Hi everyone! In case you were wondering about the lack of updates, it was because I went to Taiwan for a vacation with my family!!! We were there from the 24th to the 30th of December, and of course, in the process, I took a gazillion photos to share with you all. This is day 1 of our trip.

To start off is the ramen dinner which we hadon our first night. We went to this restaurant named arashi and I ordered their tonkotsu ramen with additional char siu slices. This bowl was like 220 NT (approx 330 pesos) which I think is already affordable relative to the ramen restaurants here in Manila...

Look at them char siu slices!!! #omnomnom #happytummy 

And here is the general look of the streets in Ximending. I was told that this was the teenagers' hangout place as it was full of stores selling beauty products, youthful clothes and lots of Western apparel brands . The green signage is of La New, which apparently is their up and rising shoe brand. Even TV ads of local channels are from this shoe company. And as you will see there is also a L'Occitane outlet as well as signages for facial care and cosmetic treatment centers. 

But what I am going to elaborate on on this post is my amazement at this store called Mag Freak. It is basically a store brimming with Japanese magazines across all disciplines. As in brimming. I almost went crazy with all the choices of magazines inside!

This is just the first floor, mind you all. They have three floors of Japanese magazine display space! THREE FLOOOOORS!!!! You can see my brother (with the giant backpack) already rushing into the store to see what it has... 

They have all the possible Japanese fashion and beauty magazines you can think of in this store, with the popular ones like CuTIE, SCawaii, Popteen, Seventeen, ViVi, Marie Claire, an-an, non-no Can Can, VoCe, and Spur. And relative to Hong Kong prices, their selling prices for these imported magazines are livable! 

What I also like is that they sell copies of the more popular magazines up to two months back so you need not worry about no longer finding an issue in case you missed it! 

But in general, I must say that the selling prices for imported or air flown issues of a Japanese magazine are significantly higher than when Taiwan has a franchise of it. A copy of Japanese Popteen costs about 240NT (360 pesos) while a copy of Taiwanese Popteen costs 98 NT (about 150 pesos) despite having nearly identical contents. The only differences are that spreads containing too many items not available for purchase in Taiwan are replaced with spreads containing more available items... 

And look, there's even a Ray issue with Miranda Kerr on the cover! I am amused as to how she seems to be beloved by the Japanese to the point that she appears on Japanese magazine covers and has an endorsement deal for a Japanese liquid detergent. 

And they have a whole wall full of anime merchandise! Not that there are no anime goods stores here in the Philippines, but rather, the stores here do not sell items as authentic as what this store has. Moreover, there's a greater selection of merchandise for a given anime, not just limited to figurines and uchi-wa's. 

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