In Travel

Cool Japan

Hello Tokyo!!! I was so excited when I received an email from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in collaboration with Google Japan asking if I can go to Tokyo for their project called Cool Japan and 100 Tokyo. You’ll know in a bit why it’s really cool to go there but for now, I’ll tell you a bit more about this project. Honestly, there are so many things you can do in Japan, so this project is to just enhance and bring more excitement to their famous venues, food, mall, fashion, etc. When I got the email, I immediately said yes and even got more excited when I found out that I’ll be with Camille and Tricia. We arrived in Tokyo late afternoon and got to the hotel just in time to freshen up for a bit and then head straight to dinner.

We ate at Ginza Sushiko and I heard it’s one of the best restaurants in Tokyo. It’s located at Marunouchi. As a first-timer in Japan, I wanted to eat everything right away! All my friends who have been to Japan would always tell me everything’s delicious- and they’re right!

The chefs were very friendly and accommodating. I couldn’t understand them because they spoke Japanese but Miho (who’s part of METI) translated everything to us. Watching the chefs prepare our food is like watching a performance. They’re very particulate on how they make the sushis. Apparently, it takes years (yes, about 3-5 years) to be a sushi chef. You have to undergo years of training inside the kitchen or after working hours (you’re not allowed to serve to guests) and the master chefs judge your sushi creations. That’s what you call hard work!

It was my first time trying flounder sushi too. The chef took out a book and showed us how the perfect the fins are and that they don’t have flounder sushi everyday. I felt so lucky trying it! It was Miho’s idea we taste it because it’s her favorite dish. Can I just say- ang sarap niya!!!

Our Cool Japan/ 100 Tokyo group! I haven’t told you about this project yet but I will soon. We have bloggers from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc here and they’re all beautiful, handsome and friendly too. I love meeting new people!

After dinner, we went home to sleep and woke up early for our whole day tour. Woot! I think I’m the most excited out of everyone since it’s my first time. We met at the hotel lobby at around 8:30am, went to Nihonbashi Hunatsukiba (dock) and rode this boat limousine. I felt like a superstar inside this boat! It looks like it came from the future! We went around for about 20 minutes to see the beautiful sights. I got sad that it was drizzling when we toured around but I still enjoyed the tour.

They say Nihonbashi (literally meaning Japan Bridge) isn’t one of their famous tourist spots, and that’s exactly why were there. It’s just at the north of Ginza and northeast of Marunouchi and Tokyo Station. It’s the business district of Tokyo and is called the Venice of Japan. The bridge (where the district is named after) has been the marker for their national highway network since the Edo period.

After lunch, we visited a newly opened mall (and I mean it just launched that day) called Coredo and we got to try on kimonos the right way. Kimono means a thing to wear (ki is “wear” and mono is “thing”).

We got to choose our own kimono set and out of excitement, I just got whatever was there so I could get started right away! Here’s XiaXue posing for the camera.

Yes, it’s head-to-toe proper kimono dressing! We wore socks and their traditional sandals too.

It took them a long time to dress me up. I could just imagine how hard it must be in the old days wherein you have to do this everyday! They asked me to remove all my clothes (except underwear) then proceeded by letting me wear a lot of layers before putting on the actual kimono.

Tricia’s obi sash is just amazing. I love how it makes the entire look more girly and dainty.

If ever you’re planning to go to Japan, I highly suggest you try wearing a kimono too! It’s too cool not to try. Some people even put make up on, geisha style! I wish I took outfit shots wearing my kimono but we only had limited time and I couldn’t squeeze it in our schedule.

Everyone posing for the camera. And the best part? We went around the mall wearing our kimonos! Since the mall just newly opened, there were a lot of tv crew filming the place too. I hope I got to cameo hehehe.

We also got to visit a museum inside Coredo that’s all about Japanese culture. They have all these beautiful kimonos on display. These are some of my favourites. If I were to create my own kimono, do you think I can wear tribal print? Lol.

These walls are hand painted. Amazing, right?

We also got to see these sushi chefs prepare wonderful dishes!

Some items you can take home with you for pasalubong. They have a lot of stores that sell old school items that’s really nice for home displays.

This store really caught my attention. It’s like I’m in chopsticks wonderland. It’s one entire store that has different styles and prints of chopsticks.

After lunch, it was time for “100 Tokyo”. It’s one of the reasons why we flew here. “100 Tokyo” is a project by Google Japan where tourists like me can check out 100 best food/shopping/venues/products to try and do while you’re in Tokyo. For first timers like me, it’s so convenient to just google 100 Tokyo and see all the places/things worth visiting and seeing in Japan. As a tourist, it’ll really make your trip a breeze. Now, you don’t have to worry about what to do- instead, you’ll have a hard time deciding what to do first! Lol. We had a fun afternoon touring around the streets of Harajuku and seeing all the cool store they prepared for our photo walk. I’ll talk more about this though on my next Travel Diary post. Sorry if nakakabitin! More photos to come.For more information about 100 Tokyo, visit their website and follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. BMS.

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