A Little Kyoto in Baguio

The pandemic made hermits of us all.  A week before Christmas last year, after staring at a wall for hours to contemplate about my life’s existence, I decided to have a date with myself.

escaping…

I went on a solo travel and proceeded to the chilly city of Baguio (127 miles up north of Manila).  Known in my country as the City of Pines, I simply had a breather, walked through pruned gardens of parks, dine at cheap restaurants, watched people walk with their uninteresting facemask on, and re-read a book I have read fifteen years ago.  And when I started to get bored to the point of being spiritless, I decided to search the web on what site in Baguio have I not been to.

The World Wide Web pointed me to St Francis Xavier Seminary in Pacdal, Baguio where the Bamboo Eco-Park is located.  I hurriedly booked online a transport vehicle service car which brought me to the place tagged as the Little Kyoto in Baguio.

baguio bamboo eco-park

glad there were so few visitors (for safety)

the smaller version of arashiyama

selfie!

And true enough, though the place was really little as compared to the famed Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto, the place was equally peaceful and beautiful.  I have been to Baguio numerous times (both solo and with group) but I never knew that such a beauty exists in this part of Baguio until then. It was indeed a refreshing visit!  My first time visit to Bamboo Eco-Park in Pacdal no doubt was the highlight of my latest Baguio visit.

And before I left, it dawned in me that those pandemic hermits living in St Francis Xavier Seminary must be so proud of their work which resulted to something tranquil and beautiful.  A total opposite of my being an indolent and lazy hermit during this ridiculous pandemic.

Uncle Duties in Kyoto

Single and unattached uncles often times are the cooler and more amiable versions of a father. They are often the type of human beings who initiate messy-yet-fun activities that parents dread or wouldn’t dream of doing with their kids.  They are the ones who permit impish and playful pursuits of youngsters that nervous or impatient parents would not want to do.

Since single and unattached uncles are often times financially stable and obligations and responsibilities are few and are often far between.  Thus, they even become cooler because they have the money to splurge. 

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And since uncles are older and experienced, they would often be the ones that kids would run to in case they could not discuss stuffs to their parents.  They can give worthy and wicked advises that kids need not necessarily follow.  And in case nieces and nephews refuse or won’t listen, nothing changes.  Kids not following advises is not going to be an issue to cool uncles.  Cool uncles remains cool uncles.     

Though my monster pamangkins (translation: nieces and nephews) would totally disagree, I would like to believe that I am that type of an uncle.  And while my family had a short vacation in Japan, I further my being a neat praiseworthy uncle by accompanying 3 of my monster pamangkins around the marvelous sites of Kyoto and the grounds of the massive Osaka Castle.

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miggy

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kate

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luis

kyoto station with pamangkins

i had a blast!

Though I was there slave photographer, I had a blast with these three!

Saludo ako kung ikaw ay isang kul Tito!

Lawiswis Kawayan at Sagano Bamboo Forest

Since Japan has such an excellent train and subway system, it is always such a breeze to go around. That is why while staying in Osaka, I and my family decided to go to nearby Kyoto for a third visit.

breathtaking

breathtaking

love love love,,,

love love love,,,

Many bloggers and world travel enthusiasts voted this place as one of the fifty places that a person should go to before dying.  I could not agree more!  I am actually honored and humbled and slightly freaked out when I was given this beautiful opportunity to be in such a breathtaking place.

The Sagano Bamboo Forest in Arashimaya, Kyoto is one breathtaking spot in this planet.  A sense of serene tranquility permeates from this lush bamboo scenery.   While traversing the narrow path, it felt like Mother Nature was giving my whole delicious body a warm comfortable hug.

my family from afar, posing for some photo opp

my family from afar, posing for some photo opp

love it!

love it!

The enchanting sound of the bamboos swaying back and forth against the light wind is something to behold.  It was like listening to an angel singing while feeding someone else’s soul. I was not surprised to know that as per amazingplaceonearth.com, this enchanting music-like-resonance is a must-be-preserved sound in Japan as declared by the Japanese government.

It was such a wonder to behold!

Pangkat kawayan ang peg ko dito!

Inari Shrine & Inari Sushi in Fushimi

Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan is probably one of my favorite shrines.  I love this temple of worship because of its aesthetics.  The color of the structures contrasts very well with nature.  It’s vermilion in color.  The red-orange color of the torii gates mixes well with the bright blue pigment of the sky as well as the lush green fauna surrounding the area.  It’s visually rich!

inari temple gate

the gang entering the main gate

nengkoy in inari shrine

nengkoy in fushimi inari shrine

 

 

 

 

 

 

inari shrine 2

beautiful and impressive

inari shrine 3

i love the colors…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe another reason why I unconsciously came to like this shrine is because it is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto religion’s God of Rice.  I guess I adore it  because I myself is a rice lover.  Close friends know that given a few numbers of meal periods, I will go nuts if there would be no rice served in any of my meals.

inari shrine 4

smile …

After going around the beautiful shrine, me and my family headed towards right beside the shrine’s local village where there were quaint restaurants aligned along the narrow street.  We entered one of the charming restos to have lunch.  Luckily, my nephew cleverly ordered the specialty of the village, the Inari Sushi.

inari sushi with a bowl of ramen

inari sushi with a bowl of ramen

yum!

yum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another landmark experience I had in Japan was my tasting of the authentic, original and genuine Inari sushi.  I have tasted Inari sushi in the past but never in my wildest dream would I get the chance to eat this rice-stuffed dish in a tofu pouch in the place it was named after.

It was a no brainer!  For me it was the best Inari Sushi!

Pinaghalong ganda, hanga at sarap! 

Kamehameha Powers Of My Monster Nieces & Nephews

These photo memes are starting to become so popular here in Japan.  Since me and my family have limited time, I and my silly nieces and nephews might as well do what typical Japanese are doing.  It`s called Kamehamehaing.  This photo technique is based on Dragon Ball Z`s kamehameha powers.

inside the fukoshima inari shrine

inside the fukoshima inari shrine (with monster nephew dennis, photo taken by monster niece thatcher)

kobe tower as the background

kobe tower as the background (with monster nephew luis and niece erika, photo taken by monster niece kim)

erika kicking my butt in kobe harbor

erika kicking my butt in kobe harbor (with monster niece erika, photo taken by monster nephew luis)

In the western world the photo meme that is starting to become viral is called Vadering, based on Star Wars` character Darth Vader.

our vadering version...

our vadering version… (with monster nephew dennis, photo taken by monster niece thatcher)

Both are basically the same, but I like the drama of Dragon Ball Z better.

I`d rather do this than the silly planking or the catatonic like owling…

Nakikiuso…