Tokyo Day 2 – Visiting Cherry blossoms


Tokyo Day 2:

The night before, we got home late and we woke up really late too because of sore feet. By our second day in Tokyo, we met with Cristina and her little daughter Nami. It was at a local café, a pretty nice spot for chats. It was also cozy and quiet, you can concentrate if you bring your work on a laptop.

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Cristina toured us around Ueno Park, where we got to catch a few Cherry Blossoms in bloom. There were shrines around the park and it was really fascinating how the entire place was structured. Not all the trees have “Cherry Blossomed” because spring was just starting when we came.

Nevertheless, it was nice to see the place and it was crowded with locals. Foreigners like us enjoyed taking selfies under the pink-adorned branches.

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Though the park was crowded, there was not as much noise in certain areas, probably out of respect for the shrines. There were also wooden squares where you can write your wishes/prayers.

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Away from the quiet shrine area was a mini playground where Nami played with other kids. We rested for a while and had an awesome ice cream break. TokyoD2-55

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ng Ueno park, Cristina and Nami had to go pick up Nami’s big sister, so we parted ways at the nearest train station.

Suica Card

For our next stops, Cristina taught us how to use a Suica Card. It is basically a “prepaid card” for train commuters and a lot more convenient instead of getting a new ticket for each and every stop. We load each card up to 2,500 yen, which was more than enough for our 3-4 days trip.

We headed next to Akihabara – a great spot for pop culture toy collectibles. You will find a long strip of buildings with interesting finds and often times you will be surprised to find that there are a lot more for sale in higher floors.

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I went toy hunting and bought a Gundam because it makes a pretty good souvenir as it is a well-known Japanese robot craze. I do not really follow the Gundam anime series, but it sure is fun to build and assemble a Gundam model. It is quite a craft that helps release tension from stressful work. I also bought the newly released S.H. Figuarts Batman. I was such a happy kid after buying these bad-ass toys.

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We had dinner at a Katsu house. I was really happy with the Katsu Curry I ordered. It was exactly the way I wanted it – juicy pork katsu with crispy crumbs outside with the right amount of curry sauce. YUM! It was great quality food.

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We were so tired from our adventure when we made it back to our hotel in Shibuya. My wife wondered if she could walk the next day. We sure made the most of it!

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Batman Vs Superman: Movie Review


BVS Tickets

At first I was hesitant to join my wife at the free movie screening (thanks to her job for such free treats) because I heard unimpressive feedback about the film. But we already had the free tickets and an awesomely customized Superman shirt designed and given to me by my cousin-in-law. So we went.

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As we stood in line for the cinema to open, the event coverage producer (who happens to be a friend) offered to just tell me the story. Thankfully, he did not proceed in giving spoilers, but he expressed his disappointment upon watching the film earlier that week.

As the movie finally rolled, I kept waiting for unpleasant turns to disappoint me. Instead I found myself surprisingly amazed at how the film was executed. Towards the end of the story, I was thinking maybe bad reviewers feel that the Affleck Batman lacked real kickass moves. But hey, it’s only logical that he appears limited (just a strong man with his cool gadgets) in comparison to the Man of Steel and Wonder Woman, who both have superpowers.

My opinion may not agree with other avid fans of Batman and Superman. There will always be bad feedback about how the screenplay did not follow the comic books. Or how Bat-Affleck does not match up to Christian Bale’s “Dark Knight”.

The storytelling has a slow start and builds up only later in the film, and there will always be that one friend who will tell you not to waste your time or money on this movie. But fan or no fan… If you have not seen it, do not be discouraged by the harsh reviews. See for yourself.

I like how they orchestrated the fight against Doomsday. I am also amazed at how the film ended. That probably stirs up one hell of mixed reactions from viewers. But it IS after all, a Nolan-produced masterpiece. It is his signature to leave a mysterious impact at the very end of the film. It only makes us hope and wait for sequels.

To sum it all up, I liked the movie – from the action stunts, graphics work and how the plot within the metropolis, and… Wonder Woman was hot! I look forward to knowing her more in the next DC movies.

I am definitely on the lookout for a sequel. Let me know what you think! Leave your comments below.

Tokyo Day 1: Gundams and McDonald’s


This was my first time to travel to Tokyo. I have been waiting for this trip to learn the culture, get up-close stories behind famous anime, see robots… And fill my tummy with ramen, katsu and various Japanese munchies.

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Right after checking in, our first stop was the nearest Mcdonald’s branch. This was all for the sake of checking what makes Japanese McDonald’s different.
I ordered the chicken burger meal that came with Sakura flavored Sprite. It was a limited-time offer to match the start of Spring/Sakura (Cherry Blossom) season. The meal also came with Sakura flavored “shake shake” fries, which were a bit too sour for my taste. Meal values are almost at par with Philippine McDonald’s pricing once converted to PHP. Serving sizes are also the same – too small for my hungry tummy. 😀

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Started our first Tokyo day with Sakura inspired McDonald’s, just right next to our hotel.

We took the train to Odaiba afterwards to check out the life-size Gundam. It stood in proud glory just right outside the Diver City plaza.

They also have a Gundam shop behind the giant robot and a big museum-type shop inside the building – on its topmost floor. We enjoyed exploring the large collection of different Gundams.

If you are interested to watch the short Gundam show outside the plaza, you must check their schedule. During the show, the life-size Gundam moves its head and lights up, while a short anime clip is projected on the building walls. For your reference, show schedules are posted on http://www.divercity-tokyo.com/en/.

To cap off our long day, we checked out this sushi conveyor belt restaurant inside the mall. They have high-tech ordering process. Each table has an iPad for selecting orders. Then a subway-looking plate will move through the conveyor belt and stop right at your table to bring your order/s . Food was good, but slightly pricey since the restaurant is located inside the mall. Servings are small. If you see other tables with piles of plates, that is normal. Even their slim-bodied locals eat a lot!

So that’s Day 1! I hope I was able to take you through it well. If you have questions, please feel free to comment below and I would be most happy to help you out.

 

Batman Vs Superman: Whose side are you on?


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In celebration of the new Batman Vs Superman movie. Mixed media (toy photography and graphic art) c/o me. You are probably wondering why you see Christopher Reeve instead of Henry Cavill. I am reserving my “Man of Steel” Hot Toy for sale. If you wish to check out other toys I am selling, LIKE the page http://www.facebook.com/ToyzAttic.

 

Amber Lights on Glen Powell Bridge


At last after a long trip from California to Arizona we still headed out for a night shot.

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We had our first shots of Glen Powell Dam at night.

It was a very thrilling experience for me because in front of me was the Glen Powell Dam, which is about 3,600 ft. deep. I am afraid of heights but still, I had to take this chance to photograph.Glen Powell Dam