Dec 25, 2013

Meet-up with Singaporean penpal / シンガポールのペンパルに会う

To those who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas!  Here in Japan, Christmas isn't a holiday but people still enjoy celebrating Christmas as a seasonal event.  Wish you a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones! :)

Well, I've been having a busy week and haven't had much time for myself, but before I forget the detail of my fun time with my Singaporean penpal, I want to share about it here. :)

On December 12th, some of my colleagues asked me "Are you alright?", because I kept shuffling in my seat.  I wasn't alright in a way.  I couldn't sit still because I was too excited to meet my Singaporean penpal for the 3rd time. ;)  After work I met her at the station, and the first word from her was "Why is it so cold!!" lol  It was her first experience of winter...actually she'd never experienced any temperature below 20C/68F!!  What is the coldest temperature you've experienced?  In my case, -40C/-40F in Canada is the coldest.  That was really cold!

On Friday morning, we left Tokyo for a city called Kanazawa.  Since it was her 3rd visit in Tokyo, I thought I'd show her somewhere different, and I decided to take her to Kanazawa as I remembered that she's always wanted to visit that city ever since she watched the Japanese drama about Lord Maeda Toshiie who governed the present Kanazawa and the surrounding areas in the 16th century and his wife Matsu.  I was a history major at college, but sometimes she knows more than I do when it comes to Toshiie and Matsu. ;)  Well, even if you're not interested in the Japanese history, I think you'll still enjoy yourself in Kanazawa.  It's a lovely city with many tourist attractions. :)

Kanazawa is the prefectural capital of Ishikawa Prefecture located in the central part of the mainland of Japan, and it's about 4.5 hours from Tokyo by train.  We could fly (1.5 hours), but I had a reason for a train trip...will tell you about it later.  Well, that day was a really cold  day with very strong wind, so instead of exploring the city, we decided to have a relaxing afternoon at a nice cafe called "Fluffy".  (see here for more info).  Their pancake was so delicious!!  We ordered only one plate because we thought it'd be too much before dinner, but after one bite, we both regretted. X(  It was SO delicious!

The cafe was nicely decorated. :)
 Who said "We should share" ?! lol
 We ended up coming back to this cafe both Saturday and Sunday for breakfast. :D  We tried different pancakes, and here they are.  Having delicious pancake and hot tea is the best way to start a cold day!
On Saturday we explored the city of Kanazawa.  This beautiful Japanese garden is called Kenrokuen garden (see here for more info) known for "one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan."  I was here in spring last year, and even though I liked it in winter time, I think it's more beautiful in spring with gorgeous cherry blossoms.
Then we visited a shrine called Oyama Shrine (see here for more info).  What makes this shrine so unique is that the gate has the mixture of traditional Japanese, Chinese and European architectural elements.  It's said that the gate was designed by a Dutch architecture.  The upper story has beautiful stained glass window, and I loved it. :)  Too bad I couldn't get a better angle of the picture to show you the stained glass window. *Sigh*
Besides these 2 places, we visited the Omicho market, Chaya district and 21st Century Museum.  I wish we had more time so that we could visit one more place Ninjya Temple, but maybe next time. :)

On the way back to Tokyo, we were lucky to see this! :)
As my Singaporean penpal wanted to see snow so badly, we took a chance of taking a train from Tokyo to Kanazawa that passes the northern area where they get lots of snow every winter.  On Friday there was not much snow, but on the way back, it was snowing a lot. ;)  She was really happy to see snow for the first time.
The time flew so fast.  It was so much fun meeting her again.  Hopefully she will visit here again sometime or I might visit her in Singapore. :)  Do you have any plan of visiting your penpal or your penpal visiting you?  Any traveling plan in the coming new year?  Maybe to Japan? ;)
Have a nice day everyone!



  1. Wow sounds like an amazing trip for your pen pal! The pancakes look delicious!! Makes me want pancakes now haha. It gets pretty cold here too def. below 68 - it's been in the 19's and 20F here before but nothing in the -F - that's too cold for me lol. The photos are beautiful - I'll be adding Japan to my travel list!

    1. Yeah we had lots of fun together. :) Woo, nice to hear that you'll be adding Japan to your travel list! You should let me know if you really decide to visit here. I think I can give you some tips for your travel in Japan. :D