Alvinology goes to Japan - Day 6 of 14 - Alvinology

Alvinology goes to Japan – Day 6 of 14

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

Technorati Tags: Yokohama, 横浜市, ana flight, melon hello kitty, Shōnan, shonan, 湘南, sagami bay, masako asai, katsuya asai, toshiki asai, motoki asai, Shinkansen, 新幹線, pet hamster, japanese cat, fat cat, nissan skyline, sakura soft-serve, caramel soft-serve, senbei, kabuki, samuel cocking garden, mt fuji, wagyu beef, rachel chan, hua meiyen, mark tan, japan travel, alvinology goes to japan

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