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Month: April 2019

Aika Meets Nao: My Tokyo Spring Experience (Part One)

Hi! Long time no write 😀 Last month, I went to visit Japan for the second time. So I’d just like to share our adventures with you, friends. A lot of things happened so I will be dividing the article to two (or three, or four, depending on what will my mood be) 🙂

DAY 1. Last April 13,in a typical hot summer morning, I left Manila for Tokyo, to finally meet Nao-chan. It was my second time to go there, but the excitement I felt remained the same—and so my nervousness. Thank God, my flight was a breeze and after my 4 hour journey, I finally met my dearest Nao-chan!

Haneda Airport was amazingly beautiful as always, decorated with Koinobori (a carp-shaped windsocks) reminding people that Children’s day is around the corner. Unfortunately, we didn’t stay at the airport for a long time since my condition was quite bad. In fact, I was hospitalized the day before my flight due to acid re flux. So we just went home soon. Ah, no! We dropped by in Akihabara, and guess what Nao-chan bought—it was Nintendo Labo! It got released the day before my arrival and he couldn’t miss the chance. Nao-chan’s shounen spirit was dominantly present at that time. hahaha!

Haneda Airport Spring

 

DAY 2. Nao-chan and I went to Shinjuku Gyoen to meet his dad 🙂  It was very lucky day for me since I could still see cherry blossoms!  I’ve never seen such a huge park like that! The park was packed with local and foreign visitors, but we didn’t feel very tired, thanks to the beautiful plants and amazing views. Nao’s dad told me a lot of interesting things about cherry blossoms and other plants, in Japanese. It was an intense Nihongo training! hahaha! Nao-chan got tired translating difficult sentences for me~ But despite the language barrier, I was delighted that we talked a lot. If only I could speak Japanese more fluently, we could talk a lot more, and Nao will never have a hard time! (So don’t worry, がんばるぞ!) We had lunch at a seafood Izakaya and got my first Negitoro bowl. とても美味しかった!Too bad I couldn’t drink beer at that time.
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We also went to one of our most favorite singer’s concert, Ayaka! It was held in Tokyo International Forum. It was my first time to watch a concert in Japan, and it felt different. At the concerts that I’ve been to, everyone was shouting and singing along—the crowd got really wild. But in Ayaka’s concert, the people were more calm, but the enjoying and amazing atmosphere was there. Nobody’s taking photos or footage (of course! it’s illegal) It was a great time, and really heart-moving, I even cried because it felt so surreal! Ayaka is such a great singer and performer. The band was awesome as well! The concert was held in Yurakucho area, near Tokyo Station so after the concert, we just enjoyed strolling around and passed through grandiose buildings.

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Tokyo Kokusai Forum

 

DAY 3. This is the most hectic day of all. We went to 4 places in one day! We took a relaxing bus ride to Urayasu, and dropped by for a while. Then we went to Daimon to visit Zoujouji and Shiba Kouen. Zoujouji Temple is a very special place for me. Nao-chan has taken a lot of photos of that temple and Tokyo Tower, ever since we met. We were not even a couple yet at that time.  So it was a shame that we didn’t go there on my first visit. We have always wanted to go there together, and finally, we did! 🙂 There’s a marvelous park nearby, Shiba Kouen. That’s also where Nao-chan eats lunch sometimes. It was a great feeling to sit where he usually takes a break. We could share the same view. 🙂 After Daimon, we headed to Harajuku. It was indeed a fashionable spot. A lot of young people dressed in whatever they wanted; avant-garde, high fashion, lolita, cosplay, ANYTHING! And even on a weekday, It was surprising to be in a jam-packed crowd in Harajuku. We ate a delicious crepe there which was good enough to energize us. Seeing different people became too much for me, but good thing there’s Meiji Jingu! I loved it because there were lots of trees. It felt like we’re outside of Tokyo already. After a long stroll, we had dinner and had a great time with Nao-chan’s friend in Shinjuku. That Izakaya is beyond awesome. It doesn’t only offer sumptuous food, but also a wonderful view of Tokyo’s night cityscape. It’s called Hokkaido, located at 53rd floor of Tokyo Opera City Building. Please visit there!

 

Bus ride to Urayasu
Bus ride to Urayasu

 

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Zoujouji Temple overlooking Tokyo Tower

 

Harajuku station
Harajuku station

 

Heavenly crepes in Harajuku. Nao-chan was too excited to eat these! 😀

 

Meiji Jingu
Nao-chan rules Meiji Jingu!

 

izakaya
We walked from Meiji Jingu to Shinjuku for almost about 20 minutes.       We were starving!

 

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The exhilarating view from Hokkaido Izakaya!

 

DAY 4. Our rest day, and I must say, the best day. 🙂 We didn’t go anywhere far, but I was able to ride a bicycle around the neighborhood. We played Nintendo Switch and I was able to cook something for Nao-chan. We also went to a community library and read some えほん, or picture books. We also assembled Nintendo Labo VR goggles. Assembling took more time than Nao-chan tried playing it. So funny! Having a glimpse of daily life in Japan, made me more excited about our future… 😀

 

DAY 5. Strolled around Shibuya. Just like Harajuku. the crowd was massive too! I could see lot of Kababayan travelers there 🙂 We went to a really nice family restaurant, Cafe Gusto カフェ⋆ガスト It’s famous among locals and there were almost no foreigners (except me). So perhaps it’s not yet exposed to foreign travelers yet.

shibuya crossing

shibuya

cafe gusto famires
We ordered Ramen and Cheesy Hamburger Steak.  美味しかったです!

 

I will be writing my 6th to 9th day adventures on the next post!

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