Well we’re back from a 2 month long blogging hiatus. ***Stretch***Yawn***Sigh*** It is really hard when sometimes you lack the words to express your thoughts or just the inspiration or energy to start typing. Hopefully this will jumpstart the rest of the year’s blogging activities.
For the first week of May, we have flown to the Philippines to get together with family. After 2 years, we were finally home. The people were very warm and so was the weather – too warm and humid for our desert-dry bodies. We had a 1-day retreat to my cousin’s farm in Tagaytay and it was a really relaxing getaway and only a few hours drive from Manila. Check out these photos, and if you decide to spend a few days here too, they rent out villas for you…this is their Facebook page
The main highlight from our 2 week trip was our Tokyo escapade. Tagging the kids and their grannies along, we headed to visit Tokyo Disneyland which was a treat for us too. Visiting Disneyland always brings out the children in us. Who wouldn’t remember their childhood days when they see Mickey or Donald in person? And Khloe?…she was hunting for princesses! Unfortunately, we didn’t prepare much for the chilly weather that met us there. So warm humid Manila and then windy chill Tokyo equals colds and flu.
First stop was the Disney Sea. This is a very picturesque place. Shame we had to retire early because we were not dressed for the cold.
Disney will always be magical! The next day, we checked out of Disneyland Hotel and checked in Disney Ambassador hotel and visited Disneyland. Tokyo Disneyland was much like Hong Kong Disneyland except that the best part for me was the light parade. We didn’t see this one when we went to Hong Kong Disneyland 6 years ago.
After 2 days in Tokyo Disneyland, we went to downtown Tokyo and stayed in Citadines Shinjuku. It was a really nice hotel with staff that speaks English (most places don’t have English speaking staff so better brush up with your Nihonggo). It was near the metro and had Seven-Eleven and a few other groceries nearby. Cooking dinner in the hotel helped us save a lot of money. We just ate at the local restaurants for lunch which helped us get a taste of Tokyo.
Japanese loves their anime and most packaging and signs either include a cartoon drawing or had fun cartoon fonts. We strolled downtown and window shopped Harajuku and Takeshita Street. Before that, we went and visited the Meiji Shrine. Unfortunately, we were late to see the blooms.
The next day, we went to Asakusa where you can buy Japanese souvenirs and take these photos! 🙂 And on our final night, we toured Shibuya’s shopping district and got a second hand LV for mom.
Travel blogs that do not have tips aren’t helpful so here are a few things we learned from our trip
1. Staying in Tokyo is expensive…staying in Disney Hotels more. Get ready to splurge while in Disney. The Disney Ambassador Hotel was most convenient for us as there is a mall adjacent where you have a lot options to choose from
2. Take the metro to save money. Most tourist-y places in Tokyo are accessible by metro
3. To shop for Japanese fashion, checkout Harajuku and Takeshita Street. Sunday is a busy on these streets
4. Asakusa street is where you will get great souvenirs for your loved ones. You can haggle at some shops but most of them have fixed prices maybe unless you purchase in bulk
5. I love their sidewalks because they are wide enough to accommodate a bunch of us walking side by side. They are wide because most of the Japanese are eco-friendly and they like riding their bicycles. The streets are clean too even you do not see trash cans almost anywhere.
6. Keep to the left (or to the right?). Even for pedestrians, Japanese follow lanes on sidewalks, stairs, malls, etc. I really admire their discipline
7. My favorite is the Japanese toilet! I love how you just press the buttons and everything is automatic. The bottom was spoiled. And most toilets don’t have tissues because again, they are eco-friendly and do not want you to waste all those toilet paper. Use the dryer!
Well that summarizes our 2 week getaway. It was fun and short-lived. Hope this post was helpful.
When we came back, you just can’t imagine the workload that was facing us so please excuse us if we haven’t blogged for some time. For the meantime, sayonara!