Hello! I'm gonna take a break from blogging about our next destination, to discuss about our biggest headache before we arrived in Japan.

So we had this BIG decision to make before we left Malaysia - to bring or not to bring a stroller *clutch hairs on both sides of my head*

You see, we, like all parents to young kids, had Googled for advice and the advices (to our dismay) mostly suggested that it is not convenient to bring a stroller to Japan, unless it is the umbrella, lightweight type. Top reasons given in travel forums- Japan's subway stations mostly don't have elevators or escalators, the train is crowded, Japanese mothers carry their child in baby carrier so we should too, most places of interest required climbing some steps or just to put in plain words - not stroller-friendly.

Let's see our situational assessment:

We know for a fact our kids and our own limits. There's no way we could enjoy our trip with our kids complaining and whining to be carried after half an hour walking, and besides, they are too big to be put in a baby carrier.

Then there's the stroller problem.

We happen to own a Babyjogger City Select - for those who are not aware of this brand, is a tandem stroller for up to 3 kids (which means it is not light at all).

Sounds like we ought to forget about bringing our stroller to Japan, right? RIGHT??!

Umm. 

So why did we decided at the last minute to bring the stroller???

My decision is based on these reasons:
1. The kids tried (and failed) our walking endurance test (held every day for one week in KL as we went on shopping trips on foot in preparation of our Big Trip. After an hour, they started whining and asking to be carried / dragged their feet and refused to walk.
2. Checking in baby stroller on-board AA is not included in the baggage allowance (it's free of charge).
3. During the first 3 days in Japan, we are traveling by car, so the stroller can be stored in the car and used as and when necessary.
4. We'll be out and about the whole day so having a stroller will come handy during afternoon naps.
5. The stroller can double up as luggage carrier with its spacious underneath luggage compartment 
6. Our bucket list of must-go to places, with the exception of Ski Jam, are mostly stroller-friendly areas (museums, castles, Kaiyukan Aquarium, Universal Studios, Namba area).
6. Finally, between the 3 of us, we can carry the stroller up or down the stairs easily.

Anyway, here is my review of whether it is worth it to bring a stroller to Osaka, based on my own experience.

1. Museums / Shopping Complexes

During our trip, we visited two museums - the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Arts and the Dinasour Museum in Katsuyama. We noticed that there are lifts provided for parents with strollers / handicapped visitors. There are also baby strollers on loan (for free) if you wish to use a stroller.

We learnt that many establishments like museums and shopping complexes provide baby stroller facility at no cost, so if you are planning to visit only these kinda places, then bringing a stroller is not necessary.

2. Gardens & Parks
We visited Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa, Nabana no Sato in Nagoya as well as the famous Saganonomiya (the Bamboo Groves) in Kyoto. We felt that we wouldn't be able to cover all of the garden if we had not bring a stroller!

We malas want to bring two seats, so whenever Khayla felt too tired to walk, she hopped on the bar behind the stroller

Japanese garden is really breathtaking and we managed to enjoy the strolls because we didn't get tired from carrying anything heavy. Every time the kids got tired or sleepy, they just popped into the stroller for a snooze. Especially my youngest one, Khadeeja, who has a very strict afternoon nap routine, during which time we were out and about.

Some days we were out the whole day and past our kids' bedtime so the stroller which can be fully reclined, ensured the girls could go to bed wherever and whenever

Also, since the some of the places we went to are in the open air, we brought along a waterproof blanket in case it should rain. It so happened that during our trip to Saganonomiya, it started to rain and we continued walking with our kids soundly sleeping in their strollers with their blanket covering them from the rain.


It was drizzling but our kids didn't know it as they continued to nap in the stroller

3. Castles and temples

More traditional places tend to be located on higher grounds and not all areas within the compound is accessible by strollers. We didn't enter Kanazawa Castle nor Osaka Castle, so I can't really review whether the castles are stroller-friendly buildings, but to get to both castles required us to walk uphill, so pushing a stroller was a challenge. 

Some places only have stairs (e.g. Kinkakuji temple) so we had to dismantle the stroller and reassemble it after reaching the top of the stairs. Between the 3 of us, two persons needed to carry the seats and the frame (usually Le Hubby had to carry the frame coz it's quite heavy!) while my sister helped to hold my kids' hands and made sure they were not lost in the throngs of tourists!


4. Public transport area

We used public transport in Kyoto and Osaka as our means of commuting between tourist sites. And what do ya know! Most stations do have elevators! (Except for a few JR stations that we took). 

This JR stations has elevator

The elevators are rather tiny but we can squeeze in our stroller easy-peasy!

And sometimes we had to use the escalator because the elevator is nowhere to be found or required us to walk far distance to access it:

Just make sure your kids don't ride on the stroller whilst this is being done!

Inside the train carriages, there is a dedicated area for wheelchair / stroller, but please avoid taking the train during peak hours (between 7-10am or between 5-9pm) because it's less likely to get a space to board the train with a stroller. Other than that, it's fine to travel by subways / trains.

However when we took the inter-city train, we had to dismantle our stroller and stored it behind the last seats in the carriage or else it will be blocking the way.

Our stroller in the Shinkansen. Not so many people on board plus it's only a 15-minute ride so we didn't have to dismantle our stroller

We also took taxis to some places and yes, taxis are stroller-friendly too! LOL!


5. Restaurants

This may not be true for all restaurants since we only dined out several times in Osaka - at Kansai Airport, at a halal eatery in Osaka and an Indian restaurant nearby Kaiyukan. It's true though that at some places there's no space for strollers, but there are also restaurants that allow us to bring in our stroller.

But, fret not. Even though we had to leave our stroller outside, we didn't worry about it being stolen. A little cold, perhaps, but otherwise, safe. Japan is after all, a relatively safe country with low crime rate.


6. Other purposes

On top of that, our stroller also served a few other purposes during this trip. I can't tell you enough how much we appreciated our stroller throughout our trip.

During our train journey from Fukui to Kyoto, the stroller seat doubled up as a comfortable sleeping space for Khadeeja (albeit on the floor) - no extra charges and Khayla slept more comfortably in my lap

Even though there's no empty seat on subways, the girls still get to sit in their stroller, sharing earphones while watching Shaun the Sheep - The Movie
I could place my iPad on the stroller for both girls to enjoy their movie whilst on the go (especially when they were being too noisy in the subway and we didn't want to upset the other Japanese commuters)

We also used the stroller seat as extra car seat in Fukui, since there's only one car sear available. The girls preferred this modified carseat because the shades can be pulled down to completely cover them from the glaring sunlight.

Basically, the stroller seats can be detached from the frame and then strapped to the car seatbelts, with the girls buckled up to the seat's harness

Lastly, the stroller let us have extra privacy whenever we had to perform solat in public / open space area. Nobody really noticed us when the big, mighty stroller is parked in front of us!

So, did we find it convenient to bring a stroller to Osaka? The answer is a big resounding YES!
Our trip to Japan has now entered Day #5! How time flew!

Day #5 - Kyoto

In front of Kyoto Tower

After 4 days in Fukui, it was time for us to go back to Osaka. We left my sister's place around 6.30am since we had to catch a train at 7-ish. I think. I can't remember, LOL. All I remember was staying up to pack our stuffs. To make it easier, I packed our smaller cabin size luggage in our bigger luggage so we could store the bags in just one locker once we reached Kyoto (by the way, we spent the day at Kyoto first before exploring Osaka city centre). Plus, it's easier to pull one luggage around rather than two luggages!

One last photo in Fukui train station

I was super excited because that morning, we were going to have our first ever Shinkansen ride! Woohoo! But first, we had to board the Thunderbird Limited Express (which took almost 2 hours, of which Khadeeja spent the ride comfortably catching on her sleep in her stroller seat which I placed on the floor at my feet) to Shin-Osaka and then board the Tokaido Shinkansen (which was about 15 minutes' ride). I was in awe when the Shinkansen arrived at the platform because I didn't think it would be that loooonggg!

Actually, we were supposed to board somewhere way in front at the non-reserved seating carriage, but since it would only take 15 minutes, we simply boarded the reserved seating area, next to the first class area. We could have just sit in any of those seats since there were plenty of empty seats available but segan lah pulak. Hehe.


In the Shinkansen heading to Kyoto

Once on the Shinkansen, I didn't exactly feel any different than riding on ERL for example. Only that we reached Kyoto in just 15 minutes compared to maybe, an hour and a half ride by normal train?

Reached Kyoto Station, with Khadeeja still sound asleep

The first thing we did when we reached Kyoto was to look for lockers to store our bags. It costed us around ¥600 since our luggage is pretty big. Then we were off to our first destination!


1st stop - Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion)

Kinkakuji is a famous zen temple in Kyoto, because of its pavillion which is completely covered by gold leaf. That is to show you how super rich those wealthy elite were during those times. To access this pavillion (and the garden beyond it), visitors have to pay ¥400 admission fee.

Before we entered, a monk told us that there are stairs further up the garden and if we didn't want to carry our stroller up the stairs, we could turn back and exit from the entrance. In the end, we decided  to dismantle our stroller and just climb the stairs since we were almost at the end of our journey here anyway, rather than turn around and walk back to the entrance.

Our family at Kinkakuji entrance

See the structure behind us? That is the famed golden pavillion, which was once upon a time, belonged to a shogun who built it for his retirement villa. Before he died though, he turned it into a zen temple.

Us in front of the golden pavillion

There is also a really huge lake surrounding the area and we could see koi fishes swimming about in the lake. The rest of the garden is well, like a zen garden - complete with the sounds of trickling waterfall and fresh air abundant. I could picture a monk meditating on one of the bench under the bamboo tree while listening to the sounds of moving water.

For Japanese visitors, their reason to come here is also to pray (New Year, remember?) at Fudo Hall, in front of the statue of Fudo Myoo, one of the Five Wisdom Kings.

A Buddhist tourist in front of Fudo Hall

Before we left Kinkakuji, we bought a few packets of peanuts, with chocolate and wasabi flavors. We were rather famished by then since we didn't have our breakfast yet and it was already lunch time. The wasabi one was quite delicious.

Once again, we took a taxi to the nearest train station to go to our next destination.

Khayla smiling happily because she got to pick pink seats in the train!

2nd stop - Arashiyama Bamboo Groves

I first came across a picture of Arashiyama Bamboo Grove on a kids' puzzle games on my iPad. I was really amazed by the picture of bamboos growing neatly side by side and the path going on endlessly. It never crossed my mind that I would visit that place.

We took the Hankyu line and had to walk for a bit, crossing the Togetsukyo Bridge (the "Moon Crossing Bridge", another iconic landmark in Arashiyama) and passing streets lined with shops in central Arashiyama. It started to drizzle along the way so we turned the stroller seats to face each other (with both girls already fast asleep inside) and draped a waterproof blanket between the two seats to cover them from the rain.

What would we do without the stroller...

And then suddenly, we were there!

Reached Bamboo Groves!

Despite feeling out of breath because we had to push the stroller uphill, we were thrilled and awed by the sight of the bamboo groves right in front of our eyes. How serene it was to listen to the rustling of the bamboo leaves and generally, the whole experience left us exhilarated and amazed at the same time!


Me & Suami Terchenta

At some area, the path got narrower and the bamboo trees from opposite sides reached towards each other, leaving us with the impression of walking through an archway

I wouldn't mind visiting this place again, but perhaps next time, it would be just the two of us, having our romantic stroll along the path lined with bamboo trees swaying gently in the wind.

3rd stop - dinner at Ayam-Ya halal ramen shop

Before we headed back to our rented apartment that night, we stopped by Ayam-Ya, a halal ramen shop. It was good to know that halal food is not difficult to find in Japan, not only because they served halal food, but also because they also provide a place for Muslims to pray.

Ordering food at this restaurant is quite unique compared to other places we've been to. At the entrance, there is a ticketing machine, which required us to press buttons to order the meal we wanted and then inserted coins / notes to pay for the food. 

We arrived at the restaurant about 10 minutes earlier and had to wait outside in the cold. Talk about highly punctual Japanese culture!

My ramen - thick, chicken broth ramen

Then it was time to go and find our apartment. First, we had to go back to Kyoto Station, retrieved our luggage and then walked across the station to get to our subway. Then around 10 minutes walk (uphill! with a really big luggage and a really heavy stroller to push!) before we reached the apartment. When we arrived, a delivery guy was waiting outside the door looking bored but he was very polite as my sister apologized profusely to him for keeping him waiting.

Turned out he was delivering our bento food supplies for the next 2 days - full of Malaysian food, thank heavens!

Will blog about our apartment which we booked through Airbnb  in a separate post. Next entry will be about our Osaka sightseeing trip - to Kaiyukan, Osaka Castle and Dotonbori area. Stay tuned!
Hello, peeps!

Finally I have some time to chronicle our trip to Japan on Day #4! This was the day that my daughters enjoyed very much because they finally get to see, touch, smell and bergolek2 on the snow!

Day #4: Katsuyama 

Since it wasn't snowing in Japan when we got there (it only started to snow last week!), the only place we can find snow is in ski resort in Katsuyama, which is on situated on higher grounds. It's just an hour's drive from my sister's place and we departed quite early since the weather forecast reported that it would be raining in the afternoon, and we wanted to spend as much time as possible at the ski resort.

1st Stop: Ski Jam 

At first, we couldn't see snow anywhere on our drive up to the resort, but when we almost reached there, we started to see snow by the roadside. We excitedly woke Khayla up so she could have her first glimpse of the snow. 

Muka tak berapa excited tapi dalam hati, Tuhan je yang tahu!

The trip to the ski resort is purely for our kids' entertainment, so we didn't bother checking rentals for ski equipments or any sorts of fees to access the skiing ground on the hilltop. We just wanted to go to the B-Kids Park and let the girls play with the snow to their heart's contents!

The entrance to B-Kids Park area is ¥500 for half day and ¥900 for full day. We took the half day option since we were already planning to go to the Dinosaur Museum in the afternoon.

How the girls enjoyed themselves! Khadeeja, always the adventurous type, could not get enough of going on the sled and sliding on the snow down the slope. Aku pun apa lagi, berkali-kali bawak dia naik dengan alasan temankan Khadeeja, padahal diri-sendiri yang excited nak main! Hehe. Khayla pulak takut sikit and just wanted to build snowmans. 

Having fun sliding down the slope on a sled!

Since we were already at the ski resort, I convinced my sister that we must have a ride on the cable car and take a photo on the hilltop. At first we thought that we had to pay to get on the cable car, but turned out that the cable car ride is free if we didn't intend to ski on the hilltop.

Aku gayat sikit tapi Khayla excited kemain lagi naik cable car

The cable car ride was quite chilly since it started to drizzle, and by the time we reached on top, I felt my face going numb. Yet, the ride turned out to be worth it because on the hilltop, we found more snow! Snow so thick, I had to waddle in some of the area :)

Do you want to build a snowman???

Khadeeja had fun building her snowman and didn't even notice that her non-waterproof boots were all soaked up! By the time we went down and took her boots and socks off, her nails were blue-ish! I had to buy her a new pair of crocs since her boots were really wet.

Meanwhile, Khayla just had a blast starting a snowball war with everyone, although most of her snowballs went off-target, LOL!

Khayla had fun throwing snowballs at everyone!

Love the scenery behind us

By the time we had to leave, Khayla was so sad that she cried. She dragged her feet as we left the snow area and eventually broke down and only stopped crying when my sister bought her ice-cream! o_O Tapi aku pun confuse jugak dengan orang Jepun - walaupun cuaca sejuk, dieorang tetap suka makan aiskrim.


2nd stop - Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum

This museum is located around 10 - 15 minutes away from Ski Jam. It was the perfect trip to cheer up the girls who was so miserable about having to say goodbye to their newfound love, snow.

A giant replica of a dinosaur

Apparently, this museum is one of the "World's Three Great Dinosaur Museums", two others being in Canada and China respectively. We also learned that there were many fossils found in Katsuyama area a long time ago, and that is why they decided to build the museum here.

It was already 3pm by the time we reached the museum, so we decided to have our picnic lunch (rice & chicken curry which I prepped the night before even though we reached home from Nagoya at midnight!) on the benches outside of the museum. 

Suffice to say, it was quite a horrendous experience because the area is windy and the temperature was around 5 degrees! So cold! 

One of the dinosaur fossil found in Katsuyama, just outside the museum building

The dinosaur on the right is the museum mascot

Entrance fee to the museum is ¥720 per person, but kids below the age of 6 enter for free. The museum consisted of 4 floors including the basement, but most of the exhibits are located at the basement.

Taking a long escalator to the first floor of the basement

The museum is pretty awesome too and the girls soon forgot about the snow as they marvelled at the dinosaur's replicas and fossils on display. Their favourite exhibit is none other than the robotic T-rex that moves and makes roaring sounds like a real life dinosaur!

The T-Rex roars and moves - much to our kids' delight!

Replicas of dinosaur's bones on display

This replica of a giant herbivore stood two-storey high!

A 3D animation of dinosaurs fascinated my girls because the creatures ran from one screen and appeared at the screen behind them!
There is also a dinosaur-themed playground outside of the museum, but it looks rather rundown (although still in good condition). We let the girls had a go at the slide before finally getting into the car and out from the cold weather outside.

Khayla pretending to run away from the T-rex

It was our final day in Fukui and we had a great fun. The next day, we made our way to Kyoto and it was really exciting because I got to board shinkansen @ the bullet train! Woohoo!
Ohaiyo gozaimase!

By the 3rd day, we have finally adjusted to the cold temperature in Japan. No more dreading about taking a shower!

Day #3 - Kuwana City

Our day was spent at Kuwana City. Actually today we just went to Nagashima Resort, which has a few attractions including a theme park, premium outlets and a garden. Originally we were supposed to go to Shirakawa-go, a traditional Japanese village but my sister decided to cancel it at the last minute since it wasn't snowing (apparently the attraction is the winter scenery of the snow-classes village if it had snowed). Langkah kiri betul trip kali ni! 

1st stop - Mitsui Outlets

Hmm. Since I didn't have any plans of shopping in Japan (how to shop if I only brought enough for food and transport? LOL!), this felt like a total waste of time. Still, we saw huge crowds thronging outlets such as Michael Kors, Kate Spade, etc. because of the New Year sale. 

Next to the outlets, there is a theme park  (Nagashima Spaland) which is OMG HUMONGOUS! We can't help feeling excited looking at the roller coasters. Roller coaster je ada beberapa bijik, dengan yang paling panjang (dan tinggi) dari hujung ke hujung park tu! Terasa nak naik sangat2 apa kan daya tak de dalam bajet dan satu lagi, kiteorg ni bawak anak2, abis tu dieorg nak dicampak ke mana kalau mak bapak nak naik roller coaster?

So telan air liur je la.

We were glad that our night trip turned out better - which is a visit to Nabana no Sato. Pergh, panjang berjela2 nama!

2nd stop - Nabana no Sato

Nabana no Sato turned out to be a another garden (Japan has plenty of gardens for such a tiny island which I loike), but unlike Kenrokuen, the highlight of this garden is in the thousands of colorful LED lights they installed ALL OVER the garden! Yup, the whole garden is an illumination display during winter and we felt like we were strolling in a moonlit garden in a fairy tale. Senang cerita, macam kat i-City Shah Alam, tapi lebih besar dan lebih walla!

Every year there is a themed display on a giant LED illuminated board and this year's theme looks very much like 'Heidi'.

Pertunjukan animasi lampu tentang seorang gadi yang tinggal di kawasan pergunungan

Anyway, one of the most amazing scene in the park is trees' reflections in the lake:

Macam dalam mimpi. Cantik, kan?

The highlight of the park is none other than the world famous light tunnel. It is truly spectacular with millions of LED lightbulbs lighting up the whole stretch of the tunnel:

In the lights tunnel which is so romantic

The entrance fee set us back by ¥1100 per person, which includes ¥500 worth food coupon. Before we left the park, we bought ourselves some Turkish kebab, and had our dinner in the chilly open air. 

Next destination - looking for a snowman!


Woke up to another day in Japan! 

Day #2 - Kanazawa


On the second day, we left home at 10.15am. It was supposed to be 10am but we Malaysians mah! Ok lah, actually we spent quite some time in the kitchen preparing lunch - nasi lemak with Khadijah's instant sambal tumis instant Khadijah's. Berbaloi gak aku beli - memang sedap!

From Fukui, we drove about 1 hour to Kanazawa.

1st stop -  21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

This museum is all about contemporary arts in this century (we are still in 21st century, right?) All types of arts can be found here - comic characters, paintings, art installations and many more. Too bad I am really buta huruf about art, so I couldn't really appreciate the museum that much. 


Apparently Detective Conan character is also a work of arts


It's all about perspective - from above, watching people walking at the bottom of a swimming pool while from the bottom, subjects looking at people on top



Watching from above is free, but if want to have the underwater experience, you have to pay

Nothing much to see in the museum, so we went outside to find these installations:

Colour activity house - something about filter arts. Anak2 aku appreciate la lari keluar masuk tempat ni..


In the museum compound. Kalau snow turun baru nampak cantik, putih di mana-mana *nanges*

Less than hour later, we decided to go and have lunch in the car. Nak piknik kat padang kat atas, sejuk pulak. Brrr! Glad to have brought home-cooked lunch sebab bila sejuk, rasa lapar pulak sampai Suami Terchenta tambah 2-3 kali!


2nd stop - Kanazawa Castle

Since Kanazawa is a tourist attraction spot, this place was crowded with local and foreign tourists including us. Seriously, Kanazawa is a really beautiful town I wanna stay here and eat gold ice-cream every day!

The pathway leading up to Kanazawa Castle

Yup, you read me right! Kanazawa is famous for producing gold leaf, made by beating gold leaf to extremely flimsy sheet. They use the gold leaf on almost everything from decorating temples, religious artefacts, handicrafts to even food!

All along the way, we passed countless of souvenir shops selling handicrafts as well as ice-cream and snack shops selling exotic flavour ice-cream including gold ice cream. Belum sampai ke Castle, kiteorg dah berhenti menyinggah beli aiskrim. Can't imagine eating ice-cream in the cold weather, no? But that's what people in Japan like to do!


Gold sheet on our ice-cream. Khayla loved it so much that she begged us to buy another cone (tak de nye lah anak!)

This is one food you oughta try (¥780 @ RM27 kalau tak silap). Baru betul2 kaya!

After walking for about 15 minutes (including a few stops at the shops to admire the myriads of souvenirs), we finally reached Kanazawa Castle. Tall, white gates concealed even taller, white castle building within. We learned that the castle was built in the 16th century by Lord Maeda Toshiee who ruled over Taga clan for more than 280 years. It has been repaired on several occasions to preserve the cultural architecture and has been used as military base as well as university campus before.

Actually there's not much activities going on except touring around the castle ground and admiring the Japanese architecture.  One has to pay admission fee of ¥310 to enter the diamond-shaped turret or the warehouse, otherwise admission to the castle compound and the Kahokumon-gate is free. 


Kanazawa Castle behind us. Felt like we were transported to 16th century in Japan!

Sebijik macam dalam drama Jepun kuno

Tak habis-habis nak melompat!

The view from Kahokumon-gate

The inside of the main gate (Kahokumon-gate). This tower was rebuilt as closely as the original gate which was burned down in a fire

The gate entrance

After touring the Kanazawa Castle, we moved on to Kenrokuen Garden which was just across the road from the castle.


3rd stop - Kenrokuen Garden


Dubbed one of the most beautiful gardens built by feudal lords, Kenrokuen, which means "having six factors", was given the name because of the six attributes that bring out the perfect landscape of the garden: spaciousness, tranquility, artifice, antiquity, water courses, and magnificent view from the garden.

If you are wondering why there is a cone-shaped ropes attached to the tree branches, it is called yukitsuri (literally snow hanging), meant to protect the branches from breaking from the weight of snow. Guess there's no need for that since it is not snowing this year, huh?

Trees hung with yukitsuri


Our little family

So serene... Felt like I just wandered into a magical forest! 

Man-made pond and stream, maintained by the Lord Maeda's family for centuries. The water is crystal clear!

Susah nak ambik gambar dengan Khayla sebab dia asyik nak lari tak nak bergambar

Khayla was really enjoying herself in the garden because she can run around and dragged her feet in the small pebbles that littered the pathways. Kid seemed to have so much energy even though she hardly ate anything! Perhaps it was due to the cold weather?

Memory with my cheeky daughter

4th stop - Higashi Chaya district


Next, we made a short stop at the famous Higashi Chaya. Why is it famous, you ask? This is the place where tourists can view historical rows of teahouses reminiscent of the Edo period. Geishas used to strut along the row of houses and entertained guests in the teahouses. This area is steeped in Japanese traditional culture, which makes a rich experience for first-time tourists like us.

With a couple dressed in traditional kimono attire. Orang Jepun selalunya pakai kimono masa Tahun Baru dan perayaan tertentu.


Traditional teahouses
We even visited Hakuza Hikarikura, where we saw various things made with gold, for example these fruit cakes:

Fruit cakes with gold crust

Sepatah haram pun aku tak faham sebab semua dalam bahasa Jepun


Teahouse covered completely in 24K gold. Kau hader??
Gold seemed to be the biggest industry here, and everything from cakes, tea and ice cream to facial tissue and face masque are mixed with gold! The only thing we could afford is gold ice cream LOL!
5th stop - Kanazawa Station

Last but not least, we made a stop at Kanazawa Station. Besides being a transportation hub for the district, there's also a really big souvenir shop in the station where we wanted to get souvenirs.

Kanazawa Station served as the main entry point for visitors coming to Kanazawa

Taking a photo in front of the Tsuzumi Gate which is the landmark of Kanazawa Station


Just outside of Kanazawa Station, there is a really huge red-colored landmark known as Tsuzumi Gate. The design is based on Japanese traditional hand drums (tsuzumi).

After snapping photos, we headed to the souvenir shops where various Kanazawa's souvenirs are on sale. Most of the souvenirs are Kanazawa pastries since Kanazawa is famed for their sweet treats! I felt like I wanted to stay here and savour all the pastries in the shop! They looked so yummy with various candy colors and sweet fillings!

My favourite snack / pastry in Japan - mochis! This photo made me drool!


Family photo in front of Kanazawa Station

Last stop - Makan malam @ Coco's di Fukui

Before we headed home, we had our dinner back in Fukui. I loved this restaurant because it is kids-friendly. While waiting for our food, they doled out coloring pencils and coloring paper so Khayla & Khadeeja are kept occupied with their activity.

Khayla busy coloring her Doraemon character
We ordered pancakes for Khayla and they gave a chocolate  pen so she could decorate her own pancake. Isn't that a wonderful idea?


Khayla drawing a smiley face on her pancakes

As for me, the cold weather made me crave for hot and spicy food - so I ordered seafood paella with hot sauce.


My paella was really delicious

With food being out of the way, it was time to head back home and rest for another journey the next day - to Nagoya.

To be continued..