Japanese “Viking”

(otherwise known as eat-all-you-can)

The joy of witnessing the transformation of trees from green to red and yellow and orange ♥

…and ah, the joy of eating at a legit Japanese buffet.

This place is actually relatively cheap, at only around 1800 yen per person (below 900 pesos), yet extremely satisfying! Despite the limited food choices—the Japanese are not as much of a glutton as we are—the fact that it’s an all you can eat resto made my tummy really happy. Plus, unlimited tempura… hello, that’s like the best thing ever!! I can live on tempura and rice alone (but die of heart complications after, lol).

My tummy is rumbling as I write this sentence. Flashback to this day, pls.

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The fastest bullet train in the world

We rode a Shinkansen from Osaka to Kyoto. It was super fast, like 15 minutes tops but maaan was it expensive! Kinda looks like a plane from the inside, doesn’t it… nahiya naman yung LRT natin. But oh well, more fun in the Philippines! (despite the heavy traffic, dangerous roads, hassle in commuting, inefficient public transpo systems, trash everywhere, you get it). Still, there’s always hope, you guys! Note: The second and third to the last photos were taken inside the Shin-Osaka station. There were a lot of restos and omiage (pasalubong) shops around, so you can go pasalubong-hunting if you some waiting time (and a hefty sum of yen) left.

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A sadou to remember

I entered this temple as a simple tea lover, a collector of herbs and blends, but I came out with a deeper respect and more profound appreciation for tea. If you’re familiar with sadou, then you probably know what I mean when I say that the whole affair is hypnotizing, every move gracefully executed. From the omanju or sweets to the drinking of matcha, I felt how Sen No Rikyu passionately developed each step in line with the Japanese principles of humility, discipline, and a sense of regard for nature.

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Today, we went to visit the Shrines along the Nanshuji temple,
the place where Japanese tea ceremony was born. 

We were lucky that my otousan’s cousin ran the place, so we got a tour and a priceless experience of sadou here.

And see, I got to wear a kimono, yay!

On a more embarrassing note, the whole tour was conducted in Japanese, so I was only able to get a few snippets of information from it. (nod a little here, pretend to understand, hai hai.) Such shame for a Japanese studies student. Sigh.

Scratch my drama, and enjoy the lovely photos of the temple. Cheers!

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Stocking-less on a faintly freezing football field

—one of the worst mistakes, ever.

After the boat tour we played futsal at the J-Green field, with our team as the victor, thanks to the guys from Indonesia and Cambodia!

I was a flop, unsurprisingly. I kicked the ball all over the place, steering it to the left when I wanted it to go right, passing to my opponents instead of my teammates, bumping against everyone; you get the point.

It was also the first time (and last) I got sweaty in pre-winter Japan, where my dream somehow came true—aircon feels wherever I go—except indoors, where heaters are used. But that setting made me feel weird ‘cos since the malls, trains, and buildings were all tepid, they reminded of the unpleasant feeling of being in a non-airconditioned room in the Philippines. We were wearing thick coats, mind you.

…but outdoors, oh god how I loved walking home along clean, paved roads in that sweet autumn breeze ♪

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The boat tour along Sakai City

Thanks to the woman in pink & her awesome bilingual skills, we were able to understand the history of Sakai City. She showed us a photo of how the canal used to look like, and trust me it was much worse than the Pasig river. But as you can see, the canal had been restored, clean water and all. See? Perhaps it isn’t too late for our dearest Ilog Pasig, after all.

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