It was the trip I was so afraid to take. The notoriety of Japan as an expensive destination hovered over my head for the longest time. Even when airlines offered bargain deals for flights to Osaka, I was reluctant to book. Not only was I worried about the visa not
In 2012, I traveled solo for the first time in my life. I still remember how scared I was before the trip. With only a small backpack, a Neil Gaiman book, a thousand dollars, and a will to get out of my comfort zone, I boarded the plane to Bangkok.
It’s interesting that, given the proximity of Kyoto and Osaka from each other (less than half an hour by train), each city radiates a distinct vibe that distinguishes itself from the other. I noticed it as soon as I stepped off the train station: while Kyoto is all about heritage
If you ask me to enumerate all the things that I love about Japan, you’ll probably not gonna hear the end of it. From its simple but sublime cuisine to its rich but action-packed history to their gentle but efficient way of life, Japan has always captivated me since childhood.
That night was especially cold in Osaka. It was my first Christmas Eve away from home; I had always celebrated the occasion with family. That night, however, there won’t be any noche buena or wine or reunions for me. I picked up my luggage at the hotel and made my
I picked up the paper-thin slice of fish and silently hoped it wouldn’t be the last thing I would do. That night, I did not plan on having fugu, Japan’s deadly delicacy. I did not plan on dying, either. How I ended up at a fugu place was a matter
Dotonbori is the gastronomic epicenter of Osaka, Japan. This world-famous street runs from Dotonbori Bridge to Nipponbashi Bridge, and on both sides stand dozens of restaurants whose facades are adorned with enormous, electronic displays.
The moment that sushi graced my palate, I knew I had been mistaken all this time. I was known in my circle as the guy who hated Japanese food. Well, ‘hated’ would be quite a stretch. I was just not a fan. At lunch or dinnertime and a friend would
Hotel Chuo Oasis was my first choice when I was browsing online for affordable places to stay. Just by reading the reviews, I was already sold. It has a stellar 89% rating on Hostelworld, 83% on TripAdvisor, and 8.2/10 in Agoda. Although listed on Hostelworld, it is not a hostel
Even before six o’clock, I was already at the foot of the giant spinning wheel to catch the sunset. But I forgot one thing: I was in Japan. And in Japan, the summer sun sets much later, at around seven. When it finally dawned on me, I painted a smile
Daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi did not want a castle. No, he did not want just a castle. He wanted a castle modeled after his predecessor Oda Nobunaga’s headquarters but grander in every aspect. He wanted the grandest castle in Japan. He knew what he wanted. And he had it done.