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Posts Tagged ‘Studio Ghibli

I am writing about my last Japan trip in a non-linear/non-chronological way because…just because. I have been busy with other aspects of life i.e. job, hence, the gap. 

So I already told you about my non-eventful six-day stay in Yokohama where I spent four days going back and forth my hotel and the convention center. Then the fifth day I was locked up in my hotel room writing non-stop and then it was only on my last day I was able to go around for a bit. In the morning before going out for a little bit of sight-seeing, I decided to try a fastfood chain: Mos Burger.


Of course I shouldn’t be surprised but still I was when I took a bite of this burger. It was good, better than the blah version I had in Singapore (because of my Singapore Mos Burger experience, I stayed away from it). And it has to be good since it is a Japanese food chain.

After my walkathon in Minatomirai, I decided to have lunch in the restaurant across my hotel.


For JPY 850, it was ok, I guess. Did not rock my world, really.


In the afternoon, I took the train from Kannai to Kanda, which was about 45 mins. Then I used Google Map to locate my hotel from the Kannai station. It said I should come out of the South exit.

It was a bit of a walk but not that bad. The location is perfect because it’s walking distance from our Tokyo office (the receptionist said it was about 4 stoplights away, I just go straight). And considering its location (it’s within or near the financial district), the price was reasonable.


And the room and the bathroom are bigger than the one I booked in Yokohama (which was more expensive)

After checking in, I went straight to our Tokyo office since I had a teleconference at 4 pm (3 pm Singapore time).

I had to take note of the path I was taking since because it’s me, I may get lost. Even if the receptionist says just go straight.

I don’t know what to call this. Working holiday? I was supposed to be on holiday and yet I worked. I must be nuts. This our Tokyo office.


After the conference call and bit of a chit-chat with colleagues, I went back to the hotel to ditch my tablet-laptop hybrid (more about that later) to go to Akihabara. Yes, the land of the otakus.

But before that, I had to go to Lawson to try my luck in buying a ticket to Studio Ghibli Museum.


Nope. Fully booked on my days off. And on the days available either I’m already back in Manila or I will be in Singapore. Lesson learned: book a month ahead.

After leaving my laptop in my room, I decided to walk since the map says my hotel is just near Akihabara.

Oh, elevator parking slots. They should have these in Makati and BGC where finding parking slots is a nightmare. 

So I walked and walked.


The little streets that I took were lined with little pubs that were still closed. Probably they open for the dinner crowd of office workers/salary men/women.

I realized I wasn’t getting near to where I’m supposed to be so I went back to Kanda station and took the JR and just jumped off the next station (I can’t remember what that is) and took a gamble. Hehehe. It turns out it was also Akihabara, but I had to walk farther to get to the stores I must go to.


And I was running out of time. I learned the stores close at 8:30 pm. My girls are asking me to find them Attack on Titan stuff.


Look at the prices…enough to give me a heart attack.


My brother would freak out at these Gundam toys.

Sailor Moon FTW!

Pokemon love

And…there it is, Attack on Titan. But they’re sooooo expensive!

I have to find cheap ones or second-hand toys. No way I will buy them toys this expensive.

I was sooo tired that I forgot to have dinner. I just grabbed one of those convenience store dinners to bring to my hotel.

This is my neighborhood in Chiyoda at night.



I just discovered that Taiwan is a Studio Ghibli wonderland.

Yes, there are some stuff in Taiwan (Jiufen! Jinguashi!) with deep connections to Hayao Miyazaki’s  Spirited Away but I didn’t know Studio Ghibli is popular there. Probably because of historical and cultural ties with Japan, being a former colony in the 1890s.

Anyway, on my way to our Taipei office, I noticed the yellow rental bikes called Ubikes. I didn’t have the nerve to try because 1) I was again so lost–utterly lost; 2) I was not exactly dressed to ride a bike (hello pearls!).


I had to call a colleague to give me directions. Ugh, Mondays.

One of his questions to me was, “Can you tell me where you are right now?” Of course I can’t because there was no visible street sign and I can’t read Chinese.

“But I see Taipei 101…Uhh, that does not help, does it?”


Had lunch with the colleague somewhere near our office. Another beef noodle bowl. HUGE bowl that I couldn’t even finish halfway through.


After lunch, another colleague asked me why I will be going to Jiufen. So I told her I wanted to see the inspiration for the Spirited Away setting.

“Really?! I don’t see the connection!” Then I proceeded to describe to her the scenes and the buildings (the Bathhouse = A-Mei Teahouse). She finally understood (I hope) .

Then she told me about Studio Ghibli having a Taipei tour (with the Catbus! A Catbus!!!)  last September (awww shucks!) so I just missed it by a couple of weeks. But the good thing is there is a Donguri Republic at ATT4  near Taipei 101. She emailed me the directions.

“So what will you do this afternoon?” She asked me.

“I’m going there now. As in now.” I said as I gathered up my things.

It did not disappoint. I spent at least an hour there.


I found the giant Totoro!

The secret entryway to Totoro’s lair

Photos and posters on the way to the toilets

After dawdling at Donguri Republic and loitering around ATT, I met one of the colleagues for dinner at Taipei 101 who felt like eating chicken rice. Right. Chicken rice in Taiwan. But hey, we were both hankering for something Southeast Asian at that time. You can only have so much beef noodle bowls in a week, right?

While waiting for him, I took photos of Taipei at night. So peaceful compared to Manila at this hour (6:30-ish).


And trains don’t get crowded, as in Manila MRT-mandirigma-training level.


I didn’t have anything to do later that night so we decided to go home early. Plus I had to pack up again to go to Ruifang the next day.


life in business journalism

crazy. exciting. boring to some but hey, you get to understand the world better when you're a business journalist. you learn to be patient with tons of documents, make sense of numbers and charts. all geeky stuff. this is my story, behind the scenes.
June 2019
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