Cheers to the New Year!

January 15, 2016

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What a great start to 2016. Spending New Year’s Eve far from Manila was a good idea and spending it in Tokyo was even a better idea. At the stroke of midnight, we found ourselves overlooking the vibrant city view of Tokyo with champagne in hand and a positive mindset that 2016 will be a f*ckin awesome year!

Tokyo is probably one of the best cities in the world. It is where everything works and everyone is pleasant. A fairly young Japanese woman, a stranger, helped us and literally took us to where we intended to go. You ask someone a question (*should they know English) and they will give you a straight answer. Even their toilet bowls are made to change your life in a way you can never imagine! And don’t even get me started with the food. Aaaah, Japanese food… That I think deserves a separate post.

We really enjoyed going around Tokyo and 3 days was simply not enough. From shopping in Shinjuku, drinking at the Golden Gai and roaming around Roponggi… Yes Tokyo, I still have more to see and I shall be back.

After the celebration, we flew via ANA Air to see Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands that is known for their natural hot springs (called Onsen) and their world class ski resorts. From Sapporo, we took a bus to Niseko where our ski resort was. I highly recommend The Green Leaf Hotel in Niseko. This was our view from the room every morning. Really nice.

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It was my first time to try snowboarding and I think I officially have a new favorite sport. Years ago, I tried skiing in Switzerland and it was an awful experience. Hard snow + an impatient Swiss German instructor = no fun at all. Our snowboarding lessons with Suguru, our Japanese instructor (do get him!), was so much fun and learning on fresh powder was even easier.

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We really enjoyed our stay in Niseko. Hirafu village was filled with tourists (mostly Aussies) so I was quite happy we stayed a bit far away from it.

For the last 3 days of our trip, we moved down to Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido. Famous for its beer, we naturally visited the Sapporo Beer Museum for some fresh Draft and yummy grilled lamb.

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Winter in  Japan was cool. Weather was great and the views were scenic & serene. Our first trip of the year was filled with adventure, fun and of course, a lot of romance. I hope you too had an exciting start 🙂 May this year be filled with more happiness & prosperity… Cheers to the new year!

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