Browse Category: Japan

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Where to eat in Asakusa: Sometaro Okonomiyaki Restaurant

I’ve been fascinated with okonomiyaki ever since I saw it in the anime Ranma 1/2 in the early 90’s. It looked and smelled good, even in 2D animation, so I had to try it in real life when I visited Japan.

Okonomiyaki, for those who don’t know, is a Japanese savory pancake. There’s a variety of ingredients that can be used, so it’s really up to you and how you like it (okonomi) and then it’s cooked on a grill (yaki). Okonomiyaki is usually associated with the Kansai region (where Osaka is), but it’s really available throughout the country, and each region’s okonomiyaki does it a little differently than the others. Kind of like how regions do ramen differently, or–going closer to the Filipino’s heart–how each region has a different longganisa, or a different adobo.

The Tokyo okonomiyaki, then, was on my list of things to eat in the city. Continue Reading

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A freelancer’s application for a tourist visa to Japan

When I booked my flight to Japan last year, I was still a regular employee, and the Embassy had just announced that they were relaxing the visa application requirements. I was very confident that I was finally going to be able to fly to my dream destination since I was a child. I mean, who wouldn’t dream of going to Japan? Sushi! Sashimi! Ramen! Okonomiyaki!!! Sign me up for all that.

Fast forward to July 2015, my plans had changed, and instead of working in a new company, I chose to be a freelancer, instead.

Cue panic over my visa application.

Fast forward again to September 2015, and I’m smiling like an idiot while staring at my shiny new visa to Japan, watermarked with Mt. Fuji and pretty cherry blossoms.

Like most people with blogs who successfully obtain a tourist visa to Japan, I am now sharing my experience and the answers to the questions I kept asking people so that others may benefit from it. Continue Reading