Vacation Vlog #2 – Osaka, Japan

Osaka has a very special place in my heart, it is a place I have always heard about but never been to. After experiencing Japan for the first time in my life, it is safe to say I have fallen in love with this beautiful country. From their delicious food to fun attractions, there was never a dull moment during this trip. In this blog post, I will be going into more details about the notable places in Osaka that we visited.

Yoshiya Shinsaibashi – よしや心斎橋店

If you are a fan of Kit Kat and Japanese snacks (who isn’t?), look no further than Yoshiya. At the heart of Shinsaibashi, you will find a storefront with a giant Kit Kat as its logo. Inside, you will find a lot of snacks and candies, especially Kit Kat, at an extremely cheap price compared to Canada. By cheap, I mean around 200 yen for a rather big bag of mini Kit Kat. If you are staying in Osaka for a couple days, make sure you go there at least twice because all the snacks from your first trip there will be consumed before leaving – guaranteed.

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Nara Park – 奈良公園

You have probably seen this place before, you know, the one with all the cute deers bowing for food. Located just a couple minutes walk from the JR Nara Station, this park is definitely an experience of a lifetime – as in you only need to visit here once in your lifetime. I don’t really mean that in a negative way, it is honestly just a tourist attraction. Just a warning to those who want to go there, don’t wear any articles of clothing that have anything hanging or loose, the deers do tug and bite. And if you want to take nice pictures of yourself feeding the deers, be prepared to bring an extra memory card because you will end up with only a couple decent shots at best with the amount of deers causing chaos and mugging you for food. All in all, Nara Park is for sure a place to visit at least once for the experience and to cross it off your bucket list.

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Ishida Kobe Beef Steak House. Sannomiya Store – 神戸牛ステーキ ishida. 三宮店

Kobe f*cking wagyu beef. It is as good as they say it is. Once you go Kobe, regular beef doesn’t even come close. Nothing else needs to be said.

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Universal Studios Japan

What better way to spend my vacation than to unleash my inner fun-loving child. Universal Studios Japan is located roughly a 20 minute train ride from Osaka Station to JR Universal City station. Don’t worry about hopping on the wrong train because the whole exterior is decked out in Universal characters, depending on what attractions they are currently promoting. One mistake we made was buying a regular 1 day pass (7600 yen after tax) without paying extra for the express pass. Due to the size of the park and the number of attractions they have, it is impossible to to experience everything as all the lines require around a one hour wait time. If you are only spending one day there like us, I would highly recommend spending the extra money to ensure you get to go on all the rides. Some notable attractions for me include the entire Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Minions themed food, and their anime attractions (at the time of our visit, there were 4D rides for Attack on Titan, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Dragon Quest).

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Vacation Vlog – Hong Kong & Macau 2017

In this post, I will be showcasing a more detailed description about the places we went to during our short (2.5 days) stay in Hong Kong and Macau before heading to Japan.

Kwai Chung Plaza (葵涌廣場) – aka the mall with an all silver interior

Located right above the Kwai Fong MTR (HK’s subway line) station, this mall is a heaven for “street food”. By definition, street food is food sold by vendors on the road side, but I will loosely categorize this mall in that group as well. On the upper levels of this mall, you will find a countless number of small shops that sell street food and drinks – don’t expect a place to sit in the shops though as they are all storefront stalls. The kinds of food sold here range from the Hong Kong classics like curry fish balls and siu mai to food you will only expect from a restaurant like Japanese hand rolls. Trust me, one trip here is not enough to try everything.

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K11 Hong Kong Art Mall

To get here by MTR, get off at Tsim Sha Tsui station and follow signs to K11, it is very hard to miss as there is an entrance from the station to the first floor of the mall. The first floor of this mall houses an amazing shop called D-Mop Zone that stocks some of my favourite brands like Rick Owens, Marcelo Burlon, and Faith Connexion. If you are a fan of art, be sure to check this mall out because it is filled with lots of beautiful permanent and temporary art pieces, perfect for a photo-op.

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Galaxy Macau (澳門銀河綜合渡假城)

Macau is known as the Las Vegas of Asia, a place famous for its beautiful casino resorts and rich Portuguese culture. Although Galaxy Macau is neither the newest nor most luxurious casino resort, it is still one of the biggest and most expensive. As soon as you get off the ferry and out of immigration, the free Galaxy Macau shuttle bus is ready to take you directly to its entrance. Our experience there was wonderful as the staff was extremely friendly and spoke fluent English (if you do not speak Cantonese). Their facilities include an gigantic casino (~2000 game tables and game machines), six swimming pools (including a wave pool and lazy river), a luxury shopping mall (containing retail stores for Saint Laurent Paris, Maison Margiela, Gucci, LV, etc.) and many fancy restaurants and bars. If you wish to explore the city, they also offer free shuttle busses to Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, AKA San Ma Lo (新馬路), which is located at the heart of Macau Peninsula.

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That Famous Tiffany-Blue Cafe (青洲灶記咖啡) – It actually doesn’t have an English name

Not only is Macau famous for their casino resorts, they are also famous for their pork chop buns. We searched around the area and found one that has pretty good reviews, plus they have a beautiful Tiffany-blue coloured exterior. Honestly, their pork chop bun was as good as any other place in Macau that sells it – it literally is a seasoned pork chop between two buns, which is kind of hard to mess up. The star of this restaurant is definitely their condensed milk French toast, which are chunks of thick-cut toast dipped in egg and deep friend, served with a generous topping of condensed milk.

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Brunch Date – Té

Spring is finally upon us and hibernation season has come to an end. What that means for myself and Jes is we can finally get out of bed without staying under the covers for hours and actually make use of our morning – which usually involves weekend brunch. I actually only found out about  a couple of weeks ago when I was looking through Instagram stories and stumbled upon a glorious picture of their Chai Milk Té. The alcoholic in me stared at the words bubble tea cocktail, and by the next heartbeat, we made a brunch reservation.

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The Chai Milk Té ($13.00)

As soon as we sat down, I ordered what made me want to come here in the first place, their Chai Milk Té. According to their menu, the ingredients include vodka, amaretto, vanilla chai, cream, cinnamon stick, and mini tapioca pearls. Realistically, that combination of flavours should work well with each other to create a delicious bubble tea inspired cocktail.  I think what made me disappointed wasn’t so much the (lack of) alcohol ratios, but more so lack of a chai flavour profile. For those who have not been exposed to chai, it is generally a black tea brewed with many fragrant herbs and spices – such as cardamom pods, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, etc. What I ended up drinking was a slightly alcoholic brown-coloured water with a floating cinnamon stick and a couple of tapioca pearls added in. Despite the rough start, it wouldn’t be brunch unless we actually fill up our stomaches with real food.

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Dark-Spiced Taiwanese Fried Chicken and Egg Waffle ($18.00)

When it comes to brunch, I feel like I am in the minority when it comes to ordering food. Typically on Instagram and food blogs, brunch pictures involve eggs benedict or some really fancy looking pancakes. Us on the other hand, we order and share what sounds the most greasy and unhealthy on the menu, in this case, their Dark-Spiced Taiwanese Fried Chicken and Egg Waffle and Bulgogi Burger with French Fries. Long story short, chicken was moist and seasoned beautifully, egg waffles were crispy on the outside, warm and fluffy on the inside, and balanced very well with maple syrup. Personally, I think their Bulgogi Burger was definitely the highlight of this meal. There is just something so satisfying about burger-shaped food where we eat with our hands and make a mess. I mean at the end of the day, what is there to not like about bulgogi, a runny fried egg, wasabi mayo, and friend onions squished between sesame buns?

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Bulgogi Burger with French Fries ($16.00)

All in all, I would say Té executed their Asian-inspired brunch pretty well. The biggest disappointment was their cocktail, it has so much potential to be a top-seller if they improve on getting the correct flavour profile. Would I come back for brunch? Probably, but I would take my day-drinking elsewhere.

2017 – Personal Goals Going Forward

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Photographed by Jesica Chan

Bag – Supreme FW 15 Contour Hip Bag

Bomber – Represent Oblivion Bomber Jacket

Hoodie – ASSC Mindgames Hoodie

Tee – H&M Striped Extended Tee

Shorts – Fear of God Cotton Drop-Rise Shorts

Leggings – Fear of God Waffle Knit Leggings

Shoes – Y-3 Yohji Run

First and foremost, my name is Charles @thatscharles and welcome to my first ever blog post. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I want to start this project as a way to get my name out  and open more doors for my future. If you would like to follow me on this journey, grab some popcorn and get comfortable because this could end wonderfully or like the Titanic (the ocean liner, not the movie).

Expectations

Often times, expectation and reality  do not go hand in hand with each other. If you asked me where I saw myself after graduating from university, I would have probably said teaching or something with music. Here we are now, two years after graduation – I am working a regular 9 to 5, not on bottom of the office food chain, but definitely nowhere close to the top. Through the melancholic lifestyle we call “adulthood”, I found enjoyment out of sharing the attractive aspects of my life (dates, fashion, and travel to name a few) through photography.

Content Creation

The current plan for this blog will is an outlet for me to create content surround male lifestyle and fashion. I plan to split this blog into four categories – Lifestyle (food, dates, shopping, personal care), Fashion (self-explanitory), Travel (vacations and trips), and Advice (personal experiences).

Youtube Channel

Youtube has always been something I really want to try out as it is a very interesting way to showcase who I am to the world. I believe video is a format that can portray real personalities that photographs fall short of. The current plan to start a Youtube channel will hopefully begin by the end of May once I return from my trip to Hong Kong and Japan.