Friday, March 13, 2015

Our First Wedding Anniversary

Wow, I can't believe it! We've turned 1! Time sure flies.

Some say that the first year together is the most difficult. Well, if that were true then I have nothing to worry about. Sure, we had our not so shining moments, I even made the husband cry once out of frustration! LOL But looking back, aside from picking up dirty clothes on the floor where he left them, the hamper of newly laundered clothes piling up because we are too busy to put it into our cabinets, and the damn toothpaste pressed in the middle (sorry, pet peeve stuff), I'd still say it was an awesome first year.

Well, we wanted to celebrate our first year wedding anniversary with something we both enjoy: travelling. So 6 months before we turned 1, we were able to grab some seats from Cebu Pacific's seat sale to fly ourselves to Osaka, Japan.

We booked our room via Airbnb. I'd say, we got the place for a steal! The condo unit was walking distance from the train station and just roughly around 15 minutes to Umeda station. It was spacious, had a comfortable dining table set, nice sheets and beddings. It was clean, carpeted and decorated nicely, and included a pocket wifi that we could bring wherever we went. It had a laundry area where we could wash our clothes for 100 yen and it would come out all warm and ready to use. And best of all, what we appreciated the most, was the heater-slash-aircon unit. Coming in from the cold and feeling the blast of heat... I never thought I'd ever say this in a million years but I actually loved it. LOL

Another bonus was that right in front of it was a Life Supermarket that stays open well into midnight. It was because of this that we were able to save a great deal on food because their groceries offer cooked meals. So we could just buy a pack of chicken fillet, tonkatsu, tempura, or whatever since they have a huge selection anyway. Each would range from 200 yen to 400 yen depending on what the meat was. And they sold packs of rice for around 230 yen which already contains 3 packs. And of course, cup noodles ranging from 100 yen to 170 yen. So we'd spend around 600 yen each meal for the two of us compared to the cheapest we found of 800 yen per head.

Here's how the packed rice looks like. Just use a microwave to heat it up and voila! Oh, I love their rice. I so love it. So freaking love it. I love it. I so love it. Yes, I love it.

So you can get 3 of these for around 230 yen (like I said, LOL). Each pack is like around a cup and a half of rice. Not bad, right?

Anyway, here are pictures of our room if you are getting curious. 

Our quaint dining area

We had a ref and a microwave. 
Oh, and a vacuum too.

Bathtub for soaking after a long tiring day 
of walking!

Yes, they are separated but inside the same door.
It's just that the shower and bathtub area is
another door within the door. Errrr... Right. 

We loved that we did not have to carry a key 
around. So convenient!

Ooohh, this bed was just sooo comfy and 
soo soft, and fluffy... and soft. Yes, soft.

You know, it felt very safe in Osaka. We would walk any time of the day and never feel threatened or scared that someone might mug us. There weren't even guards in their condominium buildings or malls. Nothing. What a place. There might be some uniformed men walking around in train stations but they are conductors, train operators and the like. Not guards. 

Oh, noticeably, since they don't have public transport for short distances like we do with our tricycles and jeepneys, most people had bikes. You would see students in uniforms, people wearing corporate attire riding bikes. Well, the air was clean so no fear of the smell of pollution to cling on to your clothes. It was these small things that made me appreciate Osaka even more. 

We arrived at around 8:00 PM their time. Osaka was ahead by an hour. It was still busy when we landed in KIX. But there were very few people who could speak English, communication was indeed a challenge. Our host sent PDF files of how to get from the airport to the condo along with how to operate the coin operated laundry, and door lock code. But apparently, the directions were from Osaka airport. And we landed in KIX. So we had to ask around on how to get to our place. It was crazy, believe me. We used the free wifi but it still didn't make too much sense to us so we really had to ask around. We had to take at least 2 trains and walked a lot before we got to our room. It was a good hour and a half and we were tired from travelling. 

So the next day, instead of actually following our itinerary, we walked around some and discovered their train system. We learned that the subway leads to more places that we wanted to go to than the trains. We learned that unlike in our MRT and LRT, Japanese will not force and wedge themselves in between each other at the slightest hint of space in the seats. They sat comfortably and chose to stand instead of forcing people to move and give them a seat. And they made sure that the space for PWD, Senior Citizen and pregnant women is always available. We learned that food was good in their Family Mart, more authentic that most Japanese restos here in Manila. LOL We also discovered the wonders of their groceries and the art of refillable water bottles. Yes, water is fairly expensive in Japan it seems. And discovering that you can buy a bottle from the grocery was another money saver for us since we brought our water bottles with us. We bought a 2 liter bottle of water from them which was the smallest we can get for the refilling station for 320 yen. The attendant wrote the husband's name on it and showed him how he can refill the water so he can do it on his own next time. Japanese people makes everything easy with their products, I mean really. From the cup noodles, food preparation, their water. It is a breeze. 

This is the front of the bottle
with the hubby's name on it.

Side view of the bottle. It has a 
2 liter capacity.

Well, that's all the saver tips I can dish out for now. I have lots of stories but that will have to wait for the next entry. Right now I am sleepy and need to get some shut-eye. Laters!

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