Everything Japanese

In celebration of friendship, I have decided to revisit an article I wrote in my other blog. You see, just a few days ago, two of my closest girlfriends have called in a ‘truce’ (hopefully this was the right term to use). I was so happy that it helped me re-evaluate my recent dilemma. Sometimes, all you need is a little brush of positivity and everything else will follow. In this case, thank God for great friends who never give up on each other despite the silence.

Anyway, I was trying to recall when I was last seen hanging out with my girlfriends when I was forced to go back to old entries which I admit I do not want to remember. It turned out that it has been two (long) years which somehow violated our promised ritual to bond and try something new, most especially when a member of the group comes home from which ever part of the globe her feet have taken her. So, two years ago, our theme was everything Japanese.

Yey with two of my Umang girlfriends, Ceara and Icholle

I remembered that after too much deliberation as to what time we were supposed to meet and which place to hang out in, Patty finally suggested to make our first stop at Tadakuma – a quaint Japanese restaurant located in Jacinto Street, just across Davao Banko Sentral Complex. It was really ironic that we have allowed her to decide when she was only with us for three minutes. Back then, she was still connected with a certain BPO company  which almost sucked the life out of her; (Thankfully, she resigned before her work can murder her) which was the reason then as to why she could not join the group.

Anyhow, I am glad to note that we let her decide for us that night because Tadakuma’s service was personable and prompt enough. I commented then that the menu could have been improved by not just showing the photos of the food (because my girlfriends and I ended up pointing at them and saying ‘What’s this?’ and ‘I want this and that.’) and I am wondering if there were changes by now. After all, it has been two years. My further attack on the menu included the availability of the prices. If the prices were included in the first few pages of the menu, there shouldn’t be a reason not to include the prices of the food in the last few pages of the menu. I found the inconsistency weird as I always thought that the Japanese were so specific about the details, noting that the restaurant bragged of being Japanese-owned.

japanese food

As for the food, the portions were quite ample even though the food server claimed that the serving per order is good for one person only and choc-full of flavor; so I guess the price was practical enough. We were finally kicked out at 10:00pm. We were quite disappointed to hear them close early as we were wrongly informed (by the same food server) that they usually closed at 1:00am. We were then too tired to argue so we paid them and scurried off to our next itinerary – relaxation time.

Although, I spent most of my growing up years in Davao City, I have not been in my hometown for quite sometime. I completely relied on my friends to point me to the most interesting places. Initially, I went with the flow of the activities; however, later in the night, I was able to convince them not to go to their usual place but to a new place which another friend manages. This other friend had been telling me about the spa for the nth time so when our cab passed by the area, I then suggested that we try it out. The place was called Japanese Zen Oriental Spa, just along Quirino Avenue.

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I chose the Japanese Hot Stone Therapy while Ceara and Icholle decided on the spa’s signature massage that was called Hoshino Therapy. Both types of massage were supposed to last for an hour and a half only but mine went beyond two hours to my delight. I have always been curious about trying the popular hot stone therapy but was too scared to do it but since I vowed to myself that 2011 was the year to make things happen, I thought to myself, “To hell with this silly fear over a massage and be done with it.” It was worth it and that massage was long overdue. I thought then that I should have had that back in September 2010 when the ex ditched me for another woman.

As for my friends’ Hoshino Therapy, I could not really speak for them but after relaying the general note of being being indecently exposed and the steam bed not hitting the right spot, the spa was quick to address these issues. An intensive retraining of the staff and  an immediate replacement of the steam equipment were done in order to avoid similar concerns in the future. Kudos to management for responding accordingly.

Japanes Zen Oriental Spa Davao
The spa offered several services from body to foot, including nail and facial care. All for the reasonable price between PhP250-480. Not bad, right? Besides, this included free Japanese food. Yes, complimentary food was served and not just the usual hot or cold tea. There is a variety you can choose from, depending on which day of the week you will decide to visit the place. My suggestion is to visit the spa with an empty stomach because you will be served a full meal afterwards. Since my girlfriends and I were full (we had dinner first before the massage which was a bad idea), we were not able to enjoy everything they offered. Oh but the joy that freebies bring!

Another thing I loved about the place was, the locker and shower rooms. Small businesses like this do not usually have one and that was why I was really surprised to be shown the way. We were given ample time to change and shower, as well as, handed with crisp clean towels which I truly appreciated because I have been to other establishments before that would just use ratty old towels (and linen might I add) which usually smelled of the previous clients. Sanitation rating of Japanese Zen Oriental Spa – very good!

Again, we were the last to leave another establishment that night. This time though, we were not shooed away but the hostess of the spa, who also happened to be my friend, was gracious enough to accommodate us and made sure that our experience will be as note-worthy as possible.

(Take note that this was back in 2011, I’m not certain as to how much the prices are now or if the freebies I have broadcasted were still being offered. Try dropping by the establishment which is conveniently located in the city’s central area; I’m sure the visit will be worth the time.)

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