Sunday, 29 April 2012

Japanese Green Tea Kit Kat

Have a Break, Have a Japanese Green Tea Kit Kat........ 

Japanese Green Tea Kit Kat or Matcha Kit Kat can be found in most convenience store in Japan. This green tea flavour Kit Kat is very delicious and it's nice to buy back as gift for your friends and family, a unique souvenir from Japan. Can't say much about it, try it yourself. It taste like eating a Kit Kat and drinking Japanese green tea at the same time.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Walk around Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle or Osaka-Jo (in Japanese), is a famous landmark, a popular sightseeing spot in Japan. This castle is the symbol of Osaka and its famous around the world. The sheer height of the walls and the wide channels make for a grand sight that can be matched by no other castle in Japan. 

The Osaka Castle was built in the end of the 16th century by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a well-known warlord who brought the whole country under his rule in the late 16th century. Unfortunately, it was burned down in a series of battles in the 17th century, and reconstructed later. But later again it was destroyed by fire and was reconstructed at last early in the 20th century. 

Another interesting thing about the castle is there are eight roof dolphins, and the decorative roof tiles and reliefs are carved in the shape of tigers, all of which are gilded with gold. There is a museum inside the castle with a large variety of historical materials and screen displays, and also the miniature figures depicting the Summer War of Osaka.

The steep walls of Osaka Castle is about 30 meters high are made of huge blocks of stone that were transported to Osaka from quarries over 100 kilometers away. The top floor of the castle is an observation deck where you can enjoy panoramic views of Osaka Castle Park, part of the modern high-rise buildings, the Osaka plain, and mountains in the distance. It a good place for photography.

With waterways running around the castle, there is a water bus service that takes you out on a 1-hour cruise in the river that flows through the city. In summer, the Okawa River in the northwest of the Osaka Castle becomes the stage for the Osaka Tenjin-matsuri Festival. This festival is known as one of the three largest in Japan with sight of a fleet of about 100 ships going down the river. And at night there will be wonderful Japanese Hanabi (fireworks) show.

Osaka Castle is a good place to walk around for sightseeing or just for relaxing. Even children & students like to visit the castle for their school trips. Or just have a sit to enjoy your lunch. You can buy nice Japanese Bento at the castle's compound, and also you can get nice souvenir at the shops there.

 If you visit here you must try the train provided for your amusement. It will be fun.

If you just want to visit a beautiful park in Osaka, have a visit to the Osaka Castle Park outside the castle. It is offering a suitable trails and pleasant scenery to enjoy along the way.

For more information about Osaka Castle, please visit here:

Photos courtesy of Forest Han Photography 

Friday, 6 April 2012

Daruma Doll

Daruma Doll is named after an ancient Zen Master, Bodidharma, who lost the use of his arms and legs after sitting nine years meditating in a cave (according to Japan story). The Daruma Doll is a symbol of his self-discipline and positive outlook in Japan.

Daruma Doll comes with both eyes blank. When you buy one or received one as a gift, you should paint one eye and make a wish or determine to do something. Then paint the other eye when your wish comes true or something you set out to do is completed. Daruma Doll have a weighted bottom and rounded shape that  forces it balance itself back after being knocked over. The lesson here is to never give up and get up from any misfortune. Daruma Doll can also be use for bringing in luck.

Daruma Doll is a great gift for friends and family from Japan. It is also good for decoration and you can buy it from any Temple or any Japanese gift shop all over Japan. It comes in different sizes, design and colours. Make sure you get the right one for yourself or your friends. I'm not sure what's the meaning, but you can always ask before you buy one.