Miyajima Island (Hiroshima, Japan)

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This Island is truly magical. The state of serenity, colours of the sea, whiff of fresh cold air and the atmosphere all around was phenomenal. It was just a day trip from Hiroshima to Miyajima Island. We took a ferry over at the Peace Memorial Park which took us about 45 minutes to this magical island. I suggest reaching the island by 11am so that you’ll have sufficient time to spend there as most of their last ferries leave the island by 5/6pm.

When you arrive, the number of deer’s you come across would start increasing as you walk around but don’t worry! They’re all mostly harmless but pretty greedy! When they see someone with food in their hand, they tend to follow you closely.

Whilst leisurely walking towards the Itsukushima shrine, I did a pit stop at Starbucks as brother lim was in need of a cuppa. The Starbucks was surprisingly very chic, filled with paintings and huge windows. We ended up staying for awhile, got a spot near the window, overlooking the vast sea and sipped on our hot drinks.

We then headed towards the Miyajima Ropeway where we sat on two different ropeways to get to the observatory area. Throughout your journey on the ropeways, you’ll be surrounded by vast nature, crisp air and solid views. The cabins are very rustic looking and everything around is very untouched.

We were so hungry after all the walking and exploring so we went to this restaurant named Yakigaki-no-Hayashi near the area with all the main shops. You’ll see their staff grilling the succulent and fresh oysters right outside the restaurant. The restaurant was pretty busy despite it being 2pm+ but we managed to get some good seats at the far back of the dining area. A must order would be their fresh and grilled oysters, enormous and fresh! If you enjoy fried foods then get the fried oysters. I’m not a huge fan of friend foods but their batter isn’t too thick nor greasy so it was not as bad I guess haha.

We then walked back to the Itsukushima shrine but did not go into the main temple as the tide was low so hanging around outside was good enough for us. There are many good photo spots facing the shrine so it’s honestly alright to give the entrance fee into the shrine a miss! There are also very quaint and quirky stores around the island. I suggest getting all your barang barang (aka things you want to buy) just an hour or two before leaving the island so you don’t have to carry any excessive things around. My family bought tons of traditional goodies from their famous maple leaf shaped sponge cakes, red bean cakes, oyster crackers and dried foods. Well brother lim and I on the other hand were stuck in this vintage looking shop that sold really cool stickers, badges, accessories and clothes.

It was a bittersweet feeling leaving Miyajima Island… I honestly cannot wait to return! I highly recommended taking the ferry down to this untouched, historic and magnificent island. It’ll definitely be a day to remember!

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Zaku Zaku ザクザク

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Can you smell freshly baked pastries???… mmmm…!!! Let me introduce Zaku Zaku, yes Zaku Zaku, a rather catchy name innit? This place is heavenly… they definitely serve one of the best desserts in Tokyo! The store I went to in Harajuku sold the soft serve (exclusive at Harajuku’s outlet) and the croquant chou. Their ingredients used are of high quality: wheat flour and milk used to make the soft serve and croquant chou sticks are all from Hokkaido.

Being the sweet tooth I am, I got both the soft serve and the ever so famous croquant chou! Thankfully the queue wasn’t snake long and I only waited for about 8 minutes. The staff are also really organized and efficient, they have like some structured system going on so the line moves quite fast!

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As you can see, menu is very straightforward and clear. What you see is what you get!

Let’s talk about this gorg soft serve I had right here. Exclusive at the Harajuku outlet, this soft serve is worth the try! Yes some may just see it and go “aiyah soft serve only…” but trust me, the taste of this was amazinggg! It was a very milky kind of soft serve with a hint of sweetness and vanilla. It’s actually really light tasting and the crushed sweetened almonds around gave it a nice crunch and paired SO well with the milky soft serve. I am not so much an ice cream girl but woah this was just pure bliss.

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It wasn’t this slanted when I received it but I think my excited hands shook it a little too much causing it to go all sideways haha! 

Now moving on to the ever so famous croquant chou. It looks like a gigantic churro but nope it is way better than that! It is choux cream pastry in a stick form and coated evenly in crushed sweetened almonds. When I got mine, it was still slightly warm and put in such a nice packaging.

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Still warm! You can just hold this, devour it and continue walking around. Fuss free! 

For the inside, the custard cream is made with high quality milk from Hokkaido. The custard cream was so smooth, not lumpy at all and no overly sweet taste after every bite. The custard cream was really the game changer because I have never tasted such smooth and flavourful custard cream ever!

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Look at the inside… the cream was so smooth and not overly sweet at all! Now I know why Zaku Zaku is so highly raved!

Please make Zaku Zaku a stop if you are ever in Tokyo! It is worth every calorie and would make you wanna crave for more. Hopefully they branch out and open up a store in Singapore soon because I am already craving for more. Head to their website for more information.