River Adventure: Great Hiji Falls

It was midday of summer when my family and I decided to grabbed some food from Family Mart before heading out to our next destination…the great Hiji Falls! A 45 minute trek from the entrance/camp site. Don’t forget to bring cash (yen only) with you for entrance fee. They have a small picnic area surrounded with campsites, BBQ grill and of course, a lot of trees – a perfect summer getaway with friends and families. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreens, insect repellents and first aide kits.

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Picnic Area

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family picnic lunch 

We’re all stuffed, we decided to rest for few minutes before heading out.

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my sister trying to get a few zzz before heading out

We started our route by the river. It was 1 o’ clock in the afternoon and we needed water to cool us down.

Back in 2008, the only way that you can reach Hiji falls is by river trekking and today, this place has change a lot since the last time I was here. Stairs, pathways and suspended bridge are built. We met a lot of people along the way, wearing white Stan Smith shoes and wearing casual clothes. Thankfully, I did not see anyone wearing heels. Haha!

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suspended bridge

 

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river

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We can already hear the sounds of the falls from here and we’re all excited to swim to cool us down from this 89F temperature.

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Finally, we’re here! The falls is stunning with clear cold water. It was a great workout for us to be here and experience this awesome view of nature.

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The Great Hiji Falls

This area is now off limits for swimming. We just decided to take a picture and look for another area where we can swim and enjoy.

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The water was so good and cold. We just enjoyed so much that we almost forgot about the time.

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If you are looking for another getaway destination, in love with nature and needed to make yourself sweat without hitting the gym, this place is definitely a good workout for you.

 

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

My sister and I are both craving for Vietnamese spring rolls and so we decided to do our own and share with you our homemade recipe.

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ingredients

 

You will definitely love these rolls. They are customizable by season and it is also love by vegans.

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 24 shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in half (if not vegan)
  • 8 oz. extra firm tofu, drained and thoroughly dried (if vegan)
  • 10-12 pcs. rice spring roll wrappers
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, thinly cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup carrot, thinly cut into strips
  • 12 pcs. lettuce leaves
  • 24 pcs. fresh mint leaves
  • 4 oz. rice noodles or vermicelli

Hoisin Sauce

  • 3 tbsp. Hoision sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. finely chop peanuts or 1 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp. chili sauce

Basic Sauce

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 tsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice or rice vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. chili sauce

 

Directions:

  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Boil rice or vermicelli according to package, drain and set aside.
  2. Cook your shrimp for 3-5 mins, let it cool. Peel the skin and cut into half.
  3. Prep veggies and assemble your spring rolls.
  4. Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip one wrapper into the hot water for 1 second to soften. Lay wrapper flat. In a row across the center, place 2-3 shrimp halves, a handful of noodles, mint, carrots, cucumber and lettuce, leaving about 2 inches uncovered on each side. Fold uncovered sides inward, then tightly roll the wrapper, beginning at the end with the lettuce. Repeat with remaining ingredients. (You can also use 2 wrappers)
  5. In a small pot, mix the fish sauce, water, lime juice, garlic, sugar and chili sauce and let it simmer for 3-5 min.
  6. In another small bowl, mix the hoisin sauce and peanuts.
  7. Serve rolled spring rolls with the fish sauce and hoisin sauce mixtures. Leftovers store well individually wrapped in plastic wrap, though best when fresh.

If using Tofu:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and begin drying your tofu. Drain, remove it from the package and place between 2 thick towels folded into shape of tofu. Place a plate on top and top it with something heavy. Let it dry for 15 min, changing towels if they get too wet. Once dry, chop into 1 inch cube or rectangles.
  2. Arrange tofu on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 25-35 min, flipping once halfway through.
  3. Once it’s golden brown, remove from the oven set it out to dry a bit more.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, mix 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce, 2 tbsp. brown sugar or agave nectar and 1 tbsp. constarch and set aside.
  5. In a large skillet, heat 2-4 tbsp. sesame oil and then add tofu and the mixture, stirring to coat. Cook for several minutes or until all of the sauce is absorbed and the tofu looks glazed, stirring frequently.

A Day In Hawaii

After nine hours flight across the globe, I had a stopover in Hawaii for a day. It was a last minute announcement that we have to stay overnight. First thing I did, I called the hotel and make a reservation or if you have a friend around the area ask them a favor if you can crash at their place for few hours.

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Airport Honolulu Hotel by Google Image

Staff are all friendly and provide quick airport shuttle to and from. This hotel is located near the airport with growing traffic, if you don’t like the sound of cars this is not the ideal place for you. They also have pool and breakfast but never got the chance to used it, just had a one night to catch a flight the next morning.

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my hotel room by Karen Johnson

After I got checked in, went to bed and tried to get some more sleep. I’m so tired and exhausted and I needed some rest.

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Pearl Harbor Hawaii by Karen Johnson

Now that I’m fully rested (slept for 2 hours), I headed out and took the taxi to visit the Pearl Harbor historic site.

USS ARIZONA MEMORIAL

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USS Arizona Memorial by Google Image

The USS Arizona Memorial marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on USS Arizona during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and commemorates the events of that day. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the island of Oahu was the action that led to the United States’ direct involvement in World War II.

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The USS Arizona Memorial begins at Pearl Harbor Memorial Theater. It includes a brief introduction, a 23-minute documentary film, and a Navy-operated shuttle boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial.

USS MISSOURI 

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USS Missouri by Karen Johnson

The “Mighty Mo” was the last American battleship ever built and the last to be decommissioned. The  best remembered as the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan which ended World War II.

USS BOWFIN 

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USS Bowfin by Karen Johnson

USS Bowfin a Balao-class submarine, was a boat of the United States Navy named for the bowfin fish. Since 1981, she has been open to public tours at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

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Pearl Harbor Museum by Karen Johnson

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The monument at the site of the Arizona is haunting, with the ship still there intact. Seeing the oil continue to seep up from the ship to the surface of the water makes it that much more real. That tells you how devastating it might have been that day. I get a little emotional when I tour Pearl Harbor, the Arizona, and the Missouri. To all the veterans, active duties and my husband, thank you so much for your bravery and your service to this country!

MOUNT TANTALUS ROUND TOP

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Awesome lookout point of Honolulu at night by Karen Johnson

SEE YOUR FRIENDS

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My friend Eric and his fiancee Zerna by Karen Johnson

DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG IS A PERSONAL BLOG WRITTEN AND EDITED BY ME. ALL THAT WAS WRITTEN ARE BASED ON MY OPINION, RESEARCH AND EXPERIENCES. THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST, I ONLY GIVE MY HONEST OPINION, FINDINGS AND BELIEFS. SOME PHOTOS USED ARE FROM GOOGLE IMAGES FOR INSPIRATION.

A Week in Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, the land of the rising sun and offers a seemingly unlimited choice of shopping, amusements, entertainment, culture and dining to its visitors. A three day vacation that ended to a week of fun and adventure. Exhausted and sleepless but everything was worth it.

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When I was a kid, my parents gave us some set of Hello Kitty school supplies and that was the first time it was introduced to me and my sister. We love it so much that I told myself that one day, I’ll visit her. And finally, the day came and everything was unbelievable for me. I felt like I’m a kid again and got nostalgic for a moment.

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Hello Kitty House

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TOKYO DISNEYLAND

 Disneyland where all the magic begins, from Mickey and friends, princesses, pirates of the Caribbean, Disney castle and other characters that comes to life. Kids and teens are thrilled to be in here and experience Disney world for a day…even adults too! Disneyland offers something for everyone. Parades are spectacular and the best highlight for me and my favorite part is their closing show outside Cinderella’s castle.

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Tokyo Disney Resort

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Tokyo Disneyland

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Tokyo Disneyland Afternoon Parade

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Tokyo Disneyland Night Parade

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Tokyo Disneyland Castle Show

TOKYO TOWER

The second-tallest structure in Japan. The structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations.

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Tokyo Tower 

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ANIME 

The official home and creators of Dragon Ball Z, Ghost Fighter, One Piece, Gundam Wings and Lupin III to name a few. If you’re an anime collector and a big fan just like me, Japan is the best place for you, from brand new down to second hand collection of rare items. More cheaper than buying it online.

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Tokyo One Piece Tower

YUMMY JAPANESE FOOD

I’m always drooling for Japanese food. Great presentation is the soul to your stomach. A good example is McDonald’s burger. Whatever you see on the picture as advertise, that is what you’re going to get…they always serve fresh.

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Takoyaki

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Japan McDonald’s Burger

Click below for more pictures and video:

EXPERIENCE THE TRAIN 

I’ve been traveling for years and of all the places I’ve been to, Japanese are the most discipline (I’ve seen the worst). As I took the train, there is a designated seats for elders, parents with kids and pregnant. You can’t even see or hear people talk to each other, hear a crying child, screaming kids or see someone eat and drink inside the train. It was a fun ride, you can tour the place just by hopping in and out of it.

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Tokyo Train Station Rush Hour

 

YOKOHAMA FERRIS WHEEL

Home to one of the world’s tallest Ferris wheels. Cosmo Clock 21 is a giant Ferris wheel at the Cosmo World amusement park in the Minato Mirai Yokohama.

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GINZA

Tokyo’s famous upmarket shopping district. This place is featured in the movies like Fast and the Furious.

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DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG IS A PERSONAL BLOG WRITTEN AND EDITED BY ME. ALL THAT WAS WRITTEN ARE BASED ON MY OPINION AND EXPERIENCES. THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST, I ONLY GIVE MY HONEST OPINION, FINDINGS AND BELIEFS. SOME PHOTOS USED ARE FROM GOOGLE IMAGES.

A Day In San Francisco

What will you do if you are only an hour a way in San Francisco and you’re driving the next day back home? Will you dare to go for an adventure? Here are some of the things that I did when I  went to visit San Francisco for a day and every minute of my trip was all worth it.

MUIR WOODS NATIONAL MONUMENT

It is a National Park service. If you are looking for a fresh air and needed some walking exercise around nature, this is the best place for you.

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PALACE OF FINE ARTS

A monumental structure originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific exposition in order to exhibit works of arts. A popular attraction for tourists and locals and is a favorite location for weddings and wedding party photographs for couples, movies and TV series.

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GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

Travel guide describes the Golden Gate Bridge as “possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world.”

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LOMBARD STREET

If you love roller coaster, you will definitely love this even more. Drive yourself down to Lombard Street and experience its switchbacks. The famous one-block section, claimed as “the most crooked street in the world.”

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ALCATRAZ ISLAND

Known for high-security prison on the island which existed from 1934 to 1963. Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. If you are looking for a full day of sightseeing, the most popular tour in San Francisco is the City Tour with Alcatraz.

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FISHERMAN’S WHARF

One of the busiest and well known tourist attractions in the western United States. I love love love seafood , Pier 39 to stands that serve fresh seafood, most notably Dungeness crab and clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl.

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SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND BAY BRIDGE

We passed this bridge on our way home.

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by: Google Image

VISIT YOUR LONG LOST FRIEND

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DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG IS A PERSONAL BLOG WRITTEN AND EDITED BY ME. ALL THAT WAS WRITTEN ARE BASED ON MY OPINION, RESEARCH AND EXPERIENCES. THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST, I ONLY GIVE MY HONEST OPINION, FINDINGS AND BELIEFS. SOME OF PHOTOS THAT ARE USED ARE FROM GOOGLE IMAGES.