Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Japanese Beer in Japan

A Japanese colleague told me that I should try Japanese beers when I travelled to Japan. Apparently the taste is different compared to the Japanese beers brewed in Malaysia. 

I was curious at what he meant by "the taste is different", and since my colleague loves to drink, I believed him and decided to give it a try.  

Since I prefer beers that are not too bitter, I made sure I selected the correct ones. Luckily beer cans are labelled in English in Japan!

I had also put in my bucket list for Japan to try at least 3 different types of Japanese craft beer but only managed to try 2 types, one in Tokyo and one in Kyoto: 

Saison by Suntory - this is my favourite beer in Japan because it fits my description of a delicious beer and has a nice flavour to it.

Kyoto beer

Here are the other types of Japanese beers that I had the privilege of tasting:


Kirin Ichiban


All of 'em are more smooth and flavourful compared to the Japanese beers brewed in Malaysia. Now I know what my colleague meant when he said Japanese beer tastes different back in Japan. Maybe it's the water that they use.

Here are the zero alcohol beers that I didn't like because there's no kick:



Later when I returned to KL, I tried the Azahi Zero and it tasted much better, almost similar to a regular 5% alcohol Asahi.

Just to give you an idea how much beer costs in Japan, here are the prices:

Since we're on the topic of alcohol, I'll end this post with this photo of different types of Japanese alcohol (shochu, sake, yuzushu, etc.) sold in milk cartons in Japan:

A friend asked whether they also have them in smaller packets with straw. I replied that would encourage juvenile drinking.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

My Bucket List for Japan

I've been doing lots of research for my trip to Japan this week.

Our 9-day trip will cover Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. Trying to fit in all the must-sees into 9 days is no joke, but doable.

I've also prepared a bucket list of items that I must do while I'm in the Land of the Rising Sun:

  • Bathe in an onsen (time to get naked!).
  • Watch a sumo wrestling match. Alas there won't be any matches when we're there. So we'll have to make do with watching a practise session, free of charge I suppose.
  • Try at least 10 street food in Osaka. In case you're not aware, Osaka is known as the Penang of Japan, i.e. a food paradise. I think I'm gonna put on 3kg after I return from Japan!
  • Try at least 3 different types of Japanese craft beer.
  • Attend Mass at a Roman Catholic Church.

Please leave a comment if you have any other ideas.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

How to Shower in Ice Cold Water

When I was in Dhunche, a small town in the Langtang region of Nepal, I stayed at Hotel Himalayan Legend ...

... which didn't have hot shower. There were solar panels on the roof but the guesthouse owner claims they were not working. 

I know there're trekkers who don't bathe throughout the duration of their trek which can last for days. But I can't do that. After coming in from a long trek, sweaty, dirty and all, I always appreciate a hot shower. It is refreshing and I can sleep well ready for the next day's trek.

Since Hotel Himalayan Legend didn't have hot shower, I had to shower in ice cold water. Here's how to do it: 

1) Warm up by doing some vigorous exercise like jumping around and running on the spot.
2) Open the shower and let the ice water flow.
3) Use your hands to wet your arms followed by your body and legs. Your body will eventually get used to the ice water if you wet your body in stages. Last of all, put your head under the shower to wet your hair.  
4) Quickly shampoo, lather soap on your body and rinse off.
5) Step out of the shower and continue doing small exercises to warm up your body. 
6) Towel down and put clothes on.

Those who can stand the ice water may even step under the shower at one go. I prefer to do it step by step.

Good luck!

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