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ARISA

Unforgettable moments in Mie & Yamanashi!

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ARISA

🇲🇾 Malaysian
💁  Virtual Japan Traveller
😍  Japan Enthusiast
✅  JNTO Malaysia Campaign Navigator (Oct 2020〜Mar 2021)

Unforgettable moments in Mie & Yamanashi!

Matsusaka beef 1781662541 lowres
Yamanashi - Kawaguchi Oishi Park 1361138759
伊勢神宮 (2)

I’ll never forget my trip to Ise Jingu by taking The Sightseeing Limited Express “Shimakaze” from Nagoya to Mie! The Shimakaze aims to provide a new rail travel experience where passengers get to enjoy comfortable journey with extensive food menu, Wi-Fi and video service! It was a fabulous experience to enjoy a cup of coffee while looking out at the beautiful scenery from the café car!

Upon arrival at Ise Jingu, I was shocked at the large area it stands! More than 1,500 rituals are conducted here yearly to pray for the peace of the world, prosperity of the Imperial family and the huge harvest!

Also, I travelled to Okage Yokocho in front of Ise Jingu. In Japanese, the word Okage simply means thankfulness and Yokocho means a kind of side street. You can feel the gratitude for the beautiful surroundings and appreciation for all living things in the small town of Oharai.

After shopping, it’s time to hunt for delicious Matsusaka beef which is known for its frosty appearance and soft texture. I can still remember that the meat instantly melts in my mouth and its natural flavour was so nice! Moreover, I also get to taste the wonderful Ise Ebi (Japanese spiny lobster) too! With its bright red body, splendid beard, and appetizing white flesh, ise-ebi lobster definitely tastes good! 

Since I had been eating a lot, I decided to travel to Yamanashi to take a walk at Oishi Park located on the north shore of Lake Kawaguchi. The park features a 350m walking path with different flowers planted along side. The contrast between the flowers and Mt. Fuji is spectacular!

I heard from some locals that fruit picking in Yamanashi is also famous among Japanese people, so I went to a fruit garden nearby after leaving Oishi Park. It was the peach and cherry season, and I was so excited to see big and round fruits hanging on the tree! The fresh picked fruits were so sweet and juicy, and I am drooling again.

ARISA

Ehime & Kochi, the heaven for food and nature lovers!

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ARISA

🇲🇾 Malaysian
💁  Virtual Japan Traveller
😍  Japan Enthusiast
✅  JNTO Malaysia Campaign Navigator (Oct 2020〜Mar 2021)

Ehime & Kochi, the heaven for food and nature lovers!

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DSC_0811宇和島鯛めし
Yasui Gorge

If you’re a seafood lover, you must try out Ehime well-known Taimeshi (sea bream rice)! This traditional local specialty has different ways of servings. Taimeshi in Matsuyama and Imabari area (eastern part) consists of rice cooked with a whole sea bream, while Taimeshi in Uwajima area (southern part) is a dish of fresh sea bream sashimi dipped in a mixture of soy sauce and egg on a bowl of white rice. I tried the Uwajima area Taimeshi and the sea bream was so fresh and sweet. it was simple yet delicious!

Also, I’m glad that I’m able to witness one of Japan’s three largest karst landforms, Shikoku Karst! You can view scenery that varies from different seasons, such as grassland in spring, alpine plants in summer, snowy landscapes in winter and silver grass and autumn leaves in fall. It gives you the best panoramic view and also a perfect spot for you to enjoy starry sky at night too! 

My next stop will be the Kochi prefecture. Yasui Gorge is the major spot to view autumn foliage in Kochi. It was surrounded by Mother Nature including cliffs, forest and the river waters are crystal clear where you can see all objects beneath under the water. The river colour, also called “Niyodo Blue”, changes in different season and at different time. The colour is so unique and beautiful that I can just stare at it for several hours doing nothing!

After a long day walk, it’s time to pamper myself with Sawachi-ryori, a large dish filled with generous portion of local delicacies such as sashimi, Katsuo Tataki, sushi, fried food, stewed food, and pickles. It is now still an ultimate choice for any drinking party in Kochi since the old days. It was hard to finish the whole dish myself but I had some help from my friends.

ARISA

Delightful yet adventurous trip to Kagawa & Tokushima

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ARISA

🇲🇾 Malaysian
💁  Virtual Japan Traveller
😍  Japan Enthusiast
✅  JNTO Malaysia Campaign Navigator (Oct 2020〜Mar 2021)

Delightful yet adventurous trip to Kagawa & Tokushima

Forest Adenture Iya Valley2 (3)
Chicken with bone
Chichibugahama-beach1

Chichibugahama Beach in Kagawa Prefecture really made me speechless with its incredible natural mirror effect. I was so happy because I had successfully taken some photos which showed the perfect evening reflection. During summer, the beach that boasts 1km-long attracts many visitors to have a great time here!

What’s more? Honetsukidori (chicken thigh grilled on the bone), another local Kagawa gourmet dish loved by locals as much as sanuki udon. It comes with two variants which is the mature and the young chicken. So, I decided to order both! The texture of mature chicken is leaner and it gives a more muscular impression, while the young chicken has a softer texture. A personal suggestion: Honetsukidori is also a perfect match with beer!

The next day, I travelled to Tokushima Prefecture to continue my Shikoku trip! I arrived at Iya Valley but not here for the famous Iya Valley Vine Bridge, I was going for the Forest Adventure, an outdoor park at Iya Valley! After wearing safety gears, I climbed up into the trees and started to wobble over the gorge. Although I was scared but I found it fun and exciting while climbing above the trees! 

After a few hours in Forest Adventure, it’s time to get some energy charge for myself. The Naruto Kintoki is a famous sweet potato species produced in Naruto City (Tokushima Prefecture). Its brilliant golden interior made me drooled and the soft and fluffy texture is very similar to chestnut! Yummy!

ARISA

Fruitful trip to Niigata & Nagano

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ARISA

🇲🇾 Malaysian
💁  Virtual Japan Traveller
😍  Japan Enthusiast
✅  JNTO Malaysia Campaign Navigator (Oct 2020〜Mar 2021)

Fruitful trip to Niigata & Nagano

Niigata - Sado Island 1273435564
白米のご飯 Japanese rice KOME
Nagano - Lake Suwa

Sado Island (Sadogashima) is the largest island in the Sea of Japan. It is famous for its historical sites and agricultural heritage. Besides its old streets, traditional culture and ancient landscapes, I also experienced a tarai-bune (also called tub-turned boat) ride at Sado Island. I first saw tarai-bune in the famous Ghibli anime, Spirited Away, and finally I get to experience it in real life! Awesome!

Speaking of food in Niigata, you’re not going to miss the delicious rice here! Due to the combination of great natural resources, weather and craftsmen, Niigata is able to produce its tastiest rice (Koshihikari) and sake to become highly popular brand in the global market. I was surprised to know that I am able to taste and compare different types of rice and sake at once in Niigata prefecture and it was amazing to eat together with fresh local seafood!

Besides, there’s this sake specialist store in Niigata offering approximately 100 types of sake from Niigata’s 90 breweries, and it is the renowned Ponshukan Sake Museum. I love this place because you can pay ¥500 at the door to receive a sake cup and five tasting coins to taste variety of premium sake. There is also a ranking board listing out the most popular sake among customers for your reference! If you don’t know which sake to start first, I suggest you to start from the top of the list.

Here comes my favourite spot among the whole trip, Lake Suwa! It is the largest lake in Nagano Prefecture and best spot to view spectacular scenery throughout all seasons! You can see people enjoy walking, cycling and lake activities include fishing, pleasure cruises, duck tours (amphibious bus tours) while the lake provides a relaxing backdrop. The Lake Suwa Fireworks Festival is also another attraction point at Lake Suwa during summer!

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