How to take a train from Osaka to Tokyo

It was our first time to visit Osaka, and didn’t know how to go to Tokyo by train. But Jeroen is a train expert. I let him take care of me whenever taking the train in Europe. And I love trains. I feel so relaxed and I love looking out the window. Trains feel like an adventure, unlike the airplane which feels like terror for me.

1) The day before our trip, we asked the hotel concierge where to buy train tickets. We took a cab to the train station and bought the tickets. Then we asked where the platform was just to be sure. We were told that the actual train was at another station. So good thing we asked!

2) The following day after checking out of our hotel, we met the Intercon’s GM, Mr. Jerome Palacoeur, who, upon seeing our luggage told us we could actually send the luggage ahead of us to Tokyo so we need not haul our stuff during the trip.
For instance, we could ask Intercontinental Osaka to send our luggage to Peninsula Tokyo for 1500 yen a piece. If we send the luggage before 5 PM, it will be at the Peninsula by 12 noon next day, 101% guaranteed.
So ideally we could just prepare one luggage with our essentials and then ship the rest.
Take note that we were traveling with three Rimowa trunks, two carryons, and a handbag (cause I can’t travel light). So next time, we will follow Mr. Palacoeur’s tip.

Osaka 2014

3) This is Japan, so the trains arrive and leave like clockwork. Make sure you are there 30 minutes before. Find your platform and look at your ticket to make sure you are waiting in front of the number of the car of your train. You only have a few seconds to board so make sure you are standing at the right spot.
Our 1 PM train left at exactly 1:01 PM.

Osaka 2014

4) The bullet train is extremely quiet. Japanese people don’t make noise and silence their phones in trains and buses. #respect. If you’re willing to pay extra, get a reserved seat so you get to sit with your people for sure.

Osaka 2014

5) Japan is so beautiful. I loved seeing the hills covered in clouds and little town, it’s a quiet village…
I feel very safe with the bullet train and cannot wait to explore Hokkaido or Karuizawa with the kids next time :)

Osaka 2014

5) Although there are food and drink carts available on the train, try not to eat or drink anything because the toilet tends to get really smelly after a two-hour ride. Promise.

Music meets fashion at “Live in Levi’s” customisation shops

Got Levi’s?
Old or new, here’s a chance to make your Levi’s jeans and apparel one of a kind, as Levis invites you to its Live in Levis Customization Shops at select malls in Metro Manila this November and December.

Levi's

Meet and greet Levi’s celebrity ambassadors and performers as they share their own Live in Levi’s stories.
To avail of free customisation, purchase a minimum of Php 3,000 worth of regular items (single receipt) at select Original Levi’s stores and department stores in the Greater Manila Area.
The first leg happens at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Atrium on November 28, 2014 with musical guests Barbie Almalbis and True Faith’s Medwin Marfil.
On November 30, 2014, Up Dharma Down and Wolfgang’s Basti Artadi will be there to entertain customers.
My creation
Clockwise from left: Barbie Almalbis, Basti Artadi, Medwin Marfil, Up Dharma Down

“The Live In Levi’s Customization Shop is a great opportunity to have your Levi’s jeans customised just for for you. It’s also a chance to share with us your Live in Levi’s stories,” said Kaths Laudit, Levi’s Philippines Marketing Lead.

Levi's

The second leg of the Levi’s Customization Shop will be held on December 12 to 14, 2014 at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall. Popular bands, disc jockeys and, and celebrity ambassadors be there to entertain the crowd.
To know more, like them on Facebook or go to http://www.levi.com.ph/ph/.

Winners: Cinemajam tickets this November 29

November 29, 2014 is Cinemajam time at the Greenfield District Central Park in Mandaluyong City.
A full day of outdoor activities like wall climbing, zip line, outdoor movies and a midnight concert await ten winners of two tickets each. Winners be contacted on how to claim their tickets.

Chosen via random.org are:
Reginald Uy
Dianne Carino
Rowena Antonio
Julian Corpus
Cristine Lopez
Monica Eunice Apostol
Lorraine Villanueva
Glenn Melford Gonzales
Marissa Bacsan
Poala Mercado

They can enjoy outdoor movies like Letters to Juliet and Now You See Me, and a concert features Franco, Urbandub, Imago, Itchyworms, Cheats, Chocolate Factory, Autotelic, Group Hug, Pedicab and Banda ni Kleggy.

Cinemajam 2014 lineup

To know more about Cinemajam 2014, go to http://cinemajam.ph/
Or follow Cinemajam 2014 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @cinemajam2014

CinemaJam 2014 is made possible by C-Interactive, Greenfield District Central Park, Myx, the Official Music Channel, Cinema One, Police, Toby’s, Medicard Philippines, Grab Taxi, the Official Sponsor Ride of Cinemajam 2014, Play FM, and WhenInManila.com.

First stop: InterContinental Osaka

Jeroen and I take our honeymoon a couple of times a year, usually on Valentine’s or our wedding anniversary.
Most of the time it’s in Tokyo because I’m Japanese inside. This time, however, Jeroen wanted to see Osaka.
Some of our Japanese friends, Chiyo and Kimachi are from Osaka, and my Galang cousins love to hit Osaka for their #Osakain tours.
Chiyo Tagami suggested we stay at the InterContinental Hotel, instead of the Ritz-Carlton Osaka, which has scary bathrooms, according to Trip Advisor. I’m so glad I took her advice. This place is heaven! For me, a beautiful hotel room is a vacation in itself.
This way to InterContinental Osaka

Intercontinental Osaka

Have no idea where this goes, but I lovett

Intercontinental Osaka

This tree at the lobby would be perfect for our house

Intercontinental Osaka

This is our room. I want to marry this room!

InterContinental Osaka

Jeroen is snoring softly as I type this. He loves this bed.
Behind the glass is the bathroom with optional sliding doors. Thank God because I hate exposed bathrooms

Intercontinental Osaka

This way to the bathroom from the main entrance and a real door. The Japanese toilet has automatic flush, which we both love.

Intercontinental Osaka

The sink has a slightly elevated sink—usually a pet peeve—but I’m OK with this. Cause it’s so damn clean!!

Intercontinental Osaka

Packaging is everything

InterContinental Osaka

Here’s the bath area

Intercontinental Osaka
Intercontinental Osaka

and the toiletries

InterContinental Osaka

The toiletries multiply by the day, I tell you

Intercontinental Osaka

Outside is the very stylish pantry

Intercontinental Osaka

which opens to a coffee station and chiller

Intercontinental Osaka

Hello Nespresso!

Intercontinental Osaka

Inside the chiller: thank you for leaving space for my water :)

Intercontinental Osaka

Here’s the desk with the signature stone feature

Intercontinental Osaka

This shot is for my cousin RJ

Intercontinental Osaka

and what’s behind the stone chuchu

Intercontinental Osaka

Finally, the walk-in closet with automatic lights

Intercontinental Osaka

It has an iron and board for the O.C.

Intercontinental Osaka
Intercontinental Osaka

Plus lots of hangers. Okay, I always overpack because sayang ang winter clothes!!

Intercontinental Osaka

P.S. Thank you for the wine, Mr. Jerome Palacoeur. We lovett!!

Intercontinental Osaka
Intercontinental Osaka

We love this place. And the wifi rocks. Next time we’ll bring the kids :)

Intercontinental Osaka

http://www.icosaka.com

Baby steps: Checking in NAIA Terminal 3

It’s my first time to check in at NAIA Terminal 3.
Jeroen and I were on our way to Japan for our 14th wedding anniversary. From Pasig, Terminal 3 is faster to go to than Terminal 1. Terminal 3 is so spacious

NAIA Terminal 3

We checked in three pieces of Rimowa trunks at Cathay Pacific.

NAIA Terminal 3

Bearer of Philippine passports still have to fill out a departure card (not Jeroen).

NAIA Terminal 3

No line at Immigration!!

NAIA Terminal 3

There’s a shoe shine section waiting for customers

NAIA Terminal 3

Tons of seats that that are not disgusting

NAIA Terminal 3

Compare to NAIA 1

NAIA

Here’s the thing: there’s still nothing to eat. Just dried mangoes everywhere.

NAIA Terminal 3

This is not Mann Hann by the way. I wish it were. Very wrong!!

NAIA Terminal 3

The food at the business class lounge doesn’t look edible. Nakahiya!!

NAIA Terminal 3

So no, there is nothing to eat at Terminal 3 (and I’m scared of chafing dishes)

NAIA Terminal 3

I would’ve eaten Krispy Kreme, but it was blocked by glass and barricades. No access for me.

NAIA Terminal 3

They do sell Maltesers Teasers

NAIA Terminal 3

And Birkenstocks (can’t eat those)

NAIA Terminal 3

Here’s the best part of all: an odorless, squeaky clean toilet at the airline lounge. THANK YOU LORD!!!!
My stomach/bladder/ass thank you!!

NAIA Terminal 3

Here’s what Terminal 3 needs to improve on:
1) Aircon. Hang inet!!
2) Lighting. Darkness + white lighting = depression.
3) Decent food choices with global-friendly brands.
4) Embargo on too many kinds of dried mango and polvoron. So boring.
5) Scenting. Seriously. Shameless plug: http://aom.ph

Other than that, we’re on our way. Baby steps.
As Field of Dreams said, “If you build it, they will come.”
One day, NAIA Terminal 1 will become world class. We hope.

NAIA Terminal 3

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