Have you known about Japan Food Town in Wisma Atria? I’ve heard it before but never been inside and look around. Last Wednesday I met my friend in Singapore and we walked to Food Republic in Wisma Atria to get a drink and have a seat. When it was time for dinner, we chose Japanese Food since it was there already. Japan Food Town is located at the same floor as Food Republic, which is on the 4th floor of Wisma Atria.
There are some restaurants inside the area, selling all different kind of Japanese cuisine. We got hooked at one of the menu there. My friend wanted to eat warm meal, me as well. Also the price mentioned was reasonable enough. It was a Saba Fish Restaurant called SaBar. The place is hidden at the corner. We almost went to wrong restaurant! lol.
At first we sat in front area, but as more people were coming over we had to move to bigger table inside. The two of us started to order first because we were so hungry suddenly! I was interested in Fried Squid. My friend wanted to try Toro Saba Hitsumabushi and also shared jelly fish and green salad. Then another friend came and ordered a fried chicken (tori karaage). It took a while for them to prepare our food but it was worth it.
I LOVE the Fried Squid. Crispy on the outside (thin batter) and soft inside, cooked perfectly. The jelly fish was fresh and yummy. Even the green salad tasted delicious, especially the dressing. Toro Saba Hitsumabushi can be eaten in 2 ways, dry or wet. Both were delicious! I prefer the dry one but it got too salty at one point because of the sauce. Still delicious though! The fried chicken was also crunchy and tasty, but a little too salty. Another 2 friends came and ordered Unagi Hitsumabushi and it was delicious as well! All of the food were cooked really well.
I will definitely come back here to try another dishes, and will recommend this place to all my friends as well. They are quite new restaurant which was established in 2014. So I want them to stay around for a very long time! I think they are able to do so, as long as they maintain their quality. Right now it is quite packed already on dinner time though.
Have you tried their food? How was your experience there? Let me know in the comment below!
Last day in Fukuoka! Time for last minute shopping. There were many things I haven’t seen! First thing first, breakfast. I only ate snack in the morning so we needed to find a brunch spot. Our first destination today was Hakata Bus Terminal Building. Why? Because they have Daisho there and I wanted to look for some stuff.
There is a shopping mall too there, including a department store. They have food area in 8th floor but mostly open at 11.00 am. We strolled around the lower floor and found some stuff. Their department store has an affordable price for clothes and shoes. Do not expect to see something very trendy though. For daily wear or casual wear (and some office clothes), it was nice.
By 11.30 am, we went to the 8th floor and I instantly attracted to Gyoza restaurant. Gyoza! Finally I can try it. Not because I never ate gyoza (japanese pork dumpling) before, but because I heard that gyoza also one of specialty from Fukuoka.
I ordered the lunch package, which was rice and gyoza. For the drink, I ordered shocu, and I regretted it after lol. It had similar taste to Korean soju which I don’t like! But the gyozas were really delicious! The proportion of meat and vegetable were nicely done. The place was the only place who sells gyoza so it shouldn’t hard to find on the 8th floor. The name is Ichiro Gyoza.
We went downstairs after lunch and stopped by at Namco Station. This is what a gamer would like! Or if you are a gachapon lover like me, then it’s a heaven. I saw a gachapon machine with pikachu in it. Need to pay 300 yen to ‘play’ it. I inserted 300 yen and turned the knob. The next thing happened was I received a plastic container with pikachu figurine in it. Gachapon is like a lottery, you can’t choose the item you one. Now this is the exciting moment, which pikachu do I get. I got the cute one! Lucky.
Since we were there already, might as well walk around the place. The whole floor was filled with arcade games and photo box. I took some photos without knowing that it is not allowed. A girl approached me and told me “no photo”. I said sorry and we left the place because we’re done looking around and need to go shopping!!
On the 5th floor is Daisho. A really huge one!! I’ve never been to Daisho in Japan, only in Vietnam and Indonesia. They sell almost everything! If you haven’t heard about Daisho, it is a one-price shop (which is 100 yen in Japan), but there are a few products with higher price as well now. We bought some stuff including dog treats and toys for my dog 😀
After finishing in Daisho, we didn’t go back to the hotel but off to Tenjin Station instead using city bus on the 2nd floor. We had no idea how to read the direction! It was all in Japanese language. We saw a “Tenjin” on one of the waiting doors, so we queued there. While we were waiting for the bus to come, I checked on google map which city bus to take from Hakata bus station. There were some according to google but none of them passed by. We were at gate 3 when I saw bus number 13 stopped at gate 2! That’s one of our buses, I thought. So I told Pris to walk to gate 2 instead and boarded bus number 13.
Arrived in Tenjin area, we walked around Tenjin Chikugai Shopping Area. It is an underground shopping area. There are a lot of interesting stores there. We visited almost every one of them 😀
Next to Tenjin Chikugai is Tenjin Core. We’ve been here before but only for dinner, so this time we’re taking our time to look around the shops. Tenjin Core is one of the famous shopping malls in Tenjin area as well. It is connected to Vivre (another shopping mall) on certain floors.
We didn’t take a long time at Tenjin Core because we started to get hungry. Since we’ve already been in the food court of Tenjin Core, we looked for something else. Next to Tenjin Core is Parco, and it looked like it has a lot of restaurants. Upon arrival, we checked their floor directory. We found a crepe cafe! That’s it! Let’s try that.
Unfortunately, what they called cafe and what we thought of cafe were different! It was not a place to eat, but a small shop. Not selling any food or snacks 😦 We decided to look around on upper floor then. I needed to find something for my husband’s staff and found a cute Daruma wooden doll and a cute onsen towel. It is quite special I think.
After we finished with the shopping, we went to the other side of parco mall, basement floor. On the corner, we found an ice cream stall! I chose mango and yogurt flavor. They are using vending machine as well to order. We can insert money with a maximum of 1000 yen. I used 1000 yen bill then picked the ice cream I want. After done, I clicked on the button below and I got the change and the ticket. I gave the ticket to the girl and she asked if I want the ice cream in a cup or cone. Cone! I’ve never tried ice cream cone in Japan so this is a chance 😀
Their ice creams are using Ito Monogatari Milk. You can see them on display. The ice cream itself is milky and soft. I loved it! Pris ordered the plain vanilla.
We walked around a little bit after filling up with ice cream. But it didn’t last long. We had to have dinner before it gets busy. So continue in Parco, we strolled around the basement area and decided to try the okonomiyaki restaurant. They have a soba okonomiyaki which looked very interesting on the picture.
There were only 2 persons working in that restaurant. One lady was taking the order, serving and cleaning up the table. And one guy was cooking the food. We ordered 1 soba okonomiyaki for share. I knew we couldn’t finish it if we ordered one each.
This soba okonomiyaki was sooo yummy! Every bite was delicious. And we made the right decision about ordering only one. After first serving (which was a quarter of it), we had enough already. The taste becoming a bit strong and it was hard to finish it when that happened.
After dinner, we went back to Hakata Station by subway. We stopped by at Tokyu Hands there. Apparently they have 5 floors for Tokyu Hands! I thought only 1 floor on the first floor. We did final shopping there and heading back to hotel, because we had to start packing our stuff into our suitcase, which was not easy! It was like playing puzzle to put everything to fit in suitcase.
And this concludes our trip to Fukuoka! Thank you for reading and see you in my other adventure!
Today is another trip outside of Fukuoka. Nagasaki it is! Pris planned to visit Kumamoto actually but my Japanese friend told me to visit Nagasaki instead. The first reason was that Kumamoto is not safe at the moment, still have earthquake going on. The second one was because Nagasaki is the most beautiful city in Kyushu according to her.
For breakfast, I bought croissants from Il Forno Del Mignon. I tried their mentaiko croissant and I liked it. This time I bought all flavor! It was empty in the morning. Usually, they always had a lot of people lining up whenever I passed by, especially for chocolate croissant and sweet potato croissant.
We bought 2 tickets at the machine for 3800 yen but couldn’t enter the gate. The officer said we need to get the fare ticket as well. The one we bought was only limited express ticket. Since I didn’t know how to buy the fare ticket via machine, we went to counter. The person struggled to understand us and we tried so hard to explain. But he finally got the message! He changed the tickets and gave us the new one. 6180 yen for 2 people. Now, this is about right cost. We only paid the difference. I was wondering why it was so cheap when we received our first ticket from the machine.
Looked up at the sign for Kamome 7 (the train to Nagasaki) at 7.53am. It was at platform 4. We boarded the train. It was very cozy and comfortable. It has a unique floor pattern as well.
Arrived at Nagasaki, we went to information center and bought a day-pass tram ticket for 500 yen (adult) and 250 yen (children). Single trip for tram is 120 yen (adult) and 60 yen (children).
We followed the sign for ‘streetcar’. Across the fly-over and get down to the platform. Our first destination was the kimono rental place. The name is Kimono Hoppen. Located near Sianbashi tram station. Pris already made a reservation before via online and got the confirmation via email. The rental fee was 5420 yen per person. The hairdo was extra 1600 yen.
We chose kimono from their collection, then we put on the kimono with the help of the lady. There were only 2 persons working there when we came. I took the hairdo as well since my hair was not in proper shape lol. But I didn’t like the result of their hairdo though. After finished all, we needed to choose bag to match the kimono and to bring some stuff. We left our backpack in the shop and went out with a smaller bag.
There are a lot of temples around that area. A whole row of temples. We visited Sofukuji temple first and took some photos there.
On the way back to Kimono’s place, we stopped by at Daikoji temple and only took few photos since we already starving. Couldn’t climb another set of stairs..
We had lunch at Garan resto. The only restaurant in that area that was opened. I ordered Chicken katsu curry. It was not bad but not special as well. It was good enough to refill my empty stomach.
After lunch, we went back to Kimono Hoppen to return the kimono. We actually could rent it until 6 pm but we didn’t want to walk around the city with that! Very tight and hot as well, also it looked like gonna rain. Walking under the rain in kimono is not a good idea for holiday xD
We took tram to Oura Catholic church, stopped at ouratenshudo-shita station. Just followed the sign on the street until we saw an inclined road with many shops along the way, including the famous brand for kakuni manju (Nagasaki delicacy). At the end of that street, we saw Oura Catholic church.
Entrance fee is 600 yen. We got the English book. It is not allowed to take a photo inside the church. On the right side of the church, there is an exhibition inside an old building. Free of charge.
Continue walking to Glover garden. We didn’t enter because if we did we would not have enough time to go to other places. On the way back to tram station, we stopped by at souvenir shop and ate kakuni manju at Iwasaki Hompo shop. According to my Japanese friend, it is the best manju in Nagasaki. And it is! Pris loved it. I don’t like the bun though.
After filling up our tummy, we continued our trip. Next destination was atomic bomb museum. We took the tram and stopped at station number 20 (hamaguchi-machi). Again, we just followed the sign to museum. But we only saw Nagasaki National peace Memorial Hall and no sign of bomb museum. Apparently we need to go inside the gate of Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall first then on the left side, there is a pathway to go to atomic bomb museum.
We used the coin locker to put our bags away because it was too heavy. It costs 100 yen. And we got it back when we took out the bags! Worth it 😆
Entrance fee to atomic bomb museum is 200 yen. We needed to go down to B2 (ask the information lady if you can’t find the way). We bought the ticket from machine and just scan it on the gate. We are allowed to take photos but can’t use flash. It was a very interesting museum and made me cry.. The message (some might say propaganda but for me it’s pure message) is too deep. Especially when I read the testimonials from the survivors.. It is a must visit place in Nagasaki.
We planned to go to the memorial hall as well since we already there but canceled because we didn’t have enough time 😦 We needed to see Urakami Cathedral and it is closed at 5 pm. Although, we could take photos on the outside still. Urakami Cathedral was one of many building that got destroyed at the time of the bombing, and they rebuilt it. It was the biggest cathedral in Asia before the bombing.
Around 6 pm we rushed back to Nagasaki station. I wanted to go to Mount Inasa and seeing the night city view of Nagasaki which I heard very beautiful, but it was time for dinner and we need to catch up the train as well. In Nagasaki Station, we went to Amu Plaza, to the 5th floor. That’s where most of the restaurants are. We picked one of the Japanese Restaurant from Directory (and I forgot to note the name! but it was number 5 on the floor directory).
I ordered fried chicken (tori karaage) and it was delicious!! The price was a reasonable as well! Happy tummy 😀
After dinner, we went to ticket counter and bought a ticket for Hakata Station. It was 3090 yen per person. Easy and no more mistake made 😀
The Souvenir shop (next to entrance) was closed at 9.30pm. But the other shops around it were closed by 8 pm mostly. I bought castella cake from Fukusaya shop. There are a lot of castella cake brand but this Fukusaya was recommended by my Japanese friend who was growing up in Nagasaki. So it should be a valid recommendation! The cake can only last for a week though!
I found the kakuni manju shop as well at Nagasaki station. The same one as the one we found near Oura Church, Iwasaki Hompo. The seller was really nice. He explained to me that the manju can be taken around for 12 hours and can last for 1 month in freezer or 10 days in the refrigerator. I was thinking about my trip and decided not to buy it because it was not possible with my flight schedule and transit time. I’ve really appreciated that guy! He couldn’t speak English, yet he tried so hard to explain to me so that I didn’t waste my money, in case I don’t have enough time to get it in the freezer. Love Japanese people!
We sat down in the train back to Hakata and just rest for the day. I even fell asleep quite fast! From my experience in Nagasaki, it was not enough to go there for a day. You need at least 48 hours in Nagasaki to really enjoy the city and culture.
As the result of yesterday’s trip to Beppu, we woke up really late today. We were really tired. Taking it easy on our morning… didn’t even have breakfast.
It’s been 4 days in Fukuoka and we haven’t eaten any ramen! Fukuoka is famous for its Hakata style Ramen. A very thick pork broth used for this noodle soup. Time to have brunch at ramen place then!
We were told by Pris’s friend that there is a ramen street on 2nd floor of Ekinaka Hakata Shopping mall. And the recommended ramen shop is Shin-shin. We arrived at ramen street at 11 am and were heading to shin-shin ramen when I saw a long queue in front of it! Desperately wanted some food, we walked around to find an interesting ramen shop. After walking one full block, we found one.
Hakata Ichiban Ramen. There was no queue in front of it but somehow I was interested in this shop. Maybe because I saw a lot of signatures on the wall 😀 Looks like some celebrities coming to eat in this restaurant and left their signature. Before entering the restaurant, we needed to buy meal ticket from the machine first. All of them in Japanese but there were some that are in Roman alphabet so we could read it. I picked ramen karaniku-miso. It was 750 yen.
Put in the money, clicked on the menu I want then I got the meal ticket. We gave meal ticket to the lady who ushered us to our seat. The place is small but quite packed even though there was no queue outside. Looking closer to the place, I was thinking we picked the right restaurant. The people seemed to enjoy their food. Some even asked for another portion. There were more signatures on the wall in front of us.
The noodle came and at first didn’t look special. Just a normal white pork bone soup. I mixed the karamiso with everything and tasted it. O.M.G. it was very delicious. No wonder Hakata-styled ramen is very famous. Ho Chi Minh has a good ramen place as well called Ramen Danbo. And I heard they also from Hakata. I think these 2 ramens are on par.
With happy tummy, we continued our adventure. We went downstairs to 1st floor and I saw the sign “Souvenir Street” Uh-Oh.. Dangerous! We both like shopping. First thing first, supermarket. Local supermarket is a must visit for me. We spent the time quite long there, looking for some stuff for us and for our family.
In front of the supermarket, there are small shops so we also visited them. Found a casual long dress for 1280 yen. Not bad eh. And the shopping continued… the souvenir street was dangerous for us indeed ^^;
We ended up going back to the apartment to store our stuff first. We planned to go to Tenjin Station then to church. It was not convenient to bring all those stuff. We rested for a bit, charging our phones and ready to go.
To go to Tenjin Station from Hakata Station, we can take bus or train, but somehow Google Map only suggested train. So train it is! We needed to take Kuko Line, a subway line but we couldn’t find the machine to buy the ticket. Apparently, we had to go to basement first by following the sign ” Kuko Line ” then buy the ticket from the machine there. First time in their subway line. We proceed to entrance after got lost to another exit somehow ( I blamed Pris for this, but I was at fault for following her and didn’t check carefully xD). Line 2 is for Tenjin Station.
Tenjin Station is a huge station with soooo many exits. We checked on map and couldn’t decide which one should we take to reach the church so we followed Google map suggestion, which was Exit 4. After we got out, we turned to the right direction and followed the street (we actually got lost again and this time because of me lol. I followed Google map direction then it turned out the GPS was not working properly.. oh well).
We stopped by at family mart and bought something to eat in case we hungry later. I found cheeza!! My friend told me to try it because it is yummy. And it really does! I like it.
With Pris in charge of direction, I just followed her and taking some photos on the way. We knew we have arrived when we saw a very tall tower with 3 big bells.
Daimyo Catholic Church. The english mass in this church starts at 4 pm so we still have time. We stopped by by the shop. They have many cute stuff. I planned to buy something for my mom but couldn’t find anything with Japanese characteristic. The shop is closed at 5 pm so if you want to buy something, better buy it before the mass started.
The mass was finished pretty fast, less than an hour. Then all of us got an honor to witness a baptism ceremony for an African baby. Such an amazing moment!
I couldn’t take photos of this church because it is not allowed. The design is simple and it allows a lot of lights coming in from transparent roof on certain part. We went out of the church and took photos before departed to our next destination.
Pris already searched for the bus to take to go to Fukuoka Tower from Daimyo Church. Unfortunately, it changed. By the time we arrived at the bus stop, Google map told us to go to another bus stop! We had no other option than following the suggestion. After about 10 mins of walking, we arrived at designated bus stop, then we took bus number W1 to go to Fukuoka Tower. Our destination was the last stop of this bus, and it stopped directly in front of a small Shopping Center.
Off the bus, we followed the sign to Fukuoka Tower. At this area, we could visit Momochi Seaside Park, Robosquare, and Fukuoka Museum. I was a bit lazy to join Pris to the tower because I have been to another tower in another city as well and it was cloudy when we were there. The sky was gray. In the end, I joined her.
The security guard asked us to buy the ticket at the counter. The price for ticket was 800 yen for adult, but since we are foreigner they gave 20% discount, so it was 640 yen per person. We queued for the elevator after we passed by the photo session area. A lady took our photo and we could buy it later when we got out if we like it. There is no toilet up there so if you need to go to toilet better do it on 1st floor. The elevator came, we got in and it went to the highest floor which is floor 123. Somehow they called it level 5.
The view was amazing despite the cloudy sky. It would have been better at night. The tower opens from 9.30 am to 10.00 pm. There was a 3D photo corner with a ramen bowl. Of course, we took photos there! 😀 You can check out the photo at Pris’s blog.
There is also an automatic tower shrine. 100 yen to play. Insert the coin then followed the instruction. At the end, you will get a number which indicates which box you should open. They have many language version in each box, so pick the one you can read. For me, I chose English.
It didn’t take long to finish all the sightseeing there and we wanted to go back to 1st floor. To do so the lady asked us to go to 3rd floor. Pris was confused when they told us that. It is actually floor 121, which is 2 floors below.
When we arrived, the elevator just left so we had to queue for the next one. While waiting I looked at the vending machine and it was full of couple lock and ornament. Then I looked around and saw a bunch of locks on the rail. Oh! This is the floor for couple. I saw some couple there as well. When I walked to other side of the building, I found a corner with a giant heart made of flowers. There are 2 buttons on the left and right just behind that heart construction. I read the instructions.
Apparently it is a heart gate for couple! The couple who wants to declare their love must walk through the heart while holding hands. Each of them has to reach the button on their side then later on a bell will ring!! Cute haha.
Back at first floor, we were offered the photo which was previously taken but we didn’t take it. It was bad photo haha. Sorry. There is a souvenir shop at 1st floor and a supermarket. There is also an artist corner where you can have your caricature made.
With a hungry tummy, we walked around the small shopping mall and didn’t find anything interesting. We decided to go back to Tenjin Station and find food there.
At Tenjin Station we headed to Tenjin Core. I saw they have restaurant and food court at 7th+ floor. Next to Tenjin Core is Vivre. After we got lost (again today), we found out that they are connected on certain level only. Since we didn’t know that area well, the safest way would be back to basement 2 and go to tenjin core 7th floor.
Tamago To Watashi.
I was interested in fried chicken while Pris wanted Omurice. If only they can be eaten at the same place… Okay, let’s try the omurice. I wasn’t interested because it doesn’t look like the omurice that I liked. So I made an offer, I would go there as long as we order the one with gravy lol; The portion looked big that’s why she wanted my help in case she couldn’t finish it.
There were several people eating there. The girl at next table was getting ready to eat her order. The portion was huge! We ordered the one I wanted. The portion for that one was smaller so I’m sure Pris actually can finish it alone. I couldn’t eat much if late already. Me and my weak tummy ~.~
It took a while until the dish came to our table. It looked so yummy. We shared the rice and egg. Omurice is one of traditional Japanese food where they put fried rice inside an omelette, and they usually pour gravy on top of it. I tried it. It was surprisingly yummy! (Or maybe because we were starving lol;). The gravy was very delicious. Good thing we didn’t order the one with creamy sauce. It might be good as well though, but I’m not a fan of creamy sauce.
We shared the dessert as well. It was delicious as well. I always thought Japanese people are good with dessert. Apparently, they do.
We finished eating by 8.45 pm and was excited to see the shop but we were unlucky! All of the shops were closed already. We were at elevator and we couldn’t press any floor except 1st floor 😦
Back at Hakata Station, we checked out the souvenir shops. Pris was looking for something to give to her parent by November 2017 but everything will expire soon. The average expiration date is August 2017. Some of them are November but it will be too tight. In a way it is good because that means they don’t use preservatives, I guess.
I bought a small pack of Menbei. I had no idea what that is but Pris said she saw many people bought it. So when we found a small pack of it, we bought it. I tried the green onion, while Pris bought the mayonnaise flavor. I’m guessing it is a kind of rice crackers but mixed with mentaiko. Rice cracker in Japanese is senbei. Maybe that is why this is called menbei. It does have mentaiko taste and a tiny bit spiciness.
Menbei Green Onion
Menbei Green Onion
We headed back to apartment and preparing for tomorrow. Our trip to Nagasaki!!
There is a new ramen place in Le Thanh Ton street, at intersection with Thai Van Lung street. I don’t know the number but I’m sure you won’t miss it when you pass by. The place looks fancy from outside, and it is also fancy inside for a ramen place.
Their ramen is different style than Ramen Danbo. They have a clear soup and the flavours are only shio or shoyu (and the special one. I ordered shoyu ramen, while my husband ordered shio ramen. We also ordered fried chicken.
It was pretty good I must say. Crispy outside and juicy inside. The taste was delicious as well.
This is shoyu ramen. Their broth is not as rich as tonkotsu ramen but still delicious. It was refreshing to eat different type of ramen. The noodle was cooked nicely. We loved their texture that was a little bit chewy but soft as well. One thing bothered me was the smokey smell from the pork. It was really strong that the whole soup tasted smokey. But we both agreed that this smokey pork is the best pork meat on ramen so far!
The ramen was 120k vnd per portion. And fried chicken was 110k vnd. The price quite high between ramen places in Ho chi Minh City. It is a good change though from the tonkotsu style ramen.
How about you? Do you like a thick broth ramen or clear soup ramen? Let me know in comment 😉