Japan has been in my forever “FcukitList” and never crossed my mind that I would visit it, THIS SOON. Yes, I’ve been on some countries in Asia, but Japan has always been that oh-so-expensive first world trip. I love their food, their culture, the people, the respect and humility they have, Disneyland, Sakura, railways and the weather. Phew, that was long! In short, I love everything JAPAN-ese.
It all began when Cebu Pacific Air had their 25 cents (USD 0.01) seat sale last June 2015 for all domestic and international flights. Top of my list are Korea and Japan, luckily, I was able to book a multi-city flights to Japan (MNL-Kansai-Narita-MNL), yeehaa! There were no available sale flights on my chosen dates for Korea, maybe it’s really meant to be.
It is always March and September we book trips, 6 months interval for savings and enough time to finalize our DIY itinerary. March- our anniversary and Cyd’s (Fiancé ♥) birthday, and September, my birthday.
Our trip itinerary wasn’t finalized not until a week before our trip. This was because, 1) we were too busy at work, 2) there are so many places to see, things to do, and food trips in Japan, 3) VISA application, 4) SAVINGS. We really did save for this trip and it is indeed one of the most expensive country we’ve visited- next is SG.
Visa application was quick and smooth. We didn’t encountered problems with Reli Travel and Tours. They even released our visa within 2 days. Check my Japan Visa application for Filipinos post here. 🙂
These are the links and blogs that helped us most in finalizing our itinerary:
Looking for a place to stay is not that easy as it may sound. We need to consider the distance and location of the accommodation as well as the price. In Kansai (Osaka), we booked a traditional Japanese Airbnb to feel the Japanese vibe, and in Tokyo, we stayed at APA Hotel Kanda Jimbocho Eki- Higashi via Agoda. Both accommodations are near subways, so it is indeed a great choice.
TIP: Check reviews on tripadvisor and current photos for guidance; Book in advance to get the best deal. In Agoda, you have an option to book and “pay later” that you can cancel anytime if you decided to stay on a different hotel.
The weather, oh booyy,, it was really cold! Since it’s March, it is the transition from winter to spring, cold breeze and a handful of rainfalls. Good thing that our Osaka host has provided us a heater, otherwise, it’s gonna be a looooong chilly night. Average weather during our stay is between 1 to 7 degrees. Hindi kami sanay since in the Philippines it is very hot and humid.
TIP: http://www.accuweather.com/ is the one were using, so far so good 🙂 Check once in a while to get the most updated forecast.
Transportation, everything is accessible via railway, subway and private JR lines. In Kansai Area, we purchased the Kansai Thru 3-day Pass for JPY5200, roughly Php2176. A good deal if you’re planning to explore Osaka-Nara-Kyoto-Kobe and more using the local Subway and some buses. Train tickets are expensive since most of the areas are accessible via fast trains, average fare JPY100-200.
In Tokyo, we chose the SUICA card, a reloadable tap card, like the current beep card were using. SUICA card costs JPY2000, JPY500 deposit (which you can’t use and will be reimbursed after you surrender the card) and JPY1500 ready to use credits. Most of the lines are accepts SUICA including JR lines and Subways.
TIP: Get the updated train map on the stations for guidance and ask the operating hours.
In my opinion, unlike Hong Kong, Japanese trains are faster, more accurate, more lines and cleaner. Hindi siksikan and lesser train intervals, 2 minutes average. In here people are not nagsisiksikan on the trains, if they saw na hindi na sila kasya, they just wait for the next train.
There you go, my steps in creating our own DIY itinerary. On my next posts, I’ll be sharing my detailed DIY Trip itinerary and Expenses, so stay tuned! 🙂