If you have been following my social media, you will know that I have been to Japan recently. Although I do not visit many places in Tokyo but it has been a fulfilling trip, my dream is to travel at least one time a year. Never been imagine I can visit to Japan so soon because it was quite a expensive trip I could say since I am quite a shopaholic and Japan is a Shopping Palace for me as well! Everything is so cute, so nice, limited edition only at Japan!! It makes me wanted to stay there forever.
Today I will blog about my experience I have in Japan, it was based on my own experience during this 6 days 5 nights stay at Tokyo. There was some happy and sad moments too. Happy was I was able to visit Sakura never I thought I will have the chance to see sakura with my eyes this soon! The view of the sakura is amazing and never will I forget in my life. Sad is I feel that there is not enough time for me to visit more places at Japan, there are so many places to visit but little time I have. Never mind I just have more excuses to travel to Japan again next time!
I bet food is everyone first need. Especially if you are gastric, it is important to bring biscuits and bread around. In Japan, you can choose to dine expensive or budget eat. Budget eat will be around 300 to 500 yen. For bread and Bento you can always find it at convenient shop. But we didn't get to try the bento style because we always back home late. So we choose to eat freely outside restaurant.
The machine type is usually can start from cheaper from 400 to 1000 yen as well. Restaurant can get from 700 to 1000 yen onwards. Water you can choose to get their free cold water dispenser in the self service restaurant. For serving restaurant you can get hot and cold water as well. But usually they will automatically serve cold water. But for me I wasn't get use to it and I don't really know why because since the weather is cold outside but still they can be drinking cold water inside restaurant.
My Best Eat in Tokyo will be Ichiran Ramen and Fresh Tuna Slices from Tsukiji Market.
In case you are not into cold water, Please bring a hot tumbler whenever you go. To prevent yourself sick because of drinking too much of cold water in this cold weather. There are some public area that are equip with Drinking station such as Tokyo Disneysea, Ueno Park and other public area too.
Peak hours in Japan can be quite crucial when taking train. Not only that but certain station as well especially Shinjuku or Sinagawa JR Station. For first timer which take train to this two area, please be prepare for the crowds, complicated platform, complicated exit as well. You must have a strong sense of direction with all the crowds and different train for different train line and station. Shinjuku is the busiest station and the most complicated station I have been. The crossing of 2 different platform, JR Line, Metro Line you can witnesses at the station. It will take time to understand the route at Shinjuku Station. For first timer please be patient when you are at Shinjuku Station.
Crowds was quite crazy too. Although I did not experience the tuna crowd inside the train but yes it was quite pack as the crowds from shinjuku station come from everywhere!! Peak hours can start from 5 to 9pm. But you can still experience the crowds till 11 to 12am because people are rushing home before train close.
I can't remember how much I spend for transportation at Tokyo because we bought each station ticket on the spot when we go to certain station. More or less I think is good to choose Accommodation that is near to Tokyo Metro and you can cheaper pass such as their 1, 3 or 7 days pass. They have few languages you can choose when you buy ticket from the ticket machine as well.
The number in the white box on the line is the price of the station. Usually they charge 100 to 400 yen per person depends on the station you want to stop at.
Lucky us we didn't take to Shinjuku Station when we first arrive with AirAsia night time flight to Tokyo. Instead we took Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsucho station and change to JR Line to Asagaya JR Station. Basically the station that we stop is not too crowded or crazy complicated line. Because Air Asia flight reach Tokyo time will be 10:30pm. We were quite rushing afterwards, because most of the Train Station closed at 12am. If you have read few blog, there are some will choose to overnight at airport or choose any hotel/capsule for a day night near airport before you move to your Stay Place at Tokyo.
Get to know their Rapid if you choose JR Line as your main line for the whole Tokyo Trip. Basically Rapid - Chuo Line STOP at some main station and skip the small station along the way. It was applicable for Weekdays only as it serve as the faster line for working people. During Weekends it was close and recommended to use back their normal line. Take note on the RAPID red word when you go to the platform. Usually Rapid is recommended to take if you're going to the Last Station of the certain Line. Transport seat is warm too during this cold weather.
Click here for more info about Japan Rail Pass.
My Most Recommended for the Best and Cheaper transport for Tourist is Tokyo Metro Line.
I find this was new, mostly the street at Japan was quite small and not as busy or wide road that we have in Malaysia. Usually they will go for Bicycle as their main transport if they are going some where near. They have special road for bicycle user too as well as bicycle stop. It helps to look after your bicycle and all you need is just to pay accordingly the time that you want.
Don't forget to be humble and ask for directions whenever you go. Mostly in tourist spot they are many people who know how to speak English. You can ask from the information counter for the places that you want to go. For train station, the station officer some of them are special for foreigner that are walking around with strap on their arm. Some of the officer are not so fluent in English especially station which are not pack with tourist spot.
Our airbnb comes with pocket wifi which easy for us to find direction while we are in Japan. We did print out the Public Transport line before hand. But sometimes the info is not that accurate so is good to rent a pocket WiFi while travelling at Japan. If not you can always ask for direction or station line/ platform from the station officer. Google translate was a best option too. Japanese are really kind to show you road too, even though they don't know how to speak English. But they will point the direction straight right up down for you. Which I find it quite cute and helpful also.
There are Maps everywhere too when you go out from the station.
Bathroom equip with cold and hot water. I love the Bathtub area too.
If you plan for sight seeing only, best to get airbnb. Because you only back for a good night sleep and wake in the morning for sight seeing again. Search for a good place with less crowded for less worry of transportation. But make sure it still stick to the main train line such as JR Line or Tokyo Metro. We choose Asagaya which we have to change from JR to Metro to some of the tourist place only can go by Metro Line.
Many people recommended to get a place near to Tokyo Metro. As Tokyo Metro can go almost all of the the famous tourist spot you wanted to go. So we have spend quite much on transport because we have to change from JR to Metro most of the time. Still there are few tourist place which can go by JR as well.
*Example of Japanese Futon Bed*
The airbnb I got is sleeping on the traditional Japanese Futon Bed. Which I find it quite a new try for me as well. Both of us did sleep well since we are both tired after trip and visiting places. Slight not uncomfortable since it was our first time sleeping of Futon bed but it doesn't bother us much. We still have a good rest after sleeping as well.
My Best Sleep experience on Japanese Futon Bed.
Click here for my Airbnb info.
There are two types of tax free you could get when you travel to Japan. If for Comsumable Item you can get tax free when you purchase up to 5000 yen in the tax free shop. If for General Item, you have to shop for 10000yen only you can get for tax free. Such as Isetan, Big C, Matsudo, and other more stated tax free shop. Everything you bought from Japan they charge 8% of tax just like in Malaysia we have 6% of GST. Compare to our 6% and Japan 8% shopping in Malaysia is still worth. But Japan can get a lot of things that we couldn't get from Malaysia.
Its up to your budget whether is it worth the shopping at Japan. But I still shop a lot in Japan, where Duffy and Sailormoon merchandise, Wego and Spins is where I shop till drop. I only shop at shop that are only available in Japan. In Japan there are alot of big shopping buildings, such as H&M, Forever 21, Uniqlo and Gu. For as Uniqlo and Gu, I didn't went in because my luggage and hand carry are FULL. I just need to control myself.
Lastly I just manage to get all the things and snack I want just for myself and family.
This shop you will get crazy too! They sell all sorts of stuff in this shop. Crowd in here can be really crazy and prepare for the crowds too.
For shopping area, I will recommended Ikebukuro because I feel that the price and the clothes there are more affordable with many cute and nice design too. I saw that Japanese love to wear dark item if not overly cute item as well, for me it was quite hard to shop because most of the clothes they sell are in dark color and quite expensive as well. I wanted PANTONE COLOR clothes!! Total lost for my Clothes haul is only 1 Bomber Jacket, 2 tops, 1 skirt and 1 scarf.
For Harajaku Shopping is depends on you whether you can get a really good price of clothes. I feel that the area have quite high end clothes shop as well. They have many local designer clothes too!
I still need more time to discover more shopping paradise at Harajaku and Ikebukuro.
My Best Shopping Paradise - WEGO and SPINS! IKEBUKURO!!
Click here for more info about Tax Free Guide in Japan.
There are not many places in Tokyo that have toilet. But if you saw one please try to go. Usually mall and parks there are toilet as well. But parks toilet are quite small and smelly as they don't have cleaners on the spot. They got everything automate all the time. I mean it. Toilet inside the mall was quite clean all the while because the tissues roll they always back up with 2 and more toilet rolls in the toilet. Flush was automate as well, wave or touch hand sensor. At first since we were get use to the manual flush in Malaysia until I cannot find one then I realize it was the sensor flush in Japanese Toilet.
Seriously so many tissues roll? They even teach you how to replace back the tissues roll after you finish use. All the while, I never go into toilet that are without toilet roll. Trust me.
I prefer the sit one because the squat wan was quite deep and I don't really like the feeling of it. Plus their toilet bowl is warm too in this cold weather. They have the auto buttons for you as well.
My Best Toilet Experience would be in Shopping Mall and Restaurant.
It takes around 6 hours and 30 minutes from KLIA 2 to Haneda Airport. Japan time is 1 hour faster than Malaysia. Hence the jetlag didn't really that much affect on us. But sometime when we wake up or sleep that time we always get use to Malaysia time.
But it best to stick back to Japan time to follow up the time when you travelling. So that you won't miss out your time in sleeping. Tourist places always pack with people I mean a lot of people. It is best to go the tourist place as early as you can to avoid people congestion.
If you take AirAsia flight which only have 1 time departure flight from 2:30pm, you may need to prepare entertainment in the flight for around 6 hours and 30 minutes. Mobile games, movies or drama will be better as well. In the return flight for AirAisia which the time is 1145pm in Japan time, the night flight, prepare everything that you needed for a good sleep in the plane. Such as travel pillow, eye mask, ear plug because if you are not ordering any meal for your flight you can just continue with your sleep with eye mask. Because the food serving will take about 1 hour and more with the plane light on.
I bet everyone loves to travel to Japan between March to April because of the Sakura Season. Sakura have a short period of blooming period. It can last long for 2 to 3 weeks after full blossom. You can choose to have hanami view while it was full blossom or even when it was in falling process which could be super dreamy as well. Each part of Tokyo have their own timing for the sakura. I will blog more about Sakura in another post.
I can't seem to get over about this pretty flower that I have seen in my life! I feel so blessed and lucky when I see all these full blooming sakuras tree. The color was super pretty and dreamy. Is there any tree or flower can describe as dreamy that would be Cherry Blossoms (Sakura).
If you ask me is it worth the visit for just Sakura Season? I would definitely say YES. When I first book my Japan trip, I been survey around should I travel to Japan for just Sakura, mostly people will say Yes you should. Next question you will ask is, when is the best time for Sakura Season. This was a really crucial question for you and it was BEST to do more research, compare pass year Sakura Period and follow more official Japan website updates!
Is not easy because there are just some people will say that maybe you won't be so lucky seeing Full Bloom Sakura when you travel during that period la. That period the Sakura haven't open also la something like this. It mades me feel kinda panic and sad when I heard my friends and relatives telling me stuff like this. It make my hopes went down for this trip. Luckily I did follow one official website about Sakura viewing, it start to blossom on the 20th of April, and my trip travel is from 29th April. And I guess I was quite lucky, the Sakura reach full bloom by the time I visit to Tokyo. Although not as dreamy when sakura petals start to fall but able to see this super pretty flower in my life I consider myself lucky and happiest girl now!
For traveler like us, we usually need to walk a lot everyday when we travel. You have to get prepare for all the foot mask from day 1 of walking until the end of the trip. Believe me it was really famous in Japan and it was a must buy item especially you are walking around when you travel. Its up to you to put how many you want as long it heals your sore leg overnight. It was really effective from my own experience. I put at least 3 on legs and 1 on my sole of my feet. You will feel the cooling sensation when you apply, slowly it will give you heat. You just have to have some good rest overnight. Next morning, it heals all your sore leg and you are good to go for a fresh new day of walking.
For the eye mask, since the weather was cold and windy during my travel period to Japan. My eyes is really dry and sore every night. This eye mask have save my life! It was a STEAM EYE MASK!! Which it means you can feel the steaming effect when you put on your eye!! We were amazed of the steaming effect, feels so good too after we apply it on our eyes. It also can act as sleeping eye mask too, haha! We bought back alot at Malaysia, although it was not suitable for weather in Malaysia because it was hot at night. But I love the steaming effect that helps to calms and relax my eye.
Yoko Yoko is for my sore Shoulder because I always use my bagpack all the while and making my back pain too! This was quite a budget yoko yoko type for sore shoulder and other place. In one of their famous Drug Store - Matsumoto, you will find a lot of the sore pad for different parts of your body. You can get Tax Free Price when you purchase 5000 Yen above too!
Seriously this just came in time! Our Luggage was around 28 Inches big which it cannot fit most of the Storage Locker at Japan. You will see there are many Luggage storage locker in Shinjuku Station. Applicable for Handcarry and Smaller Luggage.
Luckily this Keio Nekonote Baggage Service started when we travelling to Tokyo. Basically save our time strolling the luggage during the last day of our trip. Plus my boyfriend got feverish and not feeling too well as well. It was not very convenient and comfortable where we have to take luggage where ever we go during the last day. It just required 1000 yen for 1 luggage storage with them and 3500 yen if you needed them to send to Haneda Airport.
As I mention before, mostly you can find mostly everything automated in Japan. Even Ticket Counter for entry too! Something like the ticket counter at the train station.
7-11 ATM Bank Machine. We didn't use this but it was recommended for travellers because it was compatible for all International cards.
Click here for more info.
Don't ask me how much I spend in this trip because I always believe everyone can choose to spend more or less when they go travel. There is fun travelling in a cheap or expensive way too! It was depends on your budget and what trip you want it to be. During the peak period flight to Tokyo is not CHEAP at all, I consider myself lucky because I can get 2 Way Flight AirAsia + Luggage + Sky Bus + 1 Flight Meal and 5 nights Accommodation in less than 2K. I can't remember how much I spend for transportation at Tokyo because we bought each station ticket on the spot when we go to certain station. More or less I think is good to choose Accommodation that is near to Tokyo Metro and you can their cheap 1, 3 or 7 days pass.
That's all for my sharing about my experience while I was in Tokyo. There are more to know more to learn and know about Japan. Hope it helps and just drop by a comment if you wanted to ask more question about Tokyo. Do more research as you needed too!
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