Bali Trip 2012 – Places

Posted November 9th, 2012 in Bali | No Comments »

We only stayed 4 nights in Bali, so we didn’t really go around places (besides we had 1 year old boy).  But I wanted to go to Ubud from before, so we headed there on the 3rd day.

We went to Goa Gajah – one of tourist attraction place in Bali.  It was soooo hot!!!  We didn’t stay there for long.

Many small shops inside selling souvenir stuff.  People were quite annoying as they kept coming to us trying to sell things, even  after we got inside our car…

We went to see Barong Dance in the morning of 4th day.  It’s one of traditional Balinese dancing.  1 hour show – I’m glad I could see this 🙂

There was fire dance in a restaurant we had dinner on the 2nd day.  It wasn’t Balinese dancing but it was very exciting!  I could feel the flame!

We only stayed around Seminyak, so next time I want to stay in a different place to explore more of Bali!! 🙂

Bali Trip 2012 – Indonesian Food

Posted November 8th, 2012 in Bali | 4 Comments »

We ate a lot while we were in Bali.  I love eating and Hiro loves eating too, so we were around the food almost all the time from the morning till the night… :p

It was actually my first time drinking coconut water.  I just never tried it.  But since I was in Indonesia I thought I’d try a sip.  …. I didn’t like it much 😛

Hiro seemed to like it.

In Ubud, we went to a famous duck restaurant Bebek Bengil (dirty duck).  The place was beautiful – very big place, and you can overlook rice terrace from your table.  There’re many ducks (probably they are for the restaurant….) around too.

I had lots of Nasi Goreng while in Bali, but I loved this restaurant the best.

Although it’s a restaurant specializing duck, I ordered crispy chicken :p

Food was so delicious!!  And I loved the view too.

This is at Kolega Warung in Seminyak.  The review was good, so we went there to try.
You can pick food you want for your plate from the counter.  My plate was around AUD$2

The food was great but this place didn’t have air-con…  Hiro was asleep but sweating.

We also went to Kudeta in Seminyak.  Actually we weren’t planning going there because I knew the price would be expensive.

It was expensive!!!!  But I have to admit, the food and location were wonderful.  We ordered soft-shell crab and papaya salad, crumbed snapper with Japanese coleslaw and wedges, and some pasta to share.  One bottle of Bintang beer costed around AUD$6 here!!!

Coconut & Palm Sugar Pancake at Made’s Warung in Seminyak.  As the name indicates, it was super sweet!!  The dough was chewy and nice 🙂

This Tempeh (fermented soy bean) chips are at Made’s Warung as well.  Very nice and crispy.

One night we went to Papaya – a Japanese supermarket near our villa to get some Japanese food to eat at villa.  They sell fresh bread, sashimi, sushi, fried stuff, bento boxes, onigiri, etc etc along with other foods, drinks and non-food items.

I think the prices were bit expensive considering we were in Bali, but still reasonable.  We bought few bento boxes, sushi, katsu and salads.

Bali Trip 2012

Posted November 7th, 2012 in Bali | No Comments »

Firstly…..   I really really enjoyed Bali!!  I love Bali and I’m sure I will be going back there again soon 🙂

Secondly….  It was soooooo hot and humid.  I should have known that the climate is same as the one in Jakarta, but I forgot how hot it gets in Indonesia.  I didn’t wear make-up at all.  There’s no point doing it as it will get washed off by sweats.

We flew with AirAsia.  It was first time to fly with AirAsia and we were little worried about delay etc, but everything went smooth.  Flight attendants were friendly and helpful.  We ordered meal online beforehand so we got 20%off.  We ordered assorted sandwiches and pancakes.  They’re reasonably fresh and tasted ok.

If you want to eat meal on the plane with AirAsia you should order online beforehand as it’s cheaper and sometimes you can’t get what you want due to limited stock. 🙂


We stayed at Jas Villa in Seminyak.  The place is not far from the beach, but didn’t go there.  Instead we swam in the pool inside our villa.  We swam a lot, and took shower/bath approximately 10 times a day to wash off the sweats!

The villa was so nice – it’s got 2 bedrooms and each room has bathrooms.  Living area/kitchen was comfy, and the swimming pool was great.  It’s very deep and I had to stand with my toes.

Villa serves breakfast daily and they bring to us.  We order a day before and ask them what time we want breakfast. Food was freshly cooked and still hot, with drinks and fruits.  All inclusive to the room fee.

Bathroom is half outside – shower area has no ceiling.   I loved taking shower there.

The air-con in our room wasn’t working properly so it was so hot…..  Luckily my dad’s room was ok, so we escaped there every night just to chill out….


Off to Bali!!

Posted October 31st, 2012 in Ume's Thought | 2 Comments »

Time flies….!!  I haven’t updated Umeboss blog much lately.  And now I’m off to Bali!

It’s our first Bali trip, and my dad is joining us from Osaka, so I’m very excited.  We are staying in a villa in Seminyak for 4 nights. We’ll be basically relaxing, getting massage and walking on the beach!  I can’t wait to try local foods and drinks 🙂  We also go to Tegalalang, Goa Gajah, (typical tourist attractions, aren’t they?) and do little shopping in Ubud!  I still haven’t decided whether we go to monkey forrest or not – bit scared, if monkeys try to kidnap Hiro? :p

Anyway we are flying tomorrow and I think I will go to bed soon.  Hope to update my Bali trip on Umeboss soon xxx

New to Bali

Posted August 29th, 2012 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

As I wrote about it before, I’m flying to Bali this year for the first time!   Although I’ve been to Jakarta several times I never got out of Denpasar airpot.

My dad has bought his ticket from Japan, and so did 2 of us here (+ Hiro).  Then I was looking for a place to stay.  My husband wanted to stay at a 2bedroom villa with private swimming pool which is also close to the beach.  Men, there are soooo many accommodation in Bali!!  My friends and sister-in-law recommended us to stay in Nusa Dua, but I went with husband’s friend’s recommendation – Seminyak area.  He travels to Bali often and is very familiar with this island.

Ok, so a 2bedroom villa with swimming pool and walking distance from the beach….  There are still quite many villas like that in Seminyak.  Another issue was the price.  There are quite expensive ones to fairly good priced ones. Of course I’d want to go with the cheap one but how about their reviews??   I was searching, searching….  and sent query to several villas.  Price-wise they are about the same, but I found one villa who gave me pretty cheap deal.

In my head I was kind of thinking to decide on the villa.  ….until I received their 2nd email.  On the first email they were very polite and sounded professional, but from the second email they started to use casual language “yeah”, and  smily faces “:)” !!!
I know they’re trying to be friendly, but I thought it wasn’t professional at all!   It was kinda annoying 🙁    They used “…..” at the end of each sentence (e.g. Ume…..   I’ll be waiting for you….) and I felt it was rather creepy.

Then my friend showed me couples of other villas, and I found even cheaper one with great reviews.  Close to beach, restaurants and shops.  I bought it straightaway.  Meanwhile I kept receiving emails from the “friendly” villa.

Aaaaa, now I can’t wait to lay on the beach like this photo 🙂  Staying at a villa close to restaurants and shops makes it easy for us as my dad loves coffee and always drink one or two several times a day!  I also can’t wait to visit Ubud where I hear there’re beautiful rice fields.  My dad wants to see Indonesian style rice fields.

photos from /

Thank You Everyone!

Posted August 15th, 2012 in Food, Jakarta | No Comments »

First, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who messaged me through this blog and email.  I feel much better and strong knowing that I’m not alone and there are people who read my blog from many countries.  It’s kinda amazing feeling.


I’m gonna write about an amazing food I had last night.  This is banana-cheese-pastry thingy (I don’t know the proper name!) that my sister-in-law brought from Indonesia.  It’s so yummmmmyyyy.  It’s from Bandung city (in Indonesia), she said.  It’s got a whole banana and cheese inside, kind of melty, and doughy throughout with crispy pastry on outside.  I don’t know how to explain the taste, but it’s somewhere between sweet and savoury.  Very interesting.

There are many food in the world that I haven’t met.  I do want to go to many countries and try these things out someday.

Oh, I’m actually going to Bali in November this year.  Believe it or not, it will be my first trip to Bali!  Even though I have an Indonesian husband, I’ve never been outside Denpasar airport.  Actually, my husband has also never been to Bali before!  Haha.  So it will be our first Bali experience.

Going to Bali is kind of the thing that I can look up to.  It had been a rough idea of me and my dad who is in Japan, but  now we are booking air tickets and accommodation in Bali.  My husband, Hiro, and I are meeting my dad in Bali who will fly from Japan by himself.  It will be great holiday for all of us.

What I want to do in Bali – I’m not pretty sure about it yet, as I have no idea what Bali is like, but I think we’ll get massage and eat lots of local food.  Near the beach, probably.  I can’t wait to take my dad to eat Indonesian food.  I’m sure he will love it!





Cuddly Animal Farm

Posted June 9th, 2012 in Perth WA | No Comments »

The other day I packed some snack and drinks to a bag and headed to Swan Valley. It felt like a short trip, although it’s just 30mins drive from my house. I took Roe Hwy to get there, and the road was awful – lots of trucks and bumpy road which was under construction – not a great path to take for a trip :p

The destination of the trip was Cuddly Animal Farm which is just off West Swan road, but we stopped at the chocolate factory as it’s on the way to the farm anyway.

At the chocolate factory there’re many people inside – queueing to get some free-tasting chocolate!  Everyone thinks the same… but I was surprised to see the queue being so long. They just stood there with a piece of tissue paper in their hands, waiting to grab a handful of free treat.  I did the same…

The Margaret Chocolate Factory now has a shop in Perth City as well. (info →

After the attraction we headed to the farm. The weather wasn’t great but luckily not raining.  We paid at the entrance, and went inside a shed filled with ducklings, rabbits, guinea pigs, and little baby pigs.  You can feed them (except bottle-fed animals such as pigs) and the food (cabbage and bread) was free to take as many times as you want.  I grabbed a bucket of cabbage and bread, and went inside a cage of rabbits. But I had to get out the cage soon because Hiro was very scared of them :-(. He gets excited to see animals and seems to like them, but he is afraid of them when they get closer.

We walked around the farm. Saw a pony, donkeys, alpaca, horses, sheep, lambs, ducks, etc etc.  After awhile Hiro began to be ok with them being close to him, and started to touch donkeys and rabbits. And he loved feeding rabbits – kept giving leaves of cabbage.  It was nice to see him doing it. I felt it was very much worth to come here.  He looked like a brave boy!

The farm opens 7 days a week, except Christmas Day & Boxing Day.  They do travel-farm service as well, and I’m thinking about it for his 2nd birthday party.  There is a farm B&B next door (owned by the same owner, I think) and if you stay there you get unlimited access to the farm.

Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm
128 John St, Henley Brook WA
0424 209 730

3 Months in Japan

Posted October 5th, 2011 in Japan | No Comments »

Many of my friends have left Perth for a 2-week-holiday as school holiday has started. Some of them will not go back to Japan because they still worry about radiation.   Yet they all say “I envy you…” when I told them that I will be watching New Year’s tv show in Japan while snuggled in kotatsu and eating mandarin (mikan).  Kotatsu, mikan, cat and snow… it is a typical scene of Japan’s winter.

Friends ask me how long we will be away, and I answer “3 months. But D only stay for 2 months”  Then they all say “ONLY 2 months?”   … To think about it, 2 months is a pretty long period.  D will be able to speak Japanese maybe!  Then I realize, Hiro and I will be there for 3 months and 3 months is even longer than 2 months.  What are we going to do in Japan for 3 months?!

We do shopping, yes, and going out to eat, yes.  But we can’t do that everyday for 3 months.  3 months is long.  Hiro will look different after we come back here. What will we do?

… Well, it will snow from around Christmas in my hometown, so we will probably stay at home most of the time.  Daytime is short in winter in Japan, as the sun rises around 7am and sets around 4~5pm.  I can imagine myself being in kotatsu most of the time 😀  We will play with snow, go grocery shopping at nearby shops, watch DVD, and eat a lot of food everyday.  I go catch up with friends, let my grandparents play with Hiro, and take lots of photos.

I think this will do.  3 months may be not too long after all…  I hope D and I don’t forget English!


Getting Away to JK

Posted August 23rd, 2011 in Jakarta, Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

It’s almost the end of August!  These days I can’t tell what date it is everyday :p
About 1 month to go before our trip to Jakarta. Hmmm, to think about it, it will be about 1.5 years since my last holiday outside Australia. I haven’t left Perth since I found out I was pregnant, and I didn’t want to go back to Japan while Hiro was small because I was worried that he might get sick and also about radiation in Japan.
1.5 yeas is not really a long time, but I really feel like I need to go somewhere for a change. I’m glad that I decided to fly to Jakarta this time.

I’m the type of person who sometimes wait and wait what I want to do…. until it explodes. For example, I don’t normally shop for cloths or bags, but one day it explodes and I buy many things. So, I don’t buy any cloths, bags, or shoes in Perth – just wait until I go back to Japan. In Japan, I shop like I’d never shopped before… Everyday is shopping day. I’m afraid this Jakarta trip will be the same. I hope I don’t buy too many crap over there.

One thing I’m looking for is getting massage.  Another is FOOD.  I love Indonesian food….  Probably not everyday, but I definitely enjoy eating it once in a while.  I also love the convenience of things and variety of food they have over there, as well as the price.  I miss the chewy shaomai with peanut sauce!

It’s been since my weeding in 2009 to go to Jakarta.  It’s about time to miss those delicious food.

Since we will be there for only 1 week, I think we will be just eating and getting massage most of the time.  I hope Hiro will be ok there.  Although it’s D’s hometown, I’m still not 100% comfortable being there.  Bit scary about people and also hygiene.

I will plan what to buy and to do in Jakarta which I can’t do or buy in Japan – and, I want to buy some souvenir to my family too 🙂  They’ve never been to Indonesia.

We got our tickets!

Posted June 15th, 2011 in Japan | 4 Comments »

We got out tickets… finally.

First, we were thinking to fly with Malaysian Air as I found a very good price at H.I.S. Travel.  It was $210~ + tax ($780) return!  Less than $1000 from Perth to Osaka is very very cheap.  Besides, Nov ~ Jan is high season.  I called them up to ask the details such as transit hours.  The flight time is good too – leave Perth afternoon, and arrive Osaka in the morning.  Transit hour was just 1~3 hours, so it’s good too.  But, the thing is that the ticket was open for only 35 days, which means we have to come back to Perth within 35 days.  I wanted to stay in Japan longer, so I didn’t take it.

Next, I again found a good deal at H.I.S Travel.  It’s JAL (Japan AirLine) flight, and is $235~ + tax ($804) return.  It’s just above $1000 so it’s not bad at all.  And, it’s JAL so I thought it flies direct to Osaka.  I called them up to check what the deal is.  Then, I found out that it wasn’t a direct flight – there’re actually 2 transits and we need to catch 4 planes…  Fly domestic from Perth to Sydney, then move to international terminal, fly from Sydney to Narita, then take domestic flight from Narita to Osaka.  Hmmm, even though Australia and Japan are familiar places for us and we won’t worry about what to do at the airport, but again, we have Hiro and I don’t think transiting 2 times is going to be a comfortable flight. So, I didn’t take it either.

And, as I said on earlier post, my sister-in-law offered her mileage at Garuda to us.  Why she doesn’t use the mileage is because she can’t use it for the flight from/to Australia (for some reason).  So, we can’t use the mileage for the flight from/to Australia either.  We could buy 2 tickets separately – a flight from Perth to Bali, and from Bali to Osaka, using the mileage on the flight between Bali and Osaka.  But, there’re some concerns…  Firstly, we don’t trust Garuda because it delays often.  Secondly, we didn’t really like Bali airport from our terrible experience (post), and I thought there’s no space to relax with Hiro.  Toilet was dirty too…  Thirdly, we will have to fly with Garuda between Perth and Bali too, otherwise our luggages won’t directly go to Osaka/Perth.  I checked Garuda flight details between Perth and Bali, and found out that the connection to the flight to and from Osaka is really bad.  We could pay and use the lounge at the airport, but we’re not sure if it’s really a good plan.  Sister-in-law asked us to fly from Perth to Jakarta, then stay at either airport hotel or her house, and on the next day we fly from Jakarta to Bali, then Bali to Osaka.  I didn’t like it because there’re so many flights, and we will need to buy 3 tickets!  And, I wasn’t 100% comfortable with using her mileage too. So, although it was a very generous offer, we didn’t take it.

Then, we thought why not buy that Malaysian Air cheap 35days open ticket from H.I.S for D (as he can only stay in Japan for 1 month anyway), and buy a standard fare tickets for me and Hiro. The standard ticket wasn’t so expensive considering it’s high season.  We called up H.I.S to reserve our seats first. Then we were really going to go with it.  But, D wasn’t actually 100% happy with the flight schedule… The cheap ticket only applies for the flight departing Perth before Nov 23 (or around there), which means D will have to head back here before his birthday (as this ticket is only open for 35 days). And, he will also miss spending Hiro’s first Christmas and New Year’s Day together.  Hmm… now what?

Then, D found that Cathay is not that expensive either. He checked the fare on the dates he wanted to fly, and it turned out that total for three of us is actually about same as the one with Malaysian Air. Most of all, with Cathay he gets to stay his birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s Day in Japan with us 🙂 . The flight time and transit are good too, arriving Osaka in early afternoon. Flight between Perth and HK is around 7.5 hours, and between HK and KIX is around 4 hours.  So, in the end, we decided to fly with Cathay and reserved our seats. 🙂

Now, thinking that we will be in Japan in 4 months, my head is busy planning our homecoming trip!

It’s winter, so seafood is its season!

And, I’m definitely eating one of my favorite food – Japanese omu-rice with demi glace sauce!

And, we will probably take break a lot at Misdo, McDonald’s, Mos Burger, and other fast food chains between shopping….  Can’t wait!

Japan Trip

Posted June 12th, 2011 in Japan | 4 Comments »

Hmmm… my head has been so busy thinking about the flight to Japan.  I was originally thinking to fly with Hiro and D, three of us all together and come back to Perth all together, but now I’m kind of thinking to stay in Japan little longer with Hiro.  D has to come back to Perth after 4 weeks or so due to his work.  D and I always flew together all the time when we went to Japan, or anywhere, but I think just 1 month is bit too short for me this time.  Besides, I’m not working now so I can basically go anywhere outside Australia for as much as I want!

The biggest concern is, this time we have Hiro.  I have no idea how it’s going to be…  If he stays quiet or sleeps on the plane all through the flight, it’d be great.  But, what if he keeps crying…?! 🙁  And, if I stay in Japan longer, I have to fly with Hiro by myself on the way back…!  ….. I already feel tired by just thinking about it.

It might be much easier if there’re direct flights from Perth to Osaka, but there is not, so we have to transit somewhere:  we fly to another state in Australia and fly directly to Osaka, fly from Perth and transit at another country, or fly from Perth and transit at Narita then take shinkansen (bullet train) to my hometown.  Thinking about a transit with Hiro is already a big headache to me, but I have to think which method is the easiest for us.  Oh, and, the cost also matters.

Then, D’s sister offered us to use her mileage at Garuda.  I wouldn’t think about flying with Garuda with Hiro because of our terrible experience (post), but she told us to fly with business class.  We still have to pay the difference, but after getting the quotation from her travel agent it’s actually cheaper than paying economy flights.  I’ve never flew with business class before!

We are still thinking about it though…

There’re more concerns and things I keep thinking about, like, what if Hiro gets sick in Japan, etc etc…   but who knows?  Maybe nothing bad will happen and everything may go smoothly. 🙂  Now I will just think about good stuff, like , what we do in Japan,  what to buy in Japan, what to eat in Japan, etc etc!   The damage from the earthquake (post & post) is not fully recovered yet, but I hear things are getting well, so I hope I can enjoy delicious seafoods there too.


What to Eat in Japan, and Where?

Posted April 29th, 2011 in Japan | 6 Comments »

When planning a trip to Japan, you might wonder where the best tourist destination is.  It totally depends on what you want to do there, and when you are going.  But, anywhere you go, one of the highlight of the trip will be experiencing delicious Japanese food.  Here  is a list of places and foods Japanese people enjoy when they travel within their own country.

Hokkaido Island

As the biggest prefecture in Japan and having many farms across the island, Hokkaido has many speciality food that are locally produced.  Dairy products, lamb meat, potatoes, corns, and seafoods…  There are so many choices of food to explore in Hokkaido, but Ramen Noodles (Miso Ramen in Sapporo, Shio Ramen in Hakodate, and Sho-yu Ramen in Asahikawa), Jingisukan (grilled mutton dish prepared on a convex metal skillet), crabs (Zuwai, Taraba, Ke-gani), Jaga-Butter (baked potato with melted butter), Soup Curry (Japanese curry with soupy consistency and lots of Hokkaido vegetables), Kaisen Donburi (sashimi donburi), Nama Caramel (raw caramel) are the must to try.  And, there’re well-known brand beer breweries such as Sapporo Beer and Asahi Beer (both originated in Hokkaido).  Even if you don’t drink beer, I recommend to visit beer gardens – they serve lots of local foods and they are cheap.  Although it’s not a Hokkaido beer, I’ve been to a beer garden inside the Kirin Beer brewery and I enjoyed all-you-can eat for almost all the foods I listed above.  Unlimited crabs and meat…. and of course freshly brewed beer.

Main Island

As a main island there are 34 prefectures and each prefecture has its own speciality food.  For example, Ise Ebi in Mie prefecture, Kobe beef in Hyogo prefecture, pickles in Nara prefecture, and Hiroshima-yaki in Hiroshima prefecture.  But, I think Kyoto, Osaka and Aichi prefectures have the most unique foods to enjoy.

Nagoya in Aichi prefecture is famous for Tenmusu (rice ball with tempura), Kishimen (flat udon noodle), Tebasaki (deep-fried chicken wings immersed in sweet sticky sauce), Miso Katsu (pork katsu with sweet red miso sauce), and An-kake Spaghetti (spaghetti with starchy tomato sauce.  The foods there are very well-seasoned, and thick taste.

On the other hand, Kyoto offers very traditional, thin taste foods.  The finest dining experience is kaiseki, a set meal where every course has been planned out to compliment and balance the others. Tofu foods are also famous in Kyoto, and is one of my favourite Kyoto food.  There’re some Japanese style restaurants offering a set menu of tofu foods, and that’s one of the food I recommend if you want to experience Japan!  And, don’t forget the sweets. You’ll probably find many cafes almost everywhere in Kyoto, offering some traditional Japanese sweets (wagashi).  Matcha green tea sweets are the most popular among all ages.

Osaka’s speciality foods are, needless to say, Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki. Some people say that you’ll find takoyaki shop every 3 minutes in Shinsaibashi and Nanba, the centre cities of Osaka.  They are more like take-away food, but there’re many eat-in takoyaki/okonomiyaki restaurants as well in Osaka offering a wide selection of menu items to choose from.  A takoyaki restaurant I’ve been to had more than 30 takoyaki menus.  Fugu and Kushi are also nice food to try.  Kushi is a skewered and deep-fried food, and the experience of deep-frying and eating the various foods at your table in a Kushi restaurant may be fun.

Shikoku Island

Shikoku, meaning “four countries”, has some famous speciality foods too.  Sanuki Udon in Kagawa prefecture, Katsuo-no-Tataki (seared raw bonito eaten with special tangy sauce along with garlic slices and condiments) in Tosa prefecture, and Mikan Orange in Ehime prefecture.

Kyushu Island

Kyushu island has unique food items thanks to Nagasaki port.  This port in Nagasaki prefecture was the first port where a foreign ship arrived in Japan in 1550, and the only port where trade with foreign countries was permitted during Japan’s period of isolation.  Nagasaki prefecture is famous for Chanpon (noodle dish with white soup, thick egg noodle, and lots of seafood/pork/vegetables) and Kasutera (Japanese sweet sponge cake).  I must say Chanpon is one of my favourite food in Japan.  Kyushu is also known for a wide range of Sho-chu.  Especially, Kagoshima prefecture is famous for Potato Sho-chu.  The sho-chu is very strong alcohol, and people in Kyushu are thought to be strong drinkers.

Okinawa Island

As an island located in the South, this prefecture has tropical climate and very unique culture.  You can read about this place here, but the famous Okinawan food are  Go-ya chanpuru, Rafuti, Mimigaa and Saataa andagi. (non of them sound like Japanese, are they?)  Awamori (alcohol made from rice) is also famous Okinawan item.

Planning a Homecoming Trip

Posted December 21st, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »


Planning a trip is always a fun thing to me – especially when the destination is my home country!  Imagining what I could do there makes me daydream 🙂

Well, I should be thinking about the birth plan or something related to my baby (I do though) but part of my head is already planning what to do in Japan next year.  As the trip will be a whole new experience to me (first time with a Jr) I know what I can do there is limited.  But, it’s just a plan, and planning is always a good thing to prepare for the trip.


This time, I’m thinking to go driving around Biwa Lake in Shiga.  I always drive Kei-truck (you can read about it here, or my Japan Trip posts here) when I go back, but there are only two seats in the car and three of us (me, D and Jr) won’t be able to fit there.  It’s also very uncomfortable to drive for long distance.  So, I’m planning to hire a car for few days and go driving around the Biwa Lake side road.  

My grand-parents’ house is 50 km away from my house and D and I normally take a train to visit them, but the road between our houses has such beautiful views.  I love driving to their house because I could stop at convenience stores or shopping malls to get a cold drink and snack on the way, and get off the car and walk around the lake shore if I want to.  

Having your own car is very essential in Shiga (same as Perth).  If you go shopping you will need a car to put all the stuff you bought.  We are going to buy many things in Japan for sure, so renting a car is one “must” thing to do.

I don’t think we will be traveling around much this time.  Just within Shiga, I think.  We can do so many things already just in Shiga and I don’t want to take a tiring train trip to other prefectures with Jr.  (Of course I can’t drive there, driving to Kyoto and Osaka is much more stressful than taking a train!)  It’s ok.  D hasn’t explored entire Shiga yet.  There are so many things he has missed out on his last visits!  

If we go there in summer we can enjoy fireworks and summer festivals wearing yukata.  If in autumn we can enjoy the scenery and delicious food.  If in winter we can play with snow!  Still thinking when is the best…


Cheap Flight

Posted October 28th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

I’m subscribed to many airline newsletters and sometimes receive very cheap flight deals.  It’s very exciting when you find a very cheap airfare and start to plan your holiday!

My friend recently booked a return flight from Perth to Haneda, Tokyo.  Haneda Airport has been the main domestic airport for Tokyo, however, it completed a new runway and international terminal building in October 2010 and started handling an increased number of international flights. (an interesting blog about Haneda’s New International Terminal →

A flight from Eastern states to Japan is much cheaper than from Perth to Japan.  And, as my house is in Western side of Japan (near Kyoto), the closest airport is Kansai (KIX) or Centrair (NGO) but there is no direct flight from Perth to neither KIX nor NGO.  So, I need to transit somewhere on the way.

Perth → Another City in Australia → Osaka

Perth → Another Country → Osaka

Perth → Tokyo → Osaka

The cheapest option is great, but I also don’t want to transit many times, especially with a bub.  I don’t know if it’s better to fly to Tokyo first then take a Shinkansen (a bullet train) to my house. (transit in Japan)  Actually, Shinkansen stops at the train station near my house (just 10 minutes by car) so my family doesn’t need to drive for 2 hours to KIX (even though they enjoy the drive) to pick us up.  I feel safer transiting in my own country too.  However, I don’t want to imagine the crowd in Tokyo and the travel from airport to Tokyo JR station to catch a Shinkansen…

Hmmm, I will need to search more to find out which way is the easiest and the cheap option for us to travel.  


What is Booming in Japan Now?

Posted October 26th, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

It’s almost the end of October…  If you don’t carefully watch the calender every day, you’ll be surprised how fast the time flies.  

October –  November is middle of Autumn in Japan.  What comes to your head when you hear the words “Autumn” and “Japan”?   Beautiful trees dressed in red, orange and yellow leaves?  Cold air that you feel on your cheeks? In my case, it is food that comes first to my head.

There are so many Autumn food in Japan to list, but the king of Autumn food would be this: Matsutake mushroom.  Matsutake mushroom are harvested between the end of September and the end of October, and they are quite pricy.  (especially the ones harvested within Japan)

The Matsutake harvested within Japan costs around 5000 yen each.  Others (those imported from China or Korea) costs around 1000 yen each. Why are they so expensive compared with other mushrooms?  It’s because they are difficult to be cultivated by human hands.  How Matsutake grows (how they get the nutrition) is different from other mushrooms.

Autumns is called “eating season” in Japan.  You will see many fliers and advertisements of foods at train stations, streets, on tv etc.  People head to grape, nashi pear, chestnut and sweet potato farms to get all-you-can eat harvesting experience (customer pays around $2000 per head and harvest the fruits from the farm as much as you can, and eat them at the farm), and travel around Japan to enjoy the remote area’s speciality food.  Short trip and day trip are the boom around this season. The purpose of the trip is, of course, to eat delicious food at ryokan (Japanese style hotel) or restaurants.

The most popular food people seek is a course menu of Matsutake mushroom.

Grilled, row (as sashimi), deep-fried (tempura), steamed (with rice as Matsutake rice), and poached (in chawan-muchi) are the common dishes in a course menu.  My dad emailed me the other day saying that he went to Shigaraki (a town in Shiga, famous for Shigaraki Ware) to eat all-you-can-eat Matsutake food!!  All-you-can-eat….  I’m sure I can eat at least 50 Matsutake!  (I’ve never eaten Matsutake before, I think) Dad said the place does the all-you-can-eat Matsutake each year around this time.  It’s another reason to go back to Japan next Autumn!  😀

Hikone Castle Road

Posted September 22nd, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

These are the photos I took while I was in Japan.  (I think it’s last year)

This city is Hikone, just next to my city in Shiga.  There are many historical buildings remain across Japan and you will find many temples and other buildings everywhere.  Hikone is one of the city which tries to remain the historical parts.

There is a road called “castle road” near the Hikone Castle, and all the buildings, including police station, and lights around the road are designed “old-looking”.  White wall and black roof.  Very famous tourist attraction place.

There are many shops including restaurants (where you can enjoy Ohmi wagu beef and other Shiga food), souvenir shops, cafes, and art shops on the Castle Road.  I heard that there is a new shop opened just recently – called “Mask Elementary School”.

What interests me is that the second floor of this shop is a cafe where they serve kyushoku-like food.  (I wrote about kyushoku here)  I love this type of places (>v<)!




The bread (above photo) is age-kinako-pan.  It’s a deep-fried bun, coated with kinako (sweet soy powder).  I know how high calorie it is, but It was my favorite kyushoku item. 🙂  They seem to have different coatings (including maccha and cocoa), and there are menu for age-kinako-pan parfait for 350 yen.  I will definitely try this place out on my next homecoming!

Sushi Plane

Posted June 25th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

I heard on the radio today that Telstra is doing a competition, called “Sushi Plane”, to win a trip to Tokyo!

I know I shouldn’t enter to the competition, (as I’m Japanese and can go to Japan anytime…) but everything about Japan interests me!  So, I just visited the website and browsed what the sushi plane is about.

It seems that the winners of the competition fly from Sydney to Tokyo on 10 August 2010, and they have to compete each other to become a sushi plane champion…  by going through a series of funny games :p  All the details are kept mysterious until you win a seat on the plane!

There are two judging steps, and I really don’t think I will go through the telephone interview and all that, but I did try making myself into cartoon character on their website: MANGA-ME.  You just need to drag your photo to the app…

This cartoon is too cute to be me!  Anyway, I like this cartoon UME in pink kimono :p

Anyone who is interested in travelling to the busiest, craziest city in the world should apply!

(By they way, Tokyo really is the busiest city in the world ↓↓

Where to Go This Winter

Posted June 24th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

As winter comes, things make me miss down south.  I don’t know what the “things” are: maybe the cold air that makes me cuddle in a warm blanket,  the sound of the rain that erases all the noise outside…  All of them recall my memory of staying down south.

Winter makes me feel warm inside, in spite of the cold weather.  That’s the reason why I like winter.

I think many people prefer summer to winter, especially the people who live near the beautiful beaches, like Perth.  I’m sure some people are longing for the arrival of next spring/summer already.  I get to see many cheap deals at hotels and some travel packages around this time, eg Rottnest Island.  I understand why, as Rottnest Island is surrounded by beautiful ocean and there is pretty much nothing to do except for swimming and cycling.  But, I don’t mind going there in a cold day and watch the quiet beaches.

I actually went there couples of years ago with my husband and stayed for a night.  It was beautiful.  Although we had not much things to do, we enjoyed the slow time there.

I also like South.  I haven’t travelled much since I came to Perth and I’ve only been to Bunbury, Busselton, Pemberton and Margaret River, all of them were really beautiful towns.  As there’s nothing much to do and plenty of time, I could totally relax and day-dreamed about things – I couldn’t do such things while leading a busy days in Perth.  It’s really amazing that you could experience the different pace of time in just few hours drive!

It was about two years ago that we went to Pemberton.  We stayed in a farm lodge, and there’re horses, kangaroos, sheep, dogs etc wondering around right in front of our lodge. 😀

It started raining when we arrived the lodge, and it was very cold.  But, I couldn’t help going walking around the area.  Walking through the mountains, stepping on the leaves on the ground, avoiding huge tree roots…  there was no “road” or “path” that was created by human.  It was such a beautiful walk.

aaaaa, it makes me want to go there again (><)

Yamashiro Onsen Trip 2

Posted March 20th, 2010 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food -, Japan | 2 Comments »

Dinner was crab full-course (>v<).

Started with beer, we had crab sashimi, crab steamed board, crab chawan-mushi, frame-grilled crab, crab sushi, crab tempura, crab salad, crab soup, and crab flavored rice with crab meat.  You gotta be crab-lover to eat this dinner…

Crab season is winter, and the areas near Japan Sea, like Ishikawa prefecture, is famous for crabbing.  My family used to come to Fukui prefecture (next to Ishikawa) every winter to enjoy crab when I was a kid.

The food was delish!  We were so full and couldn’t move our bodies after eating these crabs…

In the morning, we were woken up with these breakfast.

A typical Japanese breakfast – rice, miso soup, some condiments and grilled fish…

We grilled our fish on charcoals..  There was squid sashimi, some cooked vegetables with dashi broth, pickles and Onsen Tamago.  Onsen Tamago is half-cooked egg by been immersed in natural, hot Onsen water.  It’s eaten with soy sauce and mirin based sauce.  Those 6 condiments are mentaiko, nori (seaweed paste), grilled salmon flakes, chirimen-jako (seasoned tiny fishes), walnut miso, and seasoned dry shellfish meat.

My dad and I finished the meal with Onsen coffee (brewed with Onsen water).

You can imagine how full we were!  So many seafood in 2 days….  I wonder how come Australian people don’t eat seafood as much as we (Japanese) do, we both live in island county.

Yamashiro Onsen Trip 1

Posted March 19th, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

My parents, brother and I went to Yamashiro Onsen in Ishikawa prefecture as 18th was my mum’s birthday, and my dad is turning to 60 (kanreki) on 27th.  We stayed there one night.

This area, Kaga, is very historical place and also famous for its natural onsen.  My family stayed in a room with private onsen. 🙂

Ryokan means traditional Japanese style inn/hotel.  The room is usually tatami-matted, and guests were expected to sleep on futon on the floor.

It was also a cold day and little raining.  We arrived this Ryokan around 2pm, and just relaxed until 6 pm – dinner time.  There’re also few more spas (onsen) inside of the Ryokan (non private) , so I went out of the room to enjoy bigger Roten-buro (outdoor onsen) at the ground floor.  Although those spas are not private, there’s no one there. 🙂  I was alone and enjoying 4 different Roten-buro by myself. ♪

The dinner and breakfast was gorgeous!!!!  I will post about the food later 🙂

This are is just 2 hours drive away from my house. The onsen (natural water) was so good, and I could feel my skin was so smooth after taking bath.  Everyone changed to Yukata (light cotton kimono) and played card game until dinner…

My Friends are Everywhere..

Posted March 5th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

As I’m from Osaka College of Foreign Language, my friends from the school are all interested in other countries and traveling the world.  I was taking Studying Abroad Course (major in Animal Science) and most of my classmates flew to America to go to universities after graduation.  I, on the other hand, chose to come to Australia instead of America.  Major reason for this was that I thought Australia was surrounded by big nature and wild animals. 🙂  (which is true)

I was browsing the college website the other day and I noticed there’re photos of my classmates on the site.  It recalled the memory of my last home-coming trip – I had a small gathering with my classmates in Osaka and could catch up with them.  After that, they seem to be doing fine and some of them are again going overseas for further career 🙂

One friend, who is also from Shiga prefecture, went to America to study animal behavior at an university.  Since then she got a job at one of her work-experience place and now she is working as a dog trainer in America 🙂  It had been her dream to be a dog trainer and she seems to be so happy.

Another friend, Haru, she studied preschool education in New York and moved to Hawaii after graduating an university to work as a kindergarden assistant teacher.  Then she went back to Japan, worked in a International kindergarden for awhile, and now she is flying back to America, Portland to work as an assistant teacher for one year.  She is so determined 🙂

Another one, who also chose to come to Perth, Western Australia with me after graduating the Osaka college, worked in Japan for few years after graduating from school in Perth.  Few days ago she flew to Ireland!

I’m not planning to go overseas and work at this point.  I will probably stay in Perth and just lead my life here 🙂  But in future, maybe when I’m much older, I would like to go to other countries and do some voluntary work.  It is one of my dream! 🙂

Banana & Walnut Cake

Posted March 1st, 2010 in Bagelier Bagel, Japan | No Comments »

As last week has been super busy for me, I am so happy to have this long weekend 🙂  Less than 2 weeks to go, I’ve been meeting my friends to say “bye” before my trip to Japan.  … yes it’s just a 2 weeks trip and this may sound like I’m over reacting ( :p ), but that’s what we usually do 🙂

I’m not a phone person and I don’t really like talking on the phone, even to my family.  I don’t know what to talk about!  My family is all the same, when I occasionally call them, they are like “so… how are you?” “I see… we are fine here” and no more conversation.  So I (we) prefer just e-mailing.  While in Japan if I wanted to say something I just emailed people.  We can email from mobile to mobile in Japan and it is super cheap to use (we kind of have sms but never used it before – expensive and sucks..) and you could send photos, voice message, image character etc etc on the e-mail since long time ago.  So, if I find something funny, even a tiny thing, I took a photo and sent to my mum “hey I found this” ” how about oyako-donburi tonight?”  My mum is like my best friend. 🙂  .. she looks young too.  So, flying back to Japan and seeing their face & hearing their voice is something I need to do.  I try going back at least once a year.

Anyway, the orders for Bagelia last week has been different…  Someone asked me if I could make cheese cake with fruits, and another asked me if I could wrap banana cake individually.  I normally wrap a whole banana cake in a plastic film, but she said that her kid wanted to bring the cake to the school and give to the classmate.

I, of course, said “yes” and I individually wrapped the cake with ribbon and small tags (so that classmates know what it is).  They turned out to be cute. 🙂   She ordered 48 pieces of banana cakes, plus other cakes and bagels.  I hope the classmates liked it…

I am going back to Japan

Posted February 20th, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

Just for 2 weeks, I will be in Japan next month.  This trip was planned just recently and I am sorry for such short notice to Bagelier customers.

One of the purpose on this trip is staying with my family on my dad’s special birthday – he is turing 60, and we are planning a small family trip to onsen (hot spring) to celebrate his kanreki.   In Japan, turning 60 is a major big deal.   It’s when your life has come full circle, when the clock resets and you start a new cycle of life. Interestingly it’s usually only a major celebration for males—I guess women don’t want to celebrate turning 60, not so much.

And actually my mum’s birthday is also on March, so we are celebrating both of them on the onsen trip 🙂  By the way she is turing 51!  Yap, 9 years age gap.

It’s just a short holiday, but I’m so excited about this trip.  I think I won’t be able to go back to Japan for a long time after this trip, so I will try to enjoy Japan as much as I can.  🙂

I hope I can see sakura and ume over there.

To Bagelier customers:

I will be away from March 10, 2010 to March 30, 2010.  I am sorry for the inconvenience.  Please place orders by 8th of March 🙂

Bagel and El Salvador

Posted February 3rd, 2010 in Bagelier Bagel, Ume's Interests | No Comments »


Happy anniversary~~!  

It’s been almost a year since Bagelier officially started.  I want to take this opportunity to say thanks to my customers and friends who have been supporting me for this small business 🙂

Oh, and, I would like to state here again that our bagel dough needs to be rested for more than 10 hours, slowly in the low temperature environment.  Therefore, all orders need to be placed at least 2 days prior to the required delivery date.  I know it’s not really convenient 🙁 but that’s how we develop the natural sweetness and flavor in the dough.  Sorry for the inconvenience…  I really appreciate your understanding!  🙂

Different subject, 

I received an email from my friend who is in El Salvador.  She flew there on Christmas day, and was so looking forward to meet her in-laws for the first time… but, it seems that she is not really enjoying this long holiday.

She is so angry that everyone over there doesn’t throw away rubbish in the bin even though there is a bin.  There’s garbage everywhere even in the bus.   Besides people don’t even care.

She was saying that “what goes around comes around”.  In Japan we say “if you spit towards the sky, the spit will drop on your face.”  People should take care of their own country.  


She had to compare El Salvador to Japan, and was giving me an example of Lotte Gum.  Each gum is wrapped in a paper with “Please dispose of your litter thoughtfully” message.  It is a kind of etiquette and also education to people.  This is just an very small example, but she realized that these small things have built the present Japan …  

The reason why this holiday hasn’t been great for her is not only the garbage issue, she has been a victim of pickpocket!  :p  It seems that it’s not unusual to have a pickpocket in this country, and police doesn’t even bother looking for her wallet…  Lucky she still has her passport and return ticket to Perth!  I hope she arrive here safely…  


The Markets

Posted January 22nd, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

I was contacting The Perth Markets to inquire about holding a stall.  Then, I received this email … ↓↓↓

Unfortunately it has come to pass that the Perth City Markets can not meet the City of Perth health requirements and therefore will no longer sell food on site.

Ummm that’s a shame 🙁

I wasn’t trying to make a huge profit by baking bagels and sweets, but I just wanted to try out something new by myself.  If that’s the condition in Perth, it’s fine 🙂  although I’m still going to continue what I do.  

By the way,

My friend flew to South America few weeks ago, and is staying there for about 2 months.  She likes traveling and has been to many countries, but she is experiencing a huge home-sick this time :p   I hope she is ok…

Since I was a kid I always wanted to go travel around the world, but as I mentioned before, I have been to only 4 countries in my life including Japan and Australia. :p  I think it’s easy to go traveling around while you are young: have time and money to spend for yourself.  I will definitely go traveling around to different countries eventually, but it may take time and I think it’s going to be my life-time hobby 🙂   The place I want to go to is America, some islands such as Samoi and Hawaii (beach!) , Alaska (America), South Korea (the food is tempting!) and Africa (wildlife!).  I also want to go traveling around Japan – onsen (natural hot spring spa), skiing, food, shopping, etc.  I didn’t really think this when I was a kid, but I really love Japan and am happy to be Japanese. 🙂  Which country do you want to go most??

Climate in Singapore and Perth

Posted December 5th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

The other day I had a visitor from Singapore.  He came to Perth on business, and said that the weather in Perth is totally opposite to Singapore’s.  What I remember about Singapore was also the humid climate.  He says it’s about 70~80% humidity… oh my gosh.  No wonder I felt my body heavier over there!

It must be terrible climate to wash clothes… he says the clothes don’t get dry for few days after washing.  In Perth it all get dried in 10 minutes in summer because of the super dry climate.  (someone said to me before that humidity in Perth during summer is 0~5%! Is it true??)  

I always loved having four seasons in a year in Japan, being able to experience many things in different seasons, and thought that I couldn’t do much of those in Perth compared with Japan.  But, according to this visitor, Singapore is worse.  Because there is no season in Singapore (always hot and humid, like other Asian countries) it’s hard to remember what he did in when and where.  I mean, for example, if you lost your passport long time ago and remember wearing half sleeve Tshirt on the day, you can at least guess that it was around summer time when you lost the passport.  If you bought a cat and there’s sakura tree in your memory, you know it was spring.  In Singapore you can’t have such sense of time, because there is nothing to compare to.  Umm I see..  I don’t think I will like living in a place which has only one season.

My Hospital Experiences

Posted November 20th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

After busy schedule and traveling around between 3 countries, my body finally gave up… I’ve been sick since I came back from Jakarta :p Not only me, my husband too. Coughing, running nose, fever, etc. I had to go to GP and then hospital few times, and took blood test. It seems that many people around me are also sick. My friends and co-workers.

You realize how important the health is when you get sick. I always think “meh, it’s fine” even though I have symptom of sickness, and don’t really do much about it. I don’t like taking medicine, so I try to recover by eating lots of fruits and nutritious food, and take a good sleep. Sometimes it’s ok, but sometimes the things go worse and I end up going to hospital..

When I was just about to graduate cookery course in TAFE, 2005, I was so looking forward to going back to my home and stay in Japan for awhile. The course was pretty hard and I had to work night time along with the classes, plus teachers were really strict there. When I finished my last exam I was so happy thinking “I’m finally free!”. I had booked my tickets to Osaka already and was counting the day to come. … Just few days before the flight, I started to feel strange – my body felt tired all the time, headache… I thought I just had caught cold or something. At that time my oversea travel insurance had been expired already ( I didn’t renew because I was going back to Japan in few weeks and I didn’t use insurance for the whole 2 years before then) so I was going to see doctor in Japan.

Just 5 days from the flight, my face started to have something – puffy things. Plus fever, huge headache and body ache. I couldn’t even walk, and because the puffy things on my face (only on the right side of my face) was kind of covering up my right eye, I couldn’t see things properly either. I should had gone to see doctor earlier! Now things had gone worse. My husband (boyfriend that time) took me to Medical Centre and doctor immediately sent me to Royal Perth Hospital. In the end I was having “shingles” and had to stay in hospital for 4 nights.

I had to change my flight date, but the worst thing was that my visa had expired while I was in the hospital! I couldn’t get out from the hospital so my boyfriend (my husband) had to go to immigration centre for me to extend my visa. Of course it was hard and he came back to hospital few times to get some documents from the nurses. Hospital staff kindly helped us calling immigration centre to explain what happened to me as well. But still, immigration didn’t give us any good news. In the end, right after I got out the hospital I had to go to immigration centre by myself to show this terrible face with a trace of shingles. We had a chat with an officer in a private room, and he gave me a temporary visa straight away after seeing my face.

Oh, another bad news was a bill from the hospital. Because I didn’t have any insurance (no travel insurance, no Medicare – because I was just a student-) I had to pay full amount. It was a BIG number… Been covered by insurance is really important!

This time I have Medicare and also private insurance, so things went smooth. I’m feeling getting better, but I really should have gone to see doctor when I first felt something wrong with my body. Sooner is better. By the way I had to go 3 times to get blood test, and on the third time nurse couldn’t find my vein (because it was too tiny and flat) she stung me 6 times on my both arms. She still couldn’t get any flow so she moved the needle around inside of my vein… it was painful 🙁 Well, the pain is nothing compared with getting a huge bill, and also getting sick.

Rice Cooker

Posted November 16th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

While in Jakarta we tried to buy a rice cooker.  You must think “can you buy it in Perth?”, but what we’re looking for was a Japanese microcomputer rice cooker with a screen, and with some functions.  

Most of rice cookers I see in shops in Perth are very simple ones, which have just 1 button.  Moving the button upward = “cook rice”, and downward = “keep warm”. We wanted more functions on our rice cooker!  Like the one I was using in my house in Japan.  I know there’re microcomputer rice cookers available in some shops around Perth, but the model is very limited.  So we thought we could buy one from Jakarta.  If we could buy from Japan it’d be easy, but the problem is the voltage: Japan is 110W, and Australia is 240W.  We chose to shop in Jakarta because the voltage is same there (240W).

As I mentioned before there are many Japanese products available in Jakarta, so it was not difficult to find Japanese rice cookers at electronic shops.  Zojirushi, Hitachi, Panasonic …  The prices were ok, and we were so excited to buy one of those…. until we talked to a sales person!

After going to several electronic shops around Jakarta and considering all the functions and prices, we decided to buy either Panasonic or Philips from Best Denki (an electronic shop) in a mall.  Philips is not a Japanese brand, but the rice cooker is microcomputer built and the price was cheap.  We walked between these rice cookers many times thinking which one we should buy.  Panasonic is Japanese and well-known brand, but little too big (18L) for us.  Philips is not Japanese brand and I don’t know if it’s as good as Panasonic, but the size was perfect.  

We asked a sales person all the questions we had, (meanwhile she kept pushing us to buy more expensive rice cooker) and in the end we decided to buy Philips.  Then, suddenly the staff told us that they only have the display one – no more stock!  We didn’t want to buy a display because it looked dirty.  The logo of “Philips” was almost faded. :p  She kept talking and told us there’s no Panasonic either!  Whatttttt!!  She knew we were considering between those two for few hours, she could mention it to us earlier.

Then, she said Zojirushi and Hitachi is 15 % off at the time.  We didn’t even consider those two brand before because they’re expensive.  We knew she was just trying to get us buy an expensive one.  But, well, Panasonic and Philips are not available, so might as well why don’t we have a look at those expensive ones.  

She told us she can give us another 5% off (total 20% off) on Hitachi if we pay by cash.  We calculated it, and the price was not too bad after all!  We started to excite again.  We can’t buy Zojirushi and Hitachi brand in Perth, and they got nice features and functions.  And, the size was perfect.  

When she saw our face, she brought up a new large size Hitachi rice cooker from the back.  She opened up the box and showed us inside.  We told her we want to buy it, but in smaller size. (the cheapest one in the brand)  Then, she told us ” sorry we do not have the small one in stock.  Only the display one.  Why don’t you buy this big one, we have this in stock.”

We were so disappointed, and so angry!  Obviously she was just trying to get a bigger sales. We didn’t want to buy anything anymore, and left the shop…

Excuse me for writing so long story, it’s just a story of me getting a doggy service 🙁

Japanese Style Pasta in Jakarta

Posted November 13th, 2009 in Eat out in Jakarta, Jakarta | 2 Comments »

Again, back to my Jakarta trip..  it was my third visit to Jakarta, and I’ve discovered another side of this city.  On my last couple of visits, I’ve seen poor people on the street, dirty toilets, huge traffic jam etc, and I never thought I’d be able to live here.  However, during this trip a friend of my husband took us to a complex of shopping buildings in Jakarta CBD and I had a totally new experience there!  My husband said this place is too fancy (because of many brand shops and expensive stores) but it reminded me of Japan!  

There are three or four of shopping building next to each other, and each building got many shops and restaurants inside, including some Japanese shops such as MUJI.  

The thing which excited me the most was Japanese food there.  When the friend asked us what we wanted to eat, I told him “no Japanese please” because I thought the Japanese food there wouldn’t be so nice.  But, as I explore each floor I found so many nice Japanese restaurants.  In the end, we decided to go to this wafu (Japanese style) pasta restaurant for dinner.

We eat many unique flavor pasta in Japan, and this restaurant had those.  I was happy to have dinner here because pasta is one of my favorite food and I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat this type of food back in Perth.  

Chicken Teriyaki, Squid Ink, Chicken Katsu with Egg Sauce etc…  if I was very hungry I’d wanted to try either sukiyaki pasta or seafood curry soup pasta, but I decided to have scallop & mushroom soup pasta.  Eel & Unagi (Una-Tama) sounded interesting too.  There are also pizzas, teishoku menu as well as entrees such as edamame (branched and salted green bean in pods) and hiya-yakko (chilled tofu).  Friend had squid, prawn and cod roe pasta, and my husband had creamy crab carbonara.  It was delicious.

After dinner we walked around few buildings (apparently this area is safe enough to walk around few metres) for window shopping.  Then, we stopped at a Japanese cafe to have some sweets.  Actually it wasn’t a cafe, it was an Izakaya.  This Izakaya serves Okinawa food, such as mimigaa (dried pig ear), andangii (deep-fried Okinawa sweet), etc.  … shame, we just had dinner! (><)  I didn’t notice there’re a few Japanese business men near our table, and I was talking loudly “hey it’s Okinawa food!”.  I think they heard me, thinking “… a Japanese tourist??”  

We had this honey toast as dessert.  It was really nice, crusty outside, sweet vanilla ice cream and blueberry sauce …  I will try making it at home sometime soon 🙂

Sigh, I wish I could go there everyday to eat these Japanese food like those Japanese business men I saw at the Izakaya..

Dr Fish

Posted November 10th, 2009 in Jakarta, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

While in Jakarta I had a chance to experience fish spa therapy.  Fish spa is a therapy by dipping your feet into a pool of “Dr Fish” and let these little healing creatures clean your feet and nibble away your dead skin, leaving your skin glow in health.  This fish spa treatments are growing in parts of Asia such as Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.  Most of there spas employ Dr Fish species which originate from Turkey, called Garra Rufa.

Garra Rufa is a special fish with natural healing properties.  It started in Kangal, Turkey: where people discovered the fish’s ability to cure skin diseases.  Garra Rufa is a fresh water fish, and their usual habitat is in hot springs, where these fishes can withstand temperatures ranging from 0 degree Celcius up to 43 degree Celcius.  They are also known as Dr Fish, feeds only on dead and problematic areas of the skin.

 The benefits of this are natural exfoliation of dead skin, smoother and healthy blowing skin, promote blood circulation, lightning of minor scars, etc etc.

I did this just for the curiosity, but as I proceeded to the fish pool I was having a second thought.  I really didn’t want to dip my feet into those vigorously moving little fish…  Looked gross. :p  But, we have already paid for 30 mins, so no choice!  I sat down on the bench and dipped my feet slowly into the water.  !!!

Those little creatures were really really tickling for the first few minutes, and I was screaming..  but as I tried to calm down myself and ignore the fact that there are thousands of fish nibbling on my skin, I felt ok.  I dipped my feet in a pool of small fish first, and then moved to the pool of larger size fish.  Lager fish has bigger suction but less aggressive compared with the little ones.

After the therapy, my feet were very smooth, soft and moist!  I couldn’t help but touch my feet in the car on the way home 🙂  It was an interesting experience..