Dance Singapore Dance: Finalists revealed

Remember I blogged about Dance Singapore Dance (DSD) a while ago and they were holding auditions?

As expected, a lot of my friends who were full-timing as dance instructors/ performers did not participate due to financial and scheduling issues since one is not paid for the stint in DSD. I hope that if Zee TV does a second edition, some sort of allowance / remuneration can be provided so as to reach out to a larger pool of talents that they had missed out this round.

However, that did not stop over 200 dancers from auditioning for a spot in DSD! The finalists were whittled down to 12 top dancers and I did spot a couple of familiar faces.

Previous editions of Dance India Dance (the parent format) required contestants to be competent in multiple genres.

The 12 finalists, age 16 to 35, come from varied dance backgrounds. It’ll be interesting to see how each of them adapt to different styles as the competition is formatted kind of like So You Think You Can Dance.

The dancers will be whittled down through a number of individual and team-based challenges and weekly elimination rounds until a winning Dancing Star is crowned.

They were placed into two groups, mentored separately by choreographers Anil Dandge, renowned Bollywood choreographer and Roche Mascarenhas, dance instructor & choreographer.

Group dance

Group dance

Logan was a dark horse, making it to top 12 after another contestant dropped out and moved local judge Zaini Tahir to hears in his solo performance at semi-finals.

Judges(L-R): Shakti Mohan and Zaini Mohammad Tahir

Dance Singapore Dance will premiere on Saturday, 18th July at 8 pm on Zee TV APAC (StarHub TV Channel 125 and SingTel TV Ch 646) across 18 countries. The grand finale is on Saturday, 26th September on Zee TV.

To keep updated on the finalists and who eventually will win, keep a look out on Dance Singapore Dance Facebook Page.

Images courtesy of Zee TV

Kyoto food: Donguri

Our friend, D, has this obsession with okonomiyaki. Of course, we had to find her good Okonomiyaki before we leave.

Donguri came recommended by friends and our hostel. From its exterior, you probably wouldn’t even know its an Okonomiyaki restaurant.

We ordered an appetiser – Cheese and lotus root chips.

There are various sets you can choose from but we decided to go with one Yaki Soba and one Okonomiyaki

Continue reading “Kyoto food: Donguri”

Osaka: Ando Momofuku Instant Ramen Museum

I flew via Japan Airlines and touched down Osaka Itami airport which was very near Ando Momofuku Instant Ramen Museum! Since I decided to be a smart aleck and forward my luggage on, I made the most out of my time near Itami airport.

This is a satellite version of the bigger Yokohama museum.

To be honest, I think it is a very miss-able attraction if you are in Osaka city and intend to travel out for this. If you’re around the area like me, I think it’s an okay stop, factor maybe 45 minutes within the Museum itself because you can customise your own instant noodles!

Walkable from Ikeda Station

 

Probably the guy who invented cup noodles

 

Continue reading “Osaka: Ando Momofuku Instant Ramen Museum”

Osaka sight: Spa World

I don’t know… To me, I think going to an onsen is like a rite of passage in Japan.It’s a tradition so steeped in culture that you got to experience it once.

Well, Kyoto has more traditional onsens but I wasn’t adventurous enough to conquer those. My inability to understand Japanese was a huge barrier if I had went to an onsen in Kyoto since those lean are more traditional, catering to local patrons.

Spa World brands itself as an onsen theme park in Osaka, easily accessible via three train lines. On top of onsens, there is a hotel, sauna and swimming pool (with slides and all the fun things).

Remember what I said about being accessible to tourists? You can take a look at Spa World’s Guide to using onsens. Best to go alone, you’ll know why.

I alighted at Tennoji and took exit 5

 

You’ll see this gaming place, turn right, walk straight and pass a convenience store on your left.

 

Continue reading “Osaka sight: Spa World”

Japan: Luggage forwarding via TaQBin

I was surprised this luggage forwarding service in Japan hasn’t been blogged extensively as I had expected it to be.

So here’s a scenario: You touched down at Osaka Itami Airport and want to visit the nearby attractions (e.g. Ando Momofuku Instant Ramen museum) and maybe a mall before heading to check in your accommodation that night.

Your options are:

  • A: Lug your luggage everywhere and pray that there are available coin lockers in the train stations you are heading to.
  • B: Drop your luggage at your accommodation and skip the attractions or do a detour to head back to the attractions
  • C: Have your luggage forwarded to your accommodation and back an overnight bag.

DING DING DING: You have chosen option C!

This was how my luggage arrived

 

At first, I was wrought with all sorts of hesitation and questions: Is there insurance, what if they lost my luggage, what if my luggage is delayed? From what I gleaned online, there seems to be a natural reassurance in Japanese efficiency that your luggage forwarded will be secure and safe.

The process is really simple: Fill up a form (you can do it in English), pay your fee and wait for your luggage to arrive the next day.

There are multiple service providers. I used TaQBin on two occasions. Once, at the airport and second, at a convenience store. The only issue is probably, staff at convenience stores don’t speak much of English but you don’t need much of Japanese to forward a luggage too!

I had forwarded luggage of different sizes and the biggest sized luggage (probably 30-32 inch) cost 1340 Yen.

This is the form that you will fill in and I have labelled accordingly.

Things to take note of

  1. Most convenience stores and airports offer luggage forwarding services and will have multiple vendor options. I used TaQBin on both occasions.
  2. Luggage will only arrive next day and you can select stipulated delivery time slots (AM and PM). Remember to pack an overnight bag of essentials!
  3. There is a tracking number that you can track via TaQBin’s website.