Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Kasairinkai Park in Tokyo

October 12, 2003

So, we had this long weekend and we went to Kasairinkai Park. Our first stop is the Tokyo Sea Life Park.

The entrance fee is 700 Yen per head.

When we went in, we were greeted by different kind of sharks. After sometime, the feeding of the sharks start. They were not that hungry at all. Maybe the staff had to keep them full always to avoid problems, after all they are sharks. :)

Moving on, we went to see other fishes.

 Look who I found! It's Nemo!

We stayed and waited for the tuna feeding and, in contrast to the sharks, they are very hungry. The tunas are big and they swim fast. They also have this fin that only becomes visible when they take a swimming turn.

The park has penguins also and we witnessed a fun and dynamic feeding.

The baby penguins were fed and kept in a separate area. Aren't they cute? :)

My favorite part was having to touch the rays. This black ray is very friendly. Sometimes it goes up and waves its wings at people. 

They have some show also about jellyfish and fishes that lights up in the dark. It was all in Japanese so I just pass by. I did see the fishes lights up though.

Here's the group with the aquarium in the background.

We also pass by the souvenir shop and guess who I saw? It's Eeerrriccc! :)

Outside of the Aquarium, we take another pose before we went out.

And the visit won't be complete without riding the 384ft ferris wheel in the park. We paid another 700 Yen for the ride.

Hope you enjoy the pics! Have a good day.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Summer Fun at Japan

September 1, 2013

My friends (colleagues) and I went out for a day swim in one of the water parks in Chiba. That was the last day (opens only during summer season) the park will be open and we grabbed the chance. 

Taken after swimming. We got some good tan.

The ticket price was 1,100 yen for 1-day use of all the pools. They have 14 kinds of swimming pools.

We didn't try the yellow and pink slide because there was a long waiting line. But we did try the lazy pool underneath it.

There are 3 slides at my back and we tried only the tallest one. Not scary at all. T'was fun!

We also had some fun playing under the fountains. 

I don't know what they call this one but I call it fun.

Trying to project a sexy pose. Fail. :p
Actually, picture taking is not allowed so we just keep it a little discrete. :) We also had some underwater shots.

I'll post mine only. Haven't asked permission from the others.

And we did try the wave pool but it was full packed so we just settle near the shore. :)

See the crowd? No waves yet.

They also have an indoor pool but the deepest is only 4 meters. They have a deep one outdoor (i think 5' 5'') but only for training or exercises. We got into another pool and just have our pictures taken and we're off. The weather was blazing hot that day.

I was wearing a rash guard for some protection from the sun.
It was a fun experience. I hope next summer I'll still be here to do this again.

Have a great day guys! :)

A Trek to Remember - Climbing Mt. Fuji

Yes, you read it right. I have been to the summit of Mt. Fuji! Yayy! That was my first mountain climbing experience and guess what? I'm not coming back up there. :)

No, I'm not scaring you. I'm just not into climbing especially that high and cold. Imagine an elevation of 3,776 meters with temperature reaching up to 5 degrees Celsius, not to mention the low level of oxygen and the strong wind which makes it even colder.

Anyways, this post might be helpful if you are planning to climb Mt. Fuji. If not, well just read on to feel how it was climbing the tallest mountain of Japan.

By the way, there are various trails to choose in climbing the mountain. The most popular and easy one they say is the Yoshida Trail. Since some of my group mates had been on that trail before, we decided to take the Subashiri Trail, a bit difficult one.


I didn't even know that if you plan to climb Mt. Fuji, or Fuji-san as the Japanese call it, you need to have enough preparation time. Not just for your gears but also physical training. Others spent a month doing some exercises. Now I know why it is important. You will be climbing for hours with heavy baggage on your back so you have to condition your body for that.

Since we don't have enough time, I did what I could. A week before the climb I'd gone jogging every night. That's all the physical training I had. A one-week jogging just to prepare my feet and legs for hours of climbing.

I'm not an outdoor person and I don't have the gears needed to climb so I had to prepare, or rather buy, them.

Things I bought:
  • pair of trekking shoes
  • a sleeping bag
  • a head lamp
  • a pair of gaiters
  • a wind breaker jacket
  • a wicking shirt (yeah I know quite a few climbing terms)
  • a bottle of oxygen spray 
  • 2 liters of water
  • food (energy bars and chocolate bars, bought some burger from Mc Donalds)
All in all, I had like 9Kg of weight in shoulder. And oh, it's better to have a hiking bag with a strap for the waist in order to lift off some weight from your shoulder.

Going There

The kick-off was from Tokyo Station. We are staying in Chiba so we got on a train for Tokyo. From Tokyo Station we got on a bus that took us to Gotemba Station. From Gotemba Station, we transfer to another bus that took us on a winding road up to the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji.

The Climb

August 19, 2013

The 5th Station is always the starting point for people who wish to climb the Mt. Fuji. We arrived there just before 3 PM and wasted no time preparing for the climb. We did some basic warm-up exercises to start it off. Outfits were changed; trekking poles came out and of course, cameras.

Stretching those limbs.
The wind was already a bit chilly with fog coming in once in a while. I hadn't really keep track of time but it was still daylight when we arrived at the 6th Station. 

Elevation at 2,400m.

On the way up, we met with other people already descending the mountain (lucky them!) and greeted them with a simple “Konnichiwa”.

Going up.

Taking a short rest at the new 6th Station.
Yup, they had a new and old 6th Station. The distance between the stations is around 400 meters (believe me it feels like forever).

On the old 6th Station. The summit can be seen at my back. Still a long way, eh?

It was getting dark and cold when we reached the 7th Station. Oopps did I mention that Mt. Fuji has 10 stations? And yes, there is an old and new one too. I think it we arrived there around 8 or 9 PM.  

From the old 7th Station, elevation at 3200 meters.

The temperature was dropping and we take out our winter jackets, gloves and bonnets. I was getting drained already. My head was aching and the foods I ate all went out on the way into the station. I guess this is because we were on higher altitude already and the oxygen level was getting low.

Preparing for the cold night ahead

The greatest difficulty I had on the way up was catching my breath. After every few steps, I had to stop and catch my breath. The trick was you have to take small and slow steps and not hurry up. 

Sometimes, we would sit on the big rocks to ease our back of the heavy loads.

After some 5-minute rest, we continued on our way up to the 8th Station. There we finally settled to eat. A cup of noodles is truly a delight on that cold night but I didn't even finished half of mine. I really feel bad that I just want to lay down and curl to sleep. The wind didn't permit us. Yet, I took a 5-minute nap while sitting down. 

Despite the bad feeling, still ready to take a pose. I don't know why this is labeled as 8.5. 
Some kind of a wishing area on the way to the 8th Station.

Energized by my power nap, I reached the 9th Station ahead of the others. The station is not the same as the others as it is only a gate. No huts, no bench, no rooms. I was too tired to even take out my camera and take a picture of the gate. I rest for a little and continued up to the last station (finally!). I was just too eager to finish it all out.

The 10th Station greeted me with two lion statues. I waited for my group to catch up with me so we could take some pictures together but I got impatient and continued on. 

Entrance to the summit. I should have been there at the center if someone was there to take the picture. Cannot do a selfie pic on that condition.

The remaining steps to the summit was really unbearable. I was literally dragging up my whole body. It was like I was taking three steps and I have to stop to catch my breath.

Finally,  around 1:30 AM, I was there and the first thing I saw was the vending machine and the bench. I sat right down and didn't move. I closed my eyes and didn't mind the strong wind that was blowing. The temperature was around 5 degrees Celcius, maybe even lower because of the non-stop blowing of the wind. Guess what? I didn't even bother to take a picture of how it looked like up there. The things you forgot when you're in a bad condition.

Oh well, after a couple minutes my group mates came. We looked for a good spot to sleep on and we choose the one where we can see the sunrise front up in the morning. So we got out our sleeping bag and have some snooze.

There were few people when we got there but  when we woke up at around 4 AM the place was packed. I didn't even noticed that there were shops selling soup and hot drinks. So we got up, packed our belongings and waited to see the first hint of the sunlight. I bought myself a hot cocoa and it was truly rejuvenating. 

Here are some pics taken at the summit.

Front up waiting for the sunrise.

The sun slowly peeking at the whole world.

Didn't have good camera for taking sunrise. It was a beautiful sight.

 After the sunrise, we went to check out the crater of Mt. Fuji.

I think these rocks came from the volcano a long time ago.

The crater at my back. Cannot get a deeper picture inside.

It was a great view from up there.

Going Down

August 20, 2013

We went down via the Subashiri Trail still. I think this was the worst part of the whole climb. The trail is a sand run and yes, you have to run through the sand to make it easier. 

Seems like an endless sand run.
I did run at first but then my feet got sore and I had to slow down. I was tired, irritated and full of dust. 

We had to sit on the sand on take a rest. We were dusty everywhere.

The climb down took us around 4 hours. The bus was waiting for us in the 5th Station and took us back to Gotemba Station after which we transfer to another bus that took us to Tokyo Station. 


Well, it was a great experience and it was my first one. I can say that I will still climb other mountains but this will be my last climb to Mt. Fuji. As the Japanese says, anybody would be a fool not to climb Mount Fuji once—but a fool to do so twice. 

If you happen to visit Japan on the climbing season (July to August), don't miss the opportunity to visit Mt. Fuji. If you are not into climbing, you can just go up to the 5th Station by bus and have some picture taking.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

It's Been A While - From the Land of the Rising Sun

Well, hello there. It's been a while since I've updated my blog. I guess I got caught up with my life here in Japan that I haven't had time to write something.

Yes, you're thinking I have many things to blog about but I was just too excited to even write it. I'll be having a long weekend so I'll surely update this with my experiences here in the "Land of the Rising Sun".

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Dash Engineering's 20th Year Anniversary

Dash Engineering celebrates its 20th year anniversary last April 27 but the party was held on April 30. The venue was at the prestigious Marco Polo Plaza Hotel and was attended by its employees and invited guests composed of the city mayor, legal counsels, business partners, the company doctors and the Japanese class teacher.

Before the start of the program, everyone was assembled at the lobby of the hotel. The legendary ice sculpture was the main attraction in the lobby. It was carved to form the words "DASH 20 YEARS".

 A glass of drink was given to make everyone at ease. Greetings, small talks and, of course, picture-taking was done. After awhile, everyone was ushered up the great staircase and led to the Grand Ballroom.

The ballroom was decorated with a green motif which symbolizes the 20th anniversary color. The ceiling was decorated with white cloths that accentuated the different light effects. Surely, chandeliers were present to add glamor to the ambiance.

The program was started with the introduction and acknowledgement of the guests and was followed by an opening speech depicting the history since 1992 from the company's senior adviser, Mr. Yukihiro Mimura. Afterwards, the President, Mr. Takuya Aramaki, gave his welcome speech. The program continued with the pinning of the 20th year anniversary token to all employees. Definitely, a kampai was done and headed by the vice-president, Mr. Harushige Kuriyama. Bottles of wine were opened and the loud popping sound was audible to all. Following, dinner was served and everyone ate to their heart's delight.The food was great, as usual.

After dinner, designated employees (including me) took the stand and gave out their wishes for the company. To make the night memorable, all employees were herded to the viewing deck of the hotel to witness the enchanting fireworks display. I myself was mesmerized by the bright and vibrant colors of the fireworks.

The program then ended with a thank you speech from the General Manager, Mr. Michael Joel Aranas, and the giving of the souvenir to the invited guests. Also, there was a band playing for those who wants to make most of the time in the ballroom.

Oh yes, before I forgot, a raffle draw was made also giving out remarkable prizes like Timex watches, external hard disk drives, headphones, flash drives, an android cellphone, and yes, the grand prize - a netbook! Unfortunately, I didn't won any of those. :(

All in all, it was really a night to be remembered. After all, it was an anniversary, right? :-)