September 26, 2019

Birthday Celebration at Yurakuen Eat-All-You-Can Teppanyaki

I have a long bucket list on my mind and I don’t know when I will be able to finish my list. I hope I have more time to do all of it so I’m praying for long life and of course budget to fulfill my dreams. Last month, I was so happy that I ticked off “Teppanyaki Experience” on my bucket list. It’s on my list for seven years already, finally, the long wait is over.


I’ve been meaning to eat at Teppanyaki restaurant ever since my husband tried it in Shanghai, China. Whenever he is in Shanghai, he makes sure that he will eat at Shanghai Akasantei. It is a Teppanyaki and Yakiniku restaurant which is just 10 minutes away from his hotel. Then 5 years ago, he discovered Edogin; a teppanyaki restaurant in Jakarta, Indonesia. And as expected, he also eats at Edogin whenever he stays at Hotel Mulia Senayan.

Read: Shanghai Akasantei  
Jakarta Eats at Hotel Mulia Senayan  
Hotel Mulia Senayan 

If you remember my birthday post, I wanted to celebrate my birthday in Jakarta Indonesia because we have 4 days FREE and my husband will go to Indonesia too. It is my chance to stay in Hotel Mulia Senayan or eat at Edogin. But unfortunately, the stars were not aligned so my husband went to Indonesia without us because my son doesn’t want to be absent for two days.

So on the day of my birthday, I did not expect any celebration because it was a weekday and my son doesn’t want to be absent. But my husband persuaded me to celebrate at Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant at Diamond Hotel. I was hesitant at first because my son was in school and our initial plan was we will eat at Yurakuen after our Sheraton Manila Staycation. Then I realized na sobrang hina kumain and mabilis mabusog anak ko, my husband is right malulugi kami sa bayad. Hehehe! So I said yes and my husband called Diamond Hotel to reserve.

Eat All You Can at Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant 

Few years ago, I’ve researched about the Best Teppanyaki Restaurants in the Philippines and Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant is on top of the list but when I checked the rate, nakakahimatay ang presyo so I know that we can only eat here if we have something to celebrate. I can’t remember how many times na namin plinano na kumain dito but for some reasons hindi natututuloy so I’m happy na natuloy na rin ang aming food trip.


Since we live in the province, we left the house before 9AM just to make sure that we won’t be late for our reservation. We arrived at 10:40AM and the opening time is 11AM so we waited at the cafe near the Japanese restaurant. At 11AM, the staff let us in and she ushered us to the beautiful garden of the restaurant. May cherry blossoms inside, feel na feel na nasa Japan.


At Yurakuen, you have two options, you can choose a la carte meals or eat all you can. Of course, we chose the Eat-All-You-Can Teppanyaki so she ushered us to the Teppanyaki Room. They have limited rooms so don’t forget to make a reservation.


For P3,300 per person, you can eat Sashimi, Sushi, Makisushi, Temaki Sushi, Salad, Soup, Seafood, Meat, Vegetable, Rice, Noodles, and Dessert all you want. The drinks are bottomless too but you can only choose one type of beverage. I chose mango juice and my husband chose orange juice. Here is the menu.


We all know that you cannot eat everything on the menu so carefully study it and choose the food that will make you happy and satisfied. The staff will ask for your choices and they will serve it for you. I’m not fond of sushi, sashimi or salad so I did not order anything but my husband order a few pieces of it. I can’t remember what he ordered but I ordered Egg Soup. The staff will serve the Japanese starters, salad, soup, drinks, and sauces.



After thirty minutes, our personal sous chef came and we started our teppanyaki experience. What nice about Yurakuen, you have your own sous chef that will cook your food. Unlike sa Shanghai Akasantei and Edogin na open for everybody yung Teppanyaki Table. Here, you have your own privacy, one sous chef per teppanyaki table.


For our Teppanyaki, we ordered Salmon, Squid, Tiger Shrimp, Scallops, US Beef Top Sirloin, US Beef Short Ribs, US Beef Tenderloin, Grilled Beef Shabu-Shabu, Assorted Vegetables, and Mixed Fried Rice. We skipped the noodles. For dessert, we ordered ice cream and seasonal fruits.









  • What I love about teppanyaki is you can see how the chef prepares and cooks your food. They serve your food immediately so it is sizzling fresh and hot. At the same time, it is entertaining too, I enjoyed hearing the sizzling sound, watching the food cook on top of the teppan and of course eating the food. We all enjoyed the foods that were served and it is hard not to feel hungry while I'm writing this post.




It was a once in a lifetime experience or should I say eatsperience. Hehehe! The Teppanyaki Rate is quite expensive but I can say it was worth a splurge. We were eating and drinking for two hours. The food and service are very good and they even surprised me with birthday cake and song. I was really surprised na hindi ko na navideo yung performance nila. The chef even prepared a fruit platter for us. After our teppanyaki experience, I know that this won’t be our last, I hope we can go back again pag nakaipon-ipon na. lol

Watch the video here.

Tips 

1. Don’t forget to make a reservation if you want the Teppanyaki room since the tables are limited.
2. Follow the Dress Code; “Guests are requested to wear smart casual attire with appropriate footwear.
3. Forget about your diet. Count memories not the calories.

Yurakuen Eat-All-You Can Teppanyaki Rate 

P2980 - Monday to Thursday
P3300 - Friday to Sunday
FREE - 6 years old and below
Half price for 7-12 years old

Open Daily from 11AM to 2:30PM and 5:30PM to 10PM.

Yurakuen at Diamond Hotel 
Roxas Boulevard cor. Dr. J. Quintos St.
Manila, Philippines

September 25, 2019

Day 1 in Stockholm Sweden

Two years ago, I planned to visit Sweden for our side trip during our vacation in Norway but it did not happen. Our plan was changed when we reached Norway but I have no regrets because we enjoyed our 4 Days Trip in Iceland. Then last summer, my plan finally materialized and we were able to visit Stockholm, Sweden.

Read: 4 Days in Iceland with Kid


We traveled via SJ train from Copenhagen Denmark to Stockholm, Sweden, travel time is over five hours and we reached Stockholm Central Station on time. I did not have an itinerary for our Stockholm Trip so I started researching while we’re on the train. Thanks to FREE wifi.

Read: Traveling from Copenhagen Denmark to Stockholm Sweden via SJ Train 
Traveling in Scandinavia via SJ Train


When I researched for our hostel, I know that it is just close to the central train station. So in my mind, it is like our hostel in Copenhagen but I was wrong. I was surprised when I learned that we need to walk more or less 1km. We have 4 luggage + hand-carry and we have a kid in tow so my mom decided that we will just take a taxi. Good thing that there’s big taxi that can accommodate us + our stuff.


Our hostel is less than 1 kilometer away and our taxi fare is already 116 SEK or PHP625.45. Wow, that’s how expensive taxi in Europe. Anyway, Generator Hostel Stockholm will be our home for 4 nights in Sweden. I will share my hostel review in a separate post.


It was past 6PM but the line at the reception was long so checking-in was slow. We just rested for several minutes and then we went out for dinner. There is 7-11 in front of the hostel but we still checked other options and we ended up with Maestro Kebab. After eating, we went back to the hotel so we can recharge for our Stockholm Adventure.

Read: Pasalubong from Sweden

September 23, 2019

Traveling from Copenhagen Denmark to Stockholm Sweden via SJ Train

I’ve experienced traveling by plane, boat, and bus to go to another country but I haven’t tried riding a train so I was a little bit excited when we are going to Stockholm. Finally, I can experience a cross-country trip to Europe via train.


Few months before our trip, I researched “How to go to Stockholm Sweden from Copenhagen Denmark”. There are a lot of ways to reach Stockholm, you can travel by air, car, bus, and train. Of course, I chose the train because it is cost-efficient. Yes, riding the train is cheaper than riding the plane. Just make sure that you will book early and if you have kids in tow, avail the children’s discount.

Since we are going to Sweden, I chose the SJ train, it is a government-owned passenger train operator that was created in the year 2000. From Copenhagen to Stockholm, there are five schedules and I chose 12:23NN. The train fare may vary depending on the date, time and type of ticket that you will choose.

When we got our Schengen visa, I immediately checked the price of the train ticket. Then I informed my mom about it but few days after, my grandmother passed away so our planning stopped. After a month, we started planning again for our Scandinavian Trip and when I checked the train fare, the price already increased. From SEK 1007 to SEK 1467.

Read: How to Apply for Schengen Visa for your Europe Trip

As I mentioned before, there are different types of ticket. You can choose first class or second class and you can choose non-rebookable, rebookable and refundable. You can check my previous post for more information. So for 3 adults and 1 kid, (Second Class Ticket) our total is

SEK 1467 - Non-rebookable
SEK 1776 - Rebookable
SEK 2222 - Refundable

Read: Traveling in Scandinavia via SJ Train

I told my mom to book the non-rebookable so we can save money but my mom insisted to book the refundable so just in case something happens we can refund the fare. Waah! That’s PHP4000 difference so mabigat sa bulsa pero what can I do, sunod na lang. Good thing there is a children’s discount and we can choose our own seats without additional cost. 

Adult SEK 705
Child SEK 107

Fast forward to our trip; after we check-out at Urban House Copenhagen by Meininger, off we went to Copenhagen Central Station which is just few minutes walk from the hostel. Our ticket does not indicate the track so we immediately checked the information board so we know where to go. For Copenhagen to Stockholm, we need to go to Track 4 and wait at B section (carriage 6-7).

Read: Urban House Copenhagen by Meininger Review



We had a quick lunch at Food Market before going to Track 4. We arrived 30 minutes before our schedule but the train was still closed. If I remember it right, they only allowed us to board 10 minutes before the departure and the train left on time.

Read: Food Trip in Copenhagen Denmark 



We only bought a Second Class ticket so this is our seat, SJ train offers wide and comfortable seats. We have free wifi to entertain us during our 5 hours and 13 minutes travel. In addition, if you feel hungry or thirsty, you can buy at the Bistro. To save money, we brought some snacks.



Watch the video here

September 20, 2019

Traveling in Scandinavia via SJ Train

Europe is an expensive tourist destination but it is still a dream place for most of us because you can visit several countries in one trip. Yes, as long as you have a valid Schengen visa, you can travel to 26 countries in Europe. Going from one country to another country is not difficult because you are not limited to the airplane. You can travel by boat, bus, and train.

Read: How to Apply for Schengen Visa for your Europe Trip


During our Scandinavian Trip last summer, we travel to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway via boat and train. From Oslo Norway to Copenhagen Denmark, we traveled by boat via DFDS Crown Seaways. Then from Copenhagen Denmark to Stockholm Sweden and Stockholm Sweden to Oslo Norway, we rode SJ train.

Read: Cruise from Oslo to Copenhagen via DFDS Crown Seaways 

How to Book or Buy SJ Train Tickets 

Buying SJ train ticket is so easy, all you have to do is go to SJ website which is sj.se and book your ticket.

1. Choose your destination
2. Choose the date and time
3. Choose the ticket class; first class or second class
4. Choose the type of ticket; non-rebookable, rebookable or refundable
5. Pay your ticket
6. Check your email and print your e-ticket.

Ticket Class 

First Class 

Wide and comfortable seats
Free breakfast is served at your seat on departures before 09:00 AM.
Pre-order food served to your seat
Free coffee, tea, water, and fruit
Free wifi
Free access to SJ Lounge

Second Class 

Travel comfortably
Free seat booking
Free wi-fi on high-speed trains

Type of SJ Train Tickets 

Refundable 

They will refund the ticket price excluding the booking fee. The ticket must be canceled before the departure time. Other rules may apply for travel with other operators. Contact the respective operators for more information.

Rebook journeys with SJ
Refund if you cancel your journey
Free change of departure time

Rebookable 

With this ticket, you can rebook your journey to another place or another date until the departure of the train. You can also cancel your trip and save your credit value up to 180 days. The credit value is the ticket price - excluding the booking fee - which you can use for one or more trips, however, only with another SJ train.

Rebook journeys with SJ
When you cancel your ticket you receive a credit value

Non-rebookable  

Tickets in this flexibility category cannot be rebooked. The price you paid for your ticket will not be refunded and the ticket cannot be transferred to another person. If, on the other hand, you are unable to travel due to sickness, you will receive a refund on presentation of a medical certificate.

Travel Tips: 

1. It is best to book a ticket as soon as possible because you can get a cheaper rate. I witnessed that when I mock book our train ticket 2 months before compared to one month before of our trip.

2. SJ train offer Children Discount. “When you see the heart icon you know that you are getting a great deal.”

Understanding SJ Train Ticket 



When I downloaded and printed the SJ train ticket, the ticket has no English Translation so it is important that you understand your eticket so you know your train station, train number, seat number and of course the departure time.

Resenär - name of traveller 
Billjettnummer - ticket number 
Avgång - departure time of the train 
Ankomst - arrival time of the train 
Tåg - train number 
Vagn - carriage 

Copenhagen, Denmark (Köbenhavn H) to Stockholm, Sweden (Stockholm Central) via SJ Train 

We rode SJ train from Copenhagen Central Station to Stockholm Central Station. Travel time is 5 hours and 13 minutes. At the time of our booking, there are five scehdules that you can choose from, the earliest is 08:23 and the latest is 16:23. We chose the 12:23NN train schedule.

Read: Traveling from Copenhagen Denmark to Stockholm Sweden via SJ Train 

Stockholm, Sweden (Stockholm Central) to Oslo Norway (Oslo Station) via SJ Train 

We rode SJ Train from Stockholm Central Station to Oslo Station. Travel time is 5 hours and 59 minutes. At the time of our booking, there are only two train schedule; 09:10 and 13:08. We had no choice but to take the morning schedule.

It was our first time experience traveling to another country via train and so far we had a smooth experience so if ever we will go back to Scandinavia, we will travel via SJ train again.

Read: Traveling Around Norway via NSB Train

September 14, 2019

Day 4 in Copenhagen Denmark

How I wish, I could extend our vacation in Copenhagen, Denmark because four days are not enough. Sad to say, we could no longer extend our stay because everything was pre-booked already including our train ticket and hotel. And because Day 4 is our last day in Denmark, my companions don’t want to go out anymore.

They prefer to stay in the hotel until our check-out which is 11AM but I don’t want to waste my time waiting at the hotel so I insisted that we should go out. I convinced them that we have enough time to visit Christianborg Palace before our train ride at 12:23NN. Thank God, pinagbigyan na nila ko.

So we had an early breakfast and we stored our luggage at the locker room so just in case, that we could not make it before 11AM for check-out, we won’t pay any extra because our room is already empty.


Again, we just walked from the Urban House by Meininger to Christianborg Palace. We arrived before 9AM so we were freezing cold while waiting outside of the palace door. If you have limited time in Copenhagen, I suggest you go to Christianborg Palace because you can visit several tourist spots in one location. You can visit The Royal Reception Rooms, The Royal Stables, The Royal Kitchen, The Ruins under Christianborg and Christianborg Palace Chapel.

Read: Where to Stay in Copenhagen: Urban House by Meininger   

To save money, don’t forget to buy a Copenhagen Card. We’re thankful that we were able to maximize and saved a lot of money using this card. I’ll share the pros and cons of the Copenhagen Card in a separate post. And because of limited time, we only visited three tourist spots.

Buy Copenhagen Card 



Christianborg Admission Price 

The Ruins: 60.00 DKK
The Royal Reception Rooms: 95.00 DKK
The Royal Stables: 60.00 DKK
The Royal Kitchen: 60.00 DKK
Child: Free
Combined ticket: 160.00 DKK

Christianborg Palace 

Christianborg Palace is not only a palace but a government building too which is located on the tiny island of Slotsholmen in Central Copenhagen, Denmark. It is where you can find the remains of the country’s principal castle of the Middle Ages and the home of three government branches; the Danish Parliament, Danish Prime Minister’s Office and Supreme Court of Denmark. It is the only building in the world that contains the 3 supreme powers of government; executive power, legislative power, and the judicial power.


Christianborg Palace is owned by the Danish government, some parts of the palace are still being used by the Danish Royal Family for their events and functions like the Royal Receptions Rooms, The Tower Room, The Oval Throne Room, The Palace Chapel, and the Royal Stables. Some parts are open to the public.

Christianborg - The Royal Reception Rooms 

At exactly 9AM, they opened the Royal Reception Rooms. There is a free guided tour that you can join, don't forget to check the schedule. But during our visit, no English Tour Guide at 9AM so we just explored the palace on our own. I just showed our Copenhagen Card and the staff advised us to wear shoe covers before exploring the place. We’re the first guests so we had the palace to ourselves, no photobomber.




We’ve been to Rosenborg Castle, Amalienborg Palace but Christianborg Palace is my favorite. The place is well-preserved, well-decorated and looks elegant. Every corner of the palace is very stunning. I was glad that we were able to visit Christianborg Palace before going to Stockholm.




We took our time in exploring Throne Room, The Great Hall, The Dining Hall, and the Library. As I mentioned before, some parts of the palace are still being used by the Queen like the majestic hall and other rooms for their state dinners, banquets, and other royal ceremonies. So it is a great feeling that ordinary people like me can enter this palace. Don’t’ forget to check the unique tapestries at the Great Hall which illustrates the History of Denmark and the world for the past 1000 years.


While waiting for 10AM, we bought some souvenirs at The Palace Shop and off we went to the Ruins for our next tour.

The Ruins under Christianborg

Under the new Christianborg Palace is the ruins of two principal castles that were built in the same location. The Absalon’s Castle that was built in the 11th century, you can still see the remaining wall. And that same wall protected the castle from Wend pirates. The second ruin is Copenhagen Castle that was built in 1369 but it was torn down and they built a new one. Another ruin is the foundation of the Blue Tower where King Christian’s favorite daughter, Leonora Christine, political prisoners, soldiers, and other criminals were held captive.




The Christianborg Ruins highlights the more than 800-year-old underground history of the palace as a medieval castle, royal residence, political and cultural center. We did not stay that long in this place because it is dark and the smell is not nice so it is kinda creepy to explore.

Christianborg - The Royal Kitchen

Beneath the Christianborg Palace is the Royal Kitchen which was built and completed in 1928. This kitchen was used for preparing food for royal parties and celebrations in the Great Hall. The Royal Kitchen is equipped and furnished and they have one of the largest collections of copperware in Europe. See, smell and feel what happened during the King Christian’s Silver Jubilee gala dinner last May 15, 1937. See the menu below.

1. Soup Ambassadeur
2. Filet of Sole a la Nantua
3. Tenderloin Bouquetiere
4. Chicken Parisienne
5. Ice Cream Royale
6. Dessert





Our Day 4 in Copenhagen, Denmark was short but it is one of the highlights of our trip and I’m glad that I really pushed this itinerary. After our Royal Kitchen Tour, we immediately went back to our hotel to pick up our luggage, check-out and off to Copenhagen Central Train Station. We had a quick lunch at Food Market before riding the SJ train to Stockholm Sweden.

Read: Food Trip in Copenhagen Denmark
Day 1 in Copenhagen 
Day 2 in Copenhagen 
Day 3 in Copenhagen 

September 06, 2019

Rosenborg Castle; My First Castle Experience

Hans Christian Andersen is a famous Danish author who wrote countless fairy tales. I am not surprised where he got some of his inspirations because Denmark is surrounded by castles or palaces. In Copenhagen alone, there are several castles that you can visit so if you are castles fanatic, it is better to buy Copenhagen Card or Park Museum Ticket so you can save money.

Buy Copenhagen Card


On our Day 3 in Copenhagen, we were able to visit 2 castles; Rosenborg Castle and Amalienborg Castle. Rosenborg Castle is the first castle that I have ever visited so I was quite excited for my first castle experience and this castle did not disappoint me. While I'm busy getting our tickets, my companions are watching changing of guards.

Read: Day 3 in Copenhagen Denmark 






Rosenborg Castle was built at the beginning of the 1600s as a country summerhouse of King Christian IV, who is a popular king because of his colorful personality, architectural projects, and lost wars. In 1710, Rosenborg castle was no longer used as a royal residence but became a treasure chest of the family. In 1838, it opened its door to the public where people can have a glimpse of the wealth and status of the Danish royal family.

Admission Price 

Adult - 115.00 DKK
Child (0-17) - Free
Copenhagen Card - Free
Park Museums - Free
Student - 75.00 DKK

Things that you should remember 

1. Backpacks are not allowed inside the castle but don’t worry because they have a locker room where you can leave your stuff.
2. There is free wifi. You can use your smartphone as a guide to give you in-depth information about the rooms.
3. You can also use your smartphone to read the QR-codes found on many objects and explore them.
4. You can buy a guidebook at the museum shop.
5. Do not touch the objects and wall decorations in the castle.
6. You are allowed to take photos but not with a tripod or stick.


The admission ticket is not cheap so we took our time in exploring the castle The museum has 5 floors so don’t forget to get a guide map so you won’t miss anything. The main attractions of the castle are Knight’s Hall, coronation thrones, three life-sized silver lions,12 taspetries, collection of Flora Danica, and crown jewels.








Read: Day 1 in Copenhagen
Day 2 in Copenhagen