I always refuse to tag any of my trips as the most memorable one. When you travel and step out from your comfort zone, I think each of those is memorable enough and every experience, be it smooth or not, will linger in you for a lifetime.
Japan will always have a special place in my heart. My very first trip overseas was not purely leisure. At 17 years old, I was there not to collect every anime goodie that I could ever imagine. I was sent (with great luck) to represent the Philippines as a Student Ambassador, promote the use of English as a second language and strengthen the camaraderie between the two icons of Asia.
After going through the tedious screening process, one day I woke up having to send my passport for Visa application. So in 2008, right after I have taken an early final exam on the fatal Differential Calculus subject I took during summer, I was in perfect cloud nine to experience what I consider to be the seemingly shortest 10-days in my life.
Probably every kid who lived in the generation of Anime will write Japan on their bucketlist. I am no exemption. It was also my first time riding a Boeing 747 en route to Narita (not the photo below). And forcefully, I had to learn the language rapidly.
It wasn't all fun. The kick off and media presentation was something we had to deal two days before leaving Manila, had to prepare Filipino folk dances and songs on breaktime. Read the manuals and handbook before going to bed and being awaken early morning for orientations.
Come departure time, I didn't know what to feel. I didn't know what to expect. While inside the cabin, I couldn't be at easy fastened on my seat. I felt like I was blindfolded until we reach Japan. That feeling when you entered a room from a different world, and the moment you opened the door again, it's another world.
Maybe it really is.
A perfect cold weather, a very clean city that its overly neatness could appear odd, a culture very distinct and what else need I say about Japan? You can assemble the right words for yourself. Its dynamism and its being systematic is highly commendable, a key feature of the country which has led its economy to be in full blast.
Shopping malls are embarked almost every major street in Tokyo. Of course, what would you expect from the fashion capital of Asia but a series of shopping orgasm all day long.
Once in Japan, heading to Ginza is inevitable. It is the most well known shopping and entertainment district in Tokyo. Ginza will also treat you to a street full of munching and dining, eat all you can at no extra cost for left overs!
As the Paris of Asia, Tokyo has built its way of resembling the romantic city of the west. The Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation deck in Minato, Tokyo. Its distinctive structure mirrors that of the Eiffel Tower painted white and red orange to comply with air safety regulations.
Logically, its being such a first class city would only mean that consumerism goes parallel to its standards. Exactly why Japan has a relatively higher price range on goods, so wanting to travel here requires you to double the effort in saving or tight the budget just right. On a lighter note, we all have our own ways of spending, be in a thrifty approach or a laid back spending, no amount of money could ever be at par with the experience you get in Japan.
Unfortunately, my two week adventure in Japan was more work and left to right appointments that i wasn't able to document every single landmark in Japan -- but my eyes were lucky enough to let me assure you that Japan could be a top-hat of every traveler's to-go list. And for everything else, Japan should be in your top three country to visit, an exhilarating, dynamic, modern and extremely awe inspiring country.