Although there are a lot of fashionistas here, but rarely you would see they carry branded stuffs from western countries. They always have their own styles and sense of fashion. Of course I love Malaysia and I'm not really a pro-Jp, but I guess there are so much things that we could learn from them. 

Alright, back to Kyoto. Basically we visited few famous shrines here. The most exciting part is we cycled in the city! I would say it is kind of dangerous to do so since Kyoto is quite a big city with busy roads. I'm not sure what was in my mind that time but it was really fun to do so! We got lost in the city too but managed to find a way back, the most embarrassing part is we sometimes did not know where to PARK OUR BICYCLES. Lols! They have strict rules and regulation there whereby you only can stop your bicycle at designated areas. I remember we were so hungry and wanted to have lunch in 餃子の王将 (gyoza restaurant). We were forced to ask the waiter on where should we stop the bicycles, but he didn't have a clue about it. Then I saw a lot of bicycles near the subway station despite there was a sign showing a big cross to bicycles. Due to extreme hungriness and desperation, we stopped the bicycles there, ran to the restaurant for a big meal and quickly went back there hoping that the bicycles won't be disappeared in the next moment. So much fun to explore around by ourselves!

Alright, Photos time!

J-Cycle

Chosen a pink bicyle! So cute right! 


Shrines hopping!




Spot the Kyoto Tower!

One of my favourite spots in Kyoto! Kiyomizudera temple which is located in a mountain, the view is so magnificent.

The beautiful streets around the temple


 Another renowned temple in Kyoto- Kinkaku-Ji


I guess all these were the most significant sites that I have been, of course there are more photos in my album :) I would really recommend y'all to go to Japan, it's my most memorable trips of all. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hi 2015!

In a blink of eyes, which I literally mean it, 2014 has come to an end. 2014 was not a good year, at least for all Malaysians. Tragedies happened after tragedies here in Malaysia and around the world, plane went missing or crashed, flash flood, land slide, economic recession, ISIS, terrorism, wars, and many more. It was indeed heart-stricken when receiving these news. For the first time when I read all the news of the missing plane, tears rolled down from my eyes, especially when I read the letter from the pilot's daughter.  Yes, we may not be affected by it, we still continue our routines, chill out with our friends and enjoy our life. But for once if we slow down our pace and think, what if we are one of those who got affected? What would it be? I wish I can do something for them. Hence, for the very first time, I wish, I can turn the clock back to the old times, reversed all the bad things that have struck us. I also wish I can wave 2014 good bye as soon as possible to embrace the brand new good year, which I hope it would be one.

I guess 2014 was an average year for me. Everything was in an extremely fast pace in 2014. I held tight to my own principles, and not to go against my own wills, no matter it is regarding my studies, or to the people that I have encountered. Try not to be a hater, learn something good from everyone in order to improve myself. Treat people whole-heartedly and sincerely. Respect is to be earned if you want it. Have been seeing all kinds of dramas in the past few years. Things slowly get better recently. Still the same thought, the more you share, the more you learn. No point in reaching your goal by stepping on others with egocentricity, because at the end of the day things will prove you wrong when you feel the emptiness in yourself #if you know what this means. It's just like people always ask me why would you study medicine, after all you have had your first degree. Believe me or not, I wanted to do so with no other reasons, except that I want to do something meaningful for the rest of my life instead of chasing some monthly targets monetarily which I'm not pretty fond of doing so at this point of my life. It's definitely not something related to being a doctor is more successful than others, or to prove than I'm better. Since every occupation has its own strength and limitations, so ultimately interest is still the most important consideration. Yes, sometimes I may regret with my own choice by blaming my limited memory space and lacked of patience or discipline, but it's just a temporary self denial state. Lol. 

Anyway I got to travel to few places with my family and friends, and I truly hope that I can do that more often, to spend more quality time with my loved ones. Putting aside my over-think-negative-mind, I am blessed to be where I be today. Slowly, I checked off the boxes of my wish-list. This year, 2015, I wish more and more good news will come. Time to step out from my comfort zone to reach where I want to be in the future. 

So, 2015, please be good to me, and to everyone around me.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Travelogue: Japan- Nara (Day 5)

The next day we travelled to Nara from Kyoto by rapid train. We bought Nara one day pass, which included train fares and discounts on some tourism spots. It took approximately 40 minutes to reach Nara. Nara is my another favourite destination. Love the lush green sceneries with wild deers that can be seen everywhere. The relaxing ambiance and afternoon breeze made me miss this place so much! 


Nara one day pass
My companion throughout the journey
Selfie in the train :)
In Nara, most of the attractions are located surrounding Nara Park. Once you have alighted from the train, you could just walk to the park within minutes, and here you go, all the wild Sika Deers around you! Crackers for the deers (Shika senbei) were sold at the park; however, beware if you are going to feed them as they can be very agitated when they see food! The Sika Deers are believed to be the messengers of god in Shinto religion, so they can be seen roaming freely in Nara.
Another must-visit spot is Todaiji. It is a renowned landmark in Nara, as the world largest wooden building. It also houses a 15m bronze buddha. Interestingly, the support pillar in the temple is considered as "healing pillar". It is believed that if one successfully squeezes through it (which is mostly impossible, unless you're a small kid),  he/she is granted a place in heaven.

Another deer spotted at the vicinity of Todaiji
Todaiji
The interior of the temple
The pillar that I have mentioned earlier. Don't even try to go through it if you are an adult XD
The bronze buddha (*photography is allowed in this temple :))
Group photo before leaving
Lastly, the Sika deer maskot of Nara at the train station

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Travelogue: Japan- Kyoto (Arashiyama) (Day 4)

So I have holiday now and I plan to revive my long-dead blog. I have travelled to few more places this year, but let my complete my Japan posts first :D 

Alright, move on to Kyoto from Osaka, we stay in Khaosan Backpacker Hostel in Kyoto. Although the room is slightly small, but it is well equipped and really comfortable. I highly recommend this hostel for all. For the transportation vice, it would be convenient to travel around Kyoto by bus, unless you want to go to the outskirts, such as Arashiyama, then you may opt for train.

Our first destination in Kyoto is Arashiyama. Arashiyama is by far my most favourite tourism spot. It's definitely the most ideal place for a retreat :) The moment when we alight from the train, we are in a whole different world. We can feel the tranquil atmosphere that permeates the small town. Though it's summer, it's still a bliss to stroll along the riverbank while enjoying the breathtaking scenery. 
Have our lunch before more walking!
Soba with saba fish. In Japan, everything is so delicious. Even a random unnoticeable small shop would provide delicious foods with fresh ingredients. They are so so professional when it comes to foods! 
Such a surprise to see this maple tree with red leaves during hot summer!
The most iconic landmark- Togetsukyo Bridge
Bamboo grooves- one of the world heritage sites
Various amulets for sale at the shrine
The bamboo groove path is actually very long and it leads to various shrines. However I did not complete it due to time constraint plus I was bitten by hundreds of mosquitoes because it was summer! So my advice to all who visit the bamboo groove during summer is please wear long pants and bring along your mosquitoes repellent lol.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Travelogue: Japan- Osaka: Osaka Castle, Aquarium, Tenjin Matsuri (Day 3)

In the early morning, we paid a visit to Osaka Castle. Initially we planned to visit Himeji Castle which is a highly rated castle in Japan. Too bad it's under renovation, and it's quite a distance from Osaka, so we decided to drop it and visit Osaka Castle instead.
It's really a big let down, it was not up to my expectation. It's more like an exhibition hall/ museum for me, rather than a traditional castle. Hmmph!

The view from the top floor.
Some display explaining the wars encountered by the shogun in Osaka.
Nothing much to see at the castle though, but the surrounding is actually quite beautiful. We then moved on to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan by train, it's just a stone throw away. Before entering the kaiyukan, we had our lunch in the mall at the building adjacent to it. Curry rice! Not so bad, but a little sweet for me. 

Our most exciting moment! Kaiyukan! All time favourite :)
Look at the one day pass which included one-day free train rides in Osaka and kaiyukan entrance fee. So cute! How I wish we have these cards in Malaysia. Even our touch-and-go cards are so unattractive wth.
Let's see how their aquarium looks like...
Ready for the largest rodent in the world? Let's see...
 Penguin feeding time!

The scenery of Osaka Bay, looking from the inside of Kaiyukan
I really really love their aquarium.. it's the best one I ever visited so far! The management is soooo good, the building is magnificent, and the aquariums are actually huge that extended for several floors. I even saw divers cleaning the aquariums meticulously inside. So cool.

The visit didn't wrap up our day in Osaka. Our next destination of the day- Tenjin Matsuri! It is one of the three greatest festivals of Japan, is also the world's greatest boat festival. It is a summer festival held at the Tenman Shrine dedicated to Sugawara-no-Michizane (845-903), who is deified as Tenman Tenjin, the patron god of learning and art. The festival involves inviting the deity out of the shrine and parading him through the city, carrying out various exuberant festivities to entertain him, before taking him back to the shrine. Hence, it includes a land procession and a river procession with fireworks. We are so lucky to actually witness this event, which is actually not in our plan, but we got to know that when we reached Osaka.

My first time participating a matsuri! I always see this in Japanese anime, with lotsa stalls with foods, games etc. 

Our noob faces hahaha
 And some interesting games.. and look at the pretty Japanese ladies in yukata :)
Lastly, the processions. We did not manage to see the fireworks, since the place that we were standing was actually the best place to witness the processions, but not the fireworks. The fireworks were blocked by the buildings around, and the we couldn't get through the huge crowds.
The bridge- best place to witness the river procession.
 


Next post: Day 4: Kyoto- Arashiyama. By far my most favourite place for my Kansai trip :)