Continuing from where we left off with the last of my New York travel diaries. Until now, it still pains me to think of how short the duration of my stay in the Big Apple was! There are way too many things to do and people to meet. 3 days is definitely not enough!
I’ll just have to go again soon!
A quirky Korean cafe near our hotel. I love Koreatown because it all feels very familiar!
On our first full day in New York, my mom, brother and I decided to head to Central Park! We couldn’t have picked a better time to go because the weather was very cooperative for once. The sun was out and it was glorious.
Luck, please stay with me forever!
Is this real life or is this just fantasy?
Chilling at Central Park! We went in the morning so there weren’t too many people yet.
The San Remo apartments. Lots of famous people live here, and I envy them for having such a wonderful view of Central Park.
I’ve only seen the park in winter before, and I must say that the best time to go is during autumn. Everything ends up looking like a painting.
That reflection tho.
Bethesda Terrace. Another famous landmark that we always see in movies.
Spot the couple. I always have photos of couples in my travel diaries, if you’ve noticed!
New York street style. <3
After Central Park, we had quick lunch somewhere and headed to The Frick Collection on Fifth Avenue, between 70th and 71st Street. They didn’t allow photography so I’ll just have to write about it.
PLEASE GO TO THE FRICK COLLECTION IF YOU’RE IN NEW YORK. It is one of the best museums I’ve ever been to. If Henry Clay Frick were still alive, I’d want to ask him, “Are you me?” I have a very similar taste in art as him.
So many favorites in the collection. Don’t know where to start. Besides Vermeer’s work (The Girl With The Pearl Earring was there for a limited time, and I’ll have to thank the universe for letting me see it!), there was a whole French-style room with Fragonard’s paintings. I love Fragonard’s work and I wish I could live in that Fragonard room.
Another favorite was the Boucher room. (Can you tell that I really like French artists?)
After The Frick Collection, we headed straight for all the other touristy places we haven’t been to.
This was shot from inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Too bad 90% of the place was under construction so I couldn’t take more photos! It was all scaffolding. /cry
Had cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery (Avenue of the Americas). Couldn’t get a proper photo because there were too many people wanting to get some yummy noms.
What people do for food!
SoHo. Lots of 2011 memories here! I didn’t do any shopping this time (I had to ask myself a number of times if I were sick, lol) but it was fun to show my mom and brother around.
One of the nicest places to shop for shoes!
Last stop was the Opening Ceremony store a.k.a. my dream walk-in closet.
On our last day, before heading to the airport for our Boston flight, we decided to go MoMA / Museum of Modern Art.
This was also one of the highlights of my trip because I got to see with my very own eyes a lot of the iconic work I used to just read/study/research about.
Hello there, Dali! The Persistence of Memory.
MONDRIAN! I’ve always been vocal about my fixation on squares, straight lines and anything boxy (which even translates to my everyday fashion)…
…and I have Piet Mondrian partly to blame for everything.
Last one. I promise.
Van Gogh’s The Starry Night.
Affogato at the museum cafe.
Warhol’s Soup Cans.
It’d hurt to read this.
The view outside. I wonder how it feels like to live right across MoMA.
Reminds of a driver we met in Rome a few years ago. He gets to pass by the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Basilica everyday like it’s nothing, lol.
I want a similar one in my future house.
That famous blank canvas that always gets people thinking.
Hauntingly beautiful. Now, imagine something creepy coming out of that small cabinet…
Commuting in New York like a boss. Once you get the hang of the Uptown and Downtown thing, it all becomes easier.
Walking back to our hotel at this point.
Checked this Alice and Olivia store out because I’m such a fan of the brand! Had a small conversation with the sales lady about her friends leaving her all alone in New York while they all enjoyed Halloween in Boston. Then she asked me where I was going that night… and I was like, uhh, Boston? D:
More noms. There is always time for New York bakeries.
Inside the Empire State Building. Didn’t have time to go up anymore. /bawls
The New York Marathon happened on this day, and we found a lot of these marathoners wrapped with orange all over the city.
Last bite before leaving the city.
Spectacular way to start November 2013. I’ve always had a soft spot for November because it’s my birth month, but awesome things ALWAYS happen before my birthday! This whole US trip was one of them.
Stay tuned for my Boston, LA and Taipei posts next!
I just breezed through New York when I went to the US last year. Apologies to all my NYC friends who were shocked when I started posting photos on Instagram! I dropped zero hints that I was visiting, lol. Promise to spend a week or two in the city next time!
New York in less than 3 days = crazy, but totally doable. While my mom was booking tickets to Chicago, Boston, etc., I begged her to book tickets to New York too, even if it means only doing touristy stuff and zero shopping time.
I didn’t get to do ANYTHING during my last trip in 2011. Can’t remember if I mentioned this already, but I suffered from a 39 degree fever and a urinary tract infection the whole Tumblr x NYFW. It was so bad that I constantly had to go to the hospital, get prescription antibiotics, take care of myself enough to attend shows and take pictures, socialize and pretend that I was completely fine, survive in -15C winter weather, be conscious enough not to contaminate anyone with my germs, and stay in the confines of my hotel room for 3 whole days. Just my luck.
Worst part was I missed watching Wicked! Thankfully, I’m watching Wicked in Manila end of February so yay after 3 years, it’s finally happening!
Stayed in Koreatown / West 32nd Street again! Thanks to all the yummy Asian food for aiding my recovery last 2011. Eat all the rice and noodles!
Flew in via plane from Chicago to New York instead of taking the Amtrak, but we would’ve wound up in Penn Station if we did. Good thing we didn’t, because Penn Station was so packed! It was almost impossible to breathe.
We got to our hotel mid-afternoon, and booked last minute tickets to a broadway show. Luckily, there were still some seats available for Jersey Boys!
Near our hotel was this quirky food bazaar.
Jersey Boys was great, but I missed a scene or two because of jet lag. The mind was willing but the body was too weak.
To those who have no idea about the story, it’s based on the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Some of their popular hits during the ’60s were Big Girls Don’t Cry, Sherry, My Eyes Adored You and of course, the hit single, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.
After the show, we headed to Times Square to take photos and check all the Halloween shenanigans out.
There were zombies everywhere. And some were quite scary because they were really in character. Creepy zombie walk with creepy zombie sounds. Some of them would go up to your face and deliberately scare you while you’re walking and minding your own business, lol.
Couldn’t have picked a better night to go to Times Square. So many people went all out with their costumes. Legit ones and slutty ones.
We originally wanted to watch Kinky Boots but tickets were sold-out! Seems like you have to book tickets 2-3 months ahead if you want to watch it.
Spiderman spotted. Can’t wait for The Amazing Spiderman 2!
I felt like I was at a cosplay convention. People were taking pictures left and right. For once, I didn’t feel out of place!
1 million dollars fee for a photo. *evil laugh*
Edgy Halloween fashion. Look at her tail!
Suddenly, Hook and Tink happened.
Sacrificed my life to get this photo.
Also, omg, the weather was so wonderful, I could finally leave my coat in my luggage.
Last photo before I had to keep my camera inside my bag to protect it from the rain.
Randomly found Pie Face (my favorite place to have breakfast in Melbourne) on my way back to the hotel, but the cheese sticks paled in comparison to the original. Boo! Bring me back to Melbourne!
My mom left all the planning to me because I’m such an enthusiastic tourist and I enjoy making itineraries. Sometimes I whine about making them, but I secretly love it. I also enjoy being in charge of the map! I’m fairly good with directions and I’ve never gotten my family lost before.
MUST NOT WASTE TIME. MUST GO TO ALL THE PLACES POSSIBLE.
Decided to go the 9/11 Memorial before catching the last boat to the Statue of Liberty.
I never took the NY subway in 2011 in favor of cabs, but I tried it with my mom and brother for the experience. So confusing! However, it gets so much better once you realize the Uptown/Downtown thing. (Went to Boston after New York and I just wanted to hug the T for being so nice, easy and clean in comparison!)
I’m such a huge fan of buildings that look like this. BRB, spazzing over the pretty reflections.
Recognized this wall from Everybody Street, a documentary about New York’s iconic street photographers (Jill Freedman is one of my heroes).
The memorial plaza includes the north pool and south pool, set within the original footprints of the Twin Towers. The 9/11 memorial exuded a very solemn and peaceful atmosphere despite the tragedy that left a lot of people confused, angry and fearful.
The weeping waterfalls will make you want to cry.
On the birthday of the victims, a white rose is placed by their name.
Walked to New York Harbor to take the ferry to Liberty Island.
Hello Statue of Liberty from afar!
That surreal moment when the buildings look computer-generated when they are very much real. New York makes you doubt your eyes.
This little kid’s just as excited as me! Props for being able to stand on the deck though. I get sea sick easily!
Ellis Island, the gateway for immigrants to the United States. It was the busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954.
Liberty Island at last.
Statue of Liberty by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. It was a gift to the United States from the people of France in 1886.
It was so massive that I couldn’t take a photo of myself in front of it without cropping Lady Liberty’s head off.
Took the same ferry back to the city. Spotted this girl who had the cutest sailor jacket! WANT.
Met up with mom’s friend for dinner. She brought us to a French restaurant somewhere in the Flatiron District.
Yay for more reflective buildings.
One of my favorite travel photos EVER. Perfect timing, perfect weather, perfect lighting, etc. Thank you universe for conspiring to make this magical photo happen.
The building is known as “Flatiron” because of its resemblance to a clothes iron. It was designed by Daniel Burnham… who came from none other than Chicago, the architectural capital of the US. After my Chicago trip, I’m not surprised anymore that some of the greatest buildings in the US were made by Chicago architects.
Shake Shack at Madison Square Park! A week or two after I took this photo, my brother’s friend lined up here and found Taylor Swift and Lorde in the same line.
Watch out for Part 2 soon! More photos of Central Park, MoMA, etc!
100 was the original image count for this post, but I didn’t want your browsers to die so I did my best to bring it down to 80. Still a lot, but Chicago is too beautiful not to share. This post includes mostly the touristy places that you can visit in the city, as well as a good look at Chicago’s marvelous architecture.
My mom and I went to the Art Institute of Chicago the morning before meeting up with my brother who came all the way from Wyoming. We did this on purpose as he absolutely hates museums (he likened a sculpture at Musée d’Orsay to a piece of ginger, lol) and would rather spend time immersing himself in the city in other ways like food trips and visits to wherever’s hip and cool.
In my case, hip and cool means going to museums to check out famous works and just appreciating the skills of the artists who made them. I blame the art student in me for all the spazzing that ensued whenever I encountered something that I used to just read about! I thought I already died when I visited Paris (omg, that was 2 years ago already) but museums in the US are also really good! The Frick Collection in New York is my new favorite, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Just wait for my New York travel diaries!
Bernat Martorell’s Saint George Killing the Dragon. One of my favorites in the whole museum.
Major Yoshitaka Amano vibes. I wonder if Amano was inspired by Martorell in any way.
El Greco’s The Assumption of the Virgin on the left!
Grant Wood’s American Gothic.
Marc Chagall’s America Windows.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s At the Moulin Rouge.
Vincent van Gogh’s self-portrait. Selfie-ing before it was cool.
Georges-Pierre Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
2 from Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s Rinaldo and Armida series.
The Art Institute of Chicago includes famous artists such as Picasso, Degas, Monet, Cezanne, Gauguin, Renoir, Manet, etc.
But there’s also a Modern Wing where they feature special exhibitions, photography, film, video and new media exhibits, among others.
Shomei Tomatsu’s Island Life spoke to me strongly that I recommend everyone to see it, or at least research about it on the Internet if you can’t visit Chicago any time soon.
I spent a good half hour looking at his photographs, and could have easily spent another half day just ogling at his work if I only had unlimited time.
Issey Miyake IN-EI collection, a collaboration with Artemide.
Scholten & Baijings Colour Installation. It would be so cute if you had these in your house.
One of Hamanishi Katsunori’s mezzotints. Surprisingly there were so many Japanese artists featured in the museum!
One of the two lion statues by Edward Kemeys.
The Art Institute from across the street.
After meeting up with my brother Calel, we headed straight to Navy Pier…
…which was super surreal because it was closed? Somebody didn’t give us a memo that no one was going to be there that day!
Looked like a ghost town - gloomy weather, lack of people, zombie figures hanging from rooftops (Damn it - Halloween made it so much worse) and everything.
Encountered some street art on the long, creepy walk back to civilization.
Had these delicious desserts at Seasons 52 because Joe’s across the street was full! Made us totally forget about Zombieland, err, Navy Pier.
The next day, we went to The Field Museum where we found…
Sue, one of the largest and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex set of skeletons ever found! It is 90% complete, and its real head is so heavy they couldn’t hang it along with the rest of the body. The real head can be found on the second floor, in a glass case.
Sue’s real teeth.
Kids amazed/shocked at Sue’s massive size.
The Field Museum had a lot of these skeletons, but these two were my top picks besides Sue. Straight out of an RPG.
Walked to the Shedd Aquarium shortly after going through all the exhibits at The Field Museum…
…and found ourselves back home for a while.
Mysterious fathoms below.
Don’t even bother watching the aquatic show if you have no plans of working at the Shedd Aquarium, lol. This view is so much better.
Oh hey there, little fella!
After all the walking we did that day, we went back to the Magnificent Mile for early supper!
The Purple Pig is a must-try in Chicago! Loved every single thing that we ordered, dessert included!
THAT ROASTED BONE MARROW.
The following morning, my mom and brother accompanied me to Urban Outfitters which is pretty much one of my necessary shopping stops whenever I go to the US. Got cute boots for myself and some books for the boyfriend.
Found ourselves at Mariano Park after shopping!
And had to have my photo taken in this spot because I matched the flowers and Corner Bakery Cafe’s red with black and white stripes exterior.
My heart jumps when I notice these little details.
After lunch, we went on an architectural boat tour. Don’t miss this if you’re in Chicago! It gives you a certain understanding why and how Chicagoans know their buildings by heart!
That’s the Trump Tower on the left and the Wrigley Building on the right.
Would you park your car here? Marina City by Bertrand Goldberg. Completed in the 1960s, it is supposedly the first building in the US to be constructed with tower cranes.
World of Whirlpool Design Center, formerly Chicago Traffic Court on the left with the clock tower.
Merchandise Mart. When it opened in 1930, it was the largest building in the world. It is also one of the places mentioned in the Insurgent books!
333 West Wacker Drive on the right,
Harry Weese’s Chicago River Cottages
River Bank Lofts.
Erie On The Park on the left.
A. Montgomery Park.
180 North Wacker.
Kinzie Street railroad bridge, also known as the Carroll Avenue bridge, at one point the world’s longest and heaviest bascule bridge.
Civic Opera House, opened in 1929.
The Sears Tower covered by fog, lol. It’s so tall you can’t even see the top anymore. I was shaking at this point because the temperature dropped drastically and the tour was so much better from the deck than inside the boat!
River City, designed by the same architect who designed Marina City.
After the boat tour, my mom’s friend brought us to the Palmer House Hotel before heading to dinner. Can you believe that this hotel has been around since the 1870s? Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde are only two of the hotel’s most famous guests!
It is also the birthplace of the chocolate brownie! NOM <3
Louis Pierre Rigal’s ceiling paintings mostly on love and Greek romanticism.
Perfect place to do photoshoots!
Last memory of Chicago was a scrumptious dinner at the Grand Lux Cafe! The nice night view of Michigan Avenue was the cherry on top.
Watch out for my New York entry (or entries?) next! I only stayed for 3 days but managed to visit a lot of places that I wasn’t able to go to during my first trip last 2011!
This was the first stop of my almost-a-month-long trip to the US last October, and I couldn’t be happier that I finally got a break after working so hard on my book. Both my parents have been to Chicago a few times already, and their photos of the place totally convinced me that I should check it out one day. Didn’t know I could cross it off my bucket list already. And so soon!
I went with my mom to meet up with my youngest brother Calel, who has been working in a hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming since June. He had the whole month off to do whatever he wanted and decided to spend it with us.
Before I left Manila, I told a few people that I was going to Chicago and spending a few days in the city. Their initial reactions were all like, “What’s to see there?” To be honest, before my parents told me stories about Chicago, I’ve only heard about Chicago the movie, Chicago Bulls, Oprah, and deep dish pizza. Little did I know that Chicago is considered to be the architectural capital of the US, and that it has such an interesting history behind it. As a kid, American history never really interested me as much as European history, but this whole trip suddenly made me want to geek out on books and movies set during 18th-19th century America.
Expect more pretty buildings in the second Chicago post! I went on an architectural boat tour and froze my butt off trying take photos on the boat deck while it was 3 degrees C, raining and very, very windy, lol. Oh, the things I am willing to do for good photos.
Headed straight to our red-eye flight to Chicago from the LA airport. I can’t remember how many hours it took for us in total to get to Chicago from Manila but I pretty much slept through most of it so I didn’t feel like it was a long trip (even if it was).
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in North Wabash which had rooms that were just the right size for two people. Then my brother arrived and it got super crowded. Eek.
The location is wonderful though! Starbucks and Trader Joe’s were only about a minute away. The Magnificent Mile was also only about 5 minutes away.
As soon as my mom and I arrived in Chicago, we took a shower, had breakfast, and did our best not to fall asleep. So we toured so many places to keep our minds off the jetlag!
Marina City building on your right!
Michigan Avenue Bridge or DuSable Bridge, a Chicago landmark named after Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, Chicago’s first resident.
The four bridgehouses that supported the bridge had these sculptures on them. This one is called Defense by Henry Herring. It shows American Captain William Wells defending civilians from the Native American attack.
The first view (of many) of Chicago that took my breath away.
Wrigley Building details.
Somewhere near the park in front of the Wrigley Building was a large space that displayed these colorful sculptures.
John Milton quote on the wall.
Best place to go shopping in the city, though I didn’t buy a single thing for the whole duration of our Chicago leg. SO PROUD OF MYSELF!
I already did all my shopping in Tokyo before this so I didn’t really find the need to spend any more on clothes, shoes, etc. I did, however, buy something totally geeky when I went to New York. More on that soon!
Window shopping was fun though! This was the Burberry display. Those colors I can’t even
Oh hello, ridiculously convenient building where I can take a gratuitous photo of myself.
Always so dainty.
My favorite place! I would’ve splurged on all the pretty coats and sweaters if only we had winter back in Manila.
Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago.
Directly across the church is the John Hancock Center! My mom and I had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory on the ground level.
This building is currently the 4th tallest building in Chicago and the 7th tallest in the whole US.
On the top floor was an observatory where you can find a 360 degree view of the city.
So crisp and clean.
The other side of the city where there are less buildings. So unbelievably organized, this city plan.
In one of the exhibits in the observatory, they mentioned that besides the World’s First Exposition, Chicago is also known for a lot of famous “firsts” including the skyscraper, zipper, Twinkies, Cracker Jack, Ovaltine, Dove Bars, roller skates, ice cream sundaes, blood banks, successful heart surgery, and lie detector.
After the observatory, we walked to the Museum of Contemporary Art or MCA…
…because I love Alexander Calder’s work and wouldn’t mind if I lived in a room full of these glorious abstract shapes.
Another cool exhibition that I liked was Think First, Shoot Later: Photography from the MCA Collection which only ran until the 10th of November so I was lucky I was able to catch it.
Even the cafeteria looks artsy!
Chicago artists Stan Shellabarger & Dutes Miller went to the museum to knit as part of their performance called “Pink Tube”.
Taken by mom early the next morning. I was wearing a coat that you will see in all of my US photo diaries. I’m so gross.
Halloween was right around the corner so there were giant spider decorations on some buildings around the city.
When the light hits the buildings, there’s magic.
A lucky shot of birds with the Jewelers Building in the background, and Wrigley Building on the right.
Lunch time at Giordano’s before meeting up with my mom’s college friend Tita Malou. She was planning to bring us to Giordano’s for dinner but I’m glad my mom and I already tried it for lunch. There’s no way I would be able to eat this much before sleeping!
It took about 40 minutes before our meal arrived but the wait was worth it! Deep dish pizza will be the death of me. I had two of these monsters considering I just had late breakfast. EAT ALL THE CHEESE!
After lunch, we went back to the hotel to meet up with my mom’s friend and her son who were kind enough to bring us around the city in their car!
First agenda was to take a good photo of the Chicago Skyline. Thank God my balat sa pwet decided to go on a quick vacation as well because the weather was perfect for picture taking. No rain until… well, the architectural boat tour a.k.a. the most important tour, lol.
The tallest building there with the two white rods is the Sears Tower!
The Adler Planetarium is the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, opened in 1930.
Then we went to Millennium Park. RED EVERYWHERE! Craziness ensued.
The Heritage, Smurfit Stone Building, One Prudential Plaza, etc.
The Cloud Gate / The Bean by Anish Kapoor! Looks like liquid mercury. Check out that lovely reflection of the city skyline!
Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
Jet lag was starting to take its toll so we walked to a nearby coffee shop for a quick caffeine fix. My mom’s friend’s son recommended a place where a lot of young and hip(ster) people hang out.
I am still dreaming of Intelligentsia Coffee until today. Someone bring me back to Chicago and let’s just hang out here everyday!
Millenium Park Coffee Bar is at 53 and 55 East Randolph, between Michigan and Wabash Avenues. The baristas had funky hairstyles.
Had this nice, simple and epic cup of latte!
We drove around the city some more until my mom’s friend dropped us off at Sears Tower / Willis Tower while they did their own thing. On top of the tower is a skydeck similar to the one in John Hancock Center but before letting you in, they show you a short video presentation about the construction of the building.
In 1973, it was the tallest building in the world, and it held this title for 25 years. Now it is the second tallest building in the US and the eight tallest building in the world.
Thanks Chicago for exceeding my expectations.
And thank you Portillo’s for existing because you made my hungry tummy happy with your Italian beef and hotdogs! NOM
Part 2 soon! Then I’ll probably have 2 posts for New York, 2 posts for Boston, and 1 post for LA. I have 6 of these long travel diaries to go, plus my Taiwan trip with my family and a pending sponsored trip to Lausanne, Switzerland in January (if my visa gets processed in time)! Le excite!
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 a must-visit because it is huge and beautiful.
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.
This guy should have a photo of me taking a photo of him in his camera.
Gloomy day in Shibuya.
A view I can never get tired of.
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!
EMODA flew me to Tokyo for the second time this year, and it made my October even more memorable. It didn’t matter that my flight was scheduled so early the morning after my book launch, since I was on such a #TriciaGosingtianStyleBook high that I didn’t care if I was running on 2 hours of sleep with a full schedule ahead of me.
On days when I didn’t have work, I went around Tokyo on my own to take pictures as I always do. What I love most about Tokyo is its “organized chaos” that speaks to me very strongly. I don’t think any other place in the world can compare to it, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it either. I qualified for a multiple-entry visa when I just applied for single-entry, so expect more Japan travel diaries in the next 3 years!
I was just there last May, but it didn’t dampen my enthusiasm at all. You will never run out of interesting things to find and experience in Tokyo. This time, everyone was preparing for Halloween, and imho, no one does Halloween better than Tokyo. Sadly, I missed all the Japanese Halloween events as I’ve been traveling all over the US since late October, but at least I got to experience it in Times Square NYC!
Who’s watching Ando Roid ~ A.I. know LOVE?
How can I not watch this when they casted 2 flawless actors as the leads?
Hysteric Glamour’s Shibuya store on my way back to my hotel.
ASOKO! Somewhere in between Shibuya and Harajuku. The lines outside this place were crazy long, so I wasn’t able to go in because I didn’t have the luxury of time.
I did, whoever, manage to take a quick peek inside before I left. They sell really well-designed novelty goods at super affordable prices. I thought I saw a sign that read 20 yen and 100 yen!
Because no Japan post will ever be complete without some Arashi.
WEGO Harajuku! One of the most affordable places to get the latest trends. Prices are generally cheaper than brands in Shibuya 109 but the themes are quite similar.
Limited edition MCM. If you follow K-pop closely, a lot of male idols have sported MCM backpacks in the past.
Things that I don’t normally see in places outside Tokyo.
ROLA! I love her so much, I can’t even.
Walked along Harajuku and had to take a photo of the pretty light and shadow play on the buildings.
P.S. This giant Nike has free wifi, hohoho
This brand is always brings me back to those days when I dressed in a more girly-dainty style.
merry jenny is also a MARK STYLER brand like EMODA, MURUA, etc, and also presents collections at touchMe fashion shows.
In front of Shibuya Hikarie.
KEIKO AND KYOKO IN ONE MOVIE. SO MANY FEELS.
Through the years I have mastered the art of taking pictures of interesting backs.
When matchy matchy goes extreme.
Subtle fairy-kei? They were so cute I wanted to put them inside my pocket!
Hello Kitty is cute, but I just have to point out the Bananas and Pajamas illustration! (!)
Shibuya Crossing before the chaos.
Kata-cute, lol (I finally get to use it!)
Visited Meiji Shrine in Harajuku one morning. The sun was so lovely and cooperative.
I went in from one of the many entrances, and managed to do a bit of self-reflection while I braved the long walk to the main shrine. Some people think traveling alone can make you feel lonely, but for oh-so-introverted me, I enjoy the silence very much.
It was a wonderful day for family bonding.
So lucky I went the same time parents were bringing their kids to their coming-of-age ceremony.
Someone just got married, and I took a quick photo of them organizing themselves for a formal family portrait.
Messages from all over the world. It doesn’t get any more international in other places than in Meiji Shrine.
Family portrait under the shade.
One of the interesting details I found on a gate. 4 hearts forming into some sort of 4 leaf clover. Or maybe it’s just me.
Clear blue sky. Thank you to the rain gods for not punishing me with unnecessary drizzle during this trip.
Looks like scene from a movie. One of my travel entry trademarks are these candid couple photos, and this one is slowly climbing up my favorites chart.
The beginnings of an anime series.
The surreal view on my way out of the shrine. Part 2 coming soon!
One of the reasons why I’m posting this on time (and not 3 months late) is because I think I took way too many photos over here in the US. Prepare for my next travel diaries on Chicago, New York and Boston because I didn’t bring my heavy dSLR with me for once. I’m so psyched about my new baby - I bought a Fujifilm X-Pro 1 in Tokyo as a present to myself for completing my book. I could’ve easily gotten myself my dream designer bag or a pair of designer shoes, but this girl’s obviously got different priorities. :)