Tokyo // Tokyo Disneyland

Nothing says save the best for the last like Tokyo Disneyland at the very end of our itinerary. What a great idea it was! That is a fact until we realized a lesson we learned from our Universal Studios experience: Asian theme park queues are always long! But this is Disneyland we were talking about, and beside it is like, Disney Sea, so what’s the fuss? Well either way I was still stoked, because this is the third Disneyland I visited! (Previous two were in Hong Kong and Anaheim.)

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Tokyo // The Holy Tokyo Trinity

After a few days, we finally made it to Tokyo! Stepping foot in the capital prefecture. But at the same time, I felt like I was finally feeling the hype around it. It’s one thing to look envy Japan photos on Instagram. It’s another to walk the crossing, see Mario Karts in your commute, and see Piko Taro as a face mask. So, we explored the holy Tokyo trinity: Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Shibuya.

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Osaka // Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum

2016 // 12 // 26

Only 5 hours of sleep on Christmas night. No wonder Sofia Coppola made a movie about this country with the word “lost” in the title. I understood that clearly after just our first day. But honestly, in a country like this, I wouldn’t entirely mind. Maybe it’s because I had a basic grasp of the language–enough to get around with basic social interactions. Or probably because of how disciplined they are as a whole, and how safe I felt here.

And on the 26th, the vacation formally begins.

After our grooming rituals, our travel group went down to McDonald’s for breakfast. Strangely, that Makku (what they call it in Japan) had no English menu. That was weird, but okay. Like what I did with the ramen place in Dotonbori, I chose whatever looked like an Egg McMuffin. Turns out, it was bacon and egg. Not bad.

When we were done, we walked out only for the rain to greet us. The area wasn’t covered, so some spots had rain pouring. Good news: I brought an umbrella in my luggage. Bad news: I, a genius, left it in my hotel room. I knew it would rain during our trip, but didn’t know it was that day. I still marched on in my coat, beret, and Doc Martens.

Rainy days dampen the motivation of photographers. But when you’re in Japan, FFS, forget about that. I thought of it as a challenge. Hues change according to weather and time of the day. What is ugly at day is likely beautiful at night. Or what seems meh under the sun stands out in the gloom.

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HOLIDAY GETAWAY: Tagaytay // SkyRanch

This is the second part of my Holiday Getaway travel blog this weekend. For the first part, you can read my entry about Taal Vista Hotel.

Like Taal Vista Hotel, we were no strangers to the amusement park called Sky Ranch. If you’re not a lazy bum, you can reach the park through the long walking distance. It’s not that far away from the hotel. Perhaps, it’s the nearest leisure area that’s not as small as the Play Palace from the McDonald’s across the hotel or as “adult” as the Casino Filipino behind the fast food chain. Sky Ranch welcomes everyone of all ages.

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HOLIDAY GETAWAY: Tagaytay // Taal Vista Hotel

Long weekends are a rarity this year. Most holidays in 2016 fell under weekends, so boo, that made 2016 such a year! But that didn’t mean we can’t catch a break every now and then, noh? But honestly, holidays falling on Wednesdays felt off. Is it really a vacation if you reset to normal immediately?

But my family took this chance to bond with relatives from the US who came over for my cousin’s wedding. Even with the short time we had this holiday, we toured them around Tagaytay. Its breezy climate and proximity to Manila make it the perfect day tour / road trip getaway. We took my uncle and aunt to Tagaytay and checked in to the scenic Taal Vista Hotel.

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