I flew to Japan twice in April of last year. My first trip was to keep my friends company on a week–long trip around Tokyo, and the next one was me taking side trips near Tokyo plus a day in Hokkaido.
Yokohama was my first stop. I wanted to watch ONE OK ROCK play at Yokohama Stadium. I’ve always wanted to explore Yokohama, too, so for my third time in Tokyo I decided to finally head there. Sadly, I wasn’t able to buy a concert ticket so to spare myself further heartache I just avoided Yokohama stadium.
I loved Yokohama’s vibe; it’s cosmopolitan yet laidback and it’s artsy too. It’s a great trip to take when you’re in the Tokyo area since it’s just 1 – 2 hours away, depending on where in Tokyo you’re staying. Without further ado, here’s a bit of Yokohama in pictures:
interesting mural at the station
a view of Minato Mirai
Red Brick Warehouse which I found pretty cool
a closer look of Minato Mirai feat. the Landmark Tower and Cosmo Clock 21
Day 6 of our week–long stay in Tokyo was spent going around Tokyo Tower (although we didn’t go up), dropping by Odaiba, and then passing by Shibuya. The rest of the time was spent packing up and buying last-minute souvenirs since we would be flying home the following day. But anyway, here’s the day in pictures:
We headed towards Tokyo Tower via Daimon street. This is one of the interesting establishments in that area.
This is a photo, not a rendering^^
Stopped by Starbucks for breakfast, with Tokyo Tower in the background.
We entered the Zojoji compound where we got a good vantage point of Tokyo Tower
We boarded the unmanned Yurikaome monorail to get to Diver City. Best experienced from the front cabin 😉
The gundam was being taken down last year and wouldn’t be up until around September or so.
tulips in Diver City
For some reason this reminds me of Gundam 00
My friends all took turns having their picture taken beside Hachiko. Here’s a practice shot.
Before taking on the famed Shibuya crossing.
After our Disney weekend was a trip to Shinjuku Gyoen and Asakusa. But first was a stop at Shinjuku Bus Terminal to inquire about tickets going to Oshino Hakkai.
We ought to have reserved beforehand because the schedule we wanted was no longer available. So no trip to see Mt. Fuji up close + a chance to see a world heritage site.
Anyway, we pushed on to Shinjuku Gyoen which was more or less nearby. My friends wanted to go back to the apartment and rest (because we averaged about 20,000 steps a day for the past four days haha^^; ) but when we finally got to the garden, it was just breathtaking and worth it:
we were greeted by a sea of petals. lovely!
green vs. pink
up close, v1
up close and radiant
never mind the rain; we got to walk under falling sakura petals. just lovely.
one of the mini-gardens
probably my favorite shot in our stop
the sakura trees liven up the garden despite the gloomy weather
From Shinjuku Gyoen, we headed on to Asakusa by cab. The ride took about half an hour long but the time went somewhat smoothly because it was a good way to go sightseeing still and I had occasional conversations with the driver. I think I used up my Japanese by the time we arrived at Asakusa but nevertheless the cab ride let us have a much-needed rest. Btw, most of the cab drivers in Tokyo are grandpas but this one was a Daniel Wu look-alike in his early 50s.
I’ve been to Asakusa before, but here are my spring edition photos:
last few stores left open
Tokyo Sky Tree photobombing the temply
bonus! Ginza line, good both in color and b&w
My friends were able to buy souvenirs in Nakamise Doori and we enjoyed street food for dinner. Instead of ketchup, there’s lemon extract to pair with fried chicken.
Just two stops for day 5 but certainly satisfying.
Day 4 of our 7–day trip was a return to Disney Resort, but this time, at Disneysea. I was really looking forward to it because I’ve heard how better Disneysea was and all. And for me, Disneysea isn’t overrated at all.
Instead of a castle, Disneysea has a volcano at the center of the park, and it “erupts” at scheduled times. Be sure to hang around long enough to catch one. There were several people too who camped around the lake to save a good spot for the parade.
If you’re not after any of the rides, a good whole day is enough to enjoy the sights and sounds of the park.
he third day of our week–long trip didn’t feel like I thought spring was supposed to be. It was rainy and really windy. It wouldn’t stop us though from taking on Disneyland.
Getting lost in Tokyo Sky Tree almost did though, tbh. I just couldn’t find where the bus stop was. Eventually we did and on to Disneyland we went.
it was freezing when we got off the bus!
The entrance. After taking this shot, a family asked me to take their picture. I hope I didn’t mess it up^^;
We had gyoza and ramen at Ippudo for lunch
It was fun people-watching at Disney. As you can see, groups like to dress in themes.
Thought this was adorable so I took a quick shot. Brave kid is navigating the park.
Lines to the popcorn stands are always long.
Going western. Thankfully it cleared up mid-afternoon.
Entrance to the mini-river cruise
Disney Resort at sunset.
We stayed at the souvenir shop near the entrance while waiting for the bus. The trip would take us back to Tokyo Sky Tree, and dinner was at a Mosburger we saw down the road.
what a pretty tray of food :3 I had the MOS Cheese Burger French Fries Set
Melon Soda. A drink every anime fan ought to try at least once.
We saved time by buying entrance tickets online. You can buy about two months before your intended schedule. As for transportation, the buses going to and from Tokyo Sky Tree were really convenient and not crowded at all.
Day 4 would be another trip to the resort, this time at Disney Sea.
So, Day 1 is a quick stop at Ueno Park; in the second day of our week-long trip, we went to Tsukiji Fish Market, Imperial Palace gardens, and had dinner at Akihabara.
We got to the fish market shortly before lunch. We did have lunch and coffee, but no, we did not have sushi. I failed to find the line of stalls selling sweets, too. Of course, Tsukiji Fish Market does smell like fish (duh!), but it’s still a lot cleaner than how I remember the wet markets we used to frequent when I was a kid.
If we had enough energy, we would have definitely spent time falling in line at one of these stalls.
Checking out the menu
A row lined with souvenirs
Yup, still in the Tsukiji Fish Market complex
A quaint restaurant with a fresh fish head on display
Next stop is the Imperial Palace gardens. Whatever we had at Tsukiji we definitely burned on the way haha. Good thing we had a bag of strawberries to keep us fueled.
Probably the closest one could typically get on a regular day
One of the many picturesque views in the gardens
Enjoying the blossoms
waiting for the titans 😉
Our final stop was somewhere in Akihabara to meet our former officemates who also happened to be around the area. No pictures here because we were too hungry and we kinda looked haggard^^;
ah, the lively Akihabara
cheesecake for nightcap
I’ve always wanted to see this in person.
Hastily took a shot of Gundam Cafe’s entrance. I had to!
There was a lot of walking on this day but experiencing the places and feasting on the sights and sounds made all the walking worth it. Onwards to Day 3!
…and into another dimension^^
Taken at Kamakura, April 2017.
WPC: Out of This World
I joined my friends on their adventure to Tokyo April of last year because it would be their first time to travel DIY, and I tried getting a ticket for the 25th L’Anniversary, the weekend of which fell right smack in the middle of the schedule. I figured too that it would be my last chance to join them since I would migrate late last year. So, joining the party last, I made our itinerary and became the unofficial guide.
We landed at Narita Airport around lunch time so we had a meal first and then checked in to our house.
a view of the tarmac
Pikachu and I almost went matchy-matchy^^
thank God for escalators. that’s no camera angle; it is that steep o_o
I had my friends go through an ordeal, and I really felt bad about it–the station we alighted from only had stairs on the exit we were supposed to take. We eventually made it to the house and after getting some much-needed rest, we headed to Ueno Park.
a lively night at Ueno Park
o, cherry blossoms, you make me like pink
another view of Benten temple
We didn’t really sit on the park and have a picnic; we couldn’t even if we wanted to; but the brief time there was fun nonetheless.
A lovely view of the Tokyo Tower from Zojoji.
WPC: A Face in the Crowd
For Filipinos, the most popular overseas tourist destination is arguably HK or HK-Macau because these destinations are easily accessible to us. In my case though, I finally got to cross Macau and spend a day there just last year.
Macau isn’t really high on my must-see destinations, but hey, what’s the harm in exploring the place when you have the chance, right?
Well, I almost didn’t. I bought a ticket in advance since I was travelling on a Sunday and was anticipating huge passenger volume. I had trouble locating the China Ferry Terminal in HK’s Canton Road because (1) Canton Road is freaking long, (2) I’m terrible with directions and (3) when I finally got to the entrance, the signage was barely readable. But I made it just in time and an hour later, I was already at Macau’s Taipa Ferry Terminal.
Multi-storeys, plenty of stores, free wi-fi and with plenty of transportation options, I found Taipa Ferry Terminal very convenient and tourist-friendly. I took advantage of the free wi-fi to plan my route, especially since I just had an afternoon–a rainy afternoon–to go around.
Here are some shots of my quick stroll:
One thing I was really happy about my experience was that I didn’t spend a single centavo on transportation. There were plenty of hotel shuttles and you do not have to be a patron to board their bus. Most had free wifi, too. Transport being free was one less stress unloaded from me because like I said earlier, directions and I don’t really get along well haha^^;
Macau is not as accessible for me anymore, but when I do get the chance to go back, I would probably stay a couple of days to try the food and explore their world heritage sites to have a better feel of their culture.