Kobe, Japan

Kobe, the port city, is a town with mountains, a wide ocean view and an exotic international atmosphere. Unfortunately, we were not able to explore the city completely because HB's main purpose was to really visit his Japanese friend who lives in Kobe. Since we had limited time we only walked around the harbor land focusing on a few highlights.

kobe port tower and yamato 1
Kobe Port Tower and Yamato 1
yamato 1
Yamato 1: Superconducting Electromagnetic Propulsion Boat
kobe port tower
Kobe Port Tower: the landmark tower of the port city of Kobe

tsl techno super liner
1/6th scale version of "Hayate" Techno Super Liner TSL-F

hotel okura
Hotel Okura Kobe

kobe maritime museum
Kobe Maritime Museum

duck tour taiko
Duck Tour Taiko
duck tour taiko

mikage station
Hanshin Railway Hikage Station

sannomiya center street

Kobe Merikenpark Harbor: Mosaic Ferris Wheel and Concerto Cruise Ship

Till next time, 

Gion, the Geisha District of Kyoto

rickshaw ride
a rickshaw ride in shimbashi kyoto

We also went to Shijo Avenue and Shimbashi in Gion popularly known as the Geisha district of Kyoto. Our intention was to really check out the place in search of "white lady" (just kidding), of course we were looking for charming white-face Geisha, which is also known as geiko and maiko.

Geishas (image source)

But, disappointingly, after spending an enormous amount of time there was no one around. My hope was depleted but anyway it felt comforting just gazing the beautiful old-style wooden Japanese houses called "machiya", an example of traditional Kyoto architecture.

gion shimbashi
shirakawa canal
shirakawa canal in shimbashi

gion shimbashi





HB was so determined to see one of them so he went a little further of the Hanamikoji street and voila spotted one! Unfortunately the lady geisha was in a hurry and HB was able to snap a photo of her backside only. haha...


I only wish we could have stayed longer but our time was so limited and my whole body already forces me to rest. I've heard that most of the geishas are avoiding to be photographed as they are busy to get to their work. For tourists and travelers let us not be rude paparazzi or insensitive gangs invading their privacy. If you wish to see them in person and get engage, there are travel agencies and hotels offering packages with a maiko. Just be sure you have a large stash of cash. ;)

Till next time,

The Soaring Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama

When we stepped into the Arashimaya bamboo path leading to the Sagano bamboo forest I immediately fell in love with the place. It was surrounded with lush and soaring bamboo stalks. I haven't seen such natural beauty in quite a time. It was like we were transported into another era. It was just simply fascinating. Sagano bamboo forest is a nice place to visit but bare in mind it tends to get crowded with locals and tourists.

It is said that the bamboo is frequently harvested for manufacturing various products, such as baskets, cups, boxes and mats at local shops for centuries. (source

Tenryu-ji Temple north gate
inside the Tenryu-ji Temple

Just be prepared to embark on a long walk because the place is a little far from the train station. Unfortunately, that's what we did. Oh my goodness, I'm pretty sure I had sweat out an excessive amount of calories. hahaha... But there's a rickshaw for hire if you don't want to waste your time and energy, or you can just rent a bicycle where you can explore at your own pace.

rickshaw ride along the Arashiyama shopping street

There are number of temples, shrines, shops and restaurants along the main street of Arashimaya.

a shop along the main street of Arashiyama
Arashiyama is a district on the western outskirts of Kyoto, Japan. It is a nationally designated Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty.

For more information (visit here)
Map (here)

Till next time,

Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist Temple

I apologize for the lack of posts. I'm so behind with our Japan trip. Kiyomizu-dera is a Buddhist temple located halfway up of Otowa Mountain in the eastern part of Kyoto. The place is enveloped with lush greenery and it offers remarkable views of the city. However, I was already too exhausted to appreciate it since we'd been exploring around the city. Plus going to the temple was like walking an uphill battle.

If you happen to visit the temple don't forget to take a little sip of water from the Otowa waterfall, which is said to grant wishes to those who drink it.

Kiyomizu-dera in summer
Japanese girls wearing yukata at the Deva gate

Kiyomizu-dera Temple opens at 6:00 in the morning, but closing time varies depending on the season.

Admission Fee:
Ordinary (adult): 300 Yen
Special night (adult): 400 Yen

Till next time,


As I've mentioned in my previous post we went to Travel Madness Expo 2015, which was held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay. Have you been there? Oh boy, it was jam-packed! I guess many people are into traveling nowadays. But HB told me it was pretty much bigger last year compared to this year expo. It was my first time visiting the event and there were good range of companies offering tour packages and promos.

Till next time, asian traveler