On the sixth day, we took an ANA flight out of Hokkaido and headed to Yokohama (横浜市). We woke up really early at around 6am. Rachel and I were feeling a little down on leaving Hokkaido as we had grown fond of the place. Nonetheless, we are moving on to the second leg of our Japan tour.

The sky was still dark when we set off

The sky was still dark when we set off

On board the train to the airport

On board the train to the airport

Half-awake

Half-awake

Melon Hello Kitty we saw at the airport

Melon Hello Kitty we saw at the airport

At the airport, Rachel was persistent on trying out a caramel soft-serve ice cream she saw, but did not get to try when we first arrived at Hokkaido. As the restaurant serving the caramel soft-serve only opens at the same time as our boarding time, Rachel sneakily made a dash for it while we were not watching and almost made us missed our flight. Here’s a picture of the naughty little brat enjoying her victory prize.

Little brat enjoying her soft-serve which almost made us miss our flight

Little brat enjoying her soft-serve which almost made us miss our flight

Upon landing, we rented a car and headed to Shōnan (湘南), a resort-oriented region along the coast of Sagami Bay in central Japan. We were going there to stay the night at Mark’s Japanese friend, Masako Asai‘s house.

Getting our car

Getting our car at the airport

We rented one of these cars

We rented one of these cars

At the Nissan store

Filling up the paperwork

Setting the GPS

Setting the GPS

The Asai household consists of working dad, Katsuya; housewife mom, Masako; their two sons, Toshiki and Motoki. Masako used to work as an English translator, and speaks very fluent English. She also passed this on to her two sons. Her elder son, Toshiki has also taken Chinese lessons.

Once we reached the Asai’s house, Masako, our friendly host whipped up a sumptuous Korean-styled lunch for us. After unpacking, Motoki, Mark and I cycled to the nearby train station to purchase our Shinkansen (新幹線) tickets for the later part of our tour. We also stopped by the local supermarket to pick up some groceries for our dinner which Masako will be cooking for us. Meanwhile, Rachel and Meiyen stayed home to play with the Asai’s pet hamster and their neighbour’s fat cat.

The Asais neighbourhood

The Asai’s neighbourhood

Meet our beautiful host, Masako

Masako bringing out lunch

Rice with pork slices

Rice with pork slices

Vegetable and beancurd soup

Vegetable and beancurd soup

Mark and Meiyen enjoying their lunch

Mark and Meiyen enjoying their lunch

Helping to wash up after lunch

Helping to wash up after lunch

The Asais hamster

The Asai’s hamster

Running up Rachels hand

Running up Rachel’s arm

Munching nuts

Munching nuts

An entire cat food section at the nearby convenience store

An entire cat food section at the nearby convenience store

The Asais neighbour with a very interesting surname

The Asai’s neighbour with a very interesting surname

Japanese cats are much fatter than their counterparts in Singapore

Japanese cats are much fatter than their counterparts in Singapore

Close-up

Close-up

Lazy cat twisting around under the sun

Lazy cat twisting around under the sun

Licking his own balls

Licking his own balls

Back to sleep

Back to sleep

Rachel stroking the fat cat in the Asais garden

Rachel stroking the fat cat in the Asai’s garden

Toshiki then brought us to a nearby shrine, located on a mountain-top with nice scenery for a short tour. On our way there, Mark stopped at a Nissan shop to pick up a badge for his Nissan Skyline which he ordered when he was in Singapore. We managed to catch the sunset from the peak and the view was breathtakingly beautiful.

Driving to the shrine

Driving to the shrine

At the Nissan store

At the Nissan store

toy car models

toy car models

We have an eerie suspicion that Mark planned this Japan trip just to buy this piece of plastic

Mark planned this Japan trip just to buy this piece of plastic

Shophouses at the foot of the shrine

Shophouses at the foot of the shrine

Cute-looking biscuit

Cute-looking biscuit

Sakura-flavoured soft-serve

Sakura-flavoured soft-serve

Sweet tooth bunch

Sweet tooth bunch

Rachel and the soft-serve midget

Rachel and the soft-serve midget

Paper-thin processed cuttlefish

Paper-thin processed cuttlefish

Cute-looking snack

Cute-looking snack

Assorted seasoned Senbei

Assorted seasoned Senbei

The Senbei store

The Senbei store

Greedy girl

Greedy girl

Me enjoying a Japanese herbs Senbei

Me enjoying a Japanese herbs senbei

Rachel and I on our way up

Rachel and I on our way up

The shrine

The shrine

Smile cos we reached the shrine

Smile cos we reached the shrine

Explaining to us, how to make wishes at the shrine

Toshiki explaining to us, how to make wishes at the shrine

Close-up of the knots

Close-up of the knots

Wishing pond to throw coins

Wishing pond to throw coins

Guangyin holding a sword?

Guangyin holding a sword?

Wishing tree

Wishing tree

Wishing plates

Wishing plates

Lots of wishes made

Lots of wishes made

Probably left by a sports team

Probably left by a sports team

Handprints of Kabuki performers

Handprints of Kabuki performers

Water to cleanse yourself before praying

Water to cleanse yourself before praying

Mark cleansing his foul mouth

Mark cleansing his foul mouth

Praying

Praying

Stone lion with a bip

Stone lion with a bip

Demon-god

Demon-god

Sound the gong for blessing

Sound the gong for blessing

On the way up

On the way up

View from atop

View from atop

Harbour view

Harbour view

Garfield

Garfield

Thats a real persons name

That’s a real person’s name

Prickly tree

Prickly tree

Enjoying the scenery

Enjoying the scenery

Nice flowers

Nice flowers

Close-up

Close-up

Its getting dark

It’s getting dark

Closing for the day

Closing for the day

Sunset

Sunset – can you see Mt Fuji in the distance?

Beautiful isnt it?

Beautiful isn’t it?

Another angle

Another angle – the cone-shaped mountain shrouded by clouds is Mt Fuji

One last glance

One last glance

Thereafter, we headed home for dinner. Masako cooked a lot of food! The meal was healthy and delicious. Masako really filled our tummies to the brim.

Masako preparing our dinner

Masako preparing our dinner

Helping out to lay the table and the dishes

Getting ready for dinner

Filming our celebrity chef

Filming our celebrity chef

Cooking the wagyu beef

Cooking the wagyu beef

Dinner time!

Dinner time!

Delicious beef stew which took Masako two days to broil

Delicious beef stew which took Masako three days to cook

Giant bowl of fresh salad

Giant bowl of fresh salad

Another bowl of salad with octopus inside

Another bowl of salad with octopus and salmon inside

Raw fish with lots of greens - Rachel and I love this

Raw fish with lots of greens – Rachel and I loved this

Chicken with sweet home-made sauce

Chicken with sweet home-made sauce

wagyu beef

wagyu beef

Less premium grade beef

Less premium grade beef

Very large pan full of pasta

Very large pan full of pasta

At night, we had a chit-chat session with Masako and Katsuya, who arrived home from work quite late. We then tucked in for the night, overwhelmed by our host’s kind care and attention. To be honest, Rachel and I felt bad to be imposing on the Asai for the night. Hopefully, they might pop by for a visit to Singapore some time and we can then have our turn to play host. 🙂

Links to my previous blog entries on my Japan  trip:

Day 1 – Kansai Airport, Hokkaido

Day 2 – Skiing, Otaru

Day 3 – Asahikawa, Asahiyama Zoo

Day 4 – Sledding, Shiroi Koibito, Crab Buffet

Day 5 – The 60th Sapporo Snow Festival

Day 6 – Staying with the Asai, Shōnan

Day 7 – Ueno, Tokyo

Day 8 – Shibuya and Akihabara, Tokyo

Day 9 – Ikeda, Osaka

Day 10 – Kobe

Day 11 – Kyoto

Day 12 – Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and Dotonbori

Day 13 – Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge and Mt. Rokko

Day 14 – Return to Singapore

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