If you haven't already done so, please read Part One of this post, "Where to go/ What to do in Aichi" here:
What's a trip without truly enjoying the local favourites & specialty dishes, right? :D
In this post, I'll be sharing some of the best food we've had in Aichi, some interesting dishes you should check out on your trip there, plus where we stayed at/ the hotels we visited to give you some suggestions of accommodation! :)
1. UNAGI DON - SANSUITEI, NISHIO CITY
Our first lunch stop in Aichi and oh my goodness this left the deepest impression ever!
Have you ever had Unagi (Grilled Eel) Don with TWO LAYERS of Unagi in it?
It's so extravagant, and the portion so incredibly generous, we were all at a loss of words!
I don't think we'll ever find this type of servings anywhere else!
Not to mention cultured eels are Nishio City's specialty produce, and so you can expect only the best of the best!
Fresh, sweet, chewy, thick strips of Unagi, with a touch of smoky aroma from the grill!
On the table, you will also find a pot of sauce for you to add onto your rice should you require more.
We were also recommended by Yoshie-san (our guide) to add mountain pepper to the rice to give it a more unique spicy flavour. This did not taste anything like our ordinary pepper. I love it! :D
We also enjoyed the meal with a rare eel liver soup (tasted yummy!), and a rich Matcha Soft Serve for dessert! :P
Sansuitei seriusly set the bar for Unagi dons really high up for me, I don't think I'm ever going to be easily satisfied with any other unadons ever again.
For those who LOVEEEE Unagi dons, this is actually worth traveling to Aichi for!
Plus, the outdoors area features quite a picturesque field!
2. CLAMs themed MEAL (LOCAL CUISINE) - Gamagori Orange Park
We also had some of their local cuisine with a wide range of dishes cooked with fresh clams.
Clam steamed rice - adding a natural sweetness to the rice, clam soup, an assortment of appetisers made with clams... and interestingly, they all tasted very different in their own ways, such that you don't ever get sick of it!
I'm actually missing the clam soup we had now.. so refreshing, light and tasty!
At the Gamagori Orange Park, you can also enjoy fruit picking all year round!
Had fun picking mikans despite the slight drizzle! Food that comes with some effort usually taste a whole lot better :D
3. MISO-KATSU - YABATON RESTAURANT, NAGOYA
When in Nagoya, you definitely can't miss out on Nagoya's specialty miso-katsu!
The tangy miso sauce with the katsu is quite the matchmade in heaven combination.
Crispy katsu, salty-sweet miso with a bowl of piping hot, fragrant Japanese rice? Yes please!
The Japanese love miso so much, one of the ways a guy could propose to a girl would be "Would you like to cook Miso soup for me everyday?"
So cute one!!!
4. SINPUKUJI TEMPLE - OKAZAKI CITY
At one of the temples we visited in Aichi, we were served an extremely unique lunch set made of all bamboo dishes cooked differently!
The entire meal was super refreshing, and relatively subtle tasting compared to the other meals we've had in Japan, but it was quite a nice change of course!
Also found this empty & zen-looking dining area at the temple and quickly posed for a photo! :P
5. KAISEKI - Hotel takeshima, gamagori city
Kaiseki, a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner, is a must have when you're visiting the country!
The price range may be slightly more pricey, but for the experience of it, I'd say please try it at least once in your life.
For our Kaiseki dinner, we were recommended to wear a Yukata, and were served very efficiently by the very sweet and helpful staff at Hotel Takeshima our dinner courses!
Due to the number of dishes, we all ended up completely stuffed, but most of us managed to eat all of the food served because they all tasted so good!
What I enjoyed most out of this Kaiseki dinner was the Salmon grilled with Hatcho Miso on a Magnolia leaf, and the Yuzu roll cake (served with aloe vera jelly) we had at the end of the meal.
They're probably on my list of "best tasting food in the world" right now!
We asked the staff if the Yuzu cake was on sale but they said it wasn't, regrettably~~
Hotel wise, if you're looking for a place with traditional feels and tatami mat for accommodation, complete with Onsen experience, Hotel Takeshima is the place you'd need to stay at!
The view we had the next morning of the island was fantastic as well!
6. LE PARADIS - MEITETSU INUYAMA HOTEL, INUYAMA CITY
Stopped over at this super fancy French restaurant Le Paradis at Meitetsu Inuyama Hotel for dinner and it was there that we all sat down, chit-chatted, laughed, and just chilled cause we had the whole restaurant to ourselves since we arrived early it wasn't the dinner rush hour yet!
We got to know each other more while indulging in a super high grade of Hida beef, Smoked Salmon & more!
It's true that food really bonds people together!
7. Irago View hotel, tahara city
Our home for the first night in Aichi, Irago View hotel is one of the more traditionally decorated hotels with a splendid buffet selection for Dinner & Breakfast to offer!
Think clam soup, odango, beef slices, and fresh sashimi for breakfast!
Coincidentally, I also won the lucky draw during our Exchange Party during the trip for a stay at Irago View Hotel!
Which means I'll probably be back in Aichi again next year at Irago View hahah!
I loved the view of the beach side in the morning~
This hotel is just minutes' drive away from Irago Cape & Lover's Beach.
8. Hilton nagoya hotel, nagoya city
One word - WOW.
Nothing less than what you'd expect from Hilton hotel standards.
Service wise, cleanliness, decor, safety, everything was so on point. Zero complaints!
I actually have a fear of sleeping alone, but I slept SOOOOOOO soundly at Hilton Nagoya, I was exclaiming to my mum over whatsapp "Hilton Hotel is the best!!!"
They even prepared some thoughtful snacks, gifts, ice cold beer, and a hand written card upon our arrival.
I feel the love, thank you so much!!! T~T
We also had our Exchange Party/ Networking Session on the last day of our trip at Hilton Nagoya, and were entertained by Samurai performances, taught how to properly eat Aichi's signature fried chicken wings, exchanged contacts with many suppliers, and also the much-anticipated lucky draw at the end hahah!
As mentioned above, I won a stay at Irago View Hotel!
Thank you so much!!
Also, the breakfast spread at Hilton Nagoya left such a deep impression!
I've never had such delicious noodles at hotel's breakfast buffets before.
The Kishimen they served was so chewy and the noodle broth so tasty, I think I had 3 servings of it the next morning, LOL!
If you're the type who prefers a modern hotel for your trip, and cleanliness is one of your main concerns staying at hotels, you can't go wrong with Hilton!
9. Gamagori classic hotel, gamagori city
We didn't get to check in at Gamagori Classic Hotel, but we did do a tour around the place and had our Tourism Information Session there.
The place looked kind of like a traditional castle, so pretty!
Surrounded by a spectacular view all around, the hotel also boasts of a fully functional old school lift in the lobby, a classy restaurant and what not!
Lots of tourists who go to Japan usually go to Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido and the likes.
But not many tourists know about Aichi, geographically located in the heart of Japan yet!
Baking in its rich culture, and with a proud level of technology to balance off, Aichi should definitely be part of your considerations for your next trip to Japan!
So glad I got to learn more about this beautiful place on this trip, and I hope that my post can provide some suggestions on food/ accommodation/ things to do in Aichi for you guys too! :)
Part One of this post, "Where to go/ What to do in Aichi":
A huge thank you to NTA Travel Singapore & Aichi Prefecture Tourism Bureau once again for arranging this!
Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen
myVillage at Serangoon Gardens, 1 Maju Avenue
Mon to Fri: 11:30am to 3:00pm, 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Sat, Sun & PH: 11.30am to 3:00pm, 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Last order at 9:30pm
Before I start gushing about the food I had, I'd just want to say that myVillage spent a lot of $ on making the trees around the mall super friggin pretty, so if you're around the area, please don't waste it and take some photos with the lights, they look amazing hahah!
I took these photos at Level 2 outdoors area, just right beside Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen!
The other day, the four of us had dinner at Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen, and it was honestly the best Japanese comfort food I've ever had in Singapore!
And guess what?
NOTHING ABOVE $20, NO SERVICE CHARGE, NO GST!
Chef Tan-san, the owner of Hajime, has been in the culinary world for 25 years, and has a strong passion for Japanese cuisine.
Having mastered the art of Tonkatsu in Japan, he returned to Singapore in 1993 and became the first Tonkatsu chef in Singapore.
I won't go into too much details, because I believe the taste of the food speaks for itself the moment you taste it, but Tan-san takes pride in preparing his dishes with wholesome ingredients.
For example, he uses imported Niigata rice grown in pristine waters from melting snow for his dishes, HOME MADE SAUCES (including tartar sauce), and even prepares FRESHLY made breadcrumbs for his Tonkatsu breading!
SO. MUCH. EFFORT!!!!
But oh my god I have to tell you, you really can taste the difference.
HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
There's a reason I want to put so much emphasis to this because everybody NEEDS TO at least try it once in their lives!!!
I've had something similar to this in Japan from a renowned restaurant, but I feel like the in-house customised Miso sauce from Hajime was lighter, smoother and suited my preference better!
We finished this within MINUTES because it was simply irresistible.
As I'm typing this I'm having cravings, and I can still vividly remember the yummy, sweet and salty flavour of the miso sauce gently embracing the crispy slices of breaded fillet OMG.... so we're actually going to drive over to myVillage to have this for dinner despite the heavy rain :P
Chef Tan-san used to work in Tampopo, and this Tonkatsu Ramen was his creation there, so you can expect the quality to be top notch!
The Tonkotsu Broth is simmered in-house for 12 hours with no added MSG.
I absolutely love the chewy texture of the noodles and I could easily have 2 bowls of this in one seating lol!
And the broth, oh my god the broth. One word - DIVINE~~~~
Did a Taeyeon & CL Make Up transformation/ inspired look video and I had a whole bunch of fun dressing up!
Hope you guys will like it! :)
Disclaimer: I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL MAKE UP ARTIST.
This video was done all in the name of FUN.
I enjoy BOTH Taeyeon & CL's music, just thought of doing a make up transformation inspired by the story in Taeyeon's I MV since both of them have blonde/ light coloured hair :)
Also, I did the voiceovers in a sleep-deprived state so that explains why... LOL
Also took some pictures!
It took a mad long time to edit the video cause my computer keeps lagging and I'm not so good at video editing yet... but hopefully I'll be inspired to do other transformation videos again! :D
Watch the original Taeyeon - I & CL - Hello Bitches below :)
I'm soooo excited to post pictures of this customised Unicorn Cake from https://www.instagram.com/enjoue.sg/ :D
To order/ enquire, please contact Enjoue.sg: +65 83287527
I chose the tiffany blue base (cause I really like it), plus a holographic sparkly unicorn horn, and let the pastry chefs from enjoue.sg do their magic! +*~*+*~*+
Flavour wise, I chose a rich double chocolate fudge cake!
Ordering was super hassle-free, arranged a delivery date with them via whatsapp, and the cake arrived at my house so prettily and perfectly!!
If this isn't #cakegoals, I don't know what is!
UNICORN CAKE PRICE
5" Cake Size $155
6" Cake Size $165
Quote "pxdkitty" to get 10% off!
Prices are inclusive of FREE delivery!
I honestly think it's very very affordable for a cake that will bring smiles to all your guests! ^~^
You can customise:
Colour of Unicorn Horn
Colour of Unicorn Skin (aka Cake Base)
Colour of Unicorn Eyes
Colour of Mane (aka Meringue Kisses)
Christmas is coming (so many desserts to look forward to), I'm psyched!!
As a leader of manufacturing, you can find many famous corporations & factories gathered in Aichi such as TOYOTA, brother, YAMAHA etc.
Nishio, located in Aichi prefecture, is also the largest producer of powdered green tea in Japan and one of the leading producers of cultured eels (unagi).
In this post, I'll be sharing a few must go places in Aichi based on our trip there, to help those who're planning a trip to Aichi, Japan!
We were there with a tour bus, so we didn't get lost while traveling to so many places, thankfully!
But if you're the adventurous sort and are traveling with street smart companion(s), the public transport systems in Japan are really accessible & they have public transport guides online to help you too!
1. obara shikizakura - Toyota city
Forget about competing with the general public for a photo taking spot with the sakuras during Spring!
While ordinary cherry trees only bloom once in spring, the Obara Shikizakura blooms once in Spring, and AGAIN from October to December!
Just in time for most of your holiday periods!
They begin to blossom at the end of October, and are at their peak from mid November through early December.
When we arrived, it might have been slightly early (first week of November), and it's such a sight to behold already!
I'm sure it'll be even more breathtaking in the later weeks!
(Facts source: http://www.kankou-obara.toyota.aichi.jp/english/shikizakura.html)
Admission fee: FREE
2. korankei - toyota city
Korankei is reputed to be one of the best spots for autumn colors!
Just a half an hour drive from the Obara Shikizakura, these 2 sites should be on your must-visit in the Autumn season!
Despite the rain, we thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful vibrant colours of the maple leaves, and took photos at their iconic red bridge!
For Singaporeans like us who live in a summer all year round climate, a sight like this is totally worth travelling for!
Not forgetting the super comfortable cooling weather :D
Admission fee: FREE
3. Sanshu Asuke Yashiki - toyota city
Regardless of season, the Sanshu Asuke Yashiki Village, which is just a short walk away from the Korankei, is open all year round and also very worth the visit!
We walked around the traditional houses in a village-like setting, with the people there making shoes, feeding cows, showing us their crafts, cooking a simple dinner over some firewood, it was quite an eye-opener to just bask in all of that!
You can also buy some handmade souvenirs (omiyage) back home!
I bought one of the cloth beanbags, a slightly bigger version of what we call "five stones" in Singapore, lovingly handcrafted!
To warm ourselves up, we also bought HOT corn soup IN A CAN from a vending machine we passed by!
Dear Japan, you never fail to impress!!
Admission Fee: 300 yen (adults, S$3.92), 100 yen (kids, S$1.31)
4. meiji-mura museum - Inuyama city
This open air museum is officially my favourite place we visited in Aichi!!
With 68 amazing buildings to explore, and so many other gorgeous pathways/ fields/ features to take pictures with, you definitely need at least half a day on your itinerary for this.
Meiji-mura is where they preserve and exhibit Japanese architecture in the Meiji period.
And by preserve, the Japanese really mean business!
Take for example, the entire entrance and lobby of the Imperial Hotel was transported from Tokyo all the way to Inuyama City and rebuilt in Meiji-mura, and this whole process took OVER 10 years!
Much effort was made to recreate the exact Imperial Hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Admission fee: 1700 yen (S$22.19)
(additional 1000 yen, S$13.05 for unlimited rides on the village bus, tram and train)
There's also a steam locomotive to bring you around Meiji-mura, and I was clearly super excited to ride in it.
At Meiji-mura, there is even a prison, school, butchery and an operational post office where we sent postcards to our family at home!
5. syoukakuen - nishio city
When in Nishio (Japan's leading producer of matcha), we couldn't miss out on the matcha experience at Syoukakuen.
We got to stone-ground our own matcha there and let me tell you, it was no easy feat!
After 10 minutes of tiring grounding, the amount of powdered green tea we got was so measly...we just gave up.
No wonder high quality matcha is so pricey!
We were also taught by the staff the proper way to make our own matcha with the bamboo whisk, to eat our sweet snack first before consuming the tea, and how to properly and respectfully drink the green tea. We really have so much to learn!
Tourists are able to arrange for grounding matcha & the matcha ceremony by reservations.
Happened to spot a R. Cafe opposite of Syoukakuen & sneaked a few photos before we left cause I was just joking about how that's my cafe hahah.
For more info & reservations: http://www.syoukakuen.com/koujyou.html
6. okazaki castle park - Okazaki City
Went over to the Okazaki Castle Park early in the morning and we were greeted by the most energetic bunch of Samurais ever!
They were so cool and humorous, we couldn't help but feel warmed up in the chilly weather by their infectious energy.
A short walk from the entrance, and we arrived at the Okazaki Castle, which is now a museum for tourists, exhibiting some samurai battle swords, armours, and even depictions & write ups of epic battles in history!
Shrines, eateries, gift shops & more can also be found at Okazaki Castle Park.
Quite a peaceful place to walk around!
7. hatcho miso - okazaki city
When you mention tradition in Japan, Miso is one of the first things that will come to our minds.
Which is why the oldest existing Hatcho miso maker 八丁味噌, is on my recommended list for you!
The factory has been operating continuously since 1337, and their miso are still made according to strictly traditional measures. Most of the vats in use are over 100 years old!
There are also a wide variety of miso products you can purchase at the end of your visit - think miso crackers, miso caramel candy & even miso ice cream!
And it actually tasted surprisingly good!
What says omiyage to your friends and family more than legit miso all the way from Japan, right?
Admission fee: FREE
For more info: http://www.8miso.co.jp/english.html
8. RED BRICK BUILDING - HANDA CITY
Originally a beer brewery, this spectacular looking building now showcases the history of Kabuto beer, and operates as a restaurant and souvenir stall.
Don't be too surprised when you look up at the building and notice that the bricks are punctured with over a hundred bullet holes!
These are actually left behind from American air raids during the war.
Against the backdrop of Aichi's clear blue skies, the Red Brick Building definitely makes for an IG worthy shot, and we made sure not to miss out on it haha!
Admission fee: 200 yen (S$2.61)
9. Mama Kannon temple - komaki city
Based on a traditional story about a poor mother who initially couldn't breastfeed her baby, but was finally able to do so only by the grace of Mama Kannon, this is a temple that celebrates the greatness of mothers, giving thanks to life, and it's also a popular temple where women and girls would visit to pray for breastfeeding, smooth delivery of babies, healthy breasts, growth of breasts etc!
We saw quite a number of written prayers asking for G-cup breasts, or saying "I'm not too greedy, I just want DD" hahah!
Super interesting haha! This is one of the unique temples you can find only in Japan I guess!
Admission fee: Free
10. toyota commemorative museum of industry & technology - nagoya city
Did you know that Toyota City (formerly known as Koromo) was named due to Toyota Motor Corporation?
Also, did you know that before moving over to the automobile industry, Toyota group was actually one of the best in the global textile industry?
I know only because I paid attention during our trip to the museum hahah!
When the staff kindly demonstrated to us how threads were made from scratch (from cotton), it seriously looked like magic to us.
My jaw dropped so many times at the museum because the technology and thought process behind each machine's improvement was simply ingenious!
It's so cool to learn how technology has improved drastically over the years, and some of them are quite recent changes as well.
To show how precise and advanced they are with their technology, they even have a robot playing Canon in D on the violin at the museum!
The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry & Technology is one of the top recommended places in Japan on TripAdvisor too.
General Admission Fee: 500 yen (S$6.52)
11. alice on wednesday - nagoya city
Peishi's love for Alice, and Veracia's fluent Japanese brought us here as we took a cab on our own from Hilton Nagoya without our tour guide.
GPS helped loads too!
You can find a wide array of Alice inspired drinks, snacks, accessories, and so many other knick knacks here, you simply can't leave without getting yourself a souvenir!
Their stuff are too pretty!
12. kunizakari sake museum - handa city
Maybe it's my age... but I actually find museums really entertaining!
Especially with guided tours when they tell you the history of it, fun facts etc.
It's like an adult factual story telling session, and sometimes it can be quite inspiring as well!
At the Sake museum, we learned about how rice used for sake is larger than the usual rice we eat, the fermentation process, and even got to try the sake samples!
I don't have a high tolerance for alcohol & usually would cringe at the smell/ taste of it, but surprisingly the ones we tried here were so good, I actually bought 1 bottle of Umeshu, and 2 bottles of unfiltered sakes (not yet fermented, non-alcoholic) to bring home!
Admission fee: Free
13. Laguna ten bosch - gamagori city
Land of the iconic Thousand Sunny, Lagunasia (theme park), Laguna Spa, Festival Market, & Thalgo Laguna, this is another location you'll need to allocate at least half a day of your trip for!
And trust me, it'll be so worth it!
There are also numerous stalls you can dine and shop at, so no worries about going hungry after a long day! :P
For admission prices & more information: http://lagunatenbosch.co.jp/laguna/english/index.html
During the winter season when the swimming pools are not in use, these gorgeous snowflake light features are installed to beautify the place!
There's also a newly opened Flower Lagoon at Lagunasia, and it's just sooo stunning!
Depending on the season, there are also different light shows at Laguna Ten Bosch at night. The one we saw was for Christmas season!
Laguna Ten Bosch is a MUST MUST MUSTTTT VISIT at least once in your life! :D
For admission prices & more information: http://lagunatenbosch.co.jp/laguna/english/index.html
14. BIC CAMERA Nagoya Station West Store
We took the subway to Nagoya Station during our free time because Veracia wanted to buy some DS or something (sorry I can't remember lol!), so I suppose if you're in Nagoya looking for emergency memory cards, gadgets that are available only in Japan, here'd be a good place to shop at!
For me, I'm just really excited at the endless rows of gachapon machines & old school card machines hahah!
15. Isshiki fish market - Nishio city
Took a quick look around the fish market and saw lots of fresh produce sold here.
So cool to see where the locals would get their fresh seafood from!!
Wish I stayed in Japan so I can buy some of that yummy, fresh sashimi to enjoy at the comfort of my own home!!
To console myself, I bought a corn caramel candy from the candy machine hahah!
Aichi is the heart of Japan, and a hidden gem full of surprises that not many know of yet!
Thank you to NTA Travel Singapore & Aichi Prefecture Tourism Bureau for the opportunity once again to experience this amazing prefecture in Japan!
For more information about Aichi & lots of helpful links for your Aichi trip, you can check out:
Part Two of this post, "What to eat/ Where to stay in Aichi":
Thank you for reading!
Trust me, I was supposed to be Hermoine Granger for Halloween this year.... but the Harley Quinn & joker transformation video we recorded took up too much time, and it was too late to switch our outfits to the Gryffindor robes and so we ended up as Harley & Joker lol.
It was really fun though!
And I guess we can always re-use the Harry Potter robes & wands for next year :P
Hello! I'm Rachell Tan,
a blogger from Singapore! Here's my personal space where I pen down my experiences, recommend my favourite places, food and things.
I'm also an avid fan of DIY projects, so you can expect them once in awhile as well!
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