Japan Diaries: Intro

Everyone has their own idea of their dream vacation. Mine just so happens to be Japan. And after several years of wishing that I could make that dream come true, it finally became reality when we got the opportunity to travel to three cities in Japan this year: Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo.

JAL screen

We traveled via the awesome Japan Airlines, which provided the level of service I have yet to see in our local airlines. From the hot towelettes provided at the start of flight, the pillows, blankets, earphones and more than a dozen options of in-flight entertainment, you wouldn’t even feel like you’re flying Economy!

Oh, and did I mention how big the legroom was?! I couldn’t be happier to have enough space to stretch my legs without bumping into the seat in front of me. Yay for tall people like me!

JAL in-flight meals

In-flight meals were also pretty good, although they were served quite early in the flight in my opinion. I couldn’t help but feel giddy all over when Haagen Dazs ice cream was served as dessert! ♥

Our entire trip lasted for 10 days and it was made convenient with the use of the JR Pass, which allowed us to use any train under the Japan Railway group including the shinkansen (bullet train), for unlimited number of times in a span of 7 days. Since we traveled from one city to another using the shinkansen AND used the subway and MTR so many times, I could safely say that we’ve made good use of the JR Pass even if it felt like it cost us an arm and a leg when we purchased them before the trip. 🙂

bus approaching station

There are many reasons why I love Japan. I love their food, their animation, their language, but one other thing I absolutely adore is how punctual they are in almost everything they do. This includes their public transportation system. I appreciated that most buses, trains and other modes of public transport have clean terminals where people queue at, peacefully waiting for their turn to get on whatever it is they’re lining up for. Despite the complicated train system in each city, the public transportation was so damn efficient, it made me so furious we have nothing close to it here in Manila. If we had such things here, it would seriously be so much more fun to take public transport and leave private cars at home.

Japan toilets

Another thing which you probably have heard about is their automated toilets. I didn’t think I would be amused with them before I went there, but after a while I noticed that these things can, and will, spoil the hell out of you with all the the functionalities it can do.

Village Kyoto toilet

Check this one out from a hotel we stayed in. This was just the basic one, as I’ve seen other toilets with more buttons and functionalities I could comprehend! Seriously, though, I was tempted to bring one of their toilets home and have it installed here. They even have a museum dedicated to these plumbing equipment.

vending machines 1

As strange as it may sound, I was also looking forward to seeing just how many vending machines they have in Japan. I realized they weren’t kidding when we saw how each corner had one or several machines to cater to your every whim. Here are some dispensing your usual cold and hot beverages…

vending machines 2

But if you’re craving for ice cream out of the blue, you bet you have a a vending machine there just for you. I hear there are even machines dispensing fresh bananas in vacuum sealed packs, but, sadly, I didn’t get to spot those. Maybe on my next visit! 😉

Anyway, this is just the beginning of my posts talking about this awesome trip. Keep an eye out on this blog as I show you the sights I’ve seen and the glorious food I’ve had on my trip, so that when you get to go to Japan, you’ll know what to look for. Stay tuned! ♥

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