It was my childhood dream to explore the Philippines as well as other countries. And as I grew up, I have been to several well-known and mesmerizing places in my birth country, the Philippines, yet it took me twenty-eight long years before I could travel outside my motherland. And the first foreign country where my feet have stepped into is none other than “The Land of the Rising Sun.” I spent few days in Japan, specifically in Tokyo.>
When I first laid my eyes in this place, I was lost in words. The only word I uttered was, “Wow!” I was totally enthralled with the tall and modern buildings, bright lights, busy streets, etc. It seemed like I was in a different planet. And as I went around the city in five days, I realized why millions of people, whether Japanese or foreign nationals fell in love with the place.
There are many Japanese restaurants around the Philippines, so I have tried many Japanese dishes, but it gave me a different feeling of eating ramen, sushi, okonomiyaki, udon, yakiniku, sashimi, to mention a few, in the place of their origin. I realized the difference in taste. I could say that I have eaten authentic Japanese foods. I also had the opportunity to eat freshly cooked delicacies of Japan. I just love the foods.
Aside from the very cold weather and wearing very thick coats and boots, I also experienced a lot in my stay in Tokyo. I have witnessed how important to have strong legs because walking is a part of everyone’s life there. I walked for two to three hours everyday. I was sure that if only my legs could talk, they would have complained. But in every pain that my feet suffered was the joy and delight I felt while looking at historical, modern, or traditional sites around the city.
Silent Christmas Eve
I grew up celebrating Christmas with noisy and colorful fireworks around me, a lavish midnight feast shared with family, friends and others, loud music and people’s happy voices chattering. So apart from the fact that I’m in a foreign land, it was also my first time to have a silent Christmas. Only a few people were outside. No fireworks display. No loud music. No extravagant foods prepared on the table. So since it looked strange for me and my friends to have a very quiet Christmas eve, we just decided to stroll near our hotel. And we had a great Christmas despite the absence of things that we were used to see and hear every December 25.
Going Back to Tokyo
Even if I got tired walking, I was confused with the lines of trains, had a silent Christmas, paid expensive taxi fare, and had a hard time looking for some places, it was indeed a magical and splendid experience for me to be in Tokyo even just for a short time. This city truly swept me off my feet. I will surely go back to Tokyo…if not soon…then someday! .