TRAVEL: Japan Day 5


It’s our last day in Osaka and it makes me really sad to be leaving this place. But since we have an afternoon flight, we decided to have a free day. We didn’t really have any concrete plan.

First official business: Leave our hotel and drop our baggage so we can still roam around. It’s our first time to ride their cab! We never really did during our stay. We hopped from one place to another by using their trains.

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And we dropped our bags off. It’s a good thing Jude read this somewhere. We also saw this in Namba, in the underpass in the ‘malls’ / stores that you pass by going to the train but we felt it wasn’t that secured so we did some research. And we ended up here, just outside one of the train stations. (so it’s a plus)

Then we head to Dotonbori for Lunch. ❀ We decided to try some maki and sushi to fully experience authentic Japan. We picked Nigiri Chojiro, Conveyor Belt Sushi. It’s also one of the top restaurants in Yelp.

Ofcourse he had to order the set / sampler one. He says it’s really good and tasted fresh.

Me, on the otherhand ordered a which is also good. Nothing fancy, nothing special either. And we were also amazed how the order process go, since you order it from a computer. What’s more amazing is how much they trust their customers.

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Because we had Japanese for Lunch, of course I was not full. πŸ˜› Who would be? I only ordered Tuna Yakiniku! :/ Ergo, I was eager for some dessert!

We asked our friend, Yelp for some best desserts in Dotonbori and was glad we were just a block away and to our surprise, there was a LONG line for takeout. We went inside and they still had a sit down area on the second floor.

Rikuro Ojisan

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We had to wait for 10 minutes to be seated. The wait was okay. It was nice to wait in the stairway rather than on the streets because of the weather. πŸ˜›

When we were finally seated, we ordered their set which comes with 1 pastry and a coffee. (I forgot how much). We ordered one each since they have a minimum amount for you to be seated and dine.

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I don’t normally eat cheesecake but it was fine. Hubby liked it and I was able to finish my chocolate slice. We both had some coffee to go with our pastries.

Next Stop: Shisekai Area

On the way to Tsutenkaku Tower, we passed by a certain area similar to Dotonbori. I wanted to stroll and try different food stalls but he reminded me that we had limited time. :/

Tsutenkaku, a symbol of Osaka is 64 meters in height. It reminded citizens of the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris.

There’s a lot to see inside the tower. There’s no point going in one of the tallest buuilding if you won’t, at the very least look at the view from the highest point, right? So here we are, admiring the view from the top.

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They have a separate floor for a dining area and for souvenirs too.

But most importantly, we lined up to have a glimpse and touch Mr. Biliken.Β 

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We were told that Mr. Biliken bring luck and happiness to those who touches his legs! ❀ After a short trip to Shinsekai, we had to rush back to the airport to have some dinner before our flight.

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We had five days of Japanese food so by this time, I was craving for some Chinese, and Chinese it is! I absolutely love YANGCHOW rice. ❀ I can eat it everyday! We also had some hot shrimp salad. ❀

This is our last train ride back to the airport. Thank you so much, Japan! I fell in love. Now I know why everyone wants to keep coming back. ❀ ❀

TRAVEL TAGAYTAY: Nurture Wellness Village


I have been wanting to go here. Luckily, some of our good friends gave this as our wedding gift. ❀ We were greeted warmly by the receptionist and was offered welcome teas.

They also have this wood theme to their surroundings down to their furniture and displays. Reception area and their restaurant is open air so it’s windy. ❀

We tried the Glamping Package. Their Glamping Site is situated in their garden where you can also find the bonfire area. Inside the tent, you will find a queen size bed, 2 pillows, towel, a table and 2 chairs, and a dresser. It also includes a set of coffee / water station and a switch! (thank god)

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Thumbs Up: It’s air conditioned but it gets pretty chilly at night given the standard temperature in Tagaytay already.

Downside: The tent has no locks and you can practically hear the conversation of the tents nearby and you have a common restroom (about 20 steps away from the tents)

We also tried their Signature Massage. ❀

Massage comes with the usual washing of your feet and the nice thing that’s different with them was they include a hot/warm bag during the massage where they place them underneath your pillow in the stubborn areas such as lower back and shoulders. ❀

At night, we brought Ruffles, Maltesers and Wine – our usuals during a movie marathon.

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For Breakfast, there’s a stub that they give out during the registration. Service was a bit late. The breadsΒ  were served first with butter paired with lugaw.

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For the mains, they served sweet and sour fish, scrambled eggs and what seemed like kaldereta / afritada.

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I don’t know exactly why they would serve sweet and sour fish and afritada during breakfast. :/ I prefer longganisa, bacon, hotdog, ham or even local viands such as danggit or pusit or dilis. that’s why we both didn’t enjoy the breakfast. 😦

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Still, Thank you for the memories, Nurture and Wellness. ❀ and our Second Glamping Experience.

TRAVEL: Japan Day 4


For our fourth day in Japan, hubby got us another Klook Tour: Kyoto and Nara Day Tour! I’m excited to meet the deers since they always seem so friendly. ❀

Since we were joining a Group Tour from Klook, our Pick-up Location is in VIP Villa in Namba at 7:50 am.Β But the hubby wants to be on time, and when I say on time – it means an hour early. We were there by 7:00 am! And I guess other guests had the same thing in mind since several joiners were there already. (And I noticed that almost half of our group are Filipinos too. Haha)

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The drive from Namba to Kyoto was about 2 hours so even though we got up so early, we had time to take a nap. πŸ™‚ First Stop: Kinkaku-ji Temple. (or what they call Golden Temple) Entrance Fee is 400 yen. (but since we got this from Klook, it’s free already)

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The Golden Temple was previously a retirement home but became a Zen Temple. The top two floors are completely covered in Gold Leaf. AND, the temple has burned down several times already. Can you believe it?

I love how peaceful the whole place is. The temple is surrounded by a pond in the middle of a garden full of trees and plants. No wonder it used to be a retirement place.

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But before you get to the temple, you will pass by this house that used to be the living quarters of the head priest. See? It really is surrounded by lovely trees! especially in autumn. ❀

Next Stop: Kasuga Tai-sha

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This place is the most celebrated shrine in Nara and is dedicated to the deity responsible for the protection of the city. It is also one of the most sacred places since a lot of the Gods are enshrined in the place. On the way to this place, our tour guide taught us on how to honor the place: (as seen below, the husband is trying).

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Next: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

One of the most famous landmarks – the sky high bamboo groves are truly instagrammable. But unfortunately, we didn’t know that we needed to pay extra to go inside the road (at the back of hubby) to get a good picture. As I said, one of the most famous, thus it attracts CRAZY number of tourists!

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We don’t have a good photo to show you the giant bamboos that fill this place. BUT!!! Along side the road leading to it, there’s a LOT of food stands and stores on the road. So we managed to tryΒ  the following:

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Husband tried the Ichigo Daifuku – It is a Japanese confection, a mochi filled with bean paste, split into two and a fresh strawberry is placed within. The hubby liked it. ❀ I tried it too but I don’t really eat strawberries. Sooooo. . .

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I normally won’t go for Gyoza since I feel like the meat usually is dry. But this is good. ❀ The sauce is perfect, it was soft and the meat was not dry. Thumbs Up!

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I was pretty excited that there were ice creams in sight but as I looked closely to each store, they were all offering BAMBOO flavored desserts. I don’t eat Matcha and Green Tea so you know where my hesitations are coming from. BUT, I still wanted to try this Bamboo Flavored Soft Ice Cream –Β and it tastes exactly as matcha. :/ so the hubby finished it by himself.

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We also managed to try Grilled Crabs and Rice Cakes too. There’s a bunch of stores lined up in the streets and I’m a bit overwhelmed. We both wanted to try everything. πŸ˜›

Since we consumed most of our time binge-eating in the street, we decided to eat our late lunch in one of the restaurants in front of the parking, so we can see our bus. And obviously, we ate Tempura – the safest order. πŸ˜›

Another Stop: Fushimi Inari Taisha –Β It is famous for its thousands of Vermilion Torii Gates.

It is the most important shrines dedicated to Inari, the god of rice. Also, You have to be really patient – since there are so many tourists here too. You can never really get a shot with no one there to ruin the shot. πŸ˜›

Fun Fact: The thousand gates are donated by different individuals — and their names are written on the gates. One gate costs around 400,000 yen.

Our Last Stop: Nara Park

A very large park home to hundreds of deers. ❀

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Like I said, it is home to deers, roaming around freely. ❀ You can interact with them! Deer Crackers are sold at 100 yen for 10 crackers!! And it’s so fun! They are so tame and it seems like no matter how many tourists are there to feed them, they always seem to be hungry.

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The deers are said to be messenger of Gods. At first, I couldn’t decipher which of them are fawns or which of them are the older ones. But after some research, I read that their antlers are removed every October. (so that’s why!) – Antler Cutting Tradition – for safety reasons.

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Another fun fact: Deer Crackers are just wheat flour and rice bran. And all of the profits from the crackers are used for the sole purpose of protecting the deers.

Before we left for Nara, we also found a good spot:

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Going back, I think everyone went back at around 6:30 pm and we left by 7:00 pm. There’s also a store where you can buy your souvenirs even deer shaped chocolates too! ❀

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It’s been good, Nara and Kyoto. ❀ I cannot wait to go back and explore you more! We got back at around 8:30 pm and since it was late, we went to dinner straight.

Dinner at Matsusakagyu Yakiniku M (The restaurant is quite famous so they require reservations.)

A winner in the 2018 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards for restaurants, ranking number 1 in Japan, and number 5 in Asia.

We first heard about this place from a friend who is pretty well traveled. We were warned that it is quite pricey — and it is. I believe this is our most expensive meal in our entire stay in Japan.

We ordered the Matsusaka Tasting Platter for 3,000 Yen – 2 pieces for each type of beef. The Beef that’s included are Sirloin Steak, Kyukyoku and Haneshita.

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You will be the one to cook this on grill in front of you. We were taught to cook each side of the beef for at least 2 minutes for the perfect taste. You are also given different sauces to go with it.

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I LOVE MEAT. and I’m amazed how tender the beef is. ❀ it’s so flavorful. Although it’s not quite filling since we shared this, did not regret this as we really wanted to try one of the best in Osaka. ❀

And because we only shared 1 rice (you know how we Filipinos love our rice), the hubby still wanted to eat. We ended up trying Okonomiyaki. We were trying to find a particular place, famous for its Okonomiyaki but we failed.

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We ordered the Pork Okonomiyaki with Big Size Octopus for 550 Yen with Draft Beer at 430 Yen.

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I don’t really eat Okonomiyaki. But I tried it – hubby says it’s good. The size is huge too!

Okonomiyaki, when translated means ‘grilled as you like it’. It’s a Japanese Pancake with cabbage, flour, eggs and variety of meat.

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And that ends our Fourth Day! πŸ˜€ We are pretty productive, don’t you think? Sad to be leaving tomorrow. 😦