13 January 2024

8D7N Kyoto & Osaka, Japan - Part Three

 Part three, the final part is finally completed. 

We had such a great sleep last night, and woke up refreshed and ready to conquer as much as can in Osaka. First place was Kuromon Market. The only problem was we were too early so some shops were still closed. Hah. So, we took a stroll in that area, and enjoyed the sweater weather. 

We could smell cooked seafood everywhere and it was really just so tempting, however since it's our last day here, we decided not to eat their seafood. I don't know what reason is that. But I guess since Penang also like got seafood so we decided to save our yens for something else. But I am sure their seafood is very fresh. 

We tried looking for salmon sashimi, but it was surprising so difficult. 

We continued with street food searching and trying. Their green tea pastry and melon juice is hands down the best! Their croissants - out of this world!

After a light but super satisfying breakfast, we walked to Osaka Shinsekai! Because we were early, the line to the Tsutenkaku Tower was not insanely long. We also did not pay for it, because we got the Osaka Amazing Pass. 

It was a quick look-see look-see on top, and then we started walking again. We got to the Tennoji Zoo in Osaka, and since it was free entrance (yes, with the Osaka Amazing Pass), we decided to go for a quick look-see look-see too. 

We missed the three kids extra much in here, because we kept saying things like, "Aww, Alex and Sofia would love this!" 

I love this zoo because we got to see the lions up close through a glass window. They were resting, and I was just so fascinated with how beautiful they are. Lion has always been my favorite animal. Both lion and tiger. If I go to the zoo, I usually want to spend more time looking at them. 

We definitely had a moment. If I could be anything in this world, I want to be a lion/tiger trainer/owner/friend. 

This photo (below) made me realize how much I have changed - in my mental state. I was happy, but there was little bit of pure joy. I was thankful, but constantly worried. The trip to Japan helped, but it was during this trip when both Adrian and I got to have real deep and difficult conversations with each other. 

It was like we got to reset. More for me I guess. I went home from Japan, feeling different, and determined to change my lifestyle so I can heal mentally and physically. 

We walked really fast in the zoo because we only wanted to see "important" animals. Hah. Sorry snakes, birds and pet-able animals.

Next, we walked to Keitakuan Garden - a very zen place to be at. Good for those who wants quiet time, and fresh air. Adrian loved it here. If he could, he would spend at least 30 minutes sitting here, staring at trees and fishes. 

Also, must pay to enter but we did not because it was included in the Osaka Amazing Pass already. 

Note: Adrian did all the planning for our Japan's itinerary so I just follow him. Thank you baby :) You know how to heal my heart, for sure :) So yes, let's travel more HAHA. 

Then, we continued walking and taking the train to our next destination: Tempozan Marketplace! 

We haven't got to try the omurice yet, so we went searching for 1 inside this mall. It was not nice, and expensive. It was not omurice la please. Macam fried egg with white rice and sauce. Hah. 

Then, we got on the famous Tempozan Ferris Wheel. This ferris wheel is so huge and high, that even I got scared. I was legit scared so I closed my eyes when the wheels were moving. I cannot imagine then how afraid Adrian was. Heh. 

But the view was 100% really pretty! 

Oh, and the other thing we really liked is every couple can get their own carriage. They won't make other people share with you so the perfect place to propose. Hah. 

The famous Kaiyukan Aquarium was really nearby, but we decided not to go due to time, not included in our pass and we want to go with our kids next time. Heh. 

After looking at another part of Osaka, we went for the next included excursion: Santa Maria Cruise. The boat is very pretty, and they serve like green tea ice cream and snacks onboard but have to pay with yen. 

Quite slow sailing kind, about 45 minutes ride along the Port of Osaka. 

My favourite red bridge. 

After the excursions, we headed back to our hotel. Along the way, we bought this famous Manneken Belgian waffle. It was really good! It was like every snack that we got in Japan, is always yummy. 

We also had a pre-dinner appetizer: okonomiyaki (again). We had such a good one at the Kinkakuji Temple there, so we got to have another one. This was supposedly a famous one. There was a long line outside, and we actually waited. 

But it was mehh. 

After resting in the room for a while, we headed back out and has black ramen for dinner! I was happy that we got to try so many Japanese foods when we were there. 

The black ramen was really yummy, but it was huge. I was super full after that dinner. We wanted to order just 1 bowl for sharing but the man (solo in the small quaint shop) was looking at us so fiercely and spoke only in Japanese. We got scared and decided to just order 2 black ramens. Haha. We would have ordered 2 different ramens if he (I think owner and chef) didn't scare us. 

After that, got 2 Japanese ladies came in, and he smiled. Ish. 

We went back to the usual night market, and Adrian die die also must try their sushi. It was just okay! 
The shop was apparently the first sushi restaurant who started the sushi belt idea. 

We went back to the hotel and started packing our things. It was bittersweet. We could not wait to leave because we missed the family so much. We were sad to leave because it has been really quality time spending with each other. 

Thankful we got to do this :)

We left Japan in the morning, and reached home at night. 

It was home really sweet home. Our kids waited for us for bedtime. We skipped dinner that day because it was more important for us to reunite with them than eat. 

Thank you for following us to Japan.

If you want more details, they are all saved in my highlights on Instagram. If you ask me questions about Japan, I may forget, so please go see there la ya. 

Till next travel, bye now. 

04 January 2024

This is for you, Vanessa Khoo.

We took this selfie because her office building is in the background somewhere. 

I have been wanting to write and dedicate this post to my sister since she moved to another country, but I could not do it without the heavy heart feeling and without crying. It was a painful adjustment, but here I am, and here it goes. 

*Sasa, you can go take tissue first, because I know you sure cry no matter what I say hah*

When she first told us about a job opportunity in Singapore, I was not 100% supportive. I was probably only 60% for it, but when we found out that she has always wanted to live an independent life like how this job would give, I forced myself to give her my 100%. 

When Vanessa left for Singapore, she brought a part of me with her. We have always been that clingy-overly attached trio (with Rachel). So, her moving away was a difficult one. It was a tough reality. I supported her decision, because why would I hold her back, just because it's going to be difficult. She wanted this for herself, and we are 100% behind her. 

She adjusted very well (with loads of tears for sure) there, but for me to adjust to our new norm without her, I needed a 'closure'. Okaylah, I won't call it closure. So drama like break-up ni. It was more like I need to move on happily. Hah. It does sound like a break-up and closure. 

But anyways. 

I needed to see what her new life is like. I needed to see that she's happy and well, despite the homesickness. That was my main reason for the recent trip. Because if she was not happy and really miserable, I would do everything I can to get her back, to convince her to come home. 

But she's happy, and thankful, and thriving. 

The trip to Singapore was almost a no-go, but I am really glad that we did it. Now, I can imagine being there with her, even though I am not. It’s a very complicated feeling, which I don’t love. I saw where she worked at, her daily commute, the type of food she eats, and the neighbourhood. If I could go see her office cubicle or table and sit on the chair she sits in office, I would. Hah. Told you I am overly attached. 

Vanessa Khoo Yoong May. 

I am extremely proud of you ♥️ You have grown to become an amazing woman who continues to give selflessly and loves so graciously to people around you. Singapore is now more 'majulah' and blessed because you are there. 

You are strong and you did the one thing I would never be able to do. You left a very comfortable place, and go on an adventure that you have always wanted. When you wake up every morning in this foreign land, know that you did it. 

What you did is difficult. It's impossible for me even. Leaving us, your friends, your safest place, your support system, your chicken rice is tough, but you did it. 

I want to tell you, that even though you are younger than me, you are my role model in many areas. I have so many things to learn from you, the way you live your life and how you love. Both you and Rachel are my role models, in different areas. This is why I am very blessed ♥️

So yes, both Adrian and I are very proud of you. Dad and mom are proud of you. Kah Wei and Rachel are proud of you. I can say that on their behalf because we are super proud of you. 

Sha Lynn, Daryl, Alex, Sofia and Adam miss you everyday. And you miss us terribly, for sure. But please don't feel bad about missing out on family events, and doing fun things with us. Singapore is just a plane ticket away. Heh. Your currency is 3.5 times more powerful, so still doable. Heh. 

But seriously, don't worry about us here. We will be okay. We will make this LDR work. 

Also, if one day you have enough of your adventure, and there is no reason for you to stay in Singapore, just pack your bags and come home. Home is always here for you. No matter how long it takes. 

Do I secretly wish you don't find your soulmate who lives in Singapore? Yes. But I want you to be happy. Know that we are always praying for you. 

Love you long long time, little sister. 

Majulah Singapure, and Malaysia Boleh.