Akebono Children’s Forest Park (あけぼの子どもの森公園)

akebono
Love exploring out of Tokyo as everything could just move back in time.

akebono
a very retro and old convenience store that looks like it was back in the 1980s

akebono
The park was 30 minutes walk from the station so we here was the view we saw as we strolled along.

akebono

Lots of children out playing since it was the summer holidays.

akebono
Finally, we see the name of the park!!! Hopefully it would be near so.

akebono
Another sign of the park after crossed the park.

akebono
Yes we are finally here!! We are all melting from the heat already.

akebono
This is a free entrance Moomin theme park that was built for the children of Hanno City in Saitama but it was also to welcome children from all over too.

akebono
Here we are visiting the Moomin’s houses and enjoying the nature.

akebono
I think it would be a perfect place to chill when the weather is cooler.

akebono
Though it was very hot when we visited but it was still quite fun to check out the various fantasy theme buildings.

akebono
At least we were close to nature.

akebono
The exhibition hall was air conditioned so we headed there to cool down.

akebono
I think it would be more fun if Baby M understands the figurines.

akebono

akebono
Hopefully, one day, she would also enjoy the nature bestowed to this country.

akebono
Visiting Moomin’s house, heavily fashioned with north European flavors.

akebono

akebono

akebono
Since this is a entry park, it would be nice when the weather is cooler and we could sit down for a picnic. I think we would come here again when she is older and if we are in Japan during Spring or Autumn to picnic and let her run freely.

Shake Shack Ebisu & Conrad Tokyo

conrad
August was a special month, as part of the Baby M’s birthday celebration we booked a room with Conrad Tokyo just because Mummy loves the place (more for myself) I wanted a place to chill for 2 nights and a good hot bath soak. Not that I don’t love staying with my in law but still I would love to get out of bed and just leave the room to come back with everything cleaned and packed away nicely and lots of SPACE. Thanks to Baby M’s charm, we got a free fruit platter from reception just because they knew it was her birthday.

shake shack
Always wanted to try out Shake Shack that came from NYC but the wait line is always about 2 hours at their main branch in Jingju Maen so I was happy to hear that they opened a 100 seater branch near to Ebisu Station.

shake shack
Here we go, it was full house at 530pm on a Saturday evening.

shake shack
Checking the menu

shake shack
Waiting in line to buy our burgers.

shake shack
Fret not, the menu is in English and Japanese.

shake shack
After placing our order, we were given a buzzer and headed to the other side of the restaurant to wait in line to be assigned a seat.

shake shack
Finally, I got to try this after months of waiting. Beer with burger – YUMMY! Plus catching pokemon go!

shake shack
Shake shack originally started as a hot dog food truck so of course we must try it too.

shake shack
Cheese fries. Loved the food but the portions were really small so I would recommend getting more if you want to fill your tummy up but we were planning to go for 2nd helping with other food so we were fine with what we had. The overall wait at the Ebisu branch was not more than 20minutes but we were early at 530pm.

Address:<a href="https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1303/A130302/13194431/東京都渋谷区恵比寿南1-6-1 アトレ恵比寿西館 1F

Conrad
The humor from the Conrad team with their turn down service with Baby M’s snuggly toy and blanket.

Jojoen (叙々苑 新宿小田急ハルク店)

jojoen
Jojoen is a famous high end Korean BBQ chain in Japan and received much following amongst the salarymen and Taiwanese tourists.

jojoen
I had always wanted to check out this place as it seems to be the in the must go to eat list amongst all my Taiwanese friends and finally I got the chance to go my last Tokyo trip.

jojoen
We went to the Shinjuku Odakyu departmental store branch when it opened at 530pm as I was due to go back to take over babysitting by 8pm. It takes about 1 hour for me to go back to my in law’s home so it was actually quite a rushed dinner. I would recommend to go eat here only if you have the luxury of time for dinner as the place gets crowded by 630pm with the dinner crowd and the service become extremely slow.

jojoen
Kimchi appetizer plate.

jojoen
My friend got premium set so raw beef with egg was part of the set.

jojoen
Urban sky dinning, eating our dinner while watching the crowd in Shinjuku.

jojoen
This was the normal cut beef and shrimp set.

jojoen
Premium cut beef and lobster set. Surprisingly it was really filling and I have to admit the the beef from the premium cut was really good.

jojoen
We chose the abalone congee over the udon as we were really full but unfortunately we were unable to eat our dessert from our set as it was already 730pm and I was in a rush to get home. So, if you ever decide to try out this place please make sure you have the luxury of time!

Address: <a href="https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1304/A130401/13011894/東京都新宿区西新宿1-5-1 新宿西口ハルク 8F
Link to Jojoen website: http://www.jojoen.co.jp/

Akomeya (アコメヤ厨房)

akomeya
This supermarket/restaurants transforms to an expensive dinner place when the sun sets so the lunch set is considerably affordable at about 2200JPY.

akomeya
They are famous for selling tasty rice so you can also buy back some of the popular rice grains or prefecture limited groceries home after you are done with your meals.

akomeya
No wonder this place is popular with the ladies in Ginza area as the portions though small are filling and yet so appetizing to the eyes too.

akomeya
Would I recommend you on going if you are in the Ginza area? Yes! I would love to go again and this was a perfect place for my girlfriends get together as we were enjoying healthy food, while catching up on our different lives in Tokyo and Singapore sans baby🙂

Address: 東京都中央区銀座2-2-6 1F

Sado Island – Day 2(c)

Sado Island Sunset
We returned to our onsen hotel at around 4pm as we were all dying from the heat and baby wasn’t too happy too. Chilled in the room with family, watched the sun set and headed for dinner after a soak in the hot spring.

Onsen Dinner Day 2
Dinner for day 2, was still a lot of food.

Onsen Dinner Day 2
The cold appetizers

Onsen Dinner Day 2
Grilled beef saald.

Onsen Dinner Day 2
Smoked salmon salad

Onsen Dinner Day 2
Fish stew with radish

Onsen Dinner Day 2
6 cuts of sashimi

Onsen Dinner Day 2
Steamed meat dish

Onsen Dinner Day 2
Grilled fish

Onsen Dinner Day 2
Cold noodles and missing are the miso soup and steamed rice. TOO MUCH!

Ferry ride back to Tokyo
On our jet boat back to the main city of Niigata.

Sado deep sea water
Good bye, Sado Island!

Sado Island – Day 2(b)

five-story pagoda
Lots of historial sites around Sado island, so we just did a drive around the nearby shrines

Insect skin
Been a long time since I tried to play with my camera.

Daizen Shrine Noh Stage

Noh (能) is a form of theater involving music, dance and drama, originating in the 14th century. It was developed together with kyogen, which are comical pieces performed during interludes of the main noh performance. The dual art of noh and kyogen is known as nogaku, and was listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. – Japan Guide

Daizen Shrine Noh Stage
Small temple opposite the stage

Daizen Shrine Noh Stage
Super serene when you visit these places.

Sado Island Man Face Stone
1 of the places of interest along the coastal drive is a stop over for photo with the man face rock.

Sado Island Day 2 lunch
How can you miss eating seafood in Sado island

Tub boat ride
The highlight of the day trip today is the Tarai Bune (tub boat) ride. 500JPY per person for about 20minutes

Tub boat ride
It is a little scary to get on the tub boat as it was quite shaky.

Tub boat ride
We were told to scoot ourselves to spread out the weight evenly.

Tub boat ride
All the boats were armed by old ladies who told us about the history of the area.

Tub boat ride
The view along the ride

Tub boat ride
Beautiful day though it was sizzling hot

Tub boat ride
It was so warm that the jelly fishes were out to play.

Sado Island – Day 2(a)

Sado Kinzan Gold Mine
On the hunt for some gold and silver mining heritage by visiting the national heritage site on Sado Island.

Sado Kinzan Gold Mine

Sado Kinzan was the most productive mine in Japan, annually producing nearly 400 kg of gold as well as smaller amounts of silver and copper. The mine was in operation throughout the Edo Period and served as a major source of funding for the Tokugawa Shogunate which directly controlled Sado Island and its mines.- Japan Guide

Sado Kinzan Gold Mine
There were 2 routes to choose from, we chose the Edo period mine course since it would be more educational to see they managed the mine way back before industrialization. From the picture, you can observe that they dug really deep and extensively.

Sado Kinzan Gold Mine
It was a cool 10c degrees inside the mine while it was a sweltering 36c degrees outside. It was very much a cool relief from the heat.

Sado Kinzan Gold Mine
Digging through to create pits for mining.

Sado Kinzan Gold Mine
Drainage become really important as they dug further, hence plumbing workers were very well paid.

Sado Kinzan Gold Mine
Working on the drainage system.

Sado Kinzan Gold Mine
Checkpoint for the workers as they moved the ore out, this is to prevent smuggling and also a reference point for payment as they are paid on how much they dug.

Sado Kinzan Gold Mine
Only the specialized miners who worked on the difficult areas were paid better, worked in 4 hours shift with a proper rest area.

Sado Kinzan Gold Mine
The specialized miners working with the tiny chisels to get the ore, the chisels usually worn out in 2 days.

Sado Kinzan Gold Mine
The black stripes at the back are when they hit an area with high density of silver and gold, a praying session would be in place where they pray that the ore would be soft enough for quick retrieval.

Sado Kinzan Gold Mine
End of our tour, and back to the summer heat

Sado Kinzan Gold Mine
Then we spent some time in the exhibition hall, looking at models of life outside the mine where the families lives and how they cleaned the ores. A challenge area is also setup where if you can pick up this 12.5kg gold bar with one hand through the glass hole, you would be rewarded with a certificate (No, you can’t take the gold bar with you). Only 1957 persons have succeeded so far over the past 20 years.😛

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