9 Things in Manila That Will Make You Feel Like You’re in Japan

Words by Paola Faith Simon

Want to roam around the streets of Tokyo? Or do you want to taste authentic katsu? Dream no further. Now, you can feel like you’re in Japan right here in Manila!

9. Take photos at Top of the Glo


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Glorietta (@iloveglorietta) on

If you’re going to Makati, Top of the Glo is one experience you shouldn’t miss! It’s an innovative rooftop garden patio at the top of Glorietta (yes, that’s why it’s called Top of the Glo), a favorite chill-out spot of many people. Beside it is the famous Japantown with their very own Shibuya Crossing, just like in Tokyo! It’s the ultimate selfie spot that will make you feel you’re in Japan.

8. Watch Studio Ghibli movies on Netflix


Binge on these classic feels-trip films by Studio Ghibli on Netflix that will make you laugh, cry, or feel overly sentimental. Studio Ghibli is known for their stunningly animated movies that always touches your kokoro (heart) and will leave you in awe after every movie. Try out fan-favorite classics: Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Grave of the Fireflies.

7. Catch Japanese movies on the big screen

Weathering With You

Watch out also for Japan Film Week and Eigasai Japanese Film Festival that showcases a variety of award-winning animated and feature films such as Shinkai Makoto’s Weathering With You. Japan Film Week is happening this week so don’t miss it!

6. Learn Japanese at the Japan Foundation Manila

Japan Foundation Manila is dedicated to promoting cultural and arts exchange between Japan and the Philippines. They host lectures, film festivals, exhibitions, and performances. They also offer Japanese language classes and conduct their annual Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). If you want to learn how to speak and write in Japanese, take one of their classes or drop by their newly-opened Study Lounge in Makati. It’s a library filled with Japanese language education materials, and not to mention, it’s open to the public!

5. Join Otaku and Cosplay events


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by SEAN PRICE コスプレー ? (@seanpricecosplay) on

One of the most awaited events of anime fans and otaku are the annual cosplay events, anime conventions, and pop culture expos. Coming this year are Cosplay Carnival (April 18-19), Ozine Fest (May 30-31), Cosplay Mania (October 3-4), Cosplay Matsuri (Dec 28-30), and more! Experience the world of anime, cosplay your favorite anime character, and meet new friends!

ALSO READ: 6 Costume Hacks from a Filipino Cosplayer

4. Improve your health by drinking the popular Japanese probiotics Health Aid Bifina

Health Aid Bifina has been a staple in Japanese households for more than 100 years. It is a probiotics supplement that contains live probiotic strains (Bifidobacterium Longum BB536 – good bacteria!) which helps promote a healthy gut, increase immunity, and improve digestion. Maintaining good digestive health is important especially for Filipinos who endures daily stress as it is a leading cause of digestive issues like constipation, indigestion, and acidity.  Adding this daily to your lifestyle will surely improve your overall health. Good news for you, this trusted brand has finally arrived in the Philippines!

3. Hangout with Japanese people through meetups

Little Japan Manila

There are groups within Manila that organize meetups for Filipinos and Japanese. Little Japan in Manila is one group that you could join to bond and exchange culture, food, and language with the Japanese! They usually meet at cafes to talk about Japan and the Philippines. They also teach you how to speak in Japanese! If you want to meet Japanese and gain new friends, you can find them on Facebook or Meetup.com.

2. Shop for kawaii stuff at Y100 shops

Don Quijote Japan

Ray Tsang (https://www.flickr.com/photos/52923129@N00/137325416/)

We all know we couldn’t resist to stop and say “may titingnan lang ako,” whenever we pass by Y100 shops that sell all sorts of items at a set price. Some are P100 while others offer items at P88. Their huge variant of random and cute things are the reason why people are hooked to look around.

1. Dine in the best katsu place at Fumizen Japanese Restaurant


View this post on Instagram


Delicious Prawn Katsu @fumizenph #fumizenph #40yearsoftonkatsu

A post shared by FumizenPH (@fumizenph) on

Excite your tastebuds with authentic Japanese cuisine at Fumizen Japanese Restaurant!  Fumizen is a franchise from a 40-year old restaurant in Tokyo, so you are sure to be served some high-quality food with premium ingredients flown from Japan. Try their famous Tonkatsu Loin dipped in special Truffle Salt for an explosive mouth-watering experience. Their Ebi Katsu using tiger prawns, unagi (freshwater eel), and gindara (cod) are also to die for with its rich umami taste. Fresh high-grade cuts of hamachi (yellowtail tuna) and salmon sashimi are also served. If you’re into sushi, we recommend their maki rolls, which include the Fumizen Cali MakiCheese Salmon Aburi Maki, and Crunchy Tuna Crackers. All dishes are created with artisan spirit, ensuring flavor and satisfaction in each bite. And the best part is, it’s affordable!


Which of these have you already tried? Was it worth the Japanese experience? Tell us in the comments!

Health Aid Bifina

IG: @vpharmaph
Contact: (+63915) 561-0588 | (02) 370-9460
Email: info@vpharma.net

Fumizen Japanese Restaurant

FB & IG: fumizenph
Address: 34 Sgt. Esguerra Ave, Brgy. South Triangle, Quezon City
Hours: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Contact: 277931894