He who eats alone chokes alone. ~Proverb

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Japan Trip - Day 1

CAT: After dinner, we needed to make our way to the Tune Hotel @ LCCT. Deciding not to give good money to bad taxi drivers, we decided to try the new KLIA Transit, which takes you by train to Salak Tinggi, at which point you transfer to a Shuttle Bus to LCCT. The combination ticket costs only RM12.50 per person, which is very cheap compared to the RM80 - RM100 that taxi drivers would charge you. The entire journey takes just under an hour and was quite comfortable. We definitely recommend it.

At LCCT, I dumped Bear at Coffee Bean while I went to check out the Plaza Premium Lounge, since my Citibank Premiermiles card gave me complimentary access. The normal entry fee to the lounge was a shocking RM118 for the 2 hour package, which is highway robbery since the lounge isn't particulary good. They only served a few dishes like Mee Goreng, Hard Boiled Egg and Butter Cake, all of which were pretty terrible. Luckily I didn't have to pay for it.

Plaza Premium Lounge @ LCCT

I grabbed a couple of apples from the lounge's fruits basket and smuggled them into the plane, since AirAsia doesn't allow outside food. Thinking to myself that I was such a smart Cat, I promptly regretted it when we took out the apples to eat, as they were the worst apples I've ever eaten.
After 6 hours on the plane, we were very happy to finally arrive in Japan. Bear was starting to lose her mind from boredom - I could see the glazed look in her eyes and the impending signs of serial killing.

After passing through imigration, we headed to the JR ticket counter. The standard fare for the Limited Express Haruka train from KIX to Kyoto Station is around 3000 Yen. However, tourists can purchase a special JR  West Kansai Pass for 2000 Yen, which is a pretty good deal. You do need to show your return trip plane ticket and fill up a form though.

JR West Kansai Pass

Incidentally, you can check train timetables online at www.hyperdia.com, a great site that makes planning your Japan trip a lot easier.

When we reached Kyoto, we started looking for the Kyoto 1 Day Bus Pass. You can find it in most convenience stores (we found ours at a Family Mart), and you can buy as many as you need in advance. It costs 500 Yen which is a really good deal since a single bus ride already costs 220 Yen! In Japanese, it's called a "Ichi Nichi Jou Sha Ken"

Kyoto 1 Day Bus Pass (Ichi Nichi Jou Sha Ken)

We also manged to buy pocket warmers from a 100 Yen shop. These are simply amazing. Without them, we would start feeling cold within 30 mins of walking around outside. With them, even after 2 hours of walking we were still feeling fine. A must have!

For dinner, we dropped by Yayoi Ken. Yayoi Ken is a pretty decent chain of cheap eateries. You decide your order, insert your money into the vending machine, which spits out your receipt. The waitress will collect it and bring your food within 5 minutes.

I had the Katsu Don, and it's easily better than any Katsu Don you can find in Malaysia. Price for this dish was a very reasonable 630 Yen. The best thing about Yayoi Ken is that you get unlimited rice and tea refills when you order a set meal.

BEAR: Bear has always heard about the vending machines but this was her first time. Bear was very impressed. The entire menu was unfortunately in Japanese and considering the fact that Bear can't even write her name in Chinese, Bear had no chance.

Fortunately Bear has pretty good eyesight, quickly spotting her favourite food of all time. Mackerel. One of the cheapest sets there is at 590 Yen.

Within 5 minutes the food was in front of Bear. Hot steaming rice and miso soup, cold weird tasteless toufu and Le Mackerel.

No desserts but we're allowed endless supply of rice and hot tea. Not a bad trade off since the mackerel was huge and halfway thru the fish, you can happily get yourself another bowl of rice.

Eating the mackerel here made me appreciate the ones in Isaribi Tei's better. The fish here is not de-boned like the one in Isaribi Tei. Thank you, grumpy old man for always de-boning my fish!

But it taste almost as good, not bad for the price you are paying in Japan.

P.S: The fish looks over grilled and bad but it still tastes better than most places in Penang with the exception of Isaribi Tei.


  1. You know, the vending machines is what excites me as well hahah! I saw so many cool pictures of these machines carrying a huge range of products! It must be so cool to see it for real :D I love reading this post!

    Have all the fun!!!

    Xoxoxo TJ

  2. I remember being both intrigued and confused when we encountered those vending machines...lol. Luckily the hubs knows a wee bit of Japanese so we didn't come off looking like dopes. XP Your food looks amazeballs!

  3. Muahahahahahaa, it's great that your hubs knows Jap, Lisa! Without Cat, I would be standing there all day wondering what to do.

    Gorgeous TJ, agreed agreed! It's a pity i didn't get to see much vending machines like the one you can buy cup noddles from or even fresh eggs. :( Next round then


We like food. You like food? :D