Category Archives: Asia

I LOVE JAPAN: Tokyo Disney Sea

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“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

These are the words of the cultural icon who inspired millions and millions of lives with his works, contributions to entertainment, and lifelong influences of keeping dreams alive an making them come true– no other than Walt Disney. At first glance, Disneyland may just be an ordinary theme park, but for many, it really is a place where magic happens, and where dreams do come true. And I will always consider myself part of those people who deem Disneyland as the happiest place on Earth.

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I LOVE JAPAN: Tokyo

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We were awakened by a magnitude 6 earthquake in Osaka, giving us a sudden urgency to jump out of our traditional tatami mat beds, giving us a full Japan experience, complete with earthquakes. The room was shaking like crazy, and Pao and I were just staring at each other in shock, as we did not know what we’re supposed to do. Thankfully, buildings in Japan are engineered very well to withstand such earthquakes, even of great magnitudes. But God is always good to keep us safe and unscathed despite the intensity of the earthquake.

From Osaka, we needed to take a 3.5 hour shinkansen ride to Tokyo. We were full of energy coming from Osaka en route to Tokyo, but we got stranded for almost 4 hours in the train station because train lines were suspended due to the earthquake making us miss out on most of the items on our itinerary that day. But with the best travel buddy in the universe, nothing can go wrong as we just let spontaneity guide us through our stay in Tokyo!

What to do when you get stranded in a train station for 4 hours?

Eat all the yummy Japanese pastries, try all the yummy Japanese vendo drinks, and pretend to be like the penguin from the vendo machine!

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I LOVE JAPAN: Hakone, Mt. Fuji and Shinyokohama

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A visit to Japan wouldn’t be complete without seeing the iconic and majestic Mt. Fuji! We visited Hakone, deemed as one of the best international holiday resorts, famous for its hot springs, natural beauty, and perfect views for Mt. Fuji! However, due to limited time, we were not able to spend a night in a ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) and experience an onsen (Japanese hot spring). But this trip left us with no regrets at all, as we could still attribute this trip as one of the best trips we’ve ever had (as of this writing)

It was a cloudy day on the day of our visit, so we just had to make do with this tarpaulin! (Mt. Fuji is clearly visible and not shy today huh?)

Mt. Fuji from the shinkansen!

From Tokyo, we took the shinkansen (Japan bullet train) to Odawara Station, which was also our jumpoff point for our Hakone tour. I just can’t explain how incredibly detailed the Japanese are, but grabe, look at their train station food! These are packed bento boxes that you could readily purchase at train stations. And upon opening these boxes, you get a little piece of heaven from meticulously prepared Japanese hands!

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I LOVE JAPAN: Osaka

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And this series professing my undying love for Japan will go on and on, simply because it’s still my favorite country (after the Philippines)…as of yet! Pardon the excited tone of my writing, but memories of my Japan experience will always make me all giddy. ALWAYS.

 

 

OSAKA—the food capital of Japan! I could even call it as the world’s greatest food city! And yes, food trips were very much part of our every move while we were in Osaka, another favorite place in Japan! We were like in a food lover’s heaven as we strolled and savored every bit of Osaka, overflowing with history, character, and culture. Every step needed to be accompanied by a savory bite of something delectable we bought from the lovely streets of Osaka!

Any food you put in your mouth in this lovely city, won’t disappoint you!

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I LOVE JAPAN: Nara

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Nara could possibly be one of our favorite places in Japan. It’s simple yet it’s distinctly unique from all the other Japanese cities we have visited. Nara is located less than one hour from Kyoto and Osaka. Due to its past as being the first permanent capital of Japan, it remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan’s oldest and largest temples.

Yes. How picturesque!

That’s their JR train station. It is still beautiful!

Our bodies were in protest from all the walking we did in Kyoto the previous day that we could hardly surrender to our respective alarm clocks. But upon realization that we are already waking up in the beautiful country called Japan, we did not want to waste precious time in Japan,so we hurriedly got dressed then made our way to the shinkansen (Japan bullet train) to get to Nara on time.

One of the most amazing man-made inventions I have ever experienced! The bullet train was indeed a milestone! Believe me, Japan has the most extensive and most efficient subway and train network in the world!

My happy-about-to-ride-another-bullet-train-face!

This was the local JR train that took us directly to Nara!

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I LOVE JAPAN: Kyoto

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I LOVE JAPAN. Love, in the truest sense of the word, is even an understatement in expressing how much I fell in love with Japan, all things Japanese, its extremely beautiful country, and of course, their kind people. I will go back to Japan in a heartbeat.

Japan has always been a dream destination for both Pao and I. And for summer, we found the perfect timing, perfect opportunity, and all the heavenly blessings to pursue this trip… and we found ourselves LIVING THE DREAM: 8 days in Japan, 7 cities, unlimited shinkansen (bullet train rides), and BEST VACATION SO FAR!

What better way to introduce us to the land of the rising sun but to visit Kyoto, in Central Japan, teeming with its rich culture marked by its imperial past, definitely making it reminiscent of Old Japan.

This was featured in the plane’s inflight magazine on our way to Japan! How timely!

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Bangkok, Thailand: Chatuchak Weekend Market and Siam Square Shopping!

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Retail therapy while on vacation signals the culmination of a wonderful vacation. Well, at least for me.  It is like an added bonus, the icing to the cake, and a rewarding experience at the end of every trip. And I am grateful every time, because at the end of every trip, I am blessed to have extra money to spend to allow me to buy and experience their culture of shopping  so that I will not go home empty handed.

CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET

And yes, Bangkok is known as one of the best shopping destinations in the whole world. And when you say bargain hunting for shopping, it could get pretty synonymous to Chatcuchak Market in Northern Bangkok. Chatuchak Market is a weekend market and is considered as one of the largest and most spectacular markets in the whole world. Yes, how awesome is that?

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