Experience · Food · Travel

Day 5 Fukuoka – Nagasaki (Kimono rental – Oura Church – Atomic Bomb Museum – Urakami Cathedral)

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.

il Forno del Mignon bakery croissant

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.

Kamome 7 Fukuoka - Nagasaki

Kamome 7 Interior

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).

Nagasaki Train Station

Nagasaki Train Station

City View in front of Nagasaki Station
City View in front of Nagasaki Station

All kind of transport in Nagasaki

Nagasaki Tram / Street Car

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.

Kimono Hoppen kimono rental

Inside a Nagasaki Tram

Shianbashi Tram Station

Kimono Hairdo Nagasaki

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.

Sofukuji Temple

Sofukuji Temple

Sofukuji Temple

Sofukuji Temple

Me with Kimono at Sofukuji Temple

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.

Daikoji Temple

Stairs at Daikoji Temple

Garan Restaurant Nagasaki

Chicken Katsu Curry Rice

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.

Nagasaki Tram Stop Number

Nagasaki Tram Line

Inside the tram

The street leads to 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.

Oura Catholic Church Nagasaki

Saint Mary statue at Oura Catholic Church

The building next to the church

Entrance to Glover Garden Nagasaki

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.

Iwasaki Hompo - Kakuni Manju shop in Nagasaki

Inside the tram

Nagasaki Memorial Hall Entrance Fee

Direction to Nagasaki Bomb Museum and Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall

Entry Ticket to 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.

Thousands of paper bird origami

The time of bombing

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.

On the way to Urakami Cathedral

Urakami Cathedral Nagasaki

Around Urakami Cathedral

Urakami Cathedral Nagasaki

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 😀

Nagasaki City

20170626_175335

Tori Karaage (Fried Chicken)

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!

Fukusaya Castella Cake Bag

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.

Ciao!

Food · Ho Chi Minh City

Gyu-Shige – Japanese BBQ Restaurant

If you like meat, especially grilled meat, and you are happened to be in Saigon Center Shopping Mall, you should try Gyu-Shige. We tried it out of curiousity when we were there. The place is crowded but we were only need to wait for 5 minutes and they got us a table.

20170226_131842.jpg
Drink Menu Gyu Shige

I like how they have vast option of beer and other drinks. I was surprised they have Asahi beer as well. But since it was imported, the price is high for a beer! I ordered Sapporo instead.

20170226_131523.jpg
Beef menu Gyu Shige

Their option of meats are not that many, but it is enough for us. We ordered the usual dish we ate on Japanese or Korean BBQ restaurant. It’s kind of he standard for us to compare the quality of the meat and also the taste. Can you guess which are they? Yes! They are Karubi (Beef Ribs) and Samgyeopsal (Pork Belly). We always ordered this especially on new restaurant that we haven’t tried before.

20170226_132448.jpg
Salad Gyu Shige

My husband ordered a salad as well, because he didn’t order steamed rice. We never thought that the portion was quite big! And it was also a fresh salad.

20170226_132257.jpg
Side dish

Compare to Korean BBQ, Japanese BBQ didn’t have many side dish comes with the main course. This plate of vegetables and a plate of kimchi were the only thing for our side dish. We used lettuce a lot, to eat with the meat. Make a wrap and put the red sauce inside. And I must say, this red sauce is the best I’ve tried. It was really yummy. I couldn’t stop eating it.

20170226_132442.jpg
Karubi Gyu Shige

The karubi was also good quality. It was juicy and no weird ‘beef’ smell. It tasted delicious as well. I like to grill it medium, so it would still juicy. Yum!

20170226_132445.jpg
Pork Belly Gyu Shige

The other menu was Pork Belly. This was the first time I grilled pork belly by myself. Usually we had the servant to do it, or it came in small pieces. This one is more korean style. So I had to grilled it to half-cook then I cut them with scissors to smaller piece and grilled until well cooked. I LOVE their pork belly. It was not dry and it was marinated really well. Very recommended to order this.

Overall we were happy eating in Gyu Shige. The price also affordable for a restaurant inside a shopping mall, and comparable as well. The only thing that they should improve would be the grill. They let us use the same grill for beef and pork. It should have used different type of grill for different kind of meat. Pork has fat that easily burned on grill, and it also can cause the fire to raised up to the grill if we used the grill for beef.

Thanks for reading. Ciao!

Address : L5-16 Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

 

 

 

 

Food · Ho Chi Minh City

Ramen Danbo – the best in town

As a fan of Japanese Ramen, I never missed out information about good ramen in Saigon and of course went there to try it! First time I read about this ramen was last year, from one of the group in Facebook called Foodies in Saigon. Many people seemed to like this place so I went there, but they were closed for renovation 😦

After a while, I read that they were opened again after renovation, but I hadn’t had time to go there. Until recently…

20170211_122631.jpg

I invited my husband, who is a ramen lover as well, to join me on ramen testing! We came there just in time before all seats were taken. The customer after us were sent away because they were full. It’s interesting though how they treat the situation. They prefer to send the customer away rather than asking them to wait. They are really allowing time for existed customer to finish their food without hurry. So if you would come there in group, it is better to make reservation.

The waitress gave us menu and we had to write down our choice on order sheet. One sheet per person. Customized for each person.

Ramen Danbo menu.jpg
Ramen Danbo menu

I ordered Chasu Tonkotsu Ramen without additional topping. Noodle stiffness level was medium. And everything else was normal/medium as well. I used to do it to know how the taste should be. I didn’t order drink because they gave us cold water already. For free.

20170211_122612.jpg

While waiting for the ramen to be cooked, I looked around at my table. They have beansprout dish, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, pepper, and red chili to be added to our food, if we want. They also provided rubber band! How thoughtful. Ladies, don’t worry if you don’t bring hair clip! You can use rubber band and eat ramen comfortably!

20170211_123600.jpg
Chasu Tonkatsu Ramen Danbo

Tadaa! I mixed the red sauce with the broth and then sipped it. Yummy!! This ramen is really delicious! Something was not feel right for me when I ate this ramen. Apparently, the noodle. I should have ordered stiff noodle. I tried that noodle on my husband’s ramen and it was soooo good! Next time I will order stiff noodle instead of medium. The pork was sliced thin and was yummy as well. It’s a complete package!

20170219_132018.jpg
Fried Chicken @ Ramen Danbo

We tried their fried chicken as well. And it was awesome! The chicken was cooked really well but still soft and juicy. They marinated the chicken so it didn’t taste plain. Had some flavor on it. I used the salt pepper and the mayonnaise as well ! I like salty food 😀

All in all, it was a great ramen experience! Definitely come back and recommend it to all of you!

Thank you for reading! Ciao.

Food · Ho Chi Minh City

Manmaru – Japanese dining experience

For you who loves Japanese food or just want something different in the city, you should try Manmaru. Their menu is more to the home cooked style. There are sashimi, sushi and rolls as well. And they were delicious. Fresh fish.

20161217_145834.jpg

They have 2 branches, one at Ly Tu Trong street and the other one at Mac Dinh Chi street. I went to the second one. The design of the restaurant is unique. It gave me the feeling of eating in Japan (with some background Vietnamese voices..). I read on one of the review that if you want quieter place, you should go to second floor.

They put the menu in Japanese on the wall, but they also have normal menu book 😀 If I remember correctly, there was no English translation for the menu. But if you are familiar with Japanese food, that should not be a problem. Or you can always ask the waiters.

We ordered sashimi set and yaki soba (fried noodle). They were delicious! We were very happy to eat it. Definitely will go back there. Even my husband said he would invite his staffs to eat there one day because it has different ambience.

Thank you for reading! Ciao.

Address :

  1. 192 Lý Tự Trọng, Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
  2. 71 Mạc Đĩnh Chi, P. Đa Kao, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh

 

Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Curry Shika – Japanese Curry Rice

As a fan of Japanese Curry Rice, I couldn’t just ignore the information about this place. Curry Shika. It is said to be a hidden gem in Saigon. Many good reviews about it, it made me want to try even more. It is located on a street in between Nguyen Train street and Le Lai street. A very busy street! And a bit narrow as well.

20160822_122130.jpg

The address is 1/4 Nguyễn Văn Tráng. I found a small alley and wasn’t sure but then I saw this sign “Curry Shika”. Oh yeah! I came to the right place. Following the alley, I entered 1 area, not busy at all. Then on the right side I saw Curry Shika restaurant. It was lunch time so I expected some customers there.

20160822_122139.jpg

It wasn’t crowded when I got there. Only 1 table was occupied. I picked 1 table with a nice view to take pictures 🙂 The atmosphere is very local and Japanese style. The good thing is they don’t allow people to smoke here. The place is small, with only a few tables. I’m not sure if they have 2nd floor.

20160822_122402.jpg

I looked at the menu, everything in Japanese, with a translation below. I was a bit disappointed because I couldn’t find Katsu on the menu. There is no fried dish! Everything is stewed. I picked beef curry with cheese. It was mentioned as their favorite, so it’s a good point to start.

img_20160822_181620.jpg

It came with onion pickles and salad. I liked their onion pickles. The rice was yummy. Their curry was delicious! Soft meat as well. I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish it, but I did! I finished the whole thing! Very clean plate lol. It was tasty. Definitely need to come back next time.

I don’t usually give a tip, but this time I gave some tip on my payment, then I left them. When I got out of the restaurant, I heard someone calling me. It was the waitress. She said to me “I’m sorry, but we are not allowed to accept tip” Wow! Very honest waitress! They must have treated the staffs really well.

So if you’re craving for some japanese curry rice, you can try this place! Recommended to try for lunch.

Ciao.