#MagandangHapon Day 1: Ohayo Tokyo


I realize it's been more than a week already since I've left Japan. How I seamlessly got back to my routine makes me feel like the trip I took was just a dream. I have to look at my photos over and over again before it sinks in that yes, I was there. I was in Japan. Thinking that I was just in Japan up until a week ago is beyond me. I've put off writing about my Japan trip for two reasons. One, academic work. When I got home, I had 2 long exams waiting for me the very next day (I took 9 in total; 4 on Monday. ikr?). Second is, I did not know how to begin. I had 3 memory cards filled with photos and videos. How can I even begin to start editing? I just wanted to savor my hangover from the experience for a few days, but at the same time, I just couldn't find the right words to say. How does one write about a trip that gave so much to learn, so much to treasure, so much to remember?

So let me try to start by first getting this out of the way: Honestly, I just applied for JENESYS to get a free trip to Japan. Let's be clear: I'm no Japanophile; my friends know that Europe (specifically, Paris--no matter how cliche that sounds) is the dream, well at least for me. I do want to travel the world though, but as I'm not earning yet, joining an exchange program was my best bet. Exchange programs aren't necessarily cheap though. I'm in AIESEC so I know that if I want to go on exchange, I'd have to pay the necessary fees, as well as shoulder the cost of the air fare, which isn't cheap especially if you want to go to Europe. For our JENESYS Programme (Batch 3 of Mass Media), the Japanese government sponsored 111 students and 8 supervisors for a 9-day learning trip to Japan. They paid for our airfare, food, accommodations, visa processing, practically everything--save for pocket money.

AdDU represent--with Rap, Brent and Cham--all Mass Comm students, all 3 in Group C. I'm the only Chem Engg & Grp A
pang-Europe outfit taken at NAIA 1
I found out about this program through my friends in UP who all got to go together over the summer, and my friend Kristoffe, who actually posted the link to the notice for the call for participants. It was such great timing that the notice, which said was for Mass Communications and Media students, also included bloggers. Blogger? Check! ;)

Group A at NAIA

We had to fill out some application forms from the PIA (Philippine Information Agency) and submit samples of our written work. One of the questions was "What do you expect from the program" and I answered that to be honest, I didn't know much about Japan and that should I get accepted, I'd be joining with no preconceived notions whatsoever. A month later, I got my acceptance e-mail. I got the itineraries, I got the list of my co-delegates and my group but true to my word about wanting to go to Japan with no bias, I didn't research about ANYTHING--I didn't Facebook stalk my group mates, read up on where we'd be, etc--save for the weather. I did that so I could get to see Japan the way I wanted to--raw, real, unbiased. I wanted to be able to formulate my own opinion of how Japan was. I wanted to see what surprises Japan had in store for me.

Even though I was getting ready for Japan (tying up loose ends at school before leaving, preparing the clothes my grandmother sent me from the States), it never really sunk in that I was GOING TO (BE IN) JAPAN til the plane landed. We arrived at Narita International Airport via Japan Airlines on September 29th at around 2pm, and left the airport at around 4pm to give everyone ample time for delays. We shared a bus with group B to the hotel we'd all be staying at--Harumi Grand Hotel in Chuo, Tokyo. The streets of Chuo were quiet and generally didn't have a lot of people; I think it was the business district. We got to the hotel at around 6pm and we were told to be down by 7pm for dinner. At around 7pm, my roommates (Queenie and Aira) and I were like, "why isn't it noisy out? Haven't people gone down to eat yet?" but when we went down, the coordinators were freaking out because we were the last ones in. Humiliating, especially since it was just the first night, but a testament to the Japanese quality of being on time. 

This was legit proof I was in Japan: vending machines and a stylish Japanese girl tapping away on her phone

After dinner, we went around the area. We went to Triton Square, which was sort of a mall that was walking distance from the hotel. We checked out a few shops where some of my friends (*cough* Gian *cough*) already hoarded got their share of the ever famous Green Tea Kitkat. At around 9 (our curfew was 10), we split up in groups cause we still wanted to go around. It was so funny cause a few meters away from Triton, there was this dome shaped thing that people were going into--we thought it was the subway so we all went in! It was actually a walkalator. Haha #notfromJapan

view from the foot bridge near Harumi
so ready for Halloween!
otagi rice all you can--my sisters' favorite
We did get to take a peek at a subway station: Kachidoki, which was around 700m away from the hotel. We only looked, though I was tempted to #yolo in Tokyo (kunwaring malakas ang loob first night palang!). 

top: Forever 21 || scarf: Pull and Bear || pants: ForMe || brown leather jacket: from my grandmother || bag: Steve Madden || shoes: American Eagle

We ended our night at a playground across the Kachidoki Station. As I breathed in the cool Japan air while watching a couple of Japanese kids play with my new found friends, I felt a sense of peace coming over me. I couldn't help but think how good my life was at that moment. :)
PS. As for the part about not being a Japanophile, by the end of the first night, I was already planning to move, live and work there!!


Please like Davao Fashion Bloggers on Facebook

1 comment

  1. Beautiful I invite you to join my giveaway http://fashionskyfall.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/cardigan-giveaway/



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...