Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kawasaki Good Times World and the Kobe Maritime Museum

When Ady's friends joined us for our trip to Osaka, they asked us if we wanted to join them for some of the things they wanted to do which included a Day Trip to Kobe. As soon as I heard they were going to Kobe, all I could think about was going with them to eat Kobe Beef. Something I've been wanting to do for quite some time now - thus the important place it holds in my bucket list. Ady's friends were game, so I'll save that topic for another post, but the main reason Doc wanted to go to Kobe was so we could visit Kawasaki Good Times World which shares the same space as the Kobe Maritime Museum.

We used our 2-day Hankyu Pass to get to Kobe, and if you're going to the Kawasaki Good Times World or the Kobe Maritime Museum, you need to get down at the Hanakuma Station. It's actually 1 stop after the area covered by the tourist pass, so you just need to pay the fare difference (which I think is less than 100Yen) before you exit the station.

It's around a 15 minute walk to the museum, which is located near the Kobe Tower, so you just need to keep walking towards the Kobe Port.
One of the first things that caught my attention in Kobe was this vintage
toy store. We were running a bit late so I didn't get to stop.
Street art that we passed along the way.
One of the traditional looking food stalls.
You know you're near when you see this.
Kobe Tower
The Kobe Maritime Museum is very near the water and actually reminds
me of a fishing net.
Front of the Museum.
Kobe Tower from the museum side.
I wasn't able to get a decent selfie because everyone
was rushing me to enter.
We actually arrived a few minutes after 4:30pm which was their last
admission cut-off. But they were nice enough to let us enter for a quick look.
The admission fee for adults is 600Yen but you can access the Kawasaki Good Times World website here to download a 100Yen discount coupon.

Here are the things that caught my attention:
One of the first Jet Ski Models
The Motorcycle Showcase

There's a portion where you're allowed to ride the bikes.
Thought bubble: can you drive a motorcycle if you
don't know how to drive a bike?
I even borrowed Jenny's shades so I'd look like a real biker dude!
Now, this is the real biker!
You can also ride a Jet ski. Complete with backdrop.
There are several inter-active stations which kids would enjoy.

It was actually a surprise to me that Kawasaki had a hand in making the Shinkansen.
The Shinkansen Bullet Train is the first train that ran between
Tokyo and Osaka. Kawasaki manufactured 702 of these from 1963-1985.
Selfie with the Shinkansen
I was quite impressed with the interior. It looked pretty modern to me,
especially since the seats rotate so you're always facing front.
However, when I entered the "cockpit" I could imagine that it looked like
this when it was first made.
In contrast, they also have modern trains which I think practically drive
themselves. (don't quote me on that!)
Another surprise to me was that Kawasaki also made airplanes.
Now, this plane looks like it's as old as the first Shinkansen.
Moving on towards more futuristic projects, Kawasaki also makes
robots. They even do a demo of the work robots do in car factories.

We really didn't have much time to look around since we just begged them to let us in, but this place is really something I can imagine Sofia would enjoy a lot. Here are a few shots I was able to take in the Kobe Maritime Museum on our way out.

Coleysjustsaying reporting from Kobe!
This is a place I would be willing to go back to when Sofia is travelling with me... if only for an excuse to go to Kobe to eat Kobe Beef for dinner. just saying.

Kawasaki Good Times World 
Kobe Maritime Museum

2-2, Hatoba-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, 
Hyogo 650-0042, 
Japan (Kobe Maritime Museum)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

P365 TE Day 259

Havainas Concept Store in São Paulo

Travel Bite: Havaianas, the popular flipflops brand from Brazil has a Concept Store in their flagship location in São Paulo's most expensive shopping street (Rua Oscar Friere). The store is quite experiential where you can make your own Havaianas in your desired combination (which they have for special brand events).

However, don't think that just because you're buying Havainas in Brazil it will be cheaper because it's really not - since everything in Brazil is expensive. just saying.

Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Date Photo Taken: October 2011

P365 TE Points for today: 2 out of 3 (for now)
P365 TE Points from Audience Interaction as of Sept 14: 252
P365 TE Running Points: 770 out of 777 (as of posting)

You can read the background of Project 365 Travel Edition here.  
Feel free to come back everyday. just saying...

Monday, September 15, 2014

P365 TE Day 258

Ipanema Hippie Market 

Travel Bite: If you love outdoor markets and craft fairs, you should make it a point to visit Ipanema's Hippie Market when you visit Rio de Janeiro. The market is located Praca General Osario, 8am-6pm, Sundays only. You can buy crafts made by local artists as well as the normal souvenirs for tourists.

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date Photo Taken: October 2011

P365 TE Points for today: 2 out of 3 (for now)
P365 TE Points from Audience Interaction as of Sept 14: 252
P365 TE Running Points: 768 out of 774 (as of posting)

You can read the background of Project 365 Travel Edition here.  
Feel free to come back everyday. just saying...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hot Star Taiwanese Fried Chicken now in Manila

I love Taiwanese Chicken Chops, in fact, whenever we're in Taipei, we always have Hot Star Chicken was part of our visit to Shilin Night Market. The only thing better than Taiwanese Chicken from Taipei, is Taiwanese Chicken Chops from Shilin in Singapore since they serve their Chicken Chops boneless and chopped (vs the original Taiwan way where it includes the bone).

Hot Star Chicken opened their first branch a few months back at Blue Bay Walk (near MOA) which is quite far from us, so while I've been wanting to try it, I told myself that we can visit it when we needed to go to MOA.

We finally got the chance when we had tickets to watch the 7PM Disney Live Show at the MOA Arena last Friday. I was bringing Sofia and my godson Lukey so I thought it would be perfect if we had an early dinner around 6pm so I'd finally get to try Hot Star Chicken in the Philippines.

I've never heard of Blue Bay Walk before but it's a fairly new development
with the look and feel of BGC High Street, but without the crowds.
We arrived in time to catch the sunset sky.
Hot Star is located near the left part of the complex (look for the big A)
beside Bon Chon and Army Navy.
The place is decorated with pictures of Large
Fried Chicken Chops.
With my inaanak.
The menu is localized for the Philippine Market because they don't have
spaghetti and sandwiches in Taiwan or other countries for that matter.
The Large Fried Chicken still looks the same, but of course in the Philippines
you have an option to order it with rice.
Yup! Still bigger than my hand... or my face for that matter...
Another local tweak is the unlimited Rice Gravy.
You can help yourself to it, but only if you're a Dine In Customer.

We sort of had to rush through dinner so we would make it in time to catch our show.

I couldn't resist doing a comparison of the picture on the wall
vs the real thing and I agree that it looks the same.
Don't get intimidated with the size. It's just 1 whole chicken breast,
that they pound thinly, and coat with a lot of breading.

My verdict is that I think the seasoning is a bit inconsistent. Sofia complained that hers was too salty, I thought mine was bland, and my mom said that the spicy chicken here is spicier than the Taipei version. Over-all it's not too bad, especially since it's priced quite reasonably (Chicken at Php110 and Chicken with Rice and Drink Php135) but I won't drive all the way to Blue Bay Walk or Katipunan (their second store) because I won't be craving for it.

I also tried the Almond Crush (Ph45) it works quite
well as a palate cleanser, but I don't understand why
it was served with crushed black gulaman under since
the picture on the menu board did not have it.

Since the MOA Arena was very near, we arrived just in time for the show. This time around it was Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales.

Snow While with the seven dwarfs who looked bigger than her.
Cinderella (our favorite characters were the silly step sisters).
Horsing around with Sofia's Minnie Ears at intermission.
And the last story was Beauty and the Beast, which embarrassingly,
I knew all the songs to.
The show was pretty short, perfect for kids with short
attention spans, but my dad still fell asleep and Sofia
was outraged he was wasting his ticket.
Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy played the role of narrators
and was present for the finale when everyone lived happily ever after.

Over-all, quite a good way to end the stressful week. Disney always delivers on that. just saying.

Hot Star Fried Chicken