Renting a Kimono in Kyoto

There are a number of shops that rent out kimono in Kyoto and offer kimono-wearing services. Because Kyoto is a big tourist area--currently Conde Nast's top Asian destination for the second year--they cater mostly to travellers and tourists both foreign and local, although the Japanese are also apt to acquire their services for special occasions due to the expense of owning the actual garment. (Also, renting offers more variety.) Here are links to some of the stores with english websites:

1. Sensho Kitamura

Location: 470 Shimokawaracho Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi kyoto 605-0825

Price: 5250Y (includes dressing, accessories and hair setting)

Return on or before: 6:00PM

2. Yume-Kyoto

(main shop) 300 Gion-cho Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi ACROSS Yasaka building 4F
(Kodaiji shop) Masuya 2F, 362-5 Masuya-cho, Higasiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi 605-0826

Price: for female, 3500Y if they choose for you, 5250Y if you choose for yourself (400 choices). 5250Y for male.
*Note: Kodaiji shop only off…

Welcome back to SG: Yayoi Kusama + A little food trip!

My husband and I haven't been to Singapore for some time, and to be perfectly honest, we've never had the inclination to visit unless it's for a specific reason like a scheduled event, an exposition or convention. So, yes, it was Echelon Asia that eventually prompted us to go for a short trip last month... well, he had to attend it and I was along for the ride. Fortunately, the National Gallery was hosting an exhibit by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama at the time, which I looked forward to, so there's that.
Image-heavy after the jump!

The Shanghai Diaries circa World Expo 2010

Sooooo, I have been on a few trips back to our favorite Land of the Rising Sun since my last entry here, but I haven't had time (or effort) to organize my thoughts and photos. Meh. In the meantime, I want to share some posts from when I went to the World Expo back in 2010. I didn't have a lot of access to the internet back then, so they were hosted by my now-deleted LJ. :)


The Shanghai Diary #1, also known as, "I can’t tweet, so help me God!" 

I woke up in this room that’s strangely reminiscent of the room I stayed in in Tokyo with Paul, but this one has no windows, the carpet is really dingy, and I’m crossing my fingers really hard there are no bedbugs.

Surprisingly, I am online! We found the ethernet cable and, consequently, the internet. (YEY!) However, I don’t know what I was expecting knowing that most of the sites I frequent and use as my sounding boards–facebook, twitter–are blocked. Livejournal, obviously, surprisingly, isn’t. So is Gmail. (Hooray!) Thank …

The Pinoy Guide to Japan Travel: Booking Sites

Ok, this was a long time coming, but now that we've tackled flights, let's talk accommodations.

But before all that, make sure to read my previous post on choosing hotels. Done it? Great!

With the presence of the internet, booking places to stay has never been easier. There is a wealth of sites dedicated to the hospitality industry, with photos and reviews. Travelers now have better knowledge of different properties, and thus, better control over their decision-making. Plus, it doesn't hurt that because of all the competition, some websites offer special deals and discounts! Here are my favorite ones to visit when I'm looking for places to stay, whether it be in Japan or other countries.

My Shoes Were Made for Walking

One of the most important things to consider when traveling is having the right pair of shoes. I think that they can either make or break your trip or rather, your feet, especially in places where you have to walk all the time.

I'm very particular about shoes and I tend to only bring one pair when traveling, depending on the place we're visiting. For sunnier climes, I have my favorite Fitflop sandals. These are my go-to shoes for Singapore, Hong Kong, countries in southeast Asia and local spots. They are SUPER comfy, as they're designed to cushion our feet, which means MAXIMIZED WALKING! Different styles mean you can take your pick of which sandal will best complement your travel fashion, so they can be casual or trendy. I admit that they're pricey as they average about 4000PHP a pair, but they are worth it because they last long--I've owned mine for about 4 years or so? And I've basically worn them everywhere! I even wore a pair to a wedding because they were …

Tips for Choosing Accommodations in Tokyo

This was originally part of my Accommodations post, but seeing as it got too long, I'm using it as a separate entry. Yay! More blog posts!

So, how to choose where to stay? Here's what I think:

1. Choose a place near a railway station.

Wherever you decide to visit, my key recommendation, owing to the nation's advanced, extensive, and hugely efficient transportation system, is to stay near a railway station. If you are near one, you can basically get anywhere. An added plus is that Yamanote Line (the train that goes around Tokyo) stations usually have affordable dining options nearby.

2. Map out your itinerary and see where you find yourself spending the most time in!

Railway tickets can get pricey--the minimum you'll pay for a stop on Tokyo's Yamanote Line is 130Y or about 65PHP--so it might also be best to map out the exact tourist spots you plan on seeing, or seeing more of, and look for a good place to stay nearby. For example, when we're in Tokyo, my husband …

Hotel Rooms: Ascott Makati


Hotel Rooms: Shangri-La Makati