Tokyo, Japan

While a lot of countries all over the world are planning and maybe still adapting with technology, Japan just had it all figured out. They are way ahead and they are the exact definition of the “FUTURE.” I maybe exaggerating but, I was there, I saw it, I experienced it firsthand. It amazes me to think what else in this world of technology could they be cooking up, Artificial Intelligence perhaps? But seriously, who knows what’s next?

This blogpost is not my usual one where I would be telling a detailed story of how my day went, give you tips, share my itineraries, and whatnot. It’s more of an appreciation post for Japan and my goal is to convince you to book a ticket, apply for visa if you’re in the Philippines, and prepare yourself for an incredible experience! You know what? This country is not just blessed with smart, beautiful, hardworking, and courteous people but it also has mesmerizing landscapes, different seasons, crazy food scene, efficient railway system, and all the things that you can think of!

Most people’s first impression when you invite them to travel to Japan is that it’s “EXPENSIVE.” I know it, because I was exactly like that before and I’m not gonna deny that I spent a lot for this trip to materialize and work. But let me tell you this, I DO NOT REGRET ANY OF IT because in Japan, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. For example, a bowl of Ramen from Ichiran is more or less 500 when you convert to Philippine Peso. Yes, it’s hella expensive but d*mn! You don’t get to eat that exact Tonkotsu Ramen anywhere else in Manila. It’s exceptionally flavourful and best to have it with strong Dashi (seasoning stock), 1 clove of Garlic, and medium firm noodles. Heaven on earth!

Here in the Philippines, we only have two seasons: Wet Season and Dry Season. Hence you are far away from experiencing the crowds’ favorites which are the Autumn and Winter. Last December 2016, I went to Seoul, South Korea and there I finally knew how it feels like to live in a winter wonderland and seeing and touching snow flakes for the first time ever. It was overwhelming, but you’ll eventually get used to it. And from that on, I make it a point to experience winter in other countries, thus Tokyo. Some people may not enjoy this particular season but I do and that’s probably because I have high tolerance to cold weather. This is just another reason for us Filipinos and other nationalities to try something out of the box, because there is so much more outside and being able to tell stories like this, I can’t wait for you to take your turn! Plus this is your chance to bring on your A-game for your OOTD’s! LOL

We all know there are only a handful of authentic Japanese restaurants in the country and being here in Tokyo, you no longer need to doubt a restaurant if it’s legit or not, because by simply being here in their own soil, it couldn’t get any more legit! I’ve tried a lot of restaurants and yes, roughly 80% of the restaurants I saw are expensive but if you’re like me who likes to wander, then you’ll eventually bump into a small alley where local restaurants are selling different Japanese dishes for way cheaper prices! Need I mention that their convenience stores, like 7-Eleven, are selling decent and microwavable food. So if you are running out of budget, there will always be a second option! And this is also the place for Matcha lovers like me! ❤

And you know what the funny thing is? The day I arrived in Japan, I didn’t eat Japanese food but I looked for Shake Shack instead. I’ve always wanted to try their burger and that was my chance! I got lost on my way but who cares? I ended up very happy and satisfied! I can finally tick this one off of my bucket list and next in line is to try is the In-N-Out Burger! Yum! Indeed, being a traveler and a foodie both go hand in hand.

No matter how modern and techy Japan is, I’m amazed how they were able to preserve its culture. This probably is the most noticeable trait in Asian countries, their own ways of promoting its history and culture. This is mainly one of the reasons I love going out of the country, you learn so much from their people and when you get back, you become a different person. It’s like you left a piece of you and in return, you also get to bring home a part of that country within you. Makes sense? 😛

One of the things I love about this country is its people. Unlike in Seoul, people in Tokyo are a bit more welcoming to foreigners. I remember back when I was in Korea, since most of the people do not speak English, they tend to just send you away. It’s like their afraid of the English language. While in Tokyo, whenever I approach someone and no matter how hard it was for him/her to understand me, they will still help the best way possible. There’s this instance where I was looking for the bus station and I am lost nowhere, she stopped and Google-d where I was heading just for me to get to my destination. And that happened not just once, but several times! And rumors are true, it’s safe in Tokyo. The mere fact that I don’t mind keeping my phone in my pocket is a testament that this country is, indeed, safe.

And since this is an appreciation post, it wouldn’t end without me being grateful for my HS bestfriend Pauline, who has been living/working in Japan for years, for letting me stay in her apartment for 6 days. It was a short stay but definitely a fun experience! I cannot wait for the day of my comeback! More chika and more real talk conversation! LOL!

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