About

Your camera-shy, train-loving blogger, at the helm of an N700 Series Shinkansen train simulator in Japan. And yes, I value my privacy – hence the pixellated cloud where my head should be.

Diego Coruña, at your service.

That’s not my real name, by the way. It’s just a pen name I use on the interwebs. 😉

Needless to say, I love getting out and about once in a while. I’ve ventured outside the country as a child, but the first trip that sparked my interest in seeing more of the world was a 2007 visit to Singapore. Two years later, I set off on a journey across central Japan: the very first holiday that I planned on my own, booked independently, and paid for out of my own pocket (i.e., not parent-funded). From then on, Japan has consistently remained my favourite destination – I’ve visited all 4 main islands, all 8 regions, all 47 prefectures – and travel has remained my best-loved hobby.

What’s my job, you ask? Let’s not talk about what I do for a living. “Work” begins and ends at the company doorstep, and I’m quite firm about switching off from all office matters after clocking out. That’s especially true when I’m on holiday!

Now then, what else? Let’s throw out a few odds and ends: I’m from the Philippines, I don’t like seafood, I’m a history buff, I’m a railfan (with a particular interest in Japanese trains), I dip into anime and manga from time to time, I almost never take selfies, and … mmm, that’ll do for the moment.

Where have you been?

Here and there, but not exactly around the world. I’ve settled into a comfortable habit of regularly visiting just two countries in particular (more on that below), so my been-there-done-that list doesn’t so much grow longer as it gets top-heavy.

A long time ago, I resolved to visit at least one new country each year. I’ve since thrown out that resolution and these days, I travel to whatever country I feel like visiting, whether I’ve been there or not. On any given year, that means – at a minimum – travelling to both Japan and Korea: two countries I’ve fallen head over heels in love with and try to visit at least once or twice (each) annually.

I wasn’t much of a travel blogger before 2013, but you’ll see bits and pieces of previous trips on my anime blog (more specifically under the Travelogues tab). The very first journey I wrote about from start to finish was my 2013 trip to Japan, which you can find right here.

What’s your travel style?

Here’s a summary of my habits and preferences as a traveller.

Solo. I’m a natural loner. I function best when I travel unaccompanied.

Selective. I’m not the sort of traveller who will carpet-bomb an entire continent with “Hey I Was Here!” markers. Given that my time and resources are both limited, I focus narrowly on places that best suit my interests.

Repetitive. If I fall in love with a destination, I’d happily go back again and again. Japan was the first country to tug at my heartstrings strongly enough to warrant an annual return visit, and Korea has now earned that same distinction.

Moderate (in terms of cost). Better than bare-bones, less than luxurious. For example, whenever I’m in Japan, I tend to avoid hostels on the one hand and high-end ryokan on the other, preferring the mid-range compromise of the Japanese business hotel.

Non-adventurous. I like places with reliable transportation, low crime rates, and Catholic churches (can’t skip Mass on Sundays!). What can I say: I’m an introverted, nightlife-avoiding, non-beachgoing chap who enjoys order, cleanliness, and strict-to-the-second train timetables. Is it any wonder I visit Japan so often? *haha*

(Mostly) selfie-free. I find faceless pictures far better than selfies for reliving favourite moments from my past journeys. After all, I collect memories by looking out at the world around me – not by looking back at myself!

Why does your blog have two names?

You may be wondering why the blog header is WITHIN STRIKING DISTANCE, when the address is ITTEKURU.COM. Short answer: “Within Striking Distance” is the blog name and “ittekuru.com” is just the URL that gets you here. 🙂

Long answer: I started writing this travel blog under the title “Within Striking Distance”. That was also the basis for its original WordPress address (withinstrikingdistance.wordpress.com), which you’ll continue to see sprinkled around as links or as the label on the lower part of my pictures. (It’s still a perfectly functional address; everything just gets redirected automatically.)

Nearly seven years after my first post, I decided to give this place a custom domain. Having mulled over various options, I settled on “ittekuru” (行って来る; lit., “go and come back”), which is a very casual way of saying “I’m off!” or “I’m stepping out for a bit!” to one’s family in Japanese. Short, sweet, and dovetails neatly with the travel theme of this blog. (Never mind that my holidays tend to last a bit longer than the day I’d spend at work or the hour I’d spend at the shops, which is the sort of thing this expression tends to be used for!)

7 responses to “About

  1. Only one idiot to worry about X)) … I love it.
    In my younger years I’ve been to Canada, packed my stuff, backpack, equipment well organized, went away, with no talk obligation or communication-pressure. If I wanted I didn’t have to react to any body. What a relaxing experience. To be left in peace! But in Canada I’ve met my soon-to-be wife also, she’s Japanese, and we travelled together ever since. Good for me, she’s also the quiet type and loves to enjoy nature without constant chatter.

    • Hello, and thanks for stopping by.

      Canada, hmm … that brings back memories. I was there a few years ago, travelling with family, but it does strike me as the sort of place that could make for a very rewarding solo trip. Lots of nature, lots of space to get lost in (not permanently, one hopes). And to have met your future wife there – now that’s extra special. (^_^)

      A very happy Christmas and New Year to you and your loved ones.

      • …to you, too. Thank you.
        PS: The Bowron Lake Canoe tour is a nice area to get lost and reappear (with a relatively high chance of surviving ;)…

  2. Sworn enemy of selfies 😂 refreshing stuff. Rare breed in the blogsphere. I love Japan travel and came across your blog on the reader. Beautiful captions!!!!

    • Half in jest, of course. 🙂 But yeah, I’m not overly fond of spoiling all the fantastic landscapes I’ve seen by dropping my face into the picture, haha.

      That reminds me of my very first trip to Japan, back in 2009: I came home with about 3,000 pictures, exactly TWO of which had me in them, neither of which was a selfie or even something I asked for. (On both occasions, I’d been requested to take someone else’s photograph and they offered to do the same for me; didn’t think it polite to refuse.)

      Cheers and thanks for stopping by!

  3. Research on Busan led me to your site. Good read. Proud of you, Kababayan. Keep it up! More Korea stories please.

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