Early this year, I booked a flight to Tokyo for work and a supposed vacation. After a few weeks, I was invited to Tokyo by Google Japan and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and coincidentally, the dates overlapped the trip that I had just booked. Talk about fate!
METI invited different bloggers from all over Asia to be ambassadors for Cool Japan (クールジャパン), a government funded initiative to bring more attention to Japanese contents such as anime, manga, food, fashion, etc. to other countries.
The main purpose of this trip was for us to participate in a new campaign called “100Tokyo”. “100Tokyo” is a new website which hopes to present Tokyo’s 100 best places and things to experience. This explains all our #100Tokyo hashtags on Instagram and Twitter.
I can never, ever get tired of going to Japan. I already went multiple times last year, but I still have tons of things I want to try. Thanks to METI and Google Japan for bringing us to different places so we can experience the best of Tokyo for ourselves.
On the night before the main activities, we had a welcome dinner at Ginza Sushiko Honten, a one-star Michelin restaurant that dates back to 1885.
You can find it at Marunouchi Bldg. 35F, 2-4-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6335.
Easily the best sushi I’ve ever tried in my entire life. Everything just melts in your mouth!
I was able to watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi a few years ago, and have since included eating in any fancy sushi place in Tokyo as part of my bucket list.
After watching this documentary about Jiro Ono (an 85-year-old sushi master and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a Michelin three-star restaurant), you’ll definitely want to go to the nearest Japanese restaurant for a quick sushi fix! So inspiring, and not to mention, visually appetizing.
Similar to the documentary, the sushi chefs at the restaurant we ate in also experienced years of rigorous training and hard work.
The next day, we went to Nihonbashi Hunatsukiba and rode a boat limo to experience the “Venice of Japan”. I’ve never been to Nihonbashi before so this was a new experience even for me.
With Laureen, Camille and pretty Thai blogger Melissa.
Rainy days always get me down! But dark!Nihonbashi was still gorgeous nonetheless.
Nihonbashi (日本橋) literally means Japan Bridge. The area was built around the first construction of the bridge in 1603, thus the name. Because it was the starting point for “Edo Five Routes”, a cluster of roads that connected Tokyo with outlying prefectures, Nihonbashi served as an immensely important place where people interacted and traded with each other.
Nihonbashi boasts of Japan’s first public company, postal system, bank and department store.
I’ll definitely come back to this place when the weather is better! I’m so intrigued after Miho from METI expressed her genuine love for Nihonbashi. I really want to check out Haibara, a 200-year-old shop that specializes in washi (type of Japanese paper). Their products have always been so good that it became part of the Vienna World Exposition in 1873 and the Paris World Exposition in 1878.
Another place I’m interested in is Yoshino-zushi Honten (吉野寿司本店) where the toro nigiri (fatty tuna) originated! Food is always a priority! NOM.
It’s both a good and bad thing that the JR Yamanote Line exists. I heavily depend on it to go to places like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Shinagawa (where I like staying), Tokyo, Ueno, Yoyogi, Harajuku, and Akihabara, but sometimes it is too convenient that it discourages me from trying all the other subway lines!
To get to Nihonbashi Station, you can go on the Ginza, Tozai and Asakusa lines or Mitsukoshimae Station on the Hanzomon and Ginza lines. Nihonbashi is also a 5-10 minute walk from the Nihonbashi Exit of Tokyo Station.
After the boat ride, we headed to a new mall called COREDO Muromachi! It just opened on the day of our visit!
Our first agenda? Dressing up in kimono/yukata! Another dream come true!
Kyorakutei/Megurian (橋楽亭／囲庵)in COREDO Muromachi 3 is a place where you can immerse yourself in Japanese culture. This includes tea ceremonies, kimono dressing, etc. Definitely a must-visit for tourists.
We were free to choose the design we wanted to wear and I chose black and pink with hot pink color accent simply because it matched the lipstick I was wearing, lol. And because BLACK!
We had to strip down to our undergarments before these lovely ladies helped us to dress up. 3 layers and lots of ribbons to secure the layers in place, but it was all surprisingly very comfortable!
Tried it on once and I still have no idea how they were able to do this. I heard some people have to put on kimonos and yukatas on their own! It’s definitely not an easy feat!
There were some ladies who also volunteered to fix our hair and tie them hair up with cute floral clips to match our outfits! How thoughtful of them!
Cool Japan / 100 Tokyo crew and representatives from the Philippines (Me, Camille, Laureen), Thailand (Melissa), Taiwan (AiAi), China (Lala), Singapore (Xiaxue, QiuQiu), Malaysia (Cheesie) and Indonesia (Stella).
There was a kimono exhibit in the same mall so we went there to check it out.
We were allowed to wear our kimonos for a while so I can definitely attest to its comfort! I was so sad when my little dream sequence had to end and I had to go back to wearing normal clothes! /CRY
Took detail shots of the patterns and embroidery on the exhibited kimonos. It’s no wonder how some of these go for tens of thousands of dollars.
Would love to wear this dainty-looking one.
Kimonos are definitely works of art!
Patterns printed on washi. These became my iPhone wallpapers for a while.
You can find a cute souvenir shop at the mall’s ground floor. Here’s a quirky fan that needs no introduction.
It’s traditional x modern/pop culture collaborations like this one that give me so much life! Japan will never be not cool.
Calling all Hello Kitty fans!
The next photos are all about the stores and products that you can find in the new COREDO Muromachi.
Because it’s Easter today, here are some bunny chopsticks at a chopsticks store that sells so many different designs and colors!
Not your ordinary slippers.
World-famous Tabio socks that are proudly made in Japan.
Unique design from a glasses store called POKER FACE (ポーカーフェイス). The items are produced in Sabae, Fukui Prefecture, the leader in Japanese glasses production.
Can I live here?
Looks like my future house, lol.
Team Singapore/Malaysia decked out in pastels! Too adorable not to post.
Lunch time at Hounenmanpuku, still in Nihonbashi! Finished this in about 10 minutes. SO GOOD.
I heard getting a visa to go to Japan won’t be required anymore for Filipinos. I noticed there are more flights from Manila to Tokyo too. It’s definitely our year! You can check out the 100Tokyo website as you plan your itinerary. You can also refer to my blog’s Tokyo tag to read about my own experiences.
Happy Easter! <3
Crying deep inside because this will be the last of my Japan posts this year, and I won’t be spending Christmas in Fukuoka. I got used to it already - I could totally use some warm Ippudo and Christmas lights at Hakata Station. /tears
The good thing about it is that I can finally do the whole Christmas Eve with relatives thing again, a tradition that I also miss very much! And I’ll still be traveling with my family during the holiday break. We decided to fly to a place we haven’t visited together in 5 years - Taiwan. I’m pretty excited about it because I can’t remember much the last time I went there. I’ll make sure to properly document it this time.
Anyhow, I spent my last day in Tokyo with some Filipino bloggers who are based in Japan. They are an amazing bunch, and I wish they could adopt me so I can join their Japanese fashion escapades regularly! Even if I only met them for the first time, I felt like I knew them already because we shared so many similar interests. They made me feel like I belonged.
Harajuku sun. Don’t be fooled - the weather was horribly bipolar the time I was there. It was right in the middle of summer and autumn, and I suffered so badly from the drastic weather changes and developed a bad cold, aggravated some more by lack of sleep and the adrenaline rush from my EMODA activities.
After my touristy morning at Meiji Shrine, I met up with fellow Filipinos Ashley, Gervin, and Kiko somewhere in Harajuku. They brought their pretty friend Junko along, and it was all so wonderful and kawaii kawaii doki doki hajimemashite lol you get the point. Junko is a popular Japanese blogger, and you might recognize her if you follow some active Japanese Lookbookers! She was so sweet to drop by and meet me even if she had a lot of activities that day! Can I swap faces with her? She is absolutely gorgeous.
Ashley contacted me when I tweeted about going to Tokyo, and I’m really happy that she did because I wouldn’t have had as much fun during this trip if it weren’t for this meet-up!
Junko had to leave early but was kind enough to snap a photo of the 4 of us! Here I am with my new friends Kiko, Gervin and Ashley. Sorely missing them while I type this entry out. I now have more reasons to go back to Tokyo.
I love how we all sort of had matching outfits. Red is totally the color of the season.
We had a fun, spontaneous field trip to Koenji which is located in West Tokyo. I haven’t finished reading 1Q84 yet (I’m only a few pages in) but it’s apparently set here. As is Dare mo shiranai/Nobody Knows, a heart-wrenching movie I was able to watch in Japanese Film class back in college. Don’t watch it if you don’t want to be depressed, huhu I am scarred for life because of that movie
We got lost for a while because it was everyone’s first time here. This couple was lost too. I love the girl’s Chun-Li hair!
We stopped somewhere to check out Google Maps and to camwhore a little because we knew our time together was limited huhu
I changed to flat shoes because of all the walking we had to do! Slip-ons also from EMODA.
Shopping area near the Koenji station.
The cutest neko drawing.
The stores in the area were very quaint! Koenji is supposed to be popular for this kind of fashion, as well as for selling very good used clothing. I wasn’t able to do any shopping but it was nice to just browse through all the pretty.
Old shoes that were glued to the ground.
Kiko and Gervin (who changed to his sporty ninja-inspired look). Somewhere in this area, we found an owl cafe! Ashley was game to try it out but the rest of us were like HUU~ THEY LOOK SCARY!
Now I’m like, why was I afraid of a bird
Bike props. Of course, they have to be kawaii.
The most adorable pink bike.
Not quite summer, not quite fall.
I love the light in Japan. Achieving this quality doesn’t require any effort. Soft, natural lighting wins forever.
Floresta Nature Doughnuts. So cute it would be a shame to eat them.
The donut is looking at our lattes and secretly judging us.
With teacher Ashley! She teaches elementary school kids for work! If I had a teacher like her, no question she would be my instant fave.
Families passed by as we had our little coffee break in a corner. Noticed a lot of kids in this community.
Back in Harajuku before dinner time! My condition was so bad at this point I couldn’t think straight anymore and just wanted to go to bed and sleep. Which I did. The walk back to my hotel felt painfully longer than usual.
I wish I could go back and have more adventures with Kiko, Gervin and Ashley when I’m not sick anymore! Universe, let’s make it happen soon.
I love that all-pink outfit!
Grabbed something to eat in Shibuya before heading back to my hotel. I settled for something quick, and McDonalds was selling McPepper. I couldn’t resist. Way to make myself feel better. With fast food.
I also dropped by the BIC Camera in Shibuya to buy a gift to myself for finishing my book - a new camera! My friend Edric talked me into converting to Fujifilm.
One of the best decisions I made this year. I am so in love with my X Pro 1. It also helped that the salespeople at BIC Camera were kind enough to give me a quick tutorial, as well as tourist discounts on top of the existing promotions that they had.
The next day, I had a few hours to kill early morning before my flight back to Manila.
I went to Ginza, which is a very upscale area in Tokyo that is known for high-end shopping and luxurious everything.
The Uniqlo there is amazing!
The iconic Ginza Wako. There has always been a clock tower in this building since the late 1800s.
I went so early in the morning! There weren’t a lot of people yet.
Would’ve shopped here for my grandma if I only had enough time! She would totally love it in Ginza.
Shortly after this, I had to get my luggage back at the hotel and head to the airport. The best way to go to Haneda Airport from the city is by bus/airport limousine. I took the one in Shibuya Mark City as it was nearest to my hotel.
Last sushi meal in Japan.
Took photos in the bus because I was already missing Japan even if I haven’t left yet.
Wonder if I got included in his photo.
Gloomy day in Shibuya.
A view I can never get tired of.
To Shibuya Hikarie.
Tokyo Sky Tree from afar. I haven’t had time to visit it yet, but hopefully next year I can come back and check it out! Another place I should visit is Shimokitazawa. I’ve heard great things about it.
Must make good use of my multiple-entry visaaa. In an ideal world, I would fly to Japan 4 times a year. Once every season.
Watched Shingeki no Kyojin episode 1 and 2 again on the plane. Day made. See you again soon, Tokyo!
Last week, I was fortunate enough to be invited by Mexx Philippines to a short bloggers outing with fellow bloggers Laureen, David and Lissa. It was all the way in Alabang Town Center, a place I almost never go to, so the outing also served as a good opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone (which is mostly Libis, Ortigas and The Fort only) for a change! Plus I can’t say no to a day of bonding with long-time blogger friends!
Lissa and I met up in Glorietta where we were chauffeured in a pretty Mercedes Benz! The car ride was super smooth, and this means a lot considering that I always have motion sickness whenever I ride cars.
After a few introductions with the whole Cinderella and Mexx team, we proceeded to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch! The yummiest Italian food were served to us in giant portions, and I helped myself to some epic-tasting pizza and pasta, of course (LOL).
Was seated right across pretty Laureen and her very summery outfit!
Not for those on strict workouts, diets or fitness regimens (ehem Lissa), but ideal for those who don’t have any care in the world about them (ehem me).
S’mores pizza for dessert!
After lunch, we were finally taken to the Mexx store!
It’s the only Mexx open so far, but do watch out for the Shangri-La, SM Aura, and Glorietta stores this year! I, for one, am excited for the one in Shang because I live quite near and it’s one of my favorite malls since I was little.
Sweaters and cardigans everywhere! Most of the items in Mexx are very reminiscent of European Metropolitan lifestyle. They offer modern pieces that are appropriate for city people with a knack for functional fashion.
Bags and scarves that are super easy to pair with anything!
Camwhoring in the mirror because we couldn’t get a proper group shot. :D
Here’s another one! I swear it would’ve been so awkward if someone walked into the store and saw a bunch of people (including 3 girls wearing sky high heels) taking pictures of everything we could find in the store. Ahh, blogger duties!
My favorites from the men’s collection. Reminds me so much of my trip to the UK last spring. One Direction style!
From the women’s collection. A lot of their fall/winter items were still on the racks, and these included a lot of tweed jackets and office-appropriate blazers that exuded a certain kind of sophisticated European elegance.
Mexx has actually been around for a long time now, but it’s never too late to let people enjoy good fashion. Thanks to the official distributor, Cinderella, for bringing it here to Manila!
Love the current collection that’s made up of mostly charcoal gray, brown, old rose, beige and red.
Apart from the quick tour of the store, we were also asked by the Cinderella team to help style them using Mexx clothes! It was a challenge for me to style someone with a completely different body type as me, but it proved to be quite an experience in the end. For Mexx Marketing Assistant Renee, I picked a blush-colored drape neck top and paired it with a similar-colored bag, and some bright red skinny pants. Just something mature and simple yet still appropriate for both daytime at the office and nighttime out with your closest girl friends. Pair with nude pumps!
Lissa made MEXX Assistant Buyer Tin wear something that matched her own outfit! It’s the same top from the previous picture, only in black. She paired it with a muted aztec print skirt and a bright cardigan for that extra touch of edginess that is so very Lissa!
Laureen styled Cinderella Marketing Manager Lana with a sexy-corporate-chic outfit. Black skinnies are my personal favorite staples in my closet, and Mexx had a lot of good ones that you can pair with anything. Laureen’s interpretation included a low-cut sheer floral-print button-down, and a dark gray blazer to balance out the sexiness of the blouse.
It was David’s first time to style a girl - how cute! <3 I loved the result - a masculine look in general but the belt made all the difference in the world since it highlighted the waist and gave the outfit a feminine silhouette. I’d totes wear this look! ESPRIT assistant buyer Anjelica looked pleased with her new look :)
Sadly, the trip had to come to an end, and it was time to say goodbye! It was such a fun trip though, and I’m happy I managed to convince myself to participate in blogger activities for once. Promised myself to be less anti-social this year, so I hope this is only the first of many events I can go to this year. *crosses fingers*
Thanks Mexx, Cinderella, Mercedes Benz, Mary Kay and CPK for taking care of us! Can’t wait to go on a shopping spree when the Shang store opens next month!
Last October 11 at Power Plant Mall, Rags2Riches (RIIR) and Aranaz showcased their second collaboration entitled “Nudos”, or “knots” in Spanish. Thanks to Amina Aranaz of ARANAZ and Reese Fernandez of RIIR, I was lucky enough to be one of the blogger muses for this collection, along with Camille, Patricia, Kryz, Danika and Alyssa! We were each given our own Nudos pieces to integrate into our outfits so we can also serve as walking models during the event. I got to keep my pretty black and orange clutch too, so you might see it on my Lookbook one of these days. :)
What’s remarkable about this collection is that all these eco-ethical products are handcrafted using organic scrap cloth for a specific cause. RIIR made it possible to give impoverished women in Payatas income opportunities and financial security by creating a social enterprise discouraging the exploitation of these women’s talents. Reese and I were actually part of the same batch of Go Negosyo Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs last 2010, and I feel so small every time I hear about all her achievements and advocacies. Makes me wonder if I can do something as meaningful and as “Truly Filipino” as RIIR one day. She is inspiring all right, and very fashionable in her own right as well. /fangirl
Here are some of the pictures that I took during the event!
I can finally post this super old outfit photo from June because the campaign is finally up on Diesel’s website. Diesel’s Jogg Jeans are a brand new kind of garment, a high tech hybrid between jeans and sweat pants that merges the best of each: denim’s coolness and resistance and sweat’s comfort.
I checked out the blogger campaign they posted on their website featuring influential personal style bloggers from all over the world, and found it super amusing that we were all sent different denim washes! Turns out I got one of the darker, more radical ones, which I couldn’t help but style rather simply since I wanted the jeans to be the highlight, more than anything else. I rarely wear non-skinny jeans but this pair was definitely a breath of fresh air in my closet full of flowers, lace, tulle and ribbons.
Featured on the first row along with Susie Lau = such a dream. Thank you to Paloma from Diesel’s digital agency for featuring not only me but also fellow Filipina blogger Kryz (on the 7th row, looking gorgeous, as usual)!