Thursday, May 31, 2018

Old-Style Children's Toy Box @ Shiroi Koibito Park [Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan]

What relevance do toys have with a chocolate factory? Plenty as i recall loving milk chocolates as a kid and even though i find them a tad sweet nowadays; i have taken a gradual liking to bitter chocolates! 

Anyway, this children's toy box held a lot of classic toys that came from the Japanese imperial periods of Meiji, Taisho and Showa; for those who are better acquainted with Gregorian calendar, i am referring to year 1868 to 1989. 

Though i might not have lived THAT long, i can recognise some of the toys popular in my childhood; ultraman, astroboy etc. A few have regained popularity in recent years; like Pokemon! 

No idea why this monster was placed here and i am unaware of what show it belonged to! Anyone can help to enlighten as i don't think it's part of the alien / predatory film series?

Box compartments filled with childhood memories; mickey mouse, snoopy, winnie the pooh, characters from sesame street, doraemon etc. I can even recognise some of the toys that i actually still have in my parents' place! 

Strangely, i couldn't find my favourite manga character which, coincidentally, came from Japan! Maybe because it's not a good influence for kids. Want to guess which character? It's the dirty-minded five year old kid; crayon shin chan! 

Shelves full of toys from over the years! It's a bit cluttered as i was rushing for time; i didn't have the luxury to scroll through every single item.

Unless it caught my attention; e.g. darth vader surrounded by force lightning although he can't use the dark side power as his arms were already severed by Count Dooku. 

An antique organ?

More familiar with the jukebox; up to the early 1990s, i still remember listening to music played by the coin-operated device. However, the gaining traction for MP3 quickened the death of this nostalgic instrument. 

Those interested in tin toys would be amazed by what they have in this toy box! Okay, maybe i exaggerated a little as this is the first time i am seeing so many on display! 

Housed on a large table with a glass / plastic cover, i counted a lot more war machines like warships, fighter planes which i presume were popular during the war times. 

I have seen them around even though i don't know if there's a name for such dolls. Omg, they belonged to a brand known as kewpie that 'debuted in 1908' according to Wikipedia and all the while, i thought kewpie is the brand of a personal-favourite salad dressing! 

A luggage with maybe a dozen footballs! I am no football fan and wouldn't recognise the significance of the signed balls. It's the brand of the luggage that took my breath away; a Louis Vuitton! 

Specially for football fans who might be interested to know more about the footballs.

Despite my lack of understanding for the game played on a soccer pitch chased by 11 players from two teams, i do know that Brazil footballers are known to be the best and the team has won the World Cup 5 times! 

More toys from eons ago.

Peko Chan - apparently a very famous mascot from a confectionery company! In my google search for the character, i chanced upon a website which provided a rather unbelievably scary background. You can read more here.

Mock up of a Japanese home in the past - kind of reminded me of the visit i made to the interesting Ghost Museum in Penang

Not sure if i should count a memorial of The Beatles as part of 'toys' even though music entertainment could also be considered as part of our childhood. 

On the bottom of the cupboard was a section dedicated to Princess Diana; wife to Prince Charles, mother to Prince William and the recently hitched Prince Harry. In my childhood, the real-life example of a princess for many kids is Princess Diana and for that, it's definitely deserving to include her in the Old-Style Children's Toy Box at Shiroi Koibito Park.

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Location
Level 2, Tudor House, Shiroi Koibito Park, 
Miyanosawa 2-jo 2-chome, Nishi-ku, 
Sapporo 063-0052, Hokkaido, Japan 

Nearest Subway Station 
Miyanosawa Subway Station (Tozai Line) 

Website

Pricing 
Free Access! 


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Landing Point - Afternoon Tea Affair By The Bay @ The Fullerton Bay Hotel [Singapore]

My friend couldn't believe her ears when i mentioned my dislike for scones and insisted i must try the ones at The Landing Point; her insistence eventually resulted in a birthday treat for me as i have never felt tempted to try afternoon tea given their exorbitant pricing! 

So thanks to this friend and two others who joined, i took half day leave on a Friday afternoon and made my way down to The Fullerton Bay Hotel.

As expected of a 5-star hotel, The Fullerton Bay exuded an aura of refined posh with plush sofas, huggable cushions and expensive, specially-designed hanging chandeliers.

Got seats overlooking the bay and the world famous marina bay sands. At this moment, the sky was still bright; in just 30 minutes, thunderstorm transformed the entire landscape! No wonder an ex-colleague had commented that Singapore has the worst weather in the whole world. 

The high tea included free flow fine tea with 18 unique selections to choose from! Just in case you are wondering if the tea brand is a common one; all the teas came from the luxury TWG (The Wellbeing Group)! 

While waiting for our platter to be prepared, you may proceed to the above section to kick-start the afternoon tea session, especially if you are a little bit hungry, as i was! 

Items included spring rolls with three types of sauces, penne pasta with creamy mushroom sauce, hazelnut cracker with french cheese, petite quiche du jour.

There were also two trays of warm scones (one plain, one raisin) that came with a bowl of clotted cream (said to be necessary for scones) and strawberry jam! 

Giving the plain scone a try and although i didn't give myself too much expectations; i was once again convinced scones are simply not the kind of dessert i prefer.

That same friend convinced me to have the raisin scone with clotted cream and jam and while the taste marginally improved, i still feel that the calories could be better wasted on other desserts! Haha, guess it's just me and i am extremely apologetic to all scone-lovers! 

Our wondrous-looking platter decked out with so many bite-sized goodies; gosh, i absolutely feel like a rich tai-tai and love the positive, relaxed vibe that this opulent lifestyle brings. 

Just a sneak of what's available on the platter; salted caramel tart, flavoured macarons, pistachio puff, fruit cake, boston lobster cornet a l’oriental, white truffle egg mayonnoise sandwich, smoked salmon mille-feuille with caviar.

And mini prosciutto bagel, cucumber sandwich with ikura, duck rillettes in sesame bun, smoked duck capsicum wrap, chocolate eclair, lemon tart, orange madeleine and canelé.

A photograph to commemorate my first afternoon tea! 

Done and want more? You can request for top-ups and sometimes, the staff would also bring trays filled with selected sandwiches, pastries and sweets for you to choosez! Hence, take a bite of everything so that you would be in a better position to decide.

I love the savoury stuff more; like boston lobster cornet a l’oriental, white truffle egg mayonnoise sandwich and smoked duck capsicum wrap! For the sweet stuff, i am less keen. 

Compared to the food, i am more impressed with the TWG tea. All the ones i had (and tried from teapots of fellow friends) were of a class way beyond the more economical brands; be it flavour, taste, infusion etc! Two were exceptionally good; scarlet hour and eau noire. 

Having been informed that there were birthday babies, the staff brought out a slice of rainbow cake to surprise a fellow friend and I since both of us were born in April! Yes, sweetness overdose for just the two of us! 

Ending the afternoon tea with a cup of mocha! 
Thanks for the treat, ladies! 

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Location
​80, Collyer Quay, The Fullerton Bay Hotel,
The Landing Point, Singapore 049326

Website

Pricing
Afternoon High Tea - S$48 an adult
(from 3-5pm on weekdays). For weekends, refer to above.

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