Japan 2017: How to Apply for Japan Visa

One look at the requirements for Japan visa and you’ll start to think twice about going. But do not get too overwhelmed with the requirements, it’s actually pretty easy to apply for a Japan visa.

First, you need to find an accredited agency who processes Japan visa. In the Embassy of Japan website, they have indicated the following agencies:

For our visa, we went to Rajah Travel Corporation. I have a friend working there and she advised me to wait for the Travel Expo to pay for the visa processing fee because they will give a discounted amount. So we went to the Expo last February and pay for the visa processing fee of P450 instead of the original price of P1,500.

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Japan 2017: Pre-planning + P40,000 All-in expense for 7 days.

Our Japan trip, which happened last June 6 – 12, is by far the most special trip I’ve had. I knew everything by heart because I carefully planned and researched our itinerary and budget. They say travelling to Japan is expensive, but with thorough planning I would say it is not as expensive as other people think. If you are in my page because you also want to go to Japan without having to burn your wallet, you’ve come to the right page. We are a group of 6 who travelled to 3 cities: Tokyo – Osaka – Kyoto (well, plus Nagoya because that’s where we flew out of Japan) for P40,000 and some change. Below I will share how I planned our trip.

Before I start, I just want to share that my budget was divided into two. Pre-trip expenses and During trip expenses. The Pre-trip expenses include airfare, accommodation and booked tickets. Basically, anything that has to be pre-booked was under Pre-trip expenses. During trip expenses cover food and transportation within Japan. In other terms, this is my ‘pocket money’.

Alright, so let’s begin. Below would be an overview of my expenses and I will create a separate post to further discuss each.

*For conversion purposes: 1JPY = 0.45PHP

Continue reading “Japan 2017: Pre-planning + P40,000 All-in expense for 7 days.”

Father’s Day Letter

Dear Pa,

I look up as I type this and saw you watching the usual daily news. If I look closely, I will see wrinkles on your face and your hands. Visible signs of hard work from years of working and providing for our family. There are so many things I’d like to tell you but cannot say in person because for sure I will struggle to get the words out before I even reach the middle of this note. Despite being someone who likes to speak up, I cannot bring myself to tell all these things to you. So today, as the world celebrates fathers’ day, I would like to share this letter I’ve written to tell you and the world how much I love and appreciate you.

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Neil’s Kitchen: Date Night

For someone who’s always on the lookout for artsy restaurants, I didn’t let Neil’s Restaurant escape my radar. I found out about Neil’s Kitchen through Instagram. When I saw their beautiful interior in photos, I knew I have to visit this restaurant. I have made several attempts to go to Neil’s Kitchen, but being a Northern girl (Far-view, represent!), I have to consider the time and means to go to South.

Finally, I found the perfect occasion to see Neil’s Kitchen for myself, and it was no other than: Valentines Day! We celebrated Valentines 3 days after the 14th because we didn’t want to join the flock of couples celebrating on the date itself.

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5 Suggested OOTD Spots in Taipei

Alright, I am one of the guilty users of #OOTD. Hahaha! I love seeing photos of my outfits and I enjoy posing for my OOTDs  (I even have my own trademark OOTD pose lol). So far, the place where I have the most number of OOTDs is in Taipei. And I would share below the best places to take your OOTDs when in Taipei. (Jeez, I just used the word OOTD five times.)

DISCLAIMER: You will see my face in almost all the photos. So unless you can take it, you can press the back button NOW. :p

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Travel Guide: 3 days in Taipei

Travel date: July 29 – August 2 (midnight) 2016

Finally! I found the time to share my Taipei itinerary.

Few months back, Taiwan remained to be just another country for me. I didn’t know a lot of people who have visited Taiwan, compared to those who have gone to Japan or Korea. But what convinced us to book a trip to Taiwan? What did we do there? Where did we eat? What are my tips to those who will be visiting Taiwan soon? I will answer everything below. 🙂

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Taipei: Itinerary and Expense

taipei itinerary 1taipei-itinerary-2

Few notes:

  • The budget shown above doesn’t include the total amount we loaded in our Easy Card (MRT Pass). We bought the Easy Card in 7-11 and it can be used to purchase food and other stuff. Getting an Easy Card costs 100 NTD, then you can reload it for another 100. In total, I think I have spent 500 NTD for the card and the load.
  • The hours specified above includes the travel time and queuing time (if applicable).
  • Approximately, I have spent more of less 12k for the entire trip (minus the airfare), with the airfare, probably around 15k.

Will post more about our Taipei trip.

Love, Andrea

My Klook Experience

My friends know how fond I am of creating itineraries and researching activities for my trips. Recently, we flew to Hong Kong, and I promised myself that I would do the things I did not do during my first visit. (Back story: My first trip to HK was in 2013, and we availed a packaged tour: HK Disneyland + Shenzhen + jewelry shop and other places I am not interested in).

This time, I wanted to go to The Peak and try the Ngong Ping cable car. Luckily, I found an app where I can book these activities at a discounted price: Klook. I learned about Klook while I was browsing posts in DIY Travel Pilipinas (posted by Mr. Richmond Difuntorum Cruz). I was curious, so I downloaded it and gave it a shot. I was hesitant at first, because I never heard of it before. But then, it turns out to be a really good app and I can’t stop recommending it to people, who just like me, like to customize their itinerary.

Here’s what I booked:

klook-bookings

  1. This is the activity that you booked.
  2. Number of tickets you bought
  3. Total amount of the activity.
  4. Discounted amount because I have a referral code. You can use mine to get a discount for your 1st purchase: ZLI88
  5. The new amount of the activity
  6. This is where you can see the voucher. It will also be sent via email

The usual round trip ticket to the Peak is 88HKD (545Php). But you have to fall in line for about 2 hours. The one I purchased through Klook was a Fast Track, meaning we got to skip the 2 hour queue and went straight to the tram. And that is only for 508.50Php. HOW.AWESOME.IS.THAT?

Overall, I really love my experience with Klook. That’s why I am sharing it to you. I can’t wait for my next travel, just so I can book with them again.

Download the app and see it for your self (this is not a sponsored post, haha!) They currently have vouchers for Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Phuket, Bali and even Boracay.

Don’t forget to use my referral code: ZLI88 for you to get a discounted price on your first purchase! 🙂

With love,

Andrea

#PassionProject

I have always wanted to become a food blogger. I thought about starting a food blog in 2013, but I realized describing food was not one of my strongest suits. So I kinda shrugged off the thought. But I and food were inseparable, so I decided to start an Instagram account that would showcase my love for photography and food.

I created eatsinthenorth as my platform for my food photos. As implied in its name,  eatsinthenorth are compilation of the foods I have tried from the north only. Currently, I am posting my own photos but I am looking forward to repost photos from people who used #eatsinthenorth in their food photos.

So friends, if you have visited restaurants in the North, please do tag us in your photos! I’d love to discover new restaurants thru your posts!

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Itinerary: Sagada

MAY 2015

Duration: 2 days , 2 nights

Day 0

11:00PM – Left Manila to Sagada

8:00AM – Side trip to Banaue Rice Terraces and breakfast at Point Valley Inn Restaurant

10:00AM – Arrival in Sagada; Tourist Registration

10:30: Settled in George Guest House

Afternoon: City Tour

•Echo Valley Hanging Coffins
•Sagada Underground River Entrance
•St. Mary’s Church
•Bokong falls
•Valley Rice Fields

7:00PM – dinner at the Yoghurt House

Day 2:

3:00AM – Wake Up

4:00AM – On the Way to Kiltepan

4:30AM – Waiting for the Kiltepan Sunrise

6:00AM – Toploading back to the house

7:00AM – Breakfast at Sagada Brew

9:00AM – 5 hours Spelunking (Caving from Lumiang cave to Sumaguing Cave)

3:00PM – Head back to house to rest

7:00PM – Dinner at  Lemon House

Day 3:

4:00AM – Check out at George Guest House

9:00AM – Breakfast at Good Taste, Baguio City

10:00AM – Left for Manila to celebrate Father’s day with the family.

3:00PM – Arrived in QC

Journal: One Saturday in QC

It was a long weekend due to the All Saints Day holiday. My office mates and I took advantage of it and went to Ateneo and UP Town Center to shoot our Big Night video presentation.

Just want to share some shots I took that day.

(Clockwise from top first column)

  • Found Biblio at the 2nd floor of UPTC extension. My heart jumped with joy when I saw shelves full of books! They have a log book where you can write your requested book and they will check if they can find it for you.
  • Long Live Bacon. I found this at Lazy Bastard’s store near the cinema of UPTC. Haven’t tried their food but I heard lots of good feedback.
  • Those cakes belong to The Chocolate Kiss located at UPTC extension. I love how this new wing of UPTC feels like an extension of UP and Maginhawa. I first tried Chocolate Kiss at Bahay ng Alumni inside UP Campus.
  •  The facade of Starr’s. They are famous for their milkshakes, haven’t tried it though. But I love how it looks from outside, it is so enticing that you want to come in and give their milkshake a try.
  • This photo was taken at one of the walkways in Ateneo.
  • We had lunch at Friuli Trattoria! It has been my go-to place for pizza and pasta since I first tried them at their Maginhawa branch. Friuli Trattoria will give you a mouthwatering experience without hurting your wallet.
  • After lunch came the dessert. I tried Carmen’s Best Hazelnut (P100, small). I was contemplating whether to buy a vegan ice cream or Carmen’s Best, the latter won, obv. Hazelnut was good, but my favorite still goes to He’s Not Worth It.
  • Oh, just me posing with some book quotations in the background. It was a test shot for the shoot.
  • Biblio‘s wall! I want something like this in my room!
  • Another thought to ponder on Lazy Bastard’s wall. Bacon is not Pork, it’s Bacon.

#StopTheStigma

I am supporting the initiative of Philippine Psychiatric Association to raise awareness, promote mental health and protect the rights of people with mental disorders by signing the petition to make the country’s first Mental Health Act happen.

If you’re one with us, you can sign the petition here.

Do you know how hard it is to have a psychological disorder here in the Philippines?

  1. HMOs or health cards do not cover consultation to psychiatrists and psychologists.
  2. One consultation with a psychiatrist is worth P 1,500 – P 2,000.
  3. Medicines are costly.
  4. People can’t talk about it openly because not everyone understands.

You know how I know? I’ll let you in on a little secret…

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In Transit: Vietnam to Cambodia

When we booked our tickets for our Vietnam – Cambodia trip, we already decided that we were doing a cross-country trip. We booked a ticket from Manila to Ho Chih Minh then Siem Reap to Manila. We had no choice but to do our research on how to get from Ho Chih Minh to Siem Reap. You are probably reading this because you, too, are planning to do a cross-country trip from Vietnam to Cambodia.

It is very easy, actually.

Continue reading “In Transit: Vietnam to Cambodia”

TravelBook.ph: My Go-To Travel Buddy

One crucial factor of creating my travel itinerary is choosing the accommodation. Last December, my family decided to spend the holidays in Baguio. This is something big for me because we never go out during Christmas. My dad always prefers to spend the holidays at home. So when I learned about our first Christmas vacation out of town, being the lakwatsera that I am, I took care of planning the itinerary and booking the accommodation.

Good thing, I stumbled upon TravelBook.ph when I was looking a good yet affordable hotel in Baguio City. After looking at a lot of options, we finally decided to book Albergo Hotel. We made the payment at SM Payment Center, after which we received the hotel voucher. It was a smooth transaction.

My life has changed since then. Whether it is for a staycation in the city or an out of town, I always use TravelBook.ph for booking my accommodation.

Get to know my go-to travel buddy!

Continue reading “TravelBook.ph: My Go-To Travel Buddy”