~ Iphone Photos- Japan 2017 ~

on
Thursday, May 18, 2017
      Most of my Iphone photos from April were from Japan. I tried my best to make sure there isn't a lot of recap from my Japan posts and this one. My April was pretty good, work was easy and of course Japan was great! I find that I take less photos as I get older and it's probably due to the fact that I tend to enjoy things more "in person" versus having to record everything down with a photograph. However this means I don't get a visual reminder of my memories which I sometimes miss.


I've always loved stationary it's only lately that I've been on a buying binge. Japan is THE place for stationary and it took everything in me to not over shop. Do I have regrets? Of course but at least my bank account is still floating. My top three loves are stamps, washi tape, and stickers. I also really like ephemera and embellishments although those are a bit harder to find. 

While I was planning my few days in Kyoto I decided to give up renting a kimono since I thought I would waste too much time but when I arrived and saw everyone else wearing one...guess what I did. That's right I ended up making a reservation and renting a kimono.

It's better to do research beforehand and make an appointment online because they give good discounts online! Try to get there early as the early bird gets the best kimono selection. I chose the kind with the longer sleeve and boy was the kimono tight! I don't know if the girl thought I was smaller than I was or what but it definitely wasn't the most comfortable thing. I had afternoon tea in my kimono and couldn't tell whether I was full or not...
I also opted for a hair up-do because honestly it would've looked silly if I hadn't and just let my hair flow. The up do was an additional 1500 yen and the kimono rental was about 6500-7000 yen. It depends on the type of kimono you choose. You also get the slippers, socks, and a small handbag for the day. 

My muscat flavoured sorbet from Basket Robins! It was really good! I love all things muscat flavoured.

I had these hot and yummy steamed buns often for breakfast which are available at most convenience stores. My favourite was the meat one and the most interesting was a pizza/cheesy one and a curry one.


Another sandwich like bun from the convenience store. As you can see they only put mayo on the outer half other bun so it looks like there's mayo all over! I thought it was hilarious although I know some people might be taken back. The sauce on the meat was flavourful enough so I didn't care there wasn't a lot of mayo.

I loved the vending machines in Japan, especially since hey dispense HOT drinks! I had this hot Boss coffee a lot when I was there. It's available where I live too but having it hot from the machine was another experience. It was still quite chilly and cold in April.

I saw this gorgeous cookie inside the basement of a major department store. Make sure you hit up the food basements inside them such as Takashimaya or Isetan etc. It's huge and there are plenty of things to see and eat! It's also a great place to pick up souvenirs as everything is beautifully packaged.

One of two afternoon teas I had in Japan. The first one was impromptu and this one I managed to make reservations via email before arriving. This was at the Palace Hotel Tokyo and you can check their afternoon tea menu here

I can't remember the name of this restaurant but it was like Yoshinoya which is a place for cheap eats and are often open 24hrs. They use a ticket system where you order through a machine that dispenses your ticket. You then proceed to take a seat, hand the chef your ticket and they'll make your meal according to your selection. At this specific one we ate at, there was an English menu and it was a great place to have a cheap but filling breakfast.


   
I love Doraemon as I grew up with his movies so I was really excited and lucky that there was a pop-up Doraemon cafe at Tokyo Solamachi ,which is the shopping area right by the Tokyo Sky Tree. The food wasn't great so don't come with great expectations but their decor is adorable.

The cherry pie frappucino came out when I was there so of course I had to try it. It was actually pretty good! I had 2 of them although it was tricky to eat the pie crust.

We ran into our first Donguri store in Kyoto. The Donguri is a chain of stores that sell official Studio Ghibli merchandise and can be found throughout Japan. I went to this one in Kyoto and two in Tokyo. Everything was also decently priced. From memory the largest Totoro plush was about 5500 yen and the smallest ones about 1000 yen.

This one in Kyoto is a bit hidden and we were lucky to have run into it! It's located right by the Hello Kitty store, there is a small sign and shelf with some Ghibli items by it. It's on a street leading up and from Kiyomizu-Dera temple. 

One of the hot lemon drinks I fell in love with! It's by 7-11 so I had to hunt for one if I wanted to drink it.

I really like this candy brand, I saw some in Kyoto and then in Tokyo. I bought some as souvenirs and wanted to buy another bag for myself! I loved the way it melted in your mouth and how the air pockets created a "fluffy" texture.

I asked for coffee on the plane ride home and was pleasantly surprised by this cute Doraemon cup saying bye bye to me.

Back at home I got to try a new restaurant called Hatzu. I've seen their lunch plates all over Instagram and had to try it since I love this type of dining. When I went the lunch plates were 50% off making them 13$ instead of 26$ which I thought was a fantastic price for value! The food itself was alright, not bad but nothing spectacular either. 

~ Morocco - Essaouira ~

on
Saturday, May 6, 2017
      Essaouira was the second last destination on my trip and a place I really enjoyed. It was bit more touristy and we mainly stayed in one area of the city. From memory we had plenty of time to explore  and were given an interesting tour shortly after we arrived. As usual the riad we stayed at had no elevators, only stairs and just by luck my roommate and I got a room on the third floor (again).




Beautiful coloured doors again.

I don't know why but I was extremely drawn towards the fish market and harbour area of the city. I went there twice during the time I was there to snap photographs and take in the scene. I also looked fairly out of place with my white lace dress walking around on fish guts and yes, it did smell bad. That didn't stop me though!

Although these look like alleyways they act more like streets that cars can't drive on. They're extremely fun to walk around as you can find lots of interesting stores this way.

We dined at the same cafe twice in a row because the food was so delicious and reasonably priced!


I got Moroccan salad almost everyday, it was delicious and an easy way for me to get my vegetable intake. Also they pour tea from high up to create the foam on the tea. The tea served is mostly mint tea and I'm not a huge fan of that.

There are plenty of cafes to stop at. We picked this one and it had the cutest creamers which the cafe actually used to put their coffee in.




      I remember feeling a bit sad when I was here simply because it meant that my trip was coming to an end. My last destination was Marrakech for a day then it was home time for me. I think Essouira was a great place to be near the end of the trip. It was really relaxing and also a good time to go shopping for souvenirs because there were plenty of stalls and small markets to buy from. I didn't feel like I would get lost the way I would be in a bigger city and there were many tourists around too. I also finally managed to mail my postcards here despite carrying them for at least half the entire trip.