Realizations of a First Timer (#WhyILoveJapan)


  1. I was the only one in my family/in the group I’m traveling with without a single stamp on my passport.IMG_20160830_093827
  2. Traveling makes my heart grow bigger. Always!
  3. Pinoys are much more disciplined when abroad.
  4. I can travel without so much baggage (no pun intended)! It was my first time to do so and it was heaven! IMG_20160829_110614
  5. I have never bowed so much as I have in the past 4 days. I grew accustomed to this practice, together with the phrase “Arigatou Gozai—-” (-it’s too long, I almost always just finish up to Gozai, so my sister would tell me to just say “Doumo” instead) I even bowed to thank the cab driver who had to stop outright, just for us to cross the street.
  6. In relation to #4, Japanese drivers are extremely cautious and give so much priority to pedestrians.
  7. I almost forgot that Japanese elderly people work past retirement age, so it was hard for me to see them working, especially those in customer service and maintenance. I even saw one carefully scouring shoe marks on the floor by hand, in Yodobashi. And yes, you read that right, shoe marks. I guess, this is how it really is in first-world countries? IMG_20160829_075037
  8. There aren’t a lot of Pinoys in Japan, at least not as many as I have expected. My parents were always talking about how there are so many Pinoys working in HK Disneyland, but we never saw one in Tokyo, so it always made me smile when I accidentally heard a couple of Pinoys talk to each other in Filipino in random places in Tokyo.
  9. Japanese trains and subways are not as confusing as I have expected, but it would have been without the help of our handy dandy Metro App.
  10. Japanese trains have seat cushions, not smelly and arrive and leave on time, which led me to ponder upon the money that should have been invested in better transit systems in our country. Also made me think how corrupt and shameless our government officials are. LRM_EXPORT_20160827_132018
  11. It’s so safe to walk around Tokyo even late at night, so we didn’t have a problem collecting (yes collecting talaga!) drinks from vending machines and scouting for a Ramen place. LRM_EXPORT_20160827_224836
  12. Speaking of vending machines, I love them!!!! They’re found literally everywhere in Tokyo, even inside some of the trains!
  13. I can’t explain how much I loved Japanese food even more after the trip. I was always scared of eating raw food other than sashimi, but not anymore! 🙂 LRM_EXPORT_20160828_232617
  14. Tourist spots that are less crowded, quiet and peaceful, more homey and laid back are what I loved the most: a.k.a Meiji Shrine, Nezu Shrine and the surrounding neighborhood (see first photo) and Bunkyo, where we stayed for 3 days! I even loved Yushima station in Bunkyo because of how quiet and less busy it always was, day or night! Ganun siguro talaga pag tumatanda na. Chos!IMG_20160830_123351
  15. It helps to learn some helpful Japanese phrases and I got giddy and nervous everytime I blurted out “Sumimasen” “Arigatou Gozaimasu” and “Gomen Nasai” for fear that I might mispronounce them. I didn’t want them to think I’m trying too hard either, but like one guy said on a forum, tourists would always stand out, no matter how hard they try to fit in, but it makes a good impression that you’re making an effort to learn their language and their customs.
  16. Speaking of customs, they have tons of them, so we made sure we didn’t use our chopsticks the wrong way (who knew there are so many ways you can commit a mistake with just 2 sticks?) and we made sure we followed the rules as much as we could.
  17. I thought I’d never find a Catholic church in Tokyo, but there are lots of them, with some even holding masses in Filipino!
  18. Japanese people in customer service are very polite, very helpful and kind in so many levels.IMG_20160827_105057
  19. I love sleeping on Japanese futons!LRM_EXPORT_20160829_004229
  20. I realized I peed on a Japanese squat toilet the wrong way, or at least at the wrong side twice!
  21. I realized I still love toys after entering Japanese anime and toy stores!
  22. Littlest things such as the catchy songs around Disneyland and the final song during the Nightfall Glow Parade easily made me cry,probably because of the certain feel the parade itself evokes. Apparently, it’s a back up parade for when the weather is bad. Here’s a video I found on Youtube! Still makes me cry. I’d definitely listen to this every night from this day on!
  23. I love kids so much and the hilarious stuff they say! There’s this Fil-Jap kid on our plane back home and he was so cute and square & straight. Everything he said made the whole waiting area laugh. When he came out of the restroom, he was complaining about how their group left him and his dad. He also shamelessly talked about how big his poop was. Hilarious kid. When we were boarding, he was asking his dad to move faster saying, “Papa dalian mo, iiwanan na naman nila tayo!” Imagine a chinky-eyed, rosy-cheeked boy boarding alone and was so frank and outspoken, speaking in straight Filipino. Reminded me so much of Miho‘s (PBB winner) daughter. 🙂

    that’s the kid behind us and his family at the end of the hall, if you could still see them
  24. I realized I could never get enough of Japan and I would definitely go back. There’s still so much to see in Tokyo alone, and even more outside. I would definitely be back for Osaka and HP world, Nagano and its beautiful mountains, Mt. Fuji and Mt. Takao, the Ryokan town, Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima and a hundred others, the FOOOOOOOOD, make up and skin care, FILMS and more FILM CAMERAS and a whole lot more! Being a first world country in Asia, I easily felt culture shocked, but in time easily got used to it, as long as I’m willing to comply and I should.
  25. Lastly, I realized how truly endless the possibilities are with God. He is the most loving, generous and merciful father and with faith in Him, nothing is impossible. Because He is such a kind God and all His creations were created in His image and likeness, all of us possess goodness inside of us. When they say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I guess that also applies to God being our Father and us being His children and so I know that my parents’ generosity not only to us but to those who work for them, came ultimately from God Himself. In turn, they too have imparted God’s generosity to my younger siblings and I and it isn’t quite surprising to see how unconditionally giving they are especially now. It was a miracle that I was able to go on this trip and that miracle wouldn’t have been possible without God and the help of my family, a.k.a., my sponsors. 🙂 For that, I am truly grateful! ARIGATOU GOZAIMASU! IMG_20160830_133040LRM_EXPORT_20160828_055441