Monday, October 22, 2018

Souvernirs and Pasalubong from Japan - Part Two

Part 1 is here, about 3 years ago. 

So this time, we went to Osaka (Same Places and something new) since It is the first time for my brother and his family; and then went to Nagoya. 

Sharing with you some Souvenirs, Pasalubong and the Only in Japan cute finds in this post!

If you see the Tax Free Sign! Then at least you know you will get an 8% discount for the total of your purchases. Most shopping area does have this sign all over Japan! =) Enjoy it. 



Don Quijote stores are all over Japan as well. If you see this cute Penguin along with Don Quijote, then its the store that offers a lot of Pasalubong. They are a whole building full of snacks, sweets and chocolates, branded clothes, bags, etc that can be bought for a discount. 



Chocolates, Biscuits and Corn Snacks






Don't miss out this Doraemon Look Alike Snack! Its really tasty. The Purple and the Blue flavor is my favorite. 


Takoyaki Flavored Pringles


I know Macadamia Chocolates by Meiji is available here, but its really cheap in Japan! =) 



Other Meiji Products are also available, like this Macha Biscuits. Its really good, btw! 


since You are in Japan, then you should not miss out on their especially unique Kitkat Flavors. 



The Matcha (Green Tea) Powder is a must. perfect for tea lovers. This is the 2nd time we bought these and though they are a bit expensive, the taste is really good, very similar to the ones served in rotating sushi restaurant in Dotonbori. 



Also if you want to get some chocolates that are cheap, but unique to Japan, these single packed chocolates only costs 32Yen.  the larger ones are at 90 yen. Very good Pasalubong if you have a lot of friends and officemates! :D 




You can also buy some Geisha packed candies and they are really cute. One pack is about 500yen. 



Other Souvenirs and Pasalubong you can find:

This guy here is famous in Osaka. I find it a bit expensive so I haven't bought any. :P 




In some department stores (also tax free) you can also choose to take home some local Sake. 



If you want to go a bit further, I found these crablets snack in a shop around dotonbori. 



And, Only in Japan can you find these cute Band-aids designed with their Local Railway Trains and Bullet Trains. :D 


And, if you like Coke (Coca Cola), then you must also try to look for these famous Japan cities' designs. 

The Nagoya Gold is available in Nagoya Airport, found it in the food court on 4th floor near the Chubu Centrair Sky Deck. 


Others are available all over the Cities. Be careful to check out the Vendo Machines too. They are much cheaper in Vendo Machines than in the tourist spots stores. 


Here, I got the following locations:

(1) Mt. Fuji
(2) Hida Takayama (Old Street)
(3) Nagoya Gold (the Fish is the symbol of wealth, can also be found in Nagoya Castle)
(4) Nagoya (Nagoya Castle with Photo of the Samurai)
(5) Kyoto - The Geisha is the feature on this bottle

Each bottle costs about 170 yen to 300 yen.


If you are a fan of Marvels, there are also a lot of these cute characters. 



Groot Keychain

If you have a niece or a nephew, a plushie may be your choice. :D There's a lot of them in the shopping areas. 



And for Family members, and special someone - you might want to give them something special. These are Starbucks mug with different designs and Cities. each is about 1800yen. I kind of picked based on the colors, but there are like 10 or a dozen designs and Japanese Cities you can choose from, Osaka, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Kyoto, etc. 





* We've been to Kyoto Starbucks, Osaka, and Downtown Nagoya. But these mugs we've only seen in Chubu Centrair Nagoya Airport. I am not sure if they are also available in other locations. =) 

Souvenirs for the oldies, who loves a bit of massage... these candy colored massagers only costs P650 each because of tax free and additional discount if you use a visa card in Yodobashi department stores. 



There are also a lot and cheap souvenirs like chopsticks and shot glasses. Take time to choose the colors and the designs, each costs only about 50 pesos if you convert it to our money. Great gifts as they do not look cheap at all. 



There are of course several designs and types of Fridge magnet that you can choose as another Souvenirs. I will share those that I got and update this post soon. :D 

KitKat Flavors of Japan!

I've visited Japan 3 years ago and the flavors or KitKat chocolate grew more since then! There were only Strawberry, Macha and Strawberry Cheesecake before (as far as I can remember). Now they sure have a lot of flavors and have premium ones as well. =) >> or Maybe I haven't seen them because they were out of stock? We went in December last time, now we went in October. :P 

Here are some I saw and bought in stores all over Japan during our 9 day trip. 

1. Kitkat Sake Flavor



There's Japan Sake, and Ume Sake. Comes in these nice box, about 780 yen each box.

2. Shinshu Apple Kitkat (Shinshu Edition)

  

3. Purple Sweet Potato Kitkat (Okinawa-Kyushu Edition)



4. Azuki Sandwich Flavor (Red Beans)




5. Kitkat Chestnut











* Below are the previous flavors i got from Japan. They were much simpler. :D 






You can also check out my previous post on Pasalubong from Japan! HERE

Klook your way! Its the best way! =) Singapore, Japan, Taipei and Bangkok

I've always gone to Klook for almost every park entrances in all of my out of the country trips. 

It is convenient, fast, and no need to print the vouchers too. It also works offline so if you do not have a wifi connection, just download the purchased voucher beforehand. 

I have tried the following passes and it has always worked with no issue at all! 

I've used it in Taipei, Singapore, Thailand, and in Japan. 

Sign up and claim your discounts and rewards as you book an activity. Here are the best choices! 

Singapore: 

1. Sim Card! Claim upon arrival on the airport, they will also set it up for you. Hassle Free. 

2. Singapore Zoo Ticket - book online, exchange the voucher on site via kiosks and get your ticket. Fast and easy. 

3. Universal Studios Singapore Ticket (1 Day Pass) - show QR code at the entrance gate. hassle free. (we got ours with a free lunch meal too and it was really great!) 

4. Gardens by the Bay - This is a must! spend the whole morning in here, walk up and try the cloud walk. get out, and shop a little, come back at night and enjoy the light show! =) 

Thailand and Taipei, Taiwan:
1. 4G Sim - Pick up in klook booth at the airport.

2. Taipei 101 Ticket - No need to fall in line to buy tickets. The place can be packed with people so be there early and show voucher and go up with ease. 


Japan - Nagoya and Osaka:

1. 4G sim - valid for 8 days, easy to set up. just follow the instructions and it is really easy. Signal is not lost even if we went from one prefecture to another. 

2. Icoca Cards - easy to redeem, with pre-loaded 1500yen. card is refundable for 250yen but why refund, you can still use it next time you travel to Japan! =) it remains active for 10 years. > Mainly for Osaka Trains, but we were able to use it in Nagoya, etc. it pretty much works in all machines that has the IC logo. 

3. Kintetsu Rail Pass - redeem in Nagoya Kintetsu Station. Easy to use, valid for 2 or 5 days. Saves you a lot of money if you are travelling from Nagoya to Osaka, to Kyoto, Nara, and Ise. 

4. Universal Studios Japan One Day pass - just present the QR code, have it scanned on the machine entrance and you are good to go! 

5. Universal Studios Amazing Express Pass - we got the express pass for 4 rides, mainly for the Harry Potter. saves you a lot of time because the good rides have at least 80 mins wait time each and it means you won't be able to enjoy a lot of rides especially during peak hours. It is a must! 

6. Legoland One day Pass - If you are going to Nagoya and will visit the Legoland, I suggest to get the voucher too. you need to have the ticket exchanged in the foreign visitors lane and there's not much people lining up especially at 930am compared to those who will buy the ticket onsite. 

* No need for express pass here (even if they do offer them). The rides are quick, not much waiting time especially for rides that are for much older than 10yo. we were able to cover the whole park early during weekdays and was even able to ride twice in some attractions. 

7. Kaiyukan Ticket - Osaka Aquarium! Visit the aquarium for less. while you are at it, ride the largest Ferris wheel, Tempozan Ferris Wheel just beside the Aquarium. 

8. Shirakawa-go and Takayama Day Tour - If you are staying in Nagoya, alot a day for this tour! it is worth the time. the bus fare alone for these places costs double the amount of the whole tour itself. There is an English guide and though the tour is primarily in Japanese, they show videos of the places in English. 

There are also a lot of tickets to sight-seeing spots and Temples, but they cost pretty much the same, don't purchase them in advance yet as you may still change your plans. I shared those that you must go and allot a day for. :D 

Happy Trip! 




Additional Info on Japan Visa Application (for Filipinos)

A lot of blogs are already helping out our fellow Filipinos on how to apply for a Visa. Thanks to their sharing, It is rather easier and comforting to submit an application. =) So when you have got a few savings, and the excitement to visit Japan, then just go! =) 

I would also like to share my experiences and I think it will also help a lot of others who will apply, and have some questions on mind. 


On Requirements: 

1. Birth Certificate - Do not forget to check your Birth Certificate Copy. Make sure the copy has your name typed clearly. My Sis in Law's overlapped with the field names hence, she was asked to submit the original copy (additional time / effort going back to the agency) of the birth certificate. So check clarity of documents before going to avoid multiple trips to the agency. 

> For 2nd time applicant, don't bother. They will not get the copy. 

2. Bank Certification - others may tell you to submit a statement of account as well if you can, well they did not get my copy since its not a requirement> just a waste of paper so don't bother. ;) 

> Even if the Certificates you got is not in size A4, there is no need to photocopy. I brought copies in A4 but they were all returned to me, all the agency took are the original copies. 

Multiple Visa Request: 

1. There is no need to submit a cover letter! They have a form for Multiple Visa Request. I just used this and got approved just the same. (I actually prepared a cover letter but the staff asked me and actually suggested to forgo my cover letter since i also filled up the multiple request form.) 

2. For applicants with expired Japan Visa - bring the old passport with the Visa on it. It will surely help you get the Multiple Visa request ;) 

> Some blogs will also tell you to bring a photocopy of the old VISA as attachment; well there is absolutely no need for this, I brought mine but was just returned just the same. 


Filling up of the Application Form:

1. The Agencies have Application Forms available, you can fill up in the agency itself. It can be handwritten. 

2. If you made a mistake, do not use a correction pen, do not erase. just cross it out by writing a single or double line on the wrong information. It's okay. :D 

3. Many had this filled up incorrectly, the 2nd page wherein if you have a "local" guarantor, like your parents paying for your trip. my sis in law and my niece all filled this up. it turned out to be for Japanese Guarantors only. So just put N/A on this part. 


Applying for minors and dependents:

1. They do not need to show up in the agency. The main applicant needs to be there, and the guarantor if they will travel together and that's it. All the papers are processed together, and claimed together.


*We applied via Reli Tours and Travel. around 1030 am we are there already; but a lot of people are already inside filling up forms and claiming their passports, etc. If you came from the other side of the Megamall building there are also other agencies offering Japan Visa application in the same floor and their stores had no line or no people, so you might be tempted... but I'd suggest to just go to Reli Tours as they are quite experienced already in Japan Visa processing. 





Thursday, August 23, 2018

On a Roadtrip to Bataan...

I love history, I love historical places but my mind have no such retention for the details and so I will just give you the link to wikipedia's for the history of the Mount Samat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Samat.






For the most part, what i love about historical places is the differnet kind of feeling they give you, a sense of being proud perhaps for our ancestors who have fought for our liberty and perhaps for theirs as well. Our trip to Mt Samat is not planned at all but as a suggestion by friends, we took time to visit the site and also the spring in Abucay. It was a nice place to visit, if you have a day to spare and would want to relax, the perfect spot would be cross on top of the Mount Samat. The view is very spectacular in this site with a great view of the bataan peninsula. A nearby museum also is found at the foot of the mountain.

The place is very nice, and we did not even notice we spent an hour up there in the cross. The cross asks for an entrance fee, be sure to keep your ticket as they want you to show the tickets when you ride the elevator that will take you up the cross.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

New Japanese Craze! TORI CHIZU (Trinoma Branch)

Out with friends over the weekend and the ads for this newly opened restaurant in Trinoma is all over the place; so when we cannot think of where to eat... well off we go to try it out. Besides, their menu looks promising. =)

The place is a bit small with only a few sets of table and chairs for people who wants to dine in.
But if you go the line for orders they would be really helpful and try to get you a table.


Chicken Teriyaki 


Yakiniku Chizu! =) with extra mozarella cheese


Chicken Curry Chizu =) 


Gyudon


Chicken Set each Rice meal (if you want can be served with a piece of fried chicken


If you still have room for some dessert, or if you don't want their rice meals, I suggest you still try this Milk Cheese Ice Cream. It is sooooo nice! Its a savory dessert. Tastes so wonderful! Its really yummy.