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Traveling options from Osaka to Tokyo

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I enjoy traveling but I’m always on a tight budget. I live in Osaka but my friends are in Tokyo and I want to visit them, especially on holidays. So I’ve compiled a list of options on how to travel between these 2 busy cities of Japan, depending on your budget.

  • For those who have more time and more money

Boarding a plane to Tokyo is your best choice. Sometimes the plane tickets are cheaper than the bullet trains, but you have to go to the airport, wait for your departure and land at Narita airport and travel to Tokyo by train or bus. So I suggest you skip this and read the next options if you don’t have time to spare.

  • For those who have time constraints and more money

The bullet train (新幹線, to read as shinkansen) is your best option to travel from Osaka to Tokyo. This train is the fastest in Japan and the traveling time between the 2 cities is around 3 hours. Nozomi and Hikari are the fastest ones. One can opt for the reserved seat which costs additional yen than the non-reserved seat. The non-reserved seat is roughly about 14,000 yen one way, Osaka to Tokyo. I’ve tried riding Hikari and it’s comfortable.

  • For those who want to try the cheaper shinkansen alternative

If the first option is too expensive, Kodama and Platt Kodama are your choices. These 2 bullet trains stop at all stations and travel time is roughly about 4 hours. Platt Kodama is the cheapest; I got the green car seat at around 11,000 yen because the regular car seat was also full at that time. The regular car seat is around 10,000 yen. If you buy a Platt Kodama ticket, you can have a free drink to be claimed at a convenience store where there’s a mark for Platt Kodama riders. You can buy the Platt Kodama ticket only at JR Tokai Tours. In Osaka, it’s located in Shin Osaka station. Note that you cannot buy this on Shinkansen ticket outlets.

  • For those who don’t mind the longer travel time

There are plenty of buses from Osaka to Tokyo, vv. Prices starts at 5,000 yen depending on the bus type. You can choose between daytime buses and overnight buses. If you frequently travel, I suggest you buy yourself a bus pass in Willer Bus. Here’s the link: http://willerexpress.com/st/3/en/pc/buspass/ I tried buying the 5 days for 15,000 yen. It means for 5 days, you can hop on a ride to whichever place you want to go using the Willer bus. It doesn’t have to be consecutive, as long as it’s within 2 months since you buy the bus pass. You need to book your bus ride in advance through their website or else, you won’t be able to reach your destination.

  • For seasonal travelers who have no time constraints

If you are more on the adventurous side, I suggest you get yourself a Seishun 18. This is a seasonal pass that lets you ride JR local and rapid trains unlimited for 5 days. More details on the Seishun 18 in this link: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/seishun18.html. I’ve tried this already with my friend last Summer and the train rides from Osaka to Tokyo took an entire day. We started around 9am and reached Tokyo at around 6pm. You can share the Seishun pass as long as you are both together on the train rides, counting as 2 days already.

So there.. I’ve listed up options on traveling from Osaka to Tokyo. If you have more questions, feel free to give me a message!

 

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Reminiscing on a Saturday night

What happened to being faithful?

I used to be very devoted in my walk with God. Everyday I kept on reading the Bible, meditated on it and even had my devotionals. God has changed me. It’s all thanks to my spiritual family. They led me closer to God and helped me find my life back in Christ.

It was such a great moment. I kept on praying everyday not just for myself but also for my family and friends and even random people. I prayed even for the nation. I knew my prayers will reach God.

My spiritual family molded me. They had helped me in my most devastating moment. If not because of them, I knew my life would still be a mess. They guided me and taught me to become a guide to others myself.

2015 was a year of confusion and crisis for me. It was the beginning of the year but I was not rejoicing. Instead, I cried myself to sleep every night and woke up with tears dried up. I forced to be smiling around people so they wouldn’t noticed the pain I felt inside. I forced to be happy in front of my friends so they wouldn’t know I was suffering a lot. Some major event happened in my life that I didn’t know who I was after that. I didn’t know how to live my life. It was such a terrible state I didn’t want to experience again.

It was in that same year that my spiritual family found me. They cared for me a lot. They just knew how to deal with the mess I was in. They were so good to me. Little by little, the smile I used to give to people were not by force anymore; they were genuine.

2017 came and I was starting to doubt my faith. There were things that my spiritual family did to me that any other spiritual family would never do. It was this year that I began to question my faith and the faith of the church. I started asking questions to God during my meditation. I started to pity myself because I was in prison again. I thought God had already granted me freedom but it was not the freedom I longed for. Being in that church suffocated me. Being surrounded by my pastors was like me being tied in chains. I couldn’t breathed anymore.

I guess you could say that I was brainwashed. If they were really my spiritual family, they wouldn’t dragged me in the corner surrounded by debt. If they were really my spiritual family, they would be true to their words. If they were really my pastors, they wouldn’t let their church members be in trouble because of their actions. If they were really my pastors, they wouldn’t take advantage on everyone of us.

I’ve kept my silence for too long. Maybe my friends will think differently about me from hereon. Some of my friends are still in that church. I still consider them as my friends, even though I left them. I don’t know if they still think of me as their friend. I don’t know what lies our pastors fed them about me leaving that church.

Now, it’s been a year since I left that church. I am far away from them and in this new place I am living in, I haven’t found a church yet. I am so scared that if I found a church here, I will go through the same thing again.

You may be wondering if I am still the person who is very devoted to God. No, I am not anymore. Ever since that year, I’ve been unable to open my Bible and even read just a single verse. Every time I stare at my Bible app, tears will just flow in my face. I could remember the pain I got from my first church, my home, my spiritual family. I couldn’t bring myself to open up to God again. I don’t know what’s real now. My brain has been tainted with lies that I am confused on what to truly believe in.

But I know that someday, I will come to bring myself to God again. I know that time will come that I will be able to open my Bible and be faithful to Him again.

It’s just that now.. I don’t know anymore.

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Road Trip To Awaji Island

As an islander in my hometown, I am always fascinated with the sand, the waves and the sea breeze. So when my friend invited me to on a road trip to Awaji Island, hearing the word “island” made me say yes to this Saturday road trip.

Awaji Island is an hour and a half drive from Osaka and is located in Hyogo prefecture. If you are familiar with Naruto and Tokushima prefecture, it’s the gateway to these places if you’re coming from Osaka.

We passed by Akashi-Kaikyo bridge and we’re too amazed by how great the view was. The bridge reminded me of Mactan bridge in Cebu but a lot wider and longer than the one in Cebu.

After passing the bridge, we made a brief stop at the service area nearby before we proceeded to have lunch and took a dip at the sea.

This is my imagination of a perfect day at the beach: no entrance fees, no cottages, just placing a mat somewhere on the seashore, and go swimming. This is so unlike the beaches in Mactan Island in Cebu and more like Sugar Beach in Bantayan Island, Cebu. But of course, Cebu’s way awesome than Awaji.

Summer’s almost ending so there’re less people at the beach. I thought the sand in the beaches of Japan was so brown in color but Awaji Island’s sand was not so brownish, more like brown sugar.

We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon in the beach just chilling and enjoying the dip at the sea.

It was a fun Saturday with my crazy friends! I hope we can visit more places like this soon! I already miss the smell of the sea.

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The Tenjin Matsuri experience

One of Osaka’s famous festivals is Tenjin Matsuri. It’s usually celebrated every July.

This year, it’s on the 24th and 25th of the month and it’s going to be my first time attending this festival!

I was looking forward for the people dressed in their yukata, the stalls selling various food and drinks, the parade, and the fireworks!

I was not able to celebrate the first day of the festival because I went to attend a concert (yes, I went to Blackpink concert!) so my friends and I attended the last day of the festival. Prior to the festival, you could see the actual route of the procession (land and river procession) in Google Maps!

After work, we headed to Sakuranomiya station to get a good view of the river procession and the fireworks. Well, it was not really the best experience because we were blocked to enter the bridge where we planned to settle to get a great view. There was a lot of pushing and I didn’t want to even think about the sweat of the people! The fireworks were already set off but we couldn’t see well in our location. 😥

Nonetheless, it was not as terrible as the one we usually have at Sinulog festival in Cebu.

We managed to get to the bridge and see the fireworks clearly but we’re too hungry already so off we go to the food stalls!

The food and drinks were quite expensive compared to ones you could buy at convenience stores and supermarkets but we wanted the #legit matsuri feels so.. there.

The boats in the river have different activities too! I was too amazed at one where there was like a concert. I never thought there would be like that.

I was not able to witness the land procession because it started at 3pm and yeah, I was still working at that time.

Overall, it was a fun experience for a first timer like me. I’m looking forward to attending different festivals in Japan and experience different vibes! I heard there are so many festivals usually celebrated at Summer so I’m excited for the next one!

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What am I up to?

I’ve been living in Osaka for almost 6 months now. I don’t know why I’m busy but I’ve realized aside from being a software engineer, I’m just any other normal girl.

So I have recalled what I’ve been doing outside my work hours that’s taking up my schedule.

1. Watch TV shows

I think most of my wasted time is watching TV shows (Kdramas, Jdramas, US TV shows). Why? Just to waste time. And to make me laugh. And to make me sleepy. I particularly like kdramas that have any relation to law. The last I watched was Lawless Lawyer. I highly recommend it!

2. Read books

You might not take me for a bookworm kind of girl but hey, I read too! I’m currently reading The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. I want the I Am Number Four series because I can’t remember which book I stopped reading it. Aside from fiction, I am also into inspirational books but sometimes it’s too tiresome to read because I’m hesitant to some of the author’s ideals.

3. Biking around my place

I bought a bicycle out of peer pressure late last month and since then, I haven’t regretted about it. It’s very convenient to go to one place and another. Yodogawa river is just near my place and it’s refreshing to just be there and watch how beautiful Osaka is. But lately the temperature is at its peak so I don’t think biking in this weather is a good idea.

4. Take photos, lots of them

It’s my first time in Japan so might as well be a tourist here (even though I’m really working here) and experience many things here and of course, document them! Some of the pictures I took are only for my consumption so can’t share them to the world. But yeah, it’s really fun to travel to a place and take photos and even videos! You’ll then realize you’ll ran out of memory because of the many photos and videos that you have.

5. Sleep and sleep more

Wow! This must have been the very important and productive thing I’ve been doing. After a tiresome week, I really enjoy doing nothing except sleeping. I need to recharge for the next work week so usually my weekends are spent in the bed, with me snoring.

This list makes me laugh. Wow! I really have a lot of free time. But not so. I want to be more productive in my career so I really want to learn something new related to my profession. And I want to explore on photo editing and video editing. And lots of other things! Maybe some other time when I have the resources. 😁