HUNTING FOR SNOW. Winter in the Land of the Rising Sun. (Staff: Wryneth)

LIFE IS A SERIES OF ADVENTURES. Those who dare to travel and
challenge it are the ones who can say they had great accounts of life.
Experience, immerse, get lost, find home.
Few days ago, I stepped out the doors of Philippine Airline flight PR421, the plane that brought me and my fellow travelers (EDAYA interns) home from my short but amazing trip in Japan. Now that I am back home, everything suddenly started to go back to normal. The jeepney rides, the familiar taste of foods, the old environment, which is indeed good. But probably, there is one thing that reminds me most of the recent adventure I just had – the cold weather dropping to as low as 10 degree Celsius in temperature. Initially, when I got outside the NAIA terminal 2 and felt the heat of Manila, I thought I left all the fun I had from playing hide-and-seek with the winter breeze of Japan. But arriving in Baguio proved me wrong. With a temperature playing around 10-15 degrees Celsius in the morning, it feels like winter came with us. But instead of not liking it, I took it as a chance to be reminded of the things I just did.

Of course, a welcome greeting is the first thing we experienced.

This trip was not the first time for me to go to Japan, having been there June of 2015. But indeed, this trip has allowed me to experience a lot of other new things. For starters, the main purpose of this travel is to undertake some trainings on research under the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. This is different from my last purpose of going there for EDAYA JOURNEY 2 exhibition (although, we also did some amazing EDAYA events this time – reports will be made separately). This purpose led us to Tsukuba, where we stayed for 2 days and 2 nights.

Sunset and the skytree at a distance. Taken on the bus while on the way  to Tsukuba.

Tsukuba if I may say, interestingly has a different aura than the center of Tokyo. Before we went there, we have already received heads-up that it is different from the Tokyo image of Japan, but when we arrived there, it gave me the feeling that I am somewhere in the Philippines. The only things that reminded me that I am in Japan are the hi-tech toilet bowls, the department store items, the language spoken, the people, and of course, let us not forget the weather. Tsukuba had me chilling for two days every time I go outside the comfort of the building. I probably would have frozen if not  for the air conditioner that is making the room much tolerable. But even so, it was chilling to come face-to-face with winter cool that even the warm sun cannot do any good. But probably, one thing that surprised me is that I couldn't even see any trace of snow, because I thought that it would have snowed hard so we can get the chance to see it. But maybe, not in Tsukuba. And not this time.

Had a Japanese dinner with the team at Tsukuba.
Our next stop was of course Tokyo, where we did one EDAYA event and attended another training facilitated by Japan Space Systems (JSS).When we got there, the familiar sights made me nostalgic of my first trip and it really felt good to be able to come back again.Traversing the familiar trail to Roppongi district (where we had our first event) and seeing the same sights such as the Sukiya )where I ate the delicious gyudon with my friends the first time I went) feels so good. And yes! We saw snow! Although just on the sidewalk and just a bulk of it, but we saw snow! This increased my hope that I can finally get to lie  down on the snow. But again, not in the center of Tokyo because the snow came tooo early (came before we arrived - probably couldn't wait for us).

The very famous Tokyo Tower.

Snow in Fujino.
Immensely enjoying the snow.
Things are getting more and more exciting. From Tokyo center, we moved to the rural part of the city - to Fujino. It was a long train ride, and we were standing most of the way, feeling sleepy. But oh yeah, I miss the hustle-bustle of the subways of Japan and using my PASMO card. Then 2 stations away from Fujino, I looked out of the window and saw the roofs of the houses covered with snow. And then I looked at the road and it is covered with snow. Even the cars have their own share of coating. Excitement building up, I couldn't wait to get out of the train and explore. When we finally reached our destination, I got out of the transportation excitedly, and then I was immediately enveloped by the cold breeze (much colder that center of Tokyo). But I didn't care, because right on the pavement are bulks of snow. I and my team rushed to touch them and with amazement, we started kicking the snow. We wanted to play more but  we know that we had to rush because some people are waiting for us for an event. After the event we had that night,we wasted no time finding the perfect spot to take pictures, and finally lie and sit down on the snow. It was awesome!

After Onsen fever.
Packed and ready to go. But before that, we need to take a picture first.
The next day, we are scheduled to go to the onsen (but not  after we finished all the reports we have to submit that day). I am very excited because this is gonna be one of the first times for this trip. I heard we're going to go full naked and I hesitated for a bit. But then, I told myself that it will be worth the experience. I also go t the assurance that nobody will care even if we are naked. Before we walked to the stop, of course, we had another fun photo-shoot playing with the snow and enjoying the very artistic design of the guest house we stayed in for the night (which I heard is owned by an artist - no wonder). Finally, off to the onsen. Oh.. the onsen was lovely (and hot!) But it was seriously and honestly amazing and refreshing. It was an entirely new experience but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
With my other sisters and brother before saying bye-bye.

We're finally nearing the end of the trip. One last thing to do, shopping for omiyage. And since we don't have much money with us, we chose to go Daiso where amazing stuffs can be found (for 100 yen mostly). We bagged some stuffs to bring back home and then head back to our lovely accommodation,  for packing. It feels sad that we're already leaving but I had a blast.

Enjoying last shots with amazing people before departing.

This will be one of the moments I will never forget again. This time, I may not have been able to eat as much Japanese foods as I want because we had to stick mostly to convenience store foods because unfortunately, my companions don't like the smell of dashi, but it was still an amazing trip. I loved everything and I love Japan, the people, culture and the food. Someday, I'm gonna come back again and have priceless time once again. 

What a nice way to end this trip. An amazing view of the Mount Fuji, standing in its full glory.


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