2 Weeks Happiness in Japan

I never thought of Japan as a romantic place until I explored it with my boyfriend. Yes, last year I went back to Japan. Spending days in Japan with him was absolutely fantastic. My all 4 happy hormones – endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin (which is the most dominant, by the way!)- have reached their maximum level during that trip. Even now, when I’m trying to remember those precious moments we had, it feels like my brain is trying to produce more serotonin.

Meeting the boyfriend at the airport was one of the most exciting parts. After messaging him that I’m outside the JR ticket booth, I went to the bathroom and fix my face, hair, clothes, and everything that would make me feel fabulous. Then, I saw a man wearing a neon apple green hat. It’s him! Shouted my mind. Roller coaster of emotion overwhelmed me that day. Mostly nervous. It doesn’t matter now where we are, I am so preoccupied of the idea of him talking to my face, the idea that I’d be with him for 9 days, the idea of HIM.

Honestly, I contemplated on whether to write about this travel or not, but the urge to show you how exciting the trip was is strong. Fortunately, I felt the urge to write today. Blogging has always been therapeutic, especially when you wanted to read previous experiences you have written. You can always look back and reminisce. I will try my best to remember everything during this trip and consolidate it here.

While on the train going to Oshiage, he mentioned his favorite dungeons and dragons. I don’t have any idea what it’s all about but it sounded so awesome because he is awesome hehe. I’ve been in Japan before, although I know that he would love this trip (because why the hell not?), I’m still afraid to commit a mistake that would make him feel disappointed. I want this travel to be perfect at least.

It feels like we’re on the train the whole day. Along the way, the atmosphere has started to get colder due to a bit of rain outside. It was a chill and relaxing ride. The weather was about the same last year where we experienced a bit of rain on the first day then a hot summer feel for the rest of our stays.

We had the best 9 days of our lives, and it’s quite hard to sum it all up in one blog. So bear with me.

 

TOKYO SKYTREE

I think it’s already 5 o’clock in the afternoon when we arrived at Richmond Hotel Premier – just a block away from the majestic Tokyo Skytree. He always booked fancy hotels for us, which made me feel so special. Tokyo Skytree in the rain looks like an alien spaceship. Yes, it was that magical.

After exploring the panoramic view of the city from the tallest building in Japan (634 meters in height), we’re off to Coro Coro Comic Legend Cafe for our dinner time, only because we can’t find any other restaurants that are still open. In their menu, you can find so kawaii and Instagrammable food like this one:

 

HELLO AGAIN, AJISAI

We were greeted by the many colours of beautiful Ajisai in the garden of Hasedera. I’ve been here before, but it didn’t stop me from including it on our itinerary. I don’t mind seeing its spectacular beauty again. Its cheerful beauty was so contagious and it feels like you want to be cheerful all day.

 

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JOAN IN JAPAN AT 30!

Travelling. Days when the only thing that matter is what are you going to eat for a day, and it doesn’t need to be budgeted. Everything you want.  Booking and planning all come easy for us. I know right there and then this trip is going to be a blast.

YU’s APARTMENT

The apartment greeted us with two beers and a welcome note from our hosts. Yay! Immediately, I knew I’d love our stay here. Since Yu and Taka weren’t there to welcome us, we received special instructions on how to let ourselves in prior to our trip. Challenging, isn’t it? We do really feel at home and we survived. A variety of liquors, food in the fridge, comics, and a lot of vinyl records are available, but yeah, food and drinks are not for free. I wonder if we’re allowed to play the LPs, because there’s a signage on the wall saying “Play music here”. But it wasn’t directly pointed to the Long playing. I should have asked Yu, but then again, I don’t know how to use that old school music player. By simply browsing their LP records, I can tell that our host had a good taste in music. They got The Beatles, Carpenters, Japanese orchestra records and a lot more. They are comfortable with the idea of allowing strangers in their house without qualms, without judging that they might be a burglar. Ha ha! Perhaps, there’s a CCTV or something. I mean, look at those comics? I can grab one without them realizing it. Plus those vinyl records.

Staying at Yu would probably one of the numerous reasons why I found my trip to be an unforgettable one. I highly recommend this apartment. Check Airbnb and message YU for reservation, quick.

SHIBUYA CROSSING

Hachiko greeted us before crossing Shibuya. Despite many people taking photos of him, we sneaked in. Got a picture with Hachiko, baby. We stayed at Starbucks for a more panoramic view of the busy city of Shibuya. Lovely. What’s the best food to have during rainy days? You bet. We walked and looked for Ramen!

ICHIRAN RAMEN

YES! We will be enjoying the rain while having our first Ramen at Ichiran. I accidentally ordered the Ramen with hard-boiled egg, as I pressed 1 instead of number 2 on their vending order machine. Whether I’m stupid to figure out that the price of the number 1 Ramen is different to the number 2 Ramen, or I get so excited to order something on the vending machine. LOL. That I would never know. Either way, it was fun. Guess what? I didn’t regret that stupid mistake. The hard-boiled egg was so worth it. If ever we’d go back, I’ll definitely order that again. 😛

ichiran ramen jaoan shibuya

One of the servers gets my order over the open space window and she immediately came back with my delicious ramen. She most definitely prepared it to perfection.

ichiran ramen japan shibuya

(A close-up shot of their yummy ramen)

Don’t tell me, this photo doesn’t dry your throat and craved for it?

Is it too early for me to judge and say it was the best food we had? Ha! Maybe, because it’s only our first day. You had me awed by your food already, JAPAN.

SHINJUKU

Strolling around Shinjuku is tiring. You should have a perfect meal in your mind after doing so. Especially if you can’t find where Godzilla head’s coming from. Just like us. The locals are so helpful, they told us where is Godzilla’s hideout. It’s standing on top of a building of a cinema — Toho Cinemas. A cool experience indeed. While making the jump shot and taking photos everywhere, we stumbled on this Robot Restaurant. “Roboto.. Roboto.. Roboto restaurant” — a catchy song from the restaurant’s speaker. Eating there is expensive, so nope.

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See Ya in CEBU!

I had the most remarkable travel experiences in my first job after graduation. Booking Promo flights didn’t stand a chance to a pair of keen eyes of my former colleagues and we always ended getting the cheapest ones. Very few people are traveling before. There’s no Instagram yet. An era where Facebook has not yet been utilized as a virtual photo album. That’s why when I’m saying “Yes” to my former workmates if I’d like to join, it simply because I feel like it and thinking maybe it would be fun. Oh well,  I haven’t been to Cebu, and the fare they are got was quite cheap, so why not. Plus the fact that, it’s pretty cheap that you wouldn’t regret if the plan push through or not. Since then, I’ve been bitten by a travel bug.

With only two days and one night in Cebu, we’re so incredibly lucky to be aligned with our itinerary. From the food we are craving and been hearing from the locals to the places that we saw online – it was worth it.

Magellan Cross

We arrived in Cebu at night and the Basilica del Santo Nino, which was the oldest Catholic Church in the Philippines, was closed. So we set our foot outside the Magellan Cross. As a sucker of any form of arts, I’ve been impressed by the architecture.





READY… GET SET…. FOOD