Kanto JPN Day 5: Saved by Filipino English

11/21/2018

This was the day that we’d experience the bigger and biggest cities of The Land of the Rising Sun. So today was also the day we “cashed out” that 7-day JR Pass, the epitome symbol of being a tourist in Japan. 😂

But first coffee before leaving Osaka. Something I noticed in Japan is that there are a lot of female baristas. Probably, 70% of the coffee places I’d been to, the baristas were women! Cool!

About the taste / scene of coffee in Japan, it’s like a political debate to me which I kinda don’t want to touch! Chos!

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Exes Baggage. We had 2 big luggage trolleys, and 1 hand-carry sized trolley. Too much luggage but it’s because Mark John, he got to have a back-up of the back-up of the back-up. 🤷🏽‍♀️

One of the luggage, we left at the Inn in Osaka because we’re coming back to Osaka. The other one, we had it couriered. It’s a service Mark was really fascinated, and so used it even if I think it’s unnecessary. But it’s really convenient fosho!

This luggage forwarder has a cat logo. So inevitably Japanese! 🙂 (This just gave me an idea that if I want to make a business to attract Japanese, my logo will be cats!)

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Fashion.

Japanese

Japanese… tourist!

and my GITOOK (strangled) Fashion. Anything to survive from the coldness.

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Bullet train. Let me just call it bullet train because shinchansin is too much to spell and speak. 🙂

The thing I love most about the bullet train is the leg room. Being used to budget airlines, the leg room is just so generous.

But it’s making me light-headed, like my brain felt like it’s suspended in the air.

Landing in Yokohama, where will be staying because too poor for Tokyo, I was shocked looking at the throng of people in the station. I thought Osaka station had too many people but Yokohama was 4x; I could not just imagine how it’s gonna be in Tokyo!

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So finally into our first meal in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Kanto Region. As a habit, I would just open foursquare for recommendations!

And just 250M from our Hotel was a 8.sthing ramen place! Wow! I love Yokohama!!! (I guess it has a lot to do that we stayed nearby the main Yokohama station so there were streets and alleys of food stalls or shopping streets as how’d they call it. It’s like we’re in the middle of downtown Colon!)

Until…

WHAT IS THAT???

Excited for the 8.sthing rated Ramen shop, I dashed inside the place before seats would be taken but I was signalled by the Ramen staff to go out and get meal tickets first….

It was really my first encounter with that “meal ticket” machine, and it did not help that it was in Japanese, and there were no photos!

But this is 8.sthing rated on foursquare, I got to figure this out. Though, it’s kinda “sabotable” that the first 2 top most buttons must be the main options. Thankfully, an English-speaking Japanese was lining next to me and helped me figured it out! 🙂

We chitchatted with him, and he told us that he studied English in Baguio, and stayed for awhile in Bacolod.

So thank God for Filipino English for this ramen!

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Insert other photos. We went up to Tokyo!!! 🙂

We passed through Shibuya crossing. And I was not disappointed with the number of people. It was how it was from photos on the internet. 😂

Owkei, let’s move on fast. Probably 250 meters away from crossing, and there were way too much less people. It made me think that the people crossing Shibuya crossing were paid “actors” to make it a “tourist attraction.”

We went to Line Store for the BTS merchants for the daughter…

Meet up with the almost Japanese-residents Garcias…

The prettiest train station I came across…

And my notes for the train stations… So HELPFUL! 😂😂😂

Kansai Day 4: Honeymoon Over

11/20/2018

When going to a new place, I usually expect myself to get a bit of a grasp of the place on 3rd day like the basics know-how of transportation, where to get “daily konsumo (consumption),” how an area is mapped out (like where is the hip place, the touristy place, the daily life boring places). But at this day, I’m still groping. I saw the touristy places but I badly need the area of the “boring daily life places” of where residents get their basic needs fulfilled.”

All I figured out was Uniqlo and 711. It got me impatient. It’s not Japan’s fault but I got frustrated disappointed that after all the ninja and master craftsman I read about Japan, it’s just one big Uniqlo and 711.

No, it cannot be!!!

(All we had in the nearby area at the place we’re staying was an Indian resto, a Vietnamese resto, a soba resto where there’s always a line, and a huge swanky 711. My options were either a P800/meal (resto) or P250/meal (711). Where can I get something in between? (I honestly do not know what is the price of meal for an “average” person in Japan but I’d feel lucky if I could get in the range of p500-700/person that is not 711 in Osaka.))

The 711 is something I had a hard time understanding in Japan. It’s not the first time we met convenience store but it’s just weird to see it as something very part of their culture???Could we ever survive Japan without 711??

Anyhow, enough of my whining. I could not be sulking all day because I could not find an equivalent of our carenderia.

On to some victory, my first train ride alone in Japan happened this day. I find bus systems easier to understand but I had not much choice but to go for trains in Japan. The thought of going to the subways already scares me, like could I ever get out of it alive?? Char!

My goal was to go to as many yarn shops in the 5km range.

I saw the prettiest yarn shop I came across in my crochet life.

I came across a strip of food shops, which I thought was probably the equivalent of “carenderia” I was looking for!

I had to screenshot the google map of the location for reference for our next meal. (If you’re first time in Osaka, here’s a protip.)

Department stores and malls are something unavoidable in Japan. I always find myself ending up in a mall. Maybe because of my itinerary but I always came across them. And, I thought mall culture is only a Filipino thing? Anyhow, what’s the few years we’re under them, right?

This was in Umeda area, where the Osaka station is located. A major train station is definitely surrounded with malls with a lot of basements, which was so difficult for me to understand especially when I’m spatially-challenged. It’s so hard to understand the different basement levels from Google maps not to mention that their malls have south / north / east / west hugeeee areas.

But something I learned, the basements of malls are food haven.

Anyhow, I found 2 out 3 yarn shops inside the mall! I was not that bad!Who would have thought there’s a yarn shop down there?

Owkei, annoyance went down to level 0.05! 🙂