Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wicked Wednesday

Isle browsing
Sushi scores tempt
Hunger hammers

My Hunger's lunch time but lunch is no where in sight.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

As the Skylark Sings - Osaka Part 4

Hi hi....Skylark is back and she'll continue on with the adventures in Osaka.

From Osaka Castle, we walked some distance to the Osaka Castle Port Peer. For a while I wasn't too sure if we were heading for the right place. There were signages but the walk seemed too long.

We finally found the peer; checked at the ticket counter and the guy told us that the cruise had just left and the next one would arrive in 15 mins. While waiting we "refueled" - lunch was some light sandwiches I packed earlier that morning.

Our seat on the sightseeing Aqua Liner.

Happy faces riding through the water metropolis

Buildings on the banks of the Okawa River

A tea house

More buildings came to view as we rode on the aqua liner

One of the bridges

Our stop Temmobashi Port

In the background - the State Library

Turbulent Core

cold gash becomes
whispers despair
the heart hurts

unruffled flow
glances sparkles
pain withdraws

words hushed
embrace lingers
memories treasured

*I scribbled this haiku during the trip but improved it after I got home.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Just A Number.....

Thumbs up to FB for doing a good job in promoting birthdays. It sends you reminders and lets you post wishes onto the timeline. And because of that, this posting is out about a week late. Kinda old news, but I just wanna put the mark in the blog still. was that time. was that celebration. And yesss...the number has changed. But they say, “age is nothing but just a number.” I’m not much of a sentimentalist, but I did have a great time celebrating with friends and family.

But most importantly....
Thank you God for giving me another year of life.
Thank you for all the people who remembered
by sending cards, and letters, gifts and good wishes.

Thank you God for all the experience of this past year;
for times of success which will always be happy memories,
for times of failure which reminded me of my own weakness
for times of joy and also for the times of sadness

Thank you God for this blessed life, for showing me the way and for being with me.
Thank you for granting health and clarity to my mind.
Thank you for mercies over my life, for my family and my friends.

الحمد لله Alhamdulillah

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Skylark Takes A Break

Actually...tak perlu cerita pun tak pe about this. But...on second thoughts, cerita pun okay gak.

Two days ago was "heart" day lah kan. Of course there was no celebrations. Did moot via BBM if kot lah teringat nak gi Giant beli Ferraro Roche or Selberan KLCC (hahhh tu diaaaa...punya lah langit dgn bumi punya request!) to grab that eye blinding solitaire. Anyway, respond via BBM macam mendatar. So be it lah...tak pe. Lagi pun just came back from holidays, so cannot and MUST not complain.

Came home from work like always - late. After dinner, Nissa wanted to bake something. I said, "Yeah...why not. We have flour, choc powder and all the ingredients to bake moist choc cuppies."

And we did just that. Got the perkakas out and started baking.

Nissa said, "Let's use the silicone baking pan. Its "heart" shaped. Would be nice to make heart shaped cakes for Daddy kan..."

Okay, we did just that. The pan was something we got on our last day in Osaka hari tu. Excited lah nak guna. Plus nak test jugak...mana lah tau kot-kot cair ke under the extreme baking heat.

Anyway, about 30mins after I put in the first batch of bakes, ready lah those cute "hearts". Nissa being Nissa, dia test dulu and bila dah kenyang, she said, "Let's give Daddy."

Mommy said, "Okay...put on a nice plate and you give to him.."

Just seconds after Nissa took the "heart" to her dad, she returned into the kitchen and said, "Dah tido Mama....". Siap dengan facial expressions macam anak Jepun tertinggal subway lagi.

Chessss....kalau tau tadi gi beli cake yang nak expire kat Angle Kek House je kan....

Okay lah...tak larat nak type panjang-panjang cerita ni.

Skylark will return after this, rest assured.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

As the Skylark Sings - Osaka Part 3

When in Japan, castle visit is must do. During this trip, we visited four castles – one in Osaka, the other in Himeji and two in Kyoto. These castles are famous landmarks and popular sightseeing spots.

The castle was an easy find. Located in the city itself and next to the museum, it didn't take us long to get there.

Well kept, well trimmed

We walked pass the castle's outer park.

and came to the outer moat

Passed the outer moat

The steep walls that rise close to 30 meters high are made of huge blocks of stone that were transported to Osaka from quarries over 100 kilometers away.

The castle buildings came into view

Main walkway into the castle

Grand gate of the castle

There's a jogging track in the castle complex

this way in....

one of the buildings in the castle complex

The Osaka Castle was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1582 and was his place of rule until he died.

Aim....and blast!!

At the castle entrance...after this no photos allowed.

Little empress wannabe

and one final jump.....

As the Skylark Sings - Osaka Part 2

Exhaustion from our travel knocked us out completely. When my BB alarm rang at 4.30am for Subuh prayers, it startled me that I almost fell off the comfy bed. The unfamiliar surroundings of the hotel room had me thinking hard of my whereabouts. Then it dawned on me that I was on holiday and there was no deadlines chasing me and I didn't have to scramble and rush to beat the early morning traffic.


Our hotel - the Hearton Hotel Nishi Umeda is located in the business district in Osaka and is a few minutes walk from Osaka Station – the main railway terminal. The area around the hotel is surrounded by thousands of dining establishments.

When I was screening list of hotels to stay on the Internet months before the trip, my priority was to get one which was close to the rail or subway line. Of course, a little shopping would be okay. But when I later discovered that we were just doors away from Daimaru and Hilton West Plaza, my heart skipped many beats!

Time and time again, I had to remind myself that this trip was not a shopping trip and I wasn't with my BFFs doing RT. However, you know that your prayers are heard and you are in the company of ardent supporters - folks you sent to go get milk returned with report that was music to your ears when they said that there is an LV boutique down the road! Hah....explain that - my apprentice, I have trained her well, have I not? *wink*

After breakfast that Monday morning, we were all set to discover the city. Top on my itinerary was the Osaka Castle and the Osaka Museum of History.

It rained that morning when we were all set to discover sights and scenes of Osaka. And it was cold too....

To get to the nearest subway station, we had to pass the department store located next to our hotel.

Window display of local delicacies.....tempted? Yes...but we were not sure of the Halalness.

The Hilton Plaza....macam-macam adaaaaa di situ :)

Although it was rush hour, the streets were not congested. Most people commute on trains and public transport.

Blooms ready for spring

The subway station we took to get to our destination. The Japanese subway lines are many. One must know which direction to head and which line to take. The best way is to buy the one day pass; fast, easy and cost saving too. It's like doing subway a hop on hop off and you don't need to keep on buying tickets at the ticket machines which instructions are usually in Japanese.

But the Japanese people are really a helpful lot. They will assist you to the very best that they can. Although not many are able to speak in English, they will provide explanations till they are convinced that you would be okay.

Signages have improved - some directions can be found in English.

The underground subway stations are places with lots of hypes. Malls, eateries and convenience stores are everywhere.

We finally got to our stop. Since there are many exits, one must be sure which one leads you to your point of interest. This cardboard signage was a great help!

The street leading to the Osaka Museum of History

The museum fan

The old and the new well preserved and maintained.

Taking a sip from the cold, cold water cooler

Entrance to the museum. If you purchase the one day rail pass, ticket to the museum is inclusive.

The museum explains extensively history of Osaka and the surrounding region.

Used for some religious ritual

Wooden replica of the Osaka Castle and its historical facts.

In the main exhibition area

There were eight floors of exhibits. To go see all was almost impossible in that short time that we had. We had to be selective and only visited the significant exhibition rooms only.

Our next destination.....Osaka Castle