FEB Day 12 : Destinations you dream of travelling to


I’m just going to dive right into it and say Japan. Of course, as a young kid I already dreamed of travelling the world, but then Japan would be on top of that list.

I’m not sure how or why, but ever since I started to get hooked on anime and jdoramas in my younger years, I started to feel this need of going to Japan and see the country. Won’t you believe that I specifically learned how to use the chopsticks so that I could use the skill when I go to Japan?

So many things I really want to see and try out there. There’s this gut feeling I get that I knew something fun and exciting is going to happen once I set foot in Japan. Do you ever get such feeling?

Anyway, just to share a few reasons why I dream of travelling to Japan. (I just mentioned Japan 6 times. ok make that 7. Ha!)

Cherry Blossoms (Sakura)

Anyone who have read some of my previous posts would know of my love for cherry blossoms. Not to mention that there’s a very obvious cherry blossom gif when you visit my blog. They are, for me, one of God’s beautiful creations and something you think you’d only find in a fantasy realm.

FYI (an excerpt from google)

The cherry blossoms symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse, besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life. The transience of the blossoms, the exquisite beauty and volatility, has often been associated with mortality and gracefulness and readily acceptance of destiny and karma.

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Kimono

I dream of wearing a kimono and having my picture taken under a beautiful sakura tree in spring time. That would be a huge tick on my bucket list once it happens. When I learned that it is possible for tourists/foreigners to wear a kimono and walk while wearing it on the streets of Japan, I was totally over the moon. I can’t wait for the day I get to experience it as well.

An outdoor Onsen

An onsen is basically a japanese hot spring and very popular among the japanese and the tourists as well. Though there’s an indoor onsen, I prefer the outdoor one with a nice view of nature. There’s a japanese show I’ve watched before where the people are having a relaxing conversation  in an onsen and behind them was a breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji. Like OMG! I need to get in there ASAP!

Anyway, a day in an onsen is an effective way to relax my tired bones and I don’t even care if I have to go naked – Japanese often talk of the virtues of “naked communion” for breaking down barriers and getting to know people in the relaxed atmosphere of a ryokan (inn) with an attached onsen.

FYI (an excerpt from google)

Onsen water is believed to have healing powers derived from its mineral content. A particular onsen may feature several different baths, each with water of a different mineral composition. The outdoor bath tubs are often made from Japanese cypress, marble, or granite, while indoor tubs may be made from tile, acrylic glass, or stainless steel. Particular onsens may also promote the special mineral composition of their waters, together with the healing properties these may have. Other services, such as massages, may also be offered.

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How beautiful are those waters?

Food

One of my favorite cusines in the world is japanese food. I don’t think I need to elaborate on that. Everyone should try a good japanese food. It is simply delicious. Nom Nom Nom 😀

All Things Kawaii

I adore cute things and Japan is number one when it comes to producing cute stuffs. Whether it is a toy, food, outfits, shoes, accessories, cosmetics – everything you can think of – they certainly got it.

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It’s my birthday month so feel free to send me cute stuffs. ❤


Note:
 All photos and videos above are not mine, so credits to the owners. ❤

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Manga x Manhwa


So lately I’ve been reading more manga x manhwa than the literary books that I normally read. I still have quite a number of “to-be-read” ebooks saved in my iPad, which I basically have not done yet due to my current fixation in the manga x manhwa I’ve been reading as of late.

You might be wondering why I kept writing manga x manhwa instead of just writing manga or just manhwa. Well I do that just cause I want to differentiate the ones I’m reading as to whether they are originally japanese or korean.

For those unfamiliar, Manga is generally a japanese term for comics and print cartoons while Manwha is a korean term that means the same thing. A slight difference in spelling but both amazing in its entirety!

Since I neither read in japanese or korean, I read the english translated ones using the Manga Bird app, Manga Rock app and the Webtoon app. Mostly I use the Manga Bird and Manga Rock app for manga while I prefer using the Webtoon app for manhwa. And if ever my trusted iPad is not with me, I read manga online in the Mangahen site

Currently, there are 6 manga x manhwa that I’m so in love with right now and I’m sharing them below:

MANGA

Shokugeki No Soma

Shokugeki no Soma is the story of a boy named Sōma Yukihira, who dreams of becoming a full-time chef in his father’s restaurant and to surpass his father’s culinary skills. But when Sōma graduates from middle school, his father, Jōichirō Yukihira, closes the restaurant for he gets a new job that requires him to travel around the world. However, as a parting note, his father challenged Sōma that if he ever wishes to beat him one day, he first has to survive in an elite culinary school (the Totsuki Culinary Academy), where only 10% of the students succeed in graduating.  Here he meets many amazing students and experiences new events that will allow him to grow further to attain his goal.

Shokugeki No Soma

I love a culinary themed manga! You can’t help but wish you’re inside the pages and getting to savor mouthwatering dishes and relishing it’s aroma. I’ve only watched the anime Chuuka Ichiban (Cooking Master Boy) years back, which I tremendously enjoyed – planning to read the manga later on (better late than never).  Anyway, back to Shokugeki No Soma, I definitely recommend this if you love a great cooking manga. Aside from the yummy food, it has gorgeous looking characters, funny moments, awesome friendships and an exciting story you can’t help but get hooked on.

Tokyo Ghoul

Ken Kaneki is a college student who is taken to the hospital in critical condition after barely surviving a deadly encounter with Rize Kamishiro, his date who happens to be a ghoul. After recovering from hospitalization, Kaneki discovers that he underwent organ transplant surgery that transformed him into a half-ghoul. For some cruel twist of fate, it was Rize’s organs that were transferred into his body, and now, like normal ghouls, he must consume human flesh to survive. The ghouls who manage a coffee shop “Anteiku” took him in and taught him to deal with his new life as a half-ghoul. Some of his daily struggles include fitting in to the ghoul society, as well as keeping his identity hidden from his human acquaintances

Tokyo Ghoul

I’ve been seeing this manga for quite some time before I started reading it 2 months ago. I’m not really familiar with ghouls so it might be one of the reasons why I wasn’t so keen about reading it. I guess I only got interested after watching the animated series at Gogoanime site and reading a lot of complaints by viewers in the comment section. Apparently, there were a lot of changes made in the anime that would have been better left as it was in the manga, and fans of the manga had voiced out their disappointments. After reading the manga myself, I can’t help but agree with everybody’s sentiments. There are definitely major changes made. I recommend you try to watch the anime first if you don’t want to get disappointed with the changes. Anyway, it’s still worth it whether you watch or read it first.

Hunter x Hunter

The story focuses on a young boy named Gon Freecss, who discovers that his father, who he was told was dead, is actually alive and a world-renowned Hunter, a licensed profession for those who specialize in fantastic pursuits such as locating rare or unidentified animal species, treasure hunting, surveying unexplored enclaves, or hunting down lawless individuals. Despite being abandoned by his father, Gon departs upon a journey to follow in his footsteps, pass the rigorous Hunter Examination, and eventually find his father. Along the way, Gon meets various other Hunters and also encounters the paranormal.

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Hunter x Hunter is one of my all-time favorite anime, so it’s not surprising for me to read the manga as it completes my all time obsession of it. This manga has been on frequent hiatus in the past couple of years, the longest of which was it’s 2 year-long hiatus in June 2014. Luckily, it has returned this April of 2016 and is currently on chapter 357. For those who didn’t know, the author of this manga is also the author of Yu Yu Hakusho (Ghost Fighter as known in the Philippines and also a favorite of mine) and I think that’s pretty obvious in the drawings.

MANHWA

Noblesse

Noblesse is about a powerful noble – Cadis Etrama Di Raizel (referred to as Rai) – who has been asleep for 820 years with no knowledge of mankind’s advancement and scientific successes. At the start of the story, Rai wakes up in an abandoned building in South Korea, and starts to get used to the modern world. He goes to a school, where he meets his loyal servant Frankenstein. With Frankenstein’s help, Rai enrolls into high school and inadvertently befriends athletic teenager Shinwoo, computer geek Ikhan, and Shinwoo’s crush Yuna, and a few others. Noblesse follows the group’s often dangerous adventures against a secret organization while uncovering Rai’s past.

Noblesse (from the Webtoon app)
I came upon this manhwa while I was looking for another manga to read. I just finished reading the latest chapter from Shokugeki No Soma at that time, and since there was nothing left for me to do, I decided to browse the Mangahen site to check some new reads. I guess what caught my interest with Noblesse is the synopsis written on the site.

“Noblesse is about a powerful, noble vampire – Cadis Etrama Di Raizel (also called Rai) – who has been asleep for 820 years with no knowledge …”

… a powerful, noble vampire…

That statement alone got me hooked! It’s a vampire! Anyway, Rai is kind of a vampire in the sense that he doesn’t age, ridiculously handsome, extremely powerful and has lived for thousands of years. The story in itself is not about vampires and I would recommend everyone to read this to better understand. It’s also better to read it on the Webtoon app for a more pleasant reading experience.

Tower of god

Tower of God centers around a boy called Twenty-Fifth Baam, who has spent his life trapped beneath a mysterious tower. Chasing after his only friend, Rachel,  he manages to open a door into the Tower, and must now face challenges as he climbs each floor of this tower to find his companion.

Tower of God (from the Webtoon app)

What do you desire? Money and wealth? Honor and pride? Authority and power? Revenge? Or something that transcend all of them? Whatever you desire – ‘is in here.’

These were the opening lines in the first chapter of Tower of God. I was intrigued. The illustrations were not as appealing when I first started reading this manhwa, and if it wasn’t for the opening lines, I probably would not have wasted time reading it and forever be ignorant of the awesomeness of this manhwa. I am so in awe of this manhwa I screencaptured a particular scene, shared it on Instagram and made it my wallpaper in my iPad.

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Winter Woods

A few thousand years has passed since an alchemist created Winter. He is now living with Jane learning what it means to be alive as a human. 

Winter wants to become a living person,
Jane wants to become a famous storybook writer.
This is their colourful story.

winter woods

Long long ago, there lived a famous alchemist.

He was happily living with his beautiful wife who was pregnant with his child.

One day, as his wife was giving birth to their child, she passed away. And even their child died.

Overwhelmed by sadness, the alchemist hid himself deep within his castle. And spent his days in tears.

As he sat alone in his gloom, he decided to do something.

“THAT’S IT! I’LL MAKE A FAMILY.”

I think it’s the alchemist part that got to me plus the illustrations in the opening of the story are beautiful – like a fairy tale in a children’s book. Then a sudden shift in tone as it settles on the present day characters. It’s a much mellow story as compared to the ones above and not as action-packed. It’s like a love story… a journey of man. It’s a like a different variation of Frankenstein’s story. A modern tale where he finally gets to learn how to feel… and later on love.


And that ends my very long post for the day. Whew!

Cherry Blossoms will bloom…


Konnichiwa minna-san!!

It’s been almost a year now since my last post. A lot has definitely happened to me since then, but it is only after learning such spectacular news the other day did it brought me back here. The excitement cannot be contained!

Cherry Blossoms… how do I even begin to explain cherry blossoms? – Cherry blossoms is one of my favorite things in this whole, wide world. And one of the best ever of God’s creation!

According to an article I’ve read, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of sisterhood ties between  Japan’s Kochi prefecture and the Benguet province, a first ever Sakura Park will finally bloom in Atok, Benguet – a cool northern part of the Philippines. Over 30 cherry blossom trees and other tree species were already planted, with the cherry blossoms expected to blossom in 3 years time.

That’s quite a long time, but who cares? I have been waiting my entire life to tick it off my bucket list after all (to see cherry blossoms up close). What’s three years anyway? I might even hop off a plane to Japan before the 3 years is up if I can help it. 😀

“The last of the cherry blossom. On the tree, it turns ever more perfect. And when it’s perfect, it falls. And then of course once it hits the ground it gets all mushed up. So it’s only absolutely perfect when it’s falling through the air, this way and that, for the briefest time!.!.!.”  — David Mitchell

Japanese Kit Kat (キットカット)


Kit Kat is a few of my guilty pleasures. It’s one what I would label my “on-hand-chocolate” in moments when I’m in need of a sugar fix. Of course, the usual Kit Kat flavor I get to buy is the classic milk chocolate, and on few occasions,  I also get to try dark chocolate and white chocolate. However, there are a whole lot more of flavors to choose from — except that they are mostly made and found in Japan. Why am I not surprised?

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So in spite of it being a UK brand, apparently Japan is the only country known to produce a variety of flavored Kit Kat (sometimes bordering on the weird). Wasabi anyone? (Yes there’s a wasabi-flavored one. I’ll get back to you on that later). Anyway, I’m baffled on Japan’s reason for putting particular attention to flavored Kit Kats until I learned why…

FUN FACT: During the exam season the superstitious nature of the Japanese becomes apparent. In fact you will find various lucky charms being sold around this time. The most popular are charms purchased from a shrine or temple. However, the Kit Kat (a chocolate bar) is also popular. Why? The Japanese pronounce it as, “kitto katto.” It sounds like “kitto katsu” which means, “You will surely win”. Parents often buy Kit Kats for their children for exam days. It is just a fun play on words, but if it makes them feel better why not! (Source)

So I guess that explained it! Now let me share some of the Kit Kat flavors I’ve tasted so far. 🙂

Green Tea
Green Tea

Green Tea. The flavor that inspired me to buy flavored Kit Kat online. I’ve read a lot of positive comments about this particular Kit Kat, and I must say, I’m intrigued. Anyway, it wasn’t as great as I was expecting but it was sure nice to eat. It didn’t taste like green tea though, rather it tasted like pandan-flavored Stik-O (a wafer stick snack in the Philippines), which is actually a favorite of mine, so no biggie! 🙂

Cookies & Cream
Cookies & Cream

Cookies & Cream. Bought this because you can never go wrong with this flavor. It’s a constant favorite of mine and it’s a flavor I won’t say No to. That being said, this Kit Kat does look like what you would expect a Cookies & Cream chocolate to look like, however, it tasted more like vanilla-flavored wafer.

Cinnamon Cookie
Cinnamon Cookie

Cinnamon Cookie. Being that I have no understanding of Katakana, Hiragana and the scary Kanji, I had no idea what this flavor was when I first ate it. For me, it tasted like cinnamon and I was right because when I looked it up online it showed me a picture of it with its flavor name… in ENGLISH! 🙂

Orange
Orange

Orange. I surprisingly like this one and it does have that orange taste to it.

Wasabi
Wasabi

Wasabi. If I’ve known this was wasabi-flavored then I would have eaten it last, but since I had no idea, I just ate it. Well, I still have no clue how to describe its taste, but it definitely didn’t taste like wasabi. In fact, I actually like it. Maybe I should try that wasabi-flavored mochi now. LOL! 🙂

Hot Japanese Chili
Hot Japanese Chili

Hot Japanese Chili. Ok this one, I just ate. Another chocolate mystery since I, again, have zero idea what it was at first. The drawing in the picture didn’t exactly help — I kinda thought it must be a banana. LOL! Anyhow, it did gave off that tasty feeling of spiciness — a minty after taste, but doesn’t exactly taste like mint if you get what I’m saying.  Oh well, It’s a baffling kit kat. I don’t hate it — I think.

So far, above are the ones I’ve tasted just yet. I still have a few more other flavors to check out in my Kit Kat box. 🙂

Still for tasting. :)
Still for tasting. 🙂