April was the time when I went to Osaka, Kyoto and Nara, but for some reason I didn’t really bother documenting other stuff that happened during the rest of the month. But I took a ton of pictures of food, which officially makes April my ultimate pig-out month so far. Even in Japan, I was eating like every 3 hours or so, lol.
My IG is @tgosingtian btw!
1) Obligatory selfie to start this post! What’s Instagram without annoying selfies?
2) My favorite salad from La Creperie. IT HAS EGG AND BACON. NOM
3) Nachos from Friday’s because le boyfriend loves nachos in general and could probably eat them everyday.
4) Ramen at Kichitora of Tokyo
5) Apple pie, most chocolate cake, black sesame and salted caramel ice cream!
6) I can’t remember what happened during this day but all I know is that I ordered pizza. And it was good.
7) Sleepy dog! (Follow Bailey on IG @mybebebailey)
8) Massive Hiroshima Oysters at Marufuku!
9) This was just 2 months ago when Bailey was still sooo small! Now she is 36 pounds or so!
10) Thanks to @crownedvelvet on IG for these cases!
11) Le Bunny Bleu is finally in Manila thanks to Yhansy!
12) Wonderful dinner at TWG. Spinach Fettuccini and TWG Tea Salad.
13) Macarons in all colors! At TWG
14) The most adorable nail polish, thanks to Rin of Luscious Closet (@lusciouscloset on IG)
15) My cousin Gilainne got married! <3
16) Flowers for the bridesmaids and sponsors
17) Took this picture of her right after she got ready! Blooming!
18) With her new husband Justin! Congratulations guys!
19) Touchdown Osaka!
20) Had okonomiyaki as my first meal as soon as I landed in the airport.
21) Osaka Castle!
22) Buy all the lashes in Japan! (I have a fear of running out of false lashes for some reason so I tend to splurge on a lot whenever I can)
23) Selfie! Pink cheeks and pink lips!
24) Make-up close-up.
25) Yummy beef at Morita-ya in Kyoto.
28) My last meal in Osaka, huhu.
29) Wore my Casio Sheen watch at the airport. Got it from Time Depot.
30) Thanks to Mariah of @bluedotpastries on IG for the cupcakes!
31) Went to Starbucks and the barista put this smiley on my drink! Cute!
32) My own pair from the new Keds x Taylor Swift collection! Thanks @KedsPH on IG!
33) Summer feel selfie!
34) Got these goodies from Kate Spade Saturday in Japan! Huu, I wish they’d open in other parts of Asia too. ;_;
35) WOODCEPTION! I got this iPhone case for my boyfriend somewhere in Shinsaibashi. Made from real wood! :D
Second part of my Osaka trip is all about free time and shopping! Since I made the itinerary for the whole trip, I’m pretty sure my whole family expected 1-2 days for exploration… a.k.a. mall hopping. Thankfully, none of them complained about having too much free time, as they also had their own share of unique fashion finds!
Me and my brothers at Kyoto Station. Our trip also had Kyoto and Nara in between (which I’ll be blogging about in the next few weeks) but in the end, we had to go back to Osaka to take the plane home to Manila.
Traveling from Osaka to Kyoto (or vice versa) is so fast and easy that you can just take a day trip to one place but go back to your original hotel at night.
After dropping off all our luggage at the hotel, we headed straight to the Shinsaibashi area for some sightseeing… err, shopping. We stayed in the same hotel in JR Osaka Station, making it very convenient to just take the train straight to Shinsaibashi Station.
My brother Calel waiting outside Tokyu Hands. Always a good place to start shopping.
No one in their right mind would attack without filling their stomachs first! Before we did any real shopping, we went for some katsu in one of the underground passageways.
Shinsaibashi-suji is a covered shopping street that is a must visit for all shopaholics!
I particularly loved the Lowry’s Farm here as the store was huge! I make sure to drop by Lowry’s Farm every time I get the chance (also available in Collect Point in Singapore and Hong Kong) because they are one of the most affordable Japanese brands I know that carries quality trendy items.
Allamanda by INGNI. The mannequin on the left makes me miss my long hair so much! It would probably be this length now if I hadn’t cut it short.
I didn’t buy anything from this store (though I would have, if you presented these clothes to 20/21-year-old me) but it was a delight just looking at their clothes. Everything was extra sweet and dainty. Florals and pastels galore.
one spo's summer collection is to die for! I'm a sucker for black and white with yellow color accent so I pretty much ogled at everything when I was here. Daisy prints are huge right now and I couldn't blame them for placing them everywhere - tops, skirts, caps, accessories and even shoes!
The famous Kani Doraku built in the 1960s.
Why hello there, Nino! <3
Osaka Shochiku-za, a theater for kabuki plays.
Taken just before the influx of people who went here to eat dinner. Good thing I managed to snap this photo before it got crazy!
Me and the iconic Glico man, originally installed in the 1930s.
The end of Shinsaibashi-suji.
The start of Ebisubashi-suji. (Crowd was starting to get crazy here)
Dotonbori canal just before sunset.
Went back to the entrance of Shinsaibashi-suji!
I saved the best for last. Went to Shinsaibashi OPA for 11 floors of Japanese fashion goodness! This is my favorite place in Osaka for shopping as it’s reminiscent of Shibuya 109.
Laguna Moon's S/S 2013 collection was also resort-inspired like most of the other brands. Not a bad thing though, as the palm tree prints and light, breezy materials are perfect for us living in tropical countries. Matching top and bottom set is also a big trend.
LANDS OF Eden had these cute neon yellow/green accents to give spunk to dark colors and neutrals. Peplum is also not yet over!
Retro girly is still in for spring! This style is something the Japanese will never get tired of, I guess!
Sky high strappy platforms at Esperanza. Got lucky with a pair of two-tone white/yellow pointy pumps at 50% off!
OMG, SLY. I’ve been obsessing over their current collection/s for the past months. This brand has also converted me into wearing more dangling earrings and statement accessories. This is a huge leap considering my usually conservative taste in jewelry.
Current collection features Keith Haring collaboration items.
EMODA, of course. Love the leaf print series, as well as the all-white coordinates that look so neat. Minimalist but chic as always! I didn’t splurge too much here because I already knew I was going back to Tokyo anyway for EMODA’s TouchMe show. I already blogged about it here!
KOJIHARU by the entrance to OPA. She’s my AKB bias! Too pretty!
Creative Marc by Marc Jacobs store display! The head scarves make me want to try this style out one of these days.
Yakitori for dinner.
Went around the area (at this point, I didn’t bother knowing which street was which) and spotted some unique stores. Surprisingly, there was also an American Apparel in the area.
Vintage-inspired tank tops at this place where they sell gas masks and military stuff, lol. The contrast!
Vintage adidas everywhere! They were selling a lot of discontinued and limited edition items that are now apparently super hard to find.
I remember taking a photo of similar vending machine in Fukuoka, and it didn’t look anything like this, hahaha
Stylish young mom in front of McDonalds. I went to Japan just before Golden Week and they had these special burgers that I failed to try, lol. Maybe next year? *hopes and prays*
The next day, which was our last whole day in Japan, we just killed time around JR Osaka Station. There was a giant Yodobashi (electronics heaven) so we went in and geeked out for a while. Took a break from all the fashion and got myself a quirky camera bag for my dSLR and lenses. It is white and red with floral prints. ONLY IN JAPAN! Been looking out for cutesy ones for the longest time now but have only been seeing boring black ones which I know have more functionality and stuff but sue me for being a girly girl
Who can say no to all this beef?
The eggs are for our tamago kake gohan <3 I don’t normally eat a lot of rice but Japanese rice (especially with egg) is my weakness.
Chanced upon this new place called NU Chayamachi by the Chayamachi exit of Umeda Station.
There were many artists exhibiting their work in the area, but I was fortunate enough to watch this girl create her masterpiece from scratch. They weren’t just limited to drawing on walls though! Some of them created 3D art and placed them everywhere — on trees, lamp posts, etc.
KATE SPADE SATURDAY! This is only available in Japan so I totally spazzed when I saw it accidentally.
I was able to talk to one of the shop staff who wanted to practice her English! She told me she used to work for Uniqlo where she was able to meet a good friend who also happened to be Filipino like me. Now her friend is working in New York! She, on the other hand, would love to go to Paris one day. I also told her to visit the Philippines too, and then she went on and on about some of her friends loving every bit of Cebu and Boracay. Yay!
Another artist’s work.
One of the store displays along EST. Transparent bags were also everywhere, in different shapes and sizes. These heart-shaped ones were absolutely darling, and now I regret not buying one!
For cat lovers! They even had cat-shaped tape dispensers!
Afternoon coffee at this quirky bookstore.
HEP Five, also a must visit for those interested in shopping for fashion in Osaka. It’s a quick walk from JR Osaka station and you can’t miss it! There’s a bright red ferris wheel on top!
After shopping, I had some free time to sneak in some shots of people’s outfits. Everyone was walking so fast though, and my photography skills were rusty. Couldn’t keep up. :P
This girl’s shoes are killing me (in a good way)! I can never pull this look off but she worked it so well. Fell in love with the whole pastel color scheme that even matched her youthful face and hairstyle.
Ugh, they make oversized clothes look good too! <3
Entrance of HEP Five. Spotted two girls wearing vertical striped bottoms and denim jackets. Another huge trend in Japan now.
Positivity all the way! Even this brand agrees with me!
JR Osaka Station at night. It was my last night and I wanted to explore on my own a bit.
Managed to catch Arashi ni Shiyagare on TV just before I went to sleep!
Osaka was super fun - I can’t wait to go back. If someone were to ask me to choose between Osaka and Tokyo, I’d be so torn. This place is so endearing in its own special way! <3
This is gonna be the first out of maybe 6 or 7 entries that I’ll be posting about Japan in the next few weeks. I’ve always been rather trigger happy when it came to travel photography, but this time, I think I’ve reached an all time high. At the back of my head, I was like “If I’m going to carry this dSLR that weighs like a baby for a whole week or two, I might as well make the most out of it.” And I did. And it gave me the worst neck, shoulder and back pains in my entire life, lol. But who cares? This is how I roll when I travel!
This first entry is mostly tourist-y stuff in Osaka with my family. It’s been 4 years since my last visit to Osaka and I remember we only went to Universal Studios then as we were on a set tour. This time, I was the one who arranged our itinerary for the whole week. *proud*
Landed in KIX via Philippine Airlines. The flight arrived late at night so we had dinner at the airport. It takes an hour to get to the city, so it was a wise idea to stuff ourselves with some yummy food before anything else.
My dad and my brothers ordered some beer!
When in Osaka, eat okonomiyaki! I had this super simple (but scrumptious) one just to fill my stomach for the night.
The next morning, we decided to go to Osaka Castle. We’ve never been to this place before (Idk why we decided to just go to Universal Studios last time) so I’ve always been curious about it.
Especially since there is an official Osaka Castle emoji on iPhone, haha. I mean, that *must* mean that this place is important, right?!
We took the train to Temmabashi station and walked 5-10 minutes to the Osaka Castle proper.
An old man looking at the castle from afar with his binoculars.
Birds on branches.
My twin brothers and two ice cream mascots. Yes, we know the one on the left is a girl, but it was just too funny as Chase (on the left) has hair long enough to be put in a ponytail.
This was in a food stall just before the entrance to the castle.
Now, time for the castle…
Two cats rolling around the grass.
Pretty spring flowers.
An adorable photo of a mother taking a photo of her daughter. Notice how the pink bag matches the flowers in the background, and how they’re wearing matchy-matchy coats! Too sweet!
Nifty vintage truck that doubled as a stall that sells art and coffee.
Lots of students were having a field trip that day!
Osaka Castle, finally! The most famous landmark of Osaka. Interestingly, while it looks like this from the outside, the inside is totally modern and is used as a museum (which you have to pay for before you can enter)!
I have a ton of shots from the outside but not so much inside as it was forbidden to take pictures in a lot of areas! But I’m not complaining. The castle is really breathtakingly beautiful, and I’d take pictures of it from the outside than from the inside any day.
More details. Looks so perfect, like a wedding cake.
The view from the top of Osaka Castle.
Buildings, and a school.
Inside the castle, you can see a lot of 16th century stuff about Japan, which you will definitely love if you’re a fan of Sengoku Basara! My favorite part about the museum is this big wall showing different crests of the main characters (I really sound like I’m talking about an anime!) during the Sengoku / Warring States period.
Recently, I just finished watching the Nobunaga no Chef live action too so it was fun to see all the familiar names inside the castle.
Was tempted to scream “OYAKATA-SAMAAA!!!” when I saw this Yukimura Sanada figure.
Shingen, you look so cute like this! But where is that bad-ass horse that you’re always standing on?
To draw the line between truth and fiction, lol. Somehow imagining history as animated or live makes it so much more interesting. I wonder when we’ll ever have a telenovela where someone from 2013 time slips to the time of Andres Bonifacio. Or Lapu Lapu.
After going around the castle, we went around the area (which was huge, ok) to find the best spot to take tourist-y Osaka Castle pictures. There were too many people taking pictures directly in front of the castle, and I didn’t want to risk being photobombed, so I walked all the way to some garden in the castle premises to have this taken! I think it turned out pretty well!
To those who plan on going to Osaka Castle soon, try to find this area :D
I love how it’s right in the middle of the city. Reminds me a lot of Intramuros! It is so accessible that some people pass by it everyday and even go jogging inside.
Similar feel to being in Rome and passing by the Coliseum, or being in Paris and passing by the Eiffel Tower everyday like it’s nothing new and totally normal!
NHK building near the castle.
So pretty even when it’s on the ground and people just walk on it / past it every single day. It’s these little details that make Japan so unique! Even the slightest details are not overlooked.
Took a random walk at some random place before heading back to JR Osaka Station. We stayed at Hotel Granvia which was probably the best travel decision I made during this trip that I planned/fixed. It’s right in the heart of the station, making it incredibly convenient to travel from one place to another.
Don’t even get me started on how amazing shopping is in this area! You can walk to Yodobashi Umeda, HEP Five, EST Umeda, etc. It only takes about 8-10 minutes via train to the Namba area where you can find Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade, Umeda OPA, etc.
Not the best place if you’re struggling with any sort of self-imposed shopping ban as it’s going to be so hard to resist all the shiny things *u*
In the station itself, the North Building has Isetan and Lucua while the South Building has Daimaru. In Lucua, there’s an EMODA and a MURUA. <3
With my brother Juju at a coffee shop somewhere in the station. He ended up being my companion in my Tokyo sponsored trip shortly after this one! More on that soon! Will have to finish my Osaka, Kyoto and Nara posts first. *shiny eyes*
Took these pictures while waiting for boarding at Kansai Airport. As with all my previous trips to Japan, this particular trip to Osaka and Kyoto felt a little too short. I could’ve used an extra day or two to travel to Kobe or something, but I guess I’ll have to wait until next time. Nonetheless, Japan was still awesome. Nothing new!
With all the traveling that I do, I’m pretty sure some of you guys are curious if I’ve ever had any airport nightmares. Luckily, I’ve never had any weird transfers or unexpected delays, or worse, missed flights. Knock on wood that these will never happen! I guess you can call me paranoid for always arriving at the airport way earlier than the preferred time. You’ll never know! Usually, the check-in counters for my flight are still closed when I get to the airport, lol.
Most people (myself included) nowadays just look at the time on their phones. But when traveling, I always make sure to have two sources. Obsessive-compulsive me is always on schedule (though if the need arises, I can always adjust and be flexible) and looking at the time on my wrist is waaay faster than having to bring out my phone from my bag or pocket.
This particular Casio Sheen watch that I brought to Japan has a face that is entirely covered with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS. You’ll never need a lot of jewelry with this on your wrist.
You can get it here.
Kept the rest of my airport outfit simple and comfy because I had to wake up at 4 in the morning to get ready.
This necklace style, where the ends aren’t connected, are all over stores in Japan! On one hand, it just looks like the necklace is broken. On the other hand, it’s like the jewelry version of a scarf. Unique design!
Stay tuned for my Osaka and Kyoto travel diaries! I’m already bound for Tokyo mid-May so I might just do a single MOFW (My Own Fashion Week) for all. Can’t wait to show you guys what I bought! So many cutesy floral stuff for a change. <3 The exchange rate is wonderful right now so I was able to get a lot of clothes for cheap. AND ALL THE GOLDEN WEEK DISCOUNTS. I die!