Instant Memories in Osaka

A little background: on my trip to Osaka earlier this year, I bought two instant/disposable cameras. I gave one to my little sister, Hannah (who is 7-years-old) and kept one for myself. I challenged her to take photos of what she found interesting or moments she wanted to keep. I followed this prompt and excitedly took photos carefully. I watched Hannah take photo after photo of everything. It wasn’t long until she ran out of shots. Not wanting to buy a new one, I gave her my camera to use up the remaining shots available.

After the trip, I was curious about the outcome of our photos and finally, finally after several months, I got the photos developed and scanned. I picked the best ones from the trip and wanted to share some of them here. [Note: none of these photos were color corrected.]

I took this photo just outside the Fushimi Inari Taisha—I love how the colors just pop out here!

Hannah took this photo—
I love how warm the photo feels and I like how the color pops out on the hair of the lady on the right!)

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Osaka Haul 2018!

As promised, here is my Japan/Osaka haul (please read my previous blog post about the trip to offer some insight on my purchases!) Whenever I travel, a handful of people ask me what to buy/what I bought/what to expect in Japan—to have an idea of what type of person I am (or what things I usually buy), here is my haul:

Music:

I dropped by Tower Records and knew immediately what I’m looking for—to my delight, I was able to find them! I grabbed a copy of Panic! at the Disco’s Death of a Bachelor (I’ve been looking for a physical copy for a looong time; I love this album so much) and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton (I am a total theatre nerd and I am proud Hamitrash—I think I’ve memorized at least more than half the songs so far? Hehehe.) Great finds + great buys!

Stationery/Art Supplies:

Next up, I bought these sticker organizers. I really had this one my ‘to-buy’ list and luckily didn’t have too much of a hard time finding them.

The lavender one is for sticker flakes—

…while the red one is for vertical sticker sheets!

I also bought a pack of 8 Posca paint markers (because I’ve been wanting to try them out for the longest time) and a roll of masking tape (I’m not sure if this is specialized for watercolor paper, but I’m excited to test it out!)

Next would be the washi tapes (oh, boy!)

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Osaka 2018!

A few days ago, my family and I got back from Osaka, Japan. We stayed there from June 7 to 11, 2018—too short of a stay, if you’d ask me! Hehe. For this trip, I booked EVA Air (a 4AM-12nn flight, with a layover at Taipei for two hours) and excitedly counted the days ’till the big trip; I was especially excited for this trip because it would be my little sister’s first time in Japan!

Day 1

Airplane food.

Sunrise up in the sky!

Fast forward to noon, we finally arrived in Osaka! I quickly claimed our Nankai Line Airport Express tickets and our Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan E-tickets as well from the HIS counter at the airport. (I booked both of these, amongst others, through Klook.com!)

We rode to Namba in comfortable peace and enjoyed the sights. Forty-five minutes later, we got to our destination.

The train looks so cool + futuristic, hehe.

Would recommend riding the rapi:t train (you can purchase roundtrip tickets!) If you book it online or buy the tickets there, you can get reserved seating. We made our way to our hotel, Ibis Styles Osaka, dropped our things off, and headed for Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan!

If you squint, you could see my dad, my mom, and my sister photobombing my photo. Huhu.

The aquarium was just gorgeous. I would totally go back just to spend a lazy afternoon staring at the majestic creatures behind the glass. Just look at these photos (although, the photos don’t do enough justice for the actual thing!):

Why, hello there!

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Sophie Makes: MUJI Naan (+ Curry)

During my not-so-recent trip to Tokyo, Japan last April, I bought a couple of things from MUJI. I got the usual stationary and some other little travel essentials. In Japan, though, I get the most excited about the MUJI food that they sell since most of what they’re offering is not available back at home. I was so happy to find a pack of handmade ready-to-make naan and couldn’t wait to try it out.

And so, I finally had some time yesterday to make them:

The instructions were unfortunately in Japanese so I tried my best to (“read”) translate and research on what to do. Luckily, I found this video of someone making it and tried my best to follow.

MUJI Handmade Naan (Serves 4) – 200g

First, I placed all the naan mix in a medium-sized bowl and poured in 100ml of water:

Then, I placed a teaspoon of olive oil:

I combined everything well, kneaded the dough for a few minutes, and covered it to let it rise (as shown in the video).

[Note: Nothing happened in the ten minutes I covered it to “let it rise”, so you can go ahead and skip to the next step.]

While I was waiting for my dough to “rise”, I heated up the MUJI Creamy Butter Chicken Curry.

After ten minutes, I took out the dough from the bowl, cut them into four pieces, and proceeded to flatten them with a rolling pin. I grated some queso de bola (“ball cheese” or edam cheese, in English) and stuffed them in.

While I was rolling out and filling the dough, I placed a medium-sized non-stick pan over medium heat (read that again, slowly) and drizzled some olive oil on the pan.

Once the pan was hot enough, I placed two of the naan bread on it and covered the pan (to trap the heat in).

I let it cook for around 3 – 5 minutes on each side (or until they turn golden brown).

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Japan 2k17!

A bit of a delayed post since I’ve been having trouble uploading all the pictures, but here it finally is! 🙂

After 8 months, I’m extremely lucky enough to go back to Tokyo, Japan! I was in charge of creating the itinerary and planning other details alongside my aunt – which was a really exciting and awesome responsibility!I was looking forward to this trip for several months – it’s what kept me going in school (“suffer now, enjoy later”) as I spent fewer hours sleeping and more hours into school work. Like my previous travel/ Japan posts (click here to read one), I’ll break down my trip per day. For this trip, I went with my grandmother and my two aunts!

Day 1: April 11

Our flight to Tokyo, Japan leaves at 9AM, so my family and I were at the airport by 5:30AM. After dropping our bags off, we headed for the airport lounge for a light breakfast (since they’ll also be serving brunch on the plane later on) as we waited for our boarding time.

Breakfast with a view!

I was itching to leave since at this time of the year, it’s really hot here in the Philippines and I’m missing the cool air of Spring. Fast forward to four hours, we finally landed!

(It was a rainy Tuesday afternoon. ANA’s windows are really cool – they can turn into different shades of blue depending on the time and the user.)

I was immediately hit with nostalgia when I saw all the Japanese characters all around and when I heard “arigatou gozaimasu” from the usual “thank you” and “salamat” I hear at home. I was grinning from ear to ear as we made our way to the Narita Express to catch a train to Shibuya.

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