Every July, the Eiga Sai draws Japanophiles, film buffs and any curious lot to Shangri-La Cineplex. For the uninitiated, the Eiga Sai is an annual film festival showcasing critically acclaimed (and sometimes commercially successful) Japanese films. Co-organized by the Japan Foundation Manila and the Japanese embassy,  the festival foregrounds the Philippine-Japanese Friendship Month, when a host of Japanese-themed activities are held around Metro Manila.

This year the festival, which will run from July 3 to 13, will showcase films such as Homeland, REUNION and Until The Break Of Dawn. Admission to the Eiga Sai is free but tickets, which run out fast, are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.

So to celebrate all things Japanese, Maebel and I did a Japanese-themed photo shoot at Little Tokyo, a little part of Pasong Tamo in Makati, where a miniature version of Japan has sprouted up. It’s actually a cluster of restaurants around a small open area where diners can sample the culinary delights from the Land of the Rising Sun.

The compound is made possible by the presence of a sizable population of Japanese expats in the area, and because the restaurants themselves are owned by Japanese businessmen, fans have raved about the authenticity of the food. Of course, as with any Japanese restaurants, prices are on the high side, but you’re paying for ambience and quality, anyway.

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A special arigato gozaimasu to Seryna, Hana, Kagura and Nodasho restaurants for letting us shoot away.


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