Saturday, April 14, 2018

[Race Review] SCKLM 2018 - New Half Marathon Route

I was 10km in, midway into my half marathon and I could feel what little liquid I had consumed earlier threaten to make a reappearance. The heat and humidity was getting to me and I still had 11.1km left to go. I wondered why I rolled out of my comfortable hotel bed that morning.
Oh, right. Because it was the biggest running event in the country - the 10th edition of the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon (SCKLM). And to miss it would be a loss.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Nagoya Women's Marathon 2018: A New PB!

I’ll admit, after last year’s horrid performance at Tokyo Marathon, I was a bit disheartened to attempt another marathon. But when the ballot for the Nagoya Women’s Marathon 2018 opened up, I couldn’t resist throwing my hat into the ringer. Lo and behold, by some twisted luck, I got in and on 11 March 2018, found myself waiting outside Nagoya Dome along with 21,900 other women for the flag off at 9:10am.

The 2018 edition of the Nagoya Women's Marathon was quite an important affair for the local elite runners as it was the last race of the season for them to book a spot in the marathon Grand Championship, Japan’s qualifying race for 2020 Olympics. Apart from that, the date was also the anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and through this event, it felt as though the whole of Japan was rallying to remember that tragic day. None of these facts really sank into me until after the race though.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Nagoya Women's Marathon 2018 Expo

As far as expos go, Nagoya Women’s Marathon’s expo was by far one of the smallest I’ve ever gone for. I expected it to be bigger, with more grandeur befitting of the world’s largest women only marathon event.

Nevertheless I was excited to see what the expo had to offer. In hopes of getting some event exclusive merchandise, I went on the first day of the expo to collect my race kit. The collection for foreigners and international participants at the Nagoya Higashi Sport Center was fast with volunteers and staff all around to help.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Centurion Ladies Ueno Hostel, Tokyo

I have stayed basically all over Tokyo at this point from Asakusa to Shinjuku to Ikebukuro to even Shibuya and no area has enticed me as much as Ueno. With a park, a zoo, a shopping arcade that was bustling from day to night, a plethora of food and multiple stations to get around, Ueno easily became my favourite part of Tokyo after picking it to set up my base for one week after my adventures in Hokkaido.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Starbucks Bottled Tea-based Frappuccino - Black Tea and Matcha Tea Launches in Malaysia

Malaysians do love their yumcha time out. Be it in the middle of work or at midnight, there is always time to yumcha. And what better way to yumcha than with a chilled bottle of Starbuck's new Tea-based Frappuccino in a blazing hot day. Malaysia is the second country after China to have the Bottled Tea-based drinks introduced to the shelves of 7-Eleven stores, premium supermarkets and petrol marts nationwide.

Friday, March 16, 2018

How to Score Tickets to see Ueno Zoo's Baby Panda, Xiang Xiang

First appeared on Japan Info: on 14 March 2018

For an animal on the verge of extinction, panda has never been more popular than they are in zoos. And one panda that is taking Japan by storm is baby cub Xiang Xiang. Born to mother Shin Shin and father Ri Ri in June 2017, Xiang Xiang is Ueno Zoo's symbol of adorable or as the Japanese would say in high pitch voices, kawaii~~!

Naturally when the zoo introduced the first come, first served ticketing system to see the baby panda to the public in February, thousands of Japanese and tourists flocked to the zoo in the wee hours of the morning to obtain the viewing ticket (which does not include the entrance ticket). And it just so happened that I was in Tokyo just around that time and decided to try my luck at seeing the celebrity panda.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

WWOOFing at Umikaze Horse Farm, Okinawa

I have always wanted to visit Okinawa, having seen photos of sunny beaches, pristine blue water and so naturally beautiful everything. If anything, Okinawa reminded me of home, Malaysia. After three weeks in cold Hokkaido and Tokyo in winter, I was ready for some warmth at my next WWOOF-ing job in Nanjo, Okinawa and boy, did I get loads of that.

You can read all about my first WWOOF-ing experience in Hokkaido here.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Brooks Returns as Official Apparel for Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2018

Official Apparel Sponsor Brooks returns to the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2018 (SCKLM2018) for the event’s 10th Anniversary, providing more than 38,000 registered runners with Running Tees and outfitting SCKLM2018 Official Pacers with a complete set of running gear.

The Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) 2018 Pacers will be clad in highly visible bright yellow tops. Out of a total of 29 Official Pacers, 18 were on hand to receive their Pacer kits at a handover ceremony at the flagship Brooks outlet at MyTown in Cheras. Pacers received their exclusively designed Brooks singlets with Equilibrium Technology, along with a pair of running shorts and shoes. There will be 23 Pacers assisting runners in the Full Marathon category and for the first time, there will also be another 6 Pacers for the Half Marathon category. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Grids Sapporo Hotel and Hostel review

Hokkaido was the first stop of my two months in Japan and after three weeks of WWOOF-ing in Hidaka, I headed to Sapporo for the 69th Sapporo Snow Festival. The last time I was in the city, I stayed at the Khaosan Sapporo hostel about a ten minutes walk from Susukino station and five minutes from Tanukikoji shopping arcade. However this time, I couldn't get a last minute booking at Khaosan hostel which turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I ended up booking at Grids Sapporo Hotel and Hostel.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Shinyokohama Ramen Museum, Yokohoma

I super love ramen and everytime I go to Japan, one of my must visit places for ramen was of course Ichiran Ramen, found in many cities in Japan except Hokkaido and Okinawa (whyyyyy?).
Anyhow, this post isn't about Ichiran Ramen but rather an unique place that all ramen lovers should visit at least once when in Tokyo and that is the Shinyokohama Ramen Museum (spelled Raumen on their site)