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Desirable Diversion

William Herrera
February 23, 2023        |

Visit Japan!

After the two-year global lockdown, travel is indeed back! So, the question now on most people’s mind is, where is the best place to go?

The land of the rising sun is fast becoming the destination of choice for most Filipinos, and with good reason; the Yen-Peso exchange rate is favorable, opportunity to experience four seasons, Japanese cuisine is fantastic, and, you’ll be spoilt for choice when you decide to go shopping.

Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Yokohama are just some of the main cities one can visit; the adventurous can easily traverse the intricate rail network with the help of various IC cards like Suica, Pasmo, Icoca; these are stored value cards and best used when travelling on public transportation, it is also accepted by numerous vending machines, shops, and restaurants, as long as you see the IC logo, the card will be accepted. One only has to purchase the IC card (¥500) and use your credit card to top-up the load, and you are good to go!


Fashionistas can find high-end brands like LV, Gucci, Prada etc. offering the latest styles and trends, but, one can also find pre-loved items at near new conditions at a fraction of the cost. Boutiques for both new and pre-loved items operate side by side in most malls and shopping complexes.


Similarly, watch collectors can avail of limited-edition models that can only be found in Japan, and just like the fashion houses, various timepieces can be purchased new or pre-loved; if you are in the market for a watch, re-sellers in Japan are very trustworthy, this is one of the places in the world you can purchase, say, a hard-to-find Rolex, confidently.

Mt. Fuji
Namba Yasaka Shrine

After you’ve had your fill of shopping, you can visit historical sites, temples, and gardens to get a glimpse of Japanese culture and history; from centuries old castles and worship halls, to spiritual shrines that ward off evil spirits, to the traditional Japanese gardens. For historians a must-do is a visit to the Peace Memorial park in Hiroshima, here you can find the ruins of the last World War, the tragic reminder of Japan’s violent past. Mt. Fuji is a UNSECO World Heritage site, this imposing mountain, with its snow-capped peak during the winter months and near perfect cone, attracts over 300,000 visitors annually and can easily be reached via a two-hour drive from Tokyo. In Osaka, you can visit Japan’s oldest temple, the Shitennoji temple, the Namba Yasaka Shrine, and one of the more famous landmarks that played a significant role in the unification of Japan in the 16th century, the Osaka Castle.

Shitennoji Temple
Osaka Castle

A special tour you could consider is a short visit to the Seiko Epson Factory, and the Seiko Museum. Located at the Nagano Prefecture, the Seiko factory is not open to the public, and a special request has to be made before a group is welcomed in. Once inside, you would find veteran watchmakers, crouched over their workstation, crafting and assembling your next Seiko wristwatch. The Seiko Museum in Ginza is open Tuesdays to Sundays and reservations are highly encouraged, here you can marvel at the over 100-year history of the iconic Japanese watch brand. Enthusiasts can spend 90+ minutes going through the entire museum, showcasing among other things, the very first Grand Seiko model.

Japan has so much to offer visitors all year round, and the only way to experience it is to just pack your bags, and go!


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