Is it wrong for a person to be completely in love with a country other than her own? Because if this is so, I am guilty a hundred times over.
There is still nothing quite like Japan. This photo diary marks my third visit to the land of the rising sun.
The window seat is a bit like a security blanket. It’s a head rest that never complains, and with a lift, it allows me a spectacular and ever-changing view outside and below the vehicle that miraculously transports me from place to place.
Although I have ridden many planes in my lifetime, flying is still a wonder and miracle that unfolds itself to me every time. I can never fathom how such a huge and heavy thing, such as a plane, can defy the rules of gravity and cut through clouds by flying. Every time I see a plane in the sky, I keep my eyes glued on to it for as long as I can, as if guiding it safely to its destination. I secretly whisper it well-wishes.
I rarely take shots from my window seat because most of the time, I’m either flying in the evening, or I’m already fast asleep before the plane takes off. But this is one of the rare times I actually paid attention on what’s below me. This was my view of Manila during the first 5 minutes of take-off.
And this was my view outside the express train from Narita to Tokyo. Though I may not understand, the characters look so beautiful against that verdant green.
Upon reaching Mejiro station where I booked our hotel, I chanced upon this adorable girl by the donut shop. Having no shame and zero concept of personal space, I quickly snapped some pictures.
Only Japan would make something cute enough to (almost) not eat. It amazes me how this culture of serious salarymen in suits dining alone in Yoshinoya is also the same culture that is so unabashedly supportive of things that are so childlike.
We were the last ones to disembark from the express train.
These Japanese apartments are so mysteriously alluring. Meticulously designed in perfect lines and grids, the only way to tell these units apart from a far is by the laundry that hangs on their railings. These boxy apartments always make me dream up of stories behind the people occupying these spaces. Are they recently married? Do they have kids? Do they drive or take the train to work? Are they lonely or struggling? Unhappy? I wonder.
I’m sorry, baby, for robbing you of your privacy in your infancy.
I am not sure why or how it’s even possible, but Japan is so darn photogenic. Every corner is beautiful, even in its chaos or clutter. This is Shinjuku.
Meiji Apollo chocolates. If you are familiar with the strawberry Apollos (pink and brown mountain-like chocolate pieces which we have in the Philippines), we found two other flavors! One is grape, and the other is strawberry with yogurt. So, so good.
Snapped this rather askew photo of Okadaya in Shinjuku while I passed it on the train.
This larger than life cheetah rug. I found this in a random interior store in Shinjuku, where we bought pillowcases to bring home.
These are greeting cards. Really.
I actually kind of lost it at the greeting cards section of Tokyu Hands. There were just so. many. wonderful. things. Sumo wrestler cards, pop-up cards, 3D cards, paper assemblages that transform into holographic space shuttles, and of course, these fantastic Disney villain cards in “couture”. They have the princesses, too.
It perplexes me how millions of people go in and out of trains for their daily commute, yet the floors, up to their farthest corners, are spotless and immaculate. It is also a rarity to find an actual trash bin in Japan, so you know that these people are just incredibly concerned and disciplined citizens ho probably shove their onigiri wrappers and used tissue in their pockets until they chance upon a bin. They will segregate it religiously, too.
Tokyu Hands – the mecca of all things I don’t need but so desperately want. 8 floors of everything you will ever want and need in life. 8 FLOORS.
Maybe it’s the narcissistic part of myself, but I always take pictures on convex mirrors. I pass by this one every time we walk back to our hotel.
Shinjuku girls, chilling by the very public (yet very clean) ledge.
A Japanese school boy, checking out the latest cellphone model. Chic hat, boy.
Mejiro station is so tiny, it only has one exit. Most times, alighting the train at morning or night feels so lonely because hardly anybody stops to get off there. But sometimes, at the end of a vey long and taxing day of carrying shopping bags and a collection of the day’s mineral water bottles, this kind of silence is all you really need. To recharge and recollect.
Day 1, over. 10 more to go :)