Saturday, April 11, 2015

[Day1] Springtime in Tokyo!

What do you expect if you plan your trip for a short period of time especially during holy week, in time for cherry blossoms and to a country in demand to most Pinoys today, Japan! Urgggg of course higher rates, from airfare to hotel booking.

We waited for two weeks to get at least the cheapest fare, but I don’t recommend this route. Most of the flights were already full and very expensive, so we booked with a stopover in Cebu (departure only). Yep, it's the cheapest that time but it's very tiring and you can't get enough sleep. During my first trip I only spent PHP 6,000, but this time it cost us around PHP 22,000 round trip fare to Narita, hindi ko pa din matanggap. But God is good; my friends’ niece accommodated us since we can’t get available room in Hostels, even capsules around the city for females are fully booked. The place is located in Saitama, northern part of Tokyo but it will take only 30mins. by trains going to the city.



VISA APPLICATION

Requirements: Click here

Visa Fee: Gratis (Free)

Visa Processing: 5 Days

List of Accredited Travel Agencies: Click here

We applied through Reli Tours, I guess they offer the cheapest service fee for P1,200.00. And base on experience and hearsays, they offer single entry for first timers. Though there are some fortunate who were given multiple visa even for the first time. Last year, friends who have been to Japan were given a 3 year multiple entry but now they are more relax giving up to 5 years. Wow, and that includes us!  Thank you Japan, we were surprised and will surely go back.

A short trip, while its holiday in my country. It’s not our first time to experience Cherry Blossoms but it’s been a dream to see Sakuras in Japan! Well there’s also a perk booking a month before coz you had an idea when they will bloom. Every year the blooming time of cherry trees differs depending on the weather but typically it takes place in early April in major cities like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. The Cherry Blossom season takes only a week or two, even shorter if there’s a strong wind and rain.


Aside from checking the Sakura forecasts, please do check the weather during your trip. Since we came from a tropical country, we have to be ready with what to wear. And for this trip, we only had 1 sunny day and the rest is cloudy and rainy. Weather ranges from 16 c average during day time and it drop to below 10 c during night time, it was freezing so be ready with your layers, jacket, beanies, scarves and umbrella.


And for a less hassle and according to some, it is better to exchange your peso to Yen here in Manila. You can check Sanrys, Tivoli and BDO rates. I brought JPY 50,000 that’s about 18,600 in Peso, enough for a 5day (4 whole day) trip with Daiso goods and pasalubong na yan. Expenses for the whole trip are already computed and this budget does not include our Fuji tour and Disneyland ticket since we paid it thru credit card in advance.


We have a 12mn flight, last day of work and surprisingly there’s no traffic so we arrived early at Terminal 4 around 8pm. It was year 2006 when I last came here and I’m happy to see the changes, improving, more food stalls and comfortable seats. And the best thing is, no queues at this time.


An Air Asia carrier supporting Manny Pacquiao for his fight with Floyd Mayweather.

Arrived Cebu past 1 in the morning, there’s a miscommunication between Manila and Cebu staff handling our luggages. Then a not so comfortable airport to sleep in if you have a 6 am flight. The good thing is it’s not crowded compared to Manila, which is sure to be chaotic during holiday season.


But still, thanks to Cebu Pacific for no delayed flights here and in Manila. 




After a 5 hour journey, that white snow capped mountain greeted us. We were seated on the left side of the plane so we are fortunate to see Mt. Fuji on a sunny and clear weather.



Ohayo from Japan!



Headed to Basement 1 to get our ticket to Tokyo thru Kensei Narita Sky Access Exp. One way trip cost Y940 and it's a 35min travel, one more transfer before we reach Minami-Urawa. When commuting with luggages, check the stations with elevators or escalators.  Avoid the busiest stations and get the easiest route, no transfers as much as possible if not get the lesser one. By the way, these websites makes my life easier in planning this trip. Thanks to Google map, japan-guide.com and Hyperdia. Japan is a super tourist friendly, providing websites like these. So going around, my itinerary was based on Hyperdia it is a service which offers the route and timetable of the railway and aviation within Japan. You actually don’t need a tour guide to explore. When you get lost, Japanese are very friendly so don’t hesitate to ask. Even if there’s a language barrier they will try their best to be of help.



Look for the sign above as you might get confuse which way to go. It’s just right after the counter and the ticket barrier, turn left and go down the track to your right. Check your time in the ticket before getting in the train, you might be too early and get on the wrong train. 

First time to see a Family Mart vending machine, how cool!



Loaded our Suica card, we need this to pay fares on public transportations. Suica Card is a prepaid IC card for trains in Greater Tokyo. You can also make payments in vending machines, shops and restaurants by simply touching the card on a reader.



After two transfers we finally made it, we didn’t get lost. It was already 2 in the afternoon and we were so hungry. Bought this waffle (Y65) at a nearby convenience store inside the station while waiting for Mars sister and niece. It taste good ha, I forgot to buy more before heading back to Manila.



Chihiro’s apartment is just 10mins. walk from the station, but since we have luggages we just took a cab and paid Y1,000 for a 3min. ride.



After freshening up, we hurriedly go back to the station to eat. It excites us to see this bunch of trees on the way; even want to take photos sana but super hungry na talaga.



I took this while walking hehe... pasimple.



Finally! FOOD! we love vending machines in Japan you can find it everywhere. Have you ever tried it? They call this "Shokken" in Japanese, "Shoku" means food and "Ken" means a ticket. Though it's written only in Japanese, travelers I guess can choose the button with pictures unless you can read Japanese. First, decide what you want to eat, insert the money, then choose from the lighted buttons, press it then the ticket will come out. Show it to the counter so they can prepare the order, after a minute or two your order is ready! How cool, past and yummy! Buhay na ulit kami hehe... If you're on a budget you must try this, it will cost you a hundred to about Y800. 



It was freezing and getting dark na when we reached the city, so we skip Ueno Park and Odaiba. Went to Harajuku instead, just for Daiso!!! We love Daiso hehehe... it's a 3 or 4 storey bldg. and one of the largest 100 Yen store in Central Tokyo. It is located only a few steps from the station along Takeshita Dori. Dito lang kami sa mura hehe if P88.00 or P66.00 sa atin, dito lumalabas mga 42.00 lang.



This cuteee manhole cover captures my attention. 



Done shopping around 9, then had dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express. Food was great, though it's expensive not knowing that this restaurant is popular pala


Going back home, groggy na almost awake for 24 hours. And to cap the night off, a visit to 711 or any convenience stores is a must before heading home. #midnightsnack 


2 comments:

  1. Nice one ebolash! It made me miss tokyo now :( Post more tokyo blogs pa, theres more to post especially the GONPANCHI "killbill restaurant" hahaha

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    Replies
    1. Arigatou baklush, wanna go back soon! lezgo hehe....

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