Japan Travel Guide : Tips and Recommended Tours

 

How do I begin to describe what it is like to travel in Japan? Unforgettable? A roller coaster? Superb? Fun? I just want to share that it was a life-long dream to visit Japan until we landed the Narita Airport in Tokyo. I was sooo excited to visit my dream land! Suddenly the momentum and excitement were lost. I had a horrible experience with the Japanese Immigration before I could get to enter the Japanese border. I was devastated because I thought the trip would be cancelled and every booking I made would be forfeited.

To make a quick background on what happened, here’s the story: I was barred from entering Japan by the Japanese Immigration officers and they took me into the holding area. The immigration told me that there was a problem with my passport. I thought all of us do have the same problem, but it was just my passport. My son and husband got cleared. We were told to wait. I was shocked that the immigration officer told us that my passport number was reported lost in their International system (My God!) and that it was blacklisted. It came to the point that I was crying and weeping because I don’t have any idea how did it happen and how to sort things out so I will be cleared. I tried to talk to them I told them that my passport has never been out of my possession nor was lost. As a matter of fact, I have travelled to other countries and I didn’t encounter such problem. I took the guts of posting online about my situation. We were lucky enough that my sister have her contacts with the DOT who can endorse us to the Philippine Embassy in Japan. I was hopeless because that day was a Sunday which means no work in government agencies in the Philippines plus the next day was a holiday in Japan. I needed to clear my records in DFA. I was so lucky that the Philippine Embassy in Japan (ATN unit) had helped me to get through with this. Fortunately, we made it to the Land of the Rising Sun, JAPAN! (Arigatou gozaimasu to the people who helped us! Tough times really don’t last)

So here we go!

Japanese have unique culture, systematic way of living and very rich history. They say that Tokyo is an expensive city as the cost of living is very high…. Opppssss, not really! As a matter of fact, we were able to enjoy our journey within our allotted budget There are really plenty of ways to make your trip affordable, too. Let this travel guide help you plan your trip to Japan.

For Filipino Travelers we need to get a Visa to enter Japan, kindly click the link  on how to apply Japan visa. https://pinayadventurista.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/how-to-apply-for-japan-visa-in-the-philippines/

Flights

We paid an estimate of P5500 each for our roundtrip flight to Tokyo (Narita). We got these tickets during the airline’s seat sale last June 2015. Our travel date was July  2016. Tips: always sign up for airfare promos to get the most affordable flight fares. *we had a small talk with the other passengers on our flight and they were surprised with our fare ticket compared to them which is P15000 each. Yey! we  Got a good value out of our flight.

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Accommodation

We stayed in in Sunroute Plaza Hotel Shinjuku. This is the most recommended hotel online. I must say this is really the best choice that I made 🙂 It has a good location due to itsdistance from train station, Mcdonalds , family mart and tourist sites. It has easy airport access, distance, and good customer reviews. The staff can speak English. This was really amazing! We highlyrecommend y this hotel when you visit Japan

If you dont have a kid with you and you prefer a more affordable hotel, I recommend Hotel Sakura in Hatagaya (This hotel has good rate and reviews online) but a bit low class than Sunroute.

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Click the link below for Sunroute full blog content:  https://pinayadventurista.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/sunroute-plaza-in-shinjuku-most-recommended-hotel-in-shinjuku/

Getting Wi-fi Connection

This will be your guide in the streets of Tokyo. Some streets don’t have signs and most of the Japanese people don’t know how to speak in English. This will be your friend on your DIY trip.

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Itinerary 

Money saving tips: Visit the free attractions – Many of the nation’s parks and museums are free.

I think making a rough draft of your itinerary is the most crucial part of planning your Japan trip or every trip. I would suggest you do a lot of research, research and REASEARCH!!!! . I must say that 4d3n is not really enough when you’ve decided to explore the cities.   Let’s respect that not everybody has the luxury of time to travel around Japan but you can work things out… You just need to live the moment and enjoy it.

Our travel itinerary was cut short due to my terrible experience as mentioned.It felt like

For our actual Itinerary: Supposedly, our first day was to explore some parks nearby.Since we got extracted by almost 5pm,we just ate and met with my husband auntand just enjoyed the authentic Ramen in Narita airport.

We ride in Airport Limousine Bus heading towards our hotel. (Estimated amount per person is Php 1500 per way)

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Shinjuku

Since we are already staying in Shinjuku the day we arrived at the hotel, we took our chance to roam around the streets. Shinjuku is the Metropolis Center ward in Tokyo. The busiest railway station is also located in the area.  It would seemeverything is there. Entertainment, business and shopping area are found on that place. Famous department stores nearby are Lumine, Odakyu and Keio.

*You might want to visit Tokyo Metropolitan Government tower if you really want to have a full view of the city.

Shinjuku Gyoen Park
11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0014, Japan
is one of Tokyo’s largest and most pleasant parks and one of the city’s best cherry blossom viewing spots. too bad we visited by July and it is already summer. from sunroute plaza hotel 10-15 min walk
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Meiji Shrine

1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo

It is a shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. It is located just beside the JR Yamanote Line, busy Harajuku Station, Meiji Shrine and the adjacent Yoyogi park make up a large forested area within the densely built-up city. The spacious shrine grounds offer walking paths that are great for a relaxing stroll.

this is almost near the famous Shibuya crossing. It is one station away going to Shibuya crossing (but if you love to walk it will take you 15-20 min)

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Shibuya Crossing 
Shibuya 150-8010, Tokyo Prefecture.The most featured places of Japan is the Shibuya crossing. You just want to do  the “Shhh Shhh SHABOOYAHHH roll call” I’m super excited to cross the pedestrian. We really had a wonderful time here! We crossed the street so many times while taking videos and pictures. And we were not the only ones doing this; other tourists were doing these as well! This is claimed to be the world’s busiest intersectionIMG_0549.JPG
Shibuya Shopping Area
Hachiko Statue
Hachiko Plaza Shibuya
One of the most meeting point in Shibuya. See  Tokyo’s most famous pooch, Hachikō. This Akita dog came to Shibuya Station everyday to meet his master, a professor, returning from work.
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Roponggi
known for its nightlife (bars, restaurants, and dance clubs). It’s also become a shopping destination for travelers and locals alike.
Tokyo Tower
4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato, Tokyo 105-0011, Japan
Since we have an appointment with the Philippine embassy in Japan which is located in Roponggi. we took our chance to take a glimpse of this tower from a far. tower like paris 🙂
Disney Sea

This is a good choice as this is the one and Only Disney Sea in the world.

We prefer this than Disney Land since we already experience Disney Land in HK but aside from that we did a research that this is really worth visiting. I am giving two thumbs up for this Theme park. Please click the link below for Full Blog content.

https://pinayadventurista.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/disney-sea-experience-the-only-disney-sea-in-the-world/

Since we didn’t have enough time, I suggest that you also visit Odaiba and Yokohama :)Some of the Filipinos recommend it.

 

Transportation Tips:

There are a lot of train lines in Japan and you might get confused which lanes you will go (just download the app JP trains for reference). It is expensive when you buy one way fares. I suggest that you buy passes  which allow you to ride unlimited train travels and it will save you tons of Japanese Yen. (On our end, we didn’t opt to buy such since we only plan to travel areas nearby)

 

Japan is a country like no other. Tokyo is a fast paced city that’s ahead of the time. It is very systematic and organized. I learned that they value their most precious time to keep things in order. This country is freaking clean and people really love to walk. I must say that this trip is one of a kind experience. I must stay that after everything, still, everything was  amazing – the food, the culture, the place, the experiences, and more importantly the family bonding. And, I never regret visiting Tokyo! Truly, UNFORGETTABLE!!!

 

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