We took a slow 9 hour drive back to Tokyo today with lots of pit stops.
I am still in awe of Japan’s Service Areas. They are just gorgeous, have the best amenities and the view is to die for.
Otsu Service area is off the Meishin Expressway. (this sentence means nothing to me because my elder brother and dad did all the driving on the way back so I don’t know anything at all about the route we took. I just sat at the back munching on food and
annoying my younger brother singing to myself. Haha)
The service area is on a hill so it overlooks all these gorgeous scenery. (pity about the buildings). I love that it was cold and windy!
They have this heart shaped structure there is honor of it being ‘Yumi Katsuri Lover’s Sanctuary’. To be honest I don’t know the story behind this but the brass plaque can be found most places around Japan that is uhm.. “romantic” and good for phototaking. Like Tokyo towers, pretty gardens etc.
Great view while you dine!
Food buying at the food court is via a vending machine as usual And in true Japanese style, each one tells you the calorie count. The servings are very big so one order can be up to 800 -1000+ calories. Didn’t feel like 1000+ calories though. I ate the whole thing and still had room for more gyoza. Maybe it was the cold or the the fact that sitting all day in the car doing nothing but eating raises your metabolism. Haha.
I am in love with gyozas. If I could, I would eat it everyday. With popiah. And green tea. And melted mozzarella cheese. And coconut ice cream. And bananas. And mangoes. And durian.
I sense a stomach ache in the making. Haha.
After lunch we took a 10 min detour to Nagoya to see the first of the spring blossoms!!!!
SO SO PRETTY!!! It was the very first time I saw a sakura lined street and wow! The colour is just out of this world. It was a perfectly sunny, cool day as well and I really love that lots of people were just walking and admiring the sakuras. It just makes the whole place so happy when people stop in their tracks to admire the beauty around them 🙂
There was even a random rose bush. Just casually growing, minding it’s own business… next to a convenience store. Like- I’m a GORGEOUS rose bush in full bloom guys, no big deal, it’s cool. Haha.
Blush pink is my favourite colour
It made the whole street look so ethereal.
Back in the car and lots of views of Mt Fuji. 🙂 It was such a privilege to watch it in the setting sun.
Traffic was starting to build up in the evening so we decided to detour off at Gotemba Premium Outlets to check it out and wait out the traffic.We spent only 40 min there though! Haha. There were all your usual high end brands and lots of Japanese brands mixed in like Lowrys farm outlet stores etc but I’m not a clothes fanatic by nature so clothing stores don’t really excite me. I love pretty things and like admiring pretty textures and designs but a village full of clothes, shoes and bags just doesn’t send me into the same excited tizzy as a trip to a stationary store (pictures of some of my favourite stores in Japan soon!) or… home organizations- type stores. I could spend all day looking at containers and marveling over nifty kitchen tools. (YES. I am aunty and PROUD OF IT. Haha)
Here you go, 2 obligatory photos of some clothes, shoes and bags. Haha.
Gotemba Premium Outlet does have outlets for Franc Franc as well if you are interested (where I spent most of the 40min) and the prices for the clothes for their Japanese clothing store brands do seem really reasonable!
Then on to dinner at another service area.
I LOVE CHIRASHI DON. I can eat it everyday. With gyoza. And popiah. And green tea…
(does this sound familiar? HAHA)
More ice cream to end off the night before finally reaching Tokyo and crashing into bed. 🙂 What do they put in Japanese ice creams? Why is the texture so smooth and amazing?! They are still on the overly sweet side for me though so I can’t eat the whole thing by myself but the first mouthful is always insanely good. YUM!
Last part of my trip tomorrow! My parents and younger brother went back to Singapore 8 hours earlier than I did so I had 1/2 a day in Tokyo all by myself. I went to my 3 MUST VISIT stores in Tokyo. Haha. Can you guess which stores? Pictures tmr! Till then, take care lovelies 🙂