Pretty cabin lights during my Scoot flight to Osaka :)
I’ve been to Japan twice this year, revisiting cities I love: Osaka, Tokyo, Kobe, etc. In this blogpost, I’d like to share with you the reasons why I have no trouble at all with visiting Japan twice in almost consecutive months. But first, like all true-blue Singaporeans, let me point out one complaint I have on the Scoot flights to Japan. :D In case you are wondering, no, it’s not the wonderful cabin lights (those are beautiful). It’s actually got to do with the seats and the Call-An-Attendant button…
Scoot went all out in announcing its new fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and flights to Osaka, and I had high hopes for the airline. As it turned out, even before the plane took off from Changi Airport, the cabin crew had to come round and tell us (and a couple of other passengers) that we had accidentally pressed the Call-An-Attendant button. It’s impossible not to hit the button by accident if you use the armrest. I don’t know which genius designed these seats… but seriously… it must be pissing off a lot of flight crew because they cannot ignore those signals when they light up, but 99% of the time, passengers had pressed them by mistake. (@_@)
And now… on to the GOOD stuff, a.k.a what I go to Japan for :D
(1) Melt-in-your-mouth Kobe Beef
We don’t really get such yummy beef in Singapore, unless you are ok with it costing an arm and a leg. But Steak Land in Kobe is pretty popular among tourists and locals alike. You can choose your preferred beef grade and enjoy it for lunch or dinner.
I’ve been to the same outlet twice and observed that the standards differ. One young chef cooked us really tasty beef but another older one gave us slightly tougher beef in meatier chunks.
So, if you happen to be served by the right chef (teppanyaki style), you can look to the heavens and say, like one happy Minister, HENG AH! :D
I’m no food blogger, so the way I’ll describe the beef is to compare it to marshmallows. The texture is just so soft! Make sure you head to Kobe and try Kobe beef even if you only have plans to visit Osaka, Kyoto, etc, as it’s pretty close by train.
(2) Japanese Curry Rice
I love the beef in Japan, but I love their curry too. And beef + curry is a match made in heaven. And at places where you can order an additional topping of an onsen egg, my goodness, you stop chatting with your dining companion because the food DEMANDS all of your attention. :D
Japanese food is simply put… worth getting fat for. And I’m really thankful that budget airlines are flying to Japan because I really do need to head over again just for oishii meals!
(3) Queuing For Japanese Cheesecake
Like all astute Singaporeans, we know that something must be good if there is a queue for it. And even if we don’t know what people are queuing up for, it is ok, just join the queue first and find out later…
It was exactly what happened one sunny, summer morning in Osaka. A long line of elderly men and women were queuing up outside a store which sells tidbits. We didn’t know what they were queuing up for, but we joined the line anyway and waited for our turn in the sweltering heat. After sweating for a good ten minutes perhaps, we got to the front and chose 3 packs of snacks (there was a limit of 3 packets per person) and continued queuing in line in order to make payment. Apparently there was some promotion going on that day. And if SO MANY old folks queued up for this snack, it must taste heavenly, right?
It was crunchy, no doubt. But rather tasteless and a waste of time to queue for.
Japanese cheesecake, however, is AMAZING! If you have the chance to eat a slice of cake in store when it’s fresh out of the oven and warm, you won’t forget that taste. Some have raisins in them too. SO GOOD…
(4) Plush Toys From UFO Machines
I got this Little Twin Stars unicorn from one of the UFO machines. Probably spent less than S$10 to get this plush. Japanese UFO catcher machines are all programmed in such a way that it’s near impossible to get the toy without spending, say, S$40 or more.
I’m not going to give away the secret here, though. :D
About 2 years ago, he and I brought back a HUGE bag full of plushies. This year, we stopped at one. Hehehe!
(5) Brands + Huge Discounts
I’d bought this pair at a sporting goods fair in Singapore before heading to Japan, and thought I’d bagged a good bargain. Turns out it’s even cheaper in Japan! (@_@)
Many Singaporeans THINK that everything in Japan is expensive. But this pair is about S$50 after the conversion. :D Also, if you’re a Daiso fan, Daiso items are sold at 108 yen (about S$1.20) so that’s way cheaper than in Daiso stores in Singapore. Also, there are Hello Kitty Daiso items you can only get in Japan, and not in Singapore. :D Getting an authentic Hello Kitty item for just S$1.20 is UNBELIEVABLE. Check out some of the kitty items I got here.
(6) Spacious and Comfy Hotel Rooms
Another misconception that some Singaporeans have about Japan is that the hotel rooms are TINY. This room is in Osaka Floral Inn Namba, and this picture does not do it justice because the “walkway” (space beside the bed) is pretty long and if you need to lay out 5 open suitcases, you can.
On my most recent trip to Japan, we had our wifi devices sponsored by Ninja Wifi and it is amazing! We had undisrupted wifi throughout and did not have to struggle to connect to some hotels’ lousy wifi networks.
If you’re traveling to Japan and love being connected while you’re at it, then make sure you book a device early and pick it up at the airport…
Easy pickup at the Arrival Hall…