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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:08 pm 
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Yep, I should've told you guys about this sooner. Despite what's been going on in the place, my family planned this trip a while ago, so we're going. This thread is to keep you guys updated on what I do and what I see.

But since I'll be in other parts of Asia before Japan for a week, there will be a small wait. Will update this again in 2 weeks!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:12 pm 
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What, Japan is the only interesting part of Asia? Updates on the "Other parts" too plz.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:54 pm 
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I agree. Japan's not the only interesting country out there. Give us the other too.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:01 am 
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Didn't think you guys would be interested. But the other place is Philippines.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:48 pm 
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I'd actually be more interested in hearing about the Phillippines, seeing as I've never been there.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:37 pm 
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Days 1-4 Philippines

Nothing much, really. After coming to my grandparents' house from the airport, I immediately went to sleep. I couldn't get on the internet for the next two days, so I spent time reading and typing my fanfics. It's rather hot here, as usual, and what made it worst was there was a typhoon the moment I cam here. I helped myself to some mangos and bananas while here, and in my opinion they taste much better than the ones back home in the US.

So I started out today (day 4) with a walk with my grandpa. Today, though, I'm going to the cemetary to visit my deceased aunt. Afterwards, scary movie marathon with my uncle!

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:03 am 
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Days 5-6 Philippines

Yesterday, we went to the biggest mall in the Philippines called Mall of Asia. I must say, it's HUGE. There were so many students who came there after school so it was rather crowded. It was pouring rain though, sadly, and it kinda put me in a depressing mood that day.

Ah, today was a good day! I went to the fitness center at the mall then out for some great Filipino pizza and spent the day with my uncle. I went across the neighborhood today and saw a couple of kids laying on the street counting their money. I thought it was a sad sight... Now I feel so lucky that I have a home and some successful parents. I wish I could say the same for the kids, though. Good luck to all of them.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:37 pm 
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Day 7-13 Philippines

Wow, I haven't updated this in a long time! Well, I've been working on my fanfics while I was at home doing nothing. But over the past couple days I've been eating a lot of delicious food here. Chinese, Italian, American, Filipino, you name it! I also got to see my aunt at the cemetery a couple of days ago, quite a powerful moment then. I just love making new friends here and getting together with my family, too.

Lots of wild parties here and there that I love going to, too. It's unfortunate, though, today is my last day in the Philippines. In precisely 24 hours I'll be in Japan.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:32 am 
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Everything you read was copied and pasted from another forum I have my original on.

Day 1

Upon arriving here, the airport was hot! There was no air conditioning and it was so humid today. Felt like being back in the Philippines if you ask me.

Aside from that, we got into a fancy first-class train on our way from the airport to Tokyo. We were there for about an hour, just chilling out and looking outside at the amazing view of Japan. I must say, Japan is the greenest country I've ever seen. There are so many rice fields and grass here, it's amazingly beautiful here.

So, after a long hot day, we arrived in the hotel and drank some delicious fruit vinegar-flavored water. I finally got to take a hot shower today after taking several cold ones in the Philippines, and felt very refreshed. The family and I went out to dinner shortly after, so we went around Ginza to explore for some good restaurants.

We finally found a good one with lots of tasty-looking food. My family and I kneeled down on these soft mats upon getting to our table. The food was AMAZING. Eel tempura, tuna sashimi, fried noodles, it was all some of the best Japanese taste you'll try.

Anime-wise, I found about three posters today. I also found two Pokemon posters at the train station. As much as I dislike Pokemon, it was pretty interesting to find some of Japan's greatest drug here.

That concludes day 1. Tomorrow I'm off to Kyoto to check out some even more places. Hopefully I will go to the Fish Market tomorrow and have some sushi. Peace out!

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Day 2

It's even hotter today than it was yesterday, and it will just keep getting hotter this week. Ugh! Luckily, my family and I have access to a lot of water here at our hotel. It's too bad the Japanese don't use their air conditioners often, due to their strong conservatives and green values.

Today I got to ride a bullet train for the first time! Riding it felt like riding an airplane on the ground the whole time, which was really fast. The ride was rather long and I fell asleep twice during the ride to Kyoto. There was plenty of space and had good atmosphere inside, though, and the whole train itself was much quieter than the typical New York subway trains.

In Kyoto, my family and I started off by just wondering around the city. Places I walked by included some dessert restaurants, Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, and even a manga bookstore. My favorite part of Kyoto was this huge Buddhist temple, called Honganji, I think. I took a lot of cool pictures while there, and even got to feed the pigeons, too. It's too bad a guard wouldn't let me snap photos inside the temple, though. Afterwards, my parents took me out for some ice cream. They had the green tea ice cream while I had two cones of the best vanilla ice cream I've ever had.

Food-wise, I had a great traditional Japanese breakfast of rice, broccoli, and fish. Lunch I had soba noodles in a hot, delicious broth and tempura. Dinner was the best; it was sushi night! My family and I went out for some of the best raw fish ever on rice. One sushi roll they have here in Japan they don't have in America is my favorite nigiri roll, sardine!

Kyoto was fun, today. Tomorrow I'll be going back to Kyoto to continue touring the city. Stay tuned for more updates, everyone!

____________________________________

Day 3

Another early start for the day. I had to get up earlier today in order to catch up with the bullet train at 8:30. So my family and I had another great breakfast this morning, even better than yesterday's, and went straight to the train station to get to Kyoto.

We made today's trip to Kyoto much more resourceful today. We went to two Buddhist temples, which were all really huge, plus the Imperial Palace of Kyoto. You'd be amazed by all the architecture and spiritual feeling you'll see and receive while you're in those places! There was even a rock garden in one of the temples, a popular sight there.

I had my first bento box for lunch, today. It had small servings of sashimi, tempura, udon noodles, and some sort of vegetable inside. It was rather delicious and quite the experience! Nothing to cool down on a hot day with some brown rice tea.

My family and I spent the rest of the day riding home on the bullet train and relaxing at the hotel. On the two-hour drive back to Tokyo, I managed to get my summer reading done (lol.) Afterwards, at the hotel, we went upstairs to the top floor to fetch a fresh drink of cold flavored water. Very refreshing, indeed!

Finally, for dinner, we went to the same sushi restaurant as last night. This time, the chef gave us a lot of extras in addition to our orders as compliments for coming back, including more of my favorite sardine nigiri! In fact, my family and I are going to that same restaurant tomorrow! The sushi chefs here in Japan are the best, hands down.

Tomorrow my family and I will hopefully take it more easy. We'll only be going around Tokyo, now, but it's going to be exciting once I check out that arcade full of bookshelves of manga. Peace out!

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Day 4

Well, today was a rather good day, though not terrific. I'm thankful it wasn't so hot and I slept well compared to the other couple days I was here.

Once again, I started off the morning with another traditional Japanese breakfast, delicious as always! My family and I decided to spend the morning just walking around Tokyo. Our first stop was a Japanese bookstore. While going around the bookstore, some five floors or so, I took some pictures of interesting books, but the covers were all in Kanji and we couldn't open them.

Still daytime, the walk to Ginza was still rather humid and long. I took quite a lot of pictures there, too. I seemed to have gotten this weird New York feeling while I was walking there, since Ginza at day time looks almost like Times Square. We then head over to the Tsukiji Fish Market, where we explored and had lunch.

More sushi for lunchtime! It was probably the biggest selection of fish this whole vacation. All kinds of tuna, eel, red snapper, and even grass sushi was served! The chefs were really cool, too, as they greeted you whenever you walked through the front door. Afterwards my family and I went to a pastry shop for desert. Japanese-Frenchy apple pie and chocolate cake are amazing!

I made a stop at another bookstore today, this time it had manga in it. I took pictures of the covers of some of the raw manga there (awkward, lol) to hopefully show you all the original copies. I looked everywhere for a Sailor Moon manga, though, and had no luck... One Piece, Bleach, and Naruto flooded manga half of one of the shelves, which kind of disappointed me. I was so desperate to find a Sailor Moon manga in Japanese, it's too bad it wasn't on the shelf. Perhaps 90's anime is only popular in the US, now.

We spent a little while at the hotel relaxing and cooling off after a hot, long day exploring Tokyo. We went out again at 6:00 to get our train tickets, then we headed straight for Ginza (for real, this time.) It was nighttime as soon as we got there to Ginza, but I only went just to be a little disappointed. I expected Ginza at nighttime to be bright with lots of lights. Tonight, though, I saw half of what I had hoped for. Many of the billboards and signs in Ginza were supposed to be lighted up, but they were shut off instead to save electricity. I took a few pictures, but they weren't as amazing as when I looked them up on Google Images...

My family and I concluded the day with eating at a Japanese-Italian restaurant. The food was amazing, yet again. Salmon tartar and some pasta is what I had, even my dad shared with me some of the best Japanese steak ever! I don't think there was one meal here in Japan that failed to satisfy my appetite. The food here in Japan is the best, hands down.

Bummer, though. I'm going home to the States, tomorrow. It was a wonderful week, overall, and I had lots of great moments with my family while here. Four days here felt very short, but these are four days I know lots of people would love to have, and I'm only thankful I had the opportunity to even come here.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:40 am 
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A couple of quick comments...

Air Conditioning: Central air condition is rare to non-existant in Japan. Instead they use things called aercons, are sorta mini air conditioning systems for each room. Small rooms (like bathrooms and hallways) often lack them, however. Normally though, stores and public buildings are kept fairly cool. The problem right now is that a lot of Japanese nuclear power plants are currently not running. They were all shut off during the big earthquake as a safety percaution. Most of them are in perfect condition and should have been turned back on ages ago. The problem is that, after the diaster with the Fukushima plant, a lot of people in Japan have taken on a very strong anti nuclear energy stance and the Japanese government (which kinda sucks are making quick decisions) is wavering back and forth about whether or not to turn them back on. As a result, Japan has a lot less electricity available right now than it usually does so everyone is trying to save power (hence less air conditioning, fewer bright signs at night, etc).

Sailor Moon Manga: There's a few possible reasons why you couldn't find any. The possibility is that it is an old series so the store just didn't carry it. The second is that you may have missed it due to how things are alphabetized in Japan. I don't know how much Japanese you know, but Japanese alphabetization is in a completely different order than English. Plus, in Japan Sailor Moon is called Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, so it would be with the b's, not with the s's. The third possibility is that it could be out of print. There's a lot of manga series in Japan and even popular ones go out of print from time to time, especially if they're old. If you're looking for a manga that's not currenly running, your best best is usually to visit a used book store (such as a Book Off, or one of the numerous privately owned used book stores) and look there.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:46 am 
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Josiah wrote:
Sailor Moon Manga: There's a few possible reasons why you couldn't find any. The possibility is that it is an old series so the store just didn't carry it. The second is that you may have missed it due to how things are alphabetized in Japan. I don't know how much Japanese you know, but Japanese alphabetization is in a completely different order than English. Plus, in Japan Sailor Moon is called Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, so it would be with the b's, not with the s's. The third possibility is that it could be out of print. There's a lot of manga series in Japan and even popular ones go out of print from time to time, especially if they're old. If you're looking for a manga that's not currenly running, your best best is usually to visit a used book store (such as a Book Off, or one of the numerous privately owned used book stores) and look there.


When I did look through the B section, all I found was Bleach. Though I can't really blame them because Sailor Moon isn't as popular as it used to be in the 90's. It would've been cool to have bought a copy in Kanji, but then again I can't read it. I'm hoping to pre-order the Sailor Moon manga when it's re-released in America in September.

As for the aercons, I had one in my hotel room. Yeah, I also learned that they're not using nuclear power anymore. Raw beef isn't allowed to be consumed anymore due to the possibility of radiation. Idk if it's that or the government just decided to stop it.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:49 am 
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I don't think cooking removes radiation. As far as I know, it's just food from certain parts of Japan that isn't being eaten for fear of radiation. When it comes to raw beef, it can also depend where you are. It's not a very common dish in many parts of the country.

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