Tag Archives: Blog

George Clooney – Kirin Beer Commercial in Japan

This commercial is adorable, I saw it while visiting Japan March 2014.

 

The video in this post are not mine, but was uploaded from Lost in Translation

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Narita Airport to Tokyo – Ride the Narita Express at a Discounted Rate

Narita Express (N’EX) is fast and convenient way to get from Narita Airport to Tokyo without too much hassle.  The N’EX takes only 53 minutes and requires you to purchase the tickets the day of your travel.  I have read somewhere that you can purchase your ticket a day before. After standing in the long line for an hour, we found out that you can not purchase your tickets a day in advanced.  You must purchase tickets for N’EX the day of traveling. We were fortunate to purchase the limited edition Suica card and N’EX special.  JR East Rails is not currently offering that limited edition Suica Card and N’EX deal, that deal expired March 31, 2014.

Currently and till the end of 2014, there is a discount for gaijin (foreigner) travelers. From Narita Airport Terminal 1 and 2 to Tokyo’s major train station in the metropolitan area, including Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Yokohama without the hassle of transferring.  Adult fare is ¥1500 (one way) for children (6-11) ¥750 yen (one way).  Your guaranteed a seat. Your seat reclines back so you can relax, all seats are equipped with a large tray.  For your convenience there are large spaces overhead for your luggages and if thats not large enough not to fret, at the end of each car there is a section for storing your large suitcases.  Theres also a dial lock so you can set and safely lock your suitcases.

seats recline

seats recline

 

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Large suitcase storage area with lock

In the train are restrooms and even a baby changing station.  Each car has an overhead monitor in English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.  Theres even an attendant that comes through the train selling drinks and snacks.  For more information on where to purchase your N’EX tickets please refer to the JR East Japan Railway. 

We found the N’EX to be fast, convenient and affordable way to get to Tokyo from Narita Airport.

 

 

 

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ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Narita Airport – Hotel Review

 

Our Gianormous room

Our gianormous room at ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel, Narita Airport Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

 

After arriving at Narita Airport, we were exhausted.  We stayed at ANA Crowne Plaze Hotel .  It was the largest hotel we stayed at during our trip.  In Japan when booking a hotel room, you will be charged per person per room.  Typically, American hotels charge by the room.  Japan usually has a limit on how many adults can stay in a room, commonly it is 2 adults per room (up to 2 children, ages can vary for each hotel).  This made booking a hotel for my family a little difficult.  I needed a room that accommodated 3 “adults”  (my son is 18) that was near impossible, not to mention prices jumped up tremendously if a hotel offered a room for 3 adults.  So we ended up with this gianormous room with three gianormous beds.  We only needed 2 beds.  But rules were rules.

Getting to the hotel from Narita Airport was a cinch.  Just hop on their complementary airport to hotel shuttle, about a 10 minute ride.  We waited at bus post 16 at Narita Airport Terminal 1.  There is also a bus pick up at Narita Airport Terminal 2, bus post 25.  Be sure to check the hotel for the times of hotel pickup and location for pick up. Schedules and pick up spots can often change.  We asked the airport information counter for the hotel bus pick up information.  Currently this is the ANA Crowne Plaza Narita Hotel  bus pick up schedule.

Hotel Bus ANA Crowne Plaza  Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

Hotel Bus ANA Crowne Plaza
Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

Inside the hotel there is a convenient store, offering several sandwiches, onigiri, salads, curry dishes, many different drinks and snacks.

Convenient store inside ANA Crowne Hotel Narita picture source: ionasiatrend.com

Convenient store inside ANA Crowne Hotel Narita
Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

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So cheap, but still so delicious! Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

 

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Even fresh fruits Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

Hotel Restaurants

Ceres
Location: First floor
Serves: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Restaurant Cafe

Saifu Sky Dining
Location: 17th floor
Serves: Dinner
Japanese and French fusion

Narita
Location: 17th floor
Serves: Dinner
Teppanyaki

 

We ate at the Ceres located on the first floor.

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My son had a burger at the Ceres restaurant. No rice came with the meal, you would have to order it separately. Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

 

I had the salmon at Ceres Restaurant Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

I had the salmon at Ceres
Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

 

During your stay you can enjoy and energize yourself in their fully equipped health club, take a few laps in the indoor pool, treat yourself to an invigorating spa treatment or simply enjoy a traditional japanese massage.  With their complimentary shuttle service to Narita Town you can explore the famous Narita-san Shinsoji Temple and beautiful pagodas.

Their double glazed windows make plane spotters enjoy the sky activity at Narita Airport without the noise.

Standard Internet service is free for all IHG® Rewards Club members
Wireless Internet are available in Rooms
There is a fee for Non Members but everyone can enjoy
free internet in the lobby

Thinking of getting married?  Here at the hotel they offer wedding coordinators and photography too.  Check out there site.

You can have a banquet or your next meeting right here too.  Check out there site.

Enjoy the complementary toiletries included in your the room everyday. Toothbrush, toothpaste, hair band, shower cap, Q-tips, disposable razors and shaving cream.

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Complimentary toiletries Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

For more information on the hotel amenities, please check the hotel’s website here.

I’ve traveled to Tokyo several times, all of which after I landed, I would continue onward to Tokyo.  Despite the fact that Tokyo is about 35 miles from Narita Airport, it could take a few hours by public transportation.  So, this time I figured I wanted to relax and not stress on how to get to my hotel somewheres in Tokyo before dark.

How I Rated The Hotel

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel was nice, nothing fancy.  I would give it 4 stars. The hotel was clean and the bed was amazingly comfortable, our room was huge.  Amenities are good, my only complaint was the fact we were forced to rent a 3 bed bedroom when we needed only 2 beds.  Each bed is large enough for 2 adults.  My husband and I shared a bed of course and my son used the other bed.  But, as I mentioned…. rules are rules, but its ridiculous the hotel used the fact 1 adult per bed just to charge more money.  We all had a great nights sleep and were up early to start our day heading towards Tokyo.  We would stay here again.

 

full size bed big enough for my husband and I Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

Full size bed big enough for my husband and I
Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

 

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Theres even a wedding coordinator and photography on site Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

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You can also purchase handkerchief, underwear, undershirts, socks, boxers and even business dress shirts at the convenience store

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Some more miscellaneous items at the convenience store Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

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You can see how big this room really was, theres one more bed and the hallway that I didn’t get in this shot Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

 

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Narita Photo Source: David Keisling

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Narita Lobby Photo Source: David Keisling

This was posted in the room, yikes! Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

This was posted in the room, yikes!
Photo Source: ionasiatrend.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2NE1’s Album “Crush” Sweeping Music Charts

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The all girl group 2NE1, released their new album “Crush” oFebruary 27, 2014 online only.  In a record time “Crush” was sweeping the music charts, and has achieved an all-kill status.  (ALL KILL : adj.; term used to refer to a song that has managed to reach the #1 spot on the 7 major music site daily charts in Korea simultaneously according to kpop dictionary).  Although, 2NE1’s track “Come Back Home,” made a clean sweep on 10 real-time online music charts including: Melon, Bugs, Mnet, Naver Music, Daum Music, Olleh, Cyworld Music, Soribada, Monkey3 and Genie.  The other eight tracks on the album are not too far behind, most are already on the top ten charts.  March 7, “Crush” will be released offline, following 2NE1’s first two concerts “All or Nothing” World Tour which begins March 1 and 2 in Seoul Korea.  

Their music video has not been released yet, but you can hear their all-kill song “Crush” from kpopMar Tube Hot

2ne1-minzy-crush-image 2ne1-dara-crush-image 2ne1-bom-crush-image 2ne1-CL-crush-image

 

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Lamborghini’s in Japan

OMG! This is badass check out these awesome Lamborghini’s in Japan.  Although I have to say, Im quite impressed with Steve’s Japanese…

The video in my post are not mine, please check out Steve’s POV and all of his other cool videos here.

You can also follow him at:

http://www.YouTube.com/Steevie333

http://www.Facebook.com/StevesPOV

http://www.Twitter.com/StevesPOV

http://www.Instagram.com/StevesPOV

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Hinamatsuri Japanese Girls Day Festival

(お雛様) A picture of some Hina dolls for hinamat...

(お雛様) A picture of some Hina dolls for hinamatsuri with a lamp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

March 3rd is Girl’s Day also known as Hinamatsuri or even Momo no Sekku (Peach Day).  Some may wonder why peaches are part of this tradition.  A little interesting history of this event is that before the 19th century Japan followed the Lunar calendar, which during this religious event peach blossoms were in bloom, around early April.  Today Japan follows the Gregorian calendar, so peaches are no longer in bloom during the Hinamatsuri festival, but are still symbolic of the festival.  Momo no Sekku during the latter half of the Edo period had evolved into the festival we know today.  A day to celebrate and wish for happiness and health for the young women in their families.

Hinamatsuri is an ancient Japanese custom called hina-nagashi.  It was once believed that dolls possessed the power to contain evil sprits.  During the hina-nagashi, dolls where made with straws and are set afloat down a river to the sea, taking with it troubles or bad spirits.  The origins can be traced back to China.

The custom of displaying beautiful dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, and attendants, in traditional court dress began during the Heian period (794-1185). Today, families with young girls start displaying their dolls in February, to celebrate the well-being and happiness for them in the future. They arrange these traditional dolls in Heian court attire on a five or seven-tiered platform covered with red carpet. These dolls are immediately put away after the festival, a superstition says that if the dolls are on display past March 4, your daughter will marry late in life.

Honolulu, HI

Shirokiya 

San Jose, CA

Japantown

Los Angeles, CA

Japanese American Cultural and Community Center

Philadelphia, PA

Sakura Pavilion

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Blogs with 200 followers or less, lets come together

Liebster Blog Award

Liebster Blog Award (Photo credit: ObscuredDreamer)

Hello, hello all bloggers!!  I recently got nominated for the Liebster Blog Award.  I have to say I am honored to have been nominated, but it was difficult to find blogs with 200 followers or less to nominate.  Not that none are out there, but it wasn’t easy to find.  It took some effort.  So, I thought it would be easier for any one that has 200 or less followers to post your blogs here for others to find and follow.  Maybe your blog will be the next one nominated for a blog award.  Please nothing inappropriate.  I will make the discretion to remove or allow a site to be shown on my post.  So go ahead and add your blog in the comments. I will review them ASAP.  Enjoy the camaraderie!

Dont forget to follow me for your latest and trendiest Asia Trends.  I will follow you back too, just be sure to let me know you followed!  You should let your fellow bloggers know that you followed them and to follow you back.  Im really excited!  I’ll start off by sharing the first blog that has less then 200 followers.

eyeonjapan.blogspot.com

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WTH is The Liebster Blog Award? Because I got one….

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What the heck is The Liebster Award…..? Apparently, this award is given to bloggers from bloggers.  Liebster in German means kind, sweet and beloved.  Like a chain letter, this award is passed on and it seems no one knows of the origins or when this award began. The rules are simple and has varied over time. If your blog is nominated and you accept the award:

Display the award on your blog, the simplest way is to save the image and then upload it.

Recognize and link back to the blogger that nominated you

Answer the set of questions (asked by the blogger who nominated your blog)

Nominate 10 other bloggers with 200 or less followers (not as easy as it seems)

Ask your own set of 10 questions

Finally, let your nominees know you nominated them for the award. You can do this by going on to their blog and notify them.

The choice is yours if you would like to accept the award or not.  In my opinion this just a way to discover and recognize new bloggers and welcome and encourage them to our world of blogging.

With that being said, I feel very honored to have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award.  Thank you onlyinthebay for the nominee.  Wow, what an honor!!  I have never been honored in any such way before.  Thank you very much. Its been an amazing 3 months back into blogging.  My wonderful friend Keito, from Keitochansays.com has also been an amazing friend that encouraged me to start back into blogging again, every time he saw me.  No matter how much excuses I had, Keito had a reason why I needed to stop giving excuses.  Thanks Keito!

Recently, I’ve had wonderful comments on my posts, I’ve had coworkers tell me they follow my blog, I never even told them I had a blog, that makes me feel so honored.  Thank you all for the encouragement, thank you for pushing me and thank you for sharing and retweeting. Now for the questions my nominee onlyinthebay asked me:

1. What got you to start blogging?

For me, I wanted to share my love for my culture.  Im half Japanese and I’ve always been proud to be Asian. I want to be recognized as an Asian American Blogger

2. How long have you been blogging for?

I started blogging in September 2012, I believe.  After a few months, I stopped.  I just started blogging again in December 2013 so technically about 6 maybe 7 months, just not consistent.  This award helps to encourage me as well.  

3. What do you have a hard time with in terms of writing?

I have the hardest time thinking what I should blog about.  I start writing many times and I change my mind half way through, thinking it may not be a topic anyone would like to read about. 

4. What kind of movies do you like?

Oh boy, movies…… I like adventures and comedy the most.  

5. What is one dish you can not live with out?

Rice, I think for me it would definitely be japanese rice.  

6. Is there a specific spot you like to be when you write? if so where?

I usually sit on the floor in the living room, using our Ikea footstool as my table.  

7. If there is one place in the world you would like to go to right now; where would that be and who would you bring with you?

Thats easy, Japan.  Sapporo, to be exact.  I’d bring my husband and children of course.  

8. If you were to go to a deserted island, what three things would you bring with you?

I’d bring my husband, a blanket and a knife

9. What is the strangest food you have ever tried?

Fried plantation

10. Have you ever been nominated for a liebster award before?

No, Never. Many thanks again for the nominee and for this opportunity, onlyinthebay.

Now for my 10 nominees for The Liebster Award:

atouchofjapanese.wordpress.com

tenstarsorless.com

selftaughtjapanese.com

makeup-bakeup.com

lenapera.wordpress.com

beausandbows.wordpress.com

naomitalksbeauty.com

eyeonjapan.blogspot.com

sophielouiseanne.blogspot.co.uk

fiveleveninety.blogspot.com

My set of questions are:

1. Please tell us what made you want to start blogging?

2. If you were famous what would it be for?

3. What makes you smile?

4. What advise would like to share with other new or newer bloggers?

5. Do you have a favorite blogger or blog to visit and why?

6. Who or what inspires you and why?

7. If you could vacation anywhere, where would you go and why?

8. What is your favorite meal?

9. Is there a beauty product you can’t live without?

10. Favorite animal?

It was hard for me to find blogs with 200 or less followers.  Its not always easy to discern how many followers some blogs have.  So, if you have more than 200, my apologies.  No one is obligated to accept this award.  I know some blogs may not except awards, that is not always easy to discern too.  Again, my apologies if I included your site.

I was also thinking of just starting a post for anyone who has 200 or less followers to just leave their blog post for others to easily recognize and follow.  Stay tuned, I may be doing something like that in the near future……

Don’t forget to follow me for the latest asian trends….

This is all in fun and thank you.

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Sapporo Snow Festival 2014

The Sapporo Yuki Matsuri is held annually in Japan’s Northern Island of Hokkaido.  The story of the first “Yuki Matsuri” began in 1950 with six snow statues made from local high school students, drawing in 50 thousand people. Today millions of visitors come every year to see these gigantic snow and ice sculptures that line Odori park, Tsudome and along Susukino.  Last year was a record high of 2.36 million visitors.  This year the snow festival will be from February 5 – 11, 2014.  I’ve been to Sapporo too many times to count, but I have never been able to see these wonderful life-like sculptures.  It is definitely on my bucket list.

See how the sculptors are made.

For more information please see Sapporo City’s official yuki matsuri site and Sapporo City’s official visitors site. You will be in absolute awe.

The videos in this post are not mine, please see Sapporo City’s official visitors site and Sapporo City’s official yuki matsuri site for more videos about Sapporo.

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Mini 3-D Projector In The Palm Of Your Hands

Growing up I always looked forward to going to the Japanese Market in Hawaii.  I always had so much fun looking at all the cool japanese toys, pencil cases and erasers.  I always left with a Japanese Kodomo Magazine (check out this cool video of a Japanese Kodomo Magazine here) and I usually got one of those candy boxes with a toy in them.  Tomoe Ame was and still my favorite.  Tomoe Ame, is a chewy orange candy with edible rice paper around it.  It always came with a small toy.  Today, these boxed candy with a toy are still popular, only today the toys are digital check them out. These are from Bandai, and with a little help from your phone app, these 3-D digital mini projectors are cool and trendy. 20140207-002921.jpg 20140207-002932.jpg     20140207-004102.jpg       20140207-004111.jpg       These Gundam mini projector apparently still comes with candy. 20140207-004120.jpg

You can order yours here.
The videos in this post are not mine.  Please see hakovision for more of
their videos
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