Memories of Yudanaka

The way to Yudanaka

We have arrived at Yudanaka Station after having an amazing 50 minute of watching the beautiful mountain sceneries through the windows of the train from Nagano Station. There were apple farms, colorful and breath-taking landscapes. I didn’t even realize that we have arrived already at our destination. 

The Japanese Lifestyle

We stayed our first night at Hotel Yudanaka, where we have experienced a very unique vibe. I had the chance to wear a kimono and sleep on a Japanese bedroom.  

Yudanaka is a very preserved yet friendly little town. For dinner, we went to Japanese GOEN Restaurant and enjoyed delicious soup and yakitori where I had the chance to make a my own chicken meatballs with vegetables and finish with noodles and Sake to add a little bit of character. 

The next day the hotel served us their Japanese breakfast–which I didn’t like that much because I normally don’t favor pickles for breakfast–( but coffee was good!) After breakfast, the accomodation normally include free ride to the Snow Monkey Mountain trip.

On the way back you’re gonna have to take the bus that leaves atleast every 1.5hrs but we preferred to walk to see more of the little town. 

Along the way, we passed by a brewery that opens around 11am for tasting, a buddhist temple and (my favorite of them) the small street adventure with so many little Japanese stores and restaurants along the way. If you are also looking for ATM, you can find it inside the post office. 

By the way, the snow welcomed us when we arrived but the next days, the weather got more dry and sunny which made our trek to the snow mountain easier. We finished the night with a bath at the hotspring inside the hotel which was also very interesting to try. I had to be naked with all the other women and enjoyed 10mins of relaxation. 

The Snow Monkeys




Female snow monkeys live together while male snow monkeys only join the group when during mate season. They stick together to keep each other warm especially during winter. Just like humans, they are very protective of their children. 

A night to remember

We decided to have another night in Yudanaka and moved to another hotel called Shimaya. It was owned by amazing old Japanese couple who were bery accomodating and always try to help out to make every one of their guests trip easier. It was atleast 5-10mins walk from the station. Just like the other hotel, it also had a Japanese style bedrooms. We went to Takayama for dinner, a local restaurant very close to the Japanese GOEN (all walking distance). When we entered the restaurant, there were only locals. The vibe was super authentic Japanese. 

We ordered another Japanese soup which turned out to be the food for Sumo wrestlers. (But ofcourse smaller serving good for 2). It was managed by old Japanese Couple as well which the chef was the husband and the wife was the one taking care of the service. Before we left the restaurant, I had a photo only with the chef because the wife was too shy to join the picture. 

The group of Japanese guys came over to us after eating to give us a basket of fresh apples from their farm. It was so kind and sweet of them. And just like the other night, we reserved the hotel’s private ONSEN (hotspring), a 3 minute walk from the hotel to bond together since other ONSENS don’t allow couples to be together and we had the whole little cozy place for the night before going back to the hotel. It was such an amazing and unique experience. The cold weather and the hotspring, the wonderful mountains, the amazing culture and food, everything was worth it. 
Arigato Yudanaka!

Top-10 Most Instagram-able places in BGC

 1. WATERING HOLE.

    Are you looking for a great place to eat? Check out The Watering Hole. They serve amazing Filipino all-day breakfasts, lunch, mirienda and dinner from 8am-12am(weekdays),8am-3am(weekends).

    Sounds familiar? Yes! This is the same as the famous bar in the 90’s. The first independent Filipino brewery in the Philippines located in Shangri-La-spot.com. Now they are back to business! And this time, they are going to give you a mouth-watering food experience!

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The food does not only taste good but (hey!) also looks good!  The simplicity and variation of white and wooden interior gives a relaxing vibe while you eat.

MUST TRY: Super soft and tasty Wagyu Beef Tapa(Sukiyaki beef in sweet soy marinade) with your choice of egg and garlic fried rice or crispy Bagnet(pork belly) served with tomato salsa, shrimp paste and their house vinegar that surely will satisfy all your cravings. (Also Pinakbet and Pork Sisig)

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bagnet

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     Let this classic Filipino dessert/merienda bring you back the real taste of Filipino lifestyle.

SUMAN

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This place is definitely Instagram worthy!

ADDRESS: Forbestown Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, For reservations: Call: (02)831-4692, Email:wateringholebgc@yahoo.com

UP NEXT……(New post every Wednesday!)

Palacio Amazonia

A weekend well-spent!

It was indeed a remarkable place to spend the weekend close to Manila. Palacio Amazonia is located in Taytay, Rizal, a private mansion consist of 12 rooms and two swimming pools, a spacious living room, a helipad and a secret cave which the owner said it was a room like the one in fifty shades of grey. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see it. It was a kick ass mansion with wild landscape.

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Manmade lagoon/swimming pool

view from the room.

There is a spacious living room with table sets where numbers of people can drink, dance, watch a movie or play a game.


Another one is the amazing panoramic view of the whole Manila from the helipad close to the pool. Oh my god! It was breath-taking even though the it cloudy. It’s rare to see a clear view when you’re just inside the city!
Before we went to bed after our night out, we played tropical house music. Then afterwards started dancing since I was the only one who didnt have a partner. 7th wheel to be exact. 

 

Thank you so much to my friend Mike for inviting us to his friend’s place. It was such an amazing weekend!

The Sleepy Guitar Vendor

I went for a walk today. I brought my camera with me and see which scenes it’s going to make me capture. I was thinking of writing reviews for restaurants but found myself shooting people along the streets. I am inspired, touched and moved in every story I was able to bring home with me.

Last 7 Months ago, I bought a guitar from this man. I saw him always carrying all these guitar along the streets then stopping by at this exact same spot before night. I passed by him again today. He was sitting trying not to fall asleep but he was very sleepy. I wish I could buy all his guitars. It was the guitar I bought for the old man working as cab driver who wanted to become a musician but couldn’t afford to buy. This guitar street seller was kind to give me one of his finest guitar even if I only had enough money for the smaller ones when I said I was buying it for the old man. Your family is lucky to have a husband and a father with such a big heart like yours.


It wasn’t a very busy time along the street so I kept walking to find something to eat. This father and his son spent time together playing and sitting behind their cart full of coconut while there was no customer.

After eating at one of my favorite restaurant to visit in Manila, I’ve crossed path with these two young men holding their balloons to sell along the streets. I knew the other boy was feeling a little bit embarrassed  but I admire these young men for trying to do something to earn. I used to be like them back in the day, when I was high school. I worked in a carnival to collect tokens on a running light. I was a little bit embarrassed because my classmates were looking down at me to see me work, I still  did it to be able to go to school.



This country is amazing! These simple things that the Filipino people do to keep living make this country different from others. We try and try because that’s is life. As long as you are still attached to your surrroundings, to people and still feel grateful, you are living the life. One day, we will all realized that it’s all those simple things that matter.

 

 

 

Find Solitude at McRitchie Nature Trail

Have you been restless lately? Either you have so much things to do or nothing to do. Well, you don’t need to make it so complicated by planning an out of town trip to recharge or clear your mind. 

I came to see the McRitchie Nature trail to have a walk and the same time, learn photography  yesterday. It’s just one of the many nature parks here in Singapore where you can run on a trail,  take photos of the beautiful view, even space to make videos or sit down on a bench and watch those playful monkeys runningaround everywhere.  It also has a beautiful lake where people can do kayaking and have a moment of solitude. The orange hues turning into amethyst sky will simply fascinate you that you do not rven want to take a break before it fade away. 

I brought an old camera since I wanted to use my free time to learn something new, thanks to internet!

Monkey everywhere!I took bus 130 from Balestier Road if you are just living around Novena or you can download on Citymapper(really good app!), it will show you all options on how you want to get anywhere wether by foot, by car, by bus, or by train.

Monkeys are everywhere! They came so close to me and even rode on my back. They were so playful. (Do not feed them, they need to learn to find their own food or else they will become dependent to people feeding them food all the time).

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There was a bistro just few steps from the park called Vava. The vibe offers a very relaxing ambience. Like a secret place to bring a date.  It would nuce to share some eine or just wrote a book or something while sit at the restaurant overlooking the lake.IMG_5994 

I kept on walking to see more of the place and take more photos then this “big lizard” just casually passed by the road. I have never seen anything like it before. It’s great to expose myself to it and also this animal to people to prevent hurting each other out of ignorance. A man who was just about to get closer to it while he was jogging didn’t even care and just passed by close to it. So I guess they are everywhere around the place and they are not dangerous.

Then this guy from the footbridge came up to say hello. He knew I was taking a photo since he just pose closer to me. It was all alone in the creek. I wish there was another one to accompany him and I just didn’t see it.

IMG_6038-1           It was a very peaceful place. I was completely recharged and able to come up with an idea after this walk to start a project for myself since it’s off season for modeling projects in Singapore and I am spending so much time alone at home. 

I called it #LazySundays, bringing back the excitement as I look forward on sundays and the calm feeling of just lying down on bed all day watching movie, eating your favorite pizza once in a busy week. 🙂

Start your own Project #LazySundays with me. Email me your #LazySunday story @ jilleanorbina@gmail.com so I can feature you on my blog. 🙂