It has been three weeks since we came back from our awesome trip to Japan. It has long been on our “top countries to visit list” and I’m glad we were able to go this April for my week long birthday celebration.
I am an obsessive planner. I can’t count how many hours I logged on the internet reading blogs and websites in order to make the best itinerary possible (my travel buddy is quite useless in this part. LOL). In the end, I am very proud of myself for pulling this off and we had the best time in Japan!
Getting In and Around
Japan is 7 hours away from Singapore. We booked a round trip ticket from United Airlines through Expedia as they were offering the cheapest flight. This was our first long haul flight. I admit I was kind of worried at first because I’ve read so many bad reviews about United but it turned out to be a good experience. On time, good service, nice selection of movies to take away the boredom and acceptable food. We actually missed our return flight because we got lost on the way to the airport and they gave us new tickets for the next day free of charge, we even got upgraded to economy plus!
There’s almost no need to travel by taxi in Japan because Japan’s railway system is so extensive you can reach almost anywhere through it. Tokyo’s metro system looks like a colorful labyrinth. It is quite confusing at first and you may get lost several times but it’s part of the experience. Give it a day or two and you’ll slowly ease in to it. I suggest you grab a railway map in the airport and guard it with your life. LOL. You can also download apps like Rome2rio to help you navigate around.
For convenience you can buy PASMO or Suica cards which are like our EZ-link here in SG so there’s no need to fall in line for tickets every time you ride the train. They can also be used for purchases in most convenience stores and vending machines.
Accommodation is quite pricey in Tokyo. While I was doing my research, I found that the cheapest capsule hotel costs around S$40/per person. Hostels are almost on the same range, double rooms cost a few bucks more. The best option for us was to book through AirBnB. We found a nice place in Soka, Saitama. We scored this house for about S$ 22/per day. Check-in/out was flexible, you can do laundry and cook whenever you want. The host even let us use his pocket wifi for free which was very helpful for us. If you want to experience how locals live, I suggest you do the same. We got so fond of the house we kinda felt sad to leave.
Places to visit in Tokyo
I initially planned to spend 2 days in Kyoto but changed my mind. They said it is better to do things in a relaxed manner so you can enjoy and take in the experience more. Plus, it’s a reason we have to go back, right?
Here is a list of the places we visited:
- Imperial Palace
- Shinjuku Gyoen Park
- Ueno Park
- Fuji 5 Lakes, Shibazakura Festival
- Meiji Shrine
- Asakusa – Sensoji Temple
- Takeshita Street
- Tokyo Tower
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
- Tokyo DisneySea
I will go into detail on my next blogs. Till my next post! 🙂