Sunday, December 30, 2018

Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun


Japan is this year’s talk of the town. People are crazy about Japan’s Sakura in springtime and picturesque view in autumn. I am one with my desire to visit Japan and see it for myself, and so my Japan journey began.

True enough, the company of friends you will be traveling with is so essential in making your trip memorable. At this point in time, I am traveling with close friends, of course via Philippine Airlines.

Pre- Trip Requirements:
  1. Visa for Japan (which cost Php2000 per head but if you are able to avail any promo especially during International travel festival, you can avail it for a lesser price. Ours is Php 500 per head)
  2. Plane ticket. Philippine Airlines, the heart of the Filipinos travel to Kansai directly from Mactan Cebu for four hours. It serves 1 meal and unlimited wine plus their PAL player which gives you entertainment while flying.
  3. Check for Klook’s tour packages especially for Temple tour, Universal Studio, Disneyland and Sea packages, Mt. Fuji and a lot more to avail of special promos.
  4. Book a hotel or Airbnb for convenience.
  5. Check for weather forecast when traveling to Japan so you can bring clothes conducive to its respective weather.
  6. Bring Japanese Yen for you to be able to purchase train passes or you can also buy it at the airport.
At Mabuhay Lounge of Cebu Mactan International Airport
At Mabuhay Lounge of Cebu Mactan International Airport


***Miscellaneous needs:

* Upon arrival in Japan, we right away look for WiFi device. And just across the currency exchange station, we were able to see the Ninja Wifi Station which cost 1200 per day with unlimited data for 6 devices.

* Download Japan Travel for real-time route schedules of the train and its respective schedule and station.

* Download Google translates as most of the Japanese cannot understand or speak English. You can use the google translate to let them listen to the translation.


From Kansai Airport, we traveled almost 30 minutes to reach to Imamiya station as that is where our home in Osaka will be.

Our Airbnb place is a small but very clean place which gives a fusion of a Japanese and modern design of a condo unit.

It’s fully furnished that allows us to cook, wash our clothes and gives us the option to the air-conditioner or heater.

**Tips:

* To save for food and water: Buy your food at 7/11 or Family Mart


#WhenInOsaka

Our first day in Osaka was spent in Universal Studios. We had booked our tickets ahead thru online:

Universal Japan- Php 3,654.00 per head.


It was my happiest day. I was able to unleash the child in me. I watched the Christmas parade where the minions, hello kitty and snowman were part of it.
With my favorite cartoon character
Universal Studio- Osaka, Japan


Universal Studio- Osaka, Japan

I tried the Harry Potter 4d and tried it even twice! This is my favorite ride! I achieved flying with Harry Potter and I was able to experience what it feels like to be in Hogwarts. 😊

Harry Potter in Universal Studios - Osaka


Harry Potter in Universal Studios - Osaka
Harry Potter in Universal Studios - Osaka


You can also purchase a pasma pass for discounted rates of your train pass.

Buying a train pass

Food inside universal is quite expensive but what do you expect?! But since you are already there, there is no other way but seize the day!

 With my Japan travel buddies

 Amazed with the Harry Potter Village

Busy posting pictures at Hogwarts


Try everything you can and maximize this chance!

At Dotonbori for dinner

At Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan

At Dotonbori, you will have a wide array of options of authentic Japanese food to choose from like Takoyaki, Sushi, Ramen and a lot more.



We had dinner in Ichiran- Dotonbori. The best part was trying their best Ramen that makes the waiting in a long line worthwhile.

At Imamiya Train Station

2nd day: Temple Tour in Kyoto

Since we have been rejected with our Temple Tour packages, we made it a DIY tour. The night before we researched and prepared the information on the location and the fare and how to get there for us to have our own tour. With no regrets, we were able to make the most of our time. We enjoyed taking a lot of pictures of the beautiful scenery of autumn in Kyoto.


At the crossing... on our way to Kyoto Imperial Pala


Kyoto Imperial Palace
Sakura in Kyoto, Japan

Autumn in Japan

Autumn in Kyoto

Enjoying Kyoto at its best during autumn

My passion

Kuya Rico and Ate Beth at their 10th year anniversary in Kyoto

My travel buddies

With my favorite gals

Fushimi- Inari

At Fushimi Inari
At Fushimi Inari

 At Fushimi Inari

At Fushimi Inari

At Fushimi Inari

At Fushimi Inari

At Fushimi Inari

At Fushimi Inari
Kiyomizu-dera Temple

At the train going to Kyoto
3rd day: Flight to Tokyo

We decided to take an hour flight to Tokyo/ Haneda for Php 3,869.00 instead of taking the Shinkansen for Php7000 per head. We stayed in Kawasaki-Ku which is just 15-20 minutes away from Shibuya.

Our flight was 7am and we arrived in Haneda Airport at 8pm then went directly to Kawasaki. We left our things and we went out to Shibuya to see the statue of Hachiko and to experience the big famous crossing: Shibuya crossing.
Then, we searched for Ichiran Ramen along Shibuya to comfort us from the long, tiring but fun day!
At Hachiku statue in Shibuya

The Shibuya crossing
 
At Sensoji Temple in Tokyo
At Sensoji Temple in Tokyo


At Sensoji Temple in Tokyo


At Sensoji Temple in Tokyo


At Sensoji Temple in Tokyo

This was also the day when we had our shopping at Don Quixote, the famous 24-hour pasalubong - shopping center of Tokyo. We bought Japanese chocolates, chips, and other Japanese stuff… tax-free, of course!

Kawasaki neighborhood

This is were we stayed in Kawasaki


The next day, we went to Yokohama, we tried to go out there on our own trying to make our way to the big city hoping we will not be lost.

Yokohama Park 

Yokohama Park

Yokohama Park

Yokohama Park

Yokohama Park

Yokohama Park

Yokohama Park

Yokohama Park

Yokohama Park

Yokohama Park
Japan is a beautiful country with disciplined people. The tidy restrooms, the systematic and very advanced subway vividly emblazoned the admirable values of the Japanese people.


Their minimalistic and simple way of living is blatantly seen through their way of life. I have seen them meticulously studying how their government takes care of their people from their children whom they teach independence and love for their country to the growing young adults that would be making a difference in Japan and to the whole world.



Breakdown of expenses per person

Airbnb Osaka-2,981.01
Temple tour- 2,791.00
Universal Japan- 3,654.00
Osaka-Haneda- 3,869.00
TOTAL- 13,295.01/HEAD






Care to share your thoughts!