Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Life, at times, is an empty canvas,
Black & white pages as I call it.
But as we get inspired by people, things & events surrounding us,
We tend to realize that life was never meant to be dull & boring;
It was meant to be lived with excitement & a sense of mystery.
So reveal your personality with a canvas splashed with watercolor.
Life as we call it is way better with colors:
Where beauty is appreciated in every sunrise & sunset,
Where adrenaline rushes in every cup of coffee,
Where love drives you nuts every single time,
Where moments highlight our reason for existence.
 Time & life are two priceless commodities that wait for no one.
So as we get older, we learn things we never thought we are capable of.
There will always be victories & failures,
As there will be 'Happy Ever Afters' & 'Series of Unfortunate Events'.
Every choice we make ultimately leads us somewhere,
As every commitment we make pleases someone out there.

As much as possible, I try to see the beauty in people & circumstances.
Sometimes, it gets a bit hopeless when you see the pains & hurt in this world.
But when that glimmer of hope starts to fall,
Something suddenly happens that show you that life is still worth it.
Yes, I admit, the future is quite scary.
You may either end up as to how you envisioned yourself to be or the exact opposite.
Life's predictability lies in the choices we make,
So let's make the right ones for our sake, shall we?
People once told me:
"There's no such thing as forever."
"There's no such guy!"
"Relationships just ruin your career."

Well, no matter how negative life can be,
I still choose to live a life of possibilities & positivism.
Being vulnerable to people who mean the world to you ain't really stupidity.
It's simply truth to Hercules' words: "People do crazy things when they're in love."
No matter how simple an act is as long as you know it came from the heart,
No doubt, it is appreciated in every single way.

I remember those days someone cut several classes just to tutor me.
I remember those days someone bought me brownie a la mode to cheer me up.
I remember those days when someone actually prepared a candle-lit dinner for me.
And I remember those days when one stayed by my side even if I didn't loved him back. 

I just can't help but be thankful to those people who have made my life special.
They have never given up on me and have stayed with me through thick & thin.
Yes, at some point in our lives, we have somehow fallen apart,
But that shouldn't make us less of a person.
'Cause the mere fact you & I are still standing means better things are yet to come.

With me, there are no really regrets.
Yes, we may have those so called 'What Ifs' & 'What Could Have Beens',
But in every decision I make & every step I take,
I know that I have truly wanted it once in my life.
I wouldn't be who & what I am not if not for the things I've experienced.
Every day has been a journey to a destination that I have been working & praying hard for.
And someday I know I'll get the watercolored life I deserve,
As you & I know that there will always be something & someone behind that every smile.

<3 SOPHIEsticated

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Saturday, May 9, 2015


I'm sure you've seen & heard the hottest destination right now all over Facebook.
Yes, you've guessed it right.
Everyone's going to JAPAN nowadays.
Cherry Blossom Season or not, tours to Japan are just selling like hotcakes.
Ramen. Sushi. Takoyaki.
Matcha, Matcha & Matcha.
Uniqlo. H&M. Forever21.
Oh, Japan prices right now are insanely cheap!

So you might ask me:
"What are the 6 places to visit when in Japan?"
Fur Vest | ZARA
Boots | SUKI
Kiyomizudera (清水寺 "Pure Water Temple") is one of the famous temples of Japan.
This is a must visit place as this is part of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.

You may take the opportunity to make a wish here!

Just drink from the cup attached to the long poles.
But I must warn you, don't be greedy! 
Longevity, success at school or a fortunate love life?
Pick one wish & drink from that particular stream!

Of course, temple visits are never complete without gods.
This is Okuninushi-no-Mikoto, a Japanese god who is in charge of love and matchmaking. 
The rabbit beside him is a messenger of the god.
Okuninushi-no-Mikoto Statue, Jishu Shrine, Kyoto
So if you're willing to pay for that one wish of yours,
This is definitely the time to buy it if you think the price is right!
Just be careful with what you wish for,
'Cause who knows it might just happen.

(2)  GREAT BUDDHA ("Nara Daibutsu"), Nara
Oh, this scene just reminds me of K-dramas, don't you think?
No wonder this place is always flocked by so many tourists every day!
Nara is home to freely roaming deers, considered in Shinto to be messenger of the gods.
Yes, do take it literally & seriously.
Deers will be begging for food left and right.
Once you feed them, "Oh dear, you'll have deers tailing you alright!"

For shopaholics, this next stop would definitely interest you!
Prepare for a bargain deal at Rinku, one of Japan's largest outlets for branded items. 
Don't forget to drop by their customer services area for discount coupons!
This special booklet can only be accessed by tourists w/ passports.
And this is a view you shouldn't dare miss while shopping around the outlet.
Come now, don't be shy, just snap a photo then go back shopping!


I just love this picture!!!
It's as if we have this place solo.
Imagine if there were no lines & we could just ride all we can.
That would surely unleash the child in me.

For those who personally know me,
They sure do know 'Patience is not my Virtue." haha!
So Harry Potter, sorry I just had to turn you down.
4 freaking hours just won't work for me.

If you're a fan, I suggest you get a "Fast Pass Booklet" to have access to the top rides!
You'd have to pay additional 4,000 yen though on top of the base ticket price.
Oh, it definitely felt we we're just shooting scenes for the Harry Potter movie.
What an experience to be a movie star!

Isn't this pair of skyscrapers connected in mid-air just breathtaking?
Definitely time to snap a selfie, shall we?!
173m high baby!

Lights. Camera. Action.
Believe it or not, this Glico Man Billboard is an icon here in Osaka!
I'd definitely pair up well with Glico, don't you think so?
Make sure you have a pic with him during the day & during the night.
Osaka is known for its "Glico 300 Meter Running Man",
Amongst other huge neon billboards displayed along Dotonbori channel!
So what makes him so iconic?
  Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd. is actually a Japanese confectionery manufacturing company,
Glico (derived from Glycogen), represents an average man (165cm tall weighting 55 kg).
This company, producer of Pocky & Caramel Candy markets this billboard as such:
    One Glico-Caramel Candy can already fuel up your 300-meter run!

Just look at this amazing landscape.
The trees' shadows are directly reflected on such pristine waters.
And I was very lucky enough to witness an authentic Japanese Wedding Photoshoot!
What a lovely opportunity indeed to be able to capture this moment.
Their costumes are intricately designed with perfect sophistication,
Painting a profound appreciation of Japan's culture.

Aside from the high tech bidets & Lawson/Family Marts at every corner,
I love how true this saying in Japan is:  
"Freezing is free of charge. The sun is free of charge. And safety is free of charge."
Oh, Japan, it's nice to get that break I've been craving for.

TOKYO, 'Til my next visit!

<3 SOPHIEsticated

7 Interesting Facts I learned:

1. TAXI (Just walk or take the subway for a more memorable experience)
10 Mins Ride=>USD10
20 Mins ride=>USD20

*If you hail a cab beyond 11PM , there will be a 30Yen surcharge already!

2. ATM machines operate like banks. (Machines in Japan need holidays too)
Imagine ATMs are only operational from Monday to Friday. 

3. EARTHQUAKE/TSUNAMI (You'll be warned alright!)
6 seconds before an earthquake strikes, the public will already be made aware by warning devices. 8 seconds after the calamity, a report will be generated prompting whether a tsunami is expected or not.

4. JAYWALKING (Green Man Go; Red Man Stop.)
The policeman will literally make you learn to follow the stoplight. They will literally hold your hand and make you remember how to cross properly. So don't dare cross if you don't want to be embarrassed.

5. SMOKING (Ashtray is a smoker's best buddy)
Smoking is prohibited in Japan unless you have your own ash tray! You cannot smoke while walking along a public road.

6. LITTERING (The saddest way to bid cash goodbye!)
1 Million Yen penalty for illegal disposal of rubbish. 1 Million USD penalty for illegal disposal of company. Wow! This is why it's so clean in Japan. Let's just save up for LV & Hermes.

7. SAFEKEEPING (You'll never guess where they usually keep their money!!!) 
Oh, it's definitely not in the bank. Believe it or not, they keep their valuables in the post office! They actually don't care about interest rates; they just want their money safe.