19 September 2014

Highlights of Nagoya April 2013

Yes, you saw the title correct. This trip was taken during last April, more than a year ago! The photos were sitting in my draft for the longest time and I was seriously thinking of abandoning this post altogether! Have been focusing so much on cooking posts that I totally neglected my passion for travel writing, my travel journals which are an important aspect of my life and this blog as well. I still have several trips to blog about, enough of the procrastinating!

Ok, enough of the blabbering, actually this was hubby's work trip and I shamelessly tagged along because I hadn't been to Nagoya before. We didn't have time to extend so it was just 4D3N; hubby went for his meetings whereas I focused on zakka shopping! kekeke :p Honestly couldn't remember much of the details so I'll just do a brief through.

We stayed at the Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel which is conveniently located right above JR Takashimaya Dept Store and directly connected to Nagoya train station serving the Shinkansen and several subway lines like Meitetsu line.

Our twin room was very spacious based on Japanese room standards, probably coz it's an international hotel.

Furnishings looked a little dated but totally speck and clean. Was glad to have such luxurious space because usually the rooms we stayed during personal trips tend to be smaller.

More space for me to pack my shopping. Haha. Brought along my pink lady though it was such a short trip and as usual gonna lug 30-40kg of stuff back home!

Bathroom was big, unlike the usual tiny Japanese cubicle bathroom.

The Nagoya station is well-connected with several underground shopping malls and arcades and I spent a lot of time shopping and getting lost in the myriad of shops just underground alone.

Let's talk about food first.

After checking in to our hotel, we were wandering around looking for lunch and discovered this quaint sushi shop at the underground mall (I think near the entrance of Meitetsu Department Store supermarket). This shop left quite an impression on me because the sushi served was quite special; each serving of sushi had an unique sauce or topping to accentuate the taste of the raw seafood.

Couldn't remember what fish this was, I think some sea bream. Raw inside with exterior slightly burnt with a blowtorch. Topping was some spring onions and yuzu jelly. Very delicious!!

My favourite ume shiso handroll, not many sushi shops in Singapore have this. I think the only sushi restaurant that I know sells this is Ikeikemaru Ryoshi Sushi.

 Another of my favourite ikura sushi, a must to eat since it's so much fresher and cheaper to eat in Japan.

 Hamachi sushi with grated radish. Another perfect combination.

The hotate sushi was so crunchy and sweet!

Totally love this sushi shop and if I were to go back to Nagoya again, would definitely visit this shop again. Above were just a few plates of sushi I managed to shoot, we ate much more than these I can guarantee. Haha. 

One of the dinners we had at a Tonkatsu restaurant at the Sakae district.

Spring special set meal. I always order seasonal special sets or ladies' sets when I see them because they are usually made with seasonal produce and limited edition :)

 The portion was just right for me, although I couldn't finish the rice :( I know it was a waste not to finish the yummy Japanese rice but really couldn't.

Loved my set with breaded prawns, pork fillet, baby corn and a few other items I wasn't sure about.

Hubby ordered his usual pork cutlet set.

The quality was needless to say, and best of all, very value-for-money!

This was a nice breakfast I had myself at one of the bakery cafes at the underground shopping arcade near the hotel. Had a yummy salad and chicken karaage sandwich with tea. Yummy! Wish there are more of such bakery cafes in Singapore!

For lunch, just went into a random eatery at the Takashimaya Department Store basement food hall. The curry rice looked so tantalising and to lessen my guilt of eating curry rice, I selected a vegetable set. The vegetables were so fresh and sweet!

For dinner, I packed some food from the department store food hall and enjoyed them back in the hotel. (No photos as the hotel room lighting was too dim for nice shoots). Managed to get some good deals coz usually food halls would give good discounts towards closing hours.

Another lunch at a Kishimen shop located right inside the Nagoya train station. Kishimen is a famous local dish of Nagoya.

The noodles were flat and broad, unlike the usual udon, ramen or soba. I usually don't like udon but this Kishmen was yummy! And I also added the Nagoya Cochin which is a special breed of free-range chicken (cross-bred between a Nagoya chicken and a cochin). The chicken meat was more chewy and very flavourful.

One of the dinners I had with hubby was at an Italian restaurant also within the Nagoya station. We saw quite a nice crowd and decided to give it a try.

Salad nothing to shout about.

Seafood paella was ok quite flavourful, but surprised that some of the seafood wasn't very fresh :(
The Margarita pizza was better. But this meal didn't leave very much impression. I guess we should just stick to Japanese food. Haha.

Now to the shopping! I visited mostly zakka shops which are located nearby Nagoya station and Sakae district.

One of my favourite zakka shop - Natural Kitchen. Located at 5F of Meitetsu Department Store.

There are several Afternoon Tea Living stores at Nagoya, I went to the ones at Takashimaya and Meitetsu.
 Chanced upon this 3-storey Francfranc store at Sakae district.

LACHIC mall. There are several zakka shops at the basement area.

 Studio Clip - combination of home, living, kitchen and fashion.

 Croissant croissant with same concept.

 Shinzi Katoh Design, stationery, living goods.

Karel Capek tea shop.

212 Kitchen Store.

Another of my favourite zakka shopping selling homeware, living goods, stationery etc, something like Daiso. All items cost 3 coins which is 300 yen (before tax).

I think I visited more zakka shops, and not forgetting the underground food halls/supermarkets but didn't take photos for those.

Ok, that's all for my Nagoya highlight, pardon me there weren't more details but it was a very short trip and hence I focused most of my time on shopping :p Not sure if I have chance to go back again but once again I say, any place in Japan is nice to me =D And I miss Japan a lot.

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