30 June 2009

i abso-friggin-lutely looove japan!!!!


i LOVE japan!!!! super! its sooo hard to put into words how much i love this place. the energy, the culture, the sights, the architecture, the lights, the people, the way they dress, the food (oh the foooood!), evvverrrything!!!! took me sooo long to post about this trip because its sooo hard to choose what photos to post and what words to say about it! but at least, finally, it is here. yay!!

i've been to tokyo only once before, that was last year, and i instantly fell in love with the city. vince has been to tokyo twice in the past, and was there on his third time this last holy week with his family. end of march and start of april is also the best time to go to japan because of.. cherry blossoms!!!!



i cannot even begin to describe how beautiful a sea of trees in full bloom with cherry blossoms is. perfect time of year, perfect time to travel. so, we decided to meet up in tokyo.



tokyo!

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it is hard not to fall in love with tokyo. its impossible! hahahhaa! this i feel is one of those cities you absolutely must see in your lifetime. i love paris and i love new york, and i can say that tokyo is the city in asia. it has the same intense and inspiring and energizing energy that you get such a rush from!! omotesando, shibuya, ginza, shinjuku!! these are my favorite areas!! i swear you will not be able to stop yourself from looking left, right, front, back, its like sensory overload in tokyo!! the way people dress!! its sooo inspiring. its the most inspiring! in tokyo, fashion is like the main form of self expression. walang pakialaman! people wear what they want to wear and they wear it with confidence and style. i love it so much. and. the. food. the. food. shoot. really. if you love japanese food you must go to tokyo. sushi and sashimi in tsukiji market is the freshest in the world. as in you literally feel like they just caught the fish five minutes before it is served to you. everything melts in your mouth! eating japanese food in japan will make your knees buckle, will make you forget your name, and will send chills up your spine with every bite. love it!!!! and don't get me started with the shopping. the shopping! for fans of uniqlo and muji, tokyo is the place to be. its like five floors of uniqlo and muji! a whole department store of uniqlo and muji! we were sooo lucky that when we were in tokyo, the designer's invitation project collection of uniqlo just came out. shipley and halmos, gvgv, steven alan for uniqlo! we hoarded them all!

you will go insane! tokyo will make you go insane. that's right. but a lovely kind of insane. hahaha.

i followed vince and his family at the tail end of their trip. when they headed back to manila, vince and i decided to go on our japan adventure. to see the cities we both have never been to before!! if you want to see more of japan, the japan rail pass should be your best friend. meet, japan rail pass.



you can only buy it outside japan because it is specifically for tourists. so ask your travel agent about it! ticket price depends on number of days, but whichever you choose, its for unlimited travel! unlimited! so visit as many cities as you can via the shinkansen, the famous bullet train, which is what we did!



kyoto!

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kyoto. the word tokyo rearranged. the old capital of japan. a perfect mix of modernity and culture. some parts ultra-high tech just like tokyo, and some parts very traditional. on our first night in kyoto, we tried to do as the japanese do. bathe in the public bath! an hour away via train from kyoto is kurama. high up in the mountains, famous for its public bath. of course men are separate from women, all clothes come off, and bath water at a temperature hot enough for coffee is the main attraction. it is one of the most relaxing experiences of my life!!!! something about being submerged in the heat that calms all your nerves and relieves all your stresses. amazing experience. as for culture in kyoto, the nijo castle and the kiyomizu-dera are two unesco world heritage sites you must come to see. it is amazing how the wooden structures from centuries ago still have the strong wood smell to it! not to mention the squeaks and creaks while walking through! most of these temples by the mountains also offer the most spectacular sunset views ever. a "night walk through the floating world" is one of the walking tours on the lonely planet book that we highly recommend. an amaaazing three hours of sites and sounds and street food! speaking of food. can't get enough of it in kyoto. the most delicious ramen in the world with chasu that melts in your mouth at karako ramen, ultra yummy and cheap yakitori til you drop at ponto's, and delicious i-have-no-idea-what-on-earth-is-in-it okonomiyaki on an unnamed stall along shijo dori. (wow, i'm getting really hungry writing this post.)



nara!

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nara is so pretty. so pretty. unbelievably pretty. it is the old japan. if it were in a movie, it'd be the perfect setting for someone daydreaming or for a couple having a picnic in the park. being in nara is like being in a dream. yes, its that pretty! every block is an amazing temple or pagoda, and every park has a deer. if here in manila you see askals left and right, there, you will see deer. ang daming deer!!!! its like, human, deer. human, human, deer, deer, deer. and deer. ang dami talaga! the first deer you see, you'll take like a hundred photos. only to walk a bit more and find like ten deers all together! haha. the deer are very friendly. you can buy deer food for 150 yen and just feed the deer you see along the way. its quite a charming feature of this city i must say. nara also holds a million unesco world heritage sites. (hahhaa! okay, oa yung a million. but i just mean to say i feel everything was preserved so well that they still have so many world heritage sites.) and our favorite site of the trip was here in nara. the todai-ji. the oldest and biggest wooden structure in the world. as in from the 12th century. that old. and that preserved. and its really huuuge! its houses numerous golden relics and miniatures of other sites during that time. a must-see if you are in nara!

vince likes visiting different restos and bars when traveling. he likes seeing the interiors, the menu, plus meeting locals or tourists out that night. i am quite picky when it comes to choosing bars, since i'm not the going-out type of person. walking down the main avenue in nara, we passed many establishments until one finally caught my attention. a wooden structure with a little whiteboard outside that read,"welcome to standing bar."



you go in, and literally, it is a standing bar. no bigger than a starbucks counter maybe. standing bar is full with ten people standing. on the bar list is only beer, sake, and cola. pulutan is takoyaki, nuts, and free pulutan is parsely (literally a plant in a pot of soil and you just pick the leaves off). paying is practiced with the honesty system. pay as your order and drop your coins in a minnie mouse coin bank. so kitchy i love it. just like the series "cheers", its literally the bar "where everybody knows your name". so charming! we met masashi, an extremely happy-go-lucky-even-though-jobless-former-filmmaker who introduces us to everyone. everyone tired from work, meeting up, drinking, sharing a few laughs. most fun night of the trip i must say. :)



kobe!

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they call kobe the "san francisco" or "europe" of japan. locals who cannot afford to go abroad go to kobe for their much needed vacation. and this city does have the feel that everyone seems to be on vacation! its very laid back, very steady, very relaxing, very beautiful. very beautiful and progressive considering the kobe earthquake of 1995! amazing how advanced the japanese are. in just over a decade, you won't see a single trace that this city went through such a traumatizing experience. everything is new, there are parks and flowers everywhere, skyscrapers and malls abound. also, there are so many fancy cars in the city! from vintage to uber expensive to pimped cars. every so often in the more crowded areas you see street artists selling calligraphy, paintings, crocheted items, or street musicians! we also chanced upon this super posh designer reject outlet store called ragtag. all the designer labels you can think of in ultra good condition! suprisingly, i didn't buy antyhing, but vince got himself a pair of loafers. we just spent one whole day in kobe but saw everything we needed to see. and of course, in kobe, have.. kobe beef!!!! huwow. huwow lang naman talaga. lonely planet is your other super, major best friend when on a japan adventure, and we made it a point to always choose the inexpensive, favorite-hang-out-of-locals places. for the kobe beef, we chose a tiny basement resto called "taka". again, like all other japanese food in japan, there was knee-buckling, name-forgetting, and spine-chilling!

after kobe, we went back to tokyo, and enjoyed our last days with the energy of the city. amazing city. it is definitely one place i would love to go to again and again and again!!!!



and of course to add to my collection..
tumbling around japan!

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ginza district, tokyo, japan. shiodome train station, tokyo, japan. cherry blossoms by night, kyoto, japan.





so there you have it. my japan adventure!!!!
i think its obvious with how long my post is how much i truly love the place. :)

読んで頂きありがとうございます!

78 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW!
love your tumbling shot!! :D

Anonymous said...

mouth-watering foodah! love your post, super!

Anonymous said...

sorry, if naki-epal ako sa twitter account mo, hehe. i can't help but post comment. i love ur cherry-blossom-by-night tumbling shot. god bless and hope to be of help to your helpkids learn project again =)

Anonymous said...

hi, ate biance.
ikaw ba yung nagtatumbling sa last shots?
cooool :)

MaBeLLe said...

'love the tumbling shot.. i tried this while we were at heritage village in vigan, seems like i don't have the talent! haha!

Anonymous said...

yeah ang cool nun thumbling shot haha, japan japan! mouth watering food hmmmm yummy!

Anthony

jeanie nieva said...

i am in kobe right now and i didn't know it was called the europe of japan. i've been to tokyo once and even though i wasn't able to go around much, i was able to go to one of teh craft stores there. btu all in all, japan is a nice place to visit. ;)

superkshie said...

Looks like you really had fun on your trip (; Nakakatuwa, laging may tumbling shots! :D I wish I could do that, too :]

Anonymous said...

私はあなたのブログを読むのは大好き! Reading this made me hungry :)

Sarah said...

Wow, great post! Nice photos!
By the way, what do the Japanese characters at the end of your post mean? =)

limazululima.com said...

Amazing! It's been a month since my Asian tour and I have not posted anything about yet. If a super-busy girl like Bianca G can do it, so can I. I share your love to travel! Thanks for the inspiration, gurl!

superjaid said...

wow..galing ng tumbling..at uber ganda nga ng Japan kahit di pa ako nakapunta..^_^

Febbe said...

Wow! Japan is gorgeous! I wanna go to Japan too.. Okay, Japan you're on my go-to list.

I love your posts. And i noticed you love doing cartwheels. LoL! Cartwheeling around the world! Must be fun.

leialou said...

i've been to tokyo once and you are right about the japanese (especially women) being soo fashionable... in ginza, you'll feel like your walking in a giant runway! it was almost winter then so girls were mostly wearing those nice jackets and boots. I really felt so underdressed and unfashonable that time...hehe

Aisha said...

wow! you know, you never fail to inspire me with your travels. =)

MJ said...

hi! i lived in japan last year and like you, i also fell in love with the country. i really love tokyo, osaka and kyoto (esp in autumn!!!) talang must see :D

Anonymous said...

sooooo love reading ur blog, ms.bianca!!! God bless!!

James said...

問題.= )

chin said...

wow. how i wish i could go there too.
such a beautiful place. :))

kat said...

beautiful photos :)

phyLLz said...

I envy you at bianca! I've always wanted to go to Japan... It's on the top of my list to go to japan (well, aside from going to paris hehe)
well, someday... japan, wait for me! haha.

and oh i just woke up when I read this. i haven't eaten yet and now I wanna eat those foods!

your tumbling pics are so cool! i don't know how to do that...

ate, how many days were you in japan?

irish said...

it's worth the wait. you really love japan. and it shows. :) u did it. great adventure! another great post :) love it! God bless.

(not to mention, galing ng tumbling shot! the best!)

Anonymous said...

I looove Japan and I sooo Looove your Blog. Keep inspiring us Bianca!!!!

markymark2099 said...

Thanks for sharing your photos with us. I love Tokyo so I know exactly how you feel :)

danicaE said...

nice post! loooooove the pictures!! :D
i learned to love Japan while watching those Japan Video topics shown in IBC 13.
i also like to go to Japan and check out their technologies. :D

marge0256 said...

Hi Bianca! I'm working in a multi-national financial company. I'm handling the Japanese market, and whenever I do research and see the pictures and all, I fall ion love with the country every single time.

Reading your post, makes me fall in love with it over and over. I wish that I can also visit Japan sometime in the near future.

:)

chelie-san said...

wow! amazing!

katedadz said...

the photos are amazing!!! gandaaaaaa! :)))

Sharon said...

hi bianca, japan is like my province! eversince I studied there, i have been forever falling in love...i make it a point to go to japan EVERY SINGLE year! im sooo glad you also fell in love with japan :)

Kris Ablan said...

my wife and I went to Japan for our honeymoon, and it is indeed a great place to visit. We also used the Japan Rail Pass. We were able go to Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka.

I like your pictures of Nara and Kobe and I am tempted to plan another honeymoon with my wife to explore the southern portion of Japan.

Thanks for the photo collage!

вяαтz_ζєxyÇhiiq said...

wow:d you have been to the ultimate place.. i love japan as well, everything about it.. but so sad.. haven't been there. someday i'll visit it.. thanks for the information and the shots.. superb.. wooshoo=)..

claire said...

Wow Bianca! You make me want to go visit Japan right now! I love your post. Thank you so much and I wish I can fulfill my dream of visiting Japan in the future with my husband and baby boy in tow. Thanks for breaking down and writing about the different cities and sites in Japan and will definitely keep them in mind when we do get to visit. Hopefully (keeping my fingers cross) next year when we visit the Philippines.

Anonymous said...

wow...ganda..sana makapunta din ako dyan..hehehe

Anonymous said...

wow! i'll save ang visit tokyo one of these days! stay happy biancz;)

MJ said...

sana maka punta din akong japan :D
gusto ko ding makakita ng cherry blossoms ^^

daan ka minsan sa blog ko ate biancs, hehehe. feature din kita minsan don.

ah oh, btw, pwede ilagay ko link ng blog mo dun? at ang ganda mo sa preview "barbie themed" party.

AT! bagay sa 'yo yung headband ni blair. heheh. tenx ^^

Momoiro said...

ever since when i was a kid, up to now i want to go in Japan....
Thanks for your post, nice photo talaga(",) para na rin akong nakapunta heheh!
i love your blog talaga, it really inspire me♥♥♥
More power to you ate Bianca and to your blog.
♥ lots(",)

Kix said...

Nice pictures! I would love to go to Japan. :) If you don't mind me asking, what camera do you use? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hey Bianca,

I am currently based in Melbourne Australia. Have been a frequent reader of your blog since 2007 I reckon. I know you've been to Sydney right? You should actually visit Melbourne. They say this is the shopping capital of Australia. Lots of beautiful places as well. Anyways, I decided to post a comment coz I am actually going to Japan for a 2 week holiday in February with 3 girlfriends and seeing the pics that you posted made me feel very excited. Im sure Im gonna love it as well. Thanks for sharing those pics. Too bad we are leaving March 1. We won't be there for the cherry blossoms! Ta again!

Rocel

Glenda said...

makes me want to visit JAPAN now! ;) YAY! && the foodsss, am droolin'. YUMMY! Thank you for sharing.

Glenda said...

oh and one more thing, what camera are you using? am curious? your pictures are very pretty kasi eh.

Glenda said...

visit my blogspot: intheheartandmindofglenda.blogspot.com

thank you!

celine said...

wow.. it's Glike i already went to japan! haha. 'love the photos especially the tumbling shots, again :D take care & oD bless! :)

Anonymous said...

ur so cool bianca. u never failed to amaze and inspire me in every single thing that u do. so love ur blog. nice pics and articles uv written. rarely see beautiful women with high intelligence, ur one of those few. keep doing what ur doing and continue to inspire people.

mumai said...

wow...tumbling ever ka talaga khit san...i'll wait for your post entitled tumbling around the world...wee!!

Darwin^^ said...

napakaganda ng JAPAN! sana makapunta din ako jan.. :)

czharina said...

I have been reading your blogs...nice ng mga entries...
.nasabi mo a Elive na punta ka ng korea...can't wait to see your blogs about Korea..

rich said...

japan's one of the places that I really want to visit... and from your post, parang gusto ko na magvisit dun, ngayon din... haha! XD

btw, bakit lagi may tumbling shot? curious lang... last time kasi when I read your post when you visited shanghai naman there's tumbling post din... ^^

docgelo said...

thank you for sharing this post ms. bianca. the photos are really awesome! i've never been to japan but would love to bring my family there in the near future, just to see those cherry blossoms in bloom and to eat authentic sushi and experience those neon forest :D

love ur tumbling shots!

Kristen said...

wee!:) nice pictures!:) sana makapunta din ako japan..wah..^_^

miapearl said...

hi your so beautiful miss Bianca..

nyce :-) said...

i saw the rated K last night they featured japan....youre true it's really a nice place..i begin to love japan.....

rzfdtwr said...

Hey Bianx, Raz here. I went to Nara before. I absolutely loved that place. The deers! It was spectacular. I think I was a dear deer in my past life, hehe... I hope to go back to Japan soon. Yes, Tokyo. Someday :)

Wacky said...

Cool and inspiring video of a deaf girl playing violin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7X_X1zdH8k

dumbledore said...

hi! Bianca,
Eto mangungulit at hihirit.
Buti nlng may mga picture kundi iba ang iimaginin ko.hehe.
Di halata na superdooper to d max nag enjoy kaha,tlgang kay japan ba o kay vince hehe. The Buzz and E live.
Sana makapunta din ako jan di lang in dreams.
Sabi nga nila mauna ka muna magtour sa country mo bago ang ibang country,fortunately i've done that when i was having internship(yabang)pero tipid sa gastos me kasi baka mabuko ng financer(dad).sabi dugo daw ang lumalabas sa pawis,kaya konti konsensya me(kasi baka masunog me pagpasok simbahan).
Kaya gusto po pumunta egypt(pyramid)which is an hour away,tapos india(taj mahal)4 hours away,tapos tomb of eve (wife of adan)which is 20mins away,redsea moses divided (10 commandments)15mins away,tapos european tour which is 1000u$ back and forth ticket.sana hoping.wishing.
Anyways hoping to meet you soon,diba sabi you sa TFC connect close tayo(joke lng ha).kakahiya.thanks u sa blog u ha,
Anyways if ever punta kami japan kailangan ko humingi ng japan rails pass.hehe.stay cool.
God bless!

worldlover said...

Japan is really something.^_^

worldlover said...

i guess you were using a DSLR camera, the quality of the shots are crisp and perfect!

Un-jaded Mom said...

Bianca - I'm one of your blog fans. Your trips are wonderful and your insights of course! May I ask how you're able to post several pictures in one box? what program do you use?

1 yen mjúːziŋs said...

O_O Japan is love!いい経験でしたか。

karenina said...

i'd love to go to japan too! =)

i like your tumbling shot. so cool!

Anonymous said...

uniqlo shopping galore! :D next time try G.U. Same as uniqlo but cheaper and has style too.

Anonymous said...

mouth watering food? uhmmm as you describe it parang naiimagine ko yung anime na cooking master boy at yakitate japan. hehe. ang galing galing mo talaga magsulat. your a good travel journalist. keep it up. tc

Anonymous said...

hei B,

may nakapagsabi n b sayo na kamukha mo si jan di...the hair..at hugis ng mukha...hehe ...

pero mas maganda ka pa rin...SWEAR!

rice said...

the photo with the bicycle is the best bianx!

twenty said...

*random*

i know this is not connected to the post but, desperate times call for desperate measure.. I am the admin of 2NE1PH -- philippines base forum for 2NE1. (http://2ne1ph.co.nr) i heard you will interview dara in Korea (so lucky) can you send her our regards..

Thank you oh so much. Oh and im really excited to read your next entry. ^__^


and the tumbling shot is FTW!! ^__^

Naega said...

waaah japan!!! one of the places i've told myself i HAVE to go to... no luck yet but still hopeful..
your account of your adventures in japan just reaffirms its beauty and marvel... aigoo...

and i hear you're goin to korea this weekend... if you go there try samgyupsal and ssam for me and tell me what it tastes like... i've always been curious.. and try to take a peep at goo hyesun's (geum jandi from BOF) exhibit of her art... she's multi talented

Anonymous said...

my fave is your pic in your passport. i have this sort of compulsion where i check out people's pictures in their passport or drivers' license, etc. i surmise that if you look good in your passport/license pic then you really look good no matter what the circumstance. and damn, you were smokin' in your passport pic.

and i got to see what vince looks like. not bad. you guys look good together (and i'm saying that while i stab my heart with a pitchfork).

Anonymous said...

tokyo is not the best place to enjoy japanese food. for me, nothing beats kyushu, the food here is unique, fresh and tastier. parang pagkaing probincya sa pilipinas. you should come to fukuoka next and see the most beautiful japanese women in japan. :)
-kyushugaijin

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Anonymous said...

hello miss bianca,

wat happen to your pictures in photobucket? ba't nawala? I love your blog so much, I'm one of your followers.

Keep blogging (^_^)

God bless

Anonymous said...

hi bianca! check this out.. http://www.tomsshoes.com/default2.asp i absolutely think you'll love em. =) -michelle

discover cebu said...

hi bianca.love your post.and i super like your personality.keep it up.just want you to know that you've inspired me to do voluntary work.and of course to travel.coz i love it too...GOD bless.

Anonymous said...

when are you going to post your korea trip? haha. i was waiting for that! :) i love to go there to, pero busy pako sa studies. hehe :) anyway, i love your japan pictures!! ive seen it so many times na since you told ktext na youve uploaded the pictures already! haha. im subscibed to your ktext btw :)


stroberichiscake@gmail.com

aka Cheryl said...

hi! hope you don't mind answering how much was the japan rail pass? my brother and i are planning for a trip and this sounds like something we should get. :) i checked the official site, it says 28,300 YEN for a 7 day ordinary card. that's approximately 14k pesos. am i computing wrong? :) thanks in advance!

Anonymous said...

that's great!i been dreamin of going to JAPAN, ng.promise pa nga ako na the my first abroad trip would be JAPAN and nothing less! yeah been saving since first year college for that trp now you make me feel so exicted!

been working hard for JAPAN!

Hazel Charisse said...

love the tumbling shot too. quite the cheerleader huh.. ^^

cristina said...

hi ate bianca, do u have any tips on how to pack lighlty when travelling?

I am ekiM said...

'stig nung tumbling shots mo! 'preciate how real you are Bianca..

Anonymous said...

wowww i love ur tokyo adventure!!! i've been to tokyo once and i wanna go back again! hopefully nxt yr..XD yes they're soo fashionable and kakkoi!!