19 August 2015

Hit by the J Wave! #KFCchallenge

IMG_0214

KON'NICHIWA!

When I saw that I had to pick either Korea or Japan, it wasn't a very tough choice to make, especially having spent 5 months in Tokyo (refer to my IG: @princessamantha). WOOHOOO!!! One of the best experiences ever! To be honest, I've been to both countries and I love them both, but if I had to choose, really, the obvious choice is definitely Japan!!!


IMG_9933

There are so many things I love about Japan!
Staying in Tokyo for 5 months made me love the city even more.

#1 Creative Quirky Things
uh huh yes, all things quirky and bizarre comes from Japan right? It's just their culture and way of life!
There are things here that you don't ever see elsewhere in the world! Ever! Especially, the cute things that make me go "OMG LOOK SO CUTE! How can I even eat this? How can I touch it? Gosh, these Japanese things are so kawaii nehhh!..."

#2 Fashion

I think I can officially say I belong here, especially in terms of height!!!
There are so many petite girls around! hahaha, how funny it sounds right, but I actually don't feel short here cause it seems like the average height of girls in Japan are shorter? I have no idea, but I feel rather average here. And because of that, there's a trend of girls here wearing heels, shoes with wedges. My favourite kind of footwear! hahaha, see it's good being a petite girl cause you can wear heels without feeling too tall. I'm just saying this cause I'm short... hahaha, but yeah you get the point. I love the fashion here, it's mainly catered to girls like me (lace dresses, crochet, floral prints, etc), and oh yes I love how they match cute shoes with shoes and even wedges. Interestingly cute! And brands even cater to the fashion sense of girls here, like how converse shoes in Japan have the special lace and ribbon version.

#3 Friendly, Kind, Courteous People
Yes. Everyone actually HELPS!!!

Because of my limited Japanese language and my bad map-reading skills, I tend to ask a local for directions whenever I need to locate a place. The amazing part is how random strangers don't just point where to go but they actually just decide to walk me to the place itself, even when they are not going the same way as me initially. I was so touched, and always am going to be touched. It's like restored faith in humanity you know! Oh, and there was once I asked a guy working in a store for directions, he said he didn't know, so I walked out. A few minutes later, he came out of the store chasing me and told me the way.. cause he actually google mapped it for me after I left. How nice of these people! Thank you every single soul who has helped me in any way possible, I really appreciate it! (:

#4 Punctual Transportation
Speaking of trains, I learnt that public transport in Japan is always on time. They are never ever late. Only I am late... When a train is due to arrive at say 12pm, the clock strikes 12 sharp, there you see the train right in front of you. So don't ever miss your transport, cause it leaves on time just like how it arrives on time, haha especially important point to note while taking those long expensive shinkansen (bullet train) rides out of Tokyo. One thing I learnt is to always arrive early, so that you are the one waiting for the train, because the train never waits for you. Plus, it's good to be early because the platforms in major subway stations can be rather complicated and far to walk to so yeah be early! Japanese people are equally on time, so if you are meeting your Japanese friend, try to be punctual and don't keep others waiting!


#5 Everything (Most) is Clean

It's comparable to Singapore, but even cleaner. Even the public toilets in the metros are decently clean and has a powder room for women to do make up in. The only downside is the lack of dustbins around, reason being, apparently you are encouraged to bring your thrash home to throw away. beats me? I don't know why such a rule. haha but yeah in general, people here don't litter so the streets are rather clean even in the alleyway. Train seats are clean too.

#6 Vending Machines
Lost in the world of vending machines...
Indeed, it is very true. There's bound to be a vending machine selling drinks at almost every street corner. Sometimes, not one but a whole row of them. hahaha, it's like everywhere! Don't worry that you will be thirsty or hungry on the streets, just pop your coins into any one of the machines and food/drinks come out almost immediately. The trouble is deciding what to get, and that's the dilemma I always find myself in - pacing back and forth up and down between 5 machines next to each other and eventually deciding on my good old fruit juice or water. 

#7 Convenience Stores
Because convenience stores in Japan are actually convenient!!!
Yes, it lives up to its name alright.

I never have to worry not being able to find something I need nearby, because besides the vending machines, there are 7-11, Lawsons, Family Mart everywhere. In one street, it is not surprising to find all three convenient stores. I admit, sometimes I do convenience store hopping, just to see what each of them offers hahaha, it's quite therapeutic somehow... haha and it's cause sometimes I actually want to find my raisin bread k, so I go to all three and I'm quite sure one of them would have my raisin bread. oh and best of all? They are open 24hours a day! (:



Besides all the things stated above, more importantly, I LOVE JAPANESE FOOD!
So much so that even after living in Tokyo for many months, guess what?
The first few meals I had back in Singapore was actually Japanese food... even my friends couldn't believe it!

I really wasn't sick of having all of that. In fact, I eat Japanese food regularly like twice a week. Can never say No to Japanese food - being light (non-oily/greasy) and tasty, somehow it just suits my taste palate!
* Fun-Fact: I LOVE BASEMENTS OF JAPANESE SUPERMARKETS!!!
Omg, in Tokyo, head to the basement of those supermarkets, you will find super cute snacks, unique sauces, cheap bento, artistic food decorations and bakeries, oh and of course, very fresh sashimi and sushi... and many more things you didn't expect to find. hehehe! You'll love it!!!

IMG_0205

I'm happy with regards to KFC's current campaign!


BATTLE OF THE KFC WINGS



Freshly breaded in-store with a special batter, these juicy wings are cooked to crispy perfection and coated in your choice of two bold flavours - choose between the Japanese-inspired tangy yet savoury Umadare and the Korean-inspired sweet and spicy Yang Yeum. Who will be crowded king of the wings?

You decide.


KFC-Wings_Instore-Poster_Eng_508x762Hmm-pf_N5-682x1024
Pick a side and be part of KFC's greatest wing-off. Hashtag #kfcoishii to support Umadare or #kfcmashisoyo to support Yang Yeum on Instagram!
I vote for #kfcoishii
What about you? (:

11 August 2015

Aventa Hair Salon: Back to Brown

IMG_6254

OH, HELLO BROWN
AVENTA HAIR SALON

Hello Singapore, I'm back! (:
It's been 5 months away from home, besides missing some Singapore food, I really enjoyed my stay in Tokyo.

And when in Tokyo, with regards to beauty and hair, I went to many salons. However my insufficient Japanese probably caused a misunderstanding between my hair stylist and me. I wanted to dye a darker shade of brown but it turned out black!!!
IMG_0804
The Japanese stylist in Tokyo promised me that the black colour I saw that day, would naturally turn brown after a few weeks... hmmm! But when it didn't happen, I knew I had to do something about it.

Now that I'm back in Singapore, I immediately thought of visiting Aventa as my rescuer!
Remember my previous post?

IMG_0806

Aventa Hair Salon never fails to do such a great job to my hair. I was in for a good hair dye and hair treatment finishing. All credits to my hair stylist for the day, Seiji, Director Stylist (:

IMG_0809
IMG_0839

I mean having black hair temporarily was a good change, since the last time I had it was when I still had my natural hair colour in Secondary 4 days... However, in the long run, I really wanted to get my brown hair back! ^^ heh, somehow somewhat, I just couldn't get used to seeing myself in very black hair.

IMG_0843
IMG_0870
Always opt for a treatment option when doing a hair dye!!! It's only 10mins of your time yet your hair gets smoother and healthier. Very worth it right!
IMG_0871
All I had to do was to pick the hair dye colour I wanted, seat back relax - read some magazines, get some drinks and snacks, use my phone and let Seiji work his magic!

IMG_0879
The end result was a darker shade of brown. So much better than what I originally had when I first stepped into the salon (: I know from the pictures, it kinda still looks black-ish? But yeah! At least I could tell the difference. Can't wait for it to further fade into a lighter shade of brown in the next few weeks!

Thank you! (:

AVENTA HAIR SALON
#01-02 Stamford Court, 61 Stamford Road (S178892)

02 August 2015

Call for Entry! N.E.mation! 10

There is no free lunch in the world, but sometimes, lady luck shines and it sends you travelling...

YOU MIGHT BE NEXT TO WIN A TRIP TO USA!
SEASON 10

N.E.10_logo_Hd_2606

Good News!
N.E.mation! is back for the 10th season.


In line with SG50 celebrations this coming August, this year's theme:
Together We Keep Singapore Strong
"At the start of the next 50 years, it is a good time to reflect on and reaffirm the strength, values and beliefs that have brought Singapore this far and, more importantly, the values that reside within each and every Singaporean to take Singapore forward. Together, we will continue to play our part to keep Singapore strong."

NE9-Champion-Team

Last season's champion team went to USA where they visited renowned animation studios, landmarks and famous attractions. Take a look at their fun adventures!



 Wish that were your friends and you?
Well... if you are a student (between 13-17 years old)...
THIS COULD BE YOU!

Feeling excited already?

Registration is now open and 3 simple steps are all it takes to kick start your journey that may win you and your team a trip to USA. Isn't it a dream come true for most students???
Now I wanna be a student all over again...

NE10_CFEPoster_FA_Lowres

3 SIMPLE STEPS:
Step 1: Form a team of 3 to 4 students from your school

Step 2: Register online at https://nemation.sg/register/

Step 3: Submit your story ideas on the theme "Together We Keep Singapore Strong" by 16th August 2015.


***

I remember taking part in such competitions during my schooling days, it's always the process that matters more than the end result. Plus, I got to meet many other like-minded friends from other schools as well (:
No worries if you do not have any experience in animations. The good part is that you don't have to have any experience to take part in NE Mation. heh, ultimately we have to start somewhere right, so long you have a passion for it, just participate! What's best? You will be given proper training and guidance, and in no time, you could find yourself discovering a new talent. For now, if you really are keen yet don't know how and where to start, you can visit the free online Story Workshop (click on the link!), where resources are kindly prepared by the organisers to get your creative juices flowing to craft the winning story! Try it!

Get started today, and who knows?
You and your team might be the next champions to visit the USA!

For more information, do hop over to the official site!
Facebook | Twitter | Youtube Instagram

23 June 2015

Tokyo: Mount Nokogiri

solo hiking, lets go!

THE SAW MOUNTAIN
JUly 20TH, 2015

Nokogiri Yama (literally means"saw mountain"), unique for its nicely shaped rocks, derives its name from the rock outline that shapes like the teeth of a saw. Approx 3 hours away from downtown Tokyo, in Chiba prefecture, it is a perfect place for a day-trip! It's great for hiking and it's definately less touristy, well, I guess not many people know of this place, I have no idea why, but when I was there, there wasn't much people...

For me, I took a day trip there and getting there, I took the JR Uchibo Line to Hamakanaya station. On the train ride there, you will be greeted with a splendid coastline view, as Hamakanaya is a harbor town facing Tokyo Bay itself, oh yes there's a ferry port there too. From Hamakanaya station, assuming you walk in the right way, it takes about 15 mins walk to the Nokogiriyama Ropeway. The entire place was very quiet, almost no one walking around when I was there thus I had to slowly find my way to the ropeway, thank God when I was nearing, I saw a tour bus and that indicated I was on the right track, yay! (:

Okay, so...
I did something for myself - a solo hike up to the famous cliff spot, Jigokunozoki, literary means the hell-view. It just means that you can see the bottom of the cliff from the sharp-edge protruding rock. Well, I would say... it's actually a beautiful view, not a hell-ish view, so do not worry! It takes about approx 1.5hours hike between the station to the peak, depending on how fast you are... but anyways, that was my goal, to reach up to the peak! I mean since I travelled all the way there already, and the fact that I am already there... why not just go all out and climb all the way right! Don't give up! Along the hike, there are many historical materials made of carved stone such as a big Buddha statue, which is the biggest in the Orient.

After coming down back to the foot of Nokogiriyama Ropeway, I walked back to Hamakanaya station however, sadly I missed the train by a few seconds :/ How unlucky right! Do note that as it is not a frequently accessed station (not much people like I said), the trains back to Tokyo area come every hour only. But anyways, I kept telling myself everything happens for a reason, and indeed! Because, I managed to explore other parts of the place. It's not just a boring station (well, initially I thought I was just gonna be stuck there for another hour), but rather, I found out from the area map that there was a bay area. I was surprised, pleasantly surprised!

I chanced upon a fisherman's market where they sold fresh seafood and confectionary snacks. Along the bay area, there's a ferry wharf, where Koibito no Seichi (Lovers' Sanctuary) is located at! It's actually just a huge love bell monument overlooking the big blue sea, pretty sight for sunsets especially! Apparently, on clear days, it is said that you could see Miura Peninsula, the skyscrapers of Yokohama, Oshima and even Mt. Fuji.


What did I learnt? What was the most fulfilling part of the day?
Solo hiking sounds scary coupled with my fear for random creepy crawlies and wild animals, but by conquering your fears and stepping out of your comfort zone, it can be really rewarding, especially being greeted by a beautiful sunset at the end of the day

05 June 2015

Leisure Lunch

missing my alone time

BECAUSE I CAN
June 7tH, 2015

IMG_7880

One of the little joys in life is the fact that I can make breakfast and eat it at home. I love food art, plating and all the pretty breakfast platters you can ever think of. Being able to have time (and effort I may add) in the morning to do that is really a luxury. Imagine taking a whole hour to prepare, cook, plate it, take photos of it, eat it and lastly clean up without any stress of time, whoa, that's something I am thankful for and will never take for granted.

Yes, by doing all of the above, half a day is already gone... I know... that's why I said, luxury. The luxury of time, indeed, especially when life gets so busy and it feels like everyone wants a piece of you or everything needs your attention. Oh my god.

IMG_7878

I want to have time for myself, some alone time, do something right for myself. It's time I love myself because I deserve it.

So yup, I wanna relish in the dream of being able to experience with cooking, baking and food art.

IMG_7810
IMG_7809
don't you think they are beary-cute!

That's something I will do, improving my skills, exploring my sense of creativity and tastebuds, oh and probably a good way of finding myself.