Schiphol Airport

May 1, 2017

With the exception of the offloading issue, this European airport is a delight. I so loved ING’s campaign of ____, here I come. I initially saw this, not knowing it was a campaign. But it was so fitting. The next week was filled with culture shock!

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On my way back, I saw it again. This time, with Tokyo, here I come! Which I found funny ‘coz I AM going to Tokyo.

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They had plenty of food, and since I’m a Diners card holder, I was able to maximize the benefits of having that credit card.

Schiphol Airport has plenty of shops and stalls to choose from. I thought that I bought a cheap set of perfume at EUR50 for two bottles, but my classmate said they weren’t cheap. But my fellow flier bought one bottle at CHF90 in Zurich Airport. Well, it’s all relative.

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Seeing this reminded me that I AM in the land of tulips! Oh, I wish I could have gone out!

and just some quick comments about Zurich airport – they have plenty of Toblerones! Well, as expected from the motherland of Toblerone:

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Huge toblerone. My boot for scale.

Shuri Castle

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~February 2017

One of the few temples/castles (?) in Okinawa, Shuri Castle is a very famous one. Since I’m already in Naha, I figured I might as well go.

It took me a while to find it as I decided to walk rather than pay the JPY100ish bus, and the main entrance the google maps was pointing at is closed for renovation. Hence, I had to go around the castle, and boy, was it a big castle.

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This is one of the entrances that I had to pass through, and honestly, I was pretty impressed by the moat!
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But then I had to pay for the entrance! 😦 since I’m cheap and I’m not really fond of Japanese temples/castles, I decided to pass on this opportunity.

PS. Eat before coming here! The food in the cafeteria is NOT good, and it’s such a waste when Naha’s food is one of the best there is!

Okinawa World

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~March 3, 2017

Okinawa has a LOT of themeparks. Okinawa World has basically two parts – the cave and the themepark. Since the latter seemed like the not-better version of Ryukyu Mura, I decided to just go with the cave .

How To Get There

Take bus 83. Now, the bus system in Naha are is lot more complex for a Non Japanese speaker like me. Actually, it’s not complex. It’s just that I can’t find the relevant information anywhere. (to be fair, it’s probably available… in Japanese)

Either way, bus 83 passes through the south part of the Kencho – city office. So look for the Kenchominamiguchi. It doesn’t show in my google maps, but Kenchokitaguchi does. So I searched for Kenchokitaguchi and located the pin.

Kencho is city office, kita is north, guchi is entrance (mouth). So. If Kenchokitaguchi is north, you can find the Kenchominamiguchi on the other side opposite it. And voila! I found it!

Now, if you think I’m talking rubbish, just go to the Kencho place and ask for Kenchominamiguchi.

Another option is to just go to Naha Bus Terminal. 😉

Once you get on the bus, the last stop is Okinawa World. Take note that it will technically NOT stop. It will take a u-turn in Okinawa World then go back to Naha. So wake up, sleepy head!

How To Leave

Take the same bus, same bus stop, to go home. Check the schedule. And be there 10 minutes before the allotted time. Nago buses are often a couple of minutes late. Naha buses aren’t!

Oh, and I missed the bus by around 110 seconds. As it was Saturday at 3:53pm, the next bus was around 2 hours away if I remember correctly, and I wanted to go to the Peace Museum. So I decided to walk… And that’s another story.

Quick tips

  • I just scanned through everything since I was trying to catch my bus, but it’s old Okinawa. So if you’ve been to Ryukyumura, this will probably feel a bit redundant. They have the habu snake stuff too (that I didn’t check).
  • The exit requires you to go through the entire place. So if you think that you can simply go out the way you went in, think again.
  • The cave is 21c (temp). So don’t bundle up too much.
  • The cave is also long. It’s one of the longest in Japan, and they have more than 800 meters for you to walk and explore.
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Look at those sharp rocks. You know what I was thinking while walking? Final destination.
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Sharp rocks everywhere. This is basically it the entire way…
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…except for the finale. See the note above? Apparently this is the largest of its kind in all of Japan.
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Oh, right outside is the pineapple. Maybe you shouldn’t got to the Pineapple Park either. Just go here.

Hunt for Falls: Snowy Edition

December 31, 2017

To close my Nikko trip, I went up north to just walk around. While looking at the map, I saw that there’s Yudaki falls and Ryuzu falls near each other, so I decided to stop at Yudaki and walk to Ryuzu.

Yudaki was pretty impressive. The falls was really, really high.
To walk to Ryuzu falls, I have to enter this. It says there are dangers in the path. Honestly, this scared me a little bit!
But onward I must go!
The path was really pretty – snow DOES make things look magical.
Let’s walk some more….
Walk a bit more… (oh, people are actually in some picnic spots!)
Keep on walking!
After around an hour, I’m almost out of the mountain area so the snow thins.
A little bit more and bye bye snow. 😦
The swampland (?)
I’m quite sure that this is not Ryuzu falls. But I’ve been walking all over the place for two hours, and it’s COLD (-2c)! I’m a Filipina who has never even touched snow. So I’m happy with this. 😉

Susukino Site

February 10, 2017

Outside the Susukino Station is a street with ice sculptures in the middle. Yes, that’s the Susukino Site of the Sapporo Snow Festival. You’ll be done in about 10 minutes. The street isn’t even blocked, so you’ll have to wait for the cars to stop you take the pictures. It’s close to the Ramen Alley so it’s worthy of a look.

Had to wait ’til all the cars are out of sight.

Tsudome Site

February 10, 2017

One of the trio for Sapporo Snow Festival, the Tsudome Site is for those who wanna play with the snow.

I decided not to take the bus from the station and just walk. On the way, I saw these cute snowmen!
Hello little snowman!
Look at their snow covered bike parking lot!
These rows and rows of snowmen will welcome you once you get in. Oh, it’s near the dome, not IN the dome. it’s an open area.
and the first game that caught my attention? Snow rafting! (sorry, no pictures allowed during the ride). You have to pay around JPY600, if I remember correctly. Just zoom in on the picture if it’s clear enough haha
It’s a short ride, and this is the end of the trail. 😦
The next (and last for adult) ride, is right next to it.
Now this one is free, and you have to drag your own ride uphill. It’s a short walk, don’t worry
WHEW! that was way higher when viewed from up top. That was a fun ride, but I didn’t wanna line up for another hour. Time to head out.
This one you simply throw snowballs to the target. You have unlimited tries, make your own snowball. Honestly. Nobody’s even watching this place.
they also have a make your own snowmen. It was kinda cute. Once a section is filled with snowmen, they close off the section and open another block.