En Route: Tokyo, Japan

May 11, 2015 Filed Under: Abbey, En Route, Personal, Worldly Whereabouts 10 Comments

Tokyo ABC
JR Subway / 12:51 PM Tokyo time

It’s Saturday, noon, and day 4 in Japan – aka a shameless attempt to escape from deadlines even for just a few days.

There are always default reasons I point out every time people ask me why I travel – it’s to explore what’s yet to be seen and find myself in the process of doing so. But this time around, I feel like I don’t need to find anything else in my life, because they’re already there – and all I need to do is to piece them together.

I’m not saying I’m perfectly settled with where I am in my life right now. When I look at it at a bigger scale, it feels as if I’m doing things that steer to the direction I want to be in the coming years.

Photo 4-30-15, 12 50 50 PM

This is a time in my life where I’m stuck between allowing myself to prioritize certain things (i.e. Work) and letting go of any drama (i.e. Personal life) that’s coming in. This is also a time where I need to hold on to the hope that things will turn out okay, just as long as I work harder & smarter to the best of my ability.

Traveling to Tokyo was an impulse decision a few months back, when I was convinced that I’d rather travel miles away from Manila than drain away my labor weekend in the comforts of my home, working. Kaila’s based here and I figured that this would be my solo trip for 2015 (I was in Singapore last year).

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I’ve known Kaila (Rainbowholic, as most people know her) for a brief two years; we first exchanged acquaintances when she was starting Kawaii in Manila – back when Kawaii Philippines and Japan Lover Me were just ideas on paper. Fast forward to our constant *dates* every time she’d visit Manila, and to her successful Kawaii in Manila 2 last year, she’s become one of the few people I confide in, not just as a friend, but also as an “ate” (big sister) and mentor. And coincidentally, our brains are always in sync every time we talk about goals and dreams.

JR Subway / Shinjuku / Omiya Line / 8:04PM
Tokyo subway

The past few days were eye-opening, both internally and externally. Amongst the hustle and bustle of moving from train stations and crowded streets, I found myself in a crossroads between my goals in life. While there is still much to do at this point in time, I’m constantly persistent enough to plan ahead and envision my goals for the latter half of the year.

In other news, I did promise to not blab about work that much for En Route – let’s go back to Tokyo, shall we?

If I could decide which day would be my favorite, I’d say it was May 2nd, Saturday. We visited Shimokitazawa, a quaint neighborhood in Tokyo. Despite its low key state, the place is brimming with cafes, thrift shops and hole in the wall places.

Photo 5-2-15, 4 32 27 PM
ShimokitazawaPhoto 5-2-15, 5 41 31 PM

On another note, most of my outfits from this trip had a touch of kawaii thanks to Kaila and the photogenic walls of Japanese houses. I also may have fulfilled my lifelong dream of dressing up as a Japanese school girl. Life goals achieved!

Photo 5-2-15, 9 29 43 AMPhoto 5-1-15, 12 44 56 PM
Second favorite day goes to May 1st. While it was labor day in Manila, it was shopping day in our itinerary. I got myself a new stache of books, paper goods & art materials at Kinokuniya, Loft & Sekaido. Let’s just say I used up my allowance for “work investments” LOL

Photo 5-1-15, 1 48 30 PM
Visiting Harajuku was a surprise for me. I expected to walk through Takeshita Street empty handed because I couldn’t adapt to the fashion culture there – I was wrong. The mori girl style caught up with me and I purchased a few basics for work / events (because I only end up in H&M + Uniqlo every time I shop in Manila).

And since when have I learned to love sneakers? I got my first pair (Onitsuka!) – thanks to JapanLoverMe Store (blogging about it soon) for making the ordering process easier and more accessible to people overseas! Also – errands for Shibuya (purchase shoes for my siblings) made me end up getting a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths, lol. No regrets.

Photo 5-3-15, 1 53 35 PMPhoto 5-3-15, 2 12 56 PMPhoto 5-3-15, 2 53 33 PM
My last whole day in Tokyo was spent in touristy Asakusa, where I met up with Jessie, went to the temple to check my fortune (let’s hope it lives up to what it says!), had black sesame ice cream and legit Okonomiyaki. Nevermind that it was a Sunday and tourists were sprouting from every corner – heck, it was a great ending to my week-long vacation in Tokyo.

BTW, Kaila and I created a video of our trip (well, lettering by me, as per usual) – check it out below!

Craft Coffee, Manila / 6:54PM

Unfortunately, I’ve let this post sit out on Evernote for the longest time because (1) I keep forgetting to live and (2) I have turned into a zombie thanks to #TheRoadtoABC. As I look back on this time last week, I can’t help but wonder if I stayed a few more days, explored more within the vicinities of Tokyo, wandered around and literally got lost in the midst of the crazy transportation system Japan has – but then again, I forget that Manila is calling. All of it – work, friends, life. Priorities. To-do lists. Goal sheets.

Dreams are calling, and here I am making mine, due this Friday. One of my dreams is about to come true, so here I am patiently waiting it out and counting down the days until my last deadline…and secretly itching to escape to my next adventure — next month.

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10 Responses to “En Route: Tokyo, Japan”

  1. Celine
    May 11, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    I love this post!! ♡ Everything you did in your short adventure looked so fun~ THE VIDEO WAS SO NICE omg ♡♡♡

    Ganbatte, Ate Abbey!! So excited to know what you’re working on for #TheRoadtoABC ♡

  2. Abbey
    May 13, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Thanks Celinaaaa <333

  3. ViannaTheGreatWhatever
    May 12, 2015 at 9:51 am

    I’m so glad that I found/started following this blog! The video is so awesome! Reading this post kinda inspired me in some ways :)

  4. Abbey
    May 13, 2015 at 8:19 pm


  5. Louise
    May 12, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Japan would always be a goal destination for me. And OMG, your hoard from the art stores there (esp. the Task Manager and Meeting Planner) Can’t wait for whatever’s new on #TheRoadtoABC! Always looking forward to your posts.

  6. Abbey
    May 13, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    You shooould tick that off your bucket list, though! Totally worth it :)

    Thanks Louise! I’m announcing it soon. :)

  7. Eimear
    May 15, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Lovely photos! I love black sesame icecream but have never had it in Japan ^_^

  8. Abbey
    May 16, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    Thank you! It’s yummy right :)

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