Sunday, May 31, 2009

Monsters Vs Aliens!!!!

Went to watch Monsters VS Aliens at Vivo today.. Vivo's cinema is forever so crowded!!!
This is really a show worth watching.. Very entertaining! Kids, adults, edlerly... All will like it!! Quick quick, go watch ah!!!! LOLx
Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) is hit by a meteor on the day of her wedding to weatherman Derek Dietl (Paul Rudd), absorbing a substance called quantonium and growing into a giantess. Alerted to the meteor crash, the military arrive and capture Susan. She is labeled a monster, renamed "Ginormica" by the government, and sent to a top-secret prison facility headed by General W.R. Monger (Kiefer Sutherland) and containing other monsters: B.O.B. (Seth Rogen), a brainless, indestructible gelatinous blob; Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D. (Hugh Laurie), a mad scientist with the head and abilities of a cockroach; the Missing Link (Will Arnett), an amphibious fish-ape hybrid; and Insectosaurus, a colossal grub that is even larger than Susan. The monsters are forbidden to have any contact with the outside world; while the other monsters have been living contentedly with this lifestyle for the past 50 years, Susan feels incredibly isolated and wishes to return to her old life.
An alien named Gallaxhar (
Rainn Wilson) detects the quantonium radiation emanating from Earth and deploys a gigantic robotic probe to find it and extract it from its source, Susan. After a botched attempt by the President of the United States (Stephen Colbert) to make first contact with the robot, it begins destroying everything in sight, resisting all conventional military force used against it. General Monger convinces the President to use the monsters to fight the robot instead. The monsters accept the mission with the promise of freedom if they succeed. Arriving in San Francisco, Susan is chased by the robot across the city to the Golden Gate Bridge, where the monsters are able to defeat the robot.
Now free, Susan returns to her hometown and introduces her family and friends to the monsters, who are quickly rejected after innocently causing a panicked ruckus in the neighborhood. Derek, meanwhile, breaks up with Susan, claiming that he can't be married to someone who could overshadow his career. Initially devastated, Susan realizes that becoming a monster has improved her life, and fully embraces her new friends and lifestyle. Suddenly, she is abducted by Gallaxhar, who apparently kills Insectosaurus when he tries to save her. On Gallaxhar's ship, Susan breaks loose and chases Gallaxhar down, only to enter a machine that extracts the quantonium from her body, shrinking her to her normal size. Gallaxhar proceeds to use the quantonium to power a machine which
clones him into an army so he can invade Earth.
With assistance from General Monger, B.O.B., Dr. Cockroach, and the Missing Link infiltrate Gallaxhar's ship, rescue Susan, and hot-wire the ship's power core, activating the ship's self-destruct sequence. Susan, however, is cut off from her friends, who are trapped in the power core and tell her to save herself. Instead, Susan confronts Gallaxhar, who tries to escape with the quantonium, and attempts to force him into releasing her friends. When Gallaxhar says he cannot reverse the sequence, Susan takes the quantonium back and absorbs it, restoring her to her gargantuan size and allowing her to save her friends. The monsters leap out of the exploding ship and are rescued by General Monger on the back of the revived Insectosaurus, who had sealed his body in a cocoon and transformed into a giant
The monsters receive a hero's welcome upon their return. Derek attempts to get back with Susan for the sake of interviewing her, which could benefit his career; instead, Susan rejects him and forces him to endure the humiliation of being thrown into the air and caught, swallowed and spit out by B.O.B. on camera. At that moment, the monsters are alerted to a monster attack near
Paris and fly off to combat the new menace.
My favourite character is the Indestructible Gelatinous Blob... Super funny "no-brainer"!!!
He is really damn funny, especially about him "trying to chat up the jelly" and many more!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Terminator Salvation

Terminator Salvation - Opens 28 May'09
Movie Plot:
The highly anticipated new installment of The Terminator film franchise is set in post-apocalyptic 2018. John Connor is the man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators. But the future that Connor was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright, a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future, or rescued from the past. As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet's operations, where they uncover the terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind.
Was supposed to watch Monsters Vs Aliens first but in the end decided on Terminator! It's really good to watch if you're one who totally enjoy lotsa actions!!! Very exciting wor!!! The actors in the show are sooo good too!! LOLx

Anyway, this GV cinema, I think their sound system is too loud already. Know they are trying to create a more optimum effect while watching the show but I think it's rather deafening lor... Not good for the ear drums though... Anyways, watching Monsters Vs Aliens this weekend!!! Yippie!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Launch of the Chronomat B01

Just sharing this email I just received from my godma (she's my father's younger sister & she lives next door to me.. ;p) about the launch of this new watch from their Company... She's been working in this same Company for like more than 15years I supposed.. Her office location is sooo good, at Orchard-Wisma!!! I like some of the watched by Breitling, but can never afford it, at least not right now, nor in the near 5years... :( But one day, I mean if... i can afford, I'll sure buy 1!! Hehee

Look out for tomorrow’s advertisement in The Straits Times

Swine Flu Case in Singapore

Singapore confirms first case of H1N1
(Posted: 27 May 2009 1033 hrs)

SINGAPORE: Singapore has confirmed its first case of Influenza A (H1N1). The patient is currently being treated at the Communicable Disease Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and is in stable condition. The patient is a 22-year-old Singaporean woman who was in New York from May 14-24. She arrived back in Singapore from New York on SQ25 on 26 May at 6.30am. She began to develop a cough while onboard. She passed the thermal scanner uneventfully as she did not have fever then. Later in the morning, she consulted a GP who decided to send her to TTSH via a 993 ambulance, given her travel history. She was immediately admitted for testing. Laboratory confirmation of her infection was made by midnight of 26 May. The patient has been vigilant in monitoring her own condition and had sought immediate medical attention once she realized that she was unwell. Her attending GP, through his quick response in activating the 993 ambulance for the patient, had also helped to minimize the spread of infection from this case. The Health Ministry says it has initiated contact tracing of her close contacts. They will be quarantined and provided with antiviral prophylaxis. Passengers who had travelled in the same flight and were seated in rows 52 to 58 are urged to call the hotline at 1800-333 9999 to enable the MOH to check on their health condition. The MOH adds that all medical practitioners and healthcare institutions should continue to be vigilant to suspect cases. Singapore will continue with temperature screening for passengers entering Singapore at all checkpoints (land, sea and air). All passengers passing through or entering Singapore are given Health Alert Notices on board their flights, advising them to monitor their own health if they have been to affected areas and to seek medical attention immediately if they are not well. - CNA/ir
Shit!! I hope that everyone else that she has come into contact with would be fine and hers is the only isolated case... May she get well soon and God Bless us that the SWINE FLU will stay FAR FAR FAR away from us!!!! Cos I still want to be able to freely go around places for my regular movies, outings with friends and drinking sessions!! Argghhhhh... (am I being over-reacting & too paranoid now???????)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

*Twit... Twit... Twit... Twit...* "You've got a Msg!!"

Miki introduced this Twitter thing to us over Gerald's birthday dinner when we all gathered... Never knew about such an interesting application!!! So, she sent us the link to sign up for an account, so that we could all be 'connected' and updated with each other's daily stuffs anytime, anywhere...

So I decided to try out and signed up for an account... That's when I start to explore and learnt that Twitter can be added onto our Blog so others can see my updates too!!! Koolz!!! So I DID IT!

Now I'm still trying to get the hang of it and now also trying to figure how how to use this Twigoo thingy... Seem interesting too...

I guess the rest of the gals are 'too busy' to check out the Twitter invite that Miki has sent cos so far, other than Miki, only me & recently Jolene, who have signed up.. Now we're just waiting for the rest of the 'lazy gals'...

Anyways, I think it's quite an interesting tool to keep yourself connected and updated with friends, so why wait, sign up for an account today & let's GET CONNECTED! Muahahaha.. ;p

Monday, May 25, 2009

Finally ~~ Japan Trip Photos (14-19 Jan'09) - Day 4

Took this picture at the Onsen Ryokan - "Iie crem, Usually, ¥150yen"
When I saw this, I was like ?????... Ermmm, what is the 'Iie Crem" Not-Usual price then??? =.=

Took another picture of Mount Fuji (last picture before we left from the area)... Bye Bye Mount Fuji...
I shall see you again soon, hopefully............... ;p

Inside the Ramen Museum... See how they make the place look like a street in the 80s? Interesting....
And they make the ceiling look like as if we're really in the open! Koolz ritez...
The ramen was pretty tasty, but a little salty thou'... But I feel that the standard is about that of some ramen places i've tried here in Singapore wor... Not exactly that fantastic actually....
The origin of ramen :

Noodles originated from China over 4000 years ago and reached the Japanese culture much later on. In fact, we had to wait up to 19th century, in the Meiji period, for ramen to become widely known in Japan. The Japanese dish was originally called “Lamen”, but will be later referred to as “Ramen”, since there is no distinction between the 'L' and 'R' sounds in the Japanese language and it was a more popular way to express the word. After the Second World War came an intense food shortage in Japan, a turning point in the history of noodles. Ramen were perfect and greatly helped Japan, they were cheap and a great source of needed calories. A bit later, in 1958, Momofuku Ando, founder and chairman of Nissin Foods, invented the instant noodles, which are a lot closer to what we eat today. Named the greatest “made in Japan” invention of the 20th century, in front of the karaoke and headphone stereos, in a Japanese poll made by the The Fuji Research Institute Corporation, instant ramen became a Japanese cultural icon. Today, 4000 years after the origin of the first noodles, ramen are known worldwide and are part of over 85 billions meals every year. The Ramenlicious team really hope you will enjoy the website and join the always growing noodle lovers community. Lamian :La (chinese) = Pulling and stretching.Mian (chinese) = Noodles.Ramen : Men (japanese) = All kind of noodles made of cereal flour.
(For more information about history/origins of Ramen, go to

The Kobe beef is damn expensive lor!!! But it's so juicy and tasty after we bbq it... But it's damn fattening can!
Don't remember what is this temple called... But it's super crowded with Japanese as well as tourists!! The streets nearby the temple are filled with losta stalls selling all kinda stuffs like a massive 'PaSar MaLam' like that (but of cos much better standard than our PSML lah!) !!! Refer to the bottom left-hand picture to see how crowded the street was!!!
Look at all the different 'fortune cats' they have!!! How I wished I could buy them all back!!!
I bought a few about 10 assortments of the 'fortune cats'... I should have bought more.... :(
Our dinner for the night was Chinese food... Damn 'weird' rite, go Japan eat chinese food.. Haha... But guess there's some 'tie-up' between the travel agency & restaurant, cos all the diners there were brought in by their tour guide under their package and it's mainly Chinese from China, Taiwan & Singapore.... Nothing special about the food, not really nice actually....
Check out how 'exposed' the porn magazines are displayed!!! And the magazine contents not really sensored de wor.... Anyway, I think we were in a 'family convenience store' lor.... -_-"
This Grand Prince Hotel was damn big lor! The decor all very 'english style' de.... Check out the door (with gate). the design of the curtains, the chairs, the wall paper.... There's even a balcony where we can see the swimming pool and also enjoy the cool wind!

Funny thing was, we were trying to figure out how to switch on the air-con cos we were feeling rather stuffy and a little warm... We fidgeted with the air-con switch for like 15mins then decided to call the frontdesk to inform them that their air-con is faulty... Who knows we were informed that they only have a warmer and not air-con in the room! We were so damn embarrassed lor... So in order to get 'air-con', we left the balcony door slightly ajar so that the cool wind can come into the room.... And it really does feel like having air-con on, "natural air-con"! So good.... Haha..

Day 5 photos is gonna take a much much longer time to sort out cos they are all pictures taken at Disneyland and there are soooo many pictures taken!!!! Will try to finish up withing these few days, hopefully.....

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian


Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) now owns Daley Devices, a company that manufactures his inventions. He finds that the Museum of Natural History is closed for upgrades and renovations, and the museum pieces are moving to the Federal Archives at the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, D.C.. On the last night, Larry meets the museum pieces such as Theodore Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Rexy and Dexter the Monkey and finds out that several exhibits, including Teddy, Rexy, the Easter Island Head, and Akmennrah (Rami Malek) are not moving to The Smithsonian Institution - the other exhibits will no longer be animated. Larry then gets a call from Jedediah (Owen Wilson), saying that Dexter stole the tablet, and that Kah Mun Rah (Hank Azaria), Akmenrah's older brother, is attacking them. Larry takes a plane to Washington and visits the National Air and Space Museum, the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Castle to find the Federal Archives with the help of his son Nick (Jake Cherry).

Larry sneaks into the archives and locates the exhibits, frozen in the middle of a battle with Kah Mun Rah and his troops. Larry got hold of the Tablet of Arkmenrah, just when the sun sets and all the exhibits come alive again. Kah Mun Rah and his troops take the Tablet from Larry, and he tells Larry that bringing the exhibits to life is only one of the tablet's powers - he intends to use it to raise an army from the underworld and conquer the world. Larry escapes with the help of General Custer (Bill Hader) and meets Amelia EarhartAmy Adams), who is thrilled at the prospect of adventure and accompanies Larry. Meanwhile, Kah Mun Rah recruits Al Capone (Jon Bernthal), Ivan The Terrible (Christopher Guest) and Napoleon BonaparteAlain Chabat) to help him capture Larry in return for sharing the world with him when he conquers it. Custer is locked up with the other exhibits from the Museum of Natural History, and while he conceives a poor plan of attack, Jedidiah and Octavious sneak out to help Larry. ( (

Larry and Amelia are captured and taken to Kah Mun Rah. Kah Mun Rah attempts to activate the tablet to open the gates of the underworld by pressing the symbols on the tablet, but discovers that the combination has been changed. Kah Mun Rah orders Larry to decipher the tablet's riddle and figure out the new combination before sunrise, and traps Jedidiah in an hourglass to hasten his attempts. Larry and Amelia consult a bust of Teddy, and The Thinker, before a group of Albert Einstein bobbleheads tell them the answer to the riddle (and the new combination) is pi. Larry and Amelia return to Kah Mun Rah, and Amelia goes for help while Larry delays Kah Mun Rah. Capone, Napolean and Ivan arrive and tell Kah Mun Rah the code, and he opens the gates of the underworld and summons an army of bird-men.

Suddenly, a giant sculpture of Abraham Lincoln from the Lincoln Memorial bursts through the window, frightening the bird-men back to the underworld. Amelia then arrives, having freed the other exhibits, and Custer orders them to attack. After a battle, Larry duels Kah Mun Rah with his flashlight, defeating him and casting him into the portal to the underworld. Amelia flies Larry and the other exhibits back to the Museum of Natural History. Before Amelia departs, she and Larry kiss goodbye. Larry had fallen in love and was sad to see her leave. Teddy welcomes him back, and Larry assures him he has a way for them to remain there. Some time later, it is revealed that Larry sold his company and donated the money to the museum to pay for "animatronic" exhibits - the exhibits that come to life at night are now accessible to the public as automations, including Teddy as a tour guide. Larry is rehired at the museum as the night guard, and meets a young woman who looks just like Amelia. The film concludes as they talk and both walk off as Larry guides her towards the part of the museum containing Jedediah and Octavius.

Need I say more??? NO!!!! Just go and watch! Must watch ah!!!!!

Next show >>> Monsters Vs Aliens... And Japan photos - Day 4 will be out by tonight!! ;p

Friday, May 22, 2009

What an Irony???

Quote of the Day... Worth Pondering.....

90 people get the Swine Flu and everybody wants to wear a mask. A million people have AIDS and no one wants to wear a condom. Sheesh .........

Got this above quote forwarded via email from my aunt (a.k.a my godma) and feel that it's really something worth sharing... So I forwarded to some of my colleagues and they all have the same sentiment....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Finally ~~ Japan Trip Photos (14-19 Jan'09) - Day 3


Mount Fuji (Fujisan) is with 3776 meters Japan's highest mountain. It is not surprising that the nearly perfectly shaped volcano has been worshipped as a sacred mountain and experienced big popularity among artists and common people.

Mount Fuji is a dormant volcano, which most recently erupted in 1708. It stands on the border between Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures and can be seen from Tokyo and Yokohama on clear days.

The easiest way to view Mount Fuji is from the train on a trip along the Tokaido Line between Tokyo and Osaka. If you take the shinkansen from Tokyo in direction of Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka, the best view of Mount Fuji can be enjoyed from around Shin-Fuji Station on the right hand side of the train, about 40 to 45 minutes after leaving Tokyo.

Note however, that clouds and poor visibility often block the view of Mount Fuji, and you have to consider yourself lucky if you get a clear view of the mountain. Visibility tends to be better during the colder seasons of the year than in summer, and in the early morning and late evening hours.

If you want to enjoy Mount Fuji at a more leisurely pace and from a nice natural surrounding, you should head to the Fuji Five Lake (Fujigoko) region at the northern foot of the mountain, or to Hakone, a nearby hote spring resort.

Mount Fuji is officially open for climbing during July and August via several routes.

For more information of Mount Fuji, go to -

Early in the morning, we took off from Westin Nagoya Castle and started our journey towards Mount Fuji.... It was a long travelling distance on the road and finally... we started catching glimpses of Mount Fuji and it gets us all so excited, so we starter taking pictures thru' the bus window....

Earlier while on our way, we came to this ''stop-over" where they had a supermarket, cafeteria as well as some stalls outside along the supermarket... Inside the supermarket, I found a corner that sells..... so many Kitty stuffs!!!! Japan is really a 'Kitty-Land'!

Where we were brought to have our lunch, there was this big empty carpark area where we can clearly see Mount Fuji.. Look at our background, doesn't it resembles taking picture in a studio with a poster of Mt Fuji at the backdrop???
More pictures of Mt Fuji!! Just can't get enough of the photo-taking of Mt Fuji....

Before we move on to Mt Fuji, we stop by this ski resort where some opted for the 'ice slide/ride' or whatever you call it... But we just wanted to walk around, enjoy the snow and cold wind... It was really rather cold... I tried to hold the snow with my gloves and it just wet them... So I took out my glove and touch the snow, it just 'bites' my hand!!! Cold Cold.....

Then we went up to this part of Mt Fuji and the tour guide told us that due to the weather, we were not able to move on any further... After taking some photos and looking around, we just can't wait to get on the bus cos it's really cold with the wind blowing on your face!!!!

Tonight, we will spend a night at this Onsen Ryokan (Kawaguchiko Koryu Hotel) and sleep on futon laid over tatami floor with a kotatsu to warm ourselves if we feel too cold..... So nice.....

Ryokan are Japanese style inns. They come in all sizes and are found across Japan. A stay at a ryokan is highly recommended to all visitors to Japan, as it offers the opportunity to experience a traditional Japanese atmosphere.

Typical rates for ryokan range between 8,000 and 30,000 yen per night, per person. There are some no-frills establishments that offer rooms for less.

Guests stay in Japanese style rooms with tatami floor and a low table. Shoes are usually removed at the ryokan's main entrance, where slippers will be kept ready. You are supposed to remove even your slippers before stepping onto tatami mats.

Dinner and breakfast are included in the overnight stay, except at some no-frills establishments. Some ryokan serve meals in the guest room, while others serve them in separate dining areas. Both meals are in Japanese style and often feature regional and seasonal specialties.

A yukata (Japanese robe) is provided to be worn during your stay at the ryokan. The yukata can be used for walking around the ryokan and as pajamas. In many onsen resorts, it is also okay to take a walk outside of the ryokan in your yukata. The yukata provided at Western style hotels, unlike those provided at ryokan, are not supposed to be worn outside of your room.

During your stay, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a Japanese style bath. Most ryokan come with a gender separated, communal bath, but in many cases it is also possible to use the bath on a private basis by reserving a time slot. In hot spring resorts, the ryokan's bath water is directly supplied from the hot spring. Elsewhere on the site is a guide on how to take a bath.

Ryokan guests sleep in the traditional Japanese style by using a futon, which is spread out on the tatami floor. The ryokan staff will prepare the futon for you before bed time. At inexpensive ryokan, you may have to do it by yourself. During the day, the futon is kept in a closet.

Futon is a Japanese term generally referring, in Japan, to the traditional style of Japanese bedding consisting of padded mattresses and quilts pliable enough to be folded and stored away during the day, allowing the room to serve for purposes other than as a bed room. The bedding set referred to as futon in Japan fundamentally consists of a shikibuton (bottom mattress) and a kakebuton (thick quilted bedcover).

Futon is a flat, about 5 centimetres (2.0 in) thick mattress with a fabric exterior stuffed with cotton or synthetic batting that makes up a Japanese bed. They are sold in Japan at speciality stores called futon-ya as well as at department stores. They are often sold in sets which include the futon mattress (shikibuton), a comforter (kakebuton) or blanket (mōfu), a summer blanket resembling a large towel, and pillow (makura), generally filled with beans, buckwheat chaff or plastic beads. Futons are designed to be placed on tatami flooring, and are traditionally folded away and stored in a closet during the day to allow the tatami to breathe and to allow for flexibility in the use of the room. Futons must be aired in sunlight regularly, especially if not put away during the day. In addition, many Japanese people beat their futons regularly using a special tool, traditionally made from bamboo, resembling a Western carpet beater.

(More information on Tatami,

Below, there are 2 pictures of the lake that are taken right from our room window... We were lucky to have gotten a room that directly oversee the beautiful lake!!! And I think this is one of the 5 lakes that surrounds Mt Fuji... But I forgot which lake that was, as the tour guide has mentioned... Probably Lake Kawaguchi bah.....?

The Fuji Five Lakes at the northern foot of Mount Fuji are Lake Kawaguchi (Kawaguchiko), Lake Yamanaka (Yamanakako), Lake Sai (Saiko), Lake Shoji (Shojiko) and Lake Motosu (Motosuko).

The five lakes were formed a long time ago by lava flows, which dammed up rivers flowing through the region. Interestingly, three of the lakes, Saiko, Shojiko and Motosuko are still connected with each other by underground waterways and consequently maintain the same surface level of 901 meters above sea level.

Lake Kawaguchi (13km circumference) is the most easily accessible among the five lakes. While the lake's eastern half is heavily developed, its northwestern shores are calmer and offer nice views of MountFuji.

Lake Sai (10.5km circumference), one kilometer west of Lake Kawaguchi, is barely developed, possibly due to the fact that the view of Mount Fuji is partially blocked by other mountains, except at the lake's western tip. There are many camp sites around Lake Sai. Read more about Lake Sai.

Lake Shoji (2.5km circumference), by far the smallest of the five lakes, is located another five kilometers west of Lake Sai. It offers nice views of Mount Fuji and good fishing.

Lake Motosu (13km circumference) is the westernmost of the five lakes. It can be viewed on the 5000 Yen bill.

Lake Yamanaka (13km circumference), on the opposite side of Lake Kawaguchi, is the largest and easternmost of the five lakes. It is highly popular for various water and lakeside outdoor activities such as wind surfing and tennis.

The dinner we were so looking forward to.... Fresh SASHIMI!!!
Everything was really nice and the sashimi were very fresh... Only thing is none of us really eat sea urchin (which is supposed to be the best & most expensive), so we gave them to our tour guide...

Below are instructions on how to wear a japanese robe, kimono robe and yukata robe.

These instructions apply to kimono and yukata when wearing them as robes at bath house, japanese hotels, around the home for relaxation, etc..

1) Put on the kimono robe
2) For both men and women, wrap the right side of the kimono over the body, then overlap it with the left side. Right on top of the left is only used to dress a corpse for burial. (the tour guide keep reminding us of this, so that we don't make the mistake!)
3) Tie the kimono robe sash in a double knot at the front
4) Turn the japanese robe sash until the knot is center back.

Below is the description of the most common way of taking a bath in a hot spring (or public bath). The actual rules may be different depending on the place, but if you follow the instructions below, you should be okay most of the time.

1) Take off all your clothes in the changing room and place them into a basket together with your bath towel. Coin lockers for valuables are often available.
2) Japanese hot springs are enjoyed naked. Swimming suits are not allowed in most places.
3) However, it is the custom to bring a small towel into the bathing area, with which you can enhance your privacy while outside of the water. Once you enter the bath, keep the towel out of the water.
4) Before entering the bath, rinse your body with water from either a tap or the bath using a washbowl provided in the bathing area. Just rinsing your body is usually sufficient unless you are excessively dirty, in which case you want to use soap.
5) Enter the bath and soak for a while. Note that the bath water can be very hot (typical temperatures are 40 to 44 degrees). If it feels too hot, try to enter very slowly and move as little as possible.
6) After soaking for a while, get out of the bath and wash your body with soap at a water tap, while sitting on a stool. Soap and shampoo are provided in some baths. Like in private Japanese bathrooms, make sure that no soap gets into the bath water. Tidy up your space after you finished cleaning your body.
7) Re-enter the bath and soak some more.
8) After you finished soaking, do not rinse your body with tap water, for the minerals to have full effect on your body.

You may also refer to for more information about Japanese hot springs. (note one part about 'people having tattoos... -_-" )

I didn't really enjoyed the bath/hot spring, cos i'm not really into the idea of 'publicly' exposing my naked body... not as if I've got a good figure wor... hehee.... But after dinner when it was later into the night, went down to the shower and checked that there was no one at all, then I quickly went in, took a quick shower, and went for the outdoor hot spring for a quick dip, really quick cos I was in & out of the hot spring within 3 seconds... It was too cold, then the hot spring was too hot... and probably cos I was worried someone might come in and I would feel uncomfortable about it... So after that I quickly dry myself dressed and walked out... At that point, someone happen to just walk in...... -_-"
But overall, great experience at the place... The Kotatsu (heater) kept our feet so warm and comfortable while we enjoy nice, cold Japanese beers while looking at the night scenery.... What great relaxation and enjoyment it was....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Finally ~~ Japan Trip Photos (14-19 Jan'09) - Day 2


TODAI-JI Temple (東大寺)

Todaiji Temple was built in the Nara period (710 - 794 AD) at the behest of Emperor Shomu (r. 724 - 749). The temple was officially positioned as one of many state-established provincial temples. However, since the chief object of worship of the temple is Vairocana Buddha ("Buddha that shines throughout the world like the sun"), a magnificient temple was built to reflect this importance.

Todaiji Temple serves both as a place of prayer for peace and affluence on earth, as well as a center of Buddhist doctrinal research. OVer the centuries, Todaiji has produced many famous scholar priests.

Todaiji Temple was founded by Bishop Roben, and is to this day the Head Temple of the Keron Sect of Buddhism. The chief object of worship is Vairocana Buddha, who isalso the central Buddha in the Kegon Sutra. The statue of Vairocana Buddha is made from cast bronze, which was then plated with gold. The statue was consecrated in 752, but was damaged and repaired several times in the following centuries. The current hands of the statue were made in the Momoyama period (1568 - 1615), and the head was made in the Edo (1615 - 1867). The Great Buddha Hall was burned in the fires of war in 1180 and 1567, and the current building is actually the third generation structure which was built in the Edo period. The width of the current building is approximately 33% smaller than that of the original structure, but it still ranks as the largest wooden structure in the world.

Bought 1 of the Omamori (Japanese Amulet) from the temple. I bought a purple coloured with a Buddha pic, supposedly for and 'all-rounded' well-wishing & protection....

Omamori are Japanese amulets dedicated to particular Shinto deities as well as Buddhist figures. The word mamori means protection, with omamori meaning honorable protector.The amulet covering is usually made of cloth and encloses papers or pieces of wood with prayers written on them which are supposed to bring good luck to the bearer on particular occasions, tasks or ordeals. Omamori are also used to ward off bad luck and are often spotted on bags, hung on cellphone straps, in cars, etc. for safety in travel. Many omamori are specific in design to the location they were made.They often describe on one side the specific area of luck or protection they are intended for and have the name of the shrine or temple they were bought at on the other. Generic omamori exist, but most of them cover a single area: health, love, or studies, to name only a few. It is said that omamori should never be opened or they lose their protective capacities. Amulets do not expire, however they are commonly replaced once a year. Old amulets are usually returned to the shrine or temple so they can be disposed of properly.

Next Destination: Kimono Show
The word kimono simply means things to wear and is pronounced kee-mo-no. The plural of kimono is simply kimono. The kimono has had a long history in Japan and the kimono has changed over time to reflect the society and culture of that period.
Today, a Japanese woman usually owns only one kimono typically a furosode kimono which is worn for the coming of age ceremony on her 19th birthday. For weddings, the complete bridal kimono and kimono apparel is usually rented. Kimono are also very rarely worn as every day clothing anymore. Occasionally, if you go to a small rural town in Japan or one of small islands like Okinawa, you will see the traditional every day kimono worn by elders.


The kimono has had a long history in Japan and the kimono has changed over time to reflect the society and culture of that period.

During the Heian period 794-1185, the custom of elaborate layers of colored kimono robes became popular with Japanese women. Jun-hitoe, twelve unlined robes were frequently worn with the sleeve edges and collars showing the shades of each kimono. Persons of the royal court sometimes wore up to sixteen kimono layers. During the Kamakura period of 1185-1133 with the rising influence of the military class and warriors, people had no patience or need for elaborate kimono. Practicality prevailed and during this period the kosode meaning small sleeve was introduced into the kimono.

In 1615, military leader Tokugawa moved the capital of Japan from Kyoto, where the emperor resided to Edo, the present day Tokyo. Confucianism was adopted and hierarchy became the guiding principle where citizens were ranked based on their class. During the Edo period, people began to define their status by their kimono clothing. During this time the greatest artistic accomplishments were made with the kimono.

After 1853, the US Navy sailed to Tokyo and the beginning of Japan's commercial industry was opened to the Western world. Although Japanese people continued to wear the kimono for another hundred years, the beginning of the end of this practice was near.
During the Meiji period of 1868-1912, women began working outside their homes and required different clothing to accommodate their work. The Japanese people developed techniques to compete with the machine woven cloth available from the West. Cloth from other parts of the world were bought to make the kimono and the clothing. During the Taisho period of 1912-1926, Tokyo suffered a devastating earthquake which leveled most of the homes. Many of the old kimono were lost at this time.

During the Showa period 1926-1989, the japanese government curtailed silk production by taxing it to support the military buildup. Kimono designs became less complex and material was conserved. After World War II, as Japan's economy gradually recovered, kimono became even more affordable and were produced in greater quantities. Europe and America fashion ideas affected the kimono designs and motifs, but their shape remained the same. Kimono and obi colors changed with the season and with the age and status of the wearer.

Kiyomizu-dera (“The Clear Water Temple”, 清水寺)

Kiyomizu-dera (“The Clear Water Temple”, 清水寺) was founded in the early Heian period. The temple dates back to 798, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633. It takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water. It separated from the Hosso school in 1965. Its present maintainers call themselves members of the "Kitahossō" sect. The main hall has a veranda, supported by tall pillars, that juts out over the hillside and offers impressive views of the city. The popular expression "to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu" is the Japanese equivalent of the English expression "to take the plunge".This refers to an Edo period tradition that held that, if one were to survive a 13m jump from the stage, one's wish would be granted. Two hundred thirty-four jumps were recorded in the Edo period and, of those, 85.4% survived. The practice is now prohibited. Beneath the main hall is the Otowa waterfall, where three channels of water drop into a pond. Visitors to the temple collect the water, which is believed to have therapeutic properties, from the waterfall. It is said that drinking the water of the three streams confers wisdom, health, and longevity. However, some Japanese believe that you must choose only two — if you are greedy and drink from all three, you invite misfortune upon yourself.The temple complex includes several other shrines, among them the Jishu Shrine, dedicated to Okuninushi, a god of love and "good matches". Jishu Shrine possesses a pair of "love stones" placed 18 meters apart, which lonely visitors attempt to walk between with their eyes closed. Success in reaching the other stone with their eyes closed implies that the pilgrim will find love, or true love. One can be assisted in the crossing, but this is taken to mean that a go-between will be needed. The person's romantic interest can assist them as well.The complex also offers various talismans, incense, and omikuji (paper fortunes). The site is particularly popular during festivals (especially New Year's and obon in the summer) when additional booths fill the grounds selling traditional holiday foodstuffs, among other things, and the crowds are immense.

At Kyoto, while walking up to the Kiyomizu Temple, we experienced 'two-drops' of snow falling... I was so happy for a moment... But after that miserable 'two-drops', it never snowed throughout the remaining trip.... So sad..... :(

At a 'Stop-over' while on the way to our dinner destination...

Day 3 to be continued in next posting....................

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Finally ~~ Japan Trip Photos (14-19 Jan'09) - Day 1

The BEST holiday trip I ever had in my life up to now!!! The cool weather, the beautiful sceneries, the great new experiences, then enjoyable times there.... I so wanna go back there again..... I miss Japan... The next time, I hope I can spend more days!!!


DAY 1 (14 Jan) : SIN-OSAKA
(click on picures to enlarge)

After this shopping destination,we are finally sent to the Osaka Hyatt Regency (very nice but I was too tired to take any photos of the hotel...) to check in and have a good rest... We can't unpack our stuffs from our luggage as we are shifting everyday, to a different hotel, as we slowly move up towards Tokyo... Our daily routine, as our tour guide said: "6,7,8".. Wake up at 6am to dress up, 7am for breakfast and 8am to move off!!!
Just done with sorting out Day 1 pictures only and I am super exhausted... So I have decided to publish Day 1 posting first and continue for Day 2 onwards in other posts..... Thanks for the patience... ;p