You did it. You made it. After months of researching, applying, praying, planning, and preparation, you’ve finally made it to Sweden. And so begins a brand new adventure.
Jay E. Tria
Note: Suuuuper late post as in years late. This trip was in 2018 or 2017 (??) lol. But the words are here and they are still informative I think! At the very least, this is a good travel diary. Enjoy 🙂
Sounds tiring? You’re not wrong. Will I do it again? Not Amazing Race-style like this, no. I’d take my time and stick to one part of the country next time. But if you’re a first-timer who wants a sampler tour and enjoys the rush of seeing so many firsts at once and also wants to experience riding a shinkansen, then this is for you.
I’ve been to Tokyo and Osaka in the summer and Tokyo in spring, but this was my first time coming in the fall. I wanted the pretty autumn leaves, Japan-style, but October was too early for most of them apparently. The weather was supposed to be kinder in October, however, which was the point of choosing this month instead of my usual November. But alas, Typhoon 21 was right on our tail, so what welcomed us was chilly winds and nonstop rain and a full-blown typhoon. And I thought I’d look silly if I brought a waterproof down jacket. Sigh.
This didn’t stop us much, though, nope. We were travel-happy, sight-hungry, sushi-starved, adrenaline-pumped machines!
Still with me? Good. Itinerary below:
Day 1. Manila to Narita, Dump bags in Shimokitazawa AirBnB apartment, Meiji Shrine, Harajuku Takeshita-dori, Cat Street
Day 2. Shimokitazawa, Ghibli Museum! Shibuya
Day 3. Tsukiji (SUSHI CAPS LOCK), Ginza (shopping and tea), Shimokitazawa
Day 4. Shinkansen to Osaka, check in at Osaka business hotel, Nara, Dotombori
Day 5. Kyoto. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Gion, Dotombori
Day 6. Check out hotel, Osaka Castle, check in ryokan (onsen!)
Day 7. Check out ryokan, Hep Five, Kansai to Manila
What to wear
The promised Japan temperature was in a mild below 20 C range, so we packed sweaters, jeans, long skirts and dresses, light jackets and thicker cardigans. I brought scarves and my trusty Uniqlo Heattech thermals just in case, which turned out to be great packing sense because early fall + surprise typhoon = strong winds + freezer chills. Temperature math, see? Sister and I ended up buying proper coats to stay warm (thank you Muji and Shimokita vintage stores), and also those very nice transparent umbrellas everyone was sporting. Available at your local 7-11 or Lawson for a few hundred yen (100-500Y).
Also, wear comfy shoes! The most comfortable you have, because unless you are game to spend yens and yens on taxis, you will be running around their amazingly huge train system and doing a lot of walking from the station to your actual destination. Sometimes you will walk instead of taking the train if it’s only a couple of stations’ ride because trains don’t go cheap and you like the adventure anyway. Also, stairs.
Pro tip: make sure you bring shoes that are easiest to take on and off. I know this but I still wore my high cut Onitsuka sneakers which hugged my feet like a mother so they were yes, comfy and warm but also hard to take off and even more challenging to put back on. You will take your shoes on and off multiple times, thus is now my ultimate reminder to my hard-headed self. At the threshold of your apartment and hotel room for one, in some restaurants and in all changing rooms. So yes, comfy, slip-on walking shoes.
Tl, dr. For this fall in Japan trip, I layered as thus: Thermals + sweater + coat + scarf + jeans/long skirt (didn’t need thermal leggings) + socks + sneakers.
Do note I am a tropical girl and the cold does bother me. Adjust the settings as necessary 🙂
Hello! I thought it would be a good time to update where to find my books, and writing a post about it forces me to organize my thoughts and put them down so that I know the answer to this myself (lol). Continue Reading
The past few years for me have been the era of the short story. Because the usual novella lengths proved extra challenging to write. And because I’ve had the opportunity to be part of anthology projects and writing prompts that pushed and encouraged me to come out with short kilig work.
I wrote ‘The Right Answer’ from a prompt for serialized fiction, and it was initially published in Philippine Daily Inquirer‘s mobile app, Inquirer Plus. Amazingly too, the story is required reading in teacher Ines Bautista-Yao‘s romance elective. Sounds like a fun class to me.
‘How Can I Help You?’ and ‘You Belong With Me’ were in the Tropetastic Kindness bundle, the RomanceClass initiative for charity.
I had so much fun going back to these stories and writing new epilogues for this book.
‘Yes to You’ is brand new. Recovered from the depths of my files where it had been languishing for years and brought back to life. This one was created out of a prompt too–fake wedding date. I’m super happy I finally got to finish it and share it with you.
More about the stories below:
Forced (thesis) proximity. Fake wedding date. Flirty, younger guy. Sibling’s best friend and the one that got away. No matter the journey and pitfalls, it all leads to happy-ever-after.
The Right Answer
29-year-old Yvonne Manlapas has plans. These include earning her MBA degree, if she could survive the toil and agony of her final paper. These do not include asking 32-year-old overachiever Bram Coronel for help. The young hotel boss seems to be cruising through his degree, which is frustrating for Yvonne to behold.
But plans change and the professor is the one who makes the rules. Forced to spend time with Bram, Yvonne may just find that asking for help is okay and support can go both ways. And smart guy Bram with his cocky, dimpled smile may not be that annoying after all.
Yes to You
28-year-old Jiji Lopez couldn’t have been more thrilled when she received the invitation to her friend’s wedding, if only it didn’t come with the challenge to bring a date. Office heartthrob Ruiz Lorenzo volunteers to her aid—not as a real date, of course. Only as a good work friend going on a nice weekend getaway to beautiful Cebu with her. Because really, what could happen?
How Can I Help You?
When Yael Sicat’s business partner hooks her up with the much younger Jun Constantino, it’s purely for work. She is planning a promposal at Nomnom Commons and he can help. But to her that means music contacts and booking artists. Not roof-deck dinners, mouth-watering food, and gorgeous serenades. Her no-play-at-work rule is solid, and she will not cross the line. Right?
You Belong With Me
Mira Banzon’s older brother promised she could stay the night, but the address he gave her leads to his best friend Johan Antonio’s condo. Just the man she’s long had feelings for, feelings she’s taught herself not to pursue. But could it be that all this time, Johan has felt the same for her too?
More retailers and complete buy links here.
Thank you for supporting Filipino romance authors!
Contains spoilers for the Korean drama series “Tomorrow”. Content / Trigger Warning: Suicide
Fantasy K-drama Tomorrow is probably the last thing I would have consumed for comfort. I’d been re-watching and rereading the Spy x Family anime and manga to the ground in the worst days of my sickness and isolation. I guess one day I thought, “hmm, how about pain?”
Tomorrow’s premise is the main content and trigger warning. It follows a small team of grim reapers tasked not to collect souls but to save lives. Called Risk Management (RM), team leader Koo Ryeon (Kim Heesun) and assistant manager Lim Ryunggu (Yoon Ji-on) monitor negative energies, the kind that leads humans to choose suicide, and stops them before they do.
Passionate in their jobs despite being a small and often dismissed unit, their two-person machinery was disrupted by Choi Junwoong (Rowoon), a human who got in the way of one of their missions. Junwoong eventually joins the team on a six-month contract while his mortal body is in a coma. Scrappy, bounding with reckless energy, and brimming with a sense of justice with little knowledge and sometimes willful disregard of the afterlife’s rules, Junwoong’s working relationship with his stone-faced, taciturn bosses is off to a rocky start.
Then there’s Park Junggil (Lee Soohyuk), team leader of the elite Escort team. Tall, broad-shouldered, and ever brooding in his meticulously tailored black suits. He expresses disdain and blatant disapproval of the very existence of the Risk Management team. He considers their efforts futile. Worthless. Why waste time and resources on people who have decided to commit the worst crime of all, the murder of one’s self? These people deserve the Hell they have chosen.
Hey hey my books are nominated for the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards 2022 (FRCA). FRCA is back after seven years and it’s super cool to have my books and more RomanceClass titles among the nominees.
Here are my nominated books! You can vote here until September 23, 11:59PM Manila time.
Romance in English
- 13 – Songs of Our Breakup (Playlist #1) (2015)
- 14 – Songs to Get Over You (Playlist #2) (2016)
- 20 – You Out of Nowhere (2017)
- 42 – Songs You Come Back To (Playlist #4) (2020)
More about the books and where to read them in the links.
- 47 – Summer Crush by Jay E. Tria, Six de los Reyes and Tara Frejas (2017)
- 103 – Tropetastic Kindness Bundle by Ana Tejano, Angel C. Aquino, Angeli E. Dumatol, Ines Bautista-Yao, Mina V. Esguerra, Bianca Mori, Carla de Guzman, Dawn Lanuza, C. P. Santi, Suzette de Borja, Jay E. Tria, Katt Briones, Georgette S. Gonzales, Celestine Trinidad, Chris Mariano, (Mina V. Esguerra, 2021)
- You can read my story on Wattpad.
You can find the full list of nominees here. Go go vote for your faves and support Filipino authors!
Reminder that voting is only until September 23, 11:59PM Manila time 🙂