Monthly Archives: December 2013
On the second day, we were taught how to count in Japanese. One thing that I like best about the tour is going outside Tokyo (passing two prefectures like Yamanashi and Shizuoka). Good, good. Here, counting in Japanese is EASY since it was simplified towards foreigners. Seems like I’m going back to elementary–kidding. xD
Here’s Tokugawa Ieyasu. He’s the one who started the Edo period in Japan. No wonder, Japanese people living in Tokyo owe him for making Tokyo as the current capital of Japan.
FUJI-YAMA! In other words, this is Mt. Fuji–but textbooks will insist that it’s Fuji-san (-san is the On’yomi term for mountain, while “yama” is the Kun’yomi term).
Our tour guide Kana-san explained how it is to get into the Edo palace. Whoa… Hakone is actually the checkpoint where you will be inspected whether you’re a wife of a shogun or not (as far as I recall…). So far, if you’re going to Edo during those feudal times, everyone should pass through the Hakone checkpoint to see whether a woman is the wife of a shogun or a warlord.
Mt. Fuji in photographs (well, this is officially my photographs). So far, these are my shots–again, using the Canon EOS 60D with the EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. The PictureStyle I used is the velvia 50 downloaded from the Internet and I simply installed the said PStyle into the camera itself. Notice that Mt. Fuji here is rather blue in color prolly because of the white balance, but the autumn leaves remained consistent.
This is the come-come cat, or in Japanese, Maneki Neko. Its purpose is to welcome customers in restaurants… and bring good luck, I guess?
We simply rode a cable car just to have a cruise at Lake Ashi (maybe?). The strong smell of sulfur reminds me of those hot springs, am I right? Nevertheless this is a much better experience compared when going to any other place that does not even give us the strong smell of sulfur.
Well, our cruise in Lake Ashi isn’t really that special, but hey, that was a great ride! Something that I should experience once I step into the Yangtze river.
Well, there’s a photodump (via iPhone 5) about my trip to Seoul and Tokyo!
Well, because of the 15 likes about my blog post on Tokyo, Japan, this made me very proud as a blogger. Well, it can’t be helped, Japan is like my second home already (to think that I only have a few acquaintances there), and speaking of the trip, it just took long for me to post this. It’s a good thing that everyone still liked my post despite the fact that I only posted a few photos (meh, my lappie is too slow to load the pics haha!).
Anyways, maido ookiini gozaimashita (Kansai version of “thank you” in Japanese)! *BOWS at 45 degrees*
Welcome to the costliest city in the world! That’s right, folks! Tokyo is best-known to be the most expensive city in the world… but how is it affordable, compared to Europe?
Roppongi is basically a district in Tokyo (situated in err… Minato ward) which resembles the 5th Avenue of New York City plus Beverly Hills (thus the coined term Roppongi Hills). This in indeed, the Japanese version of Bonifacio Heights (Bonifacio Global City)–only a larger version. Sadly, unlike Tokyo Prefecture, Metro Manila is only a posh metropolis at its center (Taguig, Makati, Mandaluyong aaaaaaand San Juan). However, I still consider the central part of NCR much more affordable as compared to Tokyo as a whole (highly-urbanized areas are quite costly).
Whoa! My best buddy said that this route is too familiar… yes! It’s a Gran Turismo route (but hell… I don’t play that video game, sarreh). But what I’m pertaining to is the Shibuya Ward (yes, where the biggest pedestrian crossing is located). Too bad, we didn’t explore the whole of Tokyo that much (well DUH! It’s too freaking big!)… but never mind.
So, our tour guide showed us Emperor Meiji’s photo and explained how he modernized Japan. As a matter of fact, he’s the Japanese contemporary version of King Sejong the Great. Well, if you’re going to ask me, I am not going to compare both Sejong Daewong and Emperor Meiji since the two of them did anything to improve their country through their policies. I guess we need more leaders who are like them. Also, I think that the Emperor is well-respected by today’s Japanese people, and they owe him a debt of gratitude.
Despite Japan’s custom to be very early and on time, it is indeed, an economic latecomer since it only started to apply all of Emperor Meiji’s policies–thus, making Japan a very industrialized country. At least, Japanese people learn from their mistakes, and their culture is more on, “If there is no room for error, there is always room for improvement.”
I didn’t realize that there is a BMW shop… but how costly would be the car if someone living in Tokyo buys one?
So here we are inside the Meiji Shrine. It seems that there are lots of sake barrels… since the late former Emperor was a wine connoisseur.
Above shows a collection of photographs while in the Central Park.
Above photos now show that Japan is the place for weird people! Even though that Japan’s best-known to be a conformist society, they express themselves out of their own uniqueness.
Above photos show ASAKUSA–or the traditional district of Japan. Here, people preserve the culture of whatever’s traditional Japanese.
My second time in Japan and first time in Tokyo makes me think that I want to stay and live in Japan forever… but since I’m too… you know, like not very confident to communicate with the locals, I just thought that living in Osaka would be better. Tokyo is too big, too scary and somehow… too vibrant. But anyways, I think that the Tokyo experience would not be complete without the presence of Hiroki-san!
This was our first day of tour in Tokyo, Japan. By essence, this was so far the best trip ever! In other words, this is one great experience that you won’t ever experience in such places like Hong Kong or even the U.S. of A (JOKE!).
Anyways, one reason why Japan for me has no vibe of “Parang Pilipinas lang.” In other words, they’re really have this certain pride that is genuine, and they have this attitude of being true to themselves without losing face. Overall, this is the best place for me to study since the crime rate here is VERY low. You could expose your smartphone here while taking photos. Also, gadgets here in Japan are TOYS, but some use it as career TOOLS for the future.
In other words, they CREATE the future. I believe that even though Japan is a homogenous nation, it is very open-minded and tolerant when it comes to individuality. Walang basagan ng trip, so to speak. Even though it’s deemed to be sexist, it has an egalitarian society, meaning to say that they shun discrimination.
Ahahaha… I was very much worried about going to Japan. As a matter of fact, I was wondering why the HELL I have two tourist visas, to think it’s a multiple-entry Japanese visa. ‘Yun pala, nagkamali!
Well, since Japanese people are afraid of making mistakes, I think when they commit mistakes, they easily learn from them. The GOOD WAY to learn is to learn from your mistakes. No wonder, Toyota President Akio Toyoda-sama was very apologetic for a accidents which involved Toyota cars.
But it’s a good thing that the Immigration Officer still managed to accept the visa and let me enter (Dōmo arigatō gozaimashita, yakuin-san!). Actually, both Korean and Japanese immigration officers are friendlier and more professional, as compared to the Filipino ones (sad much). >: NAIA Terminal 1 Immigration Officers are friendlier than in NAIA Terminal 2. Oh well, that is just me!
There’s a PART TWO of this one! Stay tuned! Gomen nasai, I just posted this one late na! xD
Official Name: Republic of Korea/Daehan Minguk
Language: Korean (Hangungeo)
Currency: Korean Won
Type of Government: Republic
Head of State: Park Geun-hye
TV System: NTSC
AC Outlet: Europlug (Type-C), main outlet is Type F (Schuko Europlug, in other words, the German Europlug)
Traffic Type: Right-hand traffic (Left-hand drive)
– There is a machine where you could place your brolly on a plastic wrapper! (Oops, sorry if I did not took a pic of it)
– Contrary to popular belief, despite its cost of living, South Korea (particularly Seoul) offers lower goods prices.
– Seoulites are very friendly people. Well, if you think some Koreans you’ve met are rude, that’s because they either drop their values once they live in another country OR they simply learn from their mistakes. But either way, I think that they’re the classiest people I’ve ever met. They’re apologetic as well!
– Koreans speak English, though most of them speak it in an almost-fluent level.
– FREE WIFI everywhere!
– Tourist Policemen exists. Yes, that’s right! There are a lot of them roaming around the most famous shopping districts… and almost everywhere in Seoul.
– The police in Seoul will always roam around by partner.
– Seoul isn’t the only independent city surrounded by a province (Gyeonggi-do). Other cities are Busan, Incheon, Ulsan, Gwangju, Daegu and Daejeon.
– Seoul has MANY signs written in different languages: English, Japanese and Chinese. This means that Seoul is opening up itself as a tourist-friendly city. Many Japanese and Chinese tourists visit Seoul for err… more affordable prices (imagine Japanese people have easier access to communicate in Seoul).
– Well, no offense but in DLSU, Koreans have more class and breeding than the Chinese mainlanders.
– Err… Seoul is basically more Wi-Fi friendly than cellular friendly unlike Japan. In other words, Internet in Seoul has no, no, NO censorship! Swear!
– Multiple citizenship has finally been legalized–in other words, any Korean person is now allowed to retain their Korean nationality even though they’re willing to acquire another citizenship (Great news to Korean expats in the Philippines who speak fluent Filipino).
– There is a special day called, Korean Alphabet Day. People owe King Sejong the Great for creating an alphabet suited for Hangugeo.
There are LOTS of shops where you could buy K-Pop items, even PSY socks! Oh, well! There’s lots more things in Seoul that you might like! K-Poppers, South Korea is a MUST-VISIT!
Best tourist attractions
The Gyeongbokgung Palace may be the most visitable place, but take note that more and more people prefer to visit the Demilitarized Zone.
Rain (Bi) – K-Pop superstar
Jay Park – Korean-American rapper and former member of 2PM
Song Il-gook – actor, son of actress-politician Kim Eul-dong
Lee Young-ae – actress, often labelled as the “Oxygen Lady”
Jang Na-ra – actress, best known for starring as the lead character in “Bright Girl,” the first Korean drama to air in the Philippines just before the hallyu boom.
Shim Min-a – hitmaker and dancer, best known for the popular pre-Hallyu song, “Answer the Phone.”
Lee Minho – actor, best known for being Jun-pyo in “Boys Over Flowers.”
Lee Hyori – hitmaker, pop singer
Song Hye Kyo – actress, best known as the “perfect face” of Korean entertainment.
Well, no need to mention the K-Pop bands since I ain’t a fan of K-Pop, either.
This was a photoshoot from… well, I forgot what district that is, but anyways, to Korean people who have witnessed this photoshoot, please enlighten me (This is Myungdong, right?)!
Well, this girl is very lovely… thinking that she possesses sharp features.
To my Korean buddies, you don’t need plastic surgery to make yourself more attractive. She (the gal) sets an example for people who are aspiring to become models.
The best season to visit Seoul is actually on AUTUMN/FALL. Notice the red leaves before winter comes? That means that Seoul is bringing provincial vibes despite its urbanization. At least, Seoul is urbanized without sacrificing nature. But expect the harsh… Siberian cold. The weather’s quite harsh, but not as intense like Beijing or the rest of California (or prolly Toronto).
So we visited the Changdeokgung palace (sorry if I didn’t post much of the Gyeongbokgung Palace, but no worries)… which is actually a better-looking palace than the Gyeongbokgung. I ain’t kidding, either–the Gyeongbok palace has a more traditional-conservative vibe–while the Changdeokgung has a more relaxing and harmonious vibe.
There are so many autumn leaves to see, and the Changdeokgung is really harmonious. Oh, anyways, I will just post the rest of the photos in the photography blog.
Lastly, we met King Sejong (free day). Yes, he’s really one of my favorites in Korean history, that’s why I really had a great time taking close-up photos of his statue. Well, that’s all for now. I really liked our Korean trip.
Seoul is practically a vibrant city–it has provincial vibes and at the same time it is modern with the fact that its road are very wide, and drivers there are really driving fast! But that’s not all, Korean people are very polite and friendly, as opposed to people’s impressions. Maybe it’s because once they stepped into the Philippines, they might abandon their values!
But forget about it. Let’s just start the story.
My trip to Seoul has changed my impressions towards Korean people. Actually, I really find them very nice people, until I found out the blog of Roxysiferox… where she said that Korea has a backwards society. But surprisingly, Koreans have this culture of being laid-back and at the same time progressive at the same time. While they are being progressive, they cannot help but to preserve their values and traditions, and that is one thing that I like best about South Korea.
Seoul is basically a city which is actually FAR BETTER than Beijing and Hong Kong combined. Take note that Seoul’s traffic system has more rigid discipline, kaya if you’re a pedestrian, expect that Korean will give way for you to pass. It is actually a HUGE, MASSIVE city that does not look like a concrete jungle. In other words, it is better than Hong Kong, speaking of its size–and better than Beijing, speaking of cleanliness and orderliness.
People in Seoul speak English, though not very fluent. No wonder, it’s easier to communicate in Seoul, and guess what? Seoulites could speak English better than Beijingers–only the privileged in Beijing speak English (Zhang Jingchu, Zhang Ziyi and Han Wenwen) in a very efficient manner. Also, people in Seoul are very accommodating and they’re not as assertive compared to the Chinese.
So we visited the Gyeongbokgung Palace. Anyways, the architecture’s too conservative to get started with, but never under-estimate this heritage site. It is one of the greatest palaces (the Great 5) of the Chosun dynasty. If you’re going to wonder why it is the most popular, it is because there is this Changing of the Guards ceremony wherein the guards will change. I thought, it was “Changing of the Gods.”
Anyways, there’s a part two of this blog entry since I really could no longer remember properly those things… but anyways, Seoul is really great! Just watch out for this part two of the blog entry since my lappie has a serious problem with regards to loading images. I guess, I have to minimize the number of files. My other blog molybdenumstudiosphotography will handle ALL the files!