Friday, May 23, 2014

Tokyo-Fuji DIY Trip Overview

Got a 75% discounted ticket from Cebu Pacific which roughly ended me paying 10,000+ PHP for a roundtrip ticket to Tokyo from Manila. Not so bad considering the usual ticket there would cost 20K PHP roundtrip. Sadly I was not able to get the piso fare which could have summed up to only 6KPHP roundtrip. Anyway, I am still thankful that I was able to book at a cheaper rate.Thank you Cebu Pacific for making every Juan fly. 

Booked a flight from Friday 5:25AM to Wednesday 11:45AM, which sums up to about a full 5.5 days in Japan. Since a full 5.5 travel itinerary won't fit into a single entry, I will be posting a more in depth per day entry soon. This entry will serve as a summary for those who needs a quick overview. Luckily May is a relatively good month, not too cold nor hot. It did not rain until our departure date, and flowers were at their full bloom. Lucky us. For a quick visual view of this trip, check out a video my sister created. I love it to bits! hahaha

Overall budget vs expenses:Roughly if you have about 60,000 jpy as pocket money, you should be able to live comfortably. Minus the extensive shopping, hotel, airfare. So if add of those up, a budget Japan trip should cost about 60,000+ PHP in total.

Reminders/tips:
1. Make use of the Skyliner S train to get from the airport to the Tokyo city proper. Costs 4500 jpy two way. Buy this ticket from the airport.
2. If you plan to go around the city much, purchase the 3-4 day unlimited pass to your train of choice. For us we used Tokyo metro and paid 1500 jpy for 3 days pass.
3. Do not speak loudly especially in enclosed places like the train. I learned this the hard way.
4. Stay on the left lane (escalator) when you are not in a hurry.
5. Not every person wearing a costume would agree to take a photo with you.
6. Make sure to have useful train navigation apps like Navitime to help you understand the tokyo train system.
7. There is free wifi for almost the whole of tokyo. But in case you are feeling rich and secure, you may opt to rent a wifi device at the airport and get LTE everywhere you go. Ours cost 1290 jpy per day.
8. Japanese people are friendly but they don't really speak english unless needed to. It helps to have a translator app or a friend who can speak Japanese.
9. Transportation leaves at the time indicated. Minutes are precise. Be 10 mins early before your planned trip and avoid hassles.
10. You will be overwhelmed with the places to visit and food to try. Do not fret or stress out. Just do what you can and just go back again. 

Random stuff

Itinerary:
Day 1: Flight to Tokyo. Ginza shopping. Roppongi hills observatory. Don Quijote.
Day 2: Kagurazaka to Idabashi Walking Tour. Buy Kawaguchiko highway bus. Artnia. Kiddyland. Harajuku.
Day 3:  Asakusa Sanjo Festival. Akihabara Maid Cafe and toy hunt. Shibuya Crossing and Hajiko.
Day 4: Transit to Kawaguchiko. Shibazakura Festival. 
Day 5: Music Forest. Transit to Tokyo. Shinjuku. Ichiran Ramen.
Day 6: Tsukiji Market. Yamazaki sushi. Flight to Manila.

Accommodations:
1. [TOKYO] Smile Hotel Nihonbashi 
Smile Hotel
    Address: 2-13-5, NIHOMBASHI-KAYABACHO, CHUO-KU, TOKYO 103-0025, JAPAN       
    Telephone: 03-3668-7711
    Website: http://www.smile-hotels.com/english.php
    Feedback: Used hotels.com to avail of the 32% discount. Was able to book a room with 2 
    single beds just for P4,060.18 a night. Amazing location, its just a 2 mins away from the   
    Tokyo Metro. Clean and complete facilities. They have several branches across Japan. Will 
    book with this hotel again.
2. [FUJI] Guesthouse Sakuya 
Sakuya Guesthouse
    Address: 2526 Ohishi Fujikawaguchikomachi Yamanashi,Japan 
    Telephone: 0555-76-7887
    Website: http://www.kawaguchiko.ne.jp/~sakuya/plan.html
    Feedback: My favorite part of this trip. Booked the japanese room, slept at the floor. Tried 
    the onsen. Wore yukata. Paid 5000JPY (2,200 php) per night/person. Loved the host, he 
    speaks english and very welcoming. Appears to be a family run business. Makes me love 
    them more. Will definitely come back to Japan just to stay here again.

Places I've eaten at:
This is to give you an idea on the prices of the food there.
Snapshots of the different food I have tried
1. Doutor - sandwich/cafe place at the Narita airport. Grabbed a smoked salmon sandwich. 410 jpy.
2. Ginza Red Bean bakery - at Ginza. bought some red bean bread for 150 jpy.
3. Chapeau Margugo - fancy wine restaurant at Roppongi hills. Ate their catch of the day. 1200 jpy.
4. Creme de la Creme - at Roppongi hills. tried their saucy cream puff. yummy. 291 jpy.
5. Kajin -  at Shinkuju station. Tried their omurice set. 1280 jpy.
6. Idabashi Red Bean - at Idabashi. tried their rare red bean bread for 226 jpy.
7. Artnia - at Higashi Shinjuku. Tried their strawberry pancake for 980 jpy.
8. Takoyaki by Harajuku street - yummy but not a whole octopus. 550 jpy.
9. Eggs and Things - somewhere in Harajuku. ate a salad for 750 jpy.
10. Pancake with red bean - at Asakusa Sanjo Festival. 300 jpy.
11. Sticky cake on a stick - at Asakusa Sanjo Festival. 120 jpy.
12. Maid cafe - at Akihabara. 2840 jpy.
13. Beard papa - at Akihabara. tried their green tea cream puff. 210 jpy.
14. Okonomiyaki - at Shibuya. 920 jpy.
15. Instant noodles - at Newday Shinjuku. 431 jpy.
16. Yakisoba - at shibazakura festival. 600 jpy.
17. Mini chicken - at shibazakura festival. 400 jpy.
18. Popped chestnuts - at shibazakura festival. 1080 jpy.
19. Dinner at Sakuya Guesthouse - 800 jpy.
20. Breakfast at Sakuya Guesthouse - 700 jpy.
21. Fuji Q lunch - seaweed ramen. 1030 jpy.
22. Fuji Q takoyaki - 520 jpy.
23. Ichiran Ramen - at shinjuku. 1500 jpy.
24. Yamazaki sushi - at tsukiji market. 3900 jpy.

As you can see, there is just a lot of stories to share. I do hope this overview helps and excites you to your future trips to Tokyo. Please look forward to my next posts. Happy tripping! 

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