May 27, 2010

Little Tokyo

Little Tokyo is something lot of people have heard of but only few know where or what it really is. Located in the midst of Makati Central Business District, Little Tokyo is a cluster of authentic Japanese restaurants with a unique setting. And because of its diversity, a lot of people get confused about where to go. Lined with red lanterns called akachōchin, each adorning Japanese characters, you can determine what food a restaurant serves. Unlike the other Japanese restaurants in the city, Little Tokyo has various restaurants each with their own special dishes.

Aside from its authentic taste, the whole premise is patterned after a little village in Tokyo. For this reason, you can get lost, especially if you don’t know where to go. Depending on what you feel like eating, you can be able to try the authentic Japanese food in the area. But if you don’t know what each restaurant does best, you can get lost and end up disappointed. In order to have a pleasant experience in Little Tokyo, here are the restaurants that you must know of:


The first restaurant in the vicinity is called Oishinbo. As a combination of the two Japanese words: oishii (delicious) and kuishinbo (someone who loves to eat); the term roughly translates to ‘the gourmet.’ Despite its homey appearance and size, this restaurant serves up the finest dishes. Known for its Teppanyaki dishes, the restaurant is perhaps the only one in the area that is serving several items on their menu. When dishes have been cooked using an iron plate, it is called Teppanyaki.


Next stop is one of the famous restaurants in the area called Urameshi-ya. This little restaurant is patterned after a Japanese funeral ceremony as they have made use of sotoba (grave sticks) for their decoration. The food that you can find in this restaurant is the highly recommended, Yakiniku. Translated into English, it simply means grilled meat. These are thinly sliced pieces of beef, pork, and offal (internal organs and entrails) which are cooked over a grill. When served, they come with a soy sauce based dip.


If you’ve never heard of Japanese pizza, then this is one restaurant you should not miss. Kagura is most famous for its Okonomiyaki. When translated into English, okonomi means ‘what you like’ while yaki translates ‘to cook’ or ‘to grill.’ The reason why this dish is considered as a Japanese pizza adaptation is largely due to the fact that it is circular in shape and is served in slices. Prepared with a pancake batter and noodles, you can ask the cook to combine any other topping along with your order. When it is cooked, it is then topped with okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, nori, and thinly shaved bonito flakes that seem to be alive when the air conditioning hits them.

Okonomiyaki by Kagura

Bacon and Potato


If you are a big fan of Takoyaki that is usually seen in the malls, then you have not tried authentic Takoyaki. A visit to Hana will introduce you to how well their version is different from those cheap ones in the malls. Because they are authentic, Hana cooks their Takoyaki according to order. So while waiting for this dish, you can try out the restaurants other specialties such as their donburi plates and salads. But make sure you try their Kakigori, a Japanese dessert composed with ice shavings, flavor, and milk.


When you want to eat something heavy, Choto Stop is the ideal place you should visit. Armed with a big serving for Bento dishes and Ramen noodles, you can fill up your empty stomach with just a couple hundred Pesos before calling it a night. This restaurant not only resembles a small and casual home but also has its own grocery lurking in the side. At only P75 a piece, you can buy just about any authentic Japanese item in the grocery. Don’t forget to try their ice cream imported straight from Japan.

Shake Bento by Choto Stop


Finally, the last restaurant on the list is Nodasho. Unlike the other restaurants in the area, this one caters to the people who have a higher budget. At the same time, the dishes here are good for one person only. But the good thing about this restaurant is that they are the ones that are really serving authentic Japanese foods. Nodasho is most famous for its sushi, sashimi and maki.


Little Tokyo is located beside Makati Cinema Square along Pasong Tamo, Makati City. Although there are a few restaurants open for lunch, it is best to come here at night when you can really see the intricate Japanese designs of the vicinity.

May 13, 2010

Busting Yoga Myths

1. Anyone can teach Yoga

When it comes to teaching Yoga, there are a lot of people who think they can already teach Yoga just because they can perform different poses. This is not the right way to do it. In order to become a genuine Yoga teacher, an individual must train and practice for many years. The training he should go through should be centered immensely on his spiritual maturity and growth. When he has observed this, he can then share his knowledge on the practice exactly as it was meant to be taught—a union between one’s body, spirit and mind.

2. Yoga is JUST an Exercise

Several people often think Yoga is an exercise that can only make their bodies fit. What they fail to realize though is that Yoga does not only end with getting physical benefits. Before anything else, Yoga is a spiritual activity that has a primary goal of uniting a person’s body with his emotions and mind. Getting physically fit is only an advantage that you can later on get with continuous practice.

3. Yoga Practitioners Will Achieve Complex Levels of Physical Skills

Even though there are some Yoga practitioners who get to achieve superior flexibility, it is not true for everybody. Yoga should not be thought of as a miracle activity that will automatically grant its practitioners a gift of physical litheness. The ultimate goal of Yoga (to unite the body, mind and spirit) must always be kept in mind. Once this is achieved, the practitioner can achieve a true personal and complete enlightenment.

4. Yoga is an Expensive Activity

When one makes a decision of practicing Yoga, the first thing other people say is that it is an expensive exercise. If you will compare Yoga with the other activities people get involved with, it is actually a much cheaper activity. This is because you will not need to equip yourself with various gears and equipment, shoes and different outfits. As a matter of fact, all you will need is a mat and some staple outfits. There are even several studios that will let you borrow their mats provided.
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