Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts

My Trafalgar Law hoodie arrived a few days ago. It reminded of the first time I had laid my eyes on this badass tattooed doctor with a goatee *gasps*. It was law at first sight. 

I have also been binge-watching and catching up with One Piece lately and I remember the fun times I had with Jan at the Tokyo One Piece Tower three years ago. I feel so bad I wasn't able to blog about it, especially when the only One Piece theme park in the world already closed its doors for good last July 31, 2020 (eff you, corona). 

March 23, 2019.
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Oh Deer!

If there's one thing I love about Japan, it is the people. They are the kindest, most disciplined, and most respectful people I have ever met. And quite surprisingly, the deer in Nara are just as polite as the locals. As a matter of fact, these critters are far more polite than half the people you meet.

Kidding? Perhaps not.
Posing with a deer at Nara Park
The deer poses better than I do.
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Robots. Sushi. Anime. Sakura. These are the first things that come to mind when I think of Japan.

When we booked our flight to Japan, it just happened that we took advantage of a seat sale, chanced upon a very cheap flight to Narita, and booked it right away. Plus, the timing couldn't be any more perfect for Jan’s birthday. It never occurred to us that it's going to be the most anticipated and most visited sakura season.

I got so excited when I learned about it and started reading about these famed cherry blossoms only to end up a little disappointed about the fact that these pink delicate flowers bloom for just a week. Early April is the best time to see the sakuras this year according to blooming predictions. And since we will be arriving two weeks earlier, the chances of seeing these in full bloom are slim.

On our first day, we have already seen a few budding sakuras on some streets. Even Hachiko's statue stood under the sakura trees. It wasn't that impressive, yet. But it's promising and we were hoping to see them bloom in a riot of pink hues.

So we visited two parks, Chidorigafuchi (ten-minute walk from our hotel) and Yoyogi Park, which are best known for hanami (flower viewing). Even though each park offers a charming scenery of spring, not one sakura tree has a single flower on sight yet.

We then proceeded to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, home of at least a thousand sakura trees.


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Tokyo is currently my favorite city (next to Davao, of course). I'm not really huge on highly-urbanized cities. Skyscrapers and cityscapes don't fascinate me. But Tokyo offers more than the high tech toilets, electronics, Anime, and manga. It's where you get the best of modern and historical worlds at the same time.

Tokyo spring weather can definitely make you fresh all the time!

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We went to Japan for Jan's birthday which is just in time for spring. And since it was only the first official day of spring when we landed, the weather was still chilly and temperatures dropped to as low as 4°C. I actually thought that I was prepared for that. I had 3 layers of clothes (base thermal, thick sweater, winter coat/jacket) and it still wasn't enough. Tagos sa buto ang lamig.

Nonetheless, we had a great time! To be honest, I can still recall almost everything that happened, but I don't think I will be able to narrate the details of our adventure. Although it's not a surprise that this trip is not well-documented, I'll let the pictures speak for it (yes, yes, lame excuse for being lazy).

(Note to self: next time, Sarah, please take a lot of photos so that you won't have a hard time looking for decent photos for the blog)

Our first agenda the night we got in Tokyo was, of course, to eat authentic ramen. After checking in at Sakura Hotel in Jimbocho, we went straight to Shibuya and took some photos of Hachiko and Shibuya crossing.

There were a lot of people around Hachiko's statue. But surprisingly, there were more locals than tourists who were just hanging around. Even though there was a flock, it wasn't really that hard to take a photo with Hachiko.

Hachiko
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When we went to Japan last March, it was transitioning from winter to spring. That means, we were able to experience both snow and sakura season at the same time.

You see, even though the season was leaning toward spring, a deep-rooted fascination for snow has definitely gotten my mind fixed to experience snow by any possible means. Well, you must understand that this utmost desire to see snow is coming from someone who has spent an entire life in a tropical country and has never seen one. This Japan trip—that happens once in a blue moon⁠—was my chance.
An obligatory snow shoefie.


Honestly, there would have been a lot of snow resorts outside Tokyo. However, 4 days is not enough to explore the city alone. So we planned to have our first snow experience somewhere in Kansai since we will be spending more time in Osaka. Also, it is a lot cheaper.
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