Sunday, December 20, 2015

Au revoir, autumn!

Comfy  sweaters.
Long socks.
Knit scarves.
Coffee and cocoa.
Clear skies.
Crisp air.
Pretty leaves. 
Scarlet, saffron, and russet.
Blankets and cuddles.
Flushed cheeks.

Ahhhh~ I could rave about autumn on and on for hours and I still would not even have touched the tip of the iceberg! 

I have lived in the Philippines almost my entire life so I am used to summer all year round. But since I moved to Japan two years ago, I came to appreciate the autumn season... oh scratch that, I fell in love with it! Don't get me wrong, I love summer, too- I love ice cream, the salty air, the sun, the beach! But autumn has this magic that I could not deny. Everywhere I look, I see beauty. Who would have thought that "glorious" and "beautiful" could be used alongside "death" and "fall" in a sentence? Oh, autumn! 

Now that the Ginkgo and Momiji trees (and technically other deciduous trees) are shedding their final leaves, I'm starting to feel some sort of autumn separation anxiety, if there is such a thing haha! 

Here are some photos I took here and there; an attempt to vividly remember my autumn affair by.

*photodump alert*

Enjoy! :-)

Mt. Takao Beer Garden

Monkey Park, Mt. Takao
(Photo taken by my beau, Kenji)

 When you see it...
Shinjuku Gyoen

 Docomo Tower as seen from the confines of Shinjuku Gyoen

Green or red? Even plants seem to get "confused", too haha!
Shinjuku Gyoen

Shinjuku Gyoen

Lovely window view, Tengachaya


Musashino Place Library, Musashino City

Ginkgo trees, Kyonan Fureai Hiroba Park

One gloomy Monday morning, Sakurashinmachi Park

The same tree as that in the photo above. This was what has become of it a few days later. 

Walking along the streets of Wakaba Cho resulted to a shoefie haha! Gorgeous leaves, everywhere~

A random Wakaba Cho street

 Autumn bed ahhh~
Such a gem in our neighbourhood!

 Some momijis, still somewhere in Wakaba Cho

And moooore~

I have so so soooo much love for this season! But if there is one thing I really love about autumn, that  is the very moment when the leaves fall on the ground with the cool breeze as the background, as if telling me, "Oh, just fall and float freely like the leaves. Let the wind take you to where you should be. No worries, child."

Ending this photodump with a clip I recorded during one of my autumn travels in the countryside for more autumn feels~

I hope you all enjoyed autumn as much as I did! 

'Til we meet again, autumn! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Thank You

Yesterday, I lost my pair of eyeglasses on my ride to work. 

But I am grateful.

For the person on the train who could opt to care less on a pair of old eyeglasses on the floor but he/she did and surrendered it to the lost and found section of Mukaigawara station;

For all my fellow commuters who could actually stomp on and crush it into pieces but did not;

For the workmates who offered words of assurance that I will be able to get my eyeglasses back;

For the mother who replied to her worried daughter's messages while on her work break instead of getting coffee (which she usually does) and go far as making inquiries to the station officer in Tachikawa about the lost pair of eyeglasses after work;

For the station officer in Tachikawa station who gave utmost assistance- making calls to numerous stations to locate the missing pair of eyeglasses,  consequently finding out that it might  possibly be in Mukaigawara station;

For the boyfriend who could just shrug it off and go home after a long day at work but accompanied his Japanese girlfriend (who could not speak Japanese) to Mukaigawara station to take a look;

For the station officer in Mukaigawara section who handed the eyeglasses back and assisted with the forms needed to be filled out; and

For the heavens, for showering my path with good people.

It may just be a pair of eyelasses, but still, I am grateful.

Thank you for making me see the world in a new  and brighter light.

A note written by a station officer in Tachikawa re: my lost eyeglasses.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hisashiburi, Yamanashi!

♪ Hello, it's me. I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet?~

Oh boy, Adele's song has been stuck in my head ever since I first heard it! But yeah, hello! It has been ages since I have blogged about anything here! Work and school is taking its toll on my social (media) life lately (or not, all the time would be more appropriate)! No wonder the itch to write is getting stronger the more I put it aside haha! So, to satisfy the itch and to resurrect this long-abandoned blog as well, let me share with you guys my recent trip to... 

*drumroll*  Yamanashi prefecture! *confetti*

Yamanashi is located southwest of Tokyo, a few hours by bus from the metro. It is home to Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan and Fuji-Q Highlands, a roller coaster-laden amusement park housing the world's steepest roller coaster Takabisha. I have been to Yamanashi a couple of times before but what made this trip extra special was me spending the whole day with the love of my life! And yes, just us two! ♥ *insert gooey mozarella cheese here haha*

So before you guys puke because of my cheesiness (I didn't know I have it in me haha), here are the photos my beau and I took from our day trip to Yamanashi! Having two camera units means we have a few snaps taken together yet it also means more battery life and consequently, more sightseeing pictures (and pictures of one another haha)!

Here you go! Enjooooy! :-)

A few minutes shy of 7:40 AM, we were near Shinjuku Station looking for the bus that will take us to Yamanashi. My beau signed up for a Yamanashi bus tour hosted by Hato Bus. They also offer other bus tours to different places in and out of Tokyo. To know more, you can check out their website here.

Found the bus stop just on time and surprise, a bus selfie! What would a bus trip be without one? *wink* A little after this, we were on our way to slumberland zzzzzzz! The next thing we knew, we were in Yamanashi! :))

First stop: Oshino Hakkai, 忍野八海

Oshino Hakkai is a little traditional village in the Fuji Five Lake region housing eight ponds, which is said to be associated with Fujisan worship. 

Inside Oshino Hakkai is Hanoki Bayashi Shiryokan, an open-air museum, with which you can access traditional farmhouses complete with farming tools and samurai weapons, to name a few. Unfortunately, we were not able to go into these farmhouses due to time constraints.

If the weather permits, you can even see Mt. Fuji from this spot! Sadly, it was raining the morning we came so we were not able to witness Mt. Fuji's beauty! Nevertheless, a trip to Oshino Hakkai would be good for those wanting to buy omiyage/trip presents ranging from cookies to touristy shirts and keychains to different local delicacies.

Details: Oshino Hakkai
Oshinomura, Minamitsurugun
Oshino Travel Agency: 0555-84-4222

Second stop: Tengachaya

We went to a homey restaurant with interesting interiors. It is famous for serving Yamanashi's specialty hot pot dish made of broth, thick udon noodles, and different vegetables and mushrooms. 

Yummy! *burp*

This is the view outside Tengachaya ahhhhh~

Third stop: Kawaguchiko

I swear, an hour or so in Kawaguchiko would  not suffice! Beauty is everywhere! I just could not put my camera down! I could not help but hum ♪ what a wonderful world~

Autumn colours! Red, gold, and green~

We were given relatively longer hours to explore Kawaguchiko with our tour guide but being our silly selves, my beau and I decided to leave the group and explore on our own- which is quite really nice for we sort of don't know where to go and what to look for but yeah, we managed and it was really fun~ ♥

Momiji! One of the reasons why I like autumn is because of this!

Autumn is the start of boots season! Can you guess who's who? :))

Autumn happiness~

As we walk our way to Kawaguchiko Lake, we passed by Kawaguchiko Konohana Museum, a Wachifield-themed art museum + cafe created by Akiko Ikeda. This is Dayan the cat's world. 

Who did Dayan the cat's pose better? Hahahaha! :))))


At Masao Koga Park. This park is built in memory of Masao Koga, a Japanese ryukoka composer.

Finally, Kawaguchiko Lake! Too much fog but it's still beautiful and calming! 

Such a nice view! ♥ *lubdub*

Such happiness! Such bliss! Much wow! :))

One's Yamanashi autumn trip would not be complete without visiting the famous Kawaguchiko Maple Corridor! This is my second time here yet its beauty never seems to fade away~

Of course, we have to have a picture! Thank heavens for front cameras! :))

You can opt to have a picture taken here by some professional in exchange for some yen but it's totally fine even if you don't! It's still beautiful no matter what camera you use! :) At the end of the maple corridor, there is an antique shop selling vintage toy airplanes and many other trinkets!

Side story: We are running late for the bus call time so we were not able to go to the other end of the maple corridor! I just knew there was a vintage shop since I went there during my previous trip here haha! Ohhh, the downside of being in a tour is time limit! x_x

Fourth stop: Budougari in Koshu City

My beau told me that one of the reasons he signed us up for this trip was because of budougari or grape-picking. The idea is to harvest grapes and eat it in a span of 30 minutes. But then, probably due to the not-so-good weather condition, we were not able to get the grapes by ourselves and instead it was given to us. The only thing left to do is devour all of it within 30 minutes haha! Nevertheless, free grapes is still very fine! :))

Budou is grapes in Japanese :)

'Cos we do not have any grape-picking photo, here is a grape-eating one instead hahaha!

And oh, there is a section in the budougari place where you can buy omiyage, as well! 

Fifth stop: Manns Wine Katsunuma Winery, Chateau Katsunuma

This is the last stop, hurrah! We went to a winery... yes a beer person like me went to a winery haha! Am I the only person here who would prefer beer over wine? But then there's no harm giving wine a try, right? 

Katsunuma is Japan's viniculture center, taking pride in using "Koshu" grapes for wine production. It is home to 30 unique wineries and one of which is Manns Wines Katsunuma Winery.

There was a tour guide from Manns Winery who explained the process of wine-making. However, it is in Japanese and I wasn't able to understand anything haha!

 Mini wine museum, still in the confines of Manns Wines.

Down the basement of the mini museum are many barrels of wine, most are 200-300 years of age. 

Can you guess how old these bottles of wine are? 

  The most exciting part of going to a wine gallery is of course, wine-tasting! *wink*

Mustered all the courage and guts to taste various wines, from white to red! I admit some wines taste really good~ But I prefer red wine over white!

For this trip, my favourite is the Muscat Bailey! ♥ 


A mirror selfie with the beau, still at Manns Wines! 

Details: Manns Wines Katsunuma Winery
400 Yama Katsunuma-cho, Koshu City
Telephone: 0553-44-2285

Yamanashi is indeed a perfect getaway for people wanting to experience a taste of autumn while destressing! 

I will never get tired of going back to you, Yamanashi! ♥