Sunday, December 30, 2012

★ ♩ ♪ Nightmares Before Xmas... And a Nihon New Year! ♩ ♪ ★

December 28, 2012 IG Post: "WOOT!! After two days of anxiety!! Atreyu and I are finally gonna experience our first Japanese New Year!! Thank you universe!!! #japan #travel #visa"

To be honest this year's December may have been one of the most un-festive December I've experienced ... May be mainly because it's the first Christmas my brother and sister, Kevin & Stacy are away and have just settled in NYC. We used to compare each other's looted gifts and a few new clothes... but this year I didn't recall seeing any of my siblings do this Xmas habits we've come accustomed to... Like Christmas what?

Personally, I felt excited as many events started to come, December is one of the peak season of any fashion designers... But as weeks goes by it felt simply exhausting with rushed job orders, stingy discounts, bogus transactions and even more annoyingly worse... heckling trolls. 

I may be sounding like a scrooge but Fashion Designers are human beings too. If stereotype may seem to project us as some beings who bears clothes as fruits and can easily GIVEAWAY clothes... Please. Spare us a little humanity. I must say that this December just thinking and scheduling deliveries and deadlines made me sleepless for a couple of weeks. I just wish I could beg people to respect every other people's job and source of living. How can we all flourish when everyone cheapens each other's works and crafts? 

Gomen nasai... I just wanted to air a little bit of the "Reality Bites", I've been feeling this Christmas Season... How I felt more robbed than I felt the spirit of "giving". It was sad. But nonetheless, I am thankful to still have reasons to be joyful about. 

Holiday isn't over yet! 
We can still make this a happy holiday! 

Since the whole gang has fled to Guam for the New Year's Holiday... We tried our luck... Atreyu & I to apply for a Japan Visa to celebrate the New Year with Kareshi. After all, he is like my family and my rock. Ever since last year, I kept wishing to spend Christmas with Taka but I never really thought it will happen sooner. I am happy to celebrate Christmas with our funny games and trinkets of gifts. But it would be the best to open the year seeing Taka and celebrating New Year in one time zone.

It was actually a hard ball... As we've came to decide to make this speedy-trip, it was already Christmas Day where most concerned offices, banks and agencies were closed. But this is the moment I believe in the line "The Universe Conspires". At first we could find a decent plane ticket from Manila to Osaka (since Kareshi is originally from Kansai) then suddenly we found a relatively affordable ticket via PAL! Beating against all odds, we miraculously prepared our visa application in a day and (THANK YOU UNIVERSE!) we got them in the nick of time... on the last office day of 2012. 

Prepping up Atreyu and my Japan Visa Application within HALF A DAY! Thank you UNIVERSE!! 

I kept trying to think of "The Secret" way of thinking... I was trying to think we would really pull it off despite the short-rushed-Nihon-New Year -Trip... I kept thinking of happy thoughts and places I've longed to check out in Kansai Region...

I've been thinking about these orange torii in Kyoto... The Fushimi Inari Shrine in Southern Kyoto.
I've always wanted to see this "Memoirs of a Geisha" place... the Fushimi Inari Shrine but even more-so  I have been dreaming about this place for a couple of times. I remember some mornings I randomly text Taka and tell him I dreamt of the orange torii again... I just seems a very spiritual and contemplative place to visit. 

New Year is more spiritually and culturally significant to Japanese... I've learned that Kyoto is one of the most popular places visited during the New Year. Going to the Temples and Shrines is a spiritual way to "cleanse" and start the New Year with a clean-slate... Just the idea of having a deep and meaningful practice in a New Year make it seem to be a good place to be anywhere else in the world.

Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
August 7, 2011 ~ Summer in Namba with Taka!
I've been to the Kansai Region once... Mochiron, Tokyo and I will always have this special affair. Haha. But Kansai has a special charm in it too that I look forward to! 

First on my list is the FOOD! The best thing in Kansai (Osaka, Kobe, etc) would probably the food... They relatively have bigger servings and more affordable food compared to Tokyo. The food trip is one of the most memorable experience I have with Osaka and Kansai in general. Mochiron, I'm looking forward to OKONOMIYAKI in Osaka and the best TAKOYAKI by America Mura (American Village). These dishes are the best food to try in Osaka! I'm really excited to taste them again!

August 6, 2011 ~ Having OKONOMIYAKI ( = The Japanese Pizza/Pancake-ish Meal) for lunch in Osaka!
August 5, 2011 This was my first time to try the Takoyaki in American Village! I think and I recommend this to everyone going to Osaka! I have to thank my best tour Osakan guide ever... Tomoka-san for showing me around Osaka like a local!
Aside from the food, I was looking forward to seeing my gurlfriend and fellow Gossip Girl fangirl, Tomoka-san... I call her "The Japanese Blair" haha! (... And I'm Li'l J) 

August 3, 2011 ~ Had dinner with my new friend Tomoka Mandai! It was so much fun talking about girl stuff ♥ Umeda, Osaka

I wanted to have purika with her this time since we didn't get to do it last time we met in Osaka... But unfortunately, she's leaving for Shizuoka for work. *Sigh* Osaka won't be the same without the Nihonjin-Blair Tomoka!

But nonetheless, It's okay... I know we can still have a good time in Kansai... It's Atreyu's first time to travel in Japan... So this will truly be a memorable one. Actually, it's gonna be my first winter too! We feel anxious and excited at the same time! OMG! It's gonna be a cold-cold-winter-white-Nihon-New-Year!

We are such a heavy packer!! Three luggage for 6 day trip? Hey it's winter!
I'm looking forward to the relaxed and quiet city of Kobe where we will be staying... I remember summer last year where I was so amused with how peaceful Kobe was... I feel like I'm in some J-Dorama of some sort! Haha!

August 2011 ~ The suburban Shinkaichi, Kobe. This place is so quiet compared to Osaka and Tokyo! 
But I heard Kobe is also famous for their Illuminations... although Xmas is over I wonder if we can still see it... I hope they didn't take it down yet!

Each year, the annual illumination event is held by Kobe City to commemorate survivors from the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake of the year 1995.
It's a bittersweet memory to commemorate the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake but it's also heartfelt that it is remembered in very beautiful sight. It must be a very nice sight to see in real life.

I was surprised to learn that there's a very fun kid's place around Hyogo... I always thought it's just a quiet place. Haha. But I learned that there's a very fun kid's place named "Kidzania Koshien in Nishinomiya! Whaaa! I wanted to go... okay I'm like a child even more than my kid! Haha!

Kidzania Koshien Nishinomiya!
Kidzania is an interactive amusement place for kids... It's like a miniature world where kids can work with different professions! It's really an interesting place and educational too! At every end of their shift kids get paid for the work they have done in play money and eventually they can use their money to buy things aroound the Kidzania Town! Isn't that exciting by itself?! It's the dreamland of "Bahay-bahayan" childhood game in Filipino context! haha!

But due to the coolness and popularity of this place, it's very steep... The entrance is 3,000 Yen  for kids just for a 5-6 hours stay. Too bad, it's pretty steep for me and Atreyu... But may be next time when we comeback on a not-so-crowded season, may be we could try!

But I've learned another interesting place for kids that  we can visit in Kansai... The "Kids Plaza" in Osaka is a pretty popular place among the travel sites I've research online. 

Kids Plaza Osaka
Cool and interesting kid's place in Osaka!
I'm sure Atreyu is so excited to visit this place! Mochiron me and Taka too because we are also kids. Haha! It seems like a very colorful and fun place to take photos!! Oooh fun!

What's even more priceless is the the time we can spend together with Taka... I'm looking forward to taking purikuras with Taka and Atreyu... The real one... I mean we had some make-shift purikura pics here in Manila but the real Purikura in Japan are the best!

Taka and Tracy's first Purikura in Namba, Osaka! This is still my favorite!!
March 2012 ~ Our make-shift Purikura in Timezon in Manila! Haha!
May 2011 ~ The oldest lowest resolution make-shift old-skul purikura... the neo print. haha!
I can't wait to write Holiday greeting cards to friends and loved one signed by the three of us! Postcard time!!
Can't wait to send out our postcards!
Whaaa! I still have so many things to write! But my mind is so hodgepodge and random these days! Of course I have more places I wanna check out in Kansai... especially the fashion and shopping places!

If I still have time I will write another blog, but since I still have to attend a wedding Tiara event today and our flight is tomorrow... I think I might just posting post-trip photos! haha! Well, I can only hope.

Wish us luck and safety in our first trip together in Japan! Despite the Nightmares we had this Christmas... I'm so thankful and feel so blessed to experience a difference New Year this coming 2013... 

あけましておめでとう。Akemashite omedetou, everyone! 
Looking forward to greeting everyone a Nihon New Year tomorrow in Kansai from Tracy, Taka and Atreyu! I'm so excited to write more adventures next year!


  1. sorry haven't posted for a while. Happy new year! I'm so happy you get to see your kareshi!!!! You guys look good together

    1. OMG, I swear some of my blog replies I dunno where it goes! But thanks! I swear I totally remember replying to your comment!

      Happy New Year to you, too! (Well this is kinda late! But I wanna wish you a happy new year still!)


  2. It is my regret that I could not take Atreyu to Kidzania...


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