Saturday, May 9, 2015

7 WONDERS OF JAPAN

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!

SHIMSAIBASHI & DOTONBORI for Shopping
So you might ask me:
"What are the 6 places to visit when in Japan?"
(1) KIYOMIZU TEMPLE, Kyoto
Shades | CALVIN KLEIN
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!

OTOWA WATERFALL
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!
THE GREAT BUDDHA
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!"


(3) RINKU PREMIUM OUTLET, Kansai
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!


(4) UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, Osaka

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!

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

(6) DOTONBORI CHANNEL, Osaka
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!

(7) SORAKUEN GARDEN, Kobe 
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.