Oh Sehun

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I’ve always been a fan of EXO ever since they debuted and this amazing angel right here is my bias among all of them. I decided to make a vector illustration of him because he’s an art himself!!

~made using Adobe Illustrator~

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[VLOG] Travel with me to Tokyo and Osaka, Japan // Kyle Alexandria

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My family and I went to Japan last May 4, 2018 after my debut celebration and we explored the cities of Tokyo and Osaka for 8 days. Watch my vlog to find out more about our trip!

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Watch it here: Travel with Me to Tokyo and Osaka, Japan

[VLOG] Journal Collection + My Faves! // Kyle Alexandria

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I’ve been meaning to share to you my collection of journals which I started collecting when I was 12 years old. I did not love them any less now that I’m 18 and I’m actually happier that they’re growing in number. I already have 121 total number of journals and notepads. I bought most of it and a few were given to me. Watch my vlog to find which among them are my favorites!

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Watch it here:  Journal Collection + My Faves!

Living My 13-Year-Old Dream

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April 28, 2018 was just a random, nothing-particularly-special kind of day not until my mom told me I’m going to EXO’s concert, The ElyXiOn, on that very day. I jumped and shouted for joy for about an hour because I can’t believe I’m really seeing them! I’m feeling very giddy and I just couldn’t stay still. So many thoughts were running on my mind like the clothes I’m going to wear and the emotions I’m going to feel while singing with the crowd. I couldn’t take all in! My sister and I rushed to MOA Arena with the help of our parents because we’re almost late. Good thing, we don’t have to fall in line as our seats are on the premiere suite, the one with V.I.P. Lounge. We finally went inside and I could hear the loud chants of the EXO-Ls. It made me even more nervous and excited though it’s already my 2nd concert (first was U-Kiss and LaBoum). The moment we entered the arena, I was on the verge of crying because they were playing “Moonlight”, one of my favorite songs from their album “Overdose”. I couldn’t handle the feels so I just sang along with the crowd while wiping my tears. It’s one of the best feelings ever!

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The shouts and chants increased even more when they started performing. I was just constantly shouting for Kai, Chanyeol, and Sehun’s name throughout the whole song since I’m not too familiar with their new songs. Then, they started playing “Growl” which made me both sing and dance. My throat is starting to hurt but I really don’t care at all! The guard came up and told us to transfer in the middle section of premiere suite because we were at the far side so I was even happier we had a good view of them. They sang “Don’t Go” which is the song I love the most among all of their songs. Then it hit me. When I was just 13 years old, I used to sing and dance to Growl, fangirl over them through TV, and get sad whenever they have concert in Manila I couldn’t attend to. But now, I’m living my 13-year-old dream. What good did I do in my past life to deserve this kind of blessing? I didn’t notice I was already sobbing when they started singing the chorus of “Don’t Go”. I realized, it was a dream turned to reality. I couldn’t be happier anymore. I forgot the other details of the concert but what I won’t forget is the feels during their last song. Everything was almost coming to an end. The last song they sang is “Angel”. I have so much memories with this song. My 13-year-old self can’t help but recall the time I had Gastroenteritis, “Angel” was the only song I listened to for 1 week straight. It literally felt like an angel was singing me to sleep and those angels were them. It was time to say good bye to them. I waved to them so hard and I’m so happy Kai noticed me he waved back while looking at me. That time, I really couldn’t help but cry because of so much happiness I’m feeling. I know this is not gonna be the last. I’ll see them very soon. 너무 사랑해, 엑소!

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Shenanigans in Singapore

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View of Marina Bay Sands

May is an eventful month for me. Right after my Senior Highschool graduation ceremony, we packed our bags and went straight to the airport for a trip again. This time, it’s Singapore. Our flight’s 9:40 in the evening (May 21, 2018) and we were at NAIA Terminal 3 around 6:30 pm. We immediately checked in our luggages but it took us approximately 2 hours just to reach the boarding gate since there are 17 of us travelling. I forgot to mention that Cebu Pacific is our carrier this time and I can’t help but compare how I like Philippine Airline’s in-flight meal better. Why? Because PAL’s food has appetizer, main course, desert, and unlimited drinks. Cebu Pacific, on the other hand, only has main course. You’ll also have to pay separately for the water which is kind of annoying. Fast forward to when we arrived Changi Airport, it was around 2:00 in the morning (May 22, 2018) and everybody has no energy left in their system only to find out that 2 of our suitcases were left in Manila and it was solely Cebu Pacific’s fault so because of this, we told ourselves we’re never going to ride Cebu Pacific again. It’s not just the first time they did this to us. Moving on, I didn’t bother taking pictures in Changi Airport since my hair’s a total mess, I have no makeup on and I was only wearing a tank top and sweats (Hahaha imagine!). After getting our luggages from the carousel, we went to the arrival lobby of the airport to buy MRT passes and tickets for different attractions. There’s a stall called Changi Recommends where you can rent a pocket wifi, purchase sim cards and attraction tickets (like Universal Studios Singapore pass, Safari pass, Sentosa Island fun pass, etc.). We hailed a taxi outside the airport and in just 15 minutes, we reached our hotel which is 30 Bencoolen Hotel located in Bencoolen, Singapore. It’s a 3-star hotel located in the heart of the city. So many stores and shopping malls are surrounding our hotel and I really recommend it if you’re planning for a vacation in Singapore.

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I first showered before going to bed and it was 4:30 am in the morning that time. I set an alarm at 8:00 am so we could eat our complimentary buffet breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant which is just beside the lobby. I had sausages, bacon, potato wedges, rotti, chicken curry, pancakes, lemak rice, seafood rolls, croissant, and more Singaporean food. Basically, I took a little bit of everything. Surprisingly, Singaporean food tastes delicious than what I expected it to be. We left the hotel at around 1 pm. We first went to National Museum of Singapore which is just like a 2-minute walk from our hotel. We spent approximately PHP 8,000 just for the entrance fee and we explored the place afterwards. I’m a museum-type of person so visiting museums is fun for me. Then, we walked to Orchard Road which is the home of shopping malls in Singapore. We ate at a Thai restaurant for our late lunch and we rode the MRT going to Little India. Also, can I just say that escalators in Singapore, just like in Hong Kong, are dangerously fast? One time in HK, my grandma tripped and fell in the escalator causing her to have a huge bump in her head so everyone, be careful when riding it because it does move very fast. We got lost on our way to Night Safari because we missed our transfer stop so we had to get off the bus to prevent further damage hahahaha! However, we kinda got tired so we just booked Grab and to be honest, it’s been very useful throughout our Singapore trip since it’s always there to rescue us whenever we’re lost or something hahaha! Back to the topic, it was around 8:40 pm when we arrived at Night Safari. The whole attraction consists of riding a tram where a guide will be talking about the different nocturnal animals. I’m not really an animal lover so I didn’t appreciate the attraction much but I really feel bad for the animals caged in the zoo. It’s making me so sad because they should be out in the wild living freely. After the 40-minute tram ride, we went straight home and arrived the hotel at 10:40 pm.

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Day 2 of our trip (May 23, 2018), we went to Merlion Park, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and Bugis Street. The first 3 that I mentioned were close to each other so going to each place wasn’t difficult. It was a hot humid day and it we decided to walk around Merlion Park to take pictures of Merlion and the view of Marina Bay Sands. We took a ferry boat going to Marina Bay Sands and it costs SGD 15 per person. The ride was short, approximately 5 minutes we reached Marina Bay Sands. We strolled for a bit then we walked our way towards Gardens by the Bay. We were only able to go to Flower Dome and Cloud Forest but I like the latter better because it’s more picturesque and there’s lesser people. We were supposed to go to SuperTree Grove but we didn’t have tickets for it so we ended up just going to Bugis Street. Bugis Street is a place where you can buy cheap souvenirs and cheap but delicious streetfood. We spent a lot of time there and it was around 9 pm when we got to the hotel.

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The following day (May 24, 2018), our plan was to go to the remaining 3 zoos which are Singapore Zoo, River Safari, and Jurong Bird Park. We spent too much time in River Safari so we weren’t able to go Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park anymore. To be honest though, I didn’t fully enjoy the zoos because as I’ve said, I’m not really an animal lover. Probably, the Panda attraction was the only one that caught my eye but other than that, nothing more. I wish we could’ve just spent the day in Sentosa Island or Universal Studios Singapore—which I think is more fun. So after River Safari, we went to IMM Mall, an outlet mall located in Jurong, to buy some stuff. It was actually a luxurious mall but all stores, like Coach, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, etc., were on sale so the family decided to stop by there before going home. We got home pretty late and I really had no energy left I decided to stay at our hotel room to watch Netflix while the others went again to Bugis Street. I even asked my Dad to do a late convenience store-run to buy me food and holy moly, they have Onigiri! Eating it honestly made me feel like I was in Japan. After eating my midnight snacks, I packed my bags—but I’m still not yet ready to go home.

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Last day in our Singapore came (May 25,2018), I was too lazy to get up from my bed knowing I won’t be able to cuddle our hotel’s fluffy and comfy sheets anymore. My Dad and I proceeded to the restaurant to eat breakfast and I just can’t leave the table because the food was too good I couldn’t stop from eating hahaha! So anyway, we finished packing our bags and we proceeded to the hotel lobby to check out. Good thing, the hotel attendant booked us a Grab Coach so we can easily go the airport. It was a short 20-minute ride going to Changi Airport and did I mention our flight is still 6:00 pm? Hahaha. We arrived at Terminal 4 at around 2 pm and we honestly don’t know what to do since we have 4 hours left in the airport so I asked my cousin to take pictures of me. Time came when we have to check in our suitcases. Just a random thought, I love how Changi Airport is designed. They have enough seats for everyone and their waiting area looks like a V.I.P. lounge except there’s no free food. Overall, our Singapore trip was one of those “chill” trips I’ve had. Everywhere you look, there’s trees and plants making me feel fresh even though it’s hot and humid (you get me? Hahaha). Although the people are not as polite as the Japanese, it’s a country I would consider living in. Navigating through the country was also easy and conversing with people is surprisingly not difficult. I would really love to go back since there were places we missed out on. I’ll see you soon, Singapore!

Getting Lost in Japan: Osaka

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Osaka Castle

Finally, I had the time to write about my Osaka trip– the second part of my Japan blog post. Just like Tokyo, I had tons of fun in Osaka but frankly, I like Tokyo better. I dont know maybe because we only had 3 full days to explore the city that’s why I wasn’t able to appreciate Osaka more? But now, let me tell you about our 3 days in Osaka.

We took the shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station. It took us 2 hours and 30 minutes but ok let me tell you first how hard it is to navigate through Tokyo Station with our 12 suitcases. Yeah, you heard it right. We have 12 suitcases and imagine how difficult it is to walk around the station with that many luggages. It took us 2 hours to buy 12 shinkansen tickets not because the queue is long (there’s none actually) but because we got lost on our way to the ticket counter. Tickets were approximately 13, 260 yen (around Php 7,000) per person as we picked the Nozomi Shinkansen Train, the fastest bullet train. The train just arrived when we passed through the gates so we were rushing towards car number 3– car for non-reserved seats (we were in front of car 16 that time lol). When we got inside the train, I was amazed because it didn’t look like a train at all. It looks more of an airplane to be honest. What I also really like about it is that it has a huge leg room (wayyyy better than a plane’s leg room). It can fit my huge luggages and my legs without feeling uncomfortable at all. We took few stops at different stations before arriving in Osaka. We hailed a van and a taxi going to our Airbnb house and it only took us around 15 minutes. Our Airbnb host is very friendly and the interior of the house is also cute since it’s full of pastel furnitures and decors. What I like about the house that we stayed at is it’s very close from Dotonbori. By just 2 minutes of walking, you’ll be able to get there.

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We just spent the whole day relaxing in the house. The next day (May 9, 2018), we decided to go to Osaka Castle and explore Dotonbori, Namba, and Shinsaibashi. We took the train going to Osaka castle and I just have to say that it’s easier to navigate in Osaka more than Tokyo probably because you can see more signages in Osaka. We hike our way going to Osaka Castle and we took A LOT of pictures on our way to the top. We stroll inside Miraiza Osaka-jo, a shopping mall just beside Osaka Castle. We ate Takoyaki (for the nth time) because we were starving! Afterwards, we made our way to Namba and stroll along the shopping areas until we reached Shinsaibashi where we bought and ate Pablo Cheesecake. I forgot the name that I bought but it was a cheese tart with an ice cream beside it. It was so delicious that I was able to finish it in less than 3 minutes. We went to different stores in Shinsaibashi until we found McDonald’s along the way and spent probably an hour there. ALSO, I was so happy when I saw that their McNuggets is on SALE. YES! ON SALE!! I forgot how much exactly it is but ugh, my McNuggets heart is so happy! After some time, we went to Dotonbori and explored the place. My brother and I also tried the gigantic clams which costs 500 yen each (around Php 250). It’s expensive but we didn’t regret spending our money because it was soooooo delicious! After buying another set of Takoyaki and Onomiyaki, my mom and I went to Forever21. I spent an hour there just sulking in one corner. Why? Let’s not talk about it hahaha. After an hour of giving my mom an attitude, I went to the third floor of Forever21 and dang! Everything there was on clearance! It was 9:00 pm that time and I wished I didn’t sulk in the corner an hour ago. Everything was 50-75% off and I scored a looooot of items. A lot, really! What’s also good about it is we got some items for free because they had a promo going on. We were the last customer to pay that time because I took so much time picking stuff.

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The following day (May 10, 2018), we woke up early to go to Universal Studios. I was very hyped while walking along the City Walk. We took quite a few pictures in front of the Universal Studios Globe. After some time, we went straight to the entrance since we already bought our tickets from Klook. It was my first time going to Universal Studios and dang, all rides were beyond my expectations! It’s unique and very far from Disney. I would say it’s more adult-friendly since most rides are extreme. We first tried the 4D Minion Ride. The queue was very long and it took us an hour before getting on the actual ride. We thought it’s kid-friendly but we thought wrong hahaha! My 4-year-old cousins ended up whining and crying throughout the ride. What is it about? Just see for yourself! Hahaha. Anyway, so we proceeded to Jurassic World and my brother, sister, and parents decided to ride the Flying Dinosaur in to which I declined because I’m a scaredy cat. I waited for around an hour for them to finish but while I was waiting, I bought myself some caramel popcorn. I was quite disappointed there’s no other choice but caramel because I hate that flavor, swear! After the Flying Dinosaur ride, we went to eat at Discovery Restaurant. I picked Korean BBQ just because I’m craving for Korean food that time. While we were eating, a dinosaur came out of nowhere! Hahaha. It scared the hell out of my little cousins but it was really entertaining to watch. After eating, we tried the Jaws ride then The Dream Ride Rollercoaster. Hell, I almost fainted while we were on the queue. My parents forced me into that ride and when we got into the actual ride, I’m already at the verge of vomiting (because of too much anxiety! hahaha). Good thing, I didn’t. I just kept my eyes closed throughout the entire ride and I can’t help but scream everytime there’s a drop. I didn’t regret trying that ride, though! It was fun and it literally took me out of my comfort zone hahaha! After that life-threatening (it really is!) ride, we went to try Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Of course, I can’t leave USJ without trying their famous butter beer! I was craving for it prior to this trip and so I can really say, cravings satisfied! I’m not really a fan of Harry Potter and to be honest, I don’t know what it is about (I haven’t watched the movie nor read the book yet, forgive me) but I enjoyed the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. I won’t spoil you on what it is about. The Flight of Hippogriff ride was short but amusing. It’s basically a rollercoaster but not an extreme one, it’s something I would enjoy. Afterwards, we took a few pictures and then we went home early. I would love to go back to USJ if given the chance. I also like their rides better than Disney since they’re more inclined to adults but they also have kid-friendly attractions. The others went to Dotonbori while I stayed home to eat my convenience store-bought food. I had Gyoza, Onigiri, and Tonkatsu. I packed my stuff and went to bed since we have an early flight the next morning.

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Morning came (May 11, 2018) and I felt very sad leaving Japan. I went on a last-minute run to Lawson and spent my remaining money to buy Onigiri. I realized I bought way too many Onigiris while I was in Japan and I’m really going to miss it. It was a cold morning (around 13 degrees celsius) and I just don’t want to leave Japan yet. Osaka was good to us. We didn’t get lost while we were navigating our way through the city. There were also a lot of cheap finds compared to Tokyo. It’s so sad we only got to spend 3 full days on such amazing city. I completely have no words for Japan. Hands down! It was an unforgettable trip, indeed. Mata ne, Japan!

Getting Lost in Japan: Tokyo

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Narita Airport

I’ve been looking forward to this trip for God knows how long. Prior to this vacation, I had my debut celebration so our itinerary was all messed up [ugh, regrets!]. Our flight was (May 4, 2018) 6:40 in the morning and we had to wake up at around 2:00 am to get dressed and go to the airport. From luggage check-in to immigration, everything went smooth. Boarding time came and I can’t help but be very excited. I had Chicken Curry for my inflight meal and can I just say Philippine Airlines is really the best?

Fast forward to when we arrived at Narita Airport. Upon our arrival, I already thought that Japan is soooo beautiful and an 8-day trip won’t be enough to explore its beauty. Ok so the first thing we did is we went to the immigration. I was really amazed when I saw a lot of old people (like, literally old!) working at the immigration. It was hard conversing with them but it went well anyway. We proceeded to the carousel to get our suitcases and then my mom, grandfather, and I went to buy Suica cards for the rest of the family. Suica cards are like beep cards in the Philippines and it’s been really helpful during the entire course of our trip. We headed to the platform where we will be riding our train going to our Airbnb house. It took us 1 hour and 40 minutes from Narita to Shinkoiwa. My aunt got us an Airbnb in Shinkoiwa (it’s also in Tokyo) and it’s really nice and clean. The host even lent us a pocket wifi. What we did during the first day is roam around the neighborhood we’re living in and go to Ueno Park. It was very late when we arrived at Ueno Park so we didn’t enjoy the place much. Talking about our neighborhood, I really wished I can just live there forever. All houses, buildings, and establishments are painted pastel. It’s a legit pastel heaven and it’s really an eye candy. What’s also nice about it is it’s very peaceful there. You can’t hear any honkings and it’s a perfect place to take a stroll.

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Shinkoiwa, Katsushika-ku

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As I’m writing this part of the blog, I’m feeling very very very nostalgic. Take me back to Japan please ugh! Anyway, our first full day in Japan (May 5, 2018) was very tiring. So, the plan was to go to Tokyo Skytree, Senso-ji Temple, Shibuya Crossing, and Takeshita Street but life is indeed full of surpises. We were only able to go to Sumida Park, which is completely not in the itinerary, and Shibuya Crossing. Nonetheless, I was able to take nice pictures. You may be wondering why? what happened? Ok so, we got lost on our way to Tokyo Skytree so the family just decided to go to Sumida Park and it was around lunch time when we arrived Sumida so we had to eat. We ate at Suke6 Restaurant and to be honest, I really didn’t like the food at all. It’s an English brunch restaurant and it was the only restaurant around that area and everyone was hungry that time so we had no choice but to eat there. I forgot to mention that we also took pictures there with Tokyo Skytree as our background. After Sumida Park, we went to Shibuya Crossing. We took pictures in the middle of the road (for the gram! hahaha) and we also went to see Hachiko’s monument. The whole day consists of walking. Expect that you’ll really be walking a lot when you’re in Japan. We rode a train going to Harajuku because we were supposed to go to Takeshita Street but we were so tired we weren’t able to go to there anymore. We just went to Tokyu Plaza in Harajuku and did some window shopping around the train station. After that, we went straight home because we’re supposedly going to Mt. Fuji the next day so we had to sleep early. Again, supposedly.

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Shibuya Crossing

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The dilemma has started. I opened Klook to book a Mt.Fuji and Hakone tour but to my dismay, there’s no tour for the next day and it really annoyed the hell out of me. So we were thinking if we should just buy tickets Dineysea tickets for the next day and just go to Mt. Fuji on the other day but hell must really love me, there’s really no Mt. Fuji tour for that week. So TIP: If you’re going to Mt. Fuji, book a tour from Klook or Kkday ahead of time, like 2 weeks prior to your trip. It’s really a mistake I’ve been regretting until now. So anyway moving on, we decided to just go to temples the next day.

The following day came (May 6, 2018), we left the house very late (like 12 nn already). We first went to Tokyo Imperial Palace. Nothing much happened we just spent 2 hours there taking pictures and we headed to Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa afterwards. I was really hungry when we arrived in Asakusa but ya girl has to keep her hunger because the temple closes at 5 pm and it’s already 4:30 pm. We walked along Nakamise-dori and my siblings and I bought 3 boxes of 600-yen Takoyaki. Ugh, Takoyaki will forever have my heart swear! After eating, we went inside the temple and I was in awe after I set my foot in. Senso-ji Temple is the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo and it does not disappoint! We took quite a few pictures but it’s really packed with a lot of tourists so I didn’t get to enjoy much. It was fun, nonetheless! The others went home after that but my mom, brother, my aunt, my cousin, and I decided to go to Takeshita Street because we can’t leave Tokyo without visiting that shopping street. We just had to return to Harajuku! It was past 7 pm when we arrived at Takeshita Street and again, it’s packed with a lot of people. Harajuku is known for its colorful street art and fashion scene. It’s fun to see people with different fashion sense. We went to different shops and everything’s soooo expensive. My mom and brother bought a few stuff from American Eagle Outfitters then we went home after that. We arrived at our house around 11 pm already but no regrets!

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Senso-ji Temple, Asakusa

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The next day, we went to Tokyo Disneysea. Everybody was on a rush because the bus will leave at 9:40 am exact and the station’s a 10-minute walk from our house. Fortunately, we arrived on time and nobody’s in the bus but us so we have it all for ourselves. It’s an hour drive going to Tokyo Disneysea and when we arrived, it was very windy. I checked the weather forecast and I found out it’s going to rain in the afternoon. We took a lot of pictures then we started riding attractions at Mysterious Island. After some time, we ate lunch at Casbah’s Food Court located in the Arabian Coast. Food’s expensive but it gave justice! I ate Beef Curry and it did not disappoint. After that, we rode more rides but it started pouring. I swore a lot in my mind thinking, “Of all the days we’re here, why does it have to rain today???”. Because of the pouring rain, we had to go home at 6 pm and when we reached Shinkoiwa, it’s very chilly we could pass out. We arrived at our house and we started packing our luggages as we will be riding shinkansen (bullet train) going to Osaka the next day. Overall, Tokyo is the most beautiful city I’ve ever been to. You’ll never run out of places to visit and it’s not just the tourist spots you’ll fall in love with but also the people. Japanese are the most polite people I’ve met and they’ll be really glad to help whenever you’re lost. Although everything in Tokyo is expensive, you won’t regret spending every yen you have. We spent our last 4 days in Osaka and our trip there will be on the next blog. Stay tuned!

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–Kyle Alexandria