Thursday, 22 June 2017

Hydrangea Picture Spam! (+ Hydrangea Parfait)

So Huis ten Bosch is having a hydrangea festival right now, and one of my friends and I decided to go and take a look at the flowers and try the hydrangea parfait after work. And of course, I brought along my camera and took too many photos.

Kinda like this.

Amsterdam Square 

I finished work first, so I decided to kill some time by walking around Amsterdam Square. It's really pretty right now, with all the different colours.

I really, really love the different colours on the hydrangeas!

And probably took too many photos of the same spot, but in different orientations. Don't worry, I've tried to keep that as little as possible when I was choosing which photos to post here.

Hydrangea Road + Hydrangea Market (where the real photo spam is)

So there's this 800m long Hydrangea Road leading to Palace Huis ten Bosch. And they have a little road that winds through the hydrangeas so that you can take a close look at them!

I'm just going to give up on saying stuff and let you enjoy the photos in peace.

Although I really want to add that I love the colours of hydrangeas! So many delicate colours that are really hard to take pictures of!

Also, a friend told me that a stalk of hydrangea costs $30 in Singapore so now when I look at the picture I'm like "Ok, this is a lot of money" (joking, I still look at the colours first)

This photo looks white but it's actually a really pale pink mixed with white and I find it really beautiful!

Huis ten Bosch was also having a heart hydrangea campaign and I was really, really looking forward to finding a heart AND I'M SO GLAD I DID! Apparently these occur naturally and the shape changes as it blooms so I guess I'm really lucky to have seen this(:

And the next few pictures will be of the hydrangea market! It's really just a place where you can buy the hydrangeas:

And there's also a little area where people can attend lectures and other events about hydrangea!

And then I got a message from my friend saying that she was done with work so I took the path back.

And um, got very distracted.

And then she couldn't find me so I basically managed to get lost ._.

A few photos later, we finally managed to meet and I started taking pictures of her and the flowers! She gave me permission to share them too so I want to share this one(:

unfortunately there was a light in almost every photo of her T.T
 And I found another heart! This one was two-toned which makes it even cuter!

Back at Amsterdam Square for the Hydrangea Parfait

Our last stop was the parfait! I've been wanting to try this since I first saw it because it's a lot easier to get my hands on than the hydrangea buffet (which is also a lot more expensive)

And the surroundings are really beautiful!

My parfait did not have the blue jelly that the picture had, but it was delicious all the same. The jelly and the ice-cream went together very well, and I really liked the biscuits - both the stick and the matcha leaf. The bottom was anko and it was a little heavy for me but overall I was really satisfied with this!

Although I regret not using my photne for this because the picture is quite blur.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Why did I not eat here earlier???

Earlier this month, I made my way back to Fukuoka because I was going to surprise my granddad for his birthday. And since it's pretty much impossible for me to catch the flight if I leave from Sasebo, I arrived in Fukuoka the night before. My main concern was finding a place to eat, since I was leaving after work and getting there pretty late but I shouldn't have worried because it's Fukuoka. There's going to be something open.

After some googling, I went to Campbell Early and now my only regret is that I didn't visit this place sooner because I REALLY WANT TO GO BACK.

I really like everything about the shop, from their interior:

To their food!

I wasn't that hungry when I reached Fukuoka, so I just had their amaou strawberry milk shot pancake. It's a special dish because there was some Meiji event going on at that time.

The pancakes aren't as fluffy as say, hona pancakes (which I just realised I didn't blog about here - what was I thinking??) but they're very flavourful and I enjoyed them very much.

The pancakes are topped with cream, strawberry sauce and ice-cream, and it comes with a shot of milk and a shot of strawberry sauce. I poured both over the pancakes and I was initially afraid that the plate would overflow, the pancakes absorbed EVERYTHING. And it made them even more delicious.

I ended up eating one pancake alone (since it was soaked with the milk + strawberry sauce), one with the cream and strawberry sauce on top, and one with ice-cream. So I got three different flavours (sort of different?) in one dish.

The tea was really good too.

I added tea to the pancakes for 200 yen and chose their mango tea! The taste of mango wasn't very strong, but instead it was a very fruity tea. Ok, I sound like I contradicted myself but what I'm trying to say is that while the tea tasted fruity, it didn't particularly taste like mango. And for some reason, I had Mslena (I hope I spelled that right!)/Kunitachi Tea House vibes when I was drinking the tea.

If you're ever in Fukuoka and you like pancakes and tea, this is worth a visit! It's cute, it's conveniently located (it's on the 9th floor of Hakata station) and the food is good(:

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

I Saw Fireflies For the First Time!

On Sunday, I heard that you could see fireflies in Sasebo. Well, I guess they are probably in Fukuoka too, but I didn't have a car or a license when I was in Fukuoka. So I googled and found out that the last day of his firefly viewing event at Yunoki was on Sunday and decided to go!

To be honest I was actually quite worried that I wouldn't be able to find the place because Google Maps led me through lots of fields and small winding roads. And I ended up getting lost two times because I'm not that good at listening to instructions if there's no human to let me ask clarifying questions.

There were a few stalls and one was selling Firefly Manju! They're basically steamed buns with a raisin on top. I bought a box of 8 for 300 yen and they were delicious (and also made on the day I bought them!)

And this is the spot! It's basically a canal but I found that this area had the most fireflies after sunset.

I did do some research and found out that if I wanted to have a chance of taking pictures of fireflies, I needed a tripod because I needed a fairly long exposure. Unfortunately, I still made a lot of mistakes, and you can read about them in my Dayre but I didn manage to get photos of the fireflies!

Most photos looked like this (I only realised it when I got back, but I really should have had a higher ISO - I was really afraid of noise so mine was quite low)

I did try stacking the photos and got these:

They aren't very good photos and I do wish that I found out about this at the start of firefly season, so that I could have a second chance of seeing them, but at least I got to see them in person! The long-ish exposure meant that I had a lot of free time (plus it was dark so there was no point looking through my viewfinder) and I got to admire the fireflies. They look magical in real life!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Rose Festival Pictures

You know, I could have sworn that I blogged about this already but apparently not. I really apologise for my lack of updates (and I know I say this a lot but I do mean it every single time) but I find that I'm really tired nowadays and my life isn't that interesting. I wonder what losing the will to blog means - I do mean to update but I don't. So maybe this is the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak?

Except for what goes on at Huis ten Bosch which means this blog can practically be an unofficial blog for them. Kinda like what I wanted to talk about today.

So I'm totally late and it's already over but Huis ten Bosch had a Rose Festival until recently. And obviously, I took photos. There are a few spots so I guess I should introduce them in turn.

Art Garden

The Art Garden is probably the highlight of the entire rose festival because there are so many roses there! Not to mention there is one spot which is probably in all the advertisements. Needless to say, this is going to be the section with the most pictures.

This is the entrance:

And right next to the entrance.

I realised I didn't take a picture of the rose carpet when it was in full-bloom, but here is a sort of picture I took with my phone before full bloom.

And yes, my picture editing quality is very uneven.

The art garden is full of these "boxes" which basically trap the scent of roses inside! Definitely for people who love the smell of roses.

A look from the inside of another rose box:

And this is probably the most popular area for the rose festival. I feel really lucky I managed to get an empty photo.

Close up of some of the roses they have there:

And there are arches of roses!

Arches and arches and arches

I could walk under them forever. But all good things do come to an end.

There's also a really pretty resting area, with roses crawling up the walls.

And this is in the middle of the walkway with all the arches! A completely different view if you ask me.

Canal Area

The canal area has 1km of roses! You could see it if you took the canal cruiser from the entrance to tower city, but I didn't take that. Instead, I walked and got these photos:

And this is what you get if you decide to walk along the canal.

These aren't roses, but it's now the hydrangea season. I took these during the rose season, but I really need to go back and get photos of these.

Palace Huis ten Bosch

This is the last place that I went to. The front of the palace has two rose "gardens" - one white and one red.

The above was the red one and this (below) is the white one.

There was some pink mixed with white.

The rose festival was an extremely beautiful event and I really enjoyed looking at the roses! I'm really sorry that I didn't share these photos in time, but you should definitely go for next year's event if you like roses!

(if you don't mind going towards the end of the rose festival, you may be able to catch roses and hydrangeas at the same time. It may not be as impressive as full bloom though)