Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005, your time is up

This is our new year's eve in picture form.

On our way to Osaka

Meeting up with Hana, Sam & Leigh for a Thai dinner at Elephant Cafe - delicious!

Mini vans driving around Osaka pumping out loud, Loud, LOUD J-pop-hip-hop with their boots open revealing huge-ass speakers, subs, LCD screens and scantily-clad chicks

The gang in Umeda's "Bar, Isn't it?"

Sam busting out 'The dragon' while seated - now that's talent

The fire-breathing show

Sue Yen and Brendon posing when that classic song came on - I love it!

Sue Yen & me

Brendon & me


The bar chick was very generous. The shots were massive (I had to take 2 gulps) and Leigh's drink was 1 part coke, 7 parts bourbon

Countdown - 14!

When it hit 2006 - the sake drum was cracked open and dished out

Up on the bar - Coyote Ugly style

Sam getting his dance on up on the bar before being told only girls were allowed up there

The cargo pants gang

This chick had all the guys slack-jawed

Words of wisdom

The only decent photo of me up there

Much respect to the girls who were dancing up there in stiletto boots and heels! I was wearing my puma's and didn't last that long in fear of falling off

It was a great night, wonderful company, plenty of laughs in our fake personas and perfect in having Brendon next to me.

Hope 2005 was a good one and here's to embracing 2006 with all it has to offer.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Buffet anyone?

Today was a nice and easy one (ofcourse including lots of food).

We did some shopping in Sanners then headed to Harbourland, Mosaic for the buffet at Fisherman's Market. I rate it about 6 months preggers points because I just had to go back to the dessert bar again..and again.

Also met up with Yoshi, my conversation partner who moved to Tokyo. He was back in Kansai for the new year period so I invited him out to join us.

Sam & Hana - nice & stuffed

Warren, Ivan, Brendon

Me, Krystal, Jon, Sue Yen, Yoshi

Sam, Hana, Leigh, me

The lights in Mosaic

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Ramen, Kyoto & Yakiniku

We hiked it up the mega hill to have ramen and gyoza at 'Bikuri Ramen', a cheap and tasty (such a great conbination) ramen place that I've been to once before with Claire.

Then it was off to Kyoto. The last trip Brendon was here, we didn't make it to Kyoto and I really wanted him to see it.

Kyoto station

Taking a photo of Brendon...

...and proof that he was checking out the Gyaru girls!
Fish sausage on a stick

We went straight to Kiyomizudera - pure water temple, my personal favourite. Being Winter, the leaves had all turned brown and left hundreds of twisted, skeleton hands clawing around the temple. I wish he was able to see it in Autumn in all it's fiery beauty or in Spring with the cherry blossoms that dance pink petals in the air. He still enjoyed it though. The view from the main verandah gives is always beautiful.
The water was very freezing cold

We did the touristy things like lining up to drink the temple's water and took heaps of photos. We checked out the 'Love Stone' and wanted to try it out but it was too crowded. We saw this one Japanese guy doing it and he was wondering off way off mark and walked into some people before crashing into one of the stalls, all the while his friend with him was laughing so hard. It was so classic.

We were thinking about going to Kinkakuji but decided not to as it was already getting dark and only getting colder. Plus Sue Yen and her brother, who is also holidaying in Japan and were in Kyoto that day, were on a bus heading there but were still stuck in the crazy Kyoto traffic. So we decided to head back into Osaka and do some shopping instead.

We met up with Sue Yen and Ivan later for dinner and went to a yakiniki place in Umeda. Even though we smelt like BBQ afterwards, it was so good.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The eating continues

We decided to sleep in today and boy, did we need it. We were pretty knackered from all the travelling and walking we did in Hiroshima and Miyajima.

Brendon made my favourite chicken corn soup the night before and I promised him I'd make him breakfast, which I did this morning - French toast with bananas, mayple syrup, blueberry jam and raspberry jam.

After doing our laundry and ironing, we dropped by Cheryl's place to feed her fish. Nearby her house we wandered around and came across a little yakitori store (which was really some person's transformed garage) which smelt too good to just walk by. So we had these very tasty chicken wings stuffed with gyoza filling and spring onion-chicken yakitori.

Cheryl - your place is fine; fish and plants alive and we so have to go to 'Daddy's Kitchen' next time.

That night we went to the Sky Buffet so Makoto and Kiyoko could meet Brendon and practise their English. Again we ate ourselves to about 5 months preggers point then rolled home.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Hiroshima & Miyajima

Today we set off on our trip to Hiroshima & Miyajima.

Although I've already been there, I wanted Brendon to be able to experience it for himself and it was the perfect quick and easy getaway.

We got up early and I made salmon and furikake onigiri for snacking on the shinkansen. After about 2 hours we arrived and headed straight for the A-bomb dome and Memorial park. Next we went to the Peace Museum then headed back to the station for lunch.

Brendon racing the shinkansen

The shinkansen won

Homemade onigiri

Tricycle and helmet (this story always gets me)

Shadow burnt into the wall and steps (and this one always shocks me)

At our internet table waiting for lunch

Brendon just had to have this photo of the fountain which looks like a big silver butt

We took a train to the port and got on a ferry bound for Miyajima. There we met some deer, saw the famous torii gate and took lots of photos. We also had deep fried custard momiji manju and Miyajima's famous oysters, fried and barbequed. Delicious.

Deep fried custard momiji manju on a chopstick

Deep fried oysters

Barbequed oysters

The giant rice scoop made out of momiji wood

When it got dark, the lanterns were lit up as well as the torii gate. It was too dark and cold to do the ropeway up Mt. Misen so we headed back to Hiroshima. We went to Okonomiyaki Mura so Brendon could try Hiroshimayaki. We are now both big fans of the stuff.

Then we walked to the Aster International Youth House, the really nice 3-star hotel I stayed in last time, and took photos of the lights along Heiwa-dori.

We were glad we did most of the sight seeing the first day because Brendon got a flu-bug or something and wasn't feeling all that great. So the next day we went for breakfast in this bakery cake shop with a cafe at the back then headed home.

I also brought Brendon to one of my adult English conversation classes and they had fun asking him lots of questions. They think he's a 'good guy.'