Thepans Japan 2017

The trip we have all been waiting for. We head to Japan and will be at Osaka and Kyoto. There will be lots of sightseeing, shopping, food and cultural immersion.

Rather than doing a big blog post, I’ve been journalling our journey in Instagram instead and here is the full collection of our best photos.

KONICHIWA Japan! Much excites! #ThepansJP2017 #cleopan #clarapan #cliepan

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A few lovely photos of #cleopan that was on Pearlís phone. #ThepansJP2017

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Kids hungry so parents become foodPANda delivery service. #ThepansJP2017

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Breakfast. #ThepansJP2017

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Iíve always wanted to stay in a proper legit Ryokan and this trip to Kyoto, our stay is the highlight. To book for our family of 5 is not so easy and Ryokan is also charged per head, it all adds up to quite a bit. I took too long to choose, then there are only a few left I could book and Iím glad my top shortlist Yachiyo was still available. Our room is called ďHonkanĒ (yes itís true) I remember when I was young, my parents would bring us on trips and create wonderful memories and knowing that they managed to provide that to my siblings and I, Iíve always told myself I must also be able to provide my kids such trips to and to create good memories when they are young. So my kids have their grandparents to thank. We arrived today and was not disappointed. Very nice and how Iíve imagined a Ryokan should be, the staff were also very professional and friendly. Past few nights Iíve been telling the girls about what Onsen is and how they need to keep know the etiquette of a public bath in Japan and they freaked out. Their dad made them travel all the way to Japan to be naked in front of strangers was unfathomable. lol. I had my fun for a while as they were glad to realize it was a private bath. Iím really looking forward to the authentic Kyo-Kaiseki 12 course Japanese dinner tmr in our Ryokan in our Yukata. But first, letís sleep. The kids all KO after their dip. Arashiyama tmr. #ThepansJP2017 #Kyoto #Japan #cliepan #clarapan #cleopan

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Glorious morning. #ThepansJP2017 #Kyoto #Japan #Ryokan #Onsen

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We spent the whole afternoon at Nishiki Market. Lots to see and eat. We lunched thru our journey in the Market. One thing to note is that in Japan, always eat at the stall and get rid of your trash at the same stall, else itís kinda rude to walk around with your food and there are no bins so always bring small plastic bags. Ice cream with mini rice crackers is the bomb. It adds that much needed texture kick to an ice cream. Kids found Daiso branded clay and they went crazy and almost emptied the shelves. Apparently it is a much sought after ingredient to make slime with the perfect viscosity and the slime wonít turn to muck or harden. The whole Singapore no more stock already since Jan 2017. #ThepansJP2017 #Kyoto #Japan #cliepan #cleopan #clarapan

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Simple day today. We left Kyoto via Shinkansen for Osaka and everyone was amazed at how fast it was as the normal train to Kyoto took quite some time. Dropped off our luggage at the Hotel and headed for Kuromon Market to have lunch and check out the giant crab legs and seafood. We then walked to Denden Town to checkout the toys. Clara bought a bunch of cute Japanese figurines. Cleo got a few too and as a bonus I found a Star Wars Scout Trooper which Iíve always wanted but too lazy to order. Went to Gram with the hopes to try they super fluffy pancakes but they only sell 20 sets every 2 hours and we were there at the wrong time. Anyway, headed back to the hotel and had a simple non Japanese Dinner. Pizza! Ok, time to do laundry and get ready for USJ tmr. #ThepansJP2017 #cleopan #clarapan #cliepan #Osaka #Japan

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USJ day in Osaka. Cleo and Clara wore their onesie for the whole day and felt totally comfortable in it. It looks fun and was also functional in the cold. We eventually did not get the express pass as no one really take rides in the family. Letís just say all the rides we took had < 5mins queue. Think Tea Cup / Merry Go Round. The most exciting one would be the one Cleo and Clara *yawn* took *yawn* have you seen the angle of the steep slope!! Harry Potter world was quite amazing. The whole place felt out of this world. Jaws was meh. Felt like lots of seafood. Jurassic World had a super scary ride and we were so entertained just looking at people screaming. Jaws felt like a big seafood area and Backdraft section knew their swing music. :) Minion world was colorful but not really our thing. We walked pass the rest briefly. Tiring day but we felt like Good parents. #ThepansJP2017 #cliepan #cleopan #clarapan #japan #osaka #UniversalStudios #USJ

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Started the day with waffles for brunch at Namba Wall then took a train to Shinsaibashi to Shop. Daimaru, 7 floors of Tokyu Hands where we went crazy only to be followed by 3 floors of Daiso. Walked a lot more and slowly walked back to Namba where our hotel is. Kids at the Cup Noodles they made at the Cup Noodle Museum and we parents went out to eat random local food. I had raw sea urchin for the first time and it was in a bowl of low grade raw stuff and rice. Ewww… lol. Had to get back to hotel to have MY Cup Noodle which my eldest Cliť caringly made for me complete with chopsticks, wet wipes and a bottle of water. ?????? Ok now to shower and sleep. Tmr we gonna split up and me and the kiddy girls will go Denden Town again and the big girls will do their girly shopping. #ThepansJP2017 #Osaka #Japan

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Last minute shopping day started with Ice Cream for breakfast. We spent most of the day at Bic Camera knowing that our luggages are bursting at he seams. Cleo and Clara really like their Gachapon (that put money in then turn turn to get a capsule ball surprise). Clara was amused to see an adult also so excited about it. I bought a smartphone gimbal (stupid me, should have bought it at the start of the trip). That is the final thing I bought for myself on this trip which totals at 2 items lol. The other was a Star Wars Scout Trooper figurine which Iíve been looking for ages. Last bite at Namba with Osakaís famous octopus balls and we are off to the Airport heading for home on a red eye flight. #ThepansJP2017 #cliepan #cleopan #clarapan #Osaka #Japan #Namba #BicCamera #travel #holiday

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Till the next trip.

3 years of #GoingOut

3 years of GoingOut

Time flies. Its been 3 years already since our very first #GoingOut photo at our lift lobby. It started as a let’s do something fun while we wait for everyone to be ready to go out, then it became a let’s see who is last, then it became a let’s take a different pose, sometimes we are just waiting for the lift, then slowly it became a regular thing.

It’s really nice to see our kids progressively growing up. I can’t imagine how they will look like 10 years from now.

Quite fun to look back on what they wore on different†days as it gives a hint on where we were going, also its clear not every day is a happy day. Sometimes someone don’t want to wear a pair of shoes, someone step on someone’s feet, someone have yet to wake up, but†the best is when all are in high spirits and I get a good picture.

3 years of nickpan's GoingOut photos

Once I hit 5 years, I think I’m gonna print all of them out, exhibit it somewhere or maybe create a microsite for it. For now, if you wanna have a look, you can see them either on my Instagram or on my public Facebook album.

I’m glad we did this. Pls copy this idea and do it for your kids too starting today. :)

Analysis Paralysis

wedding dresses

Clara Pan spent one month and managed to collect five stars after completed writing five pages of words as her homework from daddy. The deal was for a toy (not too big one) as a reward if she kept to her side of the deal and we both kept to the deal.

We spent 2 hours today pacing up and down through all the toy sections at the nearby mall and she could not find something that she really wanted for the effort she put in to have earned this reward. Suddenly spending her own hard earned reward is a lot more difficult then we all imagined.

I saw her frustrated. I saw her helpless. She looked like she could not find joy in any of the toys available in front of her. It felt as if her effort is worth a lot more then any of these colorful plastic in front of her.

Both my wife and I could sense her sadness and offered to buy her anything she wanted, but she could not decide. She honestly could not find something she really really wanted.

We left. Headed home. Empty handed. And on the way home, she fell asleep in the car, frowning.

It is a sad, emotional and philosophical evening.

Originally posted on my Facebook