As we ascended from Minatomirai station to the 1st floor of Queen’s Square, all the stores were still close, since it’s still a bit early for the mall to open. We took the escalator, I can sense that the area has a bit of elegance and glamour. The ambiance that surrounds the place was also relaxing as the mall is spacious when we reached the 1st floor. We walked a bit in the Queen’s Square, then we went outside towards Landmark Tower.
On the way to the 1st Floor of Queen’s Square
Outside Queen’s Square to Landmark Plaza
Mok Mok Wak Wak Yokohama Yo Yo
Between Queen’s Square and Landmark Plaza, we found a silver or chrome structural art. It is a magnificent roller-coaster-esque sculpture. As per map that I got, the structure is not only an art display, it has a purpose too. The art helps to break the wind tunnel that forms between the Landmark Tower and Queen’s Square Skyscrapers which still good to know. The public art is called Mok Mok Wak Wak Yokohama Yo Yo.
Queen’s Square (from Mok Mok Wak Wak Yokohama Yo Yo)
After spending time taking photos with the steel structure art called Mok Mok Wak Wak Yokohama Yo Yo, we walked in to the next mall called Landmark Plaza just beside Queen’s Square and based from the brochure that I got, the plaza is one of the most popular shopping complex in the city. Like the Queen’s Square mall, we just passed the mall too as all the shops are still closed. At the ground of the plaza, we spent time walking around the area and we took some souvenir photos because the mall has open space in the middle where it boast the elegant design of its floors up to the ceilings together with its pillars that supports the building. The mall is just beside the Landmark Tower.
Photos outside Landmark Plaza
Some photos inside Landmark Plaza
Entrance to Landmark Tower
During the trip, we thought that we can visit the tower later that day. Because of that, we decided to visit the tower as our last place to stop. But unfortunately, the day we spent it Yokohama was not really enough to see all the places recommended to visit. The opportunities we have in this tower was only to see it from the outside.
It was Saturday and our second day in Japan. I had my itinerary for that day but initially I was having second thoughts on the plan, it’s just that too many places that I wanted to see for a short period of time. But since I can’t decide of places that will replace the activity for the day, I ended up following the plan that I created which was to visit Yokohama.
Yokohama is the second largest city by population (according to Wikipedia) in Japan following Tokyo. I think one good reason of being one of the largest city aside from being near or beside Tokyo as its strategic location is also because the city is part where Tokyo Bay is located. Currently Tokyo Bay was heavily industrialized where a lot of development occurred and Yokohama progressed along with it.
Based on history, Yokohama tremendously affected by what Japan called Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and World War II bombings which impacted the development of the city.
Seeing the city with my very own eyes, if there are historical evidence of war in the place or ruins of earthquake, it may not be evident to the sights and places that we visited during the day trip. The whole day that myself and my family spent in Yokohama was indeed a worthy visit.
From Kayabacho Station, we took Tozai Line to Nihombashi Station, we transferred to Ginza Line to Shimbashi Station and from the same station we took JR Tokaido Line going to Yokohama Station. Around 10AM, we reached Yokohama Station, from the station we took Tokyu Toyoko Minatomirai Line which is a local train in Yokohama. We used the Passmo card in the local train.
We reached Minatomirai Station, we got off the station and we found ourselves inside the mall, wherein the Queen’s Square is just at the top of the station. I felt excited because it seems that there’s something exciting to discover in the city.
During our visit in the city, the places we saw in Yokohama were:
To be honest, one day was not enough to see everything in the city, seeing all the brochures that I got, there are more places that I wanted to enjoy and discover. I hope I can comeback again wherein time is not really a constraint.
After watching sumo tournament in Ryogoku Kokugikan, we spent some time in Akihabara to check what things can be seen in the famous place. From Ryogoku Station we took Chuo Line to Akihabara Station.
Near in Akihabara Station
My thoughts about Akihabara is a place of manga and anime. Where all the famous anime or cartoons from Japan can be seen. There are lots of stores selling anime character products such as posters, cards, video games, electronics and others. There are lots of computer game shops in the surrounding areas where not only accommodating for young but adult fanatics too, since it was evening when we arrived in Akihabara, we just had a limited time to stroll around the place. We went inside of one of the electronics mall named – Yodobashi-Akiba.
The mall has 9 floors and just spending time inside this mall will consume mostly of our time. We found a lot of electronic stuff inside the mall. As we entered the mall, the first things we saw are mobile phones, tablets and computers. Next, we continued to the 2nd floor where mostly are PC accessories and printers. We stop a bit in 3rd floor as I saw a lot of digital cameras, I was looking for different lenses for my Canon DSLR and wanting to buy one but I did not. We climbed again to the next floor which is 4th floor where we saw mostly music related products such as head phones, the last floor we visited was the 5th floor, even though there still up to 9th floor. At 5th floor, we saw a lot of household products. We’re almost wanted to buy things but we stop the idea as we knew the customs in my country where you will be tax heavily for the products bought outside the country. We just enjoyed looking at difference products displayed in the mall.
We felt hungry and decided to leave the mall and find a place to have our dinner. After our dinner, we decided to go home as it’s getting late and we concluded our day.
Random Angle (Post#1) : WAFI – Pyramids and Egyptian Themed Buildings
WAFI is one of the mall in Dubai that has unique exterior design of its building because it has EGYPTIAN theme architecture design. Because of my curiosity, I asked my college friend whom accompanied me in some nights while I was in Dubai, why WAFI has Egyptian style, and she told me that the owner of the mall are quite fascinated with Egyptian culture. It is one of the malls that I really like because I myself curious to understand the Egypt pyramids and the story behind it. Photo captured last August 2014.
View At My Window (Post#16) : Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
While wandering at Dubai Mall, we found a huge aquarium where people can go and explore it quite up close and personal without getting wet, I am referring to non other than Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. Photo captured last August 2014. People actually enjoy the aquarium for free from the outside though entering the tunnel has a fee.
View At My Window (Post#9) : Cafe’s at Marina Tower Ground
When I went to Abu Dhabi, one of the mall that I visited was Marina Mall which is located in Al Marina. The ambiance of the cafe’s surrounding Marina Tower were quite refreshing. Captured this photo last August 2014.
I captured this photo of Big Ben mall in Lipa City, Batangas in Philippines along Ayala Highway while inside the public jeep when we were on our way to Cuenca, Batangas for our Freedom Climb which happened in Mount Maculot last June 2009.
It was Tuesday, second day of training, I focus my mind in the training knowing that I am going to enjoy another night in Dubai. I met my friend in Burjuman metro interchange station. Then, we transferred to green line going to Etisalat and got off at Dubai Healthcare City station. From the station, we walked for few minutes until we reached the WAFI city mall.
According to my friend the owner of WAFI city are inspired in Egyptian culture, that is why WAFI city mall were designed with the touch of Egyptian architectural design. Comparing the number of people visiting WAFI and Dubai mall, there are big differences. When we visited WAFI city mall, there are few people inside, you can count people whom you can pass by. I am not sure if WAFI mall targeted few people as their customer. There are luxurious store you can find in that mall, one reason why it’s not popular to the general masses or maybe the problem is the location. I can’t really give it as serious thoughts. Even though there are few people visiting the mall, I enjoyed walking around WAFI, because same with the owner of WAFI City, I like the pyramid because of mystery surrounded by it, I felt that I traveled in Egypt.
Some external view of WAFI (above photos)
Some interior design you can find at WAFI (above photos)
Raffles Dubai (at night-time)
There is one interesting place inside WAFI city that I really like, it is “Khan Murjan” (based from the mall directory brochure that I got, Khan Murjan is the legendary 14th century souk in Baghdad which is a hub for travelers and artisans). You can see how unique the place is. And even the restaurant inside it, it’s definitely has Arabian culture spirit.
After taking more minutes in strolling in the mall, we had our dinner and we waited for the light and sound show. The show entitled “Returns of the Pharaohs” which shown across the Pyramids and the other Egyptian themed buildings in the Central Courtyard in WAFI city mall.
Khan Murjan (one of the authentic arabian experience market and restaurants)
Inside of Khan Murjan (above photos)
That night ended again with feel of accomplishment by seeing another part of Dubai.
It was Monday, first day of my training. Here I met my colleagues from Pakistan. Out of 18 people in the training, including our instructor, I am only the woman in the training. At first, it was surprising to me, and I just realized that all the other 16 attending the training, I am the only one from Manila and the rest of them are from Pakistan. After the training, I planned to meet my long time college friend at the hotel lobby and because of this I was not able to join my Pakistan mates that night. From the hotel, my friend and I walked to the nearest metro station (Sharaf DG station). I bought my NOL card (transportation card accepted in train, bus, and marine public transport) and then took the train going to Rashidiya. That was the first time I took train in Dubai, while on the train, I discovered and realized that it is true that there are lots of Filipinos in Dubai. Hearing people speaking my own language and looking at them, yes they are all Filipinos by words and by looks. I thought that I was riding MRT train in EDSA back home, but I am not, I am in Dubai, riding Dubai Metro train. After half an hour travel, we got off at Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station. We walked for a while until we reached Dubai Mall.
Dubai Mall Entrance from train station
We saw a lot in Dubai Mall. Dubai Mall is said to be the largest mall in the world in terms of total area. There are lots of signature and branded store you can find in this mall. After walking a while with my friend, I honestly told myself that I will easily get lost in this mall, too many stores, too many things to see and too many places to go. I definitely advised that people who will visit Dubai Mall required to get a map, but if you are adventurer, just enjoy being lost in the mall. Significant part of the mall that I found are: Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and Dubai Waterfall.
Before seeing Dubai Aquarium, I am wondering how big it is and after I saw it, the aquarium is bigger than 3 or 4 shopping stores inside the mall. You can walk inside the tunnel where the top of it is part of the aquarium. Next, we saw is the Dubai Waterfall, wherein it seems that the water fall starts from the top of the mall down to the ground level. One thing that this waterfall is interesting are human divers sculptures found in the entirety of the waterfall. At first, I thought those sculptures are like people flying in the air but to think about it, since it’s a waterfall, I realized that the structure are people who are diving from the top of the waterfall.
My friend and I continue our walk while talking, then we found the food court and had our dinner. After dinner, we went outside the mall to witness the famous dancing fountain at Dancing Fountain lake where Burj Khalifa is nearly located. Before the show, I enjoy observing Burj Khalifa tower, took a lot of photos and amazed how high the tower is. I am fascinated on the lightnings shining across the whole tower. Aside from the tower, another interesting building that I saw is the Souk Al Bahar just beside the Dubai mall. The show started and I watched it intently, though it’s a few minutes show, I still enjoyed it.
Burj Khalifa (top)
Burj Khalifa (ground)
Dancing Fountain Lake
Souk Al Bahar
Second night in Dubai was over with satisfaction of seeing part of Dubai even in just few hours.
I do not have so much stories about West Edmonton Mall during my visit on this place. But one thing reminds me about this mall, I thought at first, that people living in Edmonton does not like going to the mall, because I have this impression in malls in Edmonton City. For instance, Bay Mall and City Centre which are both located in downtown but it seems like a ghost town mall for me. Why? One reason – I found few people visiting this place.
To my surprise, when I went to West Edmonton Mall for the very first time, there were lots of people inside it. When I realized that, I tried to find out why. Before I able to answer my own question, I need to stroll inside the mall.First reason, West Edmonton Mall is really huge, based on information that I got, this mall used to be the largest mall in the world, but China built two huge malls, West Edmonton Mall are now the third largest mall in the world and largest mall in North America. Can someone imagine how big this mall is? What will be your reaction if you will find out that there is a beach like resort inside this mall? When I heard this, I was shocked. I cannot imagine a beach inside the mall. I knew I need to visit West Edmonton Mall.
One of inside view of the mall (This photo was cropped,
there is a big fish sculpture and I was inside it)
I visited West Edmonton Mall twice. The first one was just to stroll around the place but I never able to take photos that time because I was not comfortable and there are lots of people walking around the place. After strolling around, I decided to watch one of the scheduled shows. I watched sea lions show. This show was the second sea-lion show that I watched. The first one was the time I had a vacation in Singapore. I recorded a video of the show as my souvenir, I was entertained while watching it. I was fascinated by the people who controlled the sea lions. For me, it takes a lot of effort on their side to have a show with special animals. And I can say that it is one of the distinct talent of human. The show can be found at Sea Lions Rock at Deep Sea Adventure inside West Edmonton Mall.
Sea Lion at Sea Life Cavern
Photos above is place to watch a sea lion show
Bridge at Sea Life Cavern
After sea-lion show, I visit Sea Life Cavern, wherein I saw a lot of underwater species. And I enjoyed watching creatures such as fish, sharks, sting rays, penguin and reptiles. During the time I visited the place, their was ongoing presentation done by one of the crew and she was explaining something about reptile bone.
The second time I visited this huge mall was happened last June 7, 2008 – Saturday, last Saturday I spent in Edmonton. I toured the mall together with my buddy at work. This buddy of mine likes a sister to me. She is also a Filipina who migrated in Canada together with her all family. Since she was with me, I got a lot of chance to take pictures of famous spot of the mall. Honestly, I tried to find photos inside this mall without myself and to my surprise all pictures that I have in this mall I was there.
All the pictures that I have are memories of this huge mall. Here are some of the famous place to be found inside West Edmonton Mall: Ice Palace, World Waterpark, Deep Sea Adventure and Professors Wem’s Adventure Golf. I also found the Chinatown place, The Galaxyland Amusement Park and Bourbon Street.
Ice Palace is a place to watch hockey game. When I visited this part of the mall, there are young kids (both guys and gals) were playing.
I never tried to get inside “The Galaxyland Amusement Park” since I am too old to play in this place.
World Waterpark is the indoor beach-like resort where you can swim and just enjoy water. I actually like the slides built beside the resort. This resort has man-made waves wherein you will feel like you are totally in a beach. Edmonton has no beach because it is surrounded by land areas and this is the right place if you want to enjoy the beach like atmosphere. The people who enjoy the place are also the same people who enjoy the beach outside. They just either stay beside the water and enjoy the sun rays passing the glass ceilings of water park.
Inside World Waterpark
Parking beside Waterpark
I also found a bungee jump beside the world water park. I had fun watching the kids enjoying the jump. Next, we found the Deep Sea Adventure wherein I saw Santa Maria – a sea fleet with exact replica of Christoper Columbus Santa Maria. For me its a real classic boat. I also found some people who dine at the docking area of the fleet. Well, it is indeed quite cute for me as a place for a dating with someone.
Christpher Columbus Santa Maria fleet replica
My buddy and I continued strolling around the place until we found an awesome golf course place, Professors Wem’s Adventure Golf. This golf course is a mini golf course with lot of small areas to allow different players to play golf.
Professors Wem’s Adventure Golf
Chinatown is a place for Chinese restaurants and stores. While Bourbon Street is a place mostly for western restaurants and diners.
There were lots of things I saw in this mall and I did enjoy strolling around the place. But for someone who really wanted to explore the place, one day is not enough. Before I forgot, I also found the Fantasyland Hotel wherein I saw an architectural design which similar to Europe.
That is all I have to say about West Edmonton Mall.